Whatcha Been Playing?

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

Finished off Endings C and D in Nier 1.22 today. Route C is less interesting than B. It does add in a few new tidbits, but not much in comparison to what B did. There is one thing about this version that they didn't change that I wish they did now. Ending C and D are done by a simple choice at the end of the game, like the last few endings in Automata. But unlike that game, here you can't go back to a recent save after getting one ending to quickly get back to the point where you make the choice so you can see the other option. It places you back at the start of Route C again, making you go through the latter half of the game one more time just to get to that choice. And it's still the same route, so no new story for this last run. I've always been supportive of the idea of how this game does repeating content, as it does evolve each time through, and the context of having that previous experience helps enhance future runs as well. But in this case I don't think it's justifiable. There really is nothing new to see, and no good reason why it couldn't have been made more convenient. You can at least cut down the time it takes by just focusing on the main quests and skipping cutsenes etc., but even doing that it's still a pretty big chunk of time of repeating identical content for no good reason.

This point would count as completing the game if it were the original version, but this version has a one new ending left to go. I'm pretty excited to se what it brings. I haven't got to the point where I'm seeing new stuff yet though. I do have some expectations of what it will be like, since I have heard about the Ending E that was cut from the original version, and showed up in an audio drama or something. But with the way this new game is structured, it seems like it won't be identical.

I played a bit of Pine recently too. I've had my eye on this for a while, but picked it up as it was one of the Epic freebies not long ago. First impressions were really good, but it quickly became pretty disappointing unfortunately. It presents itself as a sort of indie Breath of the Wild, with a twist on the formula of having different tribes of creatures whose villages can grow based on whether you interact and trade with them. But they also have a reputation mechanic with the player, and between different tribes. So if you interact with one who it an enemy of another, the latter will dislike you for associating with their enemy. Visually it's very nice too. It does a pretty good job of evoking that same kind of simplistic, colourful, yet convincingly naturalistic look of BotW, but it has its own spin on it too. Characters look pretty unique with oversized facial features, but in an appealing way.

But to actually play, it's not very good. Combat is extremely slow and clunky. Inputs feel very unresponsive, and animations are vague and floaty feeling. Enemies also hit really hard, so it makes for some really frustrating encounters when you're getting punished really harshly for the game not keeping up with what you want to do. Objectives for quests are really boring and tedious too, at least as far as I've seen. They're all just gathering a certain number of a specific drop. And that's made so much worse by how terrible it is at giving you direction. It's often not clear where you get a certain item from. The hints that you do get are often unhelpful, and most places on the map don't tell you what their names are. So most of the experience of playing just ended up being roaming around aimlessly hoping that maybe at some point I would stumble on what I needed by chance, and getting ambushed by monsters and helplessly trying to wrestle with the controls to defend myself. I got to a point where I finally managed to gather all the materials I needed for a certain quest, only to find out the next objective was to find an even greater number of far more obscure materials. So my patience was exhausted and I gave up. Never got near the point of seeing how the tribe dynamics worked out, but given what I had seen of the game already, I don't feel like I'm missing much.

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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

I started 3 games over the weekend and unfortunately none of them stuck. The first was Tomb Raider Underworld which was recommended on the BackPage podcast as one of the best games of 2008. It had been in my Steam library for years so gave it a go but I found the platforming to be too frustrating and clunky to be fun and there was a lack of any signposting. That's maybe less a fault of the game, it's just that modern games are quite hand holdy now and I guess I have got used to that assistance.
The second game I then tried was Carrion, I think this is one I will go back to after I got some tips on Twitter afterwards but I was having trouble with the controls as whenever I thought I was killing enemies, they would come back to live, shoot me, game over. It turns out I was doing something wrong though so I will go back as I liked the premise.
Finally I tried XCOM 2, this was a game I have tried before but found too difficult, but I watched a stream and got some tips in the week so thought I would give it another go as I love the genre. But I still found it too hard, I even stuck it on rookie and it made little difference. It was only the third mission which the game classed as 'easy' but I didn't even get remotely near to completing the objective after multiple attempts. I don't know why I am so bad at it as other XCOM like games I have found to be fine on higher difficulties. I have given the game enough chances now that I know it's not for me. It's also quite buggy for such an old game which I would have expected to have been patched by now.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Truk_Kurt wrote: May 24th, 2021, 9:38 am The second game I then tried was Carrion, I think this is one I will go back to after I got some tips on Twitter afterwards but I was having trouble with the controls as whenever I thought I was killing enemies, they would come back to live, shoot me, game over. It turns out I was doing something wrong though so I will go back as I liked the premise.
Definitely go back to that - it controls like a dream once you’ve got it right!

