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Thread: NOW what are you playing?

  1. #13051
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    On a related note, I'm currently chipping away at AC Origins, which as far as I understand it is the first run of mechanics improved in Odyssey.
    It's okay, but I think I'm just tired of these formulaic open world games now. Probably doesn't help that I'm playing it on Nightmare, which while for the most part is incredibly manageable, can result in the occasional bullshit death.

    'tis ridiculously pretty mind you.

    I'm still bouncing around looking for something to really sink my teeth into since finishing Pillars of Eternity 2 in turn-based mode. Much like Witcher 3, it's set the bar so damn high, I'm struggling to find a long-play game to replace it with. Every now and again I fire up the first game with the intention of playing it and the sequel through, so as to have greatest continuity of story. But the original game is really hard to get in to and quite depressing compared to the breezy, happy-go-lucky piratical nature of the second game.
    And RTwP sucks ass compared to Turn-Based.

    But on my commute, Bayonetta 2 on the Switch is still keeping me entertained and making the train journey disappear in seemingly no time at all.
    I have my problems with the structure of the game still, but it's beautifully replayable and incredibly satisfying when it clicks. I've since gone back to compare both DMC: Devil May Cry and my previous favourite spectacle fighter, MGR Revengeance, and found them lacking in comparison. Witch Time, Dodge Offset and holding inputs rather than pressing them in quick succession just makes this game so much more interesting than other spectacle fighters.
    I just wish you could restart checkpoints like in MGR rather than having to restart the whole level if you botch a fight if you're chasing those Pure Platinum medals.

    It's also a massive shame that we're never likely to see a PC release of this what with it being licensed by Nintendo. It deserves a wider audience.

  2. #13052
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    My advice on AC Origins is to spend a few weeks (once you get to the point that you can go off and do your own thing), disregarding the main story entirely and just roleplay as a travelling warrior / paladin. I did that for a really long time (at least 3+ weeks I think) and had an absolute ball. I've not had an experience like that in any other game. And before someone says it, Skyrim and RPGs are very different in this aspect of the way that AC Origins does it. Though I wasn't playing on nightmare. And playing that way makes sense in-game plot wise too, since you are after all the last surviving Medjay.

    For a game with Assassin's Creed in it's title, the time I spent doing that didn't really feel like an Assassin's Creed game at all. More something else. Kinda Witcher 3-ish, but even then it was different to that. Try and you'll see what I mean. There is A LOT of side stuff to do in the game. More than even AC Brotherhood, and that game had an absolute wealth of side stuff.

    If you make it to the DLC, the second of the 2, The Curse of the Pharoah is by far the better of the 2. But even that does not have that same wandering warrior feel to it. God damn does it have some beautiful bits in it though. Wow.
    Last edited by icemann; 29th May 2019 at 12:37.

  3. #13053
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by DaBeast View Post
    Just finished Observation.

    I didn't really know anything about it, its more interactive story than a game, akin to the Telltale games, but I found the writing to be very tight, better than some sci-fi movies I've seen lately. It's fairly short, maybe 3-5 hours, but even so, I haven't played a game for more than an hour at a time in a few years, with this I played it from start to finish.

    I'd recommend playing it at night, don't read about the story or anything, just try it out. Zero expectations really elevated it I think.
    I'm glad someone here played it, because it's definitely a well-crafted experience. I'd find myself recommending it too except while I feel it's singular as an interactive mystery, I didn't quite love it.

    Everyone complained about the interface(s) and lack of signposting, but barring a few scenarios where an objective was vague, everything's available to point you in the right direction if you look for it. The UX was fantastic, I thought, but then I'm an unabashed fan of Alien: Isolation's old school user interfaces.

    However, as lovely as the environmental (heh) detail is, I find it odd that the story develops some compelling points but then just jettisons them towards the end. There's a few great opportunities for storytelling, but they're dealt with too quickly because the central mystery and answering it become paramount. And it's certainly an interesting resolution, but not one that has the weight or resonance of everything that came before it. It's a very good attempt; it just needed a bit more to be great.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    On a related note, I'm currently chipping away at AC Origins, which as far as I understand it is the first run of mechanics improved in Odyssey.
    It's okay, but I think I'm just tired of these formulaic open world games now. Probably doesn't help that I'm playing it on Nightmare, which while for the most part is incredibly manageable, can result in the occasional bullshit death.
    Frankly, it's Ubisoft Game. The thing about Origins that makes me keep going is the environments first, and the surprisingly strong initial story second. Gameplay is way down the list since things like combat are (finally) merely competent. Even the side quests seem more organically written than the previous games' collectible hunting and random street muggings. If neither of those interest you, though, it is indeed going to be a very uncompelling experience. AssCreed's never been good with emergent systemic interplay.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 29th May 2019 at 13:47.

