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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 1st, 2019, 3:59 pm
by James
Alex79uk wrote:
July 1st, 2019, 3:15 pm
I really enjoyed Infamous: Second Son - it opens up to loads more than just smoke based stuff. It was more of the same for the series, but I really liked the first two games, too. I'd definitely be up for more, although I do still have Last Light to play actually. Did you give up on it or you going to play any more? The story wasn't bad either, if a little generic.
Yeah, the game hinted it would expand to more than smoke abilities, the opening just seemed eerily familiar. I really wasn't a fan of the first inFAMOUS, so hearing that this is in the same style only puts me off further. Didn't really like anything about what I played, sadly. I'd actually forgotten there was an inFAMOUS 2 until you mentioned the "first two games". I think I played a demo or the start of that game too, but wasn't sold.

I've heard good things about Last Light. Though, I'm zero-for-three on the series, so maybe not for me. :(

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 1st, 2019, 5:00 pm
by Scrustle
Transformers: Devastation is excellent. It gets a lot easier to navigate after the earlier levels. It gets far more linear once you get past the starting levels in the city. Combat is of course great, and it has a really good soundtrack, and amusingly cheesy voice acting. I don't have any affinity for Transformers at all, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have tried Absolver and it seems like it's got some really deep and unique combat, and a cool world, but I was useless at it. Couldn't get my head around it either. But I can tell there's something quite special there if you can crack it. I get the feeling it will be one of those games that, many years from now, will have a small but vocal group of people talking about how it was a forgotten classic that no one remembers.

I've also tried The Bridge, and that's a pretty intriguing puzzle game that really makes the most of its Escher style aesthetic, but it's extremely hard. Another one that I couldn't crack. It also annoyingly had odd numbered achievements on the 360, so I stopped playing at a certain point when I hit a round number. So if you want to annoy people with OCD, that's a good game to try.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 1st, 2019, 8:32 pm
by Stanshall
clippa wrote:
July 1st, 2019, 7:04 am
edit: Haha, oh right, that's where you've been, stuck in an infinite mario hell hole! I thought you didn't much like platformers? This ticking your boxes regardless?
Yeah, I've gone deep into this one. I've always been a massive Nintendo fan since I was a kid and that's always been my main thing, really. Nintendo, 2D fighters, driving games and the Souls games were probably 80% of what I loved before I got into shmups. I've not been terribly excited by much of their first party stuff, though, since 2017. Smash is fun and I'm sure it's very deep and so on but it doesn't really inspire me too much. SMM2 is a bona fide banger, though. Top drawer.

As for platformers, Mario set the bar so high when I was a kid, not much else touches the sides. Donkey Kong Country is great in its own way, I really enjoyed Celeste, but that's probably it that I can remember. I wish I got Sonic because I'm very fond of Sega but I find the fast bits too automated and the slow bits too fiddly and unwieldy. Obviously I've enjoyed 2D scrolling games, like Dead Cells and others, but I wouldn't call them platformers, as such. I ought to like Meat Boy but for some reason, I just don't.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 6:37 am
by clippa
If Spelunky 2 came out for the switch, would you be tempted?
It might just be stockholm syndrome talking at this point, but I reckon the tight controls give peak mario a run for his money.
I'd get MM2 but I've a feeling it'd be a flash in the pan for me, 4 weeks and then dropped.
I mean my gaming life used to just be a string of pan flashes strung together, but I'm with spelunky now, it'd feel like I was cheating on her if I played another platformer.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 7:07 am
by DomsBeard
Judgement

As mentioned above Chapter 1 was very slow and a poor introduction, however I have just finished Chapter 2 and it was great. Really invested in the story and characters and looking forward to seeing where it goes.

The combat does feel a little off though and there is a mechanic where you can get injured and your health bar is permanently reduced until you go to the one doctor on the map.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 2nd, 2019, 6:38 pm
by stvnorman
I’ve been playing a level on Shovel Knight every now and then for a few weeks, since I bought it in the Switch E3 sale, and seem to be right near the end without really realising I’d gone that far. Not sure I’ve played it right because I’ve got a ton of item slots and only a couple filled, and I’m just using the weapon and armour I started with. Think I should have been spending gold somewhere other than losing it all in-level! Anyway, I’m not sure I really like it. The first few levels were great, and I really loved Specter Knight and his level, but after the first area it’s just a grind through frustrating platform sections without a checkpoint for miles. I have enjoyed every boss once I’ve got there though, and I suppose I’ll try and finish it. Assuming my lack of stuff allows!

