Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by MauricioMM »

I'm currently playing Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, halfway through the 4th. chapter to be more precise. Man, I missed this world so effing much! Not even Netflix's Witcher show, which I enjoyed, scratched the itch that The Witcher games left me with.

I'm not a big fan of card games but, still, I feel that this game ended up being better than it had any right to be :lol: It has a gripping storyline, well written and greatly performed characters, the trademark difficult choices and consequences system from the Witcher game saga, great combat which encourages strategic approaches and lots of army management, well designed and well illustrated cards, great art direction, entertaining enough exploration and, thankfully, lots of the characteristic dark-but-also-lovely-and-even-funny Witcher charm (despite some toned down elements, as anyone could tell by its ESRB T/PEGI 12 rating.) What's there not to like?

So, yeah, I'd say it's a pretty great game :)
Jon Cheetham wrote:
January 29th, 2020, 1:02 am
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.
Such an amazing game :) The Old Blood is a pretty cool adventure as well, especially for anyone with some nostalgia for Wolfenstein 3D, but The New Order is better overall.

I still have The New Colossus pending, hopefully this is the year I'll finally tackle it.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

MauricioMM wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 12:50 am
Such an amazing game :) The Old Blood is a pretty cool adventure as well, especially for anyone with some nostalgia for Wolfenstein 3D, but The New Order is better overall.

I still have The New Colossus pending, hopefully this is the year I'll finally tackle it.
Just finished it yesterday, loved it to bits! I didn't play Wolfenstein 3D back in the day but I did stumble upon the "nightmare" sections of New Order by having a nap at the underground base in this one, which was a fun easter egg.

Can't wait to get into the others!

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

I think if you took the boss fights out of the wolfenstien games I’d remember them far more fondly than I do.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

I'm with you there. In New Order at least they feel like they're from a different game. Remove the shield, target the weak point etc... They're a bummer but thankfully there isn't a lot of them and other than that it's a winner.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Apart from the occasional Death Stranding session and a renewed interest in Mushihimesama Futari, I've mostly been playing Return of the Obra Dinn lately. Didn't know anything about this one going in, and wow... what a game.

Pixel-perfect aesthetics, impeccable sound design and a brilliantly engaging gameplay loop. You're being tasked with reconstructing the deadly events that took place on an abandoned sailing ship during the early 19th century, based on little more than short audio clips and freeze-frame visual vignettes, each filled with important clues and other details. As simple of a concept as it is effective. The best thing about this game is how it simply doesn't allow the player to brute-force their way to a hollow victory. Critical thinking or bust.

I don't want to give too much away so I'll just say: No fat, no filler, pure detective goodness. Layers upon layers. There is clearly a lot of work that went into crafting this precious little Rubik's Cube and polishing it to a mirror sheen. Hats off to the developers, this one deserves all the accolades it received and I haven't even finished it. Can't wait to dive back into it tomorrow.

PS: Modern gaming may have its well-documented fair share of problems, but puzzle games are on fire lately. Ever since Portal, a lot of hugely talented developers appear to have found a way to create some truly remarkable games in this genre, free from the constraints and expectations of the AAA sphere. Zachtronics, The Witness, Fez, The Room and now everything Lucas Pope. Excellent stuff all around, brimming with ingenuity and authorial intent. More!

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

shadowless_kick wrote:
February 4th, 2020, 11:44 pm
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?
I only played with Kunoichi a bit, but had exactly the same problem with other characters too. That was the only boss I couldn’t master a strategy for - on all the others, you can beat them without taking much damage with a bit of luck on your side, but this one seems to be all about luck.

I tried to focus on the other characters and not him. Fill up the special gauge and use it whenever you’re close enough to him. Also, if you can get close enough to hit him when you’re not using a special,, don’t. Grab him instead or you’re bound to take damage. Need to be really patient and just accept it might not be your day!

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 8:51 pm
Return of the Obra Dinn .
I've been really wanting to make time for this one and Papers Please, I've only heard good things about both. Oh and thanks for the little list of puzzle games you included at the end there! Going to have a look.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Jon Cheetham wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 5:29 am
Oh and thanks for the little list of puzzle games you included at the end there! Going to have a look.
You're welcome! Although to be fair, all of these are very different from one another. Crazy to put them all under the same genre umbrella, really.


Still, for the record, here's my official PuzzleGamePowerRanking:
  • 'Nobel Prize in Physics 2015-2XXX' Tier: Infinifactory
  • 'Cures the Bubonic Plague' Tier: The Witness; Return of the Obra Dinn; Opus Magnum
  • 'Chopin & Pistachio Ice Cream in a warm bubble bath while it gently snows outside' Tier: Portal 1&2; The Room
  • 'Feeling dumb is only partially fun' Tier: Snakebird; SpaceChem (and the rest of the ZaXXX)
  • 'Salient socio-political points with intentionally boring-but-not-really gameplay' Tier: Papers, Please
  • 'Brand-new birthday gift bicycle with sick decals but a flat tyre' Tier: Gorogoa; Limbo; Thomas Was Alone
  • 'Probably transcendental in VR, same old plus dolphins otherwise' Tier: Tetris Effect
  • 'Still the best way to spend an evening that doesn't involve any of the other tiers' Tier: Fez; The Talos Principle

...I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 6:30 am

...I'm sure I'm forgetting some.
Wow... really appreciate you taking the time there. I am keeping this list! The Talos Principle I got free on Epic and am looking forward to trying it, I heard favourable comparisons to Portal :)

Also, "Chopin & Pistachio Ice Cream in a warm bubble bath while it gently snows outside".... what a great description, haha.

