19 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.

33 comments

  1. [3]
    emnii
    Link
    I've been flopping around a lot, unable to find something I want to play, but this weekend I landed on Far Cry 5. I skipped Far Cry 4, so my last Far Cry experience (barring Blood Dragon) was 3....

    I've been flopping around a lot, unable to find something I want to play, but this weekend I landed on Far Cry 5. I skipped Far Cry 4, so my last Far Cry experience (barring Blood Dragon) was 3. This game seems a lot less focused on stealth and hunting than FC3. I recall spending a lot of time sneaking around in that game, and I can do that here, but it's faster and often less difficult to just run in guns blazing. If I need to take over an outpost, I can just fly in with a helicopter and strafe everything to death.

    The missions themselves have been a fun variety of activities, and there is certainly plenty to do in the game. I'm enjoying the "prepper stash" objectives. They're little micro stories in themselves.

    But there is never a dull moment in this game. Outside of missions, something is always popping off around me. I could just drive down a road and I'll run into a cultist trying to execute someone on the side of the road, or I'll come up on a cult asset that I need to blow up, or any number of other open world objectives. Sometimes I just have to ignore what's going on around me so I can get to a story mission. There's no penalty to that, but it's easy to get distracted.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      bub
      Link Parent
      There are a lot of things to like about Far Cry 5. I actually wonder if there isn't too much going on all the time. Or too high a density of content. It feels silly to say, after years and years...

      There are a lot of things to like about Far Cry 5.

      something is always popping off around me.

      I actually wonder if there isn't too much going on all the time. Or too high a density of content. It feels silly to say, after years and years of people complaining that open world games feel too empty. But now that we have been given a game that actually packs the world as full as people have asked for, I find myself wanting to be able to drive my car around without being shot at every 50 meters, or having some random cougar or bear or something suddenly chasing me out of nowhere.

      At least once you conquer a region of the map, it tends to calm down a bit if I recall. It's been a year or two since I played it. And just like basically all the previous Far Cry games, I think I got tired of it before finishing the story. But I find the games enjoyable enough to keep buying on sale every time there's a new one.

      3 votes
      1. TheJorro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        It's the main complaint about Far Cry 5, specifically, along with the abductions and limp-wristed story. There's too much popping off around you all the time, to the point that it started ruining...

        It's the main complaint about Far Cry 5, specifically, along with the abductions and limp-wristed story. There's too much popping off around you all the time, to the point that it started ruining the immersion and suspension of disbelief for many. You're supposed to be in a rural area but the world is as dense as a city and there's so much happening that you wonder why there hasn't been greater government intervention yet.

        In a way, it's kind of reintroducing a problem from Far Cry 2 where enemy spawns were so aggressive that entire outposts would spawn on top of you after you had just cleared it. It created a hostile world that was a chore to traverse after a while because you knew the game would throw enemies at you while sending you from Points A to B.

        I'm not sure why this is the case. Far Cry 3 and 4 (along with Blood Dragon and Primal) weren't criticized for the amount of NPC-related activities in the world at all. For some reason, they dialled this way up in Far Cry 5.

        2 votes
  2. knocklessmonster
    Link
    sigh More Elder Scrolls. I'm still juggling Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. I'm still having fun, too, especially since I can change the pace at a whim by changing the game, or even what I'm...

    sigh More Elder Scrolls. I'm still juggling Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim. I'm still having fun, too, especially since I can change the pace at a whim by changing the game, or even what I'm doing. I simply find the world interesting, especially considering Morrowind and Oblivion basically take place at the same time, in the same world (There's a six-year difference, and they're in different countries). The more I play one, the more I appreciate the others. The honeymoon is over, I won't be playing for 8+ hours at a time anymore, but I'm having fun.

    I'm doing a bunch of Mages Guild quests in Morrowind which are surprisingly fun. My redguard fighter build is having a difficult time with magic because I didn't optimize for it at all, but I can kill just about any non-humanoid creature in a couple swings.

    I've backed off Oblivion a bit after getting into the Arcane University, but I'm thinking of trying to close all the Oblivion gates (see spoiler for a 15 year old game):

    Spoiler The gates disappear when you finish the main quest, and the sigil stones you get are useful for enchanting.

    Skyrim is still interesting. I'm trying to see how high I can get armor, and got a full Ebony set, with Ebony Mail, up to around 1000 protection, which is impressive, but I needed the 25% set bonus and Legendary upgrades to pull it off. I'm now running around in full legendary glass armor at 550 defense. I also did the infamous "Blood on the Ice" quest, which I accidentally broke the sequence of, just to tie it up. I had to reload and lose my 4 levels of smithing (77-81) that I got by crafting a ton of dwarven arrows. My next run of Skyrim will definitely be using the Unofficial Patch.

