11 votes

What games have you been playing, and what's your opinion on them?

What have you been playing lately? Discussion about video games and board games are both welcome. Please don't just make a list of titles, give some thoughts about the game(s) as well.

21 comments

  1. [3]
    Pistos
    Link
    More on Kingdom Come: Deliverance , which I am still thoroughly enjoying. Previous post(s) So I decided to switch over to Hardcore mode without finishing the game yet in Normal mode. Hardcore...

    More on Kingdom Come: Deliverance , which I am still thoroughly enjoying. Previous post(s)

    So I decided to switch over to Hardcore mode without finishing the game yet in Normal mode. Hardcore feels better to me in a number of ways. Here are the differences:

    • No more autosave. In Normal mode, the game will autosave after key timeline events. In Hardcore, game is saved only on sleep or spending an in-game item (which isn't trivial to acquire, at least in the early game). As I mentioned in an earlier review, this makes decision making and risk taking more intense. Death aversion is very much a thing. It's annoying to die and lose maybe an hour of gameplay having to respawn at an old save point. Equipment, XP, storyline advancement... all gone. But I like the increased intensity that comes from this increased concern for your character's life!
    • HUD is reduced. You have to judge from the actual 3D-space visuals how much health and stamina you have left, as well as any opponents. Combat overlay is reduced or removed; you have to watch the actual 3D space weapon, shield and stance of your opponent (no more video-gamey icons and timing indicators to help you). Combat in general seems harder, attacks more damaging. I'm certainly dying a bit more often than in Normal, and I generally have a careful/turtle playstyle in video games.
    • Your map is literally... just a map. In Normal mode, it is practically a GPS, complete with "you are here" marker, which even shows your current orientation, and you have a compass/heading in the HUD. Also, quest and task locations are clearly indicated in the HUD compass. In Hardcore, no more marker, and no more HUD compass. Quest locations only show in HUD when you are relatively close. You have to know your compass directions relative to the sun and time of day. You also have to look at your map, find landmarks on it, then look at the real world and associate the 3D landmarks with the map landmarks. Navigating in forests just got real. You really have to pay a lot closer attention to detail like distinguishing one cluster of trees from another, or one clearing from another.
    • Food is a somewhat more scarce, and the "freebie" nourishment interactables in the world only feed you in Hardcore one fifth of what they did in Normal mode. Hunting and gathering is a lot more attractive as a means to feed yourself, though buying food or scavenging in civilized areas is an option sometimes. Now, this doesn't make the game an intense survival type game. It hasn't been that hard to stay well-fed so far, but it's certainly more of a recurring concern than it was in Normal mode.
    • Equipment repairs seem more costly. I think both buying and selling prices may be worse, too.
    • You are forced to pick 2 (out of 12ish) debuffs/penalties that stay with you through the whole game. e.g. "your mom dropped you on your head as an infant; you gain XP more slowly" This is kind of neat. Extra challenge. I noticed that the UI actually let you pick more than 2 if you wanted. For those masochists out there?

    So I'm having fun so far in Hardcore. Of course, I have spoiled many quests and mysteries since I played through some of the game in Normal first, but there's nothing I can do about that. However, I am occasionally seeing a thing here and there that I missed the first time around.

    7 votes
    1. [2]
      rogue_cricket
      Link Parent
      There's an achievement for getting through Hardcore mode with all of them I think. The achievement is for people who hate themselves. My favourite one is "Somnambulant," the one that makes you...

      I noticed that the UI actually let you pick more than 2 if you wanted. For those masochists out there?

      There's an achievement for getting through Hardcore mode with all of them I think. The achievement is for people who hate themselves.

      My favourite one is "Somnambulant," the one that makes you wake up in different beds sometimes.

      5 votes
      1. MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        'Tis but a scratch : Finish the game in Hardcore Mode with all negative perks.

        'Tis but a scratch : Finish the game in Hardcore Mode with all negative perks.

        3 votes
  2. [3]
    grahamiam
    Link
    Got my first non-Heat full clear of Hades last night. It's so good and lives up to the hype you guys gave it. I don't think I'll do very many Heat clears, but I'm definitely going to do a few more...

