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.
Started Disco Elysium recently and love it. It's very DnD, minus the tedium of manually handling mechanics. Because of that it can go much further, with many more overlapping skills and checks, and hidden details. I love the art style, and multiple narrators. The lore and characters are rich; it feels like an old, living world. The stories are good, varying from fun, to deep, to interesting, to silly.
You can also lose if you make bad choices. Which lends weight to making choices 👌
Would recomend for hard RPG enthusiasts
Disco Elysium is one of my favorite games of all time. I really just can't stress how amazing it is.
Rimworld: Still my "Community Builder" Cassandra Classic save. I'm learning plenty as I go, and am surprised at just how hard I can get screwed on "easy." I'm doing some save scumming for when the shit hits the fan too hard, like when I got a fire and my batteries blew up. I'm trying to rapidly research a Fabrication Table so I can make components, and bee-line to the rocket research.
Original Doom: I've picked Doom 2 up again because I apparently haven't finished it. I'm using GZDoom, and am restarting BTSX in GZDoom as well. It's nice to play a level periodically, as they're maybe ten minutes for a "hard" one.
Ion Fury: Restarted on the commercial release because I'm annoyed by eduke32's save handling, and the commercial release used eduke32 anyway. Still fun, and I keep noticing funny details and posters I didn't catch before.
Terraria. I... I don't understand it. It's weird and confusing. I know it's sorta Minecrafty, but I feel lost. How do I build a wall to keep things out of a building? Where do I put a door? Do I need to consider layers? These are all questions I have that are so basic I can't find answers (but I can find plenty of clickbait). I'm intrigued by it and will keep coming back to slowly get things together.
Terraria != Minecraft, not even a little bit. It is unfortunately one of those "wiki games" where if you don't know what you're doing, you really should have a guide open. For example, the rules for getting different NPCs into your base are almost completely opaque to newcomers.
You can get the basics here: https://terraria.fandom.com/wiki/Guide:Getting_started#The_First_Day
You will NEED a boss guide, as beating bosses is how you progress: https://terraria.fandom.com/wiki/Bosses
And if you want a more detailed walkthrough, go here: https://terraria.fandom.com/wiki/Guide:Walkthrough
I really like the game, and play it with lots of mods, but the need for a wiki is real.
Aw damn. I'm willing to learn, I was just struggling to make sense of it. Thanks for letting me know.
Having played a good bit of Terraria in the past, I can answer some questions. Let's talk about walls and background walls. You can use wood to make wooden walls, but you can also craft it into the background tiles. It's those background tiles that prevent spawns in the area, as spawning happens on "natural" tiles like air, dirt, or stone. So the regular walls are solid to keep things from walking in, but the background prevents spawns. If you have other questions I'd be happy to answer, as it's a great game.
The difference I got stuck on was "walls" vs "blocks". Walls go on the background, blocks create obstructions. I was able to build sort of an entry room to an underground bunker with a mix of wood and dirt blocks, so I'm on the way down. The other info is quite helpful, too. I'll ask if I get stuck again, but I've learned just enough between you and @trobertson to hit the ground running.
I started replaying Fallout: New Vegas again through PSNow and really enjoying it. I rewatched H.Bomberguy's "Fallout: New Vegas Is Genius, And Here's Why" video essay again and it made me really want to revisit the game for the first time in about a decade. I think it really holds up well. The writing and pacing is great, the graphics actually look pretty solid for an 11 year old game, and there is a lot more variety in the weapons/armor than I remember from Fallout 3. My only real issue is that the gunplay is a little challenging at times, but thats about it. It really is a fantastic game.
A couple days ago I bought Celeste after seeing it on sale.
I'm not that far into the game (I'm at the hotel chapter), but I can definitely see why people like it. The music is great, the atmosphere is great, the movement is great...
