14 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.

12 comments

  1. rogue_cricket
    (edited )
    Link
    I'm playing what might be the most obscure multiplayer game I've ever played - a massively-online sandbox survival RPG called Chimeraland. It's currently in closed beta test for people in the...

    I'm playing what might be the most obscure multiplayer game I've ever played - a massively-online sandbox survival RPG called Chimeraland. It's currently in closed beta test for people in the Philippines and Canada only and I was one of the lucky five thousand. No idea why just those two countries and if anyone has any clue I'd love to hear it.

    There's almost NO information about it anywhere, I suppose because right now it's in quite a limited testing phase. I imagine they'll ramp up their advertising closer to release, which is currently scheduled for November. Right now it's only testing the mobile client, but they're also planning for a release on PC.

    That also means that playing it is interesting, because nothing about it can be looked up right now! I kind of missed that feeling from older games.

    Overall I really don't know what to think of it! It comes off as kind of a cash grab in some ways: it's got a super cluttered UI (reminds me of BDO, but on a phone), you can definitely just outright buy weapons, and takes some design elements from trashy mobile games that are designed to suck money out of you. But some other things about it are actually pretty interesting, to the point where I get frustrated with the small things that are wrong with it - plus the fact I'm not big on "action" games on mobile.

    Here's some stuff about it:

    1. It is third-person camera, and controlled with onscreen joysticks. Action combat. Aimed range attacks.
    2. It is Absolutely Very Chinese. I don't mean this in a negative way! Just that even with the very Chinese aesthetics and lore aside, you can tell it was developed in China just from similarities to other Chinese MMOs. A sort of maximalist approach, if that makes sense.
    3. It advertises itself as an MMORPG, and while it does have stats and power and skill points and so on, I'd peg it as more of a sandbox survival. There are mechanics such as temperature, energy, hunger and item degradation which seem more prominent than in a typical MMORPG.
    4. It seems to be one large shared world for everyone on the server, no instancing. There are three factions, each getting a continent: West, East, South. Each area has some unique monsters and resources, but if you travel outside of your home continent you get flagged for PVP. There is also a Central area, which is a no-man's-land where everyone is flagged for PVP.
    5. The world is actually spherical - you can circumnavigate the globe, which I think is pretty cool and I'm not sure if I've seen before. I also think you might be able to fly to space? I'm pretty sure you can land on the sun and do stuff there, although it's a bit barren right now.
    6. One of the main features of the game is the ability to build and level up your house. The house is NOT instanced - your house is out in the world, you can plop it down BASICALLY wherever you want, and you can run into other peoples' houses and other people can run into yours like if Rust just had one server. You level up your house by building things until you fill up a bar, then you need to gather materials to complete the level-up. Leveling up unlocks more available building blocks, increases your build radius, and allows you to have more services (like a loom, a forge, etc).
    7. I am pretty sure your house can be raided. I've also seen screenshots of some kind of wildfire event. This is, I suppose, their plan for scaling the non-instanced houses and dealing with abandoned places - they will degrade or get destroyed over time.
    8. Another main mechanic of the game is the pet/mount system. Pets are central part of the game, not just a side thing. You can capture just about any monster out in the wild with a "mustard crossbow." When you do this you will rarely get an egg, which you can hatch in your home, but more often you will get a "temporary" pet which you can deploy. When the temp pet is deployed, you can then have a hatched pet or mount "DEVOUR" the temp pet, which causes them to fight each other. If your pet wins, then it devours the temp pet, and your pet gets a stat boost OR takes on a quality of the devoured monster which can have associated visual changes. I have a horse right now with a glowing head because it ate a spectral deer, for instance. This is where the "Chimera" comes from.
    9. Both pets and mounts can help you in combat. Some mounts can swim or fly (again: into space???).
    10. The character creator is wild. You choose your "clan" and then within that clan there's a slider that goes from old man -> young man -> child of unidentifiable gender -> young woman -> old woman. Entirely aesthetic. Clans include humans, cow-people, fish-people, bird-people... I think there's some elements of "chimera"-ing here too, where you can through gameplay unlock features of other clans to stick onto your character (like putting a cat tail on a bull-man), but I haven't been able to do it.
    11. It's overall a "classless" system, you invest in your effectiveness with different weapons via a "constellation" skill point tree system that, again, I have no idea how it works. There are separate fighting/gathering skill points. Not sure about caps or respeccing.