  4. #13054
    I fired up MGS V again to work on some of the "Post ending" missions and listen to the tapes.

    I missed the most important part of those games. It changes MGS V from some hokey, bizarre action game and souless cash-in into a stealthy anti-globalization screed. Skull-Face and Code Talker's tapes go on at length about how mass media enables old languages to be effectively extinguished, and that imposing a language forces you to adopt the psychology of the oppressors.

    Coincidentally I have been studying on some history (I always am, but this time on a different topic). One of the things that came up listening to a lecture was how the British took over Canada and started forcing the natives (who had been largely left alone under the Catholic French) to speak English and starting scalping those who didn't. The upshot was that language is a powerful tool of colonialism and then I stumbled into some of the philosophy hidden in MGS V talking about that.


    That's one thing I love. When a game doesn't tell me what to think, but succeeds in taking a step further to make me think.

  5. #13055
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    After completing Doom 2, I moved onto Heretic. Man, I had not played this game in a long time. At least 10 years, likely more. Really difficult in some spots. First 3 episodes were fine, but the last 2 ramp up the difficulty a bit. Boss battles are fine up to the 3rd one, and then are average after that. Good fun regardless. I remember the game being wayyyyyyyyyyyy harder. Then again I didn't have mouse look back then, which makes a hell of a difference against the ranged enemies + the bosses.



    Back when, I don't recall making it past the second boss (the Maulotaur's). This time round, had no problems against that one at all + the later bosses. The difference of mouse look vs playing it only via keyboard. Some damn fine music in this one, though once you've heard the music from episodes 1-3, they repeat the vast majority of it in the later 2 episodes. These final episodes 2 compared to say the "Thy Flesh Consumed" extra episode later released for Doom 1 is no comparison difficulty level wise. Far easier, but still hard (Thy Flesh Consumed was insanely hard).

    Weirdly. Played through ZDoom (through which you can play Doom 1, Doom 2, Heretic, Hexen and Strife), unlike Doom 1 and 2, the enemy sprites looked damn good even looking down or up at them from a different height level. I'm assuming that's as they (unlike Doom 1 and 2's sprites) has extra sprites in place for when viewed from those angles. Makes a massive difference visually. Heretic unlike Doom 1 & 2 had looking up and down via keyboard hotkeys originally so that's not completely unexpected. I just didn't remember the game looking so good.
    Last edited by icemann; 2nd Jun 2019 at 14:28.

  6. #13056
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Devolver Digital has a bunch of games on sale for Switch right now, so I bought three of them (er, I might end up buying more).

    The first is Minit, which is an odd Zelda-like game with a twist that you die every 60 seconds, so you have to do as much as you can before that happens. It's a novel premise although a little bit more stressful in practice than I'd like. I'm only a little ways in, so I'll wait until I get into the swing of it before judging.

    The second is Gato Roboto, which is Metroid except you're a cat in a robot suit. It's very cute (my favourite part so far is when the cat balks at going in the water) and has responsive controls. I'm only about an hour in, but: RECOMMENDED.

    The third is Gris, which I think has been discussed here before.

    I didn't really know about Devolver Digital until now, but browsing their games on Switch, they seem to have a lot of interesting titles. I'm also curious about Katana Zero, Ape Out, The Messenger, Pikuniku, and Red Strings Club, if anyone has any thoughts on them.

  7. #13057
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Gato Roboto is definitely on my list. Love Metroidvania's.

  8. #13058
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I just got started on A Criminal Past, one of the DLCs for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, after finishing the other two. Especially System Rift was nice enough, but in terms of its environments it felt very much like the main game, so A Criminal Past's more unique environment makes for a welcome change. It's also more of a challenge, especially early on, since your augmentations don't work. The writing is... iffy, to say the least, but I like how it feels like a homage to Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. It makes me think, though, that if there is another Deus Ex at some point, I very much hope that they'll mix up the environments more than they have with the last two games. Obviously a lot of what's there is variations on high-tech offices and high-tech labs, but I remember the original Deus Ex having more variety.

    Other than that, I also started playing Outer Wilds. It's a very different game from Deus Ex, but it does sort of remind me of that thing Warren Spector (?) said, that he'd like to design an open-world game where the world is very small, one block of buildings, but very detailed, rather than large but generic. Outer Wilds offers a miniature solar system with a half dozen planets, and each planet is relatively small - you can walk around them -, which is also necessary because the sun goes supernova after less than half an hour - but then you find yourself back at the beginning, remembering everything that happened during your last 'life'. The planets aren't hyperdetailed, mind you, but each has a couple of locations, ruins, ancient machines that you can check out, slowly putting together the puzzle pieces of what happened in the past and what you can do in the present in order to possibly prevent a cataclysm. I've not played much of the game, but I very much like its miniature world and its more homespun take on sci-fi. It's very much an indie game, though; if your idea of sci-fi is the glossy polish of Mass Effect, you might not like what Outer Wild offers instead.

