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Thread: What ARE you playing in 2020?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen

    What ARE you playing in 2020?

    I know, I know, we've tried to break away from the big old megathread before and it hasn't worked. The old thread has become so huge that I feel it's a shame that all those posts will be lost in time, like tears in rain. But hey, a new year and a new decade has just started - the future is here, folks! What would be a better time to start a new thread like this?! We could make it a yearly thing perhaps, that would make things neat and organised, and much nicer to navigate.

    Perhaps this will be just another failed attempt to escape the gravitational pull of the Megathread, but let's give it a try and see if we can hit the escape velocity, eh?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I'll get the ball rolling! I started the new decade with A Short Hike.

    I remember henke recommending this a couple of months ago, and I installed the game back then, but didn't end up actually playing it. Happens quite often to me, actually. Then, just the other day henke compared A Short Hike to Little Big Adventure 2, and that's what really convinced me - within a few minutes I was holding the Xbox One controller in my hand and gliding across the screen as a bird called Claire.

    Now this is the ultimate feel-good game. A Short Hike is literally rather short (you could probably easily finish it in less than an hour if you don't care about exploring), but I think I had a smile on my face throughout the whole game, I even got a few good laughs. I love the silly conversations with the other animals and the little quests. There's not much challenge in the game; you can't die or anything, and there aren't many things out there to stop your progress. It's all about exploring and having a fun time really, and I like it that way. Gliding through the air looking for interesting spots to explore is a lot of fun.

    No AAA graphics or super fancy game mechanics here either, this is a small indie game after all, but I like the simplicity of everything. The basic controls are very easy and smooth, and the game looks quite stylish. I do wish that the graphics were just a little bit less pixelated though - everything looks adorable enough as it is, but just a bit more detail would make it perfect in my opinion. The music fits in just fine and adds to the relaxing atmosphere.

    My only complaint is the length of the game - the fun ends way too soon! You find all these different tools that have the potential for some light puzzles and treasure hunting, but just when it feels like the adventure is really about to start, the end credits start rolling in. You can of course come back after that and explore as much as you like and play the "side-quests", but pretty soon you've seen just about everything that the game has to offer.

    A Short Hike is so good that it wins my award for the best 2019 game. Admittedly it's also the only 2019 game that I've played at this point, but even if it wasn't, A Short Hike would still be a very strong contender, which is quite remarkable for such a short game. I also must say that henke's comparison was very apt; there's something very much like LBA2 in this game indeed, and it can only be a good thing. Here's hoping for a sequel!


  3. #3
    > We could make it a yearly thing perhaps, that would make things neat and organised, and much nicer to navigate.

    Ugh. I've always been anti the "WAYP" megathread, but intentionally splitting it into multiple megathreads seems like the worst of both worlds. The only way to read about specific games in these things is to use the "search in thread" feature. Please don't make users end up having to do that repeatedly, in lots of separate megathreads, in order to find out whether people have been talking about a given game and locate the specific posts.
    Last edited by Shadowcat; 1st Jan 2020 at 20:43.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: I think I've been here
    I'm playing Life is Strange 2 together with my wife. We both played the first one. While LiS2 has a lot of the points down that made its predecessor great (atmosphere, quiet moments, scenes with high emotional impact) and some of its weaknesses (facial animations), LiS2 also has some own problems. Sometimes there isn't much to do and it plays like a movie for several minutes. And I don't know if it's us and the decisions we make, but in LiS2 I have seen the man behind the curtain a bit too often, pushing the narrative forward, regardless of our "decisions", which turn out to be inconsequential if the game wants to go elsewhere. We're into the 3rd (of 5) episode now and I'm sure we'll finish it and love it.
    I'm just starting to think that somewhere there's a game inside both LiS games that isn't quite so strange, not chock full of dramatic life changing events, but a bit more subtle and able to find the heartbreak in an ordinary life.

  5. #5
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Glad to hear you liked A Short Hike, Tomi!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    The only way to read about specific games in these things is to use the "search in thread" feature.
    PSA: a better way to search for specific games/topics on ttlg(or any website) is to google "site:ttlg.com [search term]"

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Currently replaying Dishonored 2 and Hitman (2016), and both of these definitely benefit from an ultrawide screen. I don’t actively take in the edges, but they provide something akin to peripheral vision, which in these games is both beneficial and immersive.

    I’m also replaying The Last of Us in preparation for the sequel, and I’m reminded once again that I’m actually not a huge fan of the gameplay (it’s okay but I suck at it and I don’t actively enjoy it), but I love the world, environments and characters.

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I also found the combat to be the weaker point in an otherwise near perfect game. And I really can't fathom how they have an online multiplayer mode. I wonder if anyone actually plays it...