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shadowless_kick
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by shadowless_kick »

stvnorman wrote:
February 5th, 2020, 9:23 pm
That was the only boss I couldn’t master a strategy for - on all the others, you can beat them without taking much damage with a bit of luck on your side, but this one seems to be all about luck.
I was afraid you'd say that :lol:
the throwing > attacking tip is good, though. I'll keep at it!

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

KSubzero1000 wrote:
February 6th, 2020, 6:30 am
Puzzle games...!
What was that one you were talking about ages ago, you made gifs of it and it seemed to be based on a hexagonal board. That looked interesting.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Alex79uk wrote:
February 7th, 2020, 8:08 am
What was that one you were talking about ages ago, you made gifs of it and it seemed to be based on a hexagonal board. That looked interesting.
That must have been Opus Magnum, I posted a few gifs of it in my Infinifactory thread.

Unfortunately in your case, it's a PC exclusive. No mobile or console version as far as I know. :(


...Completely given up on Snakebird then, I assume? :lol:

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

Haha, you know what, I got a new phone in November and never reinstalled it, but funnily enough I actually downloaded it again yesterday. I don't know how much progress I'll make, it's just absolutely fiendishly difficult!

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman »

Finished Bulletstorm on PS4 in time for the next batch of PS+ games (though Bioshock seems to be causing me motion sickness). Mostly fun mindless violence that just about didn’t outstay its welcome.

Also finished Koral on Switch. Sometimes stunning marine puzzler that also just about didn’t outstay its welcome, despite only being 2-3 hours long. It’s generally intuitive but there’s not much variety and a couple of timed puzzle frustrations near the end. Two quid well spent in the Xmas sale though!

And, having spent the last few days recovering from my latest kidney operation with plenty of handheld time on my hands, started and completed NES Super Mario Bros 3 on Switch. After playing a lot of classic Mario for the first time recently, I found this a bit bland in comparison. Some of the penultimate world levels were a bugger though!

Finally, made a bit more progress in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - 5 hours in and I think it’s growing on me enough to keep going. Good way through Castlevania: Circle of the Moon on GBA too. Remarkable game!

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Still plugging away at Indivisible. Early on it’s the combat system that is the most important thing, but as the game has gone on the combat has gotten much easier and it’s the platforming skills you need to even get around the levels that takes center stage.

It’s not going to trouble someone who can beat Celeste or Meat Boy, but it’s taxing me. There’s about a dozen Metroidvania style traversal mechanics in play now, some of which you have to rapidly combine. If it gets much harder than it currently is, I may not make it.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I'm right near the end of Horizon Zero Dawn I think (well, I checked a guide and only two story missions left). It's been fun but I'm kind of glad it's coming to an end. The game has a lot of positives, but it really does have so many negatives too. Basically every mission involves you traipsing across the entire map to talk to someone before crossing all the way back for another conversation. I never, ever use fast travel in open world games. I hate it, totally breaks the immersion for me, but I've used it since quite early on in this game. The world doesn't really have any interesting things to stumble across, and aside from a couple of different geological backdrops, it's all much of a muchness. I didn't find world traversal that much fun, either. The monster encounters became a bit tedious long before the end, too. I found myself just running away from them most of the time.

I sounds like I've not enjoyed the game. I have. I just think it's fairly average. The story is good though, I did find that pretty interesting, and the tallnecks are a nice alterative to the climb the tower puzzles found in most open world games.

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Flabyo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo »

I really enjoyed Horizon at the time. I like the post-post-apocalypse aesthetic a lot, and I got pretty invested in the story. But having played both Breath of the Wild and AC Odyssey since, I think it’s been outclassed now.

(At the time I said that Horizon felt like the pinnacle of ‘old’ open world design and BotW was the start of a new design, but I think Odyssey is now the best ‘old’ style one, admittedly I’ve not played the second red dead yet)

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

Yeah I'd put RDR2 closer to BOTW in terms of icons and player discovery. In both games you can't get from A to B without something interesting happening and taking you an hour out of your way. I'm looking forward to playing the two new Assassins Creed games when I get to them, too.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits »

The invisible arrows that kill you when you tread outside of where R* want you to go in RDR2 really dampened the open world-ness of the game for me.

Sure, BotW has areas that your not supposed to go, but they gate that with items like cold weather clothes and heat proof items, which makes more sense to me than the death screen of RDR2.

Not being able to “go over there” in RDR2 really made me sad when I fancied an archeological adventure.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ThirdMan »

I've been replaying the opening hours of GTAV alongside RDR2 and, quite frankly, it's a difficult game to revisit. It's still brilliant, of course, but it now appears quite lifeless in comparison. It's busy and noisy but it's mostly window dressing. I know from my previous playthrough that it's peppered with Easter eggs and other things to discover but they're spread over a much larger area. Flipping the lid on that hidden part of the world feels like too much work. With Red Dead it's baked into the minute to minute experience.

I also miss being able to interact with every NPC, of having them respond to my questions and prompts, being welcoming, wary or outright aggressive. 'Alive' is the overused buzzword but Rockstar's latest really earns it. It's going to be very difficult going back to lesser games. I was downloading HZD earlier in the week, just to see if it grabbed me a bit more this time, but I had second thoughts and cancelled. It's a fun game with superb sound design but it's a world of glass surfaces. It felt old to me, even upon release. I'd certainly struggle with it now.

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