    5 votes
  3. [13]
    NaraVara
    Link
    So with Mass Effect Legendary Edition out I decided to have my wife play through it to see how she does and how she gets by on making choices. But the problem is we can’t really get to choices....

    So with Mass Effect Legendary Edition out I decided to have my wife play through it to see how she does and how she gets by on making choices.

    But the problem is we can’t really get to choices. She has never played video games before aside from the occasional round of Mario kart on the N64 and the coordination of needing to use both thumb-sticks at once just doesn’t work for her. On the very easiest game mode the squad mates basically handle combat for you, but she can’t even tell what’s happening because she doesn’t have a sense for the analog stick being an analog stick. She keeps panning too far and looking at the ground or up at the sky.

    The whole experience is making me think AAA gaming must have a serious onboarding problem. They do short control tutorials, but if you don’t instinctively know that the right stick looks and left stick moves there is no way a short thing making you do it once will develop that skill enough for you to actually play and enjoy the game. I don’t even know how one onboards a person to be able to enjoy a game like this. It seems like swimming or learning a language where if you don’t learn it young the lack of neuroplasticity just makes it really hard for people without a natural aptitude to be able to pick it up.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Yeah, this is a big complaint I've had about video games for a long time. They're entirely too hard for someone who doesn't already know how to play them. I've played games on my PC for decades,...

      Yeah, this is a big complaint I've had about video games for a long time. They're entirely too hard for someone who doesn't already know how to play them. I've played games on my PC for decades, and now when I'm trying to play something on my TV with a controller, it drives me mad. Unless you're a teenager that can spend hours in-game per day, it's just too much work to learn. And that's only the start of the problems for non-gamers. I'll stop before I go full rant mode. Suffice it to say that I agree with the conclusions you've reached.

      6 votes
      1. snowcrash
        Link Parent
        My PC-only gaming father bought a PS4 in retirement, and while it took him a few weeks, he certainly learned. And he doesn't game much, only 1-2 hours two or three times a week (i.e. reasonable...

        My PC-only gaming father bought a PS4 in retirement, and while it took him a few weeks, he certainly learned. And he doesn't game much, only 1-2 hours two or three times a week (i.e. reasonable for busy working adults).

        He did conceptually understand the controller and had played PC games for decades. Even so, he struggled on a lot of PS4 games even on easiest difficulties for a while; now he's more comfortably beating easy. If he wasn't a gamer since the 80s/90s, no chance he'd be able to pick up a console in retirement, even as a reasonably techy guy.

        4 votes
    2. [3]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Have you seen Razbutin's series on his wife playing video games? It explores that exact issue in some detail, and I highly recommend it.

      Have you seen Razbutin's series on his wife playing video games? It explores that exact issue in some detail, and I highly recommend it.

      5 votes
    3. [3]
      Gyrfalcon
      Link Parent
      Depending on how much time you are willing to sink into it, you could do something like what Girlfriend Reviews does. Instead of her having to learn how to play videogames, you can just do the...

      Depending on how much time you are willing to sink into it, you could do something like what Girlfriend Reviews does. Instead of her having to learn how to play videogames, you can just do the combat on a lower difficulty and let her make the choices. I'm not sure how interesting that would be since I know Mass Effect has a lot of combat in some sections, but I was most recently playing on a harder difficulty so you might just be able to breeze by.

      4 votes
      1. Pistos
        Link Parent
        I recommend this. I did this once with someone. We played through Heavy Rain, where I had the controller the entire time, but we talked through all the decisions together. It was definitely...

        I recommend this. I did this once with someone. We played through Heavy Rain, where I had the controller the entire time, but we talked through all the decisions together. It was definitely enjoyable for the non-controlling "player", maybe because the game is a sort of interactive movie.

        Playing through single-player games with more than two people can be fun as well. I remember playing through The Last Guardian as a group of 4, passing along the controller, taking turns. We'd all laugh together, cheer together, get jump scared together, and squeal together as the main character frantically tried to flee monsters. And poke fun at the controller-holding player for parkour fails. Fun times.

        5 votes
      2. NaraVara
        Link Parent
        Yeah I actually suggested that initially, but Mass Effect is actually a rather boring game to watch when you're just derping around the open worlds. Something like Uncharted would probably work...

        Yeah I actually suggested that initially, but Mass Effect is actually a rather boring game to watch when you're just derping around the open worlds. Something like Uncharted would probably work better.