  9. #13059
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    RE: Outer Wilds, I think there's so much unexplored space for sci-fi that exists between the two stereotypes of a glossy high-tech future and gritty cyberpunk, I pretty much got Outer Wilds because of how it chose to be different.

    Having said that, it's not really sci-fi so much as it's an exploratory adventure/puzzle/mystery with space trappings. I love how handmade every inch of it is, and the clockwork machinery of its solar system reminds me of the initial jaunts in a Hitman level where you're observing the elements of a level and slowly peeling back the layers to expose the possible paths towards your goal. The sense of clockwork exactitude is heightened by the accelerated time that has sunrises and sunsets in quick succession, the periods between dappled in shadows that grow and slide across the land almost like they're dancing before your eyes.

    But the best part is that despite how cleverly its mysteries and loops are constructed, for a game where you're a four-eyed alien in an exploding solar system, it's one of the coziest experiences I've had. There's an almost instant familiarity and charm to it, no better example of which is the very opening of the game: you're started off gazing straight up at the night sky, and when you point the camera down to look around you, you're with a friend at a campfire. And the very first verb the game gives you besides 'talk' is to just sit at the campfire, hold out a stick, and toast marshmallows for as long as you want.

    And that's just it: it's a game about hopping into space and exploring the sights of a miniature solar system, yet it knows that the smaller moments are just as important as all the bigger ones.

    The icing on the cake is the music. It's making a banjo lover out of me.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 3rd Jun 2019 at 11:53.

  10. #13060
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    Gato Roboto is definitely on my list. Love Metroidvania's.
    It’s not so much a Metroidvania as it *is* Metroid. Nearly every aspect of it is an homage of some sort, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like a knock-off.

  11. #13061
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Well even Metroid is classed as a "Metroidvania" nowadays. At the time sure it wasn't, but retroactively it has been. Same with Zero Mission, Metroid Fusion etc etc.

  12. #13062
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I gotta admit seeing Kiki perched on Samus's suit (and let's be frank, it is Samus's suit, witness the ridiculous oversized spheroid shoulders) gives me a chuckle. It's Metroid, but instead of dark and foreboding it's charming and silly entirely because you're a cat. A cat that fires rockets from a mech suit, and a cat that doesn't complaint about swimming.

    Somewhere in there, some part of that is a blatant lie, but it's okay; it's a game with a cat in a goddamn mech suit.

  13. #13063
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I also love the way Kiki scowls, Doom Guy style, whenever you fire your gun.

  14. #13064
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've also bought Gato Roboto, but most likely it'll be a while before I play it. It looks sweet, though, and I'm usually in the market for a well-made Metroidvania.

    Great thoughts on Outer Wilds, Sulphur! I could imagine that the game would strike some people as too twee, as it's a certain brand of indie gaming to a fault, but it's got a lightness of touch and a real sense of mystery and wonder that I don't remember many games managing. I've only played two 'rounds' (so to speak) so far, but I loved how much it does make you feel like an actual explorer of a world, rather than a visitor in a theme park.

  15. #13065
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Currently playing Azure Dreams on the PS1. Fun little JRPG with the player given the task of making it to the top of the tower. Sounds easy? Well on every visit your put back to level 1, but the familiars you take with you keep their XP level, and you get to keep your gear. Trouble being that your limited to a 5 item (including equipment and familiar's) on each entry to said tower. It majorly limits you.



    Combine that with a clunky camera, and the view being wayyyyyyy too zoomed in, and the game certainly has it's negatives. Positives being that the music's quite good (though it gets really repetitive after a few hours of play), and assuming you make it back to town (via finding wind crystals, which allow teleporting back to town), you can use your accumulated wealth to upgrade your home, and the town itself. And there's some light dating sim stuff in there too.

    So it's not a perfect game by a long shot, but it has a charm to it, that keeps you playing. And it has the Shin Megami Tensei style fusion system in place, for fusing 2 familiar's together to get a new one. I just wish that the item limit was a bit higher. 10 would have been MUCH better. Be nicer even if the game had got a Steam re-release with all the above mentioned fixes in there plus some extra content be good.

  16. #13066
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Played the first couple missions of Recore today, up until the world opens up, and then a bit after that too. It feels dated in a lot of ways. Kinda rough graphics, unpolished animations. The platforming and shooting feels like an early 2000s third person action-platformer, but not in a bad way, in fact I'm kinda enjoying the gameplay. It's hectic and you always gotta be on your toes. Dunno if I'll keep playing.

