Whatcha Been Playing?

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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ThirdMan
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan » May 15th, 2018, 7:47 am

Chopper wrote:
May 14th, 2018, 12:00 pm
the main difference between console and PC is the lack of fine control you have without the keyboard and mouse.
I've been playing Baldur's Gate on my Mac recently. It's the type of game I always struggled with on console. For example I put down Original Sin after about two hours because of how overwrought the whole thing felt on controller.

Keyboard and mouse is such a different experience. The same goes for some of the older FPS games I've been playing. I know I'm stating the obvious here, but I'm just really taken aback by how fundamentally different my opinion of a genre can be when played on different hardware.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » May 15th, 2018, 10:02 am

Your indoctrination into the PC Master Race has begun.

Soon you will be maintaining a suite of spreadsheets to help you track crafting recipes, progression paths, tech trees, stats, roster management and so forth. :D

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » May 15th, 2018, 10:45 am

Stanshall wrote:
May 13th, 2018, 9:25 am
Have you ever played ARMS? Block is on L3 by default. Like, you press and hold L3 in. Absurd. Excruciating. Even more daft is that I've somehow conditioned myself and my thumb muscle to default to this even after I remapped it to something much more comfortable. Maybe there's a thread in this topic!
Ha, yeah, I'm sure there's a number of people that can relate to that.

The process with me goes something like this;
  • Get new game, play it for a few hours, have a break to get some snacks or a drink and have a think about it.
  • Realise that you might like to re-map a few of the buttons as they frustrate you a little.
  • Re-map them.
  • Then continue to use the old style controls that you disliked when you have remapped then to a new 'better' style.
Yep, thats about right :lol:
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chase210
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by chase210 » May 15th, 2018, 12:50 pm

I am finally (14 months after I started it) about to finish Breath of The Wild! Been a great ride, enjoyed it a lot.

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Beck
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Beck » May 15th, 2018, 1:18 pm

chase210 wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 12:50 pm
I am finally (14 months after I started it) about to finish Breath of The Wild! Been a great ride, enjoyed it a lot.
Whoa, 14 Months? Was that all the DLC included?

I've only just started it and really liking it so far. I just got out of the starting area.
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chase210
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by chase210 » May 15th, 2018, 1:32 pm

Beck wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 1:18 pm
chase210 wrote:
May 15th, 2018, 12:50 pm
I am finally (14 months after I started it) about to finish Breath of The Wild! Been a great ride, enjoyed it a lot.
Whoa, 14 Months? Was that all the DLC included?

I've only just started it and really liking it so far. I just got out of the starting area.
No I don't own the DLC yet! Just played very slowly.

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Beck
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Beck » May 15th, 2018, 3:17 pm

:lol: haha, you had me worried that I was getting into something a lot longer than I expected.
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » May 16th, 2018, 12:22 pm

So after not being that interested for most of the time leading up to release, I finally jumped on that bandwagon and am playing God of War (Dad of Boy version), and right now I'm somewhat undecided about it. Was intending to wait a bit longer before talking about it as I usually do, but so often that ends up with me repeating stuff and being redundant in the Completed Games thread, so I thought I would talk about it while my opinions are still changing.

My first impressions were pretty mixed. Quite hot-and-cold. I really like what they've done with Kratos as a character this time around. They've handled him and his past really well. This is a version of Kratos that is disconnected by events of the previous games by an extremely long period of time, and you can tell it has changed him, but in a believable way. He's moved on from what he used to be, but he hasn't forgotten. He does a better job of keeping his anger under control now, and is more conscious of what it did to him as a person. But at the same time he's become sullen and reserved. Something which is understandable and natural, but brings in its own character flaws too. So it may be shocking to actually say it, but Kratos is now a character who has subtlety and depth. Atreus isn't bad either. He's a good counterweight to Kratos, as his natural curiosity pokes and prods at Kratos to get him to open up about things, in at least a minuscule way. He has a frank openness too which can make for some amusing moments as it cuts through the tension of things Kratos would rather not acknowledge.

Combat though, I really didn't enjoy to begin with. With the exception of the early boss fight with the Stranger, which was pretty great, I've found combat to be rigid and slow, with an aggravating lack of spatial awareness. The really close camera means it's a pain to see what's going on around you, and it often feels kind of unfair with how much you get hit from off-screen. The little UI thing you have to show you where enemies are isn't really sufficient, and is also kind of a non-diegetic crutch, the presence of which somewhat highlights the flaws of this system. The closeness means movement is limited on an artistic level too. Kratos simply can't do anything as dynamic or impressive as in the previous games, because the camera just wouldn't be able to deal with it. It feels like something of a downgrade in terms of what's possible with the combat system, even if the previous games may not have fully explored the possibilities they had. I also found the pacing of the game in regards to combat encounters to be a big problem. It felt like combat was way too infrequent, and to a lesser extent, fights were over way too quickly. It ended up feeling like I couldn't get in to a groove with the combat, and actually understand the flow of it and get good at fighting specific enemy types, because the opportunities to do so are so few and far between. It also means that when combat does happen, it often feels like something of an interruption of the mood the game had been creating up until that point, for half an hour or more. Just for a few minutes of panicked, sloppy flailing. But with that all said, I have to say, I think I'm starting to come around to it.

