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Thread: NOW what are you playing?

  1. #13176
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I've been playing Moonlighter (still available for free for one more day at Epic Store!) a bit lately, and while I really liked the game in the beginning, I'm slowly losing interest in it now. For those who don't know the game, I suppose you could call it a rogue-lite with retro 2D graphics. You've got a shop called Moonlighter to run, so at night you venture out into the dungeon to find some stuff to sell, and during the day you open your shop and try to keep your customers happy.

    At first I got the impression that there's a lot of things to do, but after about five hours in, the game is already feeling super repetitive and grindy. The dungeons are somewhat random generated, but there's not a lot of variation, and there are lots of rooms that always look like the same, they're just in different places. I think that there are four different dungeons in the game, so you might think that different environments would make things more interesting, but I'm in dungeon #3 right now, and I can say that the dungeon is still basically the same, but with a different tileset and slightly more challenging monsters. Not good.

    Unfortunately the shop minigame isn't much more interesting. In the beginning of the game your shop is pretty small with only a couple of stalls where you can display your stuff. You have to set a price for each item that you want to sell, but at first it's hard to tell what the value of a certain item is. So you have to open the shop and customers start flowing in. They wander around the shop and if they find some interesting item, they stop and a smiley face appears next to them. If they look angry, you've set the price too high. If they look super delighted, you've set the price too low. And if they look somewhat pleased, the price is just right, and from that moment on, you can quite safely sell the same kind of items for that price. Running the shop becomes a bit of a chore quite soon, I can tell you.

    With all the gold that you've acquired, you can expand your shop, and more importantly craft new weapons and armor and potions that will help you get through the more challenging dungeons. There's not really much else to do as far as I know. It's a worrying sign that I seem to spend most of my time in the game managing the inventory. It's not a bad game at all, just way too grindy for no good reason.

  2. #13177
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I just started Prey.

    Yep, fashionably late.

  3. #13178
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Wow, even after me!

  4. #13179
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by PigLick View Post
    I recommend playing the Blackwell series first before you play Unavowed, it adds a lot more flavour to the game. Though thats a pretty big slog.
    I've already tried, and failed, to get into the Blackwell series. Nah, jumped straight into Unavowed last night. Do these games share a universe or something?

    The only WadjetEye games I've played all the way through are The Shivah and Gemini Rue.

  5. #13180
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Yeh they are in the same universe, some characters are from the blackwell games, for example the bestowers spirit guide.

  6. #13181
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Brethren View Post
    Doing a 2nd playthrough of Dark Souls Remastered, this time on my Switch and as a caster. And...I'm still just really bad at this game. It's amazing how after falling to my death dozens of times in Sen's Fortress, I'm still willing to keep going. Can't wait for those archers in Anor Londo!
    Well, at least as a caster, you wont have many problems with bosses. Spells may have weak tracking, but they hit like a truck. Pyromancies too. They dont save you from falling off ledges though.

  7. #13182
    New Member
    Registered: Jul 2019
    Doing a replay of SS2 right now! It's been a while since I last played through, and its every bit as fun as I remembered. Planning to play DX:MD next followed by Prey, both of which I have never played before so I am quite excited!

  8. #13183
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Thats some solid gaming there. As for me I have been checking out A Short Hike, and it is absolutely lovely, a strong animal crossing feel with relaxed exploring of a small island where the ultimate goal is to reach the summit. Love the art style, worth trying.

  9. #13184
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: state of quantum entanglement
    Having all but memorised SOMA (which by the way still really gets me after all those play-throughs) I went out to look for some new horror game to play - and as luck would have it, a Humble Bundle came out at around the same time which contained Bendy and the Ink Machine. It has been... underwhelming. I like the artwork and the ambience, moreover at first it was nice to be armed again for change - but that's pretty much it on the positive side. Whereas on the negative...

    To begin with, the "horror" bit consists primarily of jump scares (AKA the horror equivalent of fart jokes).

    Secondly, stealth has been reduced to not much beyond hiding from monsters and even that has been done in seriously immersion-breaking way - you shut the cabinet door behind you and the monster who was just about to rip you a new one simply turns away and leaves as if nothing'd happened. Sometimes you do not even have to hide, there are at least three places in the game where monsters turn around and leave with you still in plain sight merely because you have walked a few steps up the stairs. And speaking of hiding from monsters, there must be something seriously wrong with the AI sight algorithms in this 3D engine because on the one hand I have repeatedly been spotted through pixel-wide gaps between objects, whereas on the other a monster and you can stand at two ends of a straight hallway and they will not spot you without coming much closer even though it really doesn't look that dark in there.

