Whatcha Been Playing?

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

I've seen the horseshoe one a couple of times across the map. I can't remember the bear one to be honest. I know they've added a couple of bounties and weapons to single player, so I guess they could have added the odd random event here and there. It seems more likely you just never encountered it before though. I put almost 100 hours in to the game and never saw any of the UFO or ghost stuff so it's possible!

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

Alex79uk wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 6:14 pm
It seems more likely you just never encountered it before though. I put almost 100 hours in to the game and never saw any of the UFO or ghost stuff so it's possible!
Yes that's much more likely.

I read a 'things to see' article earlier and there is so much stuff I didn't see, the two Tolkien references being the standout examples (a hobbit house and a victim of a barrel race).

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

Checked out a couple of PS4 demos lately. First one I tried was the Medievil remake. Never played the PS1 original but it was pretty alright. Nice Danny Elfmanesque soundtrack though. Also literally beat the demo boss with only one health left, which was pretty badass.

Also tried out Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise which is basically Yakuza with a different coat of paint. Pretty fun from what little I played and the body exploding violence is great in it’s over the top violence. The characters and world don’t grab me the same way that Kiryu, Majima and Kamurocho managed to do however so I am in no great hurry to check it out when I have the rest of that series to keep me going.

Lastly, Kingdom Hearts 3. Never played this series before as I don’t really like Disney all that much but it has its fans so I wanted to see what it was all about. The game looks and sounds incredible; seriously the production values on this are seriously impressive. The combat can be really fun especially when you are doing combo attacks against hordes of bad guys and the special attacks which involve you operating Disneyland park rides can be very satisfying to pull off at the right time. The Toy Story chapter was also lots of fun, especially operating the big robot toys. But that could also be due to Toy Story being one of the few Disney things that I have time for (more of a Pixar guy in general).

So since this is the third game in the series I went and caught up on the story through a catch up mode on the main menu that tells you everything you need to know so far. I was good for the first two minutes and after that my eyes just glazed over. What the hell did I just watch?! The story is overly convoluted gibberish that introduces elements out of nowhere and I just could not keep track. Most of what I seen were characters making interminable speeches about the light and the darkness interspersed with Goofy saying “Gawrsh, Sora!” This is where the entire premise of this series just falls flat for me. There is this typical anime angst about fighting against their former best friend who turned evil or some bollocks like that and bloody Mickey Mouse is there the whole time arguing about the true power of friendship. These daft cartoon characters just do not fit in this world. It is a juxtaposition that I cannot take seriously and is the reason why I don’t think I can ever really get into this series as much as I actually liked the gameplay. It is just too much for me to ignore, a very strange franchise.

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod »

Played some more Metroid Prime 3 and uh... Yeah, is that rumoured Switch version gonna have controller support? Because these motion controls are driving me insane. I've gotten my WiiU partially working again, so it plays *most* Wii games now (but not all), so at least having Motion Plus with the improved sensor bar makes some degree of difference. But oh my god, now that the game's becoming more fast-paced and reliant on quick inputs, it's becoming maddening to have the motion controls straight-up not register, or to have the Wii cursor drift off into the aether, or having these bosses that have infinitely spawning enemies with timed puzzle elements while you're shouting at the controls to just WORK...

Like I love the game - it's well-designed and the audiovisual presentation is top tits. But oh my god do the Wii's controls ever suck for action games like this. I haven't used the Switch's motion controls yet - and thankfully, none of the games I've played yet really use them - but if the motion thing has died off, I'm just like... Good riddance.

---

Oh, and for those curious... I had modded my WiiU with the intent of getting WiiWare WADs on there (Konami's ReBirth games in particular), and for whatever reason, it made my WiiU incapable of reading discs. Any discs. It's now at a point where I've rolled back all the modding software, and all my WiiU discs work now, but for some reason, all games released prior to 2009 (Metroid and Smash Brawl excepted) will not play. It'll read them, but I get kicked to the vWii menu when I try to boot them. It's freaking bizarre.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Got to the end of The Ninja Saviors on Switch, did all the time attacks, tried the hard difficulty and all the characters, but still don’t feel I’m done with it yet. It’s such a joy to play once you’ve really mastered a character, and it’s a definitely something I’ll keep coming back to, maybe even for as long as its cousins Renegade and Streets of Rage!

A few hours into Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Xbox. There are moments where either the gameplay or the visuals or the audio or all three are just stunning, but I’m still not sure how much I like it... keep thinking I’d rather be playing Symphony of the Night! As a compromise, I’ve started Circle of the Moon on GBA and just beat the first boss, which I think is as far as I ever got first time around. I really don’t remember it being this good, though at the time I didn’t know Castlevania at all and I think I was probably just looking for something else from it.