    Got my first non-Heat full clear of Hades last night. It's so good and lives up to the hype you guys gave it. I don't think I'll do very many Heat clears, but I'm definitely going to do a few more hours of it.

    For the first time in a long time I have no idea what I want to play next. Was thinking about Watchdogs 2 or Persona 5 Phantom Strikers but neither of those gameplay styles strikes me right now.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      snowcrash
      Link Parent
      I had a ton of fun with Hades too! I'll share one piece of advice that worked for me, and increased my enjoyment. There is still a bit more story locked behind some heat clears. I think there are...

      Got my first non-Heat full clear of Hades last night. It's so good and lives up to the hype you guys gave it. I don't think I'll do very many Heat clears, but I'm definitely going to do a few more hours of it.

      I had a ton of fun with Hades too! I'll share one piece of advice that worked for me, and increased my enjoyment. There is still a bit more story locked behind some heat clears. I think there are multiplle endings (depending on how much you play? not sure?) but the "main" ending is after 10 clears w/ heat. But don't worry, it's not 10x more work; in my experience you're probablly around halfway through. You'll know you're there when you get a long credit sequence after a clear.

      Don't feel pressured to continue - it's wonderful to piick up and put down at any stage - but I just wanted you to know there is more meaningful story without toooo much more grinding away. :)

      1 vote
      1. grahamiam
        Link Parent
        Thanks - I think I've already gotten 4 and was close to putting it down, but 10 seems like an easy goal to hit, so I'll stick with it until then.

        Thanks - I think I've already gotten 4 and was close to putting it down, but 10 seems like an easy goal to hit, so I'll stick with it until then.

        1 vote
  3. Kirisame
    Link
    I hopped into a weekly (online) tournament for Guilty Gear Xrd, the best fighting game of all time. Or, at least my personal favourite. I got absolutely crushed, having gone 0-2; great times. I...

    I hopped into a weekly (online) tournament for Guilty Gear Xrd, the best fighting game of all time. Or, at least my personal favourite. I got absolutely crushed, having gone 0-2; great times. I was the first casualty on-stream, this week, even!.

    Aside from my usual time spent on fighting games, I've been getting better at Beat Saber and Sound Voltex; I suspect most would be already-familiar with Beat Saber, but Sound Voltex is probably less well-known. It's an arcade rhythm game (like, literally a game you'd find at arcades) with a pretty unusual-looking controller consisting of six buttons and two analog knobs..

    Lastly, I've broken 150 hours on Valheim now; my playgroup is finally approaching the last boss that's currently implemented. At 150 hours, I think I can say I've gotten a pretty good amount of enjoyment from my viking life. Really excited to see what's around the corner.

    4 votes
  4. [5]
    Weldawadyathink
    Link
    Near the end of the ps4 era, I kinda wanted to get one for games like God of War, Spider-Man, and Shadow of the Colossus. When the ps5 came out, that seemed like the logical choice. I also really...

    Near the end of the ps4 era, I kinda wanted to get one for games like God of War, Spider-Man, and Shadow of the Colossus. When the ps5 came out, that seemed like the logical choice. I also really wanted to try out the adaptive triggers.

    Then I lost my job just as the ps5 came out, which was a big bummer. I told myself I would buy one when I got a job again. I started a new job last Monday, and grabbed a PS5 from PS direct on Wednesday.

    I haven’t started Spider-Man or GoW, but I have defeated about 6 colossi. So far, it is a spectacular game. I can’t think of any games like it. I can’t believe that something like this came out for the PS2. I even had a PS2 and would have loved SoC then.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      If you're really enjoying Shadow of the Colossus, you'll probably be into Praey for the Gods, a game that's heavily inspired by SotC and should be coming out very soon. It's been in Early Access...

      If you're really enjoying Shadow of the Colossus, you'll probably be into Praey for the Gods, a game that's heavily inspired by SotC and should be coming out very soon.

      It's been in Early Access on Steam for a while, and they just recently announced that the game is "done" and will be releasing soon (on PC, Xbox One, PS4 and PS5).

      4 votes
      1. Weldawadyathink
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely check it out once it drops.

        Thanks for the suggestion. I will definitely check it out once it drops.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Pistos
      Link Parent
      Shadow of the Colossus was great. I even got The Last Guardian purely because it was made by the same development team.

