10 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.

18 comments

  1. PapaNachos
    Link
    I grabbed Let's Build A Zoo on a whim and have been thoroughly enjoying it. It's a tycoon game that just sort of embraces absurdity in a way that is delightful. It's got a bunch of different...

    I grabbed Let's Build A Zoo on a whim and have been thoroughly enjoying it. It's a tycoon game that just sort of embraces absurdity in a way that is delightful. It's got a bunch of different animals and you can do stuff like cross breed them to get abominations that should not exist. As far as I can tell any 2 animals can be combined and you get the head of one and the body of the other. They range from cute to horrifying and I love it. The options you get it first are mostly randomized, but as you continue to play you get more access and more control. I'm not at that point yet though, so I can't speak to how it works in practice.

    And it's got a very silly morality system that feels self-aware about how most morality systems in games suck horribly. Basically as you unlock technology, some of them will be gated behind certain morality. So in my good play through I unlocked the technology to build wind turbines and in my evil playthrough I just install power from the grid. The very first choice you get to make is what to do with a lost dog you find. Your options are to either pay $50 to put up flyers and find the owner (good) or dress it up like a lion and put it on display in your zoo (evil). And if you choose the evil option you actually get a dog wearing a lion's mane with a species listed as "Lion?" in the description. Your visitors will periodically comment on how it's clearly not a real lion All sorts of other stuff will contribute to your good or evil score, but they cancel each other out. And you get new events and quests based on whether you're trending good or evil. Such as a dentist hiring me to intentionally give out bad quality popcorn so my customers broke their teeth on the popped kernels.

    Effectively what this means is it you can't really mix and match between good and evil, so you need to do a second playthrough to get the full experience. But I'm very much laughing my ass off along the way.

    Parts of it are clunky, like the hiring and employee management process could use an overhaul. And animals breed incredibly fast, which can be a good or bad thing.

    It also feels like it's really designed for people who are only casually into tycoon games. I'm not sure how it would appeal to someone who's really into the genre.

    Overall very solid game could use a little bit of polish, but definitely worth looking into.

    7 votes
  2. [6]
    Pistos
    Link
    Got back to Pillars of Eternity (after having put it away for a while, unfinished). This is an excellent game. I recommend it if you're looking for a good RPG experience. It's isometric, and in...

    Got back to Pillars of Eternity (after having put it away for a while, unfinished). This is an excellent game. I recommend it if you're looking for a good RPG experience. It's isometric, and in the same vein as Baldur's gate. It's got your usual trappings, like races, classes, equipment, magic systems/types (mage, priest, druid). It's fun to strategize about how and where to position your party members, deciding which magic and weapons would be most effective against given enemies. Area of effect, cones of effect, ranged weapons, the works. Definitely scratches that RPG itch for me. The breadth of character building is good. Lots of options on talents and abilities you can choose as your characters level up, and the progression is not so fast or easy that you can just max out and eventually get all the abilities. I'm having to pick between good abilities, and choosing which I'm willing to leave out. Oh, and: the writing (dialogue, narration, scene descriptions) and world and lore are all well-done, and interesting.

    Due to a recent sale, I've also pre-purchased the sequel (PoE II), and also the "next" game made by the developers, called Tyranny. Ready to go once I finish PoE I.

    6 votes
    1. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      I didn't know Obsidian did anything between POE I and II! Damn, another game I'll have to get. I'm currently playing POE and it's a great game. I'd even say if somebody had never touched an...

      I didn't know Obsidian did anything between POE I and II! Damn, another game I'll have to get.

      I'm currently playing POE and it's a great game. I'd even say if somebody had never touched an isometric CRPG it's a great start, as it's my first isometric CRPG.

      5 votes
    2. [4]
      nox
      Link Parent
      Tyranny is fantastic, can't recommend playing it enough. Really quite innovative, novel RPG. I've not finished PoE, like you I got some ways in then dropped it months ago (for the third time,...

      Tyranny is fantastic, can't recommend playing it enough. Really quite innovative, novel RPG.

      I've not finished PoE, like you I got some ways in then dropped it months ago (for the third time, too). Parts of it really interest me but it never quite seems to "hook" me in ways other RPGs do. I'll have to find the time to finish it

      3 votes
      1. Pistos
        Link Parent
        There are many, many quests and tasks of varying lengths in PoE, so it might seem like more a marathon. Or maybe a long, pleasant hike? I like the balance struck between linear, funnelled main...

        There are many, many quests and tasks of varying lengths in PoE, so it might seem like more a marathon. Or maybe a long, pleasant hike? I like the balance struck between linear, funnelled main story line, and open-world, do what you want, when you want.

