Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by Suits » February 12th, 2019, 6:18 pm

Hugely unfair perhaps but the Ace Combat series has literally no curb appeal to me what so ever, other than the technical aspect of how smooth it plays and good it looks.

I have a friend who's religiously into it and would insist on us all watching him just go around in circles, lining up circles and shooting other planes.

This was back on the PS2 when I'd skip 6th form and flop up his house.

I do like how how much others get into it though and how they speak about.

Stuff I don't appreciate or understand is sometimes the most interesting.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » February 12th, 2019, 8:17 pm

I think I have an Ace Combat game on my shelf, for the PS2... I think it's the 5th game... it's been a while since I've played it... can't remember the story...

From memory it's a perfectly fine game, clearly not one that stirs a fiery passion in me. I used to collect magazines about planes when I was very, very young, and the game does a pretty good scratching that itch.

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod » February 13th, 2019, 1:14 am

ratsoalbion wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 5:39 pm
“As of 2018, the Ace Combat franchise has sold over 14 million copies, making it Bandai Namco's sixth best-selling franchise, behind Tekken, Pac-Man, Gundam, Tales, and Super Robot Wars.”

It is really quite popular indeed, it’s just the slightly niche genre and subject matter stops it being a ‘household name’ I guess.
Fair enough, I mean, I know 4 and 5 are Greatest Hits titles here in North America, so they must have a devout following at very least. But it's one of those franchises I *never* hear about in the zeitgeist that is apparently stupidly popular... I have this coworker in his 60s that plays some ludicrous flight Sim where you can real-time pilot a civilian aircraft across the Atlantic, and he's telling me about how all his former RAF buds play it religiously, some with these ridiculous control set-ups, spending thousands of dollars on digital realistic planes... It's apparently crazy big business, but I never even knew they existed!

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod » February 13th, 2019, 2:19 am

Suits wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 6:18 pm
Hugely unfair perhaps but the Ace Combat series has literally no curb appeal to me what so ever, other than the technical aspect of how smooth it plays and good it looks.

I have a friend who's religiously into it and would insist on us all watching him just go around in circles, lining up circles and shooting other planes.

This was back on the PS2 when I'd skip 6th form and flop up his house.

I do like how how much others get into it though and how they speak about.

Stuff I don't appreciate or understand is sometimes the most interesting.
That's fair - no taste is universal, after all. For me, Ace Combat 4 hits of a lot of the notes that seem to strike me much more than others:
- Amazing soundtrack.
- Lots of radio chatter and ambient sound that makes it feel like an Arcade game.
- A surprisingly human war story that doesn't preach any particular ideal, but merely puts a human face to the machinations of war (it's one of my biggest emotional triggers, the "on the ground" perspective).
- The whole aesthetic of Fighter jets and cool military tech that I first developers with the Raiden series. (I actually have a major hate-on for the direction SHMUPs have taken in recent years, turning everything into loli anime crap instead of cool war machines).

I dunno. Something about it just makes me feel like a badass, even though I'm not good at it. I like how your fellow troops congratulate you for pulling off good bombing runs and shooting down agile enemies. Positive reinforcement is something games do a very poor job of - you have to strike the right balance of encouragement, and encouraging for acts that are actually worth praise. Nintendo is really bad, for instance, for patting you on the back for accomplishing stupidly simplistic tasks.

Heck, now I'm all super stoked for Left Alive and Front Mission: Gun Hazard. I'm so in the mood for "30 seconds into the future" war motifs right now.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » February 13th, 2019, 3:36 pm

Ok, so in the Ace Combat series, do you get to take off and land? Or is it always 'already in the air' action. Taking off and landing is always my favorite part when flying planes in games.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion » February 13th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Depends upon the mission scenario I think but certainly some of them involve one or both. There are some YouTube vids certainly.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Simonsloth » February 13th, 2019, 4:12 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
February 13th, 2019, 3:36 pm
Ok, so in the Ace Combat series, do you get to take off and land? Or is it always 'already in the air' action. Taking off and landing is always my favorite part when flying planes in games.
If I recall the first game I ever did this in was mace griffin: bounty hunter on ps2. I might try and dig it out as I never managed to complete it.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman » February 13th, 2019, 7:32 pm

I’ve been playing Cursed Castilla on the Switch during my travels this week. It’s got very hard! The checkpointing, by design, stinks, but I’m making gradual progress. It’s still far more forgiving than Ghosts, Ghouls, etc. that it apes though, and I think I’m far more likely to finish this one day than any of those games!

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod » February 14th, 2019, 11:11 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
February 13th, 2019, 3:36 pm
Ok, so in the Ace Combat series, do you get to take off and land? Or is it always 'already in the air' action. Taking off and landing is always my favorite part when flying planes in games.
I'm roughly half way through AC4, and I've had one landing segment, although the game will let you skip it. It's actually pretty damned cool, I have to say. Not terribly difficult, but very true to life.