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Feirsteax
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Feirsteax »

Played this game on my laptop over the past few days:
https://laurahunt.itch.io/if-on-a-winte ... -travelers

Nice little indie game - an atmospheric point and click adventure with supernatural elements and lovely pixel art. Thought I'd draw people's attention to it because it's a nice wee indie game and I thought it was a nice little breather away from the ever accelerating hype & money train that is the mainstream game industry.

On that note, I've been scrolling through itch.io lately and I'm hoping to find some hidden gems on there.

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdDrawing »

Seph wrote: May 20th, 2021, 5:09 pm
Simonsloth wrote: May 19th, 2021, 6:30 pm
Seph wrote: May 18th, 2021, 8:47 pm I started 428: Shibuya Scramble today. I'm not far into it, but I like the presentation and the fun cast of characters. It's a good idea to not have a voice audio, as I always read ahead anyway, plus the music is fantastic too. There have been several nods to Twin Peaks already, which is making me think this might not turn out to be a straight forward detective story (though I wouldn't be disappointed if it was).
Let me know how you get on with it. It’s on backlog having bought it a while back in a sale but never got around to playing it.
Will do. There's a lot of character shifting that reminds me a little of the Zero Escape series so far, but without the puzzle rooms. I've hit a lot of bad endings so far, but I think the game is based a lot on trial and error. It depends on if you have the patience to replay moments to make the right choices. I like the tone, it's very fun.
It's on my backlog too. We should start a thread on it!

I got to Chapter 6 in Yakuza Kiwami 2.....and then SMT Nocturne came out. I had to grab it. It was my first SMT game and it's still my favourite. Yes, it's a lazy port and too expensive......but it's Nocturne and my second favourite game ever made.

It's definitely worth grabbing if you haven't played it before.

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ColinAlonso
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ColinAlonso »

I've gone back to Pokémon Crystal. I beat the first 4 gyms back before the podcast episode and picked it up again last weekend, beat the 7th gym last night. Since I like playing with the time set to the actual time, I'm just seeing a lot of dark nighttime colours rather than actual greens and blues.

I've also racked up 200 hours on Slay the Spire now. Butting my head against ascension level 20 with The Silent.

I'm also over halfway through Fire Emblem: Three Houses on new game+ with the Golden Deer (Maddening, Casual) but I've dropped it over the last week or 2.

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SludgeWizard
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by SludgeWizard »

I'm trying like hell to get into Control.
I've played it a handful of times, usually for 20 minutes to an hour, and I'm enjoying it so far (I've recently unlocked the dash ability) but it just hasn't "clicked" yet.
I'm still trying, and I'll play some more later today. I was a big fan of Alan Wake but outside of that I don't have a lot of exposure to this developer.
Hopefully I get over that hump, because I am super impressed with Control on a technical level.