  8. #8
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I did enjoy the stealth/action gameplay in TLOU, and did play a few rounds of the MP. It's indeed an odd fit for such a game, but kinda fun.

    I saw Driver 1-remake The Driver Syndicate had an update recently, so I downloaded it and gave it a whirl. The gameplay feels authentic to the original. Cars have a nice sense of weight to them and the cops are as tenacious as ever. There's no analogue-gamepad support so I ended up playing it with keyboard, just like I did back then. There's a few levels to pick from, and even Film Director mode. No way of saving clips tho, but at least we have Shadowplay for that these days. Here I'm nailing the job interview. It was as tough as you remember, I had to look up how to do some of the maneuvers online.


  9. #9
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Ooo, you've got an ultrawide now Thirith?
    Nice!

    I treated myself to an RTX2080 Super for Christmas, and after playing and finishing Prey (more thoughts on that in a bit), I started on Control to see wot all this ray tracing mullarkey's about.
    It's a fantastic game in its own right, a love-letter to SCP writ large, but the ray-tracing raises it to spectacular.

    However, even on my system, it takes a massive toll, and if I want all the bells and whistles, I have to knock the resolution down to 1920x1080 instead of 2560x1440.
    That makes it very playable indeed, but I can see that nVidia's ray tracing tech is either still in its infancy, or Remedy need to iron out some bugs in their engine.
    Frequently, textures won't load properly, indicating the card's RAM is being overloaded, and there's some weird artefacts, like odd lighting stripes around corners.

    But technical gubbinz aside, I'm having a whale of a time with it. It's weird and inventive, and leans in to the horror aspect of SCP, which is very welcome. It's also very Soulsy and Metroidvania in its level design, which is a refreshing change for a Remedy game.
    And it plays some nice tricks with level design too, just enough that you're never entirely sure about where you are in The Oldest House. I love seeing inventive level design, and since Dishonored 2 and Titanfall 2, it seems like other developers have really upped their games.


    And with that, time to talk about Prey, which is probably my favourite "pure" ImSim in years, if not ever.
    I loved this pretty much all the way through, even the ending, which I'd read had been a bit badly received. Personally, I had no problems with it.
    What was a real revelation for me, to the extent that I had no previous idea it was in the game at all, was the amount of zero gravity stuff.
    Now THIS is what I want in a game set in space! Hell, the entire game could have been zero G as far as I'm concerned.
    Floating around outside the station looking for hidden bits, zooming through G.U.T.S whilst traversing from one end to the other, this is the good stuff.
    I loved Lone Echo to bits, but felt it could have been longer and more involved. And well, Prey gave me that.
    On top of that, there's a lot to be said for the game taking place all on one station with lots of backtracking. You gradually build familiarity with the station, to the extent that like some early FPS games, I'm sure that there are sections of Talos I I'll be able to recall years down the line. It was also great seeing areas that were sealed due to breaches, then being able to navigate your way to them while outside the station. Brilliant stuff.

    I also like that Arkane have polished their systems to a fine sheen, realising that experience systems aren't needed, whilst retaining a decent feeling of progression through NeuroMods and suit / Psychoscope chips.
    I did wonder why I kept getting blueprints for weapons I already had, but then realised that there's a weapon wear-and-tear option in the survival mode.

    First play-through, I only went for human mods, so I'll probably try either an alien or no-mods run when I get around to playing it again. But that won't be any time soon, as I have all sorts of other stuff to get through, including the similar (but nowhere near as polished) Breathedge which Henke chucked my way for Christmas.

    Breathedge also features zero-G heavily, but plays more like a Subnautica-style survival experience, which I'm not massively fond of. Survival mechanics often feel like busywork to extend longevity. However, there's enough humour and prettiness to keep me engaged. The idea of utilising an immortal chicken to resolve numerous space-based issues is ridiculous enough to tickle me.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowcat View Post
    Ugh. I've always been anti the "WAYP" megathread, but intentionally splitting it into multiple megathreads seems like the worst of both worlds.
    Oh, I dunno! During the year 2019 the old megathread got 31 new pages, and while that's quite a lot for a thread, it's hardly mega. I'd say that that's still a lot more convenient to navigate and browse through than a 500-page monster - it wouldn't even take that long to just click through the pages. I gotta admit that I've never been the biggest fan of the WAYP threads either, but I acknowledge that such a thread has its uses. I think people should be less afraid to perform some thread necromancy though!

