Whatcha Been Playing?

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Angry_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Angry_Kurt »

Stanshall wrote:
May 11th, 2020, 7:52 pm
@Kurt, yeah, RDR2 on the X is a significant step up from on the Pro. I'm starting a replay at the moment having got a new telly recently, and it looks frankly staggering. It's not necessarily flashy or stylish or ostentatiously impressive but there's a level of verisimilitude to the lighting and textures that I think is unsurpassed.
Yes, I totally agree Stanshall. There have been a few times already when I have just stopped to gasp at the environment. I think outside of of racing sim games, it must be the best game graphically currently available. I can't comprehend how good it must look on ultra settings on a top spec PC!

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

So I persevered and finished Castlevania: Harmony of Dissononsssencyett

Image

Ended up at 197.2%, without doing hardly any sniffing around. I'll leave it there now I think.

Better that Portrait of Ruin for me but miles behind the Sorrow games.
Mr Ixolite wrote:
May 7th, 2020, 7:48 am
........and having a really lame true final battle.
Man, this was such a wet fart. Really really limp final boss and ending.


In the mean time, I've been playing Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

Now this is good. It's a great mix of classic adventure gameplay with branching paths, hidden boss's and really compelling level design and art.

Despite the nasty new title screen and some odd music sounds, it's a pretty nice version that's hidden on the Castlevania X Chronicles UMD. Certainly playable and hard to put down.

One thing that has proved problematic is the screen on the 1000 series PSP. It's nasty. It has awful contrast, really bad, so that no matter what light you are in you can't make out the bast flying around on level 2 - so thats's bad.

It has three brightness modes which do make a difference but it's a drop in the ocean in getting something that really lights up the pixels.

It also has some real bad bloom effects around the edge of the screen, on a black screen in the dark, you can see the blooms - this may a defect with my PSP mind, but either way its a bit annoying each time I see it.

With this in mind, I've picked up a 3000 series console, with the much improved screen, which offers five times the contrast ratio and twice the refresh rate of the series 1000.

That should arrive soon and I'm looking forward to picking back up where I left it, which was at level 4.

You gotta be able too see the bats you see.

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Mr Ixolite
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Suits wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 12:09 pm

In the mean time, I've been playing Castlevania: Rondo of Blood.

Now this is good. It's a great mix of classic adventure gameplay with branching paths, hidden boss's and really compelling level design and art.

Despite the nasty new title screen and some odd music sounds, it's a pretty nice version that's hidden on the Castlevania X Chronicles UMD. Certainly playable and hard to put down.
Wait theres a version of Rondo of Blood in the PSP game all along?? Dang, now I might have to track it down again. The 3D graphics did absolutely nothing for me at the time.

Rondo is my overall favourite Castlevania; its got the immediate platforming thrills of the other Classicvanias, but incentivises exploration to find all the secret bibs and bobs. It basically supercharges everything good about Castlevania III, plus, it looks great and sounds amazing. I guess I shouldn't be surprised it was squirreled away in some obscure manner, but I'm happy that Rondo exists in some sort of official western release

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Mr Ixolite wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 1:05 pm
Wait theres a version of Rondo of Blood in the PSP game all along?? Dang, now I might have to track it down again. The 3D graphics did absolutely nothing for me at the time.
Yeah, in the 3D re-make there are a number of hidden cool things to unlock.

The main two that always grab the headlines are the full versions of Symphony of the Night and Rondo of Blood.

You can unlock SotN by scaling a awkward bit on level 3 and claiming a candle, then on level 3 behind a bombed wall and another platform section is another candle with Rondo of Blood hidden in it.

SotN is the PS1 classic version with different voice acting but RoB is the straight up PCE version just with an English title screen and different voice acting with english subtitles over the intro as well as english instead of the Japanese voices in the cut scenes.

It took me a few days and charges of the PSP to unlock it, but it was still a good time and I ended up growing rather fond of the 3d re-make, although as soon as I unlocked Rondo I instantly restarted :lol: .

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KissMammal
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KissMammal »

Lonely Mountains: Downhill on Switch.