The only ""issues"" I have encountered are that
It seems like it really wants you to play with a controller. I didn't like the keyboard controls and frequently hit up to the WASD cluster (that I had to disable ingame) or other buttons around that area trying to dash and whatnot, though that could just be me being used to other games
It's a bit difficult for my tastes, though I haven't checked out the assist mode and I probably should at some point.
Some parts feel a bit too "stretched out", like the "Part of You" sequence, though that could just be about me not being able to play, not sure.
Overall, it's a great game, but I'm not entirely sure if it's "for me"
I really enjoyed the style, story, and action of Celeste, but I agree that at times it really felt a bit too challenging for me. I played through quite a bit, but felt like I was really missing out or not good enough by not collecting 100% of the berries/tapes in the game. It was really enjoyable, but I kept getting too frustrated by only even seeing a fraction of the secrets in each level.
I actually had a really similar experience recently when I was playing through the original DOOM. Completing a level thinking I was pretty thorough in finding all the secrets and then getting a score that you only found like 10 or 20 percent of what was actually in the level is a frustrating realization.
I generally find platformers exceptionally difficult, and found Celeste's gameplay easy enough that it became more about the puzzles and their execution than the platforming itself. I'm using a controller, of course. That said there are many other games I find extremely difficult, and others say are super easy. Definitely check out those assist features, they helped me out a bit when I was having controller issues.
"Part of You" was long to the point of being frustrating, so I totally get that, but it also has plenty of save points so if you fail you can come back IIRC.
Chess as usual. I'm taking a course on endgames and another on the Stonewall opening. Trying to level up.
On a related note, I recently noticed that there are two chess tables on a square near my house, each with four seats. They're made of cement and don't look very nice, but you can play on them. Completely unused.
I've been flirting with the idea of going there, arranging the pieces and putting up a sign saying "Wanna learn chess for free? Talk to me!".
My main concern is that I'm more of an introvert, and I also don't wanna look like a creep. But IDK, might be fun. Maybe I'll take my girlfriend with me so I don't give a menacing vibe :P
A year ago I started playing through Baldur's Gate and this weekend I finally finished my playthrough. I set it aside a few times to do other things, but it was a pretty cozy routine to jump into Faerûn for an hour or two as a weekly nightcap.
I rolled a few different characters before taking a blade through to the end of the game. I wanted to see how SoD ties the two games together, so I went with the canon party (Jaheria, Khalid, Dynaheir, Minsc, and Imoen). Overall I really enjoyed playing through it again. I had forgotten how much of a slog Chapter III is if you want to do all the side quests – you’re just left to wander around and get some experience under your belt in ~20 different zones which is a bit tiresome considering there is no plot advancement but I suppose it does work well for the pacing of your character development. Anyways, I’ve never played through SoD, which was the goal of this trilogy run so I’ll be jumping onto that next with my imported character.
I've been playing a lot of Quake the past couple weeks and I am consistently impressed with just how engaging it truly is, especially for a game from 1996. I've been playing using the 2021 KEX Engine remaster, and it runs and plays just perfectly. The small QOL additions like slightly higher resolution models and better lighting (which can all be turned off, of course) make it feel really fresh and new.
I started with playing the base game for what seems to be the 4th or 5th time, but this time I've been playing it on hard difficulty rather than the normal difficulty I usually go with. At this difficulty, nothing seems too unfair, but it's also not too easy. The ammo drops seem perfectly balanced for the amount of enemies, and I never really ran out of an ammo type as long as I was smart with when and how I used each weapon. The arsenal of weapons in the game are really well-balanced and don't overlap too much, allowing a really dynamic playstyle where all of your weapons (except for the axe) get used often. The game's superweapon, the thunderbolt, works really well as a high-damage weapon that you have to use strategically against powerful enemies in order to not waste its ammo. I like it better than the DOOM-style BFG that acts more like a panic-button that kills everything. You still have it for emergencies only, but you have to use it strategically, as it will not win a fight for you automatically.
I also played the first two mission packs and some Arcane Dimensions, and I liked those a bit more than the base game, if I'm honest.
