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Thread: NOW what are you playing?

  1. #13276
    PC Gamering Smartey Man
    I <3 consoles and gamepads

    Registered: Aug 2007
    Location: New Zealand
    Destiny 2: Shadowkeep

    They re-did armour and crafting systems for this expansion, it seems. It's now even more grindy to upgrade existing gear. You need specific upgrade components, that have to be crafted at gun vendors or earned through completing challenges. You can't just spend legendary shards to infuse higher power item into your favourite Exotics/Legendaries any more. I wish they would stop listening to the no lifers when it comes to loot drops and progression, they ruin the game for casual players.

    Good news is that they've migrated the game to Steam, ditching the feature malnourished, rubbish Battlenet launcher. Migrate your licenses and characters here.

  2. #13277
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    You can once it's done, though.
    Yeah, but I always find the shine has gone at that point.

  3. #13278
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I don't like boss fights. At least not the grindy ones, which so many boss fights come down to being. I got reminded of that today while going through free games on Steam and played Birdgut, a platformer with a slightly unusual story. You play as a somewhat defunct bee getting eaten by a bird, who must surely be a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside. I'm not very fond of platformers either, but I kept playing, because I liked the overall tone; it was charming and playful -- or, in one word, quirky. Then, at the end, a boss fight. I stopped playing. I didn't rage quit, I just stopped without regrets and watched someone else finish it.

    I also had the idea to play all free games and then write about it, but there are just too many, so I would need some way to choose a subset, maybe just every nth, so I don't end up simply choosing the ones I think I would like, which would defeat the purpose.

  4. #13279
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Having put Hollow Knight on the figurative shelf for now, I've started up Golf Story, and it's great. Like the total opposite. I solved some puzzles with golf and talked to lots of people about golf, which is exactly what I was hoping for.

  5. #13280
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Golf Story is excellent, it gets pretty crazy later on in the story.

  6. #13281
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've also started (re-)playing Destiny 2 due to the free version First Light having come out. It's not the kind of game I could binge play, but it's great for half-hour sessions in the morning before going to work. I love the game's aesthetic and the game feel is great, the shooting and especially movement with the brilliant glide-jump. I expect to run into a wall at some point where Destiny 2 requires me to put in a lot more time to continue upgrading my gear, but until then this is a nice, fun palate cleanser in between playing more substantial games.

  7. #13282
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    I tried to get into Shadowkeep last night, but found it unremittingly dull. It's not helped by the fact that unlike the rest of Destiny 2, there's barely any colour to the scenery other than black and grey.

    On top of that, it's more of the same, which I've played hundreds of hours of already, without enough different stuff up front to keep me engaged. I mean, the first public event I stumbled across on the moon is one of the ones from the very first area of the game. An event I've probably played hundreds of times now.

    And I absolutely HATE being underpowered AGAIN, having to junk all my gear and fight the same monsters I've been fighting since the beginning, but that are now total bullet sponges again thanks to Bungie's ridiculous addiction to increasing light level every time someone so much as farts.

    In a way, I'm quite glad, as it shows that Destiny has lost its monopolistic grip on my attention.
    And it's absolutely hilarious watching those who play every hour of every day trying to justify all the bullshit thanks to Stockholm syndrome.

    But at the same time, I really love the game when it's good (and Thirith, I'd be well up for playing some Strikes with you, especially the Martian ones), and it's more than a little disappointing to see so little innovation in a new chapter of the game.

    Maybe I'll change my mind after I've put a bit more time into it, but first impressions? Not good.

  8. #13283
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    But at the same time, I really love the game when it's good (and Thirith, I'd be well up for playing some Strikes with you, especially the Martian ones)
    Cheers. Some TTLG Strikes might be fun, though at the moment I'm mainly playing when I've just got half an hour here and there, because if I've got more time I prefer to get back to the games I'm finding difficult to finish otherwise, like The Outer Wilds or Hitman. The story missions are great for quick sessions.