    Third, the protagonist is quite badly written. Or maybe I am just out of touch and bashing a deformed humanoid that has just spawned out of an ink puddle over what passes for its head is all in a day's work for a retired cartoonist, seeing a living, breathing version of a cartoon character suddenly show up in front of you in a building full of said deformed humanoids indicates all is well, the character clearly is friendly and it is time for a nap, and that it makes perfect sense to react with perfect calm to plywood cutouts peeking out at you on their own volition around corners yet get "scared to death" (Henry's own words) upon bumping into said friendly character moments later (even more funny if you walked along the far wall and was therefore able to see them long before the voice clip got triggered).

    Finally, IMHO there is just too much fighting in this game. At a risk of oversimplifying, in my book a "horror" game should take a long, hard look at itself if its core gameplay involves circle-strafing enemies.

    I've lied about "finally". One more thing - more engine weirdness. The protagonist seems to have orangutang arms because his range for both attacking enemies and interacting with objects feels too long. Strike a spawning enemy too early and you will hit nothing but air, you must actually wait for them to start moving. Whether an object can be jumped onto or not feels quite arbitrary. Etc. etc. etc.

    PS. (this time it's really the last thing, I promise) From what I could see online even the Windows version is quite buggy, with the worst bug being apparently that once in a blue moon auto-save stops working for a given save slot - sometimes until you have restarted the game, sometimes permanently. From my own experience, the Linux version is even more buggy.

    Summary: I wouldn't say I regret having played this game but I am quite sure I shall not play it again, I definitely will not buy the sequel and I do not recommend it.

  10. #13185
    Quote Originally Posted by Marecki View Post
    To begin with, the "horror" bit consists primarily of jump scares (AKA the horror equivalent of fart jokes).
    I disagree on the assessment that jump scares are equivalent to fart jokes. They may be one of the most simplistic ways of trying to cause a fear-based reaction, but that only means they do have a place in proper horror stories/games. When used apropriately a jump scare will be the payoff for a period of building anticipation/uncertainty. But like everything else jump scares can be both overused and misused.

    A good writer/designer will make sure there's a balance between jump scares, gross out moments, uncertainty, calm and anticipation.

    if you haven't tried it yet, you may want to look at Spooky's Jump Scare Mansion for a game that uses jump scares effectively.

  11. #13186
    Registered: May 2004
    Hell, even Silent Hill isn't above jump scares. The cat in the locker, the bathroom scene in the prison, the roof surprise, etc. But they definitely have to be used relatively sparingly or else the tension curve is ruined. No idea what the Jump Scare Mansion is about, but for that price I'm willing to take a look.
    Last edited by Starker; 2nd Aug 2019 at 15:30.

  12. #13187
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    My biggest scare ever in Silent 1 scared the absolute crap out of me. The oddest bit about it, is that in all my play throughs its only happened there once. Did the game bug up? Dunno.

    Anyways was walking around a sewer level. No enemies on screen and then out of nowhere BOOM, a massive explosion noise goes off. I jumped sky high, no enemies rushed at me. I ran over to where the noise came from and there was nothing there. What the?

    Finished off Dawn of War - Soulstorm. I'm divided on whether this is better than Dark Crusade or not. Dark Crusade has a great lead in, as it immediately follows on (plot and setting wise) from Winter Assault, and there is some damn fine rewards for conquering specific regions, like being able to attack twice per twin, increased squad caps etc. I found the map screen quite daunting, seeing all the races all on the 1 continent fighting it out. It's only downside is that some of the attack missons are hard as hell. If you don't rush in right away, then your screwed.

    Soulstorm has everything gated away, so you can take things at your leisure more. That's good. The rewards aren't as good (though some aren't bad), and you only get the big reward bonuses from taking out strongholds. All of the stronghold missions are great. And you get an additional 2 races with the Dark Eldar and Sisters of Battle. The game crashes far more than the others, which is another negative. It crashed even on the credits screen when I beat the game which was annoying.

    Hmm. Overall, I think Dark Crusade is better, but Soulstorm is definitely worth playing.
    Last edited by icemann; 3rd Aug 2019 at 11:50.

