12 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.

20 comments

  1. [5]
    TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    Pyschonauts 2 This was worth the 16 year wait. Easily the best 3D platformer since Super Mario Odyssey (not that there's all that much competition, but this is a genre that needs a comeback), but...

    Pyschonauts 2

    This was worth the 16 year wait. Easily the best 3D platformer since Super Mario Odyssey (not that there's all that much competition, but this is a genre that needs a comeback), but also the most creative 3D platformer since Super Mario Galaxy (yes, more than SMO). Great writing, great aesthetics, tons of fun already.

    You play as Raz, a young psychic in a world where psychics exist and have 60's style spy adventures. In the first game, he runs away from his pyschic-hating circus family to join a kid's summer psychic camp where he uncovers and stops a plot to steal everyone's brains to power psychic tanks. On the way there, you jump into people's minds and unravel their thoughts, perceptions, ideas, experiences, and traumas to settle their minds and progress through the world and the plot. It's entirely comedic, and presented in very light-hearted ways. Also if this sounds kind of like Inception, it is! This game preceded that movie by years and, honestly, might be a better exploration of that idea anyway. The Milkman level of the first game is one of the most famous video game levels of all time for good reason!

    Most of the joy from these games comes from seeing how they present the world, and then how you can interact with it. Do not expect realism here, it's all a very stylized cartoon and it's done very, very well. Double Fine has always been a studio with some of the best and most creative artistic direction and they've put their all into Psychonauts 2. The way some of the world change and transition are nothing short of inspired, and it's done on every level from the visual art, to the ambient soundscapes behind them, to even how you navigate through the worlds.

    It's worth noting the pedigree behind the writers of these games: Tim Schafer, creator of many beloved and creative adventure games like Day of the Tentacle and Grim Fandango; and Erik Wolpaw, writer of Old Man Murray, a few Gamespot reviews, and Portal and Portal 2. In fact, Wolpaw left Valve to return to work on Psychonauts 2. The comedic writing in these games is some of the best in the entire medium, if not some of the best comedic writing for any work, period.

    Anyway, I won't spoil or talk about this second game's plot too much since I'm still going through it and the fun is in discovering what the next mind might be like, but this sequel picks up just a few days after the first game, and the in-between VR game. You're now at the Pyschonauts HQ where you're an intern and have to work your way up while figuring out another mystery of the world. All the new characters so far have been fantastic, and even though it's 16 real world years later, everything feels like coming back home a few days later for sure, even with the massive boost in visual quality. And if you want to jump straight into this one, it's very easy to. There's a great recap intro to commence the game and then you can dive right into fun 3D platforming.

    I really loved the first game and this is a proper sequel, taking everything that it did well and improving on it. The reception to the game has been much better than was even hoped, sitting at a 93% on Metacritic. Expect to find this game in the GOTY conversations at the end of the year, if not taking the crown. Bravo, Double Fine, this game is a triumph. I just hope it doesn't go as unappreciated and turn into a cult hit like the first game, and so many of DF's other games.

    Bonus points: the game is very family friendly. It's a very soft T-rating so far, and only because there are a couple of levels that deal with addiction issues (in child-friendly ways).

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      moocow1452
      Link Parent
      I'm finished with the story bit, and in my opinion there are points where it really shines and it feels mechanically sound, but there are also bits where the story makes some jumps that feel like...

      I'm finished with the story bit, and in my opinion there are points where it really shines and it feels mechanically sound, but there are also bits where the story makes some jumps that feel like you missed crucial scenes with other characters. You start out with the other interns hating your guts, but after you beat a boss, they all turn on a dime and you're cool. And it feels like that pattern repeats itself with other characters and revelations, and maybe it makes sense if you select every single dialog option with every single character, but it comes across kind of choppy otherwise. Load times on the original XB1 is about as bad as me playing the original game on the family computer, but even with those marks against it, I still love the game to bits.

      4 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        Yes, there's a ton of optional interactions with all the characters and NPCs in the world, so if one is going from story to story, it's easy to miss the in-between stuff that would flesh it out...