And about half way through Bulletstorm, which came with PS+ a while back and I want to get through that backlog. As forgettable as it will probably be once I’m done, for now it’s big, dumb fun and I’m enjoying it!

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ratsoalbion
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ratsoalbion »

Yay; I'm not the only one who loves Ninja Saviors!

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

I've been mixing it up recently, nothing that I'm 'working on', felt a little bit like I'd had enough of the Futari intensity for the moment, but just having a ruddy bloody good time playing the following:

Kirby Star Allies - Retirement home tier for almost all of the first three worlds, almost insultingly simplistic PEGI 3 fodder but it's picked up a fair bit in the latter stages. If they made a Kirby game that was full on madness and chaos, it would be absolutely awesome because the music and different powers and your buddies going mental powering each other up and freezing baddies with flaming electricity and the like is great. I got one mate who painted a fridge and a load of food fell out of it which I ate and then kissed all my pals better. Then we turned into a whirling dervish of flames and whips and battered through the whole level in reverse. More of that, please. Basically, I'd like a Lapis X Labyrinth X Kirby game. It would be superb.

Darius Twin - One of the SNES exclusives on the Cozmic Collection. It's meant to be pretty average and pedestrian in difficulty but it's plenty challenging enough for me. Knocking the difficulty down to Easy is a riot because you get TOOLED UP and it's really fun to go through all the different weapons and shot types until you're basically a massive green X of laser with a solid white beam of cotton wool ball lasers thumping the right hand side of the screen. It's not an all-timer in any department but it's a cool pocket-sized take on the Darius formula.

Demon's Tilt - Jumped back into this over the weekend and hammered my HS, but still well short of clippa's best effort. It definitely helps to figure out the different systems, though, and the tilting is a really significant part of the game, I now understand. I'd go as far as to say that for what it is, this game is essentially perfect. It doesn't attempt too much but it has a tonne of depth, lots and lots of cool features which feel exciting as the table cycles through various phases and the music and presentation are excellent and never tiresome. It does benefit from a bigger screen than the Switch in handheld, but nevertheless, I have enjoyed it enormously in that exact format. Heartily recommended.

Super Smash Bros Ultimate - At 30 hours, even though I've barely scratched the surface, I feel I've got my money's worth out of this game. I grew tired of Online, though. Too laggy, too random, too much for me learn for the level of enjoyment I get from it, but it's fundamentally very good. I can appreciate that. I never did finish the SP Adventure Mode, though, so I've gone back in to try and polish that off. I'm probably only 5 hours in and I have a hell of a lot to do. As frustrating as it can be, for the most part, it's a hell of a lot of fun and it may encourage me to learn some new characters for Online in the process.

In brief...

Battle Garegga - Just a shout-out because this is still solid gold and I listen to the soundtrack at least once a day. Still no closer to the 1CC but now that I've seen its cavernous depths, I know that this may be a long time coming. It's likely to be my next 'project' kinda game.

Link's Awakening Remake - Trying to go back to stuff I was enjoying and then dropped for whatever reason. I looked up how to move on after the second dungeon, seemed like a compulsory side quest and I'm back on track. There's a lot to love about the presentation, music and basic gameplay but it's also quite obtuse in 2020 and the lurching frame rate is dispiriting from a Nintendo game.

Gradius II - Partly playing it for the upcoming C&R issue, but mostly because it's a damn good game. I'm definitely more in the Darius corner than Gradius but I have developed a real fondness for its idiosyncratic powerup rhythms. Cool music and sound effects, too. A game with distinct personality.

Katamari Damacy Reroll - I never played this way back when so I may well be missing a lot of the impact this had, not only in terms of the novel gameplay concept, but in the presentation, music and humour. I am enjoying the tunes but I'm also finding it quite a simplistic and repetitive experience. I'll keep it installed, though, because it's a perfect game to play one level a week.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

BioShock Remastered

I've got a bunch of games in the immersive sim lineage to try out after falling in love with the Arkane Studios stuff, and decided to hit this first over System Shock 2 or Deus Ex which I'll get into soon. Have to say I am pretty immediately on board with the world - Rapture is appropriately dank, soggy and oppressive. I really feel like I'm in a subaquatic city, walking through creaking structures that might collapse at any minute under the weight of the ocean.

I was also surprised at how quickly I was equipped with my first power or plasmid as they're called. Lots of fun electrocuting the enemies when they make the mistake of running towards me through some water.

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Caligulas Horse
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Caligulas Horse »

Jobobonobo wrote:
January 26th, 2020, 7:08 pm
Most of what I seen were characters making interminable speeches about the light and the darkness interspersed with Goofy saying “Gawrsh, Sora!”
hahahaha

RetroClarence
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by RetroClarence »

I spent yesterday evening playing Avalon on the ZX Spectrum, it's safe to say it's not a pick up and play game!!