Additionally: outside of the Einhander content hidden near the endgame, I have pretty much zero interest in finishing Kingdom Hearts 3. In retrospect? It's just not a good game. There's a lot of good ABOUT it, but it's very obviously handcuffed by god-awful scenario writing, and likely an authoritarian licensing arrangement. Tetsuya Nomura does not know how to make video games. Straight up. Great artist, terrible director. And Sora has gone from being a totally acceptable Square character to being one of my most reviled protagonists of all time... You can only be inept and naive for so long before one would expect some modicum of skill and common sense. They're very obviously trying to write a Goku from DBZ or Luffy from One Piece, but those characters are not as stupid as their playfulness let's on - that's part of their deceptive strength. Sora is just a dumbass, and I would so much rather play as Riku or Aqua.

Additionally 2: I am camping right now, but I will likely be coming home to a fresh copy of Metro Exodus AND I AM SO FA-REEKING READY FOR THIS, FAM.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd » February 15th, 2019, 11:04 am

Tetris 99

I've come close a few times reaching 2nd spot as my best but man this game makes me heat up.

Love it

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion » February 15th, 2019, 11:17 am

Let's just make Tetris the default 'GotY' every year from now on.
:D

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Beck
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Beck » February 15th, 2019, 11:58 am

It's great, isn't it? I stayed up well past my bedtime to try and get that elusive win. Is Tetris the greatest game of all time?

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » February 15th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Been having a bad time trying to clear up the rest of my backlog. Time to quit I guess and try something else.

Played a little bit of The Swapper and it just wasn't grabbing me. I've heard it deals with some of the same kind of story themes as SOMA, so I was interested in trying it out for that reason. The art style of it is pretty cool too I guess, with everything looking like it's made out of clay models. But I rather quickly got tired of the mechanics. At first they seemed somewhat interesting, but then I bumped in to several puzzles that seemed completely impossible, and I just felt like I wasn't invested enough in the mechanics to try to work my way around what looked like an obviously unworkable problem. Putting you in a room where it seems like you can't even use any of your abilities, etc. Early on the story didn't seem like it was offering much either, and the voice acting was somewhat lacking too. I think perhaps it might not be grabbing my attention so much since I already know the twist of the game. Also putting up right next to SOMA might be a bit unfair, with how well it deals with the same sort of thing.

Unfortunately it turns out my other attempts at other games went even worse. The other day I tried out Akane, which is a very small game that caught my attention a while ago just for having a somewhat cool visual style and being really cheap. But after finally getting around to it, I wasn't impressed at all. All you do is a single fight that lasts forever, but you die in one hit. I guess the idea is that it's supposed to be like Devil Daggers or Super Hexagon, where it builds tension the whole time and you try to see how long you can survive, trying over and over. Those games never really appealed to me though, and this one seemed like a pretty poor execution of the idea too. The mechanics are so simple and bare bones that I felt like I had seen everything the game had to offer in less than 10 minutes. At least half of that was just playing the tutorial as well. The game comes across like a short school project that just happens to have some nice art. Not something that anyone would really want to put money down for, or play for the sake of it.

Next up is Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. This game has some cool stuff going on in terms of how it presents its narrative, with the game being told through the perspective of an unreliable narrator, who changes things on the fly. So occasionally you'll get the level changing right in front of you as they explain some outlandish scenario, or get called out on their nonsense by another character who they are telling the story to, making them have to revise their tale. There's some funny banter between these off-screen characters too, which can be quite amusing. The gameplay however I wasn't totally thrilled by. This is the kind of shooter that makes me not play much of the genre, with its heavy focus on aiming down sights and lack of mobility. While the sound design of the guns is pretty great, the overall feel of gunfights is stodgy and awkward, as you feel like you can't really move or avoid getting hit, while actually trying to hit enemies feels unwieldy and fiddly. Having the put the gun right in front of the person you're trying to hit just to be able to get a bead on them is not fun. The visual design of the game doesn't help either. While the stylistic presentation is pretty good and there are even a few nice vistas, the colour palette is very brown, making it very hard to pick out where enemies even are. The game also seemed to lack anti-aliasing and decent texture filtering, making the picture look very grainy and pixilated too, making it even harder to make stuff out.

But then the technical problems started. In the level you first get a shotgun, I found that whenever I fired it, the game would momentarily freeze for a second, every time. Incredibly distracting and annoying, breaking the flow of combat even more with the problems it already has. But I figured I can just not use that weapon and carry on playing. Then a couple of levels later I found that as soon as I shot any weapon the game just tanked to 2fps and stayed there indefinitely. With the game speed locked to the frame rate too. So to turn a jokey meme in to something more accurate for once, it was literally unplayable. So that was the end of my time with that game. I tried Googling my problems too, but all I found was that it seems technical problems with this game are quite common. Couldn't find anything mentioning my specific issues though.

