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Thread: NOW what are you playing?

  1. #13326
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    That's got to be the most tedious gameplay video that I've ever seen though... I mean, come on, the guy spends almost two hours trying to solve that spider puzzle!

    Oh hang on, that's your youtube channel isn't it? Oops! You really like those old school FMV games, don't you?

  2. #13327
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Yeah thats me lol. I absolutely LOVE FMV games. I completely get that most people hate them, but I really like em. I should trim down that video.

    That spider puzzle was just evil. It only gets more evil after that. The Maze for example:

    Last edited by icemann; 2nd Nov 2019 at 23:25.

  3. #13328
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Played a bit of Synthetik from the latest Humble Monthly. Judging by the screenshots I was expecting it to be like Crusader: No Remorse, but while there are some similarities, this is just hectic non-stop action and not much else. I often found it hard to tell which objects worked as a cover and which ones didn't (the screenshot below isn't a very good example of this). I think that there might be a lot of depth to this game, with all the different objects and things that you can upgrade, but it's still not my cup of tea.


  4. #13329
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    I'm playing New 'n Tasty: Oddworld Abe's Oddysee remastered. My girlfriend said she watched a previous boyfriend play the original version years ago and she liked watching him play, so I bought the remastered version during the Halloween sale and I'm playing it now while she's watching and providing free commentary . We're really enjoying doing this together, and after this game I'll try playing Limbo and Inside with her, I've shown her gameplay footage of Limbo and she liked the atmosphere and creepiness. She also happens to know the ancient Bitmap Brothers game Gods, so I think I'll grab that off an abandonware site and fire it up in DosBox to give her a nostalgic experience.

    As for the game, it looks gorgeous, runs great on my machine and plays well with my Xbox One controller. It's a lot easier than the original version, because of a quicksave/load function, where the original only had checkpoints. I'm playing it on normal, of course hard would be more difficult, but still, with the quicksave function it's still probably easier than the original game (which didn't have difficulty settings IIRC). There's also a co-op mode and I've suggested this to her, I'd buy a second controller for her in a heartbeat, but she said she likes to watch me play rather than play herself, because she says she's not that good and just gets frustrated with her own lack of skills.

    Doing this kind of stuff together is a lot of fun!

  5. #13330
    Member
    Registered: May 2000
    Location: state of quantum entanglement
    Quote Originally Posted by Renzatic View Post
    I'm using this big thumb operated bastard right here. I considered a finger operated trackball, but I realized I'm far more used to twiddling my thumbs for movement, and didn't want to push myself too far out of my comfort zone.
    Good idea if you ask me. I have been using trackballs for almost 25 years now and even so, when a few years ago I tried a finger-operated one (mostly so that I could try and switch hands from time to time) I pretty much bounced off it.

  6. #13331
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I've been wanting to replay Dishonored 2 for a while now, not least because of my still reasonably newish ultrawide screen. I started over the weekend and for me it's still the closest I've come to recapturing that old Thief feeling. IMO Arkane is one of the top studios when it comes to designing interesting, believable environments, and Dishonored's options for traversal make it very enjoyable to inhabit these spaces.

  7. #13332
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Quote Originally Posted by Marecki View Post
    Good idea if you ask me. I have been using trackballs for almost 25 years now and even so, when a few years ago I tried a finger-operated one (mostly so that I could try and switch hands from time to time) I pretty much bounced off it.
    I think the weirdest thing about it would be pressing the left mouse button with your thumb, like you're squeezing the thing. As is, I'm pretty well satisfied with my thumby roller.

    Overall, I'm amazed at just how quickly I acclimated to it. I kinda preempted Thirith above, and played through Dishonored 2 to get a feel for it. Before I was even halfway through the game, I wasn't even thinking about it anymore. It felt perfectly natural, and I found myself aiming with more precision than I do with a mouse. The only negative is that you can't do those quick 180 degree turn-on-dime flips as easily. It takes two big swooshes with my thumb, rather than 1 big swish with my wrist.

  8. #13333
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Finally dove into Ico. There was some talk about it in the Discord channel, and it was in my list for the "sadly neglected" games thread, so I figured why not. I'm really digging it, I like the minimalist approach, the lack of dialogue, simple but challenging puzzles, etc. I also kind of like how they set up the "escort" side of the game too, where your partner seems almost indifferent to helping you. But...

    The camera is bat shit crazy, nauseating at the very least, annoying as all hell at the worst. Guess I'm brushing it off as a product of the PS2 era. I really don't understand the rhyme or reason behind it, but I guess I'm getting used to it.

    And although the games have very different play styles, I'm getting huge Dark Souls vibes from the world and the environments.