  13. #13188
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I built my first little base in Subnautica, which made me feel like I'd accomplished something... until I realised that its entrance was barely one metre away from the Aurora's radiation zone. :-/ Soon after I did fabricate a radiation suit, though, so I'm feeling a bit better about my planning skills.

    I also successfully returned to Hitman to replay the Bangkok level. While I'll be concentrating on The Outer Wilds in the near future, I'm planning to replay these levels every couple of weeks and then get started on Hitman 2 in earnest.

    Finally, I finished God of War, enjoying it up to the end, but I don't think I'll go and mop up everything. The whole platinum thing isn't really for me. I'm fine with being relatively thorough while playing the story of a game, but once that story is over (including side quests), I tend not to have that much of an incentive to persist with all the little bits and bobs that I didn't do. Since I'm going away for a week on Friday, I don't think I'll start another PS4 game for now, but once I'm back I'll probably check out S3 of The Walking Dead. I hope I will remember that.

  14. #13189
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    RE: God of War, if you haven't returned home after the credits, you probably should. The Valkyrie fights seem to continue a thread of story as well, but they're calibrated to be absolute ball-busters, so it's going to take some amount of experimentation and armour crafting, which means fucking around in other places to gather resources. It's not bad, though, and something I probably want to get back to now and then.

  15. #13190
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I might return for the remaining Valkyries, but I'm not sure I will; I usually lack the skill and discipline to put the legwork into doing the hardest extra bits, added to which I'd now have to start world-hopping again, and that's getting to be a bit of a slog. (I wish that the fast-travel portals would also work across worlds after the main story is over.) I did return home for a bit of a snooze, though, and it was worth it.

    I've also got to the point in Subnautica where I feel I know better what I'm doing and, more importantly, have an idea of what to do next. At the beginning it felt pretty aimless, which I guess is always a risk with survival games, but on the whole I think that Subnautica does a good job of balancing the sense of direction that comes with the story and the more free-form survival gameplay. Also, those toothsome horrors around the Aurora? They're quite... impressive... when you first encounter them in VR.

  16. #13191
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    once I'm back I'll probably check out S3 of The Walking Dead. I hope I will remember that.
    If you don't, Clementine will.

  17. #13192
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Yesterday moved on to Castlevania - Symphony of the Night. After playing through Bloodstained, I was itching to play this again. The game just nails (to pun intended) everything.

    Music - Excellent
    Gameplay - Excellent
    Story - Great
    Level design - Excellent
    Voice acting - Hilariously bad (like the movie "The Room")

    Bloodstained was good, but SOTN is legendary. It helped start an entire genre of games, and for good reason. I just love this game. Best is once you have most of the good upgrades (eg bat and mist form) and are free to go wherever you like. From then on it's all exploration and making sure you've been to every spot, got every item etc. That's Metroidvania's for me. If your the completionist type, then Metroidvania's are your best friend. The hard part afterward is going back to standard 2D platformers. Once you've had save points, and exploration and the risk / reward stuff, then standard 2D platformers just don't cut it anymore. Or that's been my experience.

  18. #13193
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Also, those toothsome horrors around the Aurora? They're quite... impressive... when you first encounter them in VR.
    Reaper Leviathans can feel like a massive pain when you have a Seamoth and are just trying to get somewhere. Thankfully they do have territories they stick to.

  19. #13194
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Finished off Symphony of the Night. Fantastic game. I can see why it went on to inspire an entire genre of games.

    I've since moved on to Blaster Master Zero. Very different kinda game to Symphony. Much more action focused.

  20. #13195
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Played through Uncharted: Lost Legacy over the last few days. The story and characters didn't quite live up to earlier Naughty Dog games, I thought, but nonetheless I enjoyed this more than most of the Uncharteds. The balance of exploration, stealth and all-out action felt really good. A lot of the stuff that irked me in Uncharted 4, like the manufactured drama of the hero loosing his grip during climbing sections over and over again, was toned down here as well. Overall I think reducing the runtime by half that of a mainline Uncharted game made the pacing much tighter and kept it from getting repetetive.

    Watching the end credits I was kinda astonished by just how many companies worked on this. Besides Naughty Dog, there's an entire SIXTEEN companies who were involved in the production.