      Shadow of the Colossus was great. I even got The Last Guardian purely because it was made by the same development team.

      3 votes
      1. Weldawadyathink
        Link Parent
        That one is already on my wishlist. I remember it being pretty hyped, but I never looked into it much. I’m excited to try it.

        That one is already on my wishlist. I remember it being pretty hyped, but I never looked into it much. I’m excited to try it.

        2 votes
  5. psi
    (edited )
    Link
    Persona 5 Strikers Pros Music still bops Dynasty Warrior style combat is an improvement over turn-based combat Cons No sense of finality Social link aspect is bare-bones Dialog choices have no...

    Persona 5 Strikers

    Pros

    • Music still bops
    • Dynasty Warrior style combat is an improvement over turn-based combat

    Cons

    • No sense of finality
    • Social link aspect is bare-bones
    • Dialog choices have no impact on progression

    Other thoughts

    While I had hoped this game would provide the closure that Persona 5 Royal lacked, it disappointingly did not. Most conspicuously missing are the added characters from the Royal addition of Persona 5, effectively making the possibility of closure a non-starter.

    Instead, P5S might as well stand for Persona 5 Summer Vacation. And to that end, the game is perfectly fine. Finishing a Persona game is a daunting, 100+ hour task. Completion, naturally, rewards the player with a sense of pride and accomplishment; but for a game centered around relationships with other people, that accomplishment is bittersweet: finishing the game means leaving your friends behind. Much like real life, the in-game calendar marches unrelenting forward, each save limiting the remaining time you have to spend in this world.

    Thus P5S is a welcome reunion, serving as an opportunity to revisit your old buddies. But in Persona 5 Royal, what made those connections so meaningful were your choices: the player could choose to spend as much (or as little) time with whichever characters they'd like, with those choices potentially changing the dynamics of that relationship. But each choice comes with sense of urgency, as there's only a finite number of actions one can take in the game. Further, failing to develop a relationship with a character is not necessarily a punishment exclusively in and of itself. Failing to develop relationships with certain characters will preclude you from reaching the best ending all together.

    In contrast, Persona 5 Strikers has no stakes: there are only a couple distinct social opportunities, and the story railroads you along. No choices you make will change the story's ending. In some sense this is fine, since it's not like I had any intention in Persona 5 Royal to pursue anything other than the true ending (I was effectively railroading myself). But in another sense, those choices in Persona 5 Strikers become significantly less meaningful.

    What I found most disappointing, however, was the ending. The actual conclusion to the story was fine, but the post-game seems misplaced. If Persona 5 Royal feels ends with a cliffhanger, Persona 5 Strikers ends with a time-loop. Like many other JRPGs which aren't entirely sure what to do with the player once they've defeated the Big Bad Guy, P5S spits you out to the moment before the final battle (and gives you some optional quests to complete).

    But Persona 5 Royal already handles the post-game perfectly: after the fight with the Big Bad Guy, the calendar marches forward. You get to live with the consequences -- for a little bit, at least. You have one final day to explore the city and visit your friends before you say goodbye. And once the credits have rolled, the game asks you whether you'd like to overwrite your save, therefore demarcating it New Game Plus and preventing you from returning (unless, of course, you'd like to experience the game again from the beginning).

    But with Strikers, that sense of finality is robbed from you. Instead you're stuck in Limbo, camping-out in the RV, prepping for the final battle in perpetuity. Initially, having completed the game, I intended to grind levels until I could craft Alice (mudo skills are OP in this game). But ultimately I decided against it. Sure, I could try to defeat the secret boss, but without any story-motivated reason to do so, such a battle would just be a challenge for its own sake, and that's not why I play Persona games.


    The actual gameplay is fairly good (the combat is better in P5S than P5R, in my opinion, although it still has its faults), and the Persona crafting system still has plenty of depth to it. The story is fun, and hanging out with the phantom thieves continues to be a blast. But a Persona game without social links is hardly a Persona game at all. Overall, Persona 5 Strikers is a good game, and I would recommend it for people who played P5/P5R, but it's more like a spin-off than a proper sequel.