  9. #13284
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    I recently got into Nintendo DS emulation recently. So been trying out a whole heap of games on it, to see how the system compares to the GBA. From a retro point of view, I love the GBA even though few games really made the most of the system considering it was fully capable of SNES level graphics.

    The DS in comparison, from what I've played so far varies GREATLY depending on the game in question. For many of the games I've tested, the extra screen is more of a gimmick than anything else, and could easily have been done away with entirely via an extra in-game menu option. So I've tried a few so far:

    * Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow - Man this is good graphically. And it's in 2D. I'd say it's somewhere between SNES level graphics and PS1 Symphony of the Night level. A game I need to play more of at some point. This game blows the GBA Castlevania's out of the park.
    * Magadascar - This is an example of a 2D game not even being SNES level graphics. I remember playing it on the GBA ages ago. Very meh graphics. Gameplay seems sound.
    * Plants vs Zombies - Now this is great. Really really good. This game looks like a SNES demake of the original. Still looks really good and plays fantastic. 100% touch screen, which via emulation is mouse driven. So it plays nigh on identical to the PC version, but with a couple of DS features like microphone stuff in 1 stage. Been playing this A LOT.
    * Spiderman 2 - This one I'd call 2.5D as there is some 3D stuff in the background. Bit of a boring game.
    * Super Mario 64 DS - Now this is how you do a port. You don't just do a 1 to 1 conversion, you add in stuff. And the game looks great. The system seems to fair FAR better with 3D games than 2D ones. Again though mileage varies per game.

    And that's just a sample of those I've tested so far.

  10. #13285
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Put Elite Beat Agents on your list if you haven’t. It’s a great rhythm game with lots of character and heart that makes good use of the second screen.

  11. #13286
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by icemann View Post
    * Castlevania - Dawn of Sorrow - Man this is good graphically. And it's in 2D. I'd say it's somewhere between SNES level graphics and PS1 Symphony of the Night level. A game I need to play more of at some point. This game blows the GBA Castlevania's out of the park.
    I always thought Dawn of Sorrow was AT LEAST as good as Symphony of the Night graphically. It's one of the games that really drew me to the power of the DS back when.

  12. #13287
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Finally got around to playing The Signal From Tölva.

    And, y'know, it's... mediocre. The combat is mildly interesting, the story kinda has some "huh" moments, the world sometimes has some nice stuff in it, and it looks alright. The Signal From Tölva: it's ok!

  13. #13288
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    From what I've seen, read and played, I like the ideas that go into Big Robot's games, but I found Sir, You Are Being Hunted underdeveloped in so many respects. It's that sense that's kept me from trying any of their other games, although I think I have Tölva in my Steam library.

  14. #13289
    A little adventure game I found on sale called "The Council". It's an interactive story type thing set on a remote manor-island where your character finds himself attending a "council" meeting in 1792 hosted at the reclusive Lord Mortimer's manor with an unusual assortment of guests including George Washington, A certain french artillery Lieutenant, Johan Von Wollner, and other similarly prestigious personalities.

    I may write more later but it's surprisingly well done and has a truly interactive branching story (your choices have far more significance than anything in Telltale games) where your choices and your successful investigative/conversation skills can directly impact the information you have access to. Throughout the course of the game you find yourself scheming and making arrangements in a manner that directly results from choices you make and who you choose to align with.

    The game also heavily rewards players who are well versed in classic mythology, art, and literature to the point that many of the puzzles in the game will be dramatically easier if you're familiar with the material being references. For example, there's one lock puzzle that's almost impossible to figure out if you don't understand the significance of a particular date.

    One common complaint is that the story "gets weird" starting around the beginning of episode 4.