  21. #13196
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Beat Blaster Master Zero. In reviews they referred to it as a Metroidvania. I don't agree with that. It's more a action platformer (when in the outside bits) and top down shooter in the dungeon bits. You do unlock stuff that allows access to new areas like a Metroidvania sure. But then the game is very linear. As in, your instructed where to go all the time, where as Metroidvania's tend to be more exploration based.

    Anyways it's a good game, and I love the 8-bit NES style music to it + the graphics. Nice amount of challenge.


    I'd definitely play any sequels to it (of which I believe there is one) + must play the NES original game (that this is a sequel to, I think) at some point.

  22. #13197
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    It's weird, but I think one of the major reasons why I didn't enjoy Blaster Master Zero as much as I should have was simply because of the changes to the setting. I played the original when I was a kid, and it's creepy lost world high tech medieval blended world resonated with me a lot more than Zero's abandoned futuristic habitat.

    I still thought it was a good game, but it could've been so much better.

  23. #13198
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I did my last post over on RPS as well, and one of the people there responded:

    Blaster Master Zero is an expanded remake of the original NES game, similar to how Metroid Zero Mission is an expanded remake of NES Metroid. Blaster Master Zero 2 is a new game, not a remake of any previously existing title, but I believe it has only been released on the Switch?

    Blaster Master has a somewhat confusing history due to a couple of factors.

    The first factor is that when the original game “MetaFight” was given a completely different story when it was brought to the West as “Blaster Master.” In Metafight, you play Kane, a soldier for NORA, piloting a first-of-its-kind tank named Metal Attacker, in a war against alien forces invading the planet Sophia III. In Blaster Master, you play an Earth kid named Jason, who finds an abandoned sci-fi tank in a cave near your house, which you pilot in a war against the evil Plutonium Army in your quest to find your escaped pet frog. The world of “Blaster Master” would be further expanded in the licensed English novelization, written by a person who received no guidance or assistance from publisher Sunsoft.

    Side Note 1: The tank being called Sophia the 3rd in Blaster Master is the result of a mistake. In the NES game, the weapon equip screen displays the English text “SOFIA THE 3rd. NORA MA-01”. Sofia the 3rd (Sophia III) is the planet where the tank was designed. NORA is the organization that built the tank. MA-01 is Metal Attacker 01, the first Metal Attacker tank. People not knowing the story of Metafight (including the writer of the US novelization of Blaster Master) assumed Sofia the 3rd was itself the tank’s name.

    The second factor is that Sunsoft really likes to release remakes of the first game.

    Blaster Master: Enemy Below (Gamboy Color), Blaster Master: Overdrive (WiiWare), and Blaster Master Zero (3DS, Switch, PC) are all remakes of the original NES release. They are all different however, not only from the original but also from each other.

    Blaster Master 2 (Genesis) is a Snake’s Revenge situation. Sunsoft decided to cash in on Western popularity by contracting a different team, with no input from the original creators, to create a sequel specifically for the Western markets. For Blaster Master 2, Sunsoft contracted British developers Software Creations. Blaster Master 2 is specifically a sequel to Blaster Master, not Metafight. Blaster Master 2 was not released in a Japan. While the game has some fans, it is largely considered to be mediocre.

    Blaster Master Boy (aka Blaster Master Jr.) for the Gameboy is a Western rebranding of a Bomberman spin-off series called Bomber King. The first Bomber King was brought to the West as “Robo Warrior.” When Bomber King: Scenario 2 was being localized, Sunsoft apparently decided that Blaster Master was a stronger brand, and thus changed the main character’s sprite and rebranded the game as Blaster Master Boy.

    Blaster Master: Blasting Again for the PS1 is a 3D sequel to Blaster Master specifically, not Metafight. Unlike Blaster Master 2, Blasting Again did see release in Japan, but that release was under the name “Blaster Master” rather than Metafight. Blasting Again draws its story in part from the licensed novelization of Blaster Master. At release, it was considered better than Blaster Master 2, but some considered that a relatively low hurdle to surpass. I’ve no idea how poorly it has aged.

    Side Note 2: The English novelization of Blaster Master is a product of children’s educational book publisher Scholastic. Scholastic obtained the license to publish adaptations of multiple NES games, and did so under the “Worlds of Power” label. Ten titles were released, ranging from Blaster Master to Bases Loaded II. These books were written without any assistance from the game publishers and creators, and further alterations and allowances had to be made to fit Scholastic’s content restrictions. Cover art had weapons removed. References to death were removed. References to violence were downplayed or removed, and weapons were largely reduced to non-lethal attacks such as firing “stun rounds.” References to magic and the occult were downplayed or removed. To say that these adaptations were written with creative liberty is perhaps a bit kind.