        2 votes
    4. whbboyd
      Link Parent
      I'm borderline incapable of using twin-stick controls, and I've been playing video games since I was 5, and I have an essentially complete understanding of the mechanics. Building the muscle...

      I'm borderline incapable of using twin-stick controls, and I've been playing video games since I was 5, and I have an essentially complete understanding of the mechanics. Building the muscle memory takes an incredible time investment, and resources to teach the basic mechanism are effectively unavailable if you don't have a very patient friend who can coach you through it.

      I really strongly suspect that part of the exclusivity complex that heavily dogs gaming as a hobby is that it is itself very exclusive. If you didn't join the club in your childhood or teen years, when you had loads of time and highly malleable muscle memory, it's going to be a real challenge to pick it up later.

      4 votes
    5. [3]
      eladnarra
      Link Parent
      I don't know if it's possible on a console, but she might have better luck with a keyboard and mouse — I didn't grow up playing games, but I've used computers since I was a kid, so I find looking...

      I don't know if it's possible on a console, but she might have better luck with a keyboard and mouse — I didn't grow up playing games, but I've used computers since I was a kid, so I find looking around by moving my mouse a lot more intuitive than a stick. (I do mostly just use W and sometimes S, though. Strafing is tricky.)

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        NaraVara
        Link Parent
        That might make sense. Not possible on console unfortunately. But I can see the hand-eye coordination of a mouse being easier to pick up than the finger-eye coordination of a thumb.

        That might make sense. Not possible on console unfortunately. But I can see the hand-eye coordination of a mouse being easier to pick up than the finger-eye coordination of a thumb.

        1 vote
        1. cfabbro
          Link Parent
          Not entirely true... both Xbox One+S/X and PS4+5 have mouse & keyboard support built in, but the amount of games that they actually work with is quite limited (E.g. for XBOne). And unfortunately,...

          Not entirely true... both Xbox One+S/X and PS4+5 have mouse & keyboard support built in, but the amount of games that they actually work with is quite limited (E.g. for XBOne). And unfortunately, as far as I can tell, ME:LE on consoles doesn't look like it supports them. :(

  4. [3]
    smoontjes
    Link
    I resubscribed to World of Warcraft for the nth time in 15 years, this time because of the release of the classic version of The Burning Crusade. But just like the release of Battle for Azeroth...

    I resubscribed to World of Warcraft for the nth time in 15 years, this time because of the release of the classic version of The Burning Crusade. But just like the release of Battle for Azeroth and Shadowlands, I seem to have nearly fully lost the will to play WoW anymore - it just isn't as fun as it used to be, when I was in my teens (27 now). I guess you kind of change as time passes, but it still makes me sad that I no longer care for it, because I have literally spent tens of thousands of hours on WoW.

    Anyways, I resubscribed and it was fun for a couple of days. But I quickly realised that it's the same old grind as it always was - it was fun to visit the old places though.

    4 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      It's like going back to somewhere you used to live. Yeah, it's nice to see the old joint, but the reasons you were there are mostly gone, and so are the reasons to stick around.

      It's like going back to somewhere you used to live. Yeah, it's nice to see the old joint, but the reasons you were there are mostly gone, and so are the reasons to stick around.

      4 votes
    2. dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I recently rewatched the World of Warcraft Classic and What We Left Behind video by Folding Ideas and he touches on the points in your comment a bit in there. For a lot of folks that played that...

      I recently rewatched the World of Warcraft Classic and What We Left Behind video by Folding Ideas and he touches on the points in your comment a bit in there. For a lot of folks that played that much WoW, you were usually in high school or college and had a lot more free time and ability to devote time to that grind, plus use it as a social space to hang out with friends. Now that we are older, we have less free time available and may not want to spend it grinding out Xp in an online theme park we have already experienced.

      2 votes
  5. guts
    Link
    I am still playing Valheim with my gf, we still enjoy the farming and minecraftesque building on the game at your own peace. Still the game has a lot of room for improvement as it gets repetitive....

    I am still playing Valheim with my gf, we still enjoy the farming and minecraftesque building on the game at your own peace. Still the game has a lot of room for improvement as it gets repetitive. For the value it is and the price is totally worth it for a multiplayer game with your friends and famiily.

    4 votes
  6. bkimmel
    Link
    Griftlands was recently released on Switch and I picked it up. You can't help but compare it to Slay the Spire and I'd say so far it "holds up" although some of the mechanics seem a bit more ......

