Whatcha Been Playing?

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
User avatar
Chopper
Member
Posts: 1406
Joined: April 16th, 2013, 6:35 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

Wrapping up a few bits and bobs that I've been playing over the last month or more. Unfortunately I haven't 'finished' any of these, but I'm probably done with them for a while.

Battle Brothers is fantastic, but as I've mentioned before I've fatigued myself with multiple restarts (learning the ropes, when I've got a 'bad' map seed, when my mercenary company has suffered grievous losses), levelling up a whole bunch of characters with traits and gear, and trying to figure out a strategy from various guides (the meta is strong with this one). This is the exact same thing that happens me with Darkest Dungeon (which I also restarted last week and will never look at that save again), and it is a pity, as both games are at the pinnacle of their genres. Well, it's hard to tell with DD, after multiple games lasting a few hours, but the presentation alone is amazing and worth checking out.

I'll definitely come back to BB and give it another go. Highly recommended, if you are into that type of thing.


Field of Glory: Empires - I have been playing this in a multiplayer-only context for the last month or two. Great game, really interesting mechanics. Of the multiplayer games I've played, a) I overextended myself as the Arverni, a southern French tribe, and got obliterated as a race within 10 turns. Shocking. b) played a co-op game as an Iberian tribe, where the other players also took a small tribe in the region; the idea was we would co-operate against the big regional powers of Rome and Carthage and forge a new destiny. This game ended when the Aquitani (human player) invaded Empioria (another human player) and the whole thing fell apart. c) played a game as Carthage, a major power. This game went the longest, and finished when Macedonia and Antigonos had a major falling out over Rhodes, leading to Macedonia leaving the game. I took my eye off the ball here (see map) while the Antigonids conquered the important regions of Egypt, and he then took a lead that would be difficult for me to make up without conquering Rome, a big ask, even though Rome had a civil war and is now ruled by an Usurper. I did unite Iberia and N. Africa though, all of whom were my allies :( d) still playing my OG Ptolemaios, this game is going very slowly (we're only on turn 34 after about 6 weeks) but I guess it will peter out eventually like the others.

Carthage game end state:
Spoiler: show
Image
A lot of fun was had, and the game now occupies the top of my 'hours played' list on Steam.
Spoiler: show
Image

As a result of playing this, I also picked up a book, 'The History of the Ancient World: From the Earliest Accounts to the Fall of Rome,' by Susan Wise Bauer, about the period, which has been very accessible but in which I got a little bogged down around 1500 BC :( Need to pick that up again, it should be getting interesting from this point on.


Dicey Dungeons. Boy, everything about this game (art, writing, and (sorry, Colin) music) annoys me, apart from the gameplay, which eventually annoyed me enough that I haven't played it in a while. I was playing through methodically, doing the levels in order, but one has defeated me - Thief 3 - which is all kinds of bullshit. :D It was probably a mistake to play that way, I might go back in a bit.


Out of the Park Baseball - Perfect Team mode. Anybody who's read this far, congratulations! You can stop reading now. This is the multiplayer, 'collect cards, put together a team, and sim baseball games' offering from the OOTPB team. I had ignored it till now - this is its second year - but I read about it on another forum and thought I'd give it a shot. I was a bit perturbed by the loot box aspect - who is paying big money for this ephemeral card nonsense? - but I persevered and have to say I don't really get the point. I'm not spending any money, but that's kind of irrelevant anyway. There is no skill involved - if you have a position of weakness, you just buy a good player to fill that gap (each new season randomises the skills of the players you have, within certain parameters, so you always need to fill gaps). And the nature of baseball means that you can have the best team in your league, but the playoffs are so short and random that it's likely that you get knocked out instead of promoted. I've been playing several weeks and have two teams in the Bronze league (there is one level below this and three above it). I've made the playoffs every time with both teams, wiping the floor along the way, but haven't been promoted (except for Iron to Bronze). It's a bit strange. However, I still log on every morning to set my lineups for the day. For now, anyway.