  17. #13067
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I'm playing Underworld Ascendant and liking it. Yes, they did release it too early, but they have gone through 3 or 4 patches now, and the great environments, sound design, and the overall exploration (including verticality) plenty makes up for the bugs that are still there (now that my machine is finally up to snuff, it has only been minor annoyances -- although they do add up, so I'm hoping those will be fixed soon as the devs continue working on it). Some of the NPCs are a little too cartoonish for my tastes, but it doesn't bother me enough to not enjoy playing (I just roll my eyes a little when I see them and then I move on). For things to do and experiment with I have probably only just scratched the surface yet.

  18. #13068
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: Colorado
    Field of Glory 2 in between long stints of Mordhau. Charrrrrge!!

  19. #13069
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I just finished "A Criminal Past", one of the Mankind Divided DLCs and IMO clearly the most interesting one. The two main things it does right IMO are: 1) the environment feels distinctly different from the pretty samey other DLCs. It has its own look and feel, and it is both coherent as a location and varied; 2) in regular Deus Ex I usually end up having the skills I want and need from 1/3 into the plot, but here you're kept from using your augs at the beginning and you don't have enough Praxis points later, so you really have to make a choice, which keeps the game challenging. "A Criminal Past" pushed me to be smart and not sloppy way more than the main game did.

    The DLC could've been better written, certainly, but in terms of level design and challenge it may just be my favourite bit of Square Enix Deus Ex.

    Nonetheless, I think I need something very different now, so I've just installed Undertale and plan to play that one. And I should return to Outer Wilds.

  20. #13070
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, to put it another way - the other 2 Jensen Stories were pretty clearly chopped out of the main game to be used as DLC (and I'm a bit miffed we'll never get a director's cut with them properly re-integrated), whereas A Criminal Past was created as its own independent experience and thus is the only one that really works that way.

  21. #13071
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Second that. Game needs a version with them integrated.

  22. #13072
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    RE: Quake 2 RTX HD Remaster mod by Nvidia.

    Finished a playthrough of the game using the remastered mod pack. Very nice overall, but not perfect.

    Because the new lighting system uses real lighting sources AFAIK, you get the occasional pitch-black hallway. I got flashbacks to the vanilla version of Doom 3, i.e. having to use the starting pea shooter to light the way and switching to a proper gun for fighting. You can change the Time of Day in an options menu (I use Noon); it's set to system clock settings by default so it makes playing at night not optimal (with those settings). Changing ToD usually only really helps when you're outdoors.

    The mod is missing the FMV cutscenes and CD audio soundtrack. They need to patch those in.




    Since I was on a Q2 kick I started up an expansion pack run straight after. The RTX mod doesn't support it so I'm using the Yamagi source port + HD asset mods. Currently on XP1: The Reckoning. The added weapons, like a "rocket shotgun" and ricocheting laser shooter (akin to the Razorjack/Ripper from Unreal/UT), are fun and deadly to use. The levels are not too mazey and better laid out than the vanilla game, I found myself getting lost a lot less than in the vanilla campaign. The developer Xatrix/Grey Matter Interactive later made Kingpin: Life of Crime, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and CoD 1 expansion United Offensive so the pedigree is there.


  23. #13073
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    It's been something like 20 years, so my memory is surely not trustworthy, but I seem to recall needing to shoot to illuminate dark areas in the original game too?

  24. #13074
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    It's been something like 20 years, so my memory is surely not trustworthy, but I seem to recall needing to shoot to illuminate dark areas in the original game too?
    The dynamic lighting of Quake 2 (including using the starter pistol to light up areas) was one of the major features used to hype it.

  25. #13075
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I should have posted about the new Steam version of SpaceEngine here rather than in the hype thread, as it's playable now, or I should say "playable",* but anyway I've "played" it now.
    (*It's a planetarium sim, so one doesn't really "play" it. One just gets in and flies around and takes pretty screenshots in it.)

    The two biggest obvious differences form the free version are (1) the planets are much nicer and realistic at the ground level, better texturing and whatever geometry algorithm they're using is more realistic and less artifacted, so better for "walking around" on. It still takes about 3 seconds for everything to pop in, but once it does, it looks nice. There's still some repetition artifacts and texture transitions. But on the whole it's a big improvement. And (2) the other big improvement is the volumetric nebula, like you're inside a colorful and HD smoke effect.
    Aside from those two things, the differences from the free version are incremental, more info in the UI, and the UI is more polished.
    The Steam version is also probably going to make modding much easier with the Workshop.

    Anyway, if you obsessed over the free version like I did, then it's worth getting this. If you like the idea but eh on having your planets, nebula, and UI be cutting edge, you would be fine just sticking with the free version, which will apparently stay free forever.

    I should say its forums are pretty good, good people I mean, and the dev himself is good with listening to the community and continuing development. It's an obvious passion project.


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