Despite loving the aesthetic, I was a bit worried I wouldn’t get into this initially as the game feels a little hostile and prickly to begin with. This is because riding off-road and exploring to find faster routes (which is essential in order to beat the time trial challenges) doesn’t really become fun or even possible until you unlock less fragile bikes. But once you do, the game really opens up and you can start to ride in a more care-free way, and I’m really enjoying it now. Really good game, despite some performance wonkiness.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

I got PCSX2 up and running again for the first time in ages, so I've been having a bit of a fiddle around with Midnight Club 3 again. This is another old racer that I have fondness for from back in the day, but if I'm honest, it's never been that great to go back to. In fact if I look back on my original time with it, I think that maybe it was never that impressive...

This game is so damn chaotic that it is practically unplayable. It moves so fast, and the rubber banding is so extreme, that it feels like you don't have any control over what is going on at all. It's just constant crashing all the time, where you have to deal with traffic and opponents flying everywhere nonstop, or smashing in to you, to a degree that is just impossible to account for. Meanwhile it asks you to make super precise turns at ludicrous speeds all the time, which would be hard enough with out all the random chaos going on. There seems to be some input lag too, so that makes it even more unmanageable. When I played this game back in the day, I never got much more than a third of the way through, even using cheats to unlock all the cars and such. It's ridiculous.

It's a shame though, because I do sort of like how the handling model feels to a degree. Like you're throwing these oversized toy cars around, making comically huge jumps, and wide smooth drifts. It just doesn't work in practice. And I do still like the customisation this game offers as well. Even though the aesthetic of it is very of the era, there's a lot to it that is still above what a lot of games do today.

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OneCreditBen
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by OneCreditBen »



A shedload of Card Fighters Clash on the Neo Geo Pocket!

Just finished an 11 Part Longplay on the channel and beat the Capcom version the other day! The rules are explained in the first video, for those new to it. It's honestly one of my favourite handheld games of all time!

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Mr Ixolite
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Mr Ixolite »

Suits wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 1:14 pm

SotN is the PS1 classic version with different voice acting but RoB is the straight up PCE version just with an English title screen and different voice acting with english subtitles over the intro as well as english instead of the Japanese voices in the cut scenes.
Does the intro still have a German voiceover, despite being a japan-made game set in Romania? :lol: I played Rondo through emulation back in the day, and it truly made it feel like I was playing the gaming equivalent of an obscure bootleg VHS tape

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

I've been lucky enough to be given a free copy of The Wonderful 101 Remastered, as some people are giving away their bonus codes that Kickstarter backers were given to make up for the delay of the physical versions being shipped out. I do own the original Wii U version as well, but I never really got in to it. This time I'm trying to stick with it, and I've got beyond what I ever played before, but first impressions are still pretty similar.

I'm often struggling to read what is going on on-screen. It's really visually busy, and the isometric camera view is rather unhelpful in a lot of situations. Both being too far out to see where you characters are in all the chaos, yet too close to see attacks coming from off-screen. Some of the platforming parts are confusing as well, with the angle making it hard to judge depth. I'm also finding the game rather obtuse when it comes to boss fights and certain set pieces. Often you will be thrown in to a highly scripted sequence, frequently against a boss, where you're pretty restricted in what you can do. You're just supposed to intuit what the game wants from you when it doesn't signal what that is very well, and can be very punishing if you don't work it out fast. But I'm still relatively early on. Hopefully I'll work things out better as I go. Although I thought this version was supposed to have a new tutorial, or some kind of tweaks to help new players. I haven't noticed anything different from the original, except perhaps some moves in the shop being recommended.

There are some things I do like about it though. The whole Unite Morph system is pretty interesting and unique, and it's fun when you unlock the ability to have two of them going at once. And of course the game feel is top notch, as is practically always the case with Platinum. I like the general tone of it as well. Extremely goofy and campy. Very self aware and melodramatic in a fun, comedic way. Although it does get bogged down a bit in cutscenes that drag on too long in the opening hour or two.

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Angry_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Angry_Kurt »

Scrustle wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 7:09 pm
I've been lucky enough to be given a free copy of The Wonderful 101 Remastered, as some people are giving away their bonus codes that Kickstarter backers were given to make up for the delay of the physical versions being shipped out. I do own the original Wii U version as well, but I never really got in to it. This time I'm trying to stick with it, and I've got beyond what I ever played before, but first impressions are still pretty similar.