Lately I've been ignoring the main story and exploring around doing side content, and I think it's finally starting to click. I think a big reason for that may be the change in pacing compared to the main story sequences. What I've been doing is exploring around the edge of the lake that seems to be the centre of the game world. Seeing what things I can find, and doing the few side quests that appeared as I was exploring. During that time, it feels like time between combat has become shortened, and I actually started to feel like I was beginning to understand the flow of it, and better manage groups. During that little excursion I also managed to collect a decent amount of XP, letting me buy a bunch of moves to help widen out my options in combat a bit. So I finally started feeling like I was in control of what was happening, and not just panicking and being mobbed from all angles constantly. Although, I think part of that might be because I was going back to more basic enemies, rather than the annoying Dark Elves I was up against just previous to my little detour. But regardless, I was liking it more. It also helps that the combat does feel pretty satisfying on a kinaesthetic level. Combat may be pretty slow, and somewhat basic, but hacking stuff with the axe does feel fantastic. The game does that thing where it slightly slows down the animation of the swing just as it makes contact with an enemy that does so much to give combat systems like these a sense of weight and impact. The animation for recalling the axe is great too. The way it sweeps its way around in the air and satisfyingly thumps in to Kratos' open hand. Feels great. It also helps that the sound design is really good too. Especially the sound of the axe smashing and clashing against the rocks as you recall it.

In between fights they also did some pretty good characterisation. As I was rowing around in my boat, Kratos was regaling Atreus with stories to keep him entertained. Poorly reciting Aesop's fables, and even telling a metaphorical story about his own past from the first God of War. It was a really good vehicle for Kratos to show the kinds of things he wanted to teach Atreus, and also for Atreus to call Kratos out on his nonsense, or preciously poke fun at him for his poor storytelling skills. It also worked very well for doing all this without taking control away from the player, and slowing down the game to make sure you pay attention to this very emotional father-son bonding moment.

So yeah, right now I'm pretty positive on the game, although I'm still not entirely sold on it. Even if I'm understanding the combat better, I'm still not really sure I would say it's exceptional in any way, aside from a polished presentation. So far, it's somewhere between alright and good. Unsure where things will go from here though, as I go back to main story content. Yet, I am also aware there is a certain something that happens later in the game that shakes up combat quite a bit, so I'm hesitantly looking forward to that.

I also find it very interesting to compare this game to Hellblade. Even if the game has a ton of other obvious influences, that is easily the closest comparison when it comes to most things to do with this game, an exception being the world design I guess. Perhaps by sheer coincidence too, looking at the development timelines. In terms of combat, I think I actually prefer Hellblade, but for some perhaps counter-intuitive reasons. Hellblade, being a game of much smaller scope, has far less different enemy types. Pretty much all of them are humanoids that try to hit you with some handheld weapon. Some are fast, but most are relatively slow. Meanwhile God of War has a greater variety, including enemies that burrow under the ground, and several that have ranged attacks. The lack of those enemy types in Hellblade really helps you maintain control an awareness of a situation in a fight. Makes for far less situations where you feel like you're being blind-sided by something you can't see, or hit from an enemy you can't reach. Hellblade also tends to put you up against less enemies at a time too. But another difference, which I think is big part of why Hellblade is so fantastic in general, is how they deal with giving you awareness of when enemies do attack you from off-screen. You hear the voices in your head warn you about incoming attacks, and they do so from the direction the attack is coming from. It's genius! Fully diegetic, keeps the UI clean, gives you better ability to react (since humans can react faster to sound than sight), and even helps strengthen the main narrative and artistic goal of the whole game. Way better than just a little cluster of white arrows at the bottom of the screen.

I also just started playing Omensight. I very rarely pick up indie games when they first release, since there's just so many competing for attention, but for this one I made an exception due to it being a spiritual sequel to Stories: The Path of Destinies, which I really enjoyed. Same developer, set in the same fictional world, with very similar gameplay and overall structure/central conceit, but with all new characters and story, and an overall different tone as well. I'm still pretty early so far, but I'm enjoying it at the moment. This one takes a more serious tone than Stories. The comedic tone of that game was one of its biggest highlights, but I'm okay with them going for a different direction for this one. There are still some fun characters though. But while in Stories you played as a roguish character repeatedly failing his way to saving the world, this time you play as some mysterious harbinger of the apocalypse, as you work backwards from the very last moments before the end of the world, trying to piece together what happened to cause it, so you can stop it. The main character doesn't speak, and doesn't have any personality really. They're more a silent observer. Only intervening in events to learn more about what happened, not to take sides. Her design is fantastic though. In a world full of anthropomorphic animal characters, she doesn't really have any distinguishing features, but has glowing blue skin and a long flowing ponytail-like thing that wisps around as you move, and a pretty cool set of armour as well.

