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Thread: What are you playing? (2024 Edition)

  1. #201
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: cesspool
    Elden Ring... at last, and it has been great so far. The last few years I've been playing mostly VR games.

  2. #202
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    If there's any through-line I can see in Bethesda's games post-Morrowind, it's a drive towards simplifying role-playing and relying more on procedural content (not procedural maps, but quests and such via Radiant.)
    I was about to comment that Oblivion didn't have procedurally generated content, then I remembered the random Oblivion gates. While the maps themselves weren't procedurally generated, where they activated and the map used was. It would not surprise me to learn that they've been toning down the character skill element in favour of the player skill element as a result of feedback from Morrowind. A common complaint I see from people new to the game is "Why can't I hit enemies? My weapon hit them.", and the reply from experienced players always tells them to use a weapon they're skilled with and keep fatigue high.

  3. #203
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Beep's Escape - A "Dizzy on the ZX Spectrum"-alike. A very simple adventure platformer, where you go around a small base collecting items to aid in your escape. I never played Dizzy, but after playing Beep's Escape I think I see what the big whoop was about. It's a very simple game but oddly captivating. The game is part of the Palestinian Relief Bundle on itch.io along with hundreds of other games. Most of the games are repeats from previous itch bundles, but this was one of the cool, obscure finds in this one.

    Miasma Chronicles - a post apocalyptic adventure with turn based stealth and combat, by the Mutant Year Zero devs. Honestly it's so similar to MYZ that I wonder if they just couldn't get the license for another game, so they made up their own Generic Brand Post-Apoc IP. I've only played 3 hours yet but... it's alright? Might stick with it.

    Robocop: Rogue City - Remember in Oblivion when everyone kept calling you the Hero of Kvetch or whatever and everyone in the whole world kept talking about you? Or how every NPC in LA Noire keeps commenting on The Hero Cop Cole Phelps whenever you walk by? It's annoying how those games just love to make you the center of the universe. Robocop is the inverse of that. I've been stomping around the streets of Detroit and NOT ONE PERSON has spun around and gone "Hey it's Robocop!". Instead they're all just talking between themselves and wrapped up in their own little worlds. What am I, chopped liver? Anyway, good game.

  4. #204
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I certainly was the Hero of Kvetch for Oblivion, because I might have kvetched about it more than anyone I know. Hell, I still do. Fuck Oblivion.

    Robocop seems rad, though.

  5. #205
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    After bouncing hard off of New Vegas, I tried the original game using the Fallout Fixt mod this weekend.
    And controversially, I'd say that I think it's actually aged better than New Vegas.

    The sprites and animation remain excellent, and what little voice acting is in the game is all superb and delivered by the classic talking heads which still, to this day, feel a bit special.
    When everyone in a game these days gets some VA and their own "talking head" via the camera zooming in to a head & shoulders shot, Fallout stands out and makes you really pay attention when you get a talking head. It's a tacit acknowledgement that this person is important and that you should pay attention to what they're saying. And the exagerrated changes of expression due to disposition serve as an excellent way to measure reactions.
    It's an excellent example of "less is more."

    I mean, yeah, Fallout has always been a favourite game of mine (ever since finding a minigun in the fridge while playing the excellent demo that came out months before the main game), and represented a sea-change in my expectations for CRPGs. It stands alongside games like Dungeon Master, Marathon, Doom/Quake for how it impacted my gaming habits and changed my idea of what gaming could be.

    But it's nice to remember every now and again exactly why it made such an impact, and that a lot of the game has stood the test of time.

  6. #206
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2001
    Location: under God's grace
    Multitask - I got 162.

    EDIT: Scratch that, 218. Still lousy though. 15 years ago my highscore was around 260. My strategy is to mainly look at the blue and green games on the right. The bottom left requires almost no attention, you just check every now and then if there's a wall incoming that forces you to toggle your space key input.
    Last edited by Qooper; 22nd Apr 2024 at 09:47.

  7. #207
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Back Home
    Quote Originally Posted by Malf View Post
    After bouncing hard off of New Vegas, I tried the original game using the Fallout Fixt mod this weekend.
    And controversially, I'd say that I think it's actually aged better than New Vegas.

    The sprites and animation remain excellent, and what little voice acting is in the game is all superb and delivered by the classic talking heads which still, to this day, feel a bit special.
    When everyone in a game these days gets some VA and their own "talking head" via the camera zooming in to a head & shoulders shot, Fallout stands out and makes you really pay attention when you get a talking head. It's a tacit acknowledgement that this person is important and that you should pay attention to what they're saying. And the exagerrated changes of expression due to disposition serve as an excellent way to measure reactions.
    It's an excellent example of "less is more."

    I mean, yeah, Fallout has always been a favourite game of mine (ever since finding a minigun in the fridge while playing the excellent demo that came out months before the main game), and represented a sea-change in my expectations for CRPGs. It stands alongside games like Dungeon Master, Marathon, Doom/Quake for how it impacted my gaming habits and changed my idea of what gaming could be.