    I'll take this opportunity too to pump the recently revised PlayStation Now service. I signed up for a year for 60 bucks, and there are some really good games available, seems like a great deal. I really like the idea of being able to fire up any game instantly, try it out, and if I don't like it, I just move on to the next thing. No waiting for downloads or installation. The streaming worked great for me too, so no issues there. The obvious downside is not having the games permanently, but I see several games on their list like Ico which are likely one timers for me - Gravity Rush, Resogun, Siren, Tearaway, and so on.

  9. #13334
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    At least part of the reason you're getting Dark Souls vibes from Ico, I think - at least this is true for how I experienced both - is because both share a sense of real architectural construction in their spaces. Ico's castle is designed as an actual castle with all its scale and vastness and empty, echoing spaces that form a coherent, mentally mapped location in your mind, just as exploring a building would in reality. And much of Dark Souls' environmental design shares a similar sense of physical spaces and architecture that could actually exist, fantasy trappings notwithstanding. It's part of what makes the experience really special, that feeling of exploring a location that evokes the real world in its intricacy and interconnectedness.

  10. #13335
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    To me it was more like getting huge Ico vibes--really Shadow of the Collosus vibes, which if you play Ico, BTW, it's worth following up with SotC--from Dark Souls. It was clear to me DS took major inspiraion from it. It's also kind of built into that brand of open world jRPG's DNA though too.

  11. #13336
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    To me it was more like getting huge Ico vibes--really Shadow of the Collosus vibes, which if you play Ico, BTW, it's worth following up with SotC--from Dark Souls.
    Oh, you have to play SotC if you haven't, ICO or not. They are better as a pair, but SotC was just great. I played them on PS3.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I've been wanting to replay Dishonored 2 for a while now, not least because of my still reasonably newish ultrawide screen. I started over the weekend and for me it's still the closest I've come to recapturing that old Thief feeling. IMO Arkane is one of the top studios when it comes to designing interesting, believable environments, and Dishonored's options for traversal make it very enjoyable to inhabit these spaces.
    I have an ultrawide too and I feel you on the movement and traversal. It's one thing I loved in Dishonored 1, and it has the best mantling mechanic.

    With the ultrawide I found the Dishonored 2 demo a little nauseating. And then the options for traversal TOO open. I always feel like I've missed something, but I have to play D2 eventually.

  12. #13337
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    @SubJeff:
    I've not had any problems with Dishonored 2's ultrawide implementation. I wonder if it was partly the game's technical hiccoughs that made it feel nauseating. Every time I play a Dishonored game, though, I have to retrain myself that the world is as vertical as it is horizontal and that there may not be a good way of knocking everyone in a room out before I can proceed.

    Apart from that, I'm about to finish Dark Souls 3. I banged my head against the wall that is the final boss a few times last night before going to bed. Having said that, I've not yet touched any of the DLC, but I'm thinking that I might give myself a bit of a break and only return to Lothric in a while.

  13. #13338
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I'm playing Whispers of a Machine, a game from an old favourite genre of mine, 2D point'n'clicks, which has been enjoyable so far. The puzzles are mostly about applying real-life solutions to real-life problems, and no goat moustaches yet (although I don't mind those so much). You also get a couple of augments and devices (applied and controlled on-screen by the player (as opposed to by the player character)) to help with the investigation (you play as an agent investigating a murder or two). Last time I played I was a little stuck, but hopefully I'll figure it out next time I play. Recommended if you like the genre.

  14. #13339
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Finished off the 13th Doll a Fan Game of the 7th Guest, playing as Tad. I still have a play through playing as the Doctor.

    I REALLY enjoyed this game. It perfect recaptures the magic of the 7th Guest and the 11th Hour (much more so 7th Guest). Puzzles that whilst hard, have a very logical vibe to them. Like a puzzle of having to press every numbered key on a piano (where each turn you press 2 numbered keys, which add up and must be equivalent to one of the other remaining numbered keys), or placing chess queens on a board without any being able to strike each other. The FMVs are cheesy, and that is exactly the point. The 7th Guest and the 11th Hour were filled with cheesy FMVs.



    The music when you hear it is good, though there are silent moments. Henry Stauff is great as ever. The guy hadn't played the part in 20 years, and played it like he'd never stopped. It's definitely not a game for everyone, due to the style of the gameplay. It is 100% puzzles, that's it. I loved it, but I'm the target demographic for it. Quite a bit of gameplay to it. More so than either of the 2 previous games, plus you have 2 playable characters with branching paths. I've yet to play as the second character, but as I suspect that certain rooms of the mansion which were inaccessible to me as Tad will be accessible as the Doctor and vice versa. As I said previously though, this is why I love Kickstarter. This game deserves to be counted as an official 7th Guest game. Well they are charging for it, and they do have the permission of the original devs + have the Henry Stauff actor back, but having the "a fan game of the 7th Guest" in it's title does not give the game the honor it deserves. I personally think they should just call it "The 13th Doll - 7th Guest 3".