I've also decided to go back to Days Gone to see if I can knock off the platinum trophy.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

Just played through the demo for Scarlet Nexus. This game has been lowkey on my radar for a while, thinking it might have potential but maybe it might not end up being up to much. I was pleasantly surprised with this demo though, and I think there's really something to this game. It's a hack-and-slash from the people who made the God Eater games, with the twist that you also have telekinetic powers to throw stuff around the environment at enemies. I liked the basic flow of it, and even though your general melee attacks seemed rather simple, it seems like there's some depth there with how you can mix them with the TK powers. In this demo at least, your melee attacks were your usual mix of light strings with heavy combo finishers, but using TK to throw something at an enemy lets you quickly start a new melee string, so you can keep your flow going. But your TK power is limited, and is charged up with melee hits. So I can see this actually have some real combo potential based on trying to keep your strings going as long as possible, managing the right moments to use TK. I got a glimpse of that in the demo fighting this one particular enemy that has a powerful AoE attack that makes the ground around them hurt you. So I was doing mid-air attacks on them, and managed to use this TK combo looping to stay in the air for ages and avoid several of these attacks in a row.

You also have allies fighting alongside you, who each have their own type of psychic power, and they can buff you by giving you some of their abilities for a while. The demo had some pretty self explanatory buffs, but they were useful. Like teleportation that extends your dodge and gives you way more i-frames, or another that gives you hyper-armour, and another that gives you a fire buff. The teleportation one also had some environmental use, allowing you to dash through fences or reach otherwise unreachable ledges and such. So while these powers seem kind of secondary to the main powers, there's still some cool stuff there, and I guess there will be more of them in the main game.

I also really like the aesthetic of the game. It's got a dystopic cyberpunk anime look to it, not dissimilar from Astral Chain, but it's got its own thing going on too. The main characters all have very stylish looking urbanware outfits, but accented with glowing orange wires. When you use your ally powers some big chunky ones stick out of your back too, which I thought was a cool touch. The world itself looks nice as well. Very detailed and lived-in looking cityscapes, again accented with orange and red wires and holographic elements. Some scenes have a very cool looking red/orange gradient to them as well. Enemy design is pretty imaginative too. They are these weird chimeras of flesh and limbs, cobbled together with plants and flowers. Sometimes with bits of machinery sticking out of them. It's definitely a unique look, and they're actually pretty colourful and appealing in a weird way.

I played this on my PS4, and so the game was running at 30fps, and I think that will be a sticking point for me. It was playable, and it held very solidly at that frame rate, in this demo at least. So it wasn't bad by any means. But I did get the sense that it would benefit from 60fps a lot, and that it felt just a bit hard to keep up with at 30. I still don't see myself getting hold of a PS5 any time soon though, and I'm not sure if my PC is up to the task with brand new games these days either, so I'm not sure if/when I'll be jumping on for the full game.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Finally finished Final Fantasy VII Remake, and it was alright and must have had something to keep me playing, but it seemed to go on forever and I was definitely bored of it well before the end! Not playing through Silent Hill 2 again this week might have sped things up, but time there is never wasted!

I’ve plugged a couple of old gaps on eBay this week with WEC Le Mans on Spectrum and Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge 2 on Atari ST, and I’ve had such a good time with them. Both systems had some great racers, and these are near the top on each, and are still so much fun today.

Maneater on Xbox Game Pass was less fun. I just don’t want to play as a fish, especially when its main purpose, to kill, is so cumbersome. I did discover a real fondness for Mr Heli on PC-Engine and Spectrum though, like Fantasy Zone meets cavern shooter and a real joy to play. The Spectrum version is impressive, although a bit quick and easy, but I plan on spending some real time on PC-Engine soon - past future classic!

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

Started up Bug Fables this weekend and people saying it is influenced by Paper Mario were downplaying it! This feels exactly like the Thousand Year Door only without the Mario skin. It has been well over a decade since I played anything like TTYD so I am adoring it so far. A battle system that is a little bit more complicated which places emphasis on swapping at the right time, party positioning and allowing members to take two turns makes combat a compelling but not overwhelming affair. It can also get pretty tough at times, the first dungeon boss had me using all my healing items to survive its onslaught and I just barely won on just 1 HP for two of my characters! Having a proper party also gives even more character to this game with the three heroes bouncing off each other wonderfully and even for an RPG, the amount of dialogue is massive but I want to read it all as it is so full of personality. So far, this is second only to Kiwami 2 as the best game I played this year. Just a great time overall.