    I can't decide what to play next. I finished Yakuza 0 just before the year changed, and it was such an exhausting (but awesome) experience that took a lot of my time, that I need something lighter now. A Short Hike was the perfect game for this occasion, and I guess I'm looking for something similar. I wanted to give Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun a try (not thinking that it's light, I've just been meaning to play it for so long) but I soon noticed that I need to invest some serious time in it to enjoy it, so I gave up with it for now. I then fired up Horizon Chase Turbo, knowing that it won't take too long of my time.



    Horizon Chase Turbo is one of those retro racing games, if you've ever played OutRun or Crazy Cars for example, this is a modern version of those. It's got some delightfully colourful shiny retro-style graphics, but same sort of driving "physics" and handling that already felt outdated thirty years ago. Well, I guess it wouldn't be a retro racer otherwise. The driving couldn't be more simple and winning races is a bit too easy - no doubt it'll get more challenging later on though! All the different surfaces and weather conditions feel pretty much the same, good enough reflexes is all that you need in this game. It's not all bad though, I played Horizon Chase Turbo for an hour and had a pretty good time, but then the game started to repeat itself too much. There seems to be quite a lot of different locations, lots of unlockable cars and ways to upgrade them, but none of it seems to make the racing itself much more interesting.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I started playing Final Fantasy 15 and digging it. Feels like a very un-Final Fantasy game but in a good way. The intro with pushing the car sets the mood perfectly and carries it throughout it. The game does an amazing job of conveying that "a road trip with the boys" experience and there's so many nice little touches, from the FF music on the radio, to the camera angles and vistas when driving, to Prompto taking photos, to Ignis having that "responsible adult" scolding tone. Nice.

    I just got to the part where your homeland gets invaded and your papa gets kill and that was a good plot twist that changes the tone, altho I think it lacked depth due to me not having any real idea who my dad was aside from the brief 1-minute scene in intro. I hear there's a prequel anime I should've watched or something?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: flapping in the wind
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomi View Post
    What would be a better time to start a new thread like this?! We could make it a yearly thing perhaps, that would make things neat and organised, and much nicer to navigate.
    I think we should go exactly the opposite way and append all the latter megathreads to the original one and have a single ludicrous thread. Having a bunch of 500 page threads has no benefit over having a single several thousand page thread since no one's going to read through it page by page in either case, and having a single several thousand page thread has the benefit of being a bit funny. I'm always a little sad when someone makes a new one.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    To balance this out somewhat: I would be sad if there were only megathreads, but I think it's naive to think that without them, the TTLG forums would thrive. If we all started individual threads on the games we're currently playing, I'm pretty sure that what would happen is this: you'd get a handful of threads with half a dozen posts at best, but the majority of people won't post, because it's depressing to start a thread and get one or two or, much of the time, zero responses. The up-front effort isn't worth the expected result to many people. Obviously it's something of a self-fulfilling prophecy, but I think it's one that's borne out by experience. At this point in time TTLG isn't big enough, it isn't dynamic enough, to generate activity that actually feels active over many threads, more so when you've got individual threads dedicated to sometimes pretty niche games. It's great when it happens and when someone posts such a thread, and I do think these are necessary as well, but to keep people engaged you need to have activity, and you're more likely at this time to have that in threads that are more about chat than about in-depth discussion. I am pretty certain (and yes, again, I know this veers into the territory of self-fulfilling prophecy) that without more general threads like the megathreads as an underlying engine, the TTLG forums would feel like correspondence chess, and I suspect that if that were to happen, even more people would leave. I know I would, because I can have more, better engagement with the TTLGers I'm closest to elsewhere.

    tl;dr - Based on my experience here and on a number of other forums, I think that a community of this size needs both very general chat threads and more specific discussions. It's the combination that keeps people engaged. Take away either and you're likely to lose people, unless your community is big enough and active enough so that a bunch of very specific threads actually get enough posts to look and feel alive.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    The method I go by is when I just want to mention a game that I'm currently playing, then it goes here / in the megathread. When it's something I want to discuss in depth, then I do it in it's own thread. Also if it's something I really want to bring to peoples attention, then that's in a separate thread.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Which I absolutely think makes sense. It's also how I tend to do it.

  16. #16
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Yeah that's how to do it. I thought about making a thread for Jedi: Fallen Order soon after I started playing it but I'm glad I held off because this game is turning out to be uhhhhhh KINDA CRAP.

    When you're just fighting one enemy it's kinda Souls-ish but not as satisfying because every hit feels oddly impact-less like you're hitting dudes with a foam bat or something, and when you're fighting groups of enemies it's just straight up FUCKING ANNOYING. I started off on Jedi Master difficulty cuz I wanted that Jedi Dark Souls feel but when it got too annoying to wanna continue playing I turned it down to Jedi Master (medium) and honestly it's more enjoyable/less annoying this way. More like a Jedi Arkham Asylum feel. It's ok.

