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Thread: What are you playing? (2022 Edition)

  1. #226
    El Shagmeister
    Registered: Jul 2000
    Location: Under your fingernails.
    FINALLY, finished my first from-start-to-finish playthrough with Teardown, spread over several sessions across several weeks. Phew...it was fun, but I am glad it's done. Thanks, henke, for gushing over this game in GenGaming, that's how I found out about it and got me curious enough to check it out when it came out from Early Access. Good times all throughout!

  2. #227
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Having torn myself away from Vampire Survivors on my Steam Deck, I'm now back to playing Streets of Rogue on it, which is still absolutely fantastic.
    I've also recently installed Heat Signature on my Deck, as I suspect that'll play really well on it.

    I've kinda given up on Elden Ring for the time being, finally being worn down by losing a level's worth of runes one too many times. I'm at the gargoyles, and there's no player summons around to help me with, and I just... can't be arsed anymore.
    There's a lot to like about the game, but it is still very noticeably just another iteration on Demon's Souls. Hell, I even ran across basilisks from Dark Souls.

    I have bought Hand of Merlin and Amazing Cultivation Simulator recently, but both have bugs that prevent me from playing them.

    Hand of Merlin insists on starting up on my second monitor, and doesn't let me change which monitor I'm using once launched.

    Amazing Cultivation Simulator, as with all these Dwarf Fortress / Rimworld clones, seems to be very dependent on keyboard controls and the mousewheel, so it's a shame they don't actually work.

    I mean, I can't rule out it being down to me running the games through Proton on Linux, but almost everything else works fine. The Hand of Merlin dev at the very least acknowledged my report on the Steam forums, so there's hope yet

    Seeing Thirith's just played Arkham Knight, I might install that. Origins put me off of the Batman games a bit, but that wasn't Rocksteady.

    I've also recently reinstalled Mad Max, which surprisingly, has a native Linux version, but I haven't fired it up yet.

  3. #228
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Glad you liked Teardown, Ducky! I still haven't played the full release. Malf, that's a lot of games!

    I've been playing How I Learned To Skate that came out last Friday:


    The controls are really unique and fun and the sensation of gliding on the ice is wonderful. A really one-of-a-kind game. Sadly it's also just too damn hard. I made it about 1,5h in before getting stuck on a section where you gotta control 2 characters at a time AND the controls are inverted for one of the characters AND there is intermittent scenery getting in the way of one character so you can't see what they're doing AND if you fail you get set back to the previous checkpoint. Yeah, not the current checkpoint, the PREVIOUS ONE! Needless to say once you start messing up it's easy for it to just snowball and pretty soon you're back at square one.

    Also been playing Hidden Deep, sidescrolling physics-heavy underground exploration thingy with strong Aliens vibes. It's a lot of fun but also kinda janky in it's current EA form and the objectives and systems are obtuse enough that I've needed a walkthrough on several occasions.

  4. #229
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    Malf, that's a lot of games!
    Ish.
    There's a lot in there that are games I've played before, but am currently using as filler.
    There's nothing on the horizon apart from the Steam release of Dwarf Fortress that's really got me excited, so I'm flailing around a bit playing things I've either played before, or that have been sat in my library for a while guilt-tripping me.

    I did actually start another colony in RImworld last night, as I'm hungering for something management-sim shaped, and Oxygen Not Included, while great, is too clever for me.
    There's been a lot of stuff added to ONI recently, but I'm never likely to see it as I struggle to keep all my plates spinning even at early-to-mid game.

    And the one constant I neglected to mention is Guild Wars 2, although that's taking a back-seat to other things recently. It's still got it's claws deep enough in to me that I log in every day to do my "dailies".
    The latest expansion, End of Dragons, left me cold and was noticeably developed by a team that had been downsized, with the only ones remaining being those who aren't as familiar with the franchise.
    Still, of all the MMOs out there, this is the one I come back to, as the combat is still really fun compared to others.