    I strongly disagree because:

    The "weird plot twist" with "demons" (not in the Christian sense...just immortal spirits who can move between bodies and secretly guide history from behind the scenes) wasn't a twist at all if you're both paying attention and have even passing familiarity with occultism. There are numerous artworks, books, symbols, and conversations scattered around the manor that directly reference things like Annunaki lore, daemonology, and the "hidden hand" of various secret societies.

    That said a lot of the social complexity and exploration problems vanish starting with that episode and there is one plot element that makes absolutely no sense because it directly contradicts previous events.

    It's good but you also have to be a certain type of gamer to enjoy it.

  15. #13290
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Playing some more games on the DS. One of particular note was Dungeon Maker. Name ring a bell from earlier posts of mine? It's on the Sony PSP as well. However this is a "Nintendo-ified" / made friendly for children version, and it really shows to me the major differences that existed between the Nintendo DS which was aimed at children and the PSP which was aimed at teenagers and adults.

    PSP Original:

    DS Port:

    3D dungeons and rotatable camera - Gone. All top down 2D now. Very SNES looking if anything. Well technically it may be 3D still, but it looks very 2D-like.
    Real time combat within your dungeon, free movement - Gone. Switched to turn based, and locked into the battle unless you click the button to run off. I HATE this change.
    Story - Pretty much the same. Town besieged by demons. Called on to create a dungeon to lure them into it, where you fight them. This is one bit that's more fleshed out in the DS version. Far more detailed.
    Seeing the stat bonuses of equipment before you equip them - Gone. You have to equip the item, then you see the stat change.
    Stat Growth - Exactly the same as the PSP version, except now you get XP from battles and level up.

    The mild adult sexual tones are completely gone, which is not surprising at all for the DS. Music is completely different. The wise old man (portrayed as a beggar) who gives advice for cash is gone. Replaced by a talking spade. Hmm. The PSP is a hardcore gamer style game, with heaps of complexity to it. In comparison everything in the DS game is quite basic, and being forced into turn based battles, which if you run off the monster/demon disappears entirely just ruins the fluid fun of the original. I'm usually a retro graphics junkie, but in this case it's 3D all the way for me. Such a huge difference between the 2 versions. I can see why the DS entry got no sequels (the PSP got 2, though the 3rd game is only available in Japanese).

    The dungeon floor sizes in the DS version are significantly smaller as well. So the super complex maze-like options of the PSP version (which if you do that, massively increases the chance of monsters being there when you visit) is gone entirely.

    Other changes:

    Quest system - In the original you have a quest tracker, and get jobs in town to do specific stuff. Like get an item, defeat a specific enemy etc. Looks to be gone in the DS version, though I only played the first floor. I did not see a quest tracker in the menu though.
    Room placement - In the original your only restricted by what you have on you, and can remove and place as you see fit (if no enemies are present in that area) with no cost besides the room placed. In the DS version, placing or removing a room consumes mana. Early on your mana pool is quite low (10 MP). I'm assuming stat growth and leveling improves this, but as your spells also use mana this means that either you'll need to grind A LOT to get this to a good level, or will need heaps of mana potions (assuming they have those in this version) to gain that back so that you can continue on that current visit.
    NPCs at town - Less buildings, and a few less NPCs in the DS version. Museum is gone, and the butchers. The rest are there. One extra one in the DS version is a fur trader.
    Selling items - Very different. In the original when you go to sell items, you select all the items you want to sell, then hit the X button to sell the lot. In the DS version, it appears to be 1 by 1 selling. Again maybe this changes later, though I highly doubt it.

    So there is QUITE the difference between the 2 versions. For kids though, sure the DS version is the one to go with. For teenagers and up / major RPG fanatics, then the PSP original and it's sequels are the only way to go.