I did finish Leon’s story in Resident Evil 2 Remake. Really enjoyed it, even the ludicrous conclusion to the final boss fight - classic Resident Evil! Look forward to playing as Claire, but will leave it a while first - want to tick off Lego Dimensions on PS4 next.

And Virtua Racing remains an absolute joy!

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 6:39 am
by Chopper
In further notes from the frontlines of Middle Aged Niche Gaming, I've been playing Helium Rain, which is not 'Bladerunner goes to the dentist', but another space trading-business empire building game. It's been a slow start but it is starting to get its hooks into me now - I was thinking about it in bed last night and can't wait to get back to it. This feeling might be short lived - there's a lot of waiting to get enough cash/research points in order to develop your empire.

Same idea as before - different sectors and systems which need your help to develop - make sure the farming/mining/manufacturing sectors have enough raw materials to grow, keep an eye out for pirates and competing corporations, outgrow them all etc etc.

Very enjoyable so far.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 11:25 am
by Scrustle
Played a bit more of Judgment, in to the second chapter now, and it definitely does pick up quickly. This is the point when you start opening up the major side activities, with the side-case investigations and the drone racing. The former so far has proven to be very funny and amusing, and this seems to be where they've put most of the silly goofy side stories that these games are known for. So far it's been having me track down idiosyncratic perverts and a case where I had to hunt down a missing person, who it turns out was trying to evade a stalker, to which it's revealed that the person who hired me was that stalker posing as someone else. So I'm looking forward to going through all these little quirky cases and stories that seem like a good companion to the larger, more serious main plot. The drone racing is pretty fun too. It controls very well and is fun to fly, and they very quickly have you pulling off some impressively tight manoeuvres to get the edge on the competition. Definitely more involving than the slot car races in previous games. I'm still not particularly fond of Yagami himself, but it's still pretty early on, and there's enough interesting and colourful things going on around him that his personality doesn't seem like such an issue right now.

Also, a strange little detail. There's a pinball minigame in your office, which puts up a Unity engine splash screen when you start it up. So it looks like the devs were messing around with the engine and decided to put the results of their work in the game. Rather odd, but interesting detail. It does however mean that when you quit that minigame, the main game has to load the entire thing again like you were just booting it up.

Still chipping my way through Bioshock 2 as well. The audio mod has turned out pretty well, but it's not without problems. The audio balance is much better and guns have more kick, and the world has more ambient atmosphere to it, but it still doesn't compare well to the first game. I think the mod has also introduced some bugs too. Some sound effects get cut off when they shouldn't, sometimes music doesn't play properly, and occasionally the voice effects on the Little Sisters doesn't seem to work. I'm not sure if all these issues are due to the mod, since I doubt it really does much to the game. It's just rolling back some of the changes an old patch made. I don't know if the better balancing makes up for these issues either. It's a bit of a catch-22 I guess. The game seems rather buggy in general too. I've noticed quite a few lighting bugs. In areas where you're supposed to be in darkness, certain objects will be lit up as if they're in normal light. Can't seem to find any mention of fixing that issue online.

And even though I'm still enjoying the game overall, I'm finding myself somewhat disappointed at how it doesn't really fulfil its potential thanks to polish issues. It has more complex combat mechanics, and the way you interact with Little Sisters is way more in depth and interesting than in the first game, but swapping through weapons feels kind of clunky and like it's prone to breaking because of some fiddly quirk in the way it works. Because of that combat isn't really that smooth, as switching weapons, trying to manage all your defenses during the Adam gathering sections, just doesn't come together quite as well as it should. It's a shame, because all the parts are here. It just needed a little cleaning up to make it all work as intended.