    Griftlands was recently released on Switch and I picked it up. You can't help but compare it to Slay the Spire and I'd say so far it "holds up" although some of the mechanics seem a bit more ... contrived, maybe? By that I mean that, in general, there are "classes" of cards that sort of interact with each other but not with other cards as much or as in delightfully unpredictable ways as in StS. The add-on and upgrade mechanics feel a little more interesting than StS - cards have more than 1 possible "upgrade" - so it's got that going for it.

    There are 2 "decks", 1 for combat and one for negotiation with some limited ability to choose which one you "do more" throughout a run. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about that, but it's kinda interesting. The other thing that sticks out compared to StS is that it's much more narrative/theme heavy. For a Roguelite it's kind of a weird design choice... I'm still OK with it, but I can quickly sense how doing the same dialog run after run will turn into a bit of a drag in the not-too-distant future. The story seems to have some "fixed" characters and situations, while others are random run-to-run. For example, a character you a "friendly" with on one run may hate you in another run: and that's another interesting mechanic - You get persistent bonuses for characters who "love" you and debuffs from characters who "hate" you... For killing their best friend or getting them fired from their job.

    So "overall" I'd give StS the edge as a "pure card-based Roguelite" but Griftlands is a strong contender based on the story, characters and bolt-on mechanics even if it doesn't show the same kind of "long-range replayability" that StS had.

    4 votes
  7. nacho
    Link
    I've had a small amount of time to try out the early release of The Last Spell. So far it's a great game. I wonder where it's going and what more will be added before full release. The...

    I've had a small amount of time to try out the early release of The Last Spell.

    So far it's a great game. I wonder where it's going and what more will be added before full release. The meta-progression from doing several runs before you can actually progress seems untuned, but that's a minor gripe if the grinding becomes less pointless because there doesn't seem to be any way of progressing beyond grinding and losing repeatedly.

    The gameplay is great. It's a turn-based, base-building, hero-management game of survival. The music is spectacular, among the best I've experienced in any indie game.

    I have no idea if there is more than one map/mode, if there are prestige levels or similar because I haven't survived the first map. You need to gain run-transcending "meta-currency" to unlock perks necessary for winning. That's the part of "rogue-lite"-games I like the least, but this game is so good I'm willing to accept it in the early release. That says something about how good the actual game feels to play

    2 votes
  8. Ellimist
    Link
    Mass Effect Legendary Edition The Mass Effect series is easily my favorite video game series of all time. I bought every game and DLC when it came out originally, every game and DLC on PC, and...

    Mass Effect Legendary Edition

    The Mass Effect series is easily my favorite video game series of all time. I bought every game and DLC when it came out originally, every game and DLC on PC, and still bought the Legendary Edition. Why? I don't know. I guess some part of me is voting with my wallet. THIS is the sort of content I want developers making. Strong, narrative focused RPGs. I don't mind multiplayer or "Live" services so long as they're complimentary to the single player experience and not required for maximum enjoyment. Mass Effect 3's multiplayer was a good example of this. Something fun, contributed to your War Effort but in no way required.

    Back to the game itself......it's like visiting old friends for me. Sure, nothings changed. The dialogue is the same, the choices are the same. But in this crazy last year, there's something cathartic for me about going back to the Mass Effect universe.

    The QoL changes BioWare are welcome. The Mako does handle a bit better although the terrain of most planets leaves something to be desired. The combat isn't Mass Effect 2/3 levels of good but it's still better than the original. 4K/60FPS on the Series X is a dream. Taking my time playing 1 just because.......don't want it to end I guess.

    World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade Classic.

    I didn't start playing WoW until late in Legion's lifespan, right around the 7.3.5 patch. So despite BCC being old hat for a lot of people, it's a completely new experience for me.

    As a Paladin main, the whole combat system is vastly different than I'm used to. Seals and Blessings and the emphasis on auto attacking is so much different than the current "generate Holy Power, beat face" of BfA and Shadowlands.

    The leveling is much slower and I have mixed feelings on it. Like I'm enjoying the slower pace, enjoying coming to a new area and seeing a bunch of exclamation points denoting new quests but part of me also wants to get to all the important levels. 30 for my first mount, 60 so I can get to the actual TBC content. Instead, I'm languishing in the Ghostlands which wasn't my favorite even in Retail leveling BUT the slower pace means I do feel somewhat like I'm actually contributing to the Sin'dorei slowly reclaiming their homeland instead of when I flew through it leveling on Retail since heirlooms trivialized both the XP and the difficulty.

    2 votes
  9. Gyrfalcon
    Link
    I am not playing Mass Effect LE like some others, though I do love Mass Effect. I finished up a playthrough of the original games maybe a few weeks before LE came out. But, to feel involved, I am...