Scourge of Armagon
After I finished the main Quake campaign, I then started the first of the two mission packs, Scourge of Armagon. This was much harder than the base game (and Dissolution of Eternity, the second mission pack), throwing way more high-level enemies at you and waiting longer to give you better weapons. I also played this one on hard difficulty, and there were moments when it threw several Vores and Shamblers at me at once; sometimes in very confined spaces that made it very difficult to avoid attacks. A decent amount of secret-hunting was absolutely essential to succeed in this one. This pack adds three new weapons, only one of which is any good. The first of the new weapons is the Proximity Mine Launcher, a modified grenade launcher that sticks to walls and can damage the player if they go near one of the mines. Due to this, it's really easy to make the battlefield more hazardous to yourself by using it, so you'll want to go for only direct shots; something that makes it identical to the base game grenade launcher. I don't think the developers of this pack realized that what made the grenade launcher still useful after getting the rocket launcher was the fact that it bounces off walls to reach enemies around corners. The next of the new weapons is the Laser Cannon. It's basically akin to DOOM's plasma gun in that it takes cell ammo and is really good at taking down large groups of enemies. It doesn't overlap with the super nailgun too much as its wider projectiles make it better at dealing with groups rather than single targets. It's powerful, but due to its sparse ammo in chapters 2 and 3, it doesn't get too overpowered. The final weapons is Mjolnir, a melee weapon that also uses cell ammo to spread out lighting that arcs to nearby enemies. This would be somewhat interesting if it didn't use 15 cells per use. That amount of ammo would be far better served by using one of the two other cell-based weapons. One thing that really stood out to me was how much more intricate and dareisay beautiful the map architecture is in this mission pack compared to the base game. The environment design feels intentional in how the different textures and objects are placed to create maps that seem like they could be real places, as opposed to the somewhat abstract obstacle courses of base Quake. The first chapter, or episode, consists entirely of military techbases, and as such is the least interesting of the three chapters in terms of environment design, but the large number of weak enemies give the gameplay a really interesting dynamic compared to Quake's usual small number of somewhat tanky enemies. The second episode takes on a more medieval style whose intricate castles really shine. The more dynamic color pallete really helps in this episode to make the castles seem more grand. The final episode is similar to the second in it's medieval-eque presentation, except the levels seem more arcane and magical. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this mission pack is its use of scripted events that seem similar to those of Duke Nukem 3D or Half-Life. Two particularly memorable set pieces include going down a crumbling cave system where earthquakes open up crevasses of lava beneath you and cause rocks to fall from the ceiling above. When you first go down into the cave, a boulder falls behind you and rolls after you like in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it's honestly really cool and very impressive for the Quake engine. The most visually impressive of the set pieces is at the end of the first episode where after you go through a slipgate to exit the level, you then fly through this shifting otherworldly portal with lighting going all across it in a pentagram shape. It really has to bee seen to be experienced fully, but it was surely the most visually impressive thing on the Quake engine at the time.