  5. #230
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I think Rimworld is one of the best for that genre in terms of having fun with it. Good pacing. You get invested in your colony. Good for telling a story. It's a tricky balance because if one of these games gets too micromanage-y or the stakes get too high like in Dwarf Fortress, that can be a rush, but it's almost too much and I won't want to go back to it. But I usually always feel good starting a new colony in Rimworld.

    The deep sim I got the deepest into was Caves of Qud, but that's really just a single player cRPG / Roguelike at heart with an open world to explore, not a colony game. But the depth and breadth of all these different systems running on top of each other is really interesting, and intense in bite sizes in the right way for a roguelike (where each move is life or death until you get yourself out, but you pick it up over time).

  6. #231
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Oddly, I find that if you don't mod for it or carefully plan the difficulty at the start of a game, Rimworld can often escalate faster than Dwarf Fortress. The thing that usually ends up killing my fortresses is framerate death.
    I'm really hoping that the Steam release does something to address this, as a lot of interesting systems don't start running in Dwarf Fortress until you reach a certain population level, by which time the fps is starting to tank.
    And it could be dangerous for the game on Steam if Toady doesn't address these issues, as I can see a lot of negative reviews claiming it's unplayable due to the framerate.

    But I know it's not an easy problem to solve, as the complexity of the simulation is both the main draw of the game and what drags the framerate down.
    Rimworld does scratch a lot of the same itches that DF does, but I inevitably lose interest when I realise there's no way for me to make interesting devices like in DF.
    And the lack of Z levels also restricts player expression when building structures.

  7. #232
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2008
    I bought a few racing games during the Steam racing sale and then felt the compulsion to also buy a wheel and pedals (just got a Logitech G920). I wasn't expecting it to be so much fun. My fears of peripheral decadence were a mistake, and I've been enjoying BeamNG plenty, along with Assetto Corsa, and a handful of old SimBin games.


  8. #233
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I too was leery of buying another wheel (also a Logitech), but four months later it still brings me great joy every time I lay my hands on it. It makes playing racing games feel like I'm developing a useful skill.

  9. #234
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2002
    Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    The older I get the fewer games grab my attention. Just because "I've seen it all", or they don't hook from the first seconds.

    But somehow I came across Observation, and it gave me strong wow-effect right from the beginning (like "wow, I am the onboard computer, I control cameras, read stuff and chose answers to the personnel. Totally different perspective"). And I got off only after I completed it, 14 hours. What a weird experience! And lots of fake endings, like "omg, that blowed my mind, aplauds... wait, it's not over?"

    Started playing GTA San Andreas (the old one, with widescreen patch and fixes). Never played it after it came out. Feels boring.

    But the games I spent hundreds hours in are Astroneer and Raft. Open world sandboxes. One is like minecraft (never played it though) but with voxel-based geometry. You appear on a planet, you have a backpack, a "vacuum cleaner", and there's a base which gives you oxygen and electricy. You soon realize you can absorb the surroundings freely, collect resources, and print various stuff using your built-in 3d-printer, like a larger printer, batteries, solar and wind panels and mechanisms. And poles with extension cord which provide you with oxygen and electricy from the base. The more you dig the more you learn about the place and meachanics. And you can dig underneath, exploring deep caves. The first impression that stroke me was realizing that the planet is round, then I found some artifact probably built by past intergalactic generation, and then built a rocket to travel between planets. There are tons of ways to live in the game: explore, harvest, build, automate. For me it's a perfect way to switch from my job routine.

    Another time killer, Raft, starts with you floating on a piece of wood in the ocean. All you have is a hook with a rope. And a bunch of random floatsome like plastic, wood and leafs. You quickly notice you can grab that stuff with the hook, which will break eventually, and you'll have to make a new hook using those resources. Also there's a shark trying to destroy your raft, and you have to deal with it. And you have hunger and thirst. And there are islands with more resources you cannot find on water. So you manage to stay alive, extend your raft, collect stuff and make things, and at some point you buld a radar which leads you to structures above water like large island, tower or an abandoned ship which are part of the story.