    So apparently Blaster Master Zero, is to Blaster Master what Metroid Zero Mission is to Metroid. In addition Blaster Master is a name change over from another Japanese game called MetaFight. Interesting stuff. The story definitely felt a bit off as I was playing. And that explains it.

  24. #13199
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    So is anyone else here playing Streets of Rogue?
    It's brilliant! A top-down, procedural rogue-lite with a heavy focus on emergent behaviour, which has led to it being compared to more traditional immersive sims.
    I would have thought it would be right up this forum's proverbial alley, but I see nary a mention of it!

    It does a damn good job of allowing you to tailor the game's difficulty to suit your tastes as well, with "mutators" available from the very beginning.
    These mutators are things like infinite ammo / durability, whether disasters happen or not (even allowing you to specify which disasters get excluded if you don't want to disable them altogether), whether disasters happen every level, all sorts of weird and wonderful things.

    The classes are all fun (except for maybe the slum dweller; he's pretty boring until he gets his hands on some interesting gear), offering neat spins on the base gameplay, such as a comedian class who tells jokes to get people to like him. If they like your jokes, a shopkeeper may give you the keys to his safe.

    Or the Jock, who I avoided using for a while, but turns out is gloriously stupid fun after sneaking about and getting chased as other classes. He's got a charge attack that makes him barrel right through any and all walls in a map, barring level boundaries and metal walls. The mindless property destruction is a fantastic palate cleanser after some of the more tense classes...

    ...such as the Werewolf, who can turn in to a wolf for 10-15 seconds, after which he's dizzy and can't attack, and in human form is a "Skinny nerdlinger", which means he's weaker than the average civvie.

    Or the Shapeshifter, who's fine while he's in a host body (although said host has less health than its player controlled version of the class), but pops out as a vulnerable, demonic baby either at will or when the host buys the farm. And cops attack him on sight.

    And on top of that, you can make your own classes too, using a point-buy system!

    I've yet to dabble properly with custom classes, but my most used class so far has been the Doctor, who can't use lethal weapons, but has access to a tranq gun (1 dart and they go down in ten seconds, two and they go down in one), and the ability to knock people out from behind with a chloroform hankie.

    I'd gotten a little stuck with him yesterday, when I got to a stage and mission that required him to destroy barrels full of poison. As he can't use traditional weapons, I was having to punch them until they exploded, at which point he'd get poisoned and take damage. As the mission requires destroying 3-4 barrels, in all likelihood the Doctor will die before completing the mission.
    But I realised today that I can hire almost any passing NPC, so I'll just grab some and get THEM to do the Doc's dirty work

    On top of all this, each class has what's known as a "Big Quest", something they have to do on each and every floor.
    The Doctor has to make sure his kills stay under a certain level (however, gloriously, indirect kills don't add to his tally!)
    The zombie has to infect a certain amount of people.
    The comedian has to entertain a certain number.
    The gorilla has to free his gorilla chums.
    The scientist has to afflict a specific type of NPC with a particular effect by spraying them with a water pistol containing the goop in question. Then they have to whip out their research gun and "research" them.
    The Jock gets fresh dares on every level to destroy particular items such as fire hydrants or air filters.

    And mentioning air filters, you can pollute them (and later water filters) with the various status effect items you find laying around. Like nicotine, regenerating health, poison, confusion gas and... GIANTISM, where NPCs all of a sudden become kaiju sized, bursting out of the confines of their home buildings and crushing all in their path.

    It's glorious, demented fun, containing a lot of the things that make immersive sims great, all wrapped up in lovely pixel art and stonking tunes.
    And it has 4 player co-op too!

  25. #13200
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2019
    Location: Warrington, UK
    I've been playing What Remains of Edith Finch again as the first time I played I wasn't really in the right frame of mind and forced myself to rush through it. So pleased I chose to go back and explore at my own pace, the level of detail they went into with this game is incredible, every part of the house feels lived in and even though the design of the house makes no sense you don't think about it as it feels so real.

    I think you can see elements of the immersive sim genre within the game especially with strong emphasis it has on environmental story-telling. Superb stuff and looking forward to diving deeper again.

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