Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by Michiel K » July 19th, 2019, 2:35 pm

That The Evil Within game is quite gory and disgusting, isn't it?

Playing through it with my main horror game playing buddy and we're having a good time. It's rough around the edges, but still compelling enough.

It shows glimpses of something akin to the Super Mario Galaxy of horror themed action adventures, the way the plot excuses throwing you from one creative off the wall situation to the next, all non sequitur-like. It doesn't go there all the way, but still... glimpses.

Currently, we're in Chapter 5 on the PS4 version. I'm also trying to catch up bit by bit on my own Xbox 360 copy, by myself, just so that I don't feel like I bought that for nothing and can get a few "see, I've done it" achievements on my account.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman » July 19th, 2019, 8:55 pm

Finished some more Game Boy titles from the recent Konami collections on Switch.

Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge is an excellent game and a perfect companion to Adventure. By this point they properly knew how to get the most out of the hardware, so it looks even more wonderfully atmospheric, runs smoothly and sounds just like a Castlevania game despite the limitations. It’s pretty quick to get through, though the final boss fight is a bugger until you memorise every single move it’s going to make and literally every pixel you need to be positioned on for each move to counter it. Super Castlevania IV next I think.

Operation C was the first Contra game I jumped on from that collection - having dabbled with them all, it seemed a bit easier than the rest, and I’m easily impressed when it comes to the Game Boy! I was struggling a bit until I tweaked the controls to be like Mega Man, then I sailed through the first area. I was then amazed that the second switched to top-down shooting like Ikari Warriors - not having any history with Contra beyond several first levels, I didn’t see that coming!

I think there were five gradually more bonkers stages in the end, including another top-down level with organic backgrounds and giant insects running about like something from Xenon 2! None of them took more than a few goes to get through, and the bosses were fairly easy until the (almost) last one, and that was also fairly easy once you worked out its couple of attack patterns. Which is how I like my bosses, and how I like my games! Not sure which one to go for next. Maybe the NES Contra, which still looks stunning at least.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 20th, 2019, 8:05 am

I’ve been enjoying Dragon Quest Builders 2 a lot recently but it just keeps going and going.

I’m still in the first area you visit after you begin, which is fine, it’s teaching me certain aspects of farming etc.... but I feel it losing me with the same tasks and environments over and over and the combat is awful, one button, just stand and smash stand and smash.

I mean I’m about 20 hours in, so I’m not getting that impatient I feel.

With that said, I’m still enjoying it - I just need a break I think.

So, this weekend I’m delving into my gapped history and pondering whether to go for Mario Galaxy 2 or Minish Cap.

Mario Galaxy has been in my list for ages and playing anything on my Wii on my PVM is a delight anyway.

Minish Cap, is a similar tale and I recently picked up a lovely copy for a bargain so I’m keen to play that in my AGS-101.

As in both cases the hardware is just as enjoyable to use sometimes as the game itself.

I’ve just got to pick one.....

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Scrustle wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 7:46 pm
Thanks! I sometimes wonder if I'm just talking in to the void or spending too long on unnecessary minor details, so it's good to know at least someone gets something out of it.
I know what you mean man but worry not, the level of detail and explanation to you bring is always very welcome and insightful 👍🏽.

Never be put off by the lack of direct responses.

I sometimes find that putting something down, (or typing it out rather) allows me to digest it better myself and the pondering and working out of how to explain or word things makes me process how I feel about it much clearer.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » July 20th, 2019, 8:55 am

Suits wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 8:05 am
I’ve been enjoying Dragon Quest Builders 2 a lot recently but it just keeps going and going.
:lol: The first one was like that too. I played 8 hours and it was just starting to introduce me to building defenses and throwing 1hp critters at me. I was thinking, this game must be 500 hours long, but Joshi later told me it capped out at 40-50.
I sometimes find that putting something down, (or typing it out rather) allows me to digest it better myself and the pondering and working out of how to explain or word things makes me process how I feel about it much clearer.
Also, I search the forum a lot for game names, so it’s good to see people’s views both before you buy and after you complete a game. It’s a great resource. Even though I feel I don’t have a lot in common with most folks on here, taste wise, it’s still interesting and helpful.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 20th, 2019, 9:28 am

Suits wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 8:05 am
So, this weekend I’m delving into my gapped history and pondering whether to go for Mario Galaxy 2 or Minish Cap.
Have you played the first Mario Galaxy? If so, Minish Cap! It's my favourite of the traditional Zelda games (admittedly I've only played 3 or 4 of them).