    Both games are co-op friendly, so if you feel alone you can invide your buddy and allocate duties.

  10. #235
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I realized I've been playing a lot of video games this year; usually I stop for months at a time, but I've been going pretty much continuously since the new year. Still plugging away at Gran Turismo (although I haven't received a single comment on that so far, so maybe I'll quit with the updates).

    Now I'm looking for some Switch games to bring on a three-week vacation coming up. First up is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. As much as I loved the turtles as a kid, I was never a huge fan of the NES games. But this is great. Nostalgia aside, it remedies my main issues with the old games: it's easier (or at least it can be if you set it so) and the controls are actually responsive. Plus all the little animation touches really give it character; for example, the first stage is at Channel 6 news, and when you get to the cooking soundstage, all the invading foot soldiers are wearing chef's hats and attack you with spoons. Oh, and apparently Ghostface and Raekwon have a song in it, with Ghostface rapping as Shredder and Raekwon as the turtles. That is cool.

    I'm also looking at Mario Maker 2, but I'm more interested in playing other peoples' level than creating my own, and I'm wondering if there are enough levels of intermediate difficulty to make it worthwhile. As much as I want to be a super expert, it's probably not going to happen.

    Also interested in Astral Chain and Mario 3D World, so if you've got any opinions on those I would like to hear them.

  11. #236
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Today I've been playing Stacklands. It's a chill city-building version of the Cult Simulator card mechanic. I like it. I've always liked that mechanic & it's nice to see it in another context. I kind of also want to give the mechanic my own spin at some point, so it's good to get more fodder on how to game it.

  12. #237
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I got started on The Pathless, but it hasn't clicked yet. There are so many things in the first half hour that make me think of Journey and think that Journey did it better. I had a similar problem with Abzu. Both games are doubtlessly lovingly made, but it almost feels to me like they came up with the tone first, namely pretty much the same tone as Journey, and then built everything else around it.

    I also started playing Invisible Inc, and while it took me a couple of attempts to get into it, I'm enjoying the game now - though I don't think I'll come to like it as much as XCOM, which it's often compared with. In these games, I like having the lethal option, because I'm always glad when an enemy is permanently out of my way.

  13. #238
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    How the heck is Invisible Inc. often compared with XCom? I mean, I guess they're both turn-based squad games, but...

  14. #239
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Continuing my downward spiral into mobile (well, tablet) gaming, I have been playing a bunch of oldies...

    Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lion - it's a classic and for good reason. I spent a ton of time mindlessly grinding (put an enemy to sleep and have your guys stand in a circle whacking each other) and re-working my party when I hit the final boss bottleneck. Followed some guides to unlock extra characters, became way OP and crushed everything.

    However, I think the game is way overcomplicated for it's own good. Different weapons and skills have different damage equations that rely on different stats without communicating that in any way, the job affects your character's growth when you level up in mysterious ways, some classes/skills perform better with certain genders, some things are affected by faith/bravery some are not, then there's also the zodiac compatibilities affecting things, terrain, weather, and god knows what else... the end result is less "wow so many systems to play with!" and more "wow I have no idea how this new skill/weapon I got will work". The only way to actually plan a build is to either follow an intricate guide, or painfully A/B test everything. It's not really necessary to min/max, but it was irritating having no idea why one of my characters deals 2x damage as the others when their stats are similar.

    Also, was I the only one who could just not follow the story at all? So many characters and clandestine meetings and name drops... I got the big picture and plot points but had a hard time understand wtf was going on moment to moment.

    EDIT: oh yea this has been said, but touch controls are ass. There were several points where I literally could not make my unit move to where I wanted because something was blocking the view and not letting me tap a position...