I'm often struggling to read what is going on on-screen. It's really visually busy, and the isometric camera view is rather unhelpful in a lot of situations. Both being too far out to see where you characters are in all the chaos, yet too close to see attacks coming from off-screen. Some of the platforming parts are confusing as well, with the angle making it hard to judge depth. I'm also finding the game rather obtuse when it comes to boss fights and certain set pieces. Often you will be thrown in to a highly scripted sequence, frequently against a boss, where you're pretty restricted in what you can do. You're just supposed to intuit what the game wants from you when it doesn't signal what that is very well, and can be very punishing if you don't work it out fast. But I'm still relatively early on. Hopefully I'll work things out better as I go. Although I thought this version was supposed to have a new tutorial, or some kind of tweaks to help new players. I haven't noticed anything different from the original, except perhaps some moves in the shop being recommended.

There are some things I do like about it though. The whole Unite Morph system is pretty interesting and unique, and it's fun when you unlock the ability to have two of them going at once. And of course the game feel is top notch, as is practically always the case with Platinum. I like the general tone of it as well. Extremely goofy and campy. Very self aware and melodramatic in a fun, comedic way. Although it does get bogged down a bit in cutscenes that drag on too long in the opening hour or two.
Was you a fan of the Bayonetta games? I had a similar problem with them in that I just found everything happening on the screen too chaotic and struggled to see what moves I was doing, where enemies were and where Bayonetta was. In comparison I got on with the Ninja Theory DmC game as I thought the action taking place was a lot clearer. What you're saying here about The Wonderful 101 makes me think it probably wouldn't be for me.

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Angry_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Scrustle wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 8:43 pm
I got PCSX2 up and running again for the first time in ages, so I've been having a bit of a fiddle around with Midnight Club 3 again. This is another old racer that I have fondness for from back in the day, but if I'm honest, it's never been that great to go back to. In fact if I look back on my original time with it, I think that maybe it was never that impressive...

This game is so damn chaotic that it is practically unplayable. It moves so fast, and the rubber banding is so extreme, that it feels like you don't have any control over what is going on at all. It's just constant crashing all the time, where you have to deal with traffic and opponents flying everywhere nonstop, or smashing in to you, to a degree that is just impossible to account for. Meanwhile it asks you to make super precise turns at ludicrous speeds all the time, which would be hard enough with out all the random chaos going on. There seems to be some input lag too, so that makes it even more unmanageable. When I played this game back in the day, I never got much more than a third of the way through, even using cheats to unlock all the cars and such. It's ridiculous.

It's a shame though, because I do sort of like how the handling model feels to a degree. Like you're throwing these oversized toy cars around, making comically huge jumps, and wide smooth drifts. It just doesn't work in practice. And I do still like the customisation this game offers as well. Even though the aesthetic of it is very of the era, there's a lot to it that is still above what a lot of games do today.
I always thought the PS2 racers like Midnight Club and the Need for Speed games had fantastic customisation options which wasn't really replicated on the current gen and I've no idea why.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Mr Ixolite wrote:
May 13th, 2020, 7:50 am
Does the intro still have a German voiceover, despite being a japan-made game set in Romania? :lol: I played Rondo through emulation back in the day, and it truly made it feel like I was playing the gaming equivalent of an obscure bootleg VHS tape
It does, but it's a different voice from the PCE from what I can tell.

Although this time it has English subtitles, which is nice.

Yeah, you're right all the cutscenes and intro's seem to have a odd "of it's time" quality to them don't they :lol: .

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dezm0nd
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd »

Been playing Control and its absolutely pulled me in.

It's weird, its mysterious and the presentation is top notch.

Navigating the oldest house seems tricky but I'm sure I'll get used to it.

This could be up there with Alan Wake and Max Payne for Remedys output.

I was stung with Quantum Break, found it to be a fun game inside a dull wrapper so didn't want to pay full price for this but I'm gutted I didnt play it sooner.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Angry_Kurt wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 9:23 am
Was you a fan of the Bayonetta games? I had a similar problem with them in that I just found everything happening on the screen too chaotic and struggled to see what moves I was doing, where enemies were and where Bayonetta was. In comparison I got on with the Ninja Theory DmC game as I thought the action taking place was a lot clearer. What you're saying here about The Wonderful 101 makes me think it probably wouldn't be for me.
Yeah I'm a big Platinum fan. The Bayonetta games are some of my all time favourites. Even though they are really chaotic, I rarely have a problem understanding what's going on in those games though. All the enemy attacks are signalled by a very distinctive visual and audio cue, and they are programmed to be less aggressive when off-screen. TW101 is a bit different though. It's very bright and colourful, to the point where things that are supposed to signal an incoming attack don't stand out. Like there is one on rails shooter section where you have to shoot down incoming projectiles while chasing down a dragon. It shoots fireballs at you which don't draw much attention to themselves, but there are also boulders that fly at you too. And with all the bright scenery rushing past, and debris flying around, at first I simply didn't see these grey chunks coming at me at all. I didn't realise they weren't just part of the backdrop.