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 20th, 2019, 9:59 am

Alex79uk wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 9:28 am
Suits wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 8:05 am
So, this weekend I’m delving into my gapped history and pondering whether to go for Mario Galaxy 2 or Minish Cap.
Have you played the first Mario Galaxy? If so, Minish Cap! It's my favourite of the traditional Zelda games (admittedly I've only played 3 or 4 of them).
I've played the first yes, but not the second. I liked the idea fo busting out the Wiimote and MG2 seemed like a great idea.

Minish Cap, nope nothing never played it. I bought it to play it, so I'm dead keen to get into it.

As it happens, I'm currently slap bang into refurbing/building fully genuine AGS-101, after I managed to get hold of an authentic screen, so that will be a great opportunity to test it out.

I'll see how the build goes......

Image

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 » July 20th, 2019, 10:07 am

Whoa.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall » July 20th, 2019, 10:23 am

That would make for some cool artwork. Stuff broken down, separated neatly into component parts, organised and framed.

Huh. I actually do think that's a neat idea.

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clippa
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by clippa » July 20th, 2019, 11:13 am

Yet when I do that with people, suddenly it's not art any more.
I used to do it with old electronic stuff when I was a kid, take stuff apart and then put them back together.
All the bits back together again in a nice big pile in the bin.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 20th, 2019, 12:51 pm

Huh, that was me just checking I had everything before I put it back together.

If its of interest.....

Just finished the pot adjustments for the screen, which is hella awkward on a SP due to the dial being under the battery on the SP, meaning adjustments are done via memory and eye.

I use Metroid Fusion as a test as I have a save that has a busy grated background which is easy to spot mis-calibrated screens on.

Anyway, all back together, all genuine parts, all calibrated - beautiful console and screen.

I'll get into Minish Cap tonight I think, with a beer and headphones (with the silly 3.5mm jack adapter).

The image looks a little oversaturated in these images but it's hard to capture on a digital lens iPhone camera - it looks great, very rich and vivd.

Image

Image

Image

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 20th, 2019, 6:01 pm

Damn it man, you've made me want to play Minish Cap now. As if I have time with all the other stuff that needs playing!!

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 20th, 2019, 6:09 pm

It’s been in my list for a long time.

As was Spirit Tracks, that I bought on launch and didn’t like it.

Played it again. Didn’t like it.

Have you played Link Between Worlds ??

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Kacey
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Kacey » July 20th, 2019, 6:49 pm

I just finished Max Payne 3 last night after having an itch for a gritty third person shooter. It was sort of the perfect storm, really. I like film noir, I like glitchy digital aesthetics, and I already love HEALTH, the band that scored the entire game. After grappling with the DRM for a bit, I managed to get my old steam copy working.

Back when I played Max Payne 3 the first time, I made it as far as the stadium and a few hours of multiplayer. However, I have horrible gaming ADHD and always forgot about it for years at a time. Having grown up a little, the game's story grabbed me well enough. This isn't to call it deep or moving, it's neither, but it's well written enough to look past the cliches and appreciate excellent execution for what it is. Newer discussions of the game have related it to the John Wick films, and I think the comparison is apt.

What Max Payne 3 lacks in player agency it more than makes up for in its atmosphere, tight gunplay, brutal violence and excellent voice acting. I can't recall what game it was for, maybe one of the Halos, but there was once a documentary or something about a game that described the thought process for its multiplayer maps being "let's create places that are fun to fight in- where do our players want to fight?" And Max Payne 3 understands this question perfectly. Jumping from a Nightclub window, fighting your way out of a police station, and taking cover on a still-functioning people mover as it slides you through the game's climactic airport level are all thrilling.

The airport shootout in particular stands out as one of my favorite levels in any game, simply for the creativity in its cover, and the music- Gods, the music. HEALTH is one of my favorite bands, and the airport version of TEARS is fantastic- both for its lyrics which were written about Max Payne's titular character and for the hammering percussion. I recommend listening to HEALTH's new record VOL 4.: SLAVES OF FEAR if this track gets you the way it gets me- particularly "BLACK STATIC" as it is very close sonically to TEARS. And if you haven't played MP3, I'd recommend giving it a shot.