    But it's nice to remember every now and again exactly why it made such an impact, and that a lot of the game has stood the test of time.
    I've been playing Fallout 1 as well... to begin with I thought wow, maybe I can't be bothered with this, as by modern gaming standards it's very unforgiving - many's the time I walked into a place or struck up a conversation just to lead to a combat I wasn't prepared for. A lot of saving. A lot of reloading. No map markers or dialogue index so if you miss a detail about what you're meant to do or where to go, it's either gone or you have to go back and ask again. But frankly it has sucked me in again, I started levelling up and am enjoying getting new gear. My brain actually engages when a quest is not simply "run over landscape following compass marker and get/use thing/speak to x then run back".

    Managed to mess up a few quests with no way back too through dialogue choices, but whatever, I'm not a completionist. It has struck me that actually what I can't be bothered with these days is how little thought many modern games require, they literally tell you what to do at each turn for fear you'll miss any content. Fallout 1 doesn't give a shit. Conversely I think this has the effect of making me profoundly incurious, and I have struggled to complete many recent titles.

    The isometric perspective also forces you to engage your imagination more I think, and does give a little more leeway in the writing too when it's not voiced. The early games are often praised for their writing but I think it's really the atmosphere that sells it, the ambient music and everything. Early on a woman near the gates of Shady Sands told me "stimpaks are a common item" and I thought, if a Bethesda character came out with this, everyone would complain about bad writing.

  8. #208
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I tried Ravenlok on Xbox because it's leaving Game Pass soon. It's a good example of how not to do storytelling in games. Most games manage to gently push the player in the right direction even if the player has no idea what they're supposed to be doing, but that's not the case in Ravenlok. Even though the story in it is linear and the "puzzles" are really simple, I often feel a bit lost in Ravenlok. And then I find out that there was a door that just automatically opened for whatever reason when I performed some task, or I had missed some area of the map altogether, because the voxel graphics can be a bit confusing at times.

    The voxel graphics are also the best part of the game though. I really like the visual style of Ravenlok, but it's not enough to save this game from mediocrity. The actual gameplay is mostly quite terrible, and the story is so "inspired" by Alice in Wonderland that it feels more like a rip-off.

  9. #209
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Quote Originally Posted by Fingernail View Post
    Early on a woman near the gates of Shady Sands told me "stimpaks are a common item"
    Hah, that and other early interactions like it made me realise that quite often, this kind of thing was the equivalent of a tutorial. Not exactly exposition dumps, more like how to play dumps!

  10. #210
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    While “Stimpacks are a common item” isn’t great writing, I think there’s a difference between written text and writing for voice actors. (Just look at those old LucasArts point & click adventures and the voiced versions.) There’s an abstraction to the written word that can carry this kind of info better, but when you hear it spoken by an actor it comes across as tremendously clunky.

  11. #211
    Book of Hours has been taking up my time lately. It is basically a sequel to Cultist Simulator, but fortunately it also fixes a couple of major issues I've had with that title. The first and most important one being the removal of the busywork that was ensuring a steady income so you didn't starve to death or got thrown in jail in CS, it seems to be assumed that you have access to enough food to survive and you aren't doing anything illegal. This means BoH is less stressful as you don't have to juggle progression and "not dying" all the time. The second change is that memories (and other time sensitive cards) don't degrade into (potentially) dangerous items that can end your run if you didn't need that memory at that time.

    I'm overall enjoying the game so far, having restored a decent chunk of Hush House, read several books, categorized even more, and helped visitors with questions.

  12. #212
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    I was perhaps being too harsh on Ravenlok. It's a nice little adventure, even if the actual gameplay is pretty bad. And it only takes about three hours to finish (probably not even that long if you rush through the game), so I'm pleased that I played it. The game looks really nice at times too, even if screenshots don't do it justice.



    I also finished Ghostwire: Tokyo. It's good! It took a while to really get going, but I learned to love it. I was foolish enough to spend a silly number of hours on finding a whole lot of collectibles and trying to get some achievements, but most of them weren't too bad. In hindsight, I wish I had not done all the achievement hunting though, and just concentrated on the actual story quests. I think the main story could be finished in like ten hours, but many of the side quests are totally worth some extra effort.

  13. #213
    Quote Originally Posted by WingedKagouti View Post
    Book of Hours has been taking up my time lately.
    I have now done one of the greater endings (after 36 hours) and there's still a ton of content to uncover. So I started a new game. I did find an easier ending around 15-20 hours in, but it did warn me that it would be a "lesser" ending, so I skipped it.

  14. #214
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I played mission 5 ("The Brand") of Thief: The Black Parade over the weekend and greatly enjoyed it. In terms of level design, this has some of my favourite bits in all the missions so far, and perhaps in all of Thief: I love the sense of history the City has, with several older layers and the way they're interlinked, and the moment when you actually get to the mansion you're looking for is brilliantly atmospheric.

    At the same time, I found the end of the mission to be rushed, to the extent where I wondered whether something hadn't triggered. After I got myself branded, I sort of stumbled into the room that gave away the Necromancers, and then I just had to get back to the starting point. If there was a line of dialogue to the effect of it being better to get out and figure out what to do next, I missed it. In any case, this already resulted in a lot of the tension that had built up being gone, which was amplified by trying to find an exit: while the maze-like structure on the way to the mansion was effective, on the way out it was too easy to keep going around in circles. Nonetheless, great mission and very enjoyable, even if the last 10-15 minutes worked less well for me.