Dissolution of Eternity
After Scourge of Armagon, I found Dissolution of Eternity to be far easier, although it was just as fun. I think the main reason it was so much easier was because of the new weapons/ammo types. Although there aren't really any strictly new weapons, there are now new, more powerful ammo types. The first are lava nails, which are just more powerful nails for both nailguns. They're fun to use, I suppose, but the fire nails in the super nailgun get really close to the power of the thunderbolt, so there's a lot of overlap there. Speaking of the thunderbolt, it now has a new ammo type in "plasma", which basically turns it into a mini BFG. Every shot sends out a single short burst of plasma that, when it hits an enemy or surface, sends out lightning to surrounding enemies in range. An individual shot isn't too powerful, but each shot only consumes one plasma ammo, so it's incredibly ammo efficient. It's really good for clearing out groups of enemies when your explosives won't do the trick. The last alternate ammo type is the multi-grenades/multi-rockets. The way the grenade launcher works with this new ammo type is really interesting and might be my favorite part of the mission pack. When you fire a multi-grenade, it shoots out a single grenade where, once its timer runs out, spawns 5 mini-grenades capable of taking out an entire group of enemies. But here's the twist: if you land a direct shot on an enemy with the initial grenade, the mini-grenades won't spawn. This creates a really interesting dynamic where you have to place your grenade such that it lands in the center of a group of enemies without actually touching one. It requires a lot of skill with arcing the projectile and bouncing it around corners to reach the desired position, and it really rewards thoughtful play. It really synergizes with the existing mechanics of the grenade launcher rather than conflicting with them as the sticky grenade launcher did in Armagon. The multi-rockets in the rocket launcher are super fun to use but really overpowered. They shoot out four rockets at once while only consuming one multi-explosive ammo. I never used them that much, but they delete pretty much everything really quickly. Once you got all these different ammo types and weapons, the game became much easier to the point where nothing could really stop you. Ammo drops were always generous; the prevalence of nailgun ammo was particularly noteworthy as both Quake and Scourge of Armagon required you to be really judicious with your use of nails; I really had to get used to using more nails—of both types—than I normally would. I found it really strange that the only weapons without an alternative weapon type were the shotguns, which are arguably the ones that need the extra damage the most. These changes made Dissolution of Eternity be really heavy on the nailguns and light on the shotguns, a change that made its gameplay feel fresh and unlike the other two campaigns I played.
There are two more campaigns, both released this year, Dimension of the Past and Dimension of the Machine. I've heard that they're both really impressive, but for now I've moved on to Arcane Dimensions. I've played this once in the past (again on normal difficulty), but now I'm playing it again on hard using the new remaster. I hear that not all the maps work entirely, but the few I've tried have worked fine. Arcane Dimensions is really impressive in both its level design and environment design; truly the best the Quake engine has to offer. From a gameplay perspective, the triple-barreled shotgun solves the underutilization of the shotguns I talked about with Dissolution of Eternity, and the shadow axe makes it so you no longer have to have explosive ammo to kill zombies for good. Having to go back and melee them to death is a really cool mechanic that adds a bit of spice to the gameplay that I really like.
Thoughts on Multiplayer
Finally, I've been playing splitscreen co-op on my switch with my brother, and I'm surprised how well it works as a co-op game. The "drop your ammo and weapons in a backpack and return to the beginning with what you started the level with" system when you die really helps balance out the fact that you have no quicksaves in multiplayer. Other than doing co-op, we've also tried a bit of the new horde mode, which seems really cool and complex, but we haven't had much of an opportunity to go really in-depth with it yet. Between the great couch co-op and universal online crossplay, the new Quake remaster is really great with multiplayer for people with any console. I'm definitely hoping to get my friends into it in the future so we can play together (and maybe do some deathmatch).
I grabbed Loop Hero on Switch. It pulls a lot of different genres together: Deckbuilding (a la Slay the Spire), Tile-laying (like Carcassonne, I think), Roguelite RPG and Base Building. I'd say it does a great job of synthesizing all these things together into a coherent and fun package. The art is deliberately "simple pixel" style and it works well in context. The story is surprisingly good so far, if a little abstract (which is understandable, given the subject: the protagonist is struggling against a deity who decided to destroy reality and left him in some small pocket of existence in the aftermath).
The crux of the "Roguelite gameplay loop" is that you add things to an (eponymous) looped road in the form of cards you acquire like a "Village" that gives your hero a quest to kill a mob further down the road (and collect the reward when they come back around) or a "Cemetery" that spawns skeletons the hero has to fight when he enters that square. The interesting thing is that you don't control the character himself much at all: just the environment around him. There is a fine balance to master in putting just enough danger down for your hero so that he gets good equipment, but not so much that he wipes out in the middle of the loop where you lose most of your material that you bring back to improve your camp.
Two weeks ago, I mentioned that I bought Timberborn and Digimon Story Cyber Sleth: Complete Edition. I started the former last weekend and the latter last night.