    I am not playing Mass Effect LE like some others, though I do love Mass Effect. I finished up a playthrough of the original games maybe a few weeks before LE came out. But, to feel involved, I am playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, which I picked up on Steam a while back on a good sale.

    Now, I know Andromeda got a lot of hate when it first came out for being a buggy mess, and... different from the other games. A lot of the bugs have been fixed now, which is good, although the eye movement on a lot of the characters in conversation is still somewhat disconcerting. One thing that I think is the biggest though is that it's not a linear RPG. There are just some kinds of stories that fit well with certain mechanical systems, and I don't think the story they wanted to tell works with a world that is quite so open. Because of this, it just won't scratch the same itch as the original trilogy does. That said, I am still enjoying it on its own merits, the combat is fun, and it took me out of my Mass Effect shell of using the combat HUD to pause the action every time I used a power instead of using the hotkeys. I like the extra gear customization, I think it is just the right balance between the fiddly inventory management of ME1 and the much simpler systems of ME2 and 3, though I do miss being able to give my squad members gear, which I think would be that much more impactful with the crafting system.

    Anyway, going to keep working on Andromeda for a while, then probably take a Mass Effect break and wrap up Kingdom Come and maybe try Rise of the Tomb Raider before buying the legendary edition around N7 day.

    2 votes
  10. [5]
    DeFaced
    (edited )
    Link
    Final fantasy 14, just getting through the ARR storyline has been rough, but it’s starting to pick up and I want to get to heavensward. I’d like to get all the way to shadowbringers at least...

    Final fantasy 14, just getting through the ARR storyline has been rough, but it’s starting to pick up and I want to get to heavensward. I’d like to get all the way to shadowbringers at least before endwalker release but man is it slow going. Especially for someone who only has a couple hours to game every night.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      Contentus
      Link Parent
      As someone who regrets a lot of the time put into FFXIV, I have to warn you: yes the story gets more interesting, but the quests and way of telling the story is always the same. It's like a bad...

      As someone who regrets a lot of the time put into FFXIV, I have to warn you: yes the story gets more interesting, but the quests and way of telling the story is always the same. It's like a bad job to get through and you are paying for it!

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        That's something that's driven me away from most RPGs in the last few years. Yes, there may be an interesting story in there, but unless the mechanics of combat are truly enjoyable in their own...

        That's something that's driven me away from most RPGs in the last few years. Yes, there may be an interesting story in there, but unless the mechanics of combat are truly enjoyable in their own right, I'd be better off reading a book or watching someone else play it.

        2 votes
        1. Contentus
          Link Parent
          In my opinion the game has interesting mechanics. It just uses them all wrong.

          In my opinion the game has interesting mechanics. It just uses them all wrong.

          2 votes
      2. DeFaced
        Link Parent
        Thanks for the heads up, I don’t actually have a problem with the way the story is told. I love jrpgs so it’s actually something I’m used too, the problem was the story itself. I just got through...

        Thanks for the heads up, I don’t actually have a problem with the way the story is told. I love jrpgs so it’s actually something I’m used too, the problem was the story itself. I just got through arr, and man was it good at the end but getting there was just boring. Looking forward to the rest of the game!

        1 vote
  11. JXM
    Link
    Lot of video game talk this week. I played the board game Planet Apocalypse for the first time this week and loved it. It’s essentially a tower defense game with a bunch of hellspawn trying to...

    Lot of video game talk this week. I played the board game Planet Apocalypse for the first time this week and loved it. It’s essentially a tower defense game with a bunch of hellspawn trying to overtake the human world.

    It’s extremely difficult, but it expertly threads the needle between being hard and almost impossible to win while also being extremely fun. Once you get through the first round or two, the game moves extremely fast and there isn’t a lot of bookkeeping that needs to be done beyond health and unlocked abilities.

    2 votes
  12. PhantomBand
    Link
    Still busy with my Mega Man Zero/ZX replays, just finished the prison part in Z4. Also still playing Final Fantasy VII (the original) for the first time. Overall I'm digging it but I do find that...

    Still busy with my Mega Man Zero/ZX replays, just finished the prison part in Z4.

    Also still playing Final Fantasy VII (the original) for the first time. Overall I'm digging it but I do find that it has aged the worst out of all FF games, and the minigames are obnoxious. Hopefully they fade out during disc 2 and 3.

    1 vote
  13. russd
    Link
    Call of the Sea, wish I had a VR headset to experience it in, but I like the slow pace and its atmosphere is unbeatable.

    Call of the Sea, wish I had a VR headset to experience it in, but I like the slow pace and its atmosphere is unbeatable.

    1 vote