I tend to have a bit of a mixed reception with Platinum's more experimental games in general. Stuff like Bayonetta is made in the same well worn design mould as DMC, etc. Stuff like that I tend to get on well with. But then when they try to get a bit weird with stuff, I find them rather hit-and-miss with me. Like at first I didn't get on with Vanquish either, until playing it a second time on easy. Astral Chain is the first of their more "out there" games which I really clicked with, and even then it took until about halfway through the game to get there. That game is a bit less unusual than TW101 and Vanquish too.
Angry_Kurt wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 9:25 am
I always thought the PS2 racers like Midnight Club and the Need for Speed games had fantastic customisation options which wasn't really replicated on the current gen and I've no idea why.
I would guess there are a couple of reasons. One being that it's simply harder to do as standards of visual quality have got higher. It probably takes a lot of dev time to basically create dozens of models for every single car in a game, so with games getting more detailed, it exponentially extends how much effort it takes to flesh out a feature like that. Another reason is perhaps that it got too expensive to license all the body kit brands. Maybe before it was much cheaper to do so, or it was much easier to get away with not using real parts at all, like NFS used to do. Or maybe it's just because the trend for that sort of car culture isn't as popular as it used to be.

I think NFS is supposed to still have good customisation though. I haven't been keeping up with the newest releases in the series in a long time, but from what I've seen they are at least good on that front. I've been meaning to pick up NFS Heat at some point though. Seems like that's the best out of all the ones released this gen.

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BaileyBoy
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by BaileyBoy »

I love the intro/cutscenes in this game! There's something about that early 90's CD game anime aesthetic seen here and other games like Popful Mail and the 90s Ys titles that's so appealing to me.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

There are still some racing games that do that full on customisation aspect well. Forza Horizon 4 has all the spoilers, rims and body kits you could wish for. It just hides a lot of it deep in menus you may not venture into.

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Angry_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Flabyo wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 10:33 am
There are still some racing games that do that full on customisation aspect well. Forza Horizon 4 has all the spoilers, rims and body kits you could wish for. It just hides a lot of it deep in menus you may not venture into.
Does it have sliders though, like in those old PS2 racers?

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Angry_Kurt wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 10:34 am
Flabyo wrote:
May 14th, 2020, 10:33 am
There are still some racing games that do that full on customisation aspect well. Forza Horizon 4 has all the spoilers, rims and body kits you could wish for. It just hides a lot of it deep in menus you may not venture into.
Does it have sliders though, like in those old PS2 racers?
The Forza games are a lot less in-depth when it comes to visual customisation compared the old NFS/Midnight Club stuff. There's usually only a handful of kits per car, and it varies a lot from car to car, depending on what it is. So like JDM stuff will often have a reasonable range of things, but outside of that you're lucky if you get much to work with. Although it does have a really in-depth livery editor, which is basically the highest standard for that sort of feature. Most current games that have something similar copy what Forza does. The series also has pretty in-depth performance upgrade systems, that definitely has the old PS2 games beat. Not only do you have a range of different upgrade levels to all the different components of the car, you can also do stuff like swap engines and drivetrains. There's also a really granular tuning system as well so you can tweak things down to the very fine details.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

I guess despite the silliness in horizon, the Forza games are still at the realism end of the spectrum.

I never played very far into it, but maybe the ‘The Crew’ games are more what you’re after?

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Alex79uk wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 11:42 am
I got some Amazon vouchers for my birthday last week - Bayonetta 2 is £35 on Switch on there and comes with Bayonetta 1 as well. Is it worth getting, has anyone played the Switch ports?
So I did end up getting this. Tried a little of the first game. Literally the first five minutes. Seems to play well, good framerate and smooth controls - honestly though, it seemed a little hectic for the small screen. Might be one I have to play on the TV rather than in handheld.

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