    Good discoveries:

    Children of Mana - A action RPG game in the style of Secret of Mana
    Commando - Steel Soldier - Very similar in look and style to the Metal Slug games
    Dragon Quest V - Hand of the Heavenly Bride - Nice sprite graphics. Looks to be an interesting JRPG.
    Final Fantasy Tactics A2 - Sequel to the FF Tactics game on the GBA. Hell yeah. Count me in .
    Heroes of Mana - The same universe as Children of Mana, but it's a real time RPG with RTS elements
    The Urbz - Sims in the City - Adventure style game in the Sims universe. You control only person. Some damn good music. Videogame playlist worthy.
    Last edited by icemann; 9th Oct 2019 at 01:32.

  16. #13291
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I lost all interest in playing for a while, but today it got restored after getting Killing Time at Lightspeed, which is 90 percent off on Steam right now (to the end of this week). It mostly takes place on social media with references to real world counterparts. There's also a story spanning over almost 30 years experienced by somewhat of an outsider looking back at Earth while travelling at high speed to a distant star. Entirely text-based. I'm personally not too into social media, but I enjoyed the game.

    Also got FAR: Lone Sails, a 2.5D side scroller (mostly). Great art style. At first I thought the gameplay (mostly about resource management) was going to be a bit too repetitive, but the devs managed to make it varied enough throughout the game. The puzzles are on the casual side. Game's on sale this week.

    Finally got Heaven's Vault, also on sale. You play as an archaeologist examining a site out in the desert, and figuring out an alien/foreign language by piecing sentences together and making qualified guesses for what each word means. I've only played the demo so far, but I liked the concept. Felt like a new experience to me.

  17. #13292
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Thirith gifted me FAR: Lone Sails some time ago. It's delightful. It has a lot of little things that make it stand out: the tactility of its interactions; the expert pacing; the slowly building lived-in feeling of your desert ship as you progress and collect things; the subdued and atmospheric art design. And there's one big thing -- its music is absolutely wonderful.

    Heaven's Vault is absolutely worth anyone's time if they like the idea of piecing together an alien language through form and context (and the UI to review your progress is simple and elegant). The narrative is also a cultural exploration of sorts (including the age-old sci-fi theme of machine and human dichotomy, but with a fair few interesting tweaks) that feels very thoughtful, and there's a lot of unused space in gaming for slow and thoughtful experiences.

  18. #13293
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Glad you're enjoying it, Sulphur! It is a lovely game and makes for a surprisingly good companion piece to Inside (with less body horror).

    I'm close to finishing Outer Wilds, another absolutely lovely game (with some great music). It's a shame there aren't more people here that played it; it's one of those games that I think would become even more enjoyable if you can talk to others about it.

    I was going to get back to Hitman afterwards, but I think I might get Disco Elysium at launch. It looks like exactly the kind of weird, pretentious, heavy-on-prose RPG that I've been looking for ever since I first played Planescape Torment.

  19. #13294
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I wanna say stuff about Outer Wilds, but it's very much a mood game, and I just haven't been in the mood. I'll get to it.

    Disco Elysium seems like another potential distraction that I should well enough not add to the backlog, but ambition has always been something I can't resist. As with all ambitious projects though, it looks like they're going to have their issues. Apart from being the team's first game, the previews mention there's just too much stuff going on, and it's hard to focus on the through-line. But that sounds just fine to me; if there's quality in there, I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet.

  20. #13295
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I absolutely agree with you re: Outer Wilds, though in this case I have to say I also had to push myself to get back into it and stay with it. Not because it's not good, but because it rewards a bit of staying power. I got into the mood by playing the game, rather than waiting to be in the mood in order to play the game. That doesn't always work, but it did in this case and I'm glad it did.

    As far as Disco Elysium is concerned, I'm sure I read somewhere that it's not a particularly *long* game but one that can be replayed. I don't necessarily do the latter much these days, and when I do I tend to make more or less the same choices again, but I am definitely up for an RPG that isn't epic but shallow. I also dig the 'Life on Mars reimagined by China Miéville' vibe I get from what I've seen so far.