        Yes, there's a ton of optional interactions with all the characters and NPCs in the world, so if one is going from story to story, it's easy to miss the in-between stuff that would flesh it out more. It's not really something that's easy to fix, a lot of games set up this way share the same issue where if the world isn't explored, the fine details of characterization can feel fast forwarded.

        4 votes
    2. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend playing A Hat in Time. I'm not sure I would say it's better, but I think it certainly gives Odyssey a run for it's money. And if you have, go back and...

      Easily the best 3D platformer since Super Mario Odyssey (not that there's all that much competition, but this is a genre that needs a comeback)

      If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend playing A Hat in Time. I'm not sure I would say it's better, but I think it certainly gives Odyssey a run for it's money.

      And if you have, go back and play some of the community levels! There's some good stuff there.

      2 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        Ahh, I played that for a bit but didn't go back to it. It's on my list though!

        Ahh, I played that for a bit but didn't go back to it. It's on my list though!

  2. [2]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    I've started playing Superhot, fun game, haven't finished it yet because I find it really disorienting for some reason, so I only get a couple of levels/missions in and then quit to do something else.

    I've started playing Superhot, fun game, haven't finished it yet because I find it really disorienting for some reason, so I only get a couple of levels/missions in and then quit to do something else.

    8 votes
    1. vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      SUPERHOT SUPERHOT SUPERHOT It's more of a puzzler than an FPS. Levels start getting really complex. Situational awareness is key, given that dudes come at you from every direction. Sound cues help...

      SUPERHOT
      SUPERHOT
      SUPERHOT

      It's more of a puzzler than an FPS. Levels start getting really complex. Situational awareness is key, given that dudes come at you from every direction. Sound cues help substantially...I reccomend a good pair of headphones.

      2 votes
  3. Toric
    Link
    Fell into the factorio rabbithole again. Got oil processing set up, but I want to move away from my main bus starter base now, so im working on setting up a semi-smart train system, and setting up...

    Fell into the factorio rabbithole again. Got oil processing set up, but I want to move away from my main bus starter base now, so im working on setting up a semi-smart train system, and setting up mining and smelting bases.

    6 votes
  4. [2]
    dedime
    Link
    I've been playing an ironman account on OSRS. It's been a ton of fun, for those who don't know an ironman account isn't allowed to interact with other players, including trading etc. I thought it...

    I've been playing an ironman account on OSRS. It's been a ton of fun, for those who don't know an ironman account isn't allowed to interact with other players, including trading etc.

    I thought it would be a lot of annoying grinds, but to be honest I've enjoyed every single grind so far. I've set my initial goal to be to get the quest point cape, then get into bossing and obtain some sweet gear. Hard achievement diaries are also on my list, though to be honest I'm REALLY not looking forward to the mage training arena grind for the Lumbridge diary.

    The /r/2007scape subreddit continues to be a fantastic source of drama, memes, and interesting video content, and is part of the reason I continue to play the game.

    6 votes
    1. Muffin
      Link Parent
      hey! I play an ironman too! I started 2 years ago or so and have been playing off and on. I'm around 1760 total level I think? I'd love to have people to chat with ingame =)

      hey! I play an ironman too! I started 2 years ago or so and have been playing off and on. I'm around 1760 total level I think? I'd love to have people to chat with ingame =)

      2 votes
  5. vegai
    Link
    Prey (2017). It has been an awesome experience so far. It really feels like a proper continuation to System Shock, somehow much more than System Shock 2 ever did. I guess I shouldn't be surprised,...

    Prey (2017). It has been an awesome experience so far. It really feels like a proper continuation to System Shock, somehow much more than System Shock 2 ever did. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, given how Arx Fatalis from the same studio felt like a proper continuation to Ultima Underworld.

    I hope this one lasts till the end better than Arx Fatalis did.

    6 votes
  6. [3]
    herson
    Link
    I recently got diagnosed with depression and OCD, so I'm avoiding games that have too many collectables and instead playing games that don't encourage you to 100% them, so for me I'm...