    4 votes
  6. nothis
    Link
    I guess I can't help it, I'm on my way to 100% Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch. There's a lot of smaller and larger issues with the game and it is an old port. But what can I...

    I guess I can't help it, I'm on my way to 100% Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury on the Switch. There's a lot of smaller and larger issues with the game and it is an old port. But what can I say, it has that Nintendo polish and (unlike most of their other releases) actually enough new content to justify the full price re-release (it's admittedly new for me, anyway).

    First: Bowser's Fury is amazing! It's a vision for an actual, proper open world Mario game. It has nothing to do with the base game except for reusing its assets and move systems. It's IMO way longer than the "3-5 hours" people cited at release, it's absolutely worth 100%-ing and that should easily make it 6-8 hours. Love, love, love Bowser's Fury, it would deserve more buzz than it got, it's my favorite Mario experience since Mario 64, yes. Secondly, the online multiplayer actually... works. I've been playing sessions with my nephew as a bit of a Sunday ritual for some time now and it works really well. I just gotta respect the effort of doing a full multiplayer Mario game, that's pretty insane and they made it work.

    The only negative, IMO, is their slightly too restrictive interpretation of "linear" gameplay. I can respect the idea that you do away with the mindless wandering around of the Mario 64 and Sunshine area as that's no longer novel (I respect that view but see my glowing enthusiasm for Bowser's Fury which does the opposite). But for some reason, they took it as an invitation to stubbornly sticking to 2D Mario era conventions which often don't work in 3D. The far away, side-facing camera and simple floor texturing make it almost impossible to make out whether you are in front or behind an object since there's no perspective distortions. You rely on that tiny, gray shadow to kinda triangulate your position in the world but if you're jumping over an abyss or your shadow is hidden behind an enemy you're basically just guessing. They try to make it easier by restricting movement to 45° increments but that adds its own problems. You often fight in arenas that are essentially circular and if an enemy is attacking you from, say, a 30° angle, you have to approach him in some kind of L-shaped path instead of a straight line. All in all, I found myself fighting the camera more than I liked. While I see the appeal of being thrown into the action immediately, I don't see what the many restrictions add to gameplay.

    But yea, I'm hooked. It's a 10/10 (Bowser's Fury!) and a solid 7-ish to 8/10 game in one package. I also started to feel that obsession that made me 100% Mario Odyssey (fuck you, jump rope!). I heard this one has the hardest endgame challenge of any Mario game. Bring. It. On.

    3 votes
  7. autumn
    Link
    I started over with my Animal Crossing: New Horizons game on the 19th. I'm taking it a much chiller pace this go around. Trying not to over-saturate like I did when it was first released, hahaha....

    I started over with my Animal Crossing: New Horizons game on the 19th. I'm taking it a much chiller pace this go around. Trying not to over-saturate like I did when it was first released, hahaha. Definitely enjoying it.

    My partner and I are still playing through Stardew Valley (couch co-op). We love a good co-op, and it does that really well. I think we're about halfway through fall of our first year. The only very mildly annoying part is my partner keeps asking where to find things, but since I haven't played in 2-3 years, I don't remember! Like ACNH, I'm playing it pretty chill, not trying to blast through everything as quickly as possible.

    3 votes
  8. bilbodwyer
    Link
    I completed Cyberpunk 2077 last week, which I enjoyed quite a lot! I'm planning to do a couple more playthroughs with the different backgrounds, and with a view to slightly different role-playing...

    I completed Cyberpunk 2077 last week, which I enjoyed quite a lot! I'm planning to do a couple more playthroughs with the different backgrounds, and with a view to slightly different role-playing style. This first time around Johnny and I got on quite well, but I still wanted him out of my head. I have vague ideas on the approaches I want to go with, but I'll be leaving Night City for a while so the game doesn't get too stale. Also hoping that there will be some decent patches and additions by the time I'm ready to pick the game back up!

    In its place, I've been playing Jedi: Fallen Order and having a whole bunch of fun with it. The combat is hard but not impossible, and the platforming/puzzles are just the right amount of challenging without being frustrating. I'm actually enjoying the story as well, which is not something I anticipated from a Star Wars game, but it's quite good so far! I'm about halfway through the game now, and my current highlight is definitely

    spoilers climbing, hijacking, and piloting an AT-AT to assist Saw Gerrera on Kashyyyk. *chef's kiss*
    3 votes
  9. [2]
    joplin
    Link
    I played Down In Bermuda. It's a cute little puzzler. It's not particularly difficult, but was a fun way to pass the time.