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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 20th, 2019, 7:27 pm

Really brilliant game, that. One of my favourites of the last gen. Shame so many people gave up after it's ever so slow start, but once it kicked in, god it was good. Proper epic gunfights towards the end.

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clippa
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by clippa » July 22nd, 2019, 3:16 am

Maaaaate!
Yyyyes, mate!

Nightmare Reaper
Image



Video looks ugly and messy but it all makes perfect sense when you're playing.

You play as some bonkers lass in an asylum who goes to kip and shoots pricks in her nightmares. It's the unstable, low paid waitress spitting into the faces of the chin-stroking, patronising, middle class, back-slapping, worthy cretins at the hellblade AA dinner party.
Alex79uk wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 7:27 pm
Shame so many people gave up after it's ever so slow start
I'm afraid I fell into that category. If it turned into a decent max payne game later on, then I feel bad for bailing, but I don't think it was entirely my fault.

All I remember about max payne 3 is that it was "unskippable cutscenes: the game", I'd shoot like 3 guys and have to sit through another student film project made by nerds weened on gangsta movies.
"I'm here to play a gaaaame!" I'd scream, tearing out fistfuls of my own hair and eating them in frustration.

Also, it was touted as rockstar's "triumphant" return to the pc platform. I remember them making a big deal of how much effort they were putting into the pc version at the time.
No fov settings, an uncapped framerate, but the mouse sensitivity was tied to the framerate (oopth) and the mouse controls also featured a big dollop of ungodly negative acceleration.
I capped the framerate, tried to get used to the terrible controls but realised it wasn't worth the effort after a couple of hours and just bailed.

I remember being genuinely pissed off at the time, it was a big milestone in my growing feelings of alienation towards AAA gaming culture and the people who embrace it. Everyone and their ganny was gushing about the new max payne and I felt so left out.

It was clearly a TV game, designed for people slumped on a couch where the switch between playing and being passively entertained was less jarring, less of a leap. Not to slur analogue stick aiming, but I think it's fair to say there's less of a jump between nudging the aim assist and taking your hands off the steering wheel completely.
When you're playing on mousey keyboard, leaning forward with your sleeves rolled up, directly plugged in, it's such a huge shift to have to wheel your chair back and watch some god awful, amateur-hour video.

The only game I've ever played where I felt like the story was unobtrusive and actually complimented the gameplay was Portal 2. My heart sank when I heard about the stunt casting of Stephen Merchant, but he was bloody good in that.
I grew up in a time when a games story was a short paragraph written on the back of the box and I'm yet to be convinced that you need more than that.

If I want a good story I'll read a book or watch a film, and you can bet it won't be some flimsy, clichéd, budget shite written by programmers during their lunch breaks where I'm forced to play some mobage tetris clone during the intermission.

I appreciate that AAA games have big budgets nowadays and that they can afford to pay professionals to come in and write something halfway decent, and one day we may well see games and film combine in a way that transcends both mediums, but we're nowhere near that yet, I reckon. Even when you throw money at a "professional" and they do their best with what they're given to work with, I've yet to experience anything that wasn't phoned in, hack crap.

I can remember when I played the first left 4 dead a lot, I really got to love the characters through all the little interactions that were dropped in whilst you played the game and thinking that I'd gladly watch a film based on it.
I don't mind walking simulators and story driven games co-existing with more gameplay focused stuff,

I mean, even shmup devs have the audacity to crowbar in god-awful dialogue. I'm playing a shmup for gods sake! I'm obviously the type of ADHD nutjob that tongue-fucks the spare plug socket to make waiting for toast slightly more bearable. I've yet to see a playthrough of deathsmiles that doesn't look like this "A, A, A, A, A, A, A, A father, swamp witch, mess, gotcha"

I'm not spoiling for a fight, I realise there's some sharp edges and provocative phrasing there, I suppose it's a leftover from my fighting on the front-lines of some of the worst gaming forums on the internet :lol: I hope it's discussion provoking rather than straight up antagonistic/idiotic. I might have had a little drinkpoos, so it's hard to tell.
I realise that different people want different things from gaming at different times and that all kinds of games can co-exist, but keep your unskippable cutscenes out of my third person shooter that I paid 40 effing quid for, I suppose is the tl;dr of it.
I'm embarassed that I feel so strongly about it to be honest :lol:

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 » July 22nd, 2019, 5:44 am

clippa wrote:
July 22nd, 2019, 3:16 am
I've yet to experience anything that wasn't phoned in, hack crap.
Well, I guess it's gonna be a tiny bit difficult for various writers and directors to help someone appreciate the value of their work if said someone is too busy mashing the skip button out of some raw consumerist entitlement about what does and doesn't belong inside their favorite toy.