Right now the story seems pretty intriguing. You join different characters as you make your way through levels, to see what their perspective on events was, and getting to know them. Two in particular I liked were the general of the evil empire, who is actually a pretty honourable and concerned person. Wanting to try to do things with a sense of justice, and as little bloodshed as possible. She holds a level of respect for her enemies too. The other standout character is the leader of the resistance against the imperial army. She's a little mouse character who is also a bard, and has a good sense of humour about things. Is rather fond of jokingly ribbing her troops for failing to do things properly. The way they introduce her is pretty cool too, as you break her out of prison when she's singing a song on her lute. It's a very nice piece of music.

Combat isn't bad either. It's a Batman Arkham style of thing, but it's incredibly fast and snappy. So you're dashing around the battlefield, slicing away at enemies, getting combos and counters, etc. It feels pretty good. It's another system that is more or less lifted from Stories, but here much improved. This game feels like that one, but sped up two or three times. It can be a bit sloppy though. Sometimes it's hard to get the game to hit what you actually want. Pointing your stick at a certain enemy helps, but it's still not perfect. And if you don't use the stick, and just let the game do what it thinks is best, it doesn't really work. Doesn't seem to have any prioritisation system, and just flies around the battlefield at random.

The game also looks pretty great. It's gone for a look with clean, flat textures and fantastic use of colour. Architecture is pretty impressive and unique as well. There's also a hub area you go back to between levels which houses a magical tree, which is the source of your power, and it looks fantastic. Glowing blue, like your character is, with branches splaying out in intricate, but very organised patterns. It's very nice.
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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 16th, 2018, 9:21 pm

I've dived back into what is possibly one of my greatest love/hate relationships in the medium (second only to Resident Evil 6), a game that I've sold and re-bought three different times (which is completely out of character for a collector like me), and the one that kick-started my loathing of the open world model. That game is Burnout Paradise.

This gameplay is sooo good. Fluid. Visceral. Timeless. But man, do I despise this structure and race design. What the hell were they thinking.

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Nirro
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Nirro » May 17th, 2018, 8:04 am

Recently I started playing Dying Light. The game is really cool to me.
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » May 17th, 2018, 12:33 pm

Just went to GAME on my lunch and traded in five games for God Of War. Such a rip off really and I always come out of it feeling a bit dirty, but looking forward to starting it at the weekend :)

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ThirdMan
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan » May 17th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Nirro wrote:
May 17th, 2018, 8:04 am
Recently I started playing Dying Light. The game is really cool to me.
Very good game, especially for players that enjoy exploring.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » May 17th, 2018, 11:53 pm

I took a while for the AC adapter part to arrive for my Virtual Boy (a sentence that I never thought I'd be saying in 2018), but now I can fire it up (like I'm going to put six AA batteries in?!? I mean, come on! :roll: ).

And first cab off the rank is Galactic Pinball. I got the cart packed in with my Virtual Boy (including the original box/packaging and instruction manual), and I gotta say, it does play a mean pinball.

You can use either the two d-pads or the trigger buttons on the back of the controller for the pinball paddles, and it feels right. The physics are pretty spot on, which I judge based on my skill with real world pinball (i.e., not that great).

I didn't get the Virtual Boy headaches (again, a sentence I never thought I'd say in 2018). You do need to take breaks, as you need to refresh your eyes from time to time, though it's not really a huge problem due to the nature of pinball not requiring the same time commitments of an RPG.

Overall, I like the experience. Nintendo have a knack for creating wholly unique experiences (regardless of commercial success) - despite all the waggle-shovelware that came out on the Wii, Wii Bowling is still something that feels right, and something that is genuinely simple, intuitive and fun. They take risks, and the Virtual Boy is a risk that didn't really work out, but it's not without its Nintendo charms.
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » May 18th, 2018, 9:15 am

I played the opening couple of hours of God Of War last night, and, well, it's pretty spectacular.

It looks great, although visually I have to say I don't think it's the best the PS4 has to offer. I think Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy were better looking games, maybe even Bloodborne. But audio-wise, it's blown me away. The music, the choral vocal, the sounds - I mean you can literally hear the leather on Kratos outfit creak as he walks. It's incredible.