    I played Down In Bermuda. It's a cute little puzzler. It's not particularly difficult, but was a fun way to pass the time.

    2 votes
    1. Kirisame
      Link Parent
      The art looks really cute. I might pick this up for Switch when work drops off a bit.

      The art looks really cute. I might pick this up for Switch when work drops off a bit.

      2 votes
  10. knocklessmonster
    Link
    American Truck Simulator: I got a company going! It got boring, but I plan to keep coming back, but maybe no more 25-hour hauls. they're only three hours or so, but it sort of kills the rest of...

    American Truck Simulator: I got a company going! It got boring, but I plan to keep coming back, but maybe no more 25-hour hauls. they're only three hours or so, but it sort of kills the rest of the session. My two $100k loans are paying themselves off and them some with my two leveled-up drivers pulling in 3k each. I may pivot to ETS2 for a lark.

    Slime Rancher: I'm working on full automation and cultivating all the plorts all the time. I lost my Rock/Tabby gordos because I kept them next to my Boom/Rad slimes, underfed them, and they started exploding, launching loose plorts into their corral. Sad loss, but they're easily replaced. I just need figure out how much restructuring I'm gonna do on my farm. I know how the game ends, and really just intend to push as hard as I can to that point. I'm having fun as I do so, however.

    Veloren: It's a clone of the game Cube World, which I've never played, but open source, written in Rust. It's a voxel open-world RPG that can be procedurally generated. I say it can be, because the main server and default single player map have the same seed, since world generation apparently takes a while. It's only in alpha, but had it's 0.9 release on Saturday. There's not much to do, but from what there is, it's quite fun, and I've just been running around trying to kill things, level up, and craft armor so I can do more things. The best part of it is while the overworld is quite dangerous, it's also pretty easy to escape off a mountain with your glider and fly to safety/out of an enemy's aggro range. If you piss something off on flat ground, however, you'll be praying your last checkpoint was nearby. It's pretty low-stakes, and being chased by things is fun because the only thing you lose is forward progress, not items or anything.

    2 votes
  11. vegai
    Link
    I've played some 50+ hours of Elite: Dangerous now. Mostly trading. My worth is somewhat north of 100M now. Just bought an Anaconda for longer cargo haul runs but it was so expensive I couldn't...

    I've played some 50+ hours of Elite: Dangerous now. Mostly trading. My worth is somewhat north of 100M now. Just bought an Anaconda for longer cargo haul runs but it was so expensive I couldn't upgrade it at all -- so back to Type-7 or -9 Transporters for now... Fought successfully with good old Cobra MK3 for a while, now looking forward to perhaps getting a Fer-De-Lance or Mamba. The game is beautiful and fun and the sound design is superb. Its main game mechanic is unfortunately a total grind.

    I've played and enjoyed every previous Elite game, so there's an interesting continuity here. Every game in this series, down to the first one released in 1984 feels for most parts pretty much the same. Grind money so you can upgrade your ship so you can grind faster. It sort of feels like having a second job. Without salary.

    2 votes
  12. PapaNachos
    Link
    I've been playing a shit ton of X4:Foundatiuons. The new expansion just dropped and I started over from scratch and have been slowly building up a new space empire. This time I'm allying with the...

    I've been playing a shit ton of X4:Foundatiuons. The new expansion just dropped and I started over from scratch and have been slowly building up a new space empire. This time I'm allying with the Terrans. They're massive dicks to everyone else and are mostly responsible for the crisis that has set the local sectors on fire, but their ships are badass and they're at least trying to clean up their mess. So who can really say whether or not they're evil. It's fine.

    The latest patch has brought a lot of quality of life improvements, but this game is still lovingly janky. For absolutely no reason they made the all the Terran small storage containers look like giant dicks that just stick off the top of your space stations. I haven't gotten enough money to find out if the larger ones look like dicks too, that's still TBD.

    1 vote