I don't have a dog in this fight either. I dislike a lot of current AAA tropes, gave up on MP3 after a few hours too (although for very different reasons) and I didn't find the beginning of its story particularly captivating either. But that was a highly upsetting read, to be perfectly honest with you. This is just the polarity-reversed version of other people's pretentious diatribes about how gameplay considerations are inherently passé and how wonderful it is that games have finally "moved on" from lowly shmups and the like. Condescension and close-mindedness, everywhere I look. We're lucky enough to have the most creatively unshackled medium that the world has ever seen at our fingertips and yet most people insist on treating it like complete garbage. It should be possible to express one's preference for either gameplay- or storytelling-based experiences in a way that doesn't completely trash creators' hard work and the enjoyment that others get from it.

As always, respect is the missing ingredient.
KSubzero1000 wrote:
July 20th, 2019, 3:03 pm
Because most video game players don't actually respect video games. They view them as convenient shortcuts to their brain's pleasure centers to be consumed at the lowest possible amount of personal investment (be it financial, intellectual, temporal, energetic, etc...) and immediately uninstalled and tossed away afterwards. The entertainment equivalent of fast food. No more, no less.
I rest my case.

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clippa
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by clippa » July 22nd, 2019, 6:50 am

I was counting on you putting me right, but I'm a sensitive soul. Pretty sure there's an unwritten rule that I'm allowed to run my stupid big fat mouth but you have to treat me with kid gloves.
KSubzero1000 wrote:
July 22nd, 2019, 5:44 am
I rest my case.
Oh god, he's underlined it and everything. I'm in big trouble.

When people talk about "games as art" I think about the auteur one man bedroom coders of the speccy era, the endless beauty of a perfected semi-procedural level generation algorithm, pixel art bursting free from its restrictions. The incomprehensible marrying of complex scoring mechanics and level design. Nu-skool journalism, yeah?

You know what I don't think about? Some half baked love story between some pixie twat elf and a space helmet.

There's your respect, big man, there's your chuffing respect.

(hides behind the sofa)

You're right, of course, I've got some thinking to do, but I'll probably keep talking while I'm doing it :lol:

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd » July 22nd, 2019, 8:01 am

As I mentioned on the Grant Kirkhope Sound of Play, I am playing Kingdoms of Amalur on the Xbox 360 via BC.

It's like if Skyrim and fable swapped DNA and I'm enjoying it purely as a loot based RPG. The story isn't doing much for me but the NPCs mini stories are engaging enough for me to run about for a little while and level up.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo » July 22nd, 2019, 8:19 am

I really wanted the combat in Fable to be more like that in Amalur, but that wasn’t my area of the project.

I think the main flaw in Amalur is that it keeps you in variations of Forest for too long before the environments start getting more interesting. (Nice Forest, Darker Forest, haunted forest, etc...)

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 22nd, 2019, 8:33 am

clippa wrote:
July 22nd, 2019, 3:16 am
... keep your unskippable cutscenes out of my third person shooter that I paid 40 effing quid for, I suppose is the tl;dr of it.
I'm embarassed that I feel so strongly about it to be honest :lol:
Specifically with that particular game though, you'd either be looking at an unskippable cut scene or a blank loading screen. The cut scenes were unskippable only until the next part was loaded, and then you could actually skip them after that.

It's a story driven shooter though, so they're equally as important to the game as the shooting men in the face in slow-mo. But anyway, it's totally your choice how you play games and what you want to get out of them, but that's why you couldn't skip the cut scenes entirely. If I remember right MP3 had score attack and New York Minute game modes available which were entirely focused on high scoring and clearing out enemies as quick as possible - you may have got some mileage out of that (but I don't know whether they still had cut scenes in, never tried them).

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