Whatcha Been Playing?

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » December 8th, 2019, 9:45 pm

Started Darksiders: Genesis recently and so far I'm liking it a fair bit. Despite the very different perspective and level structure, it still feels very Darksiders. In a way it's kind of like the first game, but chopped up in to individual levels. So far most of them have been fairly linear, but a couple have had a bit more room to explore. Puzzles so far have been pretty light, but it seems like things are getting a bit more complex as things go on, as you unlock more tools to do things with. The puzzle mechanics themselves are very familiar to the series too. And earlier levels are dotted with things you can't interact with when you first play them, so it seems like the idea is that you can come back later to find more puzzles and secrets.

Combat feels pretty good too, and again quite familiar to how these games feel. In fact I was kind of surprised how good it feels with the camera zoomed so far out in that isometric view. Playing as War feels pretty similar to the first game, and Strife feels good too. Primarily a kind of twin-stick shooter theme, but he has some melee combat moves too that aren't bad. And even though it was made with co-op in mind, playing solo is still fun, and I'm switching between characters pretty frequently.

The dialogue between the characters is pretty fun too. I was worried Strife might be annoying, being a kind of jokey smart-arse type who isn't anywhere near as witty as he thinks he is, but that isn't the case. The way he pokes fun at War's stoic personality has brought out some genuinely funny quips, which gives them a fun straight guy/funny guy dynamic. He also doesn't overdo it either, so the jokes don't get too old.

There have been a couple of problems though. There's a little bit of jank to it, when it comes to things like dodgy collision detection leading me to get stuck in a corner, and one bug where I had to back out to the main menu because the item I was trying to use just didn't work. Also it can sometimes be hard to see things on screen with how far zoomed out it is. And occasionally there are these linear platforming sections where you're usually running away from some hazard chasing you. That isometric perspective is really bad for judging jumps, and putting you under the pressure to rush through those parts doesn't help things. Luckily they've all been pretty short so far.

Also still on MH:W Iceborne and still having a great time with that. Done a lot of going back to get geared up again, which has helped a lot to make progress on new quests too. Recently got past Glavenus, which I was looking forward to. Not played any MH game it was in before, but always thought the design looked cool. And now I finally got to fight it, it certainly delivered. The concept of it is great, and the way it moves and just the presence it has are all very impressive. The gear you can craft from it is especially cool too. On the other hand I wasn't really a fan of Barioth or Nargacuga. Both of those I feel like are just sort of... too fast. They're so quick and aggressive that it feels out of pace with how the game usually flows. Especially Narga. And if I was having a tough time with the IG, with all the speed and mobility that gives you, I can only imagine how awful it must feel with a slower weapon. Next up is Brachydios though, which is another I'm looking forward to. One I have fought before in 3U, and was one of my favourites from that game. So that should be fun to come back to.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman » December 9th, 2019, 6:28 pm

Finished Arkham City on PS4, mopped up the major side quests and Harley Quinn’s Revenge DLC, which was my first time playing and I liked a lot. Brilliant as ever being Batman, but not as brilliant as in Asylum.

Still playing Crash Bandicoot on PS1. Some of the cruel level designs and not great platforming have had me tearing my hair out and I’m only 26% in, but it’s hooked me more than it did first time around!

Started Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Xbox Game Pass. Nothing really clicking yet but hoping it will! Also started Titanfall 2 (on PS+ this month) and an hour in I think I like it!

Also played (and won) a few races on other PS+ freebie Monster Energy Supercross, which is a fun mess for a while, but the crap controls, performance and looks - coupled with the general bugginess - soon make the chaotic novelty wear off.

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham » December 10th, 2019, 3:16 am

Thanks to the Steam sale I picked up both Portal games for 4 ringgit, which is about 75p. Had a ton of fun with the first one figuring out the physics and puzzles. Did up to the 17th Test Chamber in a sitting, got most of the way through the final level last night but it started to drag just a tad so I decided to wrap it up tonight. It's also very funny, and the reveal when you manage to get into the walls for the first time is a masterfully crafted moment.

Also grabbed Resident Evil 4 & 5 in the same sale and started both, the latter for co-op marathons with my brother. The controversial content of 5 has been much discussed including on the extremely good ep by the Cane and Rinse team, and although in terms of its wireframe and mechanics it is a fun and engaging gameplay experience, there have been a couple of moments that (personally) felt gross. We'll see how far we get and how the storyline redeems the way the setting is depicted.

I much prefer 4, although I had some problems with the controls. I am on the PC port, so perhaps that is why the camera in aim mode seems overly sensitive and swings wildly around? Died a couple of times literally fighting the controls. I swapped out my PS4 controller for mkb and it seems to work better, so hopefully I can mouse my way through the whole game.

I really like it though. The feeling of gradually pushing forward through the oppressive atmosphere and gloomy game world, trying to get to the next typewriter, reminds me of a first playthrough of a Dark Souls game. Speaking of which, I've enjoyed noticing the parts of Resi 4 that influenced Bloodborne, such as some of the encounters and the way the enemies rant at you before attacking

These are the first Resi games I've played since being obsessed with 2, 3 and even Code: Veronica X, save for a few sessions with Outbreak File #2 on the PS2 when it came out. Nice to be back.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » December 10th, 2019, 4:30 pm

I've been playing Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (PC), which is a bit of a weird one, defying categorisation.

It's set in Depression-era United States, and you're a hobo traversing an overland map of the US. There are points of interest, where you can earn money, buy food, and most importantly, hear stories. These stories are then your game currency, and you use them to entertain fellow itinerants at campfires dotted around the map. A lot of the stories are done in a kind of magic-realist style.

For example, you may bump into a man staggering out of the door of a bar in St Louis. You notice he's bleeding, and he dies in front of you. Later on, you might hear an embellished version of that tale - that the man was shot in an argument over the hat he was wearing, and the embellishments tend to make the tales more outrageous and another step away from reality. Then, when you're sharing tales at the campfire, your companion might ask you to tell them a funny story. Do you go with the Hat story, or is that a horror story? You have to choose a story which matches what they want, but it's not easy to do so.

By telling these stories successfully, you gain the person's trust, and they tell you more powerful stories (I think). It's all rather arcane. Underlying it all is a kind of Steinbeck crossed with Kerouac vibe which works well, and it's nearest corollary is maybe Kentucky Route Zero.

The art and music are excellent; for some reason they have attributed each character's writing to the author - I recognise several games journalists - and that credit pops up when you meet them, which kind of takes you out of