Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by Scrustle »

More NFS: Most Wanted. I've actually been enjoying it more as I've been getting further. Partly because as you upgrade your car and unlock higher wanted levels the game gets more intense and challenging. And also because I've done a bit of trouble shooting to fix/improve a couple of technical hitches I was getting. The wanted level thing turned out to be a bigger deal than I was expecting. On lower levels, the police are quite dumb and pretty easy to avoid. To the point where achieving the objectives for police chases early on can actually be kind of pain. It's harder to keep yourself in a chase long enough to do what it wants than it is to just escape. But then once you reach the higher levels there is much more of a demand to keep moving and keep on your toes. It really rewards knowledge of the open world too, as you pick your route on the fly towards the next useful shortcut or hiding place.

As for the technical side of things, it turns out the PC version of this game is kind of a mess. I'm also using a mod pack to add in some content and do make the game more like the 360 version, since the vanilla version on PC is actually a strange mix of the 6th gen and 360 versions. But I have a feeling some of the issues are caused by these mods as well. One major issue I've had is that the frame rate frequently chugs down to what looks like maybe even as low as 15fps. Maybe it's just 30 and that looks so different from 60 that it comes off so jarringly. But the Nvidia overlay still reports it running at 60fps regardless. It's some sort of frame pacing issue, where it is technically running at the speed it says, but is getting out of sync with the refresh rate, even when using various types of v-sync. So I heard about a program called RTSS, that allows you to have very fine control over limiting frame rates and pacing in games. It did end up improving things, but didn't fix it completely. But I'd say it's at a tolerable level now.

But because of this, I was also reminded of the similar issues I had with NFSU2, and how that would do the same unmeasured frame rate chugging in certain areas. So I tried this program on that game, and sure enough it fixes the problem completely, at least from my short test. It even managed to fix the issue of the painfully strobing skybox that sometimes showed up at the same time.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Michiel K wrote:
December 27th, 2019, 10:11 am
Geez, hope you recover full and well, Steve.
Thanks Michiel!

Finished Starlink on Switch and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a little bit of repetitive grind towards the end of the main campaign, but generally there’s some stunning worlds to explore, nice space fighting and a lot more Starfox than I expected. And all for a tenner with some nice looking plastic stuff to stick on my shelf too!

Got a few things for Christmas, and of these have spent the most time with Spyro Reignited Trilogy on PS4. Always loved the simplicity of the first game and a few 100% clear levels in, the remaster looks fantastic and controls just about fine. Also started The Ninja Saviors on Switch, which is great retro violence, but I’m not sure I’ll ever beat the first boss! And back on PS4, I got the two Atari Flashback compilations and dabbled with a lot but have mostly been completely absorbed by Asteroids.

And despite having more than enough on the go, couldn’t resist trying two new Game Pass additions... occult pinballer Demon’s Tilt would have been game of the year material a few days earlier, and I did the first level of Untitled Goose Game, and whilst it was fun, it’s not grabbed me like I hoped it would.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

The Stillness of the Wind (Gamepass for PC) is about an old woman living in the high desert who has a couple of goats and chickens, and whose family have all left home. As the days pass, she has to survive by making cheese, planting crops, collecting eggs, and bartering with a peddler who comes by periodically. He also delivers mail. It's pretty dull and repetitive, but also ruminative, I guess. It also looks very pretty.

I can't tell for sure at this stage, but the days are getting shorter and the old woman has less energy for tasks, so it's starting not to look great for her. Cheese making now takes the full day, for example, so it's impossible to fit in planting crops and carrying water to them. The letters she receives from her relatives become darker (the style of these is a bit too fantastic for my taste). Meanwhile, a goat disappears...things are probably going to get tough.


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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

:(

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

:D

Don't worry, she's been living on a diet of 1-3 boiled eggs per day, so she's a tough old bird. :lol:

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod »

stvnorman wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 4:35 pm
Finished Starlink on Switch and thoroughly enjoyed it. There is a little bit of repetitive grind towards the end of the main campaign, but generally there’s some stunning worlds to explore, nice space fighting and a lot more Starfox than I expected. And all for a tenner with some nice looking plastic stuff to stick on my shelf too!
Can I just say that Starlink is stupidly underrated? Like, I didn't think it was GREAT by any means. It's an Ubisoft game. They have an obsession with shoving so much menial BS into their games that they become an act of tedium. But when I took the time to ignore the missions and just saunter off into space... I was legitimately wowed. I'm not usually a "space sim" guy, so maybe other games get it better, but I loved just nyooming the cosmos, finding hidden secrets and stuff. I think if they made a sequel that forewent some of the dull missions and focused more on exploration and improved combat, it could be legitimately great.

This was also the first physical game I bought on Switch - the Switch tax is real, y'all - and even though I've since sold it, having such a high quality game available for $30 (about 18 pound sterling I think?) was nice to obtain whilst merely renting Smash and Odyssey. Plus I still have the *excellent* Arwing model it comes with. It's a bloody shame this thing was just sent off to die.

EDIT: Also, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is FREE on Epic Store right now, until the end of the day. I've been playing it, and while I unfortunately have to return it to the video store tonight, I'm loving it. Very good platformer.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

Ive been keeping an eye on this on Switch, keep us updated as to whether it's worth a punt or not.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

Re: Starlink.

I'd say it's worth it. It is keeps opening up and out for about ten hours before the Ubi grind begins but it's still enjoyable, just not enough for me to finish it. The Starfox stuff is actually worthwhile.

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hazeredmist
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by hazeredmist »

I really, really enjoyed Starlink. The gameplay loop is very satisfying. It’s in my personal top ten games I’ve completed this year. I was playing it at lunchtimes and everything. The Star Fox stuff is fantastic, I pretty much played the whole game as if it was Star Fox mixed with Mass Effect, that describes it well for me. I need to go back and do the DLC.