    I recently got diagnosed with depression and OCD, so I'm avoiding games that have too many collectables and instead playing games that don't encourage you to 100% them, so for me I'm re-discovering fighting games.

    Recently I purchased a used Nintendo 64 with some games including Mortal Kombat Trilogy which is harder that I remember to play against the PC (maybe I'm too rusty).

    Also, Guilty Gear –Strive– which look sooo good, and has so many features to master, too bad it has only 15 playable characters at this point, but I can tolerate that because how different is the play-style for each of them.

    Anyways, games shouldn't be a burden or a task for you, specially if you're dealing with mental stuff.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Merry
      Link Parent
      What other games did you get with your N64? One of the biggest regrets I have was selling my collection with the system and 70+ games. Fighting games, I had Killer Instinct and Clay Fighter. I...

      What other games did you get with your N64? One of the biggest regrets I have was selling my collection with the system and 70+ games. Fighting games, I had Killer Instinct and Clay Fighter. I remember liking Clay Fighter quite a bit.

      3 votes
      1. herson
        Link Parent
        Mario Kart, Mario64, Smash (generic cart) and Perfect Dark. Never played a lot of N64 games, the camera made me feed dizzy as a child.

        Mario Kart, Mario64, Smash (generic cart) and Perfect Dark.
        Never played a lot of N64 games, the camera made me feed dizzy as a child.

        3 votes
  7. joplin
    Link
    I started playing Asphalt 8: Airborne. It's another racing game. I did not think I would like it, but wanted to try it anyway. It's actually, surprisingly, really fun. I'm not that into cars, so...

    I started playing Asphalt 8: Airborne. It's another racing game. I did not think I would like it, but wanted to try it anyway. It's actually, surprisingly, really fun. I'm not that into cars, so I've never really cared about picking out a realistic car, souping it up, and then racing it. I'm fine with made up cars and ridiculous abilities. Well, this one has real cars and you do soup them up, but they kept the ridiculous abilities. It has the word "Airborne" in the title, so a lot of the game is about getting your car into the air. There are various ramps and long drops around the course. Many of them defy physics. (In the "Alps" level, you can literally fall something close to a mile and when you land, you just keep on driving like nothing happened.) It appears that gravity works normally when make a jump, up until you reach the pinnacle of the arc, and then it's a bit weaker as you come back down. (Or maybe gravity isn't weak so much as you have more forward momentum than you really would. I'm not sure, I just know that it's not right at all.) You can also do ridiculous stunts like making your car spin out just before you fly off a ramp and watch it do several 360s in the air.

    It's a GameLoft game, so it has many of the unfortunate hallmarks of other GameLoft games. The graphics, while better than Detonation Racing that I mentioned a few weeks ago, are an odd mix of passable and bad. The cars themselves look reasonably good, but they have this habit of using textures that are way too low-res for the scene. So any cars that have paint jobs beyond a solid color (flames, camo, etc.) look hideous. Some of the scenery geometry is also a bit low res at times, but it's less distracting than the bad decals on the cars.

    There are a ton of courses set around the world in sort-of real places. You can race through the area of Nevada around Hoover Dam, Area 51, London, The Azure Coast, Venice, Barcelona, Dubai, etc. I haven't even unlocked all of the tracks yet. There are at dozens of cars ranging in ability from Ford Focus to Ferraris and Lamborghinis. There's a surprising amount of stuff in the game. They've got a bunch of different race modes as well. You can play against live opponents in addition to the NPCs, but I haven't tried that as I'm sure I'd get my ass handed to me.

    It's on Apple Arcade, so it's free of in-app purchases and crap like that, but it does look like some of the features can only be unlocked by doing live stuff, which involves giving the company information. I need to look into what information they get when you agree to that because I don't generally like such terms. It pisses me off a little that they've artificially locked such features away behind that particular gate, but at least it's not pay-to-win so they can't extract any more money from me. Other than that, it's a fun racing game if that's your jam.

    4 votes
  8. hamstergeddon
    Link
    So I recently switched jobs, which meant I had to return the only computer I had that could handle PC games (A Macbook Pro w/ bootcamp). My new job's computer is a Mac Mini without a dedicated...