    Final Fantasy IV: Pixel Remaster - I played the other SNES final fantasies years ago, but always missed IV. I think it's most interesting to look at it through the lens of the time it was released in. It really felt like Square's attempt at trying to create a complex story with twists, characters, drama (so much (faux) death!) and multiple worlds. While a lot of it is cliche or too spelled out today, I can see how it was an impressive feat at the time it was released. You can really see it as a stepping stone to future FFs.

    As for the gameplay and the remaster, it's... well it's final fantasy, you know what you're getting. I have a (nostalgic?) soft spot for ATB and enjoyed it, although found it pretty simplistic compared to other FF titles (I love the job system of FF5). The remaster was fairly functional tho the mobile controls are a pain (but that is kinda true for most mobile controls imho). The autobattle and quicksaves were a godsend.

    Doom & Destiny - an RPGmaker game from 2011 where you play as a group of 4 nerds, magically teleported into a fantasy world spoofing a lot of nerdy stuff (from LOTR to DBZ). It's... exactly what it sounds like lol. A very (over)indulgent nerd fantasy from 2011, including plenty cringy jokes that I personally don't think aged all that great. Perhaps (like FF4) they would've been a lot more "fresh" at the time of the release, but playing it now I just rolled my eyes more than laughed. The world exploration tho is pretty interesting and there are a ton of secrets and even some pretty clever puzzles/gags. The battle system is fairly serviceable with a few more challenging battles requiring me to really put my mind to it. I beat it in around 7hrs and there's a ton of post-ending content to explore but... eeeh I think I'm done with these nerds.
    Last edited by Yakoob; 3rd Jul 2022 at 16:51.

  15. #240
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    @Pyrian "Compared with" != "Identical to". There's definitely some similarity there (beyond just the genre), though obviously the one is focused on combat and the other on stealth. How far the similarity goes is obviously up for discussion.

    Anyway... Having played some more The Pathless, I'm liking it better than I did to begin with. While I do think the devs are hewing too closely to the Journey template in some respect, there's enough here that's new, primarily in the movement/traversal mechanisms. It's the kind of game that I wouldn't want to play for 20 hours, but I take it that it's just a 4-5 hour experience, and for that length I think it's fine, even if I won't come away loving it.

  16. #241
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I liked Invisible Inc more than XCOM thanks to its lack of random dice rolley bullshit. Yeah there's randomness in how the levels are generated, but as for what actually happens IN the level it's all up to you. Felt a lot more fair.

  17. #242
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I was gaming so HARDCORE I had to do a timelapse



    Yeeeeeah Lawn Mower Simulator, babyyyyy! It's good lawnmowin'. If I'm being honest tho, this ridin' mower shit is for casuals. Real lawnmowin pros go for the push-mowers, which this game doesn't support since it's for babbys. I'm making a push-mower game for the hardcore crowd, I'll tell you more about it in due time.

  18. #243
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    After finishing The Pathless (it's nice enough, but I wasn't exactly bowled over), I decided that I'd finally replay Dishonored: Death of the Outsider in parallel with Invisible Inc. I love Arkane's level design, and Dishonored is the closest I've ever felt to old-school Thief. I also like the setup: playing Billie Lurk *feels* different to playing Emily or Corvo because of who she is, even if the Dishonored games tend to be quite muted in terms of many of the characters and personalities.

    At the same time, Death of the Outsider doesn't exactly have the best levels/environments in the series. I'm playing the second mission, and that one feels very much like run-of-the-mill DLC: it's competent, but there's nothing unique about the environment. I know that the next mission is more interesting, but after Dishonored 2's standout environments DotO doesn't leave much of an immediate impression. Perhaps that's also why it's taken me quite a while to get around to replaying it. (I remember that the last mission is decidedly different, but if I remember correctly it's much more of a corridor with weird-ass enemies, so the difference comes at the price of the game delivering an experience that's at a remove from what it does best.)

  19. #244
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    I haven't played it since it came out, but I remember the 2nd mission of DotO allowing some awesome hijinx.