Timberborn is a Banished-clone. Except instead of your villagers being people, they're beavers. Yup, beavers. It plays very closely to Banished, but its major difference is the ability to terraform in order control water. Because of droughts, you have to learn to control the river you're on, by creating dams and levees to control water levels in reservoirs or creating irrigation canals (these are beavers, after all). If you don't have enough water, you're crops won't grow, your beavers will starve, and they'll die of dehydration.
Other major differences include a district system. Districts are separate areas of the map that can have their own populations, resources, needs, etc. In Banished, your village can span the entire map, but is controlled as a single entity. With districts, you can separate out sections of the village so that each is its own entity. This leads to specialization. Trading between districts allows one area to be farming district, while the other is a logging district, and they support each over via trade.
The game is still kinda shallow. I don't think it has as many buildings, supply chains, and professions as vanilla Banished has (and certainly not as many as the Colonial Charter mod). But it's Early Access and is under active development, unlike Banished, which I think was essentially released as a finished game. Hasn't been updated in several years. Timberborn is fun though. I've already put in nearly 50hrs in this first village.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth I started last night. Pretty standard JRPG, but using captured Digimon to fight your way through quests. I played this initially on my PS Vita, but didn't get too deep into it. Since I've just started again, I can't say too much yet. I do love the modern Tokyo environment. I don't know why, but I love games like Persona series or Tokyo Xanadu that take place in modern Tokyo. Bout to start it up again after this post.
Oh, I downloaded Halo Infinite, to play the free multiplayer with friends. Before that, I think I played maybe 10min of one of the Halo games on a friend's Xbox back in college. So, I can't compare it to anything. Infinite was fun enough. Probably won't get too into it though. Just something to do here and here.
I’ve been playing Yakuza Kiwami 2. It’s a great game, and the cabaret mini game is still oddly addicting. I’ve been running into this issue, though, where normally I can run the game at medium or even high graphics settings, but occasionally the game tries to murder my gpu (I think - am bad with computers) and I have to drop the graphics quality to low.
Yes! So much so that my wife calls the whole series "the game with the hostess".
My favorite thing with the dragon engine Yakuza is to go to a kombini or Don quixote, then go into first person mode and just look at the insane level of detail they modelled.
Picked up theHunter: Call of the Wild (sic) on sale. Was hoping for a good nature walking simulator, at the least. Based on about 5ish hours of play so far, it's... a notch above "meh". My current beef is that I am being asked to trade off too much between framerate and nice graphics. If I crank the graphics to the quality I want (essentially max settings), the frame rate is pretty poor. I don't see an FPS number on screen, but it feels like 15. Lowering quality settings doesn't seem to help much, so I can only chalk this up to inefficient programming on their part? Mind you, I'm trying to stress their engine at 4k resolution. I can maybe try regular 1080p, but I question why I have to. I play Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Battlefield V on full 4k, and get at least 20 fps in KCD, and probably 30ish in BFV.
In terms of actual game play, I feel like there's too much walking, and/or the running speed is too slow. I get that it's probably a realistic running speed, but after sprinting around a game like BFV, tHCotW feels borderline excruciating. I swear, it feels like the avatar is a gazelle bounding around on the moon. I mean, they did the right thing in adding an auto-run, which lets you press (and release) a single key, and it acts like you are holding down the "go forward" key. A sort of "cruise control" for walking, I guess. Because of the large percentage of walking, I haven't had the opportunity to really sink my teeth into the actual hunting aspect of the game. This is probably realistic, I get it, but... this maybe feels like too much effort before I am starting to have enough fun. Anyway, I'm holding on, and giving it a little more time before I give up on the game. From what I've seen/read online, you get to have ATVs at some point, so that should help with the travel time problem.
Also got Besiege. Just getting started with it. Kind of fun, but am just keeping that on the backburner for now, since other games are more alluring at the moment.
Otherwise, doing the occasional training session in Aim Lab, and regular sessions of Battlefield V and MLB: The Show.