  15. #13340
    I finished the main story Costume Quest yesterday (EGS freebie). A cute little game about kids and halloween. I would not call it a RPG, as you have absolutely zero impact on the story or characters beyond completing the game or not.

    Still, if you're in the mood for a relatively short, charming and wholesome experience, give it a go.

  16. #13341
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I finished Eastshade yesterday: 18 hours and all but two quests completed. As I was leaving the island, I regretted not being allowed to say farewell to everyone before leaving. Even got a little sentimental. Then the second ending kicked in, which was a nice touch. Also got a little seasick when going by boat, because if you collide with something your boat might wobble sideways, together with the player camera.

    There are over 30 quests, so there's plenty to do. Many are fetch quests, some span over the entirety of the game, and some require exploration, getting new vehicles or tools, crafting, some puzzle solving, messaging and so on. If you do all quests, you will talk to and get to know a lot of different people with different backstories.

    I tried to be polite or nice to everyone, but you might still piss people off, because there are a few conflicts that you can get involved in, choosing sides. Because of this, there was one quest I chose not to take on. Now, for a second playthrough, I could go back and be a total dick to everyone just to see how far the game allows me to take that. After I had finished the game the first time, I watched someone else play and they actually got in a bit of a fistfight by consequently and repeatedly escalating a conflict whenever possible (there were plenty of chances to stop).

  17. #13342
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I bought Children of Morta for the Switch, but I can't play it yet. Stupid me didn't see that it's not releasing until the 20th, so I'm stuck here staring at the damn icon.

    ...makes me so mad.

  18. #13343
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I'm going through games now like there's no tomorrow, and right now I'm playing Eliza, one of the best visual novels I've played in a while. I remember trying out the Eliza bot, that the game is named after, at uni, because it was included in the most common text editor. Luckily, the game's fictional namesake does have better grammar... So, the game is basically about the therapy tech industry and the people in it. Lots of social commentary. Good voice acting. Competent writing. Slightly stereotypical characters maybe. Might be meant as satire or for emphasis, though; I haven't yet decided what I think about it. I mean, those characters do exist in the real world, but maybe too much generalizations about the superficial groups they happen to belong to. Maybe. The characters do feel more real and multi-faceted than in many other visual novels. The writing is a lot better too.

    One character is actually on the asexual spectrum (without being described as broken), which is a first; nice to see some representation. I cannot help thinking that the devs took the easy way out, though, but I shouldn't complain. Still, it would have been even more impressive to see an asexual male character. We do face some of the same issues or attitudes regardless of gender, but there are also a few more gender-specific things to deal with. Also, I still have to see how that sidestory develops; the writers may still have an ace or two up their sleeve (pun intended).

    I don't yet know how much my choices matter, but, well, there are choices to be made every once in a while, although not very often. There's also some interactivity besides the reading, including a game of solitaire on your phone.

    Edit:
    I forgot to follow up on Whispers of a Machine. I'm still enjoying it, although I have stopped playing for a while and am yet to finish it. There are some issues common to many adventure games, namely linearity; things have to be done in a specific order even if any other order is just as reasonable and quite possible. This means that some items will appear to be just part of the background until you have done something else first, which means you might overlook them later. There are reminders, as you can hilight all interactable items in a scene -- which also takes care of the otherwise oh so common problem of pixel hunting -- but I still prefer it when things are consistent throughout. Also, things always requiring one extra step is part of the genre (turning a valve is never just turning a valve; it's always rusted shut, broken, or missing). It's almost an in-joke by now, and the puzzle solving, which is also part of the genre, wouldn't be what it is without it, and I play these games just as much for the puzzles as for the stories being told. The story in this one is a take on the, now kind of age-old, subject of "AI taking over the world".

    I also got started on Memorrha, a puzzler based on binary logic, but lost interest as it got too tedious after a while (the game froze once, which means I have to redo one of the most tedious parts, which, in a way was sort of unique and fun, but preferable only once). I might finish it later, but there are other games I'd rather play. One thing to note is that the puzzles start out very simplistic, but later in the game, more complex variations are added, so don't judge the game only by how it starts.

    Edit 2:
    The one thing I really dislike with Whispers of a Machine is the comic relief character. It's said in-game that all kids love him, but I know I would have disliked him even as a kid; he's just annoying. I have always disliked that kind of character in any piece. Overall, though, it's not a bad game.
    Last edited by qolelis; 15th Nov 2019 at 19:44.