  20. #245
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    It probably doesn't help that I'm a boring Dishonored player. I don't play the game so much for the whole experimentation with powers and tools, I play it more like a mildly superpowered Thief-like. As a result, it's mostly the environments and their uniqueness that I enjoy best, and that's definitely something that is lacking in mission 2. It feels like the kind of fan mission that people put together within a week or two of the editor being launched, using all the assets of the main game and doing that reasonably well, but there's nothing that's novel or surprising.

  21. #246
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Playing Returnal. The difficulty in this game is very refreshing in how it doesn't let you half-ass it. Most games let you half-ass it. You can just play through, on instinct, and even if you mess up a checkpoint is probably not far behind, or at least you leveled up so the next time will be easier. In Returnal? Nuh uh. There are some permanent upgrades, but they're mostly like Metroid-style upgrades that let you access new areas, but as for your base stats, they're the same at the start of every new attempt, your pea-shooter just as flimsy against the baddies. In Returnal, your character doesn't level up, but you do. I'm fighting the baddies in whole new ways now than I did at the start. And I did try to half-ass it for the first couple hours with the game, but soon realised that the only way to actually progress is to treat each run like it's THE run. That means exploring everything and powering up as much as possible before facing the boss. This game is HARD CORE.

    Nevertheless I beat the second boss on my first attempt because I'm a Gaming Expert.

  22. #247
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    henke: PhD in Theoretical and Applied Gameology and Gameonomy

    I do like that, though: games that do a good job of teaching you how to play them better. It sounds like an obvious thing, but it must be fiendishly difficult to get it right while at the same time ensuring that your game is accessible. So often, I find myself learning bad in-game habits and then running against a wall at some later stage because at best I learned how to cheese things, and those tricks then stop working.

  23. #248
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I think that's what people mean when they invoke the pith of 'easy to learn, difficult to master'. I'm divided on whether something like Returnal is good game design, though: do I want a game that needed the ability to pause it patched in eventually? Not really.

    Stepping back a moment and taking in the big picture, I always wonder what the entire point is of games that are so hardcore that they don't provide things like checkpoints or shortcuts to unlocked areas. Not in terms of 'this is a test of your gamer cred' or levelling up your gameface or whatever analogue the surface level play is for validating your pro gaemer skills, but in the messaging behind the design. Is there a story in there, is it trying to say something about the idea of difficulty, does the story build on its cycles of repetition, is there a point being made? Because if that exists, I'm more inclined to accept hardcore difficulty in a game rather than it just existing because that's an arbitrary baseline the developers landed on because of things like personal taste and inclination. Sure, there's merit in good design within that arbitrariness - Sekiro is difficult because it is, but it's also so precisely crafted that it's a joy to play if you accept it on its own terms - but it's a wasted opportunity to me if there isn't something more that it's trying to do than tell you to git gud.

    This probably reads like I'm dissing Returnal, but I'm actually intrigued by it enough to want to know whether it pursues the follow through or doesn't.

  24. #249
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    From what I've heard (mainly based on Jacob Geller's video about Returnal), there's definitely a point to Returnal's format, though whether that point is strong or interesting enough to warrant the hassle and the friction I can't say.

  25. #250
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Thirith:
    Death of the Outsider is a lot less punishing for being violent than the previous games, and the morality system is almost completely absent. It sits in a sweet spot between Dishonored 2 and Deathloop gameplay-wise. It never feels quite as... inconsequential as Deathloop, while at the same time being nowhere near as passive-aggressively pacifist as Dishonored 1 or 2.
    It's a shame that a lot of the levels are recycled from D2, as I feel this shift in gameplay deserved its own playgrounds.

    But the upside is that you finally get to play with some of the more interesting powers without feeling like you're going to be punished at the end for doing so. It means that you're not hovering over the Quick save / load buttons as much as you were in the previous games, and can afford to let things get chaotic every now and again when something goes wrong.

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