    So I recently switched jobs, which meant I had to return the only computer I had that could handle PC games (A Macbook Pro w/ bootcamp). My new job's computer is a Mac Mini without a dedicated GPU, so it can't handle much of anything at all. I didn't want to invest in a new computer so I started looking at streaming options. Ended up going with Nvidia GeForce NOW. I'm usually a strategy or resource-management type gamer, so I'm not too worried about stream lag or the occasional graphical glitches.

    Only game I've played with it is Humankind, a new take on the Civilization formula. I'm still warming up to the game, but the streaming has been flawless. I've put about 5 hours into it and I've encountered lag once. And it's gorgeous, too. I have the graphic settings set to their max and it just works.

    Now for the game itself... It's like they made a bulleted list of all the ways Civilization is slow, annoying, or cumbersome, and built the game around fixing those mistakes. My biggest gripe with Civ is how slow the early game is because you basically have to rush to establish a city and then for a few turns your city's production is painfully slow. This results in the first half hour of your game being super boring. But with Humankind you have to explore before you establish and establishing your first city a few turns after the AI isn't a big deal. And there are plenty of things to do and explore before you build that city.

    I think right now my biggest issue with Humankind is that I have barely any idea of what I'm doing, which is to be expected. I've got over a decade's experience playing various Civ games for hundreds upon hundreds of hours and 5 hours total into Humankind. It's gonna take time :)

    4 votes
  9. [3]
    knocklessmonster
    Link
    The Witness: I'm disappointed with what I got, but I'm finding it engaging and interesting as it unfolds. I thought the puzzle type would change, rather than just the mechanics of the puzzles, but...

    The Witness: I'm disappointed with what I got, but I'm finding it engaging and interesting as it unfolds. I thought the puzzle type would change, rather than just the mechanics of the puzzles, but it's still a nice chill game I'll turn to if I've got nothing else.

    Factorio: I'm gonna do a peaceful run with biters so I can get a launch. I started a save but wasn't in the mood to shuttle iron and coal back and forth to get plates, but it's on my to-do list this week to really get a game set up.

    Fallout: New Vegas: Still plugging away, but may not stick around too long after the major story. The rest is that sorta Bethesda-y "Talk to dude, do thing, talk to other dude, do thing" so I'm focused on finishing the story as I can right now. I may do a speech-heavy run (dump stats into Speech), but that's about it.

    3 votes
    1. [2]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      Regarding The Witness: if the puzzle type hasn't changed, you haven't finished it. And that's all I'll say.

      Regarding The Witness: if the puzzle type hasn't changed, you haven't finished it. And that's all I'll say.

      2 votes
  10. vord
    Link
    I've started playing Fortnite again, and been pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable it has been. I had played a bit circa season 2, and I didn't really appreciate it then. I played PUBG for...

    I've started playing Fortnite again, and been pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable it has been. I had played a bit circa season 2, and I didn't really appreciate it then.

    I played PUBG for awhile, but the 'serious' nature of it kinda made it more frustrating to lose, and fundementally it was a standalone standard FPS mod. I much preferred Counterstrike's Danger Zone to PUBG after discovering it.

    Fornite adds so much more. Almost completely destructable enviroment with the ability to make walls substantially ups the fun factor. There's plenty of Easter Eggs and other ways to entertain yourself in the potentially long stretches with no combat. Quests to hunt down other players, a weapon upgrade system. A brain-candy achievement system to keep you motivated.

    All of this makes for more fun than a typical FPS. I now get why so many kids are into it. Plus cross-play with PC and Switch means I still don't do half-bad despite my age and general suckiness at FPS games.

    That's not to say it's not without its flaws. The storefront is front and center and most of the free rewards are gated behind the Battlepass ($8 a month. Battleeye is horrifically annoying. It was rebooting my computer a few seconds into the game whenever I plugged in a device that wasn't connected when I first launched the game. Namely my Steam controller. I can reproduce still by trying to launch the game with my second Steam controller which wasn't on at the time.

    2 votes