Lamb as an antagonist isn't that compelling either. Not that this is news to anyone, since it's always been a popular criticism of the game. It's a shame coming off the first game, with how strong Ryan is in comparison. I try not to compare games too closely with things like this, judging one game by the standards of another, even sequels. But here I think you can't really avoid it. Both games are trying for something similar, in the very same setting too. Lamb is supposed to be a charismatic leader with a strong ideology that people flock to her for because they find her inspiring, like Ryan. Except while he had a clear (if very flawed) vision with a purpose, Lamb just doesn't have that. It's like they tried to create something that was a counterpoint to Ryan, but without any real reason for doing so. Ryan was an individualist, so Lamb is a collectivist. Why though? In service to what ideal? There isn't one. She doesn't really seem to have anything going for her that would make people follow her except that she's not Ryan. I suppose it was kind of inevitable that Lamb would be lacking in this game. This game being made by another team, and carrying on from a game where the entire world was modelled around Ryan and his ideas. That game had a clear focus and was built from the ground up to fulfil that. Here it's someone else who didn't come up with the idea, taking what was left over from it when it already did everything it was supposed to. And instead of having anything more to say along the same lines, they tried to spin it off in another direction in a way that looked like it didn't have the same strong inspiration behind it.

Not that I resent the game or the developers for that. It's just an unfortunate result of the circumstances. Building on the mechanics was clearly the focus for this game, which is fine. It's just a real shame that on that front things didn't stick the landing either, despite actually having some really good ideas. Or at least that's how it feels now. Maybe things will feel more cohesive and better once I get a bit further in.

I also picked up Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 in the Steam sale, and I'm liking it so far. They changed up the formula quite a lot from the first game. While that was more of a straightforward 3D collectathon platformer, with distinct worlds connected to a hub, this one is more of a large open world with lots of smaller more linear levels dotted around it. Probably a shift influenced by what a lot of other games in that genre were doing at the time. Here I think it works fairly well though. It speeds up the pace of playing the game by making objectives go by much quicker, and breaks the game down in to more bite-sized chunks, rather than feeling like you need to do all the objectives in a big world at once. But at the same time, it does make the game feel like it has a bit less of a personality than the first. Levels don't have so much of a sense of place now, and they don't have such distinct themes either. Just a different style of thing I guess.

Another thing I got in the sale was the Crucible DLC for Darksiders 3. I wasn't planning on buying the DLC for this game until it was all out, but having the bundle of all the DLC for only 1/3 of the price before it's all even released was too good to pass up. This DLC is pretty much the same as the Crucible from Darksiders 2. Just a wave based combat gauntlet. Something that isn't that interesting by itself, but is a fun late-game challenge if you're in to the combat. So far I haven't got too deep in to it, but something that stood out to me about it is that it actually looks like it has some effort put in to the writing for it. While the game in general actually has pretty good dialogue scenes, I didn't expect to see that at all here. The character who oversees the arena is very adamant that this Crucible is the only one in the world. When Fury brings up that she's heard that there might be another, he nervously tries to shrug it off as being fake, and that his one is the only true Crucible. So it sounds like there's some reference there to this challenge in the last game, and that there's something going on between the characters you find hosting each one. I don't expect it to end in some shocking revelation, but I was surprised how well the delivery was on those lines, and how they even bothered to inject some intrigue in to what you would expect is a really self-explanatory mode.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 3rd, 2019, 6:22 pm
by stvnorman
Further to my last post about nearly finishing Shovel Knight, I’ve now binned it. What seemed like a tenner well spent has turned into £70 of replacement joy-cons after mine had an accident with a wall on what turned out to be halfway through the second-to-last level.

Having looked at a walkthrough video, the memorising then perfecting of prolonged precision platforming sections while you suffered a hundred cheap deaths was only going to get worse, and I can’t afford to pay for what I’ve done already, so best deleted!

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 5th, 2019, 6:48 pm
by stvnorman
Just two days after the above acts of rage, which Nintendo’s excellent UK store has already delivered replacements for, I’ve finished Shovel Knight!

Like another game with Knight in the title, it haunted me and there was no way I was letting it beat me, so I reinstalled it and finished it. I got straight through my problem area first time then spent a couple of hours negotiating the far more enjoyable mass boss battle and the final boss. I still have mixed views on the game, but I do love Specter Knight so will definitely have a go at the prequel DLC.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 5th, 2019, 7:37 pm
by Simonsloth
stvnorman wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 6:48 pm
Just two days after the above acts of rage, which Nintendo’s excellent UK store has already delivered replacements for, I’ve finished Shovel Knight!