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Marlew
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Marlew »

This past few weeks, I have been mostly playing:

Dodonpachi Daioujou X

It's an exclusive mode on the Xbox 360 port. It's kind of an amped up version with more bullets but it's also easier to chain so you build a shitload of meter and consequently get loads of hypers dropping down the screen. When you trigger hyper mode, it's also a mental green hyper laser which dissolves bullets and builds meter very fast so you get more and more hypers dropping when it runs out. On the flip side, this increases the rank quite a lot resulting in even more, even faster bullets so even with the mental green hyper dissolving them, you start to get overwhelmed by the onslaught. It can become a mad war of attrition with you triggering hyper just to stay alive but that in turn makes it that bit more difficult.

There's also an extra ship which has the base game's hyper as its normal shot and the mad green hyper as hyper, so it's total carnage. However, if you pick one of the normal ships, you get auto bombs which cancel all bullets when you get hit, so I actually prefer that just for the defensive safety net. I technically did clear the stage five boss on 1CC but that unlocked the True Last Boss which has an anti-hyper washing machine attack that is one of the maddest things I've ever seen in a game. I actually started laughing afterwards, maybe just a release of tension but it was so overwhelming. Staying alive for three or four seconds is a hell of a rush but I was nowhere near taking it down.

The game is absolutely fucking phenomenal.

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Miririn
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Miririn »

I got excited for "Horizon Forbidden West", so I'm re-playing "Horizon Zero Dawn". The first time I played it (almost a year ago), it was my first ever PlayStation game and I had no idea what I was doing, what the buttons were etc and had to adjust difficulty down to Easy...!! This time I'm breezing through it on Normal and having a great time.

The game feels and looks great to play. I love the way the UI is displayed. There's also such a variety of different ways you can choose to play and enjoy the game - exploration, story focused, hunting challenges etc etc.

In terms of story, the concept is creative and I love all the revelations. I love how the game took this endearingly ridiculous concept but fashioned a complex and moving story out of it. There are lots of likable characters too. The dialogue can be horrendously cheesy at times ("It's the end! ...or how it begins anyway") but... it's a game about dinobots so why not?

So excited for "Forbidden West"!

Edit - As for the recent "Aloy is ugly and masculine" mountain-molehill (it was just one random idiot on twitter), I can't even be bothered to get on my Righteous Feminist High Horse like I did for Abby from TLOU2 because it's all just so silly. Aloy's character design is objectively what people would stereotypically consider "feminine" and pretty: slim, long hair, regular features, big eyes etc. If anything, without her hair and weird outfits, she's sort of just generic-looking. It's not even a Benedick Cumberbatch situation where it's an odd-looking person who some people go nuts for and you're like "Huh. Well I guess beauty is subjective!" - Aloy (who I really like!) is such an objectively, generically pretty character that I ended up just laughing at the guy's tweet because it was so stupid. If his standards are that high well... good luck to him in the dating world, I guess.

So regarding this ~controversy~, following this paragraph, in the immortal words of Lucille Bluth: "I won't hear it and I won't respond to it"

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion »

Hear hear. Absolute nonsense innit.

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Miririn
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Miririn »

It took three decades but I may have finally reached feminist zen space.

I'm also trying to get the "Uncharted 4" plat but am encountering some problems:

A. I keep having to restart the speedrun attempts because I get emotionally invested in the cinematics and then forget to skip them.

B. I've got nearly every single player trophy so I need to start the multiplayer... but am not sure if my internet will be up to it or if anyone is still even playing UC4 multiplayer?

I kind of wish multiplayer trophies weren't included in the platinums for single player games. In this case the multiplayer seems like an entirely different game (...there's magic powers in it? Or something?) and also there are SO MANY single player trophies required for the plat that throwing in a bunch of multiplayer trophy requirements seems mean.