        1 vote
      2. [2]
        knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        Silly question, and Pillars of Eternity is my first serious experience with these sorts of games, but what makes Tyranny so different to you? I'm probably going to buy it anyway, but I like having...

        Silly question, and Pillars of Eternity is my first serious experience with these sorts of games, but what makes Tyranny so different to you? I'm probably going to buy it anyway, but I like having similar but different games on rotation so I can change the pace occasionally.

        1 vote
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Not the person that you asked, but my experience was that there was a point in PoE where the combat stopped changing. I found my party and my set of abilities that regularly trounced everything...

          Not the person that you asked, but my experience was that there was a point in PoE where the combat stopped changing. I found my party and my set of abilities that regularly trounced everything that showed up, and I repeated that effective combat pattern for the last 15 hours of gameplay.

          Tyranny is comparatively a much shorter game than PoE, but it doesn't feel it. It's comparatively tightly packed with things, and mixes up the formula a good bit more, in part through having significantly more in the way of choice over the direction of the story.

          3 votes
  3. [3]
    AugustusFerdinand
    Link
    Finished Sunless Skies, better than Seas due to many UI/UX improvements although there is still room for it to be much better. Great storytelling. Have about 3 hours into Forza Horizon 5, but so...

    Finished Sunless Skies, better than Seas due to many UI/UX improvements although there is still room for it to be much better. Great storytelling.

    Have about 3 hours into Forza Horizon 5, but so far it's a nice casual racing game. It feels pretty much like a big update to Forza 4 with new areas and cars, not a whole new game. I feel like the sound is less rich than Forza 4, but overall stability and framerates are probably the best I've ever seen at launch from a Triple A title. It's not going to blow your socks off, but it's fun enough to pick up and blow a short amount of time on before getting back to what you're supposed to be doing.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      Deimos
      Link Parent
      What gives you that feeling? I haven't played yet (tonight!), but the Digital Foundry tech review seemed pretty excited about the sound. Their article included: Here's the section of the video...

      I feel like the sound is less rich than Forza 4

      What gives you that feeling? I haven't played yet (tonight!), but the Digital Foundry tech review seemed pretty excited about the sound. Their article included:

      Firstly, the audio uses a form of software ray tracing to properly simulate audio collision. The developers can mark up different pieces of scenery to denote the material type - be it metal, wood or concrete - and the sound engine responds correctly. Sound bounces around the environment in such a way that these different areas will produce a different sound response. It's also possible for the game to alter the sound based on whether the sound source is occluded - so a car behind a large building will sound different than one out in the field. In theory, you should be able to hear a car turning a corner off-screen, without seeing it.

      Here's the section of the video version talking about the game's audio: https://youtu.be/fuB2MnG9sCE?t=1451

      4 votes
      1. AugustusFerdinand
        Link Parent
        I'll give the collision/area sound another listen tonight, but an example of what I'm experiencing is right in that clip - https://youtu.be/fuB2MnG9sCE?t=1633 - Before the car drops you can hear...

        I'll give the collision/area sound another listen tonight, but an example of what I'm experiencing is right in that clip - https://youtu.be/fuB2MnG9sCE?t=1633 - Before the car drops you can hear the engine revving, you hear tire screeching when it hits pavement, then... practically nothing.

        No tire screeches when sliding, engine is a quiet drone like he's using cruise control despite being at full throttle, the other cars slide into the scene in near silence, as he drives along, he lets off the accelerator and the exhaust should pop to go with the flames it's shooting. Next scene is the Hoonigan RS200, it sounds like a Ford Escort. I've seen/heard this car in person, it'll give you goosebumps at startup.

        I've turned off the radio and everything else except the SFX to try to hear the cars, they all sound like electric shavers. There's no drama/excitement in the way they sound.

        4 votes
  4. fredo
    (edited )
    Link
    I got the bundle containing South Park Stick of Truth and The Fractured Butthole really cheap on the Xbox. I had been meaning to buy the first, since I remember playing portions of it on PC (with...

    I got the bundle containing South Park Stick of Truth and The Fractured Butthole really cheap on the Xbox. I had been meaning to buy the first, since I remember playing portions of it on PC (with a non-official copy...) and liking it a lot. It's an RPG.

    The first time I played The Stick of Truth I was very goal oriented and got annoyed pretty quickly though. Now I'm just going through the city finding stuff and doing quests / sidequests. It works very well like that, this is a very rich small "open world" (not sure if I can call it a world due to its size). I prefer smaller maps full of interesting stuff than huge, often empty/lifeless open worlds. They're less overwhelming too.