    Also playing GRIS at the mo, I'll do a write-up when I'm done with it.

  17. #17
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    What, you want this Dark Souls Jedi game to feel like Dark Souls but you're hitting dudes? Here's something I wrote elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur, somewhere else
    ...but really, this game will stick a katana up your arse without buying you dinner first.

    And then - then you just keep at it, until you realise that, oh my dear god, there's a strategy to these battles after all. Usually, you get just a glimpse of something that works before you get eviscerated, but that's enough: you try again, and you figure it out. Some bosses need to be constantly attacked; some, to be deflected, then countered; some you chase, and some you use a prosthetic tool for; and for others, you try a different skill or google various flavours of cheese. But for all of them, you study their stances, their frames, and you react. And when you've got it down, the dance of blades clashing and sparks flying in that relentless sword ballet that you - you - are responsible for on your screen is one of the purest joys in gaming until with a final stab, blood ejaculates across the threshold from an enemy's severed artery in an obscene fountain of catharsis.
    You know what that is, henke? It's goddamn Sekiro.

    Having said that: Jedi Fallen Order is fine. Sure, the light saber combat is (literally) bloodless, but it's solid. You block, parry, dodge. Like Sekiro, but with more second-degree burns (those are some good eruptions of sparks in them duels). It's a fun Metroid Souls thing with gorgeous graphics and a lightsaber that was FINALLY DESIGNED AS A LIGHT SOURCE. Like, you hold it up, and it casts shadows. How about that. It's also easier than Sekiro, so it's my B-game to catch my breath before Sekiro pummels it out of my lungs.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 3rd Jan 2020 at 13:19.

  18. #18
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I just wanted the Dark Souls feels without it being a whole, exhausting Dark Souls thang.

    Look, I don’t hate Jedi Fallen Order or anything. Although I do hate a lot about it.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    If you want a Dark Souls-feel game, play Blasphemous. Very much in that mold, but in 2D.

  20. #20
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    Or Salt and Sanctuary.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    For me, the 2D game that most successfully evoked Dark Souls yet was also its own thing is still Hollow Knight. I think it may just be my favourite Metroidvania/platformer of all time. I am very much looking forward to the sequel, although at the same time I think it's an almost impossible task. I find that I both do and do not want just more of the same.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    For me Hollow Knight was more a more harder Castlevania, though with more bouncing around. Singular enemies weren't too hard. Blasphemous though, yup you can get your ass kicked if your not careful. It's just really odd with the setting. And when you die, you leave behind stuff that you have to go back to the spot of your death(s) to reclaim, just like Dark Souls.

    Have a watch and make up your own mind:


  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Hey, I actually started playing Blasphemous yesterday! What a weird game. I like it so far though, especially now that I've started to figure out a bit how things work in this game. I'm still only a couple of hours in, but there's so much going on and so much to see.

    But damn, that whole setting is a bit messed up, isn't it? It brings back a memory from my childhood when we went to visit my very religious aunt. Of course I wanted to have a look around the house, and there was this one room upstairs full of Christian symbols: religious paintings, "bloody" crucifixes, angel figures, candles burning, that sort of stuff... I remember feeling so disgusted by it all, and in a way Blasphemous makes me feel like that as well. That sort of overly religious stuff has always freaked me out a bit, but in a game I suppose it can be uncomfortably entertaining.

    Hollow Knight is of course an excellent game and reminded me of Dark Souls as well, but while HK might be the better game, I think that Blasphemous takes the 2D Dark Souls aspect even further. HK is occasionally too cute and fun, whereas Blasphemous is the right kind of gloomy and disturbing and weird.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Melbourne, Australia
    Which is part of the Dark Souls experience. Having an usual dark setting and being like wtf all the time.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: flapping in the wind
    I've also been playing Blasphemous over the holidays and I'm enjoying it. The messed up vaguely Catholic iconography seems like such an obvious font of inspiration now that someone used it that I'm surprised games aren't full of the stuff, although I feel like they kinda peaked right at the start with the blood hat and haven't done anything equally delightful since. I was worried it might get too hard at some point, but I'm at the final boss now and there wasn't anything particularly infuriating up to this point, except maybe the Wall of the Holy Prohibitions boss who I managed to run into a bit too early while exploring. I gave up on the final boss after a few hopeless tries, but my sword is still missing a couple upgrade levels so it should be doable after hunting those down. All in all an enjoyable game, if a bit unpolished.

    I used to think that I don't like metroidvanias having never really played them in my 30+ year gaming history, but with this, Dead Cells, Ori and Hollow Knight it seems like it's in fact just about my favorite genre suddenly apart from the perennial 100-hour RPGs.

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