  19. #13344
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    Eliza was already on my wishlist, but that description is intriguing enough to make it a priority.

    All my consoles and some of my games were stolen a few months ago, and my main PC runs Linux, so gaming has been sparse as of late.

    I did quite enjoy Knytt Underground, an exploration platformer in the tradition of... well, Knytt and Knytt Stories (both free). The controls are, as usual for Nifflas, precise and satisfying. You switch between two characters: one a humanoid who can climb any vertical surface, in a world entirely free of spikes, the other the spheroid from Within a Deep Forest (also quite good, and free), whose movement is based on momentum and ricochets. A great deal of thought has been put into the races and characters, but the overall plot is merely decorative, a fact the game itself notes. The protagonist is explicitly mute, but has two close friends (fairies, following her around) who can speak for her. Instead of dialogue options, you have the choice of whether to send the fulsome or the cynical friend to represent you. I thought this was a clever spin on the lack of agency players have in game conversations. The art is nice, although occasionally tending towards the "assets from an asset shop" problem; the music and sound design is superb, entirely based on atmosphere and mood rather than distinct melodies.

    I also played a big custom hold for DROD RPG. You know how a big aspect of RPG battles is resource management? This is an entire game about that resource management. The amount of health, gold, keys and monsters in the world is fixed, and there is no such thing as grinding. Every monster you face offers at least two options, whether to kill it right away and reap an immediate reward, or come back later when you can kill it using fewer resources. Some offer additional choices; for example, two monsters may block different paths, one of them easier to fight with an offensive build, the other with a defensive build; for another example, you might choose between fighting a gauntlet of monsters to get to a juicy prize, or spending a key to skip most of them. Every weapon and armor upgrade is a big deal, and the accessories have a variety of effects. Intelligent play requires thoughtfulness and the ability to weigh disparate options, while optimal play often requires crazy plunges into dangerous territory on a razor-thin margin of resources, in order to grab a big prize and then trounce the earlier sections you skipped.

    ...And then there were other games I didn't enjoy as much.
    Last edited by Anarchic Fox; 17th Nov 2019 at 23:41.

  20. #13345
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    I have tried a couple of visual novels. Some have definitely been better than others, but it's still hard to find the good ones. Most are about empowerment: all endings are good endings in some way or another and everything revolves around the player character. All characters are often slightly exaggerated, supposedly to make things more direct and easier to quickly get into. Even the "slice of life" ones get a little cheesy in this regard. Eliza is no different, except that it also tries to say something about the world around us, about technology and human connection, and I think it does it well enough to stand out. The characters have lives of their own and are not just vehicles for the player's success and/or happiness. Eliza also doesn't share that flowery writing style that is otherwise so common for visual novels, which helps making the characters and events feel real, especially the dialogues.

    During my first playthrough, some characters were more developed than others, who instead felt more like caricatures to some degree, but there are a couple of scenes I never triggered and I guess those will help you learn more about each character. I would have to replay the full game to know for sure.

  21. #13346
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Maupertuis
    It's very strange. There are many types of stories that can be told in novels, yet it seems like there are rather few types of stories that can be (effectively) told in visual novels. Maybe the term "novel" was a misstep for the genre, and they should have been called "dialogue games" or something.

  22. #13347
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Gamebooks work brilliantly in them. Quite a few of the "Fighting Fantasy" gamebooks have been converted over.

  23. #13348
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Anarchic Fox View Post
    It's very strange. There are many types of stories that can be told in novels, yet it seems like there are rather few types of stories that can be (effectively) told in visual novels.
    I don't know if that's a limitation of the genre or if it's because the genre isn't attracting the best writers!? Visual novels are seldom great literature and it might have gained a bit of reputation(?), so those that could make a difference are dissuaded even more. There's also the whole "games as art versus entertainment" debate.

    Eliza, on the other hand, is, I think, a big step in the right direction, and could perhaps inject some quality into the genre. It's made by people who have already established themselves as quality devs and who have the resources to find and hire good writers, good voice actors, and so on. If they continued to make more visual novels, they could perhaps give the genre a new life. Looking at their other games, though, this might be a one time thing.

  24. #13349
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I might have a skewed perspective on visual novels, because I'm an avid reader and have been somewhat into IF as well, but the few I have tried have been pretty great: The Zero Escape series, Steins;Gate, Doki Doki Literature Club, Cinders, Phoenix Wright games, The Silver Case (love me some Suda51), etc.

  25. #13350
    Is fallen order actually good or are the reviewers blowing smoke up my ass?

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