    Other than that, I've been playing Minishoot Adventures, a sort of Zelda-but-as-a-twin-stick-shooter. Other than the story being thin (but it's easy enough to ignore), the environments being a bit more samey than I'd like, and some of the balancing being a bit off, it's great fun, and I always like having a game on the side that I can play in 15-minute bursts.
    Last edited by Thirith; 29th Apr 2024 at 04:18.

  15. #215
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quite possible, I ran into some weird bugs in that mission myself. Can't remember how it ended tho. I recommend taking a trip down south and asking here.

  16. #216
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    I've been enjoying a video game called Big Mutha Truckers 2: Truck Me Harder. The writing and tone of this thing is pretty much Redneck Rampage meets Leisure Suit Larry, BUT the gameplay is fun! It's like an arcade racer version of American Truck Simulator. The plot is that Mama is gettin sued and you need to raise cash to bribe the jury. You do this mainly by buying goods for cheap and selling them in cities where they're more expensive. There's also some smaller, custom missions scattered throughout. I've played 5 hours of this and I kinda think I've gotten my fill. The gameworld is quite small and soon gets repeteive. It does have me thinking about how I'd make my own truck driving arcade game tho.

    Also, finished Robocop. T'was good. Kinda got bored of Miasma Chronicles. Getting back into Expeditions: Mudrunner.

  17. #217
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    It seems I'm getting most of my recommendations these days from the NoClip podcast, and I'm playing things I'd never normally play. Balatro, (emphasis on the first syllable) for example, is a deck builder, a genre I had prejudged I wouldn't like. Turns out it's very compelling, and I've somehow sunk 6 hours into it this week alone just playing it in spare moments. You play poker hands to score points, but the fun comes in the jokers, which do crazy things like multiply your score based on suit or hand or other factors, and the special cards you can purchase, which allow you to craft "builds" that almost feel roguelike. Get a good build, and your multipliers go through the roof, and it's so satisfying. It's also got a lot of flair, from the hazy video poker vibes to the holographic foil effects on special cards and the crisp, clinky sound effects of the cards and chips. I won my first game this morning, and it feels great.

  18. #218
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2003
    Location: The Plateaux Of Mirror
    Balatro looks kinda nuts. I'll have to check that out.

  19. #219
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Almost done with Thief: The Black Parade, mission 8 ("Jaws of Darkness"). I've got all the objectives... except for the loot one, where I lack a value of 113. I think that's the kind of situation I always hated in Thief, having done everything but lacking a bit of loot. I'm not combing all the areas I've been to, but it's not a particularly fun aspect of any Thief game for me...

  20. #220
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Update: Found another couple of loot items and am now ready to leave this godforsaken place. Phew.

  21. #221
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    The funny thing about The Black Parade that happened to me is that when I got the brand, it didn't take long for the baddies to kill me off. So when I reloaded, I just didn't click the icon. There's no objective that requires you to. And I just ended the mission without ever getting the brand.

    So it was kind of funny that the cutscenes and later missions kept speaking as if I had the brand when I didn't. But anyway it wasn't hard to retrofit it in my mind, since I did have it earlier. It's kind of a fundamental thing they didn't check for, though, given how easy it is to do & how central it is to the plot.

  22. #222
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Honestly, that shouldn't be possible? Because how did you get through the sealed doors in the house without the brand?

  23. #223
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    It's been a few months since I played it, but as I recall I just left the way I came in.
    I didn't realize there was any other way.

    But that does answer my question, and also as I recall it's not that easy to leave the way you came in, or thereabouts, but you can do it 'cause I did it.

    Or wait, the sealed doors inside the house (not some special door to exit I didn't know about?). I got through them somehow. I don't recall the brand itself being the thing that mattered.

  24. #224
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Sounds like an exploit we missed in testing then - in theory you can't complete (cancel) the Harp objective until you've discovered the necromancers, which you shouldn't be able to do without getting the brand which lets you through the cold doors in the house.

  25. #225
    Brethren
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Docks
    I'm currently replaying Prey, originally played it on PS4 when it came out, but I figured it was time for another go around given recent events. The game is just...so good. It's hard to believe (and accept) that it didn't do very well. It's got all the classic ImmSim stuff going on, with so many ways to complete your objectives and survive, with all of it's intricate systems to exploit. But it's also just atmosphere in droves. Just moving around the station is so tense and scary and intimidating. Seems like very few games can produce this kind of trepidation while playing. The Typhon are a great enemy, as one dimensional as they are. The human side of things comes from your fellow station mates, and hearing about how they tried to survive and mostly failed. And the amount of side quests is insane, it feels like they make up at least double the content of the primary story. Not sure how long my original playthrough was, but I can't see finishing this thing off under less than 50 hours.

    It's sad Arkane Austin closed down after producing such a masterpiece, but at the same time I'm also glad they were around long enough to make it in the first place.

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