    Honestly the whole thing seems like a bit of a mess, but that's not to say I'm not having fun. I feel like it's definitely going to be a Pay-to-Win thing when it releases, though, which is unfortunate because some of its systems are pretty neat. I really like the spherical map.

    7 votes
  2. AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Just finished Wolfenstein New Colossus, miles better than Old Blood. Youngblood is next to finish out the new series. After that I think I'm going to play the Sunless series or Blasphemous. The...

    Just finished Wolfenstein New Colossus, miles better than Old Blood. Youngblood is next to finish out the new series. After that I think I'm going to play the Sunless series or Blasphemous. The latter seems like it should be quicker and I have been saving my longer games for a time when I can devote more attention to them.

    Finished all the main competitions in the Google Olympics doodle game, am missing a few side mission trophies (not sure where the kid has run off to and apparently need to wait for ?low tide? for the last piece of driftwood) short of 100% completion. Well that and the harder version of the rock climbing that's just ticking me off, darn snowball throwing owl.

    5 votes
  3. vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    Undertale and Disco Elysium. Finished Undertale with the typical neutral ending that probably almost everyone gets on the first play. Entertained the idea of running the other endings too, but I...

    Undertale and Disco Elysium. Finished Undertale with the typical neutral ending that probably almost everyone gets on the first play. Entertained the idea of running the other endings too, but I didn't bother to. Watched the other endings on youtube. A bit sad that the premium song from the soundtrack ends up being in a rather difficult to reach place, but oh well. The game was quite magical.

    Disco Elysium, day 3. Managed to convince the gatekeeping dude with some racial theories (although I just internalized and told him "it's shit" and that was that) and just now talked to the union boss.

    5 votes
  4. [3]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    I've been playing the New World beta, and it's perfectly all right. There's a few bugs and rough edges, but it's pleasant nonetheless. My perspective comes from someone who hasn't played an MMO...

    I've been playing the New World beta, and it's perfectly all right. There's a few bugs and rough edges, but it's pleasant nonetheless. My perspective comes from someone who hasn't played an MMO since the Burning Crusade, so I'm catching up with more than a decade worth of improvements in the industry.

    There are so many people, for good or for ill. Playing on a high-pop server, there's people absolutely everywhere, to the point when a quest mob spawns the half-dozen people waiting to hit it for the quest all pile on together, wiping it in moments, only for the next set to show up and wait for the respawn. This is not so great, but a thing they can tune easily enough. On the nice side, when you're exploring an area there's always someone willing to help out, throw a heal your way, shoot the enemy a time or two as they run past, whatever. Even with the high server population, it doesn't feel like harvestable resources are too rare, I was able to mostly find the things I needed to advance.

    Combat wise, it feels a little stiff, but not bad. As compared to WoW's targeting, it's amazing. I can actually snipe enemies at a distance, plan for them to run and juke towards me, and shoot them as they come.

    The design feels like it'll keep people around in the same areas. It felt like WoW hollowed out old areas in drawing people to new ones, but in New World your faction needs to hold territory for various benefits, so I was used to seeing people at varying levels wandering around the same areas. It was nice. You get personal benefits for harvesting/fighting in a zone, your faction gets benefits from holding it, your company gets benefits from holding it. Lots more attachment to the land.

    I dunno. There's so much going on that I feel like I haven't scratched the surface. But I'm looking forward to doing so.

    5 votes
    1. rogue_cricket
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I tried out the beta a bit and I felt mostly the same about it - it's fine, but I feel like I want to wait for it to become a bit more mature, the shared zones made early questing pretty hard...

      I tried out the beta a bit and I felt mostly the same about it - it's fine, but I feel like I want to wait for it to become a bit more mature, the shared zones made early questing pretty hard because of overpopulation and I found the combat a little hard to get used to. I also found the visual design a bit lacking in imagination, but the sound design was absolutely incredible.

      One thing that did encourage me to try it out was that they do offer a full refund up until full release. I will probably refund it and wait a couple months before deciding whether to go in on the game proper.

      2 votes
    2. streblo
      Link Parent
      I've played the game a bit too but haven't really been impressed. (Sorry, not trying to rain on your parade this just seemed like a good spot to share my opinion! Glad you're enjoying it.) The...

      I've played the game a bit too but haven't really been impressed. (Sorry, not trying to rain on your parade this just seemed like a good spot to share my opinion! Glad you're enjoying it.)