ThirdMan

Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

Continuing my replay of Red Dead Redemption 2. I'm enjoying playing as a slightly nastier Arthur this time. I always opt for the 'paragon' route through games. I'm simply never comfortable roleplaying as a baddie. However because I know where the story goes, and the requirements for Rockstar's 'true' ending, I can push myself out of my comfort zone in anticipation of Arthur's character arc. In both practical and conceptual terms I'm limited by what I know will happen and yet it's allowing me to explore Arthur's excesses because the story will eventually pull him back from the brink.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

More mixing it up at my end, having caught the dreaded lurgy and spent much of the day in bed:

Space Harrier - The main theme is one of my favourite pieces of music in the world, such a tremendous sense of flight and euphoria and melancholy all encapsulated in a simple fundamentally two-note riff. It's not quite the same spectacle on the telly or in handheld as on a proper arcade cab but it certainly takes me right back to pumping my last 10 pence piece in the slot. A glorious game which I never want to learn to play properly.

198X - New Year's Resolutions be well and truly damned. I also felt like trying this today so sure enough, I pays my money. I've only done a couple of sections but it's largely exactly as I expected and very much what I wanted. A synthwave soundtrack, teenage angst, beautiful pixel art and, so far, gameplay which captures the arcade era very well without the coin-munching frustrations. It's supposed to be very short but for what I paid, it's worth it its so far away and I look forward to seeing what's coming next. A true love letter.

Dragon Quest XI S - I really enjoyed the first ten hours of this over Christmas and strapped myself in for the long haul but I put it down for a few days and I've struggled to get back to it ever since. It looks and sounds the part, some of the places and people are very well drawn, but I do now understand the criticisms that it's a very rote, safe JRPG comfortably pursuing the well-worn genre grooves. I don't have a problem with that necessarily, as I have played so few in my life, but it does not mean that it requires a bit of motivation to break through the predictable nature to enjoy how assuredly it functions. I would like to get back into it but I don't know if I've got fifty hours of this in me.

Radirgy Swag - A rather puzzling and obscure shmup which is due a Western release at some point but which I expect will thoroughly bomb. It has elements of Twinbee with the colour-changing power ups which you ping back up the screen to hopefully get the one you want, but most are just for score. It doesn't have bosses. It's one long weird stage which functions as a journey from Earth into space. You have a health bar which is yours mobile phone battery. You can get cumulative speed-ups which make the game run insanely fast and increase the number of bullets which you can't dodge because they're too fast so you also die faster. You have a rechargeable invulnerable shield which also sucks in the power ups more quickly. You have a sword melee attack. I play it for fifteen minutes every three minutes months. Maybe one day they'll localise it and it will all make sense but until then, I'll continue to enjoy it in the moment and be perpetually curious and baffled.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

Wolfenstein: The New Order

What a banger of an opening level! That was majestic. I can already see why people hold this game up as something special. I just woke up in 1960 to a pretty heartbreaking setpiece... had to sleep though.

I can't wait to see where all this goes for my man Blaszko.

Got it in a Steam sale with The Old Blood and I'm looking forward to spending more time with these games.

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duskvstweak
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by duskvstweak »

Jon Cheetham wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 1:02 am
Wolfenstein: The New Order


Got it in a Steam sale with The Old Blood and I'm looking forward to spending more time with these games.
I still need to play The Old Blood! It looks like a whole lot of fun.

I just started Metal Gear Solid 3 last night. I originally played the game right before college but only made it halfway, I believe. This is my first time back, so I'm looking forward to the part of the game where it becomes new for me again. Not that I remember much. Just fighting the sniper and the bee guy.

I also didn't get far in my first night. Only did the "cold open". I spent way too much time in the codex trying to get the cast to share more lore and less left stick instructions.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

Been playing Dishonored lately. Been considering giving this a go since I finished off replaying all the Bioshock games a while back. I had played a little bit of it before years ago, but this is the first time I've properly got in to it. Although I'm still kind of on the fence about it. It's come up against the mixed feelings I have around the immersive sim genre. Despite the Bioshock games making me want to have another crack at it, it's far closer to the more recent Deus Ex games. So much that I can't help but be making direct comparisons the whole time playing it.

The issue I tend to have with these games is that I like them from an RPG and world-building perspective, but I don't tend to like the stealth aspects. Sometimes I find them enjoyable if done a certain way, but with me not really liking the stealth genre specifically, it's a thin knife edge to walk. It seems like Dishonored leans slightly more towards the stealth aspects than Deus Ex, which let you have a wider range of approaches. So I feel more forced towards a more specific play style, and one that I don't really like as much as DX, even if I do try to be as stealthy and non-lethal as possible in those games too. In those your augments and level design gave you a lot of options to tackle things in different ways, while here it feels like there's a narrower range of options, and which all focus around a much more similar style of gameplay.