Thank you all for letting me complain about non problems. I'm very spoilt because the only plat I've got is TLOU2 which barely asks you to do anything :lol: Even Grounded Mode is separate! The requirements for an UC4 plat were... a brutal wakeup call haha.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

Recently started a NG+ run of Final Fantasy XV and I'm really surprised how quickly it got me totally hooked again. It's been totally dominating my gaming time, and every time I play it's really hard to pull myself away from, just wanting to do one more sidequest, one more hunt, over and over. So yeah, I'm liking it a whole lot. It's great fun to adventure around the world at a leisurely pace taking in the sights, between the fun battles and great music.

I've finally got to the point where I unlocked infinite air dashes, which has been a big improvement to the feel of combat. It's really freeing to be able to fly around dashing everywhere in a fight. And then more recently I collected all the Royal Arms and unlocked the Armiger Unleashed mode that was added in a DLC update since I last played. It's an improved version of the Armiger powered-up mode that does way more damage, and is way more complex. It has a whole long combo list where you need to chain finishing moves together in with more standard attack strings, but it's pretty tight about the window to press the finisher button, and it doesn't buffer your inputs letting you mash the button to get it. On top of that there's also air combos that can be used to buffer ground combos to extend them out in to huge strings of some absolutely wild stuff. It's kind of strange for a game that is usually very lenient with how much it demands of the player's dexterity, but it's really rewarding to pull off. It actually took me a while messing around in the training area before I got the hang of it, but I like it a lot.

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Phantom Phreak
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Phantom Phreak »

At the moment there are no particular games I play hours on end. The range of games goes from WoW and Destiny 2 to Tetris and Sudoku :)

Usually it depends. Depends on my mood. Given circumstances I more often give preference to WoW. To be a success in the game I can spend some part of my salary on this. It works all the time.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

At the moment I'm playing Monster Hunter Rise, Borderlands and Mario Picross, all on Switch. Also around 3/4 through Assassin's Creed Syndicate on PS4.

All completely different games, but enjoying them all.

Borderlands in particular is really well suited to portable play. I've been playing at work a bit between visits or on my lunch break, and it's great to just drop in for a mission here and there. The port of the second game on Vita back in the day was close to being great, but the performance was terrible really so nowhere near as enjoyable.

I rage quit MH Rise earlier after fainting 3 times in close succession to a monster I've taken down easily before. Its not even a particularly tough one (some wriggly lizard thing that can use shock attacks) but I was trying to beat the multiplayer version of him (her?) solo since nobody had joined my game yet, and he just finished me.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

The online/HR versions of the monsters are no joke I tell you. I've been trying to beat the Veterans' Gala which is a High Rank village quest in the arena that got added with Update 3.0, no problems with the first two monsters but the High Rank version of Magnamalo that turns up at the end batters me. Still playing Rise almost daily for at least a little while, need to get to HR100 to get the next round of quests and I'm on 90 right now.

Played some more RE3 Remake, 3hr14mins to go through the campaign again. It really is wonderful, great action and quippy character dynamics. I wish they'd make a sequel in set around 2002-2003 with Jill and Carlos trying to take down Umbrella, but sadly that seems unlikely now.

Also booted up Assassin's Creed Odyssey for the first time in almost exactly a year, based on my save file. It never gets old, this game. I'm 166 hours in and only just started the first paid DLC as I didn't have the season pass until recently. It's so absorbing and I can just wander around to my heart's content.

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dezm0nd
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd »

Jobobonobo wrote: June 1st, 2021, 11:19 am Started up Bug Fables this weekend and people saying it is influenced by Paper Mario were downplaying it! This feels exactly like the Thousand Year Door only without the Mario skin. It has been well over a decade since I played anything like TTYD.... So far, this is second only to Kiwami 2 as the best game I played this year. Just a great time overall.
Good to see some first hand impressions. I've been tempted but never had a solid idea what it was like within a paper Mario context

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

I have had only 4 hours or so with it but it just captures what makes the early Paper Mario titles so engaging and even builds up on that in terms of combat and character. Really cannot recommend it enough if you want something like Thousand Year Door.

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