      The world is beautiful but the game just feels very soulless to me. Maybe it's a result of switching directions too many times but I don't find much cohesion present in the game's vision and the world hasn't grabbed me at all. Everything feels kinda half-baked rather than the game staking out a vision its trying to do too many things and the result is a mess.

      The combat may be 'action' orientated but it's far more repetitive than even the worst offenders of 2-3 button rotations in tab targeted MMOs. The dungeons aren't great and the PvP has been neutered to the point that there isn't really a driving reason to participate in it. The crafting/gathering is really good but without some sort of destructive elements in the game (i.e. the full or partial loot PvP that was removed) there's going to be little reason to participate once you're at geared up.

      This game would have been a very good if smaller PvP sandbox game but I guess they decided that wasn't enough return on their investment. The game will see some initial success because people really want something new in the space but ultimately I think FOMO will drive a lot of it. Once its apparent this isn't the next big MMO I think it will peter out.

      2 votes
  5. emnii
    Link
    I saw the end credits on Marvel's Avengers. This is such a weird game, not the least of which because it takes so much from Marvel Heroes. Marvel Heroes was a better game. A lot of people have...

    I saw the end credits on Marvel's Avengers. This is such a weird game, not the least of which because it takes so much from Marvel Heroes. Marvel Heroes was a better game.

    A lot of people have said a lot about Avengers that I really don't need to rehash, but this is a bog-standard third person brawler with a bizarre monetization scheme on top of its retail price tag. All of your favorite characters have had what you love about them sanded down and flattened so that they play like every other character. The minor differences in characters swing between annoying and frustrating.

    I wasn't surprised or bothered by the fact that this isn't MCU characters with MCU actors behind them. What I was surprised by was how little it pulls from the comic book sources. None of the paid costumes are recognizable. I'm a mark for Iron Man; none of Iron Man's comic book suits are in this. I can't make Captain America look like classic 80's sky blue fish scale Captain America. Sure, some costumes in the game are cooler than others, but I don't feel compelled to buy a costume I don't recognize. I'm not showing off my favorite Iron Man.

    I'm also frankly shocked at how few Marvel villains are in this. I counted three and two of them are MCU retreads. It doesn't even really namedrop characters outside of the game. This is a huge contrast to Marvel's Spider-Man, which threw villains in-game and in-narrative at me at a wild pace.

    I didn't hate Avengers, and I continue to play the post-game stuff. They've added some stories and characters post-release, and I'm interested in seeing how that stuff goes. But this is just a once-and-done kind of game for me. I don't see any reason to replay or grind on it, which is a pretty bad sign for a live services game.

    4 votes
  6. Heichou
    Link
    Been playing some Receiver 2! Stupid hard game, but only because I'm an idiot and the game really punishes you for that. Super neat game with the most complicated reload methods in all of gaming,...

    Been playing some Receiver 2! Stupid hard game, but only because I'm an idiot and the game really punishes you for that. Super neat game with the most complicated reload methods in all of gaming, but it's really fun getting really quick with it. You basically run through a randomly generated level (preset "cells", but put in random order and with small changes every run), collecting tapes, and avoiding/disabling robots called KillDrones that, well, want to kill you. You have to pick up a certain amount of tapes every level to proceed. To help with this, you're given an assortment of revolvers and semi-automatic pistols to unlock and learn how to operate. I managed to get to the last level, where I unlocked the Single Action Army. I was climbing around, trying to squeeze past a drone-filled area, when I fell a good distance and shot myself in the leg and died, because I didn't practice the cowboy load with the SAA. Right after I died, the game gave me the entry for the cowboy load. If you're not aware, the Single Action Army revolver didn't have great safety features, and if you fully loaded the gun, the hammer would always be just shy of touching the bullet in the chamber. With a sharp enough drop, or jolt, the hammer could potentially jostle enough to strike the primer and fire the bullet. If it's seated in your holster when this happens, you'll be taught a very painful lesson. The way to get around this is to always keep one chamber empty, and keep it so that the hammer is resting on this empty chamber. That's the cowboy load. I knew this, and I died because of it. Very good game lol.