If I had one minor criticism at this point, it's that whilst the regular combat feels pretty weighty, the boss fights have not. I've only met two bosses. The first large one in the very first part of the game, and the stranger (I don't think there's anything there that could be considered a spoiler..?) but there is very little feedback when you're attacking them. Kratos axe almost seems to just go through them and it's only the slowly decreasing health bar of the enemy that gives you a clue that damage is being dealt.

That aside, very impressed so far. I'm playing on 'balanced' which I think was the default setting and to be considered 'normal'? I've died once so far just from a mob of regular enemies, but yeah, what a game.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo » May 18th, 2018, 10:50 pm

The online demo of Blaz Blue Cross Tag Battle (or whatever the damn thing is called) on the PS4. I think it’s up till some point on Sunday then it reverts to an offline only demo until the game launches.

It’s fun, but not massively my thing. It borrows a lot from Blaz Blue (duh) and also a bunch of mechanics from Persona 4 arena. So if you know either of those games you’ll be mostly at home pretty quick.

For me it’s a bit too chaotic and I keep forgetting all the different systems in play. It’s also really weird seeing Arc Sys go back to 2d sprites again after the utterly gorgeous 3d work in Guilty Gear Xrd. But I suspect it reduces the workload a fair bit if most of the cast already exist in fully animated form.

I do like the special intros they’ve done for almost every character pairing. Kinda fun seeing how the Persona 4 lot deal with the more... extreme... things in the Blaz Blue (and Uniel, and RWBY) universes.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » May 19th, 2018, 11:50 am

I’ve played 32 hours of Divinity Original Sin and I’m not out of the first area (there are four).

I’m enjoying it but story-wise it’s generic fantasy bobbins, livened up by some good jokes, and I think I’ve fallen into a combat loop that won’t change much (all four chars have teleport for crowd control and I’m working on getting three out of four a summon familiar spell to tie up enemies further).

So I dunno if the story will take a turn for the better in the next area or whether the combat will need to evolve. I’ll play a bit longer anyway in the absence of any other appealing games.

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ThirdMan
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan » May 19th, 2018, 2:12 pm

Dota 2. It's free and it's by Valve, whose games always run well on by beautiful but gutless Mac, so there was no reason not to try it.

On the lowest settings it looks like total arse. But it's smooth enough to get a feel for how it plays. I'm familiar enough with the basic MOBA gameplay loop from my time with Arena of Valor on Android, but it's great to finally sample a full-blooded version.

It's intimidating! There's a lot happening on screen. However I'm only playing against bots and exploring the different heroes, so there's no pressure. In fact I'm gonna keep playing it that way for the time being. I came across some beginner advice earlier that said that the thing other players hate the most is someone that doesn't know what they're doing, and the best way to learn what you're doing is to play against the bots and learn the systems. Sounds like good advice.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » May 19th, 2018, 2:24 pm

Errr, maybe a genre noted for its addictive qualities may not be what you’re looking for right now?

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ThirdMan
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan » May 19th, 2018, 3:46 pm

Chopper wrote:
May 19th, 2018, 2:24 pm
Errr, maybe a genre noted for its addictive qualities may not be what you’re looking for right now?
You're absolutely correct. I'm also deep into Baldur's Gate and Diablo II. In terms of overall hours I've definitely cut down, but I'm still a bloody disaster. I was exploring board games and text adventures as more casual alternatives but they led me right back to RPGs, RTS games and now MOBAs. I'll have to take up fishing, although that will probably lead me back to Final Fantasy XV.

It's not all bad news though. I'm approaching my correct body weight for the first time since the PS3 era. It's amazing how easier and better everything is when you're feeling healthy. Fucking sugar. It's the worst substance I've ever struggled with and I've walked the line with plenty of them.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by rob25X » May 19th, 2018, 3:50 pm

Just finished James Cameron's Avatar on Xbox 360, all I can say is.. Wow!

I don't know why this game received such poor reviews on release and has a Metacritic rating on just 61%. (User Score 6.9/10).

Firstly the game looks absolutely amazing with one of the most stunningly detailed game worlds of the last generation (360/PS3). Everything in the game looks gorgeous from the plants and skies to the lighting reflections and shadows on the Na'vi's.

The story is very well paced, the missions and gameplay varied and the game split path/two story playthrough of bad side (humans/RDA) and good side (Na'vi) was perfect. As the RDA(humans) I had a great time destroying the Na'vi's homeland and wiping them out and then for the second playthough I really felt a connection to the Na'vi with a sense of innocence and vulnerabilty. I didn't feel like an attacker at any point in their game, more like a defender. Amazing!
My only complaints about the game would be that the flight controls for the banshee's are somewhat awkward and the shutdown multiplayer (unobtainable Xbox achievements).

I will now do the PS3 version and I'm even considering playing the Wii version!

James Cameron's Avatar (2009). A superb game IMO. Well worth checking out.
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