    The mechanics are simple and interesting (I'm so glad it doesn't have crafting... with all due respect, but fuck crafting! This game does not overextend itself with useless boring content to justify its price. I respect that!) and the hysterical South Park comedy is there, uncensored. Very amusing, oddly uplifting game. And I was itching for some good turn based combat.

    5 votes
  5. herson
    Link
    Re-played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow this weekend since I've watched a lot of Castlevania content in the last days. I really not a fan of metroidvanias, but I love Castlevania's soundtrack and...

    Re-played Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow this weekend since I've watched a lot of Castlevania content in the last days. I really not a fan of metroidvanias, but I love Castlevania's soundtrack and aesthetics, I think it's the best way to make the backtracking enjoyable.

    I went to my local game stores to see if any had a copy of the DS games (saw one or two of them some weeks ago), but sadly I couldn't find any, maybe I'll buy the Castlevania: Requiem on the PS store, to finally play Rondo of Blood.

    4 votes
  6. Bullmaestro
    Link
    Been back on World of Warcraft: Shadowlands lately and my goal has been to get heavily into gold making and become sufficient enough that I can play without a subscription. Going rate for WoW...

    Been back on World of Warcraft: Shadowlands lately and my goal has been to get heavily into gold making and become sufficient enough that I can play without a subscription.

    Going rate for WoW tokens in my region is about 300k. That's a few days of farming raw mats and crafting at most.

    4 votes
  7. vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    Just solved Deathloop. The story was interesting in the same way as the TV-series Lost was interesting right up to the finale and then ended rather abruptly. Also some Prisoner (1967) vibes...

    Just solved Deathloop. The story was interesting in the same way as the TV-series Lost was interesting right up to the finale and then ended rather abruptly. Also some Prisoner (1967) vibes (although not strong ones, unfortunately -- missed opportunity perhaps). Other than that, it was very enjoyable -- Arkane sure knows their game mechanics and art style. Perhaps wait for a sale, though.

    4 votes
  8. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    I may have started the most difficult Stardew Valley save: Joja Run on the Beach Farm. It's a real slog, but I also don't want do do anything like the community center up to the greenhouse to make...

    I may have started the most difficult Stardew Valley save: Joja Run on the Beach Farm. It's a real slog, but I also don't want do do anything like the community center up to the greenhouse to make easy money. I'm basically just monocropping everything.

    I'm still chipping away at Shapez.io which is proving to be as addictive as Factorio, without the stress of biters, or the guilt of turning them off. The cool thing is at lvl 27 you unlock Freeplay, and everything after 26 is randomly generated. I'm not that far, however.

    4 votes
  9. DeFaced
    Link
    Wasteland 3, it’s so fun roaming Colorado and hanging out in Colorado Springs while simultaneously building up your new ranger hq.

    Wasteland 3, it’s so fun roaming Colorado and hanging out in Colorado Springs while simultaneously building up your new ranger hq.

    3 votes
  10. Abrown
    Link
    I picked up Back 4 Blood via Gamepass a few weeks back and have been enjoying that. I put in a couple hundred hours doing L4D/L4D2 back in the day and this definitely feels like a worthy...

    I picked up Back 4 Blood via Gamepass a few weeks back and have been enjoying that. I put in a couple hundred hours doing L4D/L4D2 back in the day and this definitely feels like a worthy successor. While there are still a few annoying mechanic differences, I'm largely enjoying it so far - the enemies are familiar but different enough that it doesn't feel stale, the character models are slightly wider and they don't zigzag like in L4D2 so you're not just spraying and praying to hit them anymore, the new special zombies are a welcome addition, and the inclusion of ADS on ALL guns is a fantastic decision.

    3 votes
  11. Protected
    Link
    I finished The Last Campfire, which was a fairly decent albeit short puzzle solving game. The mechanics and stylistic consistency were there, and I feel like it had the potential to be much longer...

    I finished The Last Campfire, which was a fairly decent albeit short puzzle solving game. The mechanics and stylistic consistency were there, and I feel like it had the potential to be much longer progressing into more complex puzzles. Also played The Big Con, a strange and aggressively 90s little game about a teenage girl who has to shoplift a lot of money in order to save her mom's video rental store from loan sharks. It was buggy when I played it but the developers promised a patch.

    Excited for the games I started recently: Unbound: Worlds Apart seems to be kind of a metroidvania or puzzle platformer with a gimmick that gives you different abilities based on where you are, and The Artful Escape is a charming and funny narrative game about... music....?

    2 votes