    I've also been playing Persona 3:FES. I'm at about 80 hours in, but I've been using the turbo feature on PCSX2, so it's maybe closer to 60/70 I think. I do enjoy this game, but it's immediately a tougher, and less polished game, than its successors. This game really wants you to grind. It's very hard if you don't make sure you go as far as you can in tartarus before the next boss fight. I've seen lots of forum posts of people struggling to fight a boss when they're 20/30 levels lower than they should be. Luckily, I don't mind the grind all too much (and the turbo button certainly expedites it), so I've been exactly where I need to be almost the whole game. P3's music is great. It's probably my second favorite soundtrack next to P4 (Nothing can beat Heartbeat, Heartbreak). Voice acting is suuuuper rough. I'm really glad it got better as Persona became more popular. Audio quality is poor, too, but that's to be expected of a console game with this much dialogue. Skill inheritance sucks because it's completely random, Mudo/Hama skills suck because even if an enemy is weak to them, it's still horrible odds to hit, 3 different physical damage types is a bit much, and a handful of the tartarus sub-bosses are harder than any boss fight in the game, which I think is funny, but also painful. After I beat this game, I'm planning on starting my Persona 4 Golden NG+ run. I'll probably bowl through that, then either do a P3FES NG+ run, or try out Persona 3 Portable.

    4 votes
  7. Tlon_Uqbar
    Link
    Not exactly answering the question, but I spent some time last weekend modding my arcade stick (the 8BitDo Arcade Stick). Added Sanwa buttons with concave caps (cuz that's what I like) in a Super...

    Not exactly answering the question, but I spent some time last weekend modding my arcade stick (the 8BitDo Arcade Stick). Added Sanwa buttons with concave caps (cuz that's what I like) in a Super Famicom color scheme, and put an 8-way gate into the stick (stock one works well enough for me).

    Mostly use the stick for shmups, and put in a good session of ESP Ra.De. which is what I've been focussing on recently in the shooter department. I'm a big fan of Cave shooters. What I like about bullet hell is the way they force you into a state of flow. It's relaxing almost? Or maybe more accurately, they force you to drop away distractions, worries, life, literally everything else on your mind that's not trying not to get hit in the game.

    3 votes
  8. Wulfsta
    Link
    Introduced some friends to Gloomhaven this weekend - didn’t intend to, we just sort of ended up playing. Now it looks like we might start playing the tabletop simulator version.

    Introduced some friends to Gloomhaven this weekend - didn’t intend to, we just sort of ended up playing. Now it looks like we might start playing the tabletop simulator version.

    3 votes
  9. [2]
    kfwyre
    Link
    Prey (2017) After finishing Control, I was in the mood for more creepy sci-fi, so I started up this. I am a huge fan of System Shock 2, and I've always wanted to replay that game but also have...

    Prey (2017)

    After finishing Control, I was in the mood for more creepy sci-fi, so I started up this. I am a huge fan of System Shock 2, and I've always wanted to replay that game but also have resisted doing so because I don't want to tamper with the amazing memory of my original playthrough so many years ago. Prey is basically giving me the replay I always wanted without the tampering, as it is very clearly inspired by SS2 but is its own game.

    I actually bought the game years ago, as I was quite interested in it, but I let it languish in my backlog, so I'm quite pleased that nothing got spoiled for me between then and now. Without saying too much: the exposition and inciting incident of the game are well-executed, and I'm thrilled that I got to experience them as intended.

    I'm currently playing the game on easy, as I do with most games, but I actually think the game is too easy as a result. Normally I don't love a challenge, but the fun of the game is in the tension of ammo and ability management. The game is designed for you to tackle obstacles in multiple ways: hack a computer, or find a key, or sneak through the air ducts, etc. It doesn't want you just shooting everything to death. On easy mode, however, this is very much possible. Plus, I don't need to put points into survivability and thus can spend those abilities on things that make the problem-solving ones better, which means the game is much more "walk in the park" than "strategic navigation of complicated systems".

    I'll likely finish this playthrough as a way of getting my feet wet with the map and how the game works, but there's a good chance I might try another playthrough on a harder difficulty once I know my way around.

    3 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Agreed on the difficulty curve and the rewards for testing it. Prey was one of the last games I willingly played on the hardest difficulty, as it pushed maximum problem solving. So often higher...

      Agreed on the difficulty curve and the rewards for testing it. Prey was one of the last games I willingly played on the hardest difficulty, as it pushed maximum problem solving. So often higher difficulty just means you have to shoot the enemies for longer, and Prey was a totally novel experience as that became less feasible.

      2 votes