  21. #13296
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Anyone playing Forager? Completely addicting. One of the better crafting and grinding games I've played. It's got that heroin type hook that keeps pushing you to build one more thing, mine just a little more ore, or explore just a bit further. Playing on the Switch, and it feels perfect for that platform. If I had to compare it to other games though, I'd say it's a mix between Minecraft, Stardew Valley, and Factorio (haven't played that last one, just watched vids).

    One of the things I love about the game is that it gives you very little help, and there are multiple points in the game where you make "eureka" type breakthroughs on how to get something done. One task that seems virtually impossible one moment (I have to make 1000 of those?) suddenly becomes manageable after you figure something out. It does a great job of pushing you further and keeping your interest.

  22. #13297
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post
    Heaven's Vault is absolutely worth anyone's time if they like the idea of piecing together an alien language through form and context (and the UI to review your progress is simple and elegant). The narrative is also a cultural exploration of sorts (including the age-old sci-fi theme of machine and human dichotomy, but with a fair few interesting tweaks) that feels very thoughtful, and there's a lot of unused space in gaming for slow and thoughtful experiences.
    10 hours in I have learned to love it. I didn't have the best start with it, expecting to more or less fully focus on the language thing and at first I was annoyed when this wasn't the case, but, as I played on, I let go of my expectations and got to appreciate the game being so much more than I expected it to be. The bit that surprised me the most was how much there is to explore and new sites keep popping up. Appreciated is also the little extras put in while sailing.

    If you, like me, ever played Destiny 2 and wished it were more of an exploration game with more story and less shooting, Heaven's Vault is that game. It's like a puzzle version of D2 (minus the shooting, obviously, because totally opposite genre). I sort of liked D2 for what it was and the environments were amazing, but started to feel empty and the gameplay got tired after a while. This does definitely not happen in HV, not only because the genre suits my personality better, but because calling it "story-rich" is very much not overstating things. The story soon branches out and I get the feeling there's more story than what fits in just one playthrough. It touches on various subjects without it feeling forced (so far). I like watching the relationship develop between the main character and her mechanical assistant/companion.

    After an hour of a slight grinding of teeth, I started to appreciate things that at first annoyed me. There are also a few annoyances I still wish wasn't there, like some awkward camera angles, cutscene transitions in and out of buildings or scenes, sometimes triggering when I least expect it, forcing me to wait for the cutscene to finish before being able to go back if I want to explore more. The timed dialogue trees at first made me think I was missing out, but I got used to them and now they feel natural (probably more like how people in general converse in real life even if I could wish for some more forethought there too).

    TL;DR: Heaven's Vault is amazing, despite a rough start.

  23. #13298
    Beat the Council.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with assessments that Episode 4 was bad. The "weird plot twist" is something players would have seen coming a mile away given even a passing familiarity with classical and occult literature. I mean.... FFS Lord Mortimer has a huge copy of the painting "The Nightmare" hanging above his desk. You'd have to be an idiot to miss that and other even more obvious clues. Lord Mortimer obviously has a massive ego and he's the type of person who enjoys dropping hints about what's actually going on because he's fully counting on everyone around him being too stupid to notice.

    One aspect I do love about the game is that "choices" don't just matter but your success in figuring things out matters as well. There's some small items where if you don't notice them the first time then you'll be missing out on crucial clues to later puzzles or social confrontations that in turn can adversely impact the game's ending. It isn't so much a case of "You did X therefore Y" but that you make things more difficult for yourself later on which can easily cascade into even bigger fuckups. For example: Depending on how badly you've pissed off some characters, they may not answer some questions about a relic you're quietly hunting for which in turn can lead to your trump card being useless because you picked the wrong holy artifact. Even if you did screw that up there's still an alternative way to solve that problem that's entirely possible to figure out but requires the player to actually think about the logic of the problem they're up against

    That said Episode 5 was terrible and very clearly rushed. It quickly rushes you through some rehashed social interactions, a series of puzzles that make zero sense in context of the setting that's been established so far, and ends in an extremely anti-climactic fashion.

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