User avatar
Caligulas Horse
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: March 28th, 2019, 5:08 pm

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Caligulas Horse »

Chopper wrote:
September 27th, 2019, 10:57 am


Field of Glory: Empires - I have been playing this in a multiplayer-only context for the last month or two. Great game, really interesting mechanics. Of the multiplayer games I've played, a) I overextended myself as the Arverni, a southern French tribe, and got obliterated as a race within 10 turns. Shocking. b) played a co-op game as an Iberian tribe, where the other players also took a small tribe in the region; the idea was we would co-operate against the big regional powers of Rome and Carthage and forge a new destiny. This game ended when the Aquitani (human player) invaded Empioria (another human player) and the whole thing fell apart. c) played a game as Carthage, a major power. This game went the longest, and finished when Macedonia and Antigonos had a major falling out over Rhodes, leading to Macedonia leaving the game. I took my eye off the ball here (see map) while the Antigonids conquered the important regions of Egypt, and he then took a lead that would be difficult for me to make up without conquering Rome, a big ask, even though Rome had a civil war and is now ruled by an Usurper. I did unite Iberia and N. Africa though, all of whom were my allies :( d) still playing my OG Ptolemaios, this game is going very slowly (we're only on turn 34 after about 6 weeks) but I guess it will peter out eventually like the others.

Carthage game end state:
Spoiler: show
Image
A lot of fun was had, and the game now occupies the top of my 'hours played' list on Steam.
Spoiler: show
Image

This game sounds awesome, I can get proper hooked into these kind of strategy games. I'm going to have to keep a note of it for whenever I've got myself a computer or laptop again.

How much does each game differ from the last?

User avatar
Chopper
Member
Posts: 1406
Joined: April 16th, 2013, 6:35 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

Caligulas Horse wrote:
September 27th, 2019, 1:42 pm
This game sounds awesome, I can get proper hooked into these kind of strategy games. I'm going to have to keep a note of it for whenever I've got myself a computer or laptop again.

How much does each game differ from the last?
It's a good 'un, this one; definitely take note for the future if you like these games.

It's set 10 years after the fall of Alexander the Great, so the great powers are his broken up kingdoms - Macedonia, Egypt, Antigonos, Lysimakos and the Seleucid Empire. Add in Rome, which is just starting out, and Carthage as the main players.

All of these have different strengths and disadvantages, so Rome starts off with a great military in its Legions, but is beset on all sides by the other Italian states who immediately declare war in a bid for survival. It is also prone to civil wars. Egypt on the other hand, has a large empire with all the wonders like the pyramids and sphinx, but not much manpower, as all the population is concentrated along the Nile. So lack of manpower means the military can't grow, and the empty regions you own in Africa are a drag on economic development. Then you have the hornet's nest that is Palestine on its borders. So while you're forced to grow with Rome, you can turtle with Egypt. Macedonia has bonuses if it keeps expanding, and problems if it can't (and it has the delightful city states of Ancient Greece to contend with right off the bat). Carthage has loads of money as a trading nation, but no manpower so it has to rely on mercenaries for its armies. And so on.

So gameplay is generally the same (expand and exploit) but there are very different problems you have to address. You can also start as one of the small tribes (like the Goths or Britons), and in that case, the first thing you have to concentrate on is forming your tribal Horde into a Kingdom, because every time your ruler dies as a Horde, there's a chance of civil war and the splitting of your nation.

I'm only scratching the surface there to try and give you a flavour. It is very good.

User avatar
Caligulas Horse
Member
Posts: 92
Joined: March 28th, 2019, 5:08 pm

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Caligulas Horse »

Chopper wrote:
September 27th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Caligulas Horse wrote:
September 27th, 2019, 1:42 pm
This game sounds awesome, I can get proper hooked into these kind of strategy games. I'm going to have to keep a note of it for whenever I've got myself a computer or laptop again.

How much does each game differ from the last?
It's a good 'un, this one; definitely take note for the future if you like these games.

It's set 10 years after the fall of Alexander the Great, so the great powers are his broken up kingdoms - Macedonia, Egypt, Antigonos, Lysimakos and the Seleucid Empire. Add in Rome, which is just starting out, and Carthage as the main players.

All of these have different strengths and disadvantages, so Rome starts off with a great military in its Legions, but is beset on all sides by the other Italian states who immediately declare war in a bid for survival. It is also prone to civil wars. Egypt on the other hand, has a large empire with all the wonders like the pyramids and sphinx, but not much manpower, as all the population is concentrated along the Nile. So lack of manpower means the military can't grow, and the empty regions you own in Africa are a drag on economic development. Then you have the hornet's nest that is Palestine on its borders. So while you're forced to grow with Rome, you can turtle with Egypt. Macedonia has bonuses if it keeps expanding, and problems if it can't (and it has the delightful city states of Ancient Greece to contend with right off the bat). Carthage has loads of money as a trading nation, but no manpower so it has to rely on mercenaries for its armies. And so on.