Like another game with Knight in the title, it haunted me and there was no way I was letting it beat me, so I reinstalled it and finished it. I got straight through my problem area first time then spent a couple of hours negotiating the far more enjoyable mass boss battle and the final boss. I still have mixed views on the game, but I do love Specter Knight so will definitely have a go at the prequel DLC.
The Specter Knight DLC is absolutely amazing.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 5th, 2019, 9:51 pm
by KSubzero1000
So, aside from DoDonPaChi Resurrection:
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...and Opus Magnum:
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...and some quick sessions of Super Hexagon:
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...I've bought and played through a delightful little puzzle game called Hexcells today:
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...which is basically like an improved version of Minesweeper with all the randomization and guesswork completely removed. It's great! Money well spent.


When I close my eyes, all I see are beehives. Truly hypnotizing. :mrgreen:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 5th, 2019, 9:57 pm
by Flabyo
I started Hollow Knight. I don’t think I’ll be going back to it, not my thing at all.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 5:14 am
by Suits
Flabyo wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:57 pm
I started Hollow Knight. I don’t think I’ll be going back to it, not my thing at all.
Huh, I was the same.

I love a Metroidvania but didn’t get on with Hollow Knight. I didn’t enjoy the aesthetic, while it was enchanting, I just didn’t find it very enjoyable.

I do understand it’s brilliance that many talk about though.


Besides SMM2 I’ve also been playing the Sega Ages Virtual Racing on the Switch, it’s very good and I’ve almost mastered the tight hairpin on the Master track to place but you have to be properly in it for the whole 5 laps.

Doesn’t remind me of the original Mega Drive game much as it looks so much better 😄.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 6:03 am
by Alex79uk
I've only managed to finish and get first in beginner and medium, can't get anywhere near even finishing the race on expert yet (in Virtua Racing). I'm wondering if mirror mode is an unlock when you finish all races, I hope so!

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 6:12 am
by Suits
Alex79uk wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:03 am
I'm wondering if mirror mode is an unlock when you finish all races, I hope so!
I thought it might have unlocked Gran Prix mode to be honest with you.

Also, it’s tricky on the Switch without analogue pedals. You can use the right stick but it doesn’t feel natural.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 6:16 am
by stvnorman
I’ve played a lot of this and literally had one go at the medium and expert tracks. I just love that first track and have been obsessing over times. I’m not great at racing games but I’m having a great time trying to shave tenths or seconds off my times, which is something I haven’t done in a racing game since Supersprint a very, very long time ago. Which is interesting because that had very limited tracks too. Maybe they’re just incredibly well designed?

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 6:25 am
by Suits
stvnorman wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:16 am
Maybe they’re just incredibly well designed?
This.

I’ve also played Sega Rally on my Saturn recently and was impressed by its simplicity but addictive racing and such it’s depth.

Virtual Racing is a flat out racer, in the sense that you’re not suppose to lift and is all about car position - which makes it very fun, in my opinion.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 7:31 am
by clippa
Hey look, we've found page 404!
Flabyo wrote:
July 5th, 2019, 9:57 pm
Hollow Knight.
Didn't care for hollow knight either. Boring combat, respawning enemies. Lots of traipsing back and forth. Man, metroidvanias just aren't my thing. Dead Cells is great in that it removes or fixes everything I dislike about them.
I was bored after a few hours and just cut my losses, I was very suprised to see people gushing over it a few months down the line, I had to check youtube to make sure it was the same game!
It looks nice, I'll give them that. Maybe if I stuck with it it might have grown on me, but I wasn't feeling it.

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Posted: July 6th, 2019, 7:39 am
by Alex79uk
Suits wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:25 am
stvnorman wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:16 am
Maybe they’re just incredibly well designed?
This.

I’ve also played Sega Rally on my Saturn recently and was impressed by its simplicity but addictive racing and such it’s depth.

Virtual Racing is a flat out racer, in the sense that you’re not suppose to lift and is all about car position - which makes it very fun, in my opinion.
It's a real pain there are no friends leader boards in this :(