One other issue seems to be the complete lack of a map in Dishonored. I guess I can see why that was an intentional choice, forcing you to have a better awareness of your surroundings by actually exploring it, rather than just staring at a mini-map. But I still feel like I'm lacking information that I really need. A lot of the time I'll turn a corner and run in to something that I couldn't have reasonably seen coming, and that feels a bit unfair to me. There has to be some sort of middle ground that's better than this. Maybe the sequels do it better.

And while the level design is complex and multi-layered in Dishonored, it seems to be more linear than DX. A lot of the levels are separated in to zones that are strung together in a way that you're only really going to go through them one way. Even when there are multiple entranced to a zone, it's still laid out in such a way that you will start at one end, and move through it in generally one direction to the exit at the other. Going back for stuff you missed often feels like backtracking and wasting time as a result. DX felt like there were way more different angles of approach, which I really appreciated in that game. It allowed you to be stealthy just by exploring and finding blind spots, instead of feeling like you have to go through a level and play it a certain way. And of course Dishonored lacks those open hub areas DX had. Exploring around those and being able to see the world in less hostile state was great, as well as how it naturally weaved together smaller sidequest areas in to them. Dishonored feels quite separated between the pub area that serves as your home base, and the main levels where stuff actually happens.

Also there's the sense of atmosphere that I feel DX did better. While Dishonored does have a visual identity to it, and some well thought out world-building that you can find through the books scattered about and just the writing behind all the things you see, it still feels like it's missing that extra step. The lack of hub levels is part of it, as you don't really get to see a populated area of the world where things are just going on regardless of your presence. Audio design is another part. It's fine in Dishonored, but a bit flat. It's adequate, but it doesn't do much more than that. The lack of background music is part of that. DX always did a great job of setting a mood with music, while Dishonored barely uses it at all.

That ended up being quite a bit more negative than I was expecting... I'm not hating this game so far, and I'm still interested to play more. But I guess it's just another example of me not liking stealth games to much, or perhaps Arkane in general, going by how I also didn't care much for Prey despite really wanting to enjoy it. I think I'm just under halfway through so far, so maybe things improve later as I get more abilities.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Finished SNES Yoshi’s Island on Switch. It’s still a visual masterpiece, and as I only realised on the penultimate level, an audio one too. And it’s a fantastic platformer. The fact it’s taken me months to get through is testament to it not grabbing me like Super Mario World did though, and I certainly don’t intend to go back and 100% it like I did that. Great game all the same.

Spent an hour or so on the Switch Blasphemous demo trying to convince myself I liked it. Unfortunately didn’t work, but did save me the £11 I’d have spent on it in the eShop sale this week!

I spent £7.99 on Arcade Archives Tecmo Bowl instead. Wasn’t even aware an arcade version existed until this was announced, but it’s easy to pick up and a lot of fun. I’m glad I’m not shoving real coins into it though - one credit is one minute of play regardless of what’s going on in the game. That aside it’s a very well implemented arcade version of American Football and a great port as always.

Also played the Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair demo on Switch. There is absolutely nothing about that game that’s for me!

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seansthomas
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by seansthomas »

clippa wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 2:50 pm
I was the same with blasphemous, it looks nice enough but I didn't enjoy playing it one bit.
Thirded. Demo put me right off.

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

Just started Yakuza Kiwami today and god, it feels good to be back in Kamurocho. The familiarity meant that I could get into the game straight away and I'm already at chapter 4! I think I am finally at a spot where I can truly roam around and get stuck into dating, arcade games, substories and all the rest of the stuff that makes this series so good. The main story itself seems set to be yet another riveting tale and going up against your best friend is going to make for some pretty tense emotional moments ahead. Really do think that playing 0 before makes these sorts of developments all the more powerful (and it is also just a fantastic game overall). Think I am going to enjoy this one a lot.

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DomsBeard
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by DomsBeard »

Just played the opening hour of Gylt on Stadia.

Very impressed. It's a stealth horror type game where you are navigating to your objectives via hiding from monsters and finding keys and books that seem to be unravelling a different story than what you know going in.

Sound design and soundtrack are key to making this quite scary to play, though when discovered there is a scary version of the metal gear solid discovery music that plays when a monster finds you that tickled me. Excited to get this done before my stadia pro sub runs out in 3 weeks. It is one of the two stadia pro games this month.

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shadowless_kick
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by shadowless_kick »

stvnorman wrote:
January 27th, 2020, 8:19 pm
Got to the end of The Ninja Saviors on Switch
I haven't found a way to consistently beat the Stage 5 boss (martial arts master with the long white hair) with Kunoichi, so I've been banging my head against the wall trying to get it down in time attack before going back to the main game. he's just so fast! any tips?

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