It’s insanely good value for what you can pick it up for now, I think the game could have received a far bigger reception / been so much more of a franchise without the toys-to-life stuff (which you don’t need at all to enjoy the game)

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dezm0nd
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd »

Started Shovel Knight again on Switch. My laptop really isn't a place for my gaming tastes but putting that game on switch really is incredible.

I got some Game Gear flashbacks last night as I was huddled up in bed with SK.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

Started playing the PS4 Spider-Man game today. I like it, even though it seems quite safe from a game design perspective so far. All the random side tasks means it’ll probably drop into my rotation as my evening wind down game for a bit. I know these kind of open world map icon games bore some to tears, but I find them really relaxing.

I’m also playing Sega’s “League of Wonderland” on mobile, which is a Clash Royale clone with some interesting design twists of its own. Hero units with player directed special attacks, they add quite a lot to the tactics. It is anime as *hell* though, so may not appeal to some.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

I'm checking out Outward, the 'Dark Souls style RPG' from last year.

I've just started, but it doesn't seem very Dark Souls to me. It is a bit difficult, and the fighting mechanics are very tentatively in the same ballpark, but it's more of an RPG with heavy survival mechanics. You have to boil water before drinking it, cook food, wear appropriate clothing in each environment, remove your backpack when you get in a fight because it slows you down and interferes with your dodge roll. Ah, that is probably it - upon death/capture, you can retrieve your backpack full of stuff if you can get back to the spot where you died. Dark Souls it is then!

I haven't really done anything else apart from the tutorial and the first quest. But the strategic/survival element of planning a trip out from home base appeals to me so I'm hoping it's a good one.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

It seems ‘like dark souls’ now just means ‘if you die you have to recover stuff from your corpse’ now to a lot of developers.

And that’s the mechanic I dislike the most from those games so... yeah.

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ReprobateGamer
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ReprobateGamer »

A happy new year to you all.

For the last few years, I've been keeping a list of games played (and on what system). 2019 marked the first year that I added some more information. In total 110 games played across 6 systems with a whole 11 story completions ...
As the vast majoity is on a Microsoft system, I've also tracked achievement progress to the end of the year (though not percentage change during the year) (with thanks to TrueAchievements for tracking the info) and made a note on the games genre (my own words so you take may not agree!)

Feel free to look it over
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... output=pdf

Have to say, my most interesting finding was quite how much I don't use the PS3 or the Wii anymore - though this is part to having the consoles in the lounge so my gaming time has to fit in when everyone else goes to sleep and the Xbox One is the only that I currently have headphones for ...

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

Flabyo wrote:
January 3rd, 2020, 12:02 pm
It seems ‘like dark souls’ now just means ‘if you die you have to recover stuff from your corpse’ now to a lot of developers.

And that’s the mechanic I dislike the most from those games so... yeah.
Yeah, I wonder if the devs decided to market it as such, or if it's something the gaming press seized upon. I think it may be just to reinforce careful gameplay in this case - after all, you could just drop your pack in a safe place before any battles and then retrieve it easily without having to run any gauntlets, if I am understanding correctly. Also, I believe there is an interesting story-driven reason or reasons for being killed/knocked out and being resurrected/imprisoned etc. However, I've only killed two hyenas so far and I'm away for the weekend, so I won't be able to say till next week sometime. Don't write it off yet!

@RG Happy New Year to you too! Interesting spreadsheet - you need to add year of completion, price paid, and compare to average completion rate from TrueAchievements or somewhere just to round it out :D

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Flabyo wrote:
January 3rd, 2020, 12:02 pm
It seems ‘like dark souls’ now just means ‘if you die you have to recover stuff from your corpse’ now to a lot of developers.
That's something that I've been thinking about recently during my Halo 3 playthrough - how unfortunate it is when people only associate successful games with one (!) of their signature mechanics which then gets uprooted and copied into other games while the rest of their mechanics are being forgotten about. Great elements rarely exist in a vacuum, and simply stuffing your game full of other game's mechanics devoid of their organic context rarely works out in my opinion.

ReprobateGamer wrote:
January 3rd, 2020, 12:10 pm
the Xbox One is the only that I currently have headphones for ...
I keep reading stuff like this and I never know how to answer without sounding condescending, but...

Console-branded headphones that are only compatible with one machine are a complete scam.

You can buy regular wireless headphones instead that can be plugged directly into your TV, thus redirecting anything that passes through it, be it XBO, Wii, PS3, Blu-Ray, television channel, etc...

It's a perfect solution with zero drawbacks as far as I can tell.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

Microphone for voice chat is what you’re missing there.

Might not be something you care about, but it’s why console specific stuff exists.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Flabyo wrote:
January 3rd, 2020, 2:12 pm
Microphone for voice chat is what you’re missing there.

Might not be something you care about, but it’s why console specific stuff exists.
But... Can't you just use any random headset that has a mic just as well?

I've been using the Sennheiser Game One for all my years of playing online on PS4. Just plug it into the controller's headphone jack, works like a charm and is universal. And there are wireless versions as well as far as I can tell.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

It varies. The Xbox one doesn’t have a place to plug a standard 3.5mm headset jack unless you buy a pass through (or use a pad that has one, like I do)

Lord knows what works on the switch given it seemed like you had to do it via their phone app at one point.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Well, I think it'd be easier and cheaper to buy a pass-through and some universal headphones rather than a different pair for every console. But fair enough. I take your point about the mic considering the variety of proprietary audio channels and technicalities.

But for anyone who doesn't use the mic regularly, I can only advise against going down the console specific rabbit hole of expensive incompatibility.

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