So gameplay is generally the same (expand and exploit) but there are very different problems you have to address. You can also start as one of the small tribes (like the Goths or Britons), and in that case, the first thing you have to concentrate on is forming your tribal Horde into a Kingdom, because every time your ruler dies as a Horde, there's a chance of civil war and the splitting of your nation.

I'm only scratching the surface there to try and give you a flavour. It is very good.
Yeah this really sounds like something I could sink hours into. I like that controlling each Empire seems to be somewhat based on the real thing rather than having them all start out on an equal footing as blank slates. Cheers for the breakdown man, I'll give it a go ASAP.

User avatar
KSubzero1000
Member
Posts: 3365
Joined: August 26th, 2015, 9:56 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

I made the bold lifestyle decision to unsync my previous DualShock 4 from the console (it's starting to show some signs of wear and tear, let the lowly laptop deal with it) and replace it with the Limited Edition God of War one I bought last year. Which I am now using to (re-)play God of War III Remastered. Take that, establishment!

I really dig GoW3. It's not quite on the same level as GoW2 for me, and it's obvious in retrospect that the series in general may have introduced many of the modern design trends I'm so critical of, but I think it is more than the sum of its parts if that makes sense. The combat is solid, a bit shallow but more than makes up for it with its raw audiovisual feedback and enemy variety. Boss fights are visceral and utterly captivating in all the right ways. Presentation is superb, especially since it never relegates the player to a completely passive role. Great score and brilliant camera design. Story takes itself ever so slightly too seriously in 3 but is very enjoyable to follow overall. Kratos is a straight-up irredeemable villain protagonist and is all the more memorable and interesting for it. Gore is over the top, goofy and perfectly fits within the context of the "Heavy Metal Greek Mythology"™ universe they established.

Slice. Jump. Crunch. Grab. Roll. Parry. Cheer. Gawk. With the lyre and the drums in the background. Fun!

User avatar
stvnorman
Member
Posts: 655
Joined: March 19th, 2013, 8:09 pm
Location: Keysoe, Bedfordshire, UK
Contact:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

I’m three bosses and a lot of backtracking I nto Super Metroid. It’s still very enjoyable and I fully intend to get all the way through it, but it’s not blowing me away. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by Castlevania Symphony of the Night recently, which did blow me away! Or it could just be the slightly harsh sci-fi aesthetic that’s leaving me a bit cold (versus gloriously atmospheric gothic luxury that I’d be happy to retire to)! The gameplay is solid though, and it goes without saying the exploration is really cool.

Bringing that genre back to the present, kind of, I also played through the demo of Ori and the Blind Forest on Switch. I’m definitely sold on that. Absolutely stunning, controls like a dream, and the demo is perfectly loaded to get you hooked, and tease you with what you’re missing. That said, I’m not sure I want another one of these in my life just yet, so it can sit on my watchlist until I do.

Aside from those, Arcade Archives Track and Field was an insta-buy when it came out recently, and is as perfect as I remember it, but I’m now fearing for the health of my joy-cons! Picked up Express Raider for £3 in a Switch sale too, which I’ve always wanted but never played. It looks better than it plays but it’s alright!

User avatar
Scrustle
Member
Posts: 2072
Joined: November 18th, 2012, 6:02 pm

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

Strangely out of nowhere I've been on a bit of a trip down memory lane, and been on a bit of a Need for Speed: Underground 2 kick the past few days. I'm not quite sure what suddenly spurred this desire, but my thinking is having old NFS games on the mind lately seeing another forum poster talking about them, as well as the PPSSPP emulator recently having had an update. I decided to use that as a chance to try out the portable version of NFS: Carbon again. But I didn't spend long on that, as it's kind of a dull game that controls pretty poorly, despite being an admirable attempt at putting an open world racer on the PSP.

But anyway, that got me on to thinking about other NFS games of the era, and I recently stumbled upon an, uh, online archive of old de-listed PC games. So, abandonware at this point. It just so happened to include all the old NFS games from that era. I've only ever tried the console versions, but always wanted to try out the PC versions for their better performance and mod potential. So now I finally got a chance.

And this game still holds up surprisingly well. Although it took a little bit of tweaking with mods and wrestling with controller configurations, the visuals actually stand up pretty well to modern resolutions. The details and neon colours of the city skyline at night feel more vibrant than even how I remember them. And better than when I tried this game emulated a while ago, from what I remember anyway. Although the car models and textures are a bit dated these days though. To play it still feels really good too. Even if the handling model isn't the most intricate by modern standards, it wouldn't be right to call it simplistic or dated. It still feels really good and rewarding, requiring a certain level of finesse to it, and cars that feel like they have real inertia that you have to manage properly. It may be pretty forgiving and arcadey, but it doesn't really let you just ignore the brakes and slam your way around corners. If a game came out today with fresh modern graphics, but this same old handling model, I don't think it would feel out of place at all.

So it's cool to come back and be reminded that the quality of this game isn't just based on old nostalgic memories, but it genuinely deserves those feelings. I've been playing this way more than I expected I would already, so I'm thinking I might go ahead and finish it. I'm already more than 1/3 of the way through it, or I think so. Maybe even close to halfway.

User avatar
DomsBeard
Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 5:03 pm
Location: Doms Chin

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by DomsBeard »

Can someone please tell me how far from the end of Control
Spoiler: show
The bit where you have to shut down the satellites called "Polaris Cleanse The Siphons''
is?.

I have been attempting this section for 2 hours now and nearing 50 attempts at it and it has put me in that much of a rage I am thinking of deleting it and get rid. Ironic really as prior to this I had great things to say about this game. Awful section with awful checkpointing. You are just basically bombarded with enemies in small areas and it would feel like luck rather than skill if I ever did it and it would still leave a bad taste in my mouth if i finished the game now. Strange one 10-15 minute section has absolutely ruined a 8-10 hour good experience.

User avatar
Suits
Member
Posts: 3170
Joined: October 28th, 2015, 3:25 pm
Location: Chelmsford, UK

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

Finished Link’s Awakening last night.

It’s still a magic game in my eyes.

User avatar
Alex79uk
Member
Posts: 6509
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 12:36 pm
Location: Walsall, UK.
Contact:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

DomsBeard wrote:
September 29th, 2019, 11:36 pm
Can someone please tell me how far from the end of Control
Spoiler: show
The bit where you have to shut down the satellites called "Polaris Cleanse The Siphons''
is?.
Just checked a walkthrough as I'm not really bothered about playing it - it's listed as the last but one main mission.

User avatar
DomsBeard
Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 5:03 pm
Location: Doms Chin

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by DomsBeard »

Alex79uk wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:29 am
DomsBeard wrote:
September 29th, 2019, 11:36 pm
Can someone please tell me how far from the end of Control
Spoiler: show
The bit where you have to shut down the satellites called "Polaris Cleanse The Siphons''
is?.
Just checked a walkthrough as I'm not really bothered about playing it - it's listed as the last but one main mission.
Thought so. Resorted to watching YouTube in the end and both people basically ran past everything to press a switch and prayed they didnt get shot in the 5 seconds it takes to complete the action

User avatar
hazeredmist
Member
Posts: 1695
Joined: June 25th, 2013, 12:45 pm
Location: The DMZ
Contact:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by hazeredmist »

Played a bit of Vasara Collection on Switch.

Classic shmup in a Psikyo-style, very difficult! But fun. You can credit-feed to get through it, handy if you're not particularly skilled and still want to see the whole game.

User avatar
Stanshall
Member
Posts: 2364
Joined: January 31st, 2016, 6:45 am

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

hazeredmist wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 11:49 am
Played a bit of Vasara Collection on Switch.

Classic shmup in a Psikyo-style, very difficult! But fun. You can credit-feed to get through it, handy if you're not particularly skilled and still want to see the whole game.
Interesting one, isn't it? Seems like I had most success by basically hardly shooting and just using the melee attack. Becomes pretty interesting that way. As a straightforward shooter it was almost impossible for me.

User avatar
hazeredmist
Member
Posts: 1695
Joined: June 25th, 2013, 12:45 pm
Location: The DMZ
Contact:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by hazeredmist »

Stanshall wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 1:01 pm
hazeredmist wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 11:49 am
Played a bit of Vasara Collection on Switch.

Classic shmup in a Psikyo-style, very difficult! But fun. You can credit-feed to get through it, handy if you're not particularly skilled and still want to see the whole game.
Interesting one, isn't it? Seems like I had most success by basically hardly shooting and just using the melee attack. Becomes pretty interesting that way. As a straightforward shooter it was almost impossible for me.
Aye! I don't even know what the melee button is actually, I should check. I don't recall pressing anything that resembles a melee strike. I'm on Vasara 1.