I also attempted to play Anodyne. A game that I have played before many years ago, but didn't get far in. But there's a sequel coming at some point in the future, so I decided to clean this one up too. It's a strange, dreamlike 2D Zelda thing. I always liked the atmosphere it had. But when I was trying to boot it up on PC, the options for mapping a controller simply didn't work. So I just didn't bother. The game is coming out on Switch soon though, so I might give it a go there.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod » February 15th, 2019, 5:02 pm

Beck wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 11:58 am
It's great, isn't it? I stayed up well past my bedtime to try and get that elusive win. Is Tetris the greatest game of all time?
Depends what you want out of games, I guess. I'm definitely the type who finds "arcade" sort of games too simplistic to hold my interest - but some people are all about chasing the high score. So in a certain frame of view, Tetris could be called the best game ever made... But not for those who are more about the audiovisual and storytelling experience.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » February 15th, 2019, 8:42 pm

So yeah, I've been thoroughly enjoying Tetris 99 like everyone else.

Not managed the top spot just yet but I've had a 6th and a few 7th's oddly.

It's wonderful to pick up and play and have a quick go, or just one more game.

I also tried the Daemon X Machina demo and thought it was cool, I like the idea of this so will likely give it a try when it releases - anyone else try it, thoughts ??

Made a big mistake at the start though, I thought it would be cool to have English text with Japanese voices - however, going through the tutorial this way was effectively useless as I couldn't read the text and the dialogue was Japanese so I had no idea about anything :lol: .

Yoshi's Crafted World is cool, effectively it just more Wooly World but in a different aesthetic, I'm into this, so that's a sure buy.

It does look a bot rough though I think, not the art style but the resolution seemed a bot low to me and things looked a bot smudged, hopefully its just for the demo but that seems like a odd thing to do, so I'm prepared for the worst.

I've been working in the City for a few days a week recently and have been taking my GBA- SP on the train with me. It's super portable and as it's the AGS- 101 is super clear in any condition.

Caught a girl giggling and taking a picture of me playing it, she smiled when I clocked her so was pretty cool. I'm sure if it was the other way around though, there'd be trouble.

I've been playing Wario Land 3 on it and this is the next game in the series that I've been playing through for almost a year now.

This is the first one developed the GameBoy Color and takes advantage of the extra grunt quiet clearly. It runs so much better, has more complex levels and is faster.

It also has battery back-up like the previous one and as always I'm constantly worried about it failing and having to start again.

Wario Land 3 is a further advancement of 1 but is more focused on the replay-ability of levels with each level having 4 chest to unlock by finding hidden keys.

It has a an overworld, a map, currency and no lives.

It's good man, very enjoyable.

Image

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » February 15th, 2019, 9:45 pm

Suits wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 8:42 pm
I also tried the Daemon X Machina demo and thought it was cool, I like the idea of this so will likely give it a try when it releases - anyone else try it, thoughts ??
I played that as well. Forgot to add it to my post earlier. Personally I was pretty underwhelmed by it. The visual style is very striking, and I like the strong use of reds and oranges it has, but that's about where the positives stop. The performance on the demo was pretty bad, and it constantly felt like it was struggling. Might be fixed in the full game, but considering how pervasive the problem was, it's hard to imagine it could be totally fixed. The UI was also overly busy and chaotic, making it hard to work out what was going on at any time. The weapons felt like they had very little impact too, making the combat somewhat unsatisfying. Writing and voice acting was pretty poor as well, but perhaps a bit excusable given this is a small Japanese game. The mission design was pretty dull too. Might be just because they wanted to pick some simple missions for the demo, but three out of the four were just blasting enemies mindlessly until the game said it was over. The boss fight used as the last missions was a little more interesting I suppose. A big impressive set piece. Although it had some attacks that felt pretty cheap, and at one point it forced me in to a loop of taking control away from me, by pushing me out of the arena over and over as the game tried to push me back in. It also had a big mega laser beam attack, which it ended up shooting downwards through it's own body on several occasions. Didn't look great.

Too much negativity recently... I did start something a bit more fun today though. Mulaka on the Switch. But I haven't got far enough to talk much about it yet. So far it seems fun enough though.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » February 15th, 2019, 10:24 pm

Cool man, interesting stuff on DXM, thanks for sharing 👍🏽.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod » February 15th, 2019, 11:41 pm

Oh my God, that Daemon x Machina trailer and one of my streamers streaming the demo might have sold me on a Switch. That and Tetris 99. And whatever the hell that Digital Devil Saga-looking Platinum thing was. Nintendo is actually trying to make games for adults now, I'm digging it.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd » February 16th, 2019, 5:28 am

Nintendo have often made games "for adults".

From Animal crossing to, Xenoblade Chronicles to Zelda.

May I introduce you to Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX, Wonderful 101, Bayonetta 2, Breath of the Wild...

Bit of a silly thing to say. I'm assuming you meant "mature themes" as I've enjoyed Nintendos library from childhood to adulthood into fatherhood

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » February 16th, 2019, 7:32 am

ratsoalbion wrote:
February 15th, 2019, 11:17 am
Let's just make Tetris the default 'GotY' every year from now on.
:D

Image

:lol:

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