User avatar
DomsBeard
Member
Posts: 3571
Joined: September 2nd, 2012, 5:03 pm
Location: Doms Chin

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by DomsBeard »

DomsBeard wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:52 am
Alex79uk wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 10:29 am
DomsBeard wrote:
September 29th, 2019, 11:36 pm
Can someone please tell me how far from the end of Control
Spoiler: show
The bit where you have to shut down the satellites called "Polaris Cleanse The Siphons''
is?.
Just checked a walkthrough as I'm not really bothered about playing it - it's listed as the last but one main mission.
Thought so. Resorted to watching YouTube in the end and both people basically ran past everything to press a switch and prayed they didnt get shot in the 5 seconds it takes to complete the action
Which I just did and did it on my first attempt after turning it on tonight. Ha ha ha VIDEOGAMES

User avatar
KSubzero1000
Member
Posts: 3365
Joined: August 26th, 2015, 9:56 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Still playing through GoW3. I'm on the highest difficulty setting this time around so any progress I make is slow and incremental. But it also helps to appreciate the one or other gameplay nuance that might fly under the radar on normal mode, I think.

I finished the Hades section today. I mentioned it in the appropriate thread a few years ago, but I genuinely think the Hades fight in this game is not only the best in the series but also one of the best boss fights in the entire genre. Goes to show that all the fancy presentation and elaborate animations that money can buy aren't inherently an issue for me so long as there's a rock solid mechanical structure underneath it all. This fight goes through a multitude of different phases, all of which are really well designed with just the right amount of telegraphing and margin of error. The game knows exactly how and when to change things up with a nice QTE or mini-cutscene that leads the way for another great and substantial gameplay section. One part passive spectacle, three parts active participation. Perfect mixture.

The boss gallery in this game is really good in general, but this one goes above and beyond what can reasonably be expected from a series often perceived as shallow button-mashing nonsense. Top marks all around.

I also noticed the PS4 remaster has a built-in photo mode so I started taking a few pictures as I played through it. Maybe I can post them when I'm done to illustrate some of the visual stuff that this game does so incredibly well in my opinion.

User avatar
Michiel K
Moderator
Posts: 1186
Joined: October 13th, 2015, 9:37 pm

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Michiel K »

hazeredmist wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 1:24 pm
Aye! I don't even know what the melee button is actually, I should check. I don't recall pressing anything that resembles a melee strike. I'm on Vasara 1.
Just hold the shot button until ya blink, haze. And yeah Stanshall, I'm playing Vasara 1 now, by constantly charging melee strikes and cancelling out bullets!

User avatar
hazeredmist
Member
Posts: 1695
Joined: June 25th, 2013, 12:45 pm
Location: The DMZ
Contact:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by hazeredmist »

Michiel K wrote:
October 1st, 2019, 12:11 am
Just hold the shot button until ya blink, haze.
I'll give it a go next time I fire it up!

User avatar
hazeredmist
Member
Posts: 1695
Joined: June 25th, 2013, 12:45 pm
Location: The DMZ
Contact:

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by hazeredmist »

Playing Untitled Goose Game. It's nice to be playing something everyone is talking about from time to time.

Seems a tad overrated for what it is to be honest, a little oversold by those I've heard raving about it. I think it's very overpriced and limited, but it is fun and different, and largely a breath of fresh air. I'm onto the third area, apparently it's quite short so probably not much left to go.

User avatar
Chopper
Member
Posts: 1406
Joined: April 16th, 2013, 6:35 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

I've been playing Cliff Empire (PC), a very cute little city builder.

The hook is that during a nuclear war, some fortunate part of mankind headed off to orbit, while the rest stayed and build some 'cliffs' which poked above the nuclear mist and would serve for resettlement. Kind of a silly concept, but you get three of these cliffs, with different resources, to build your city on. For example one might be rich in wind, another in sunshine, another in water. And it serves to limit the tiles you have available for building. A pretty good concept from a game development perspective, really.

You can see these cliffs in my screenshots - notice that the far off one has no water for example, so I'll have to get some piped over.

It's really nice to play. The only drawback so far is that the early part of each city tends to be much the same - you have to set up storage, crops, water etc for each one - so doing that three times in a row isn't that exciting. There are natural disasters, raiders etc that crop up later, I believe, and the aim is to get your cities to be self sufficient.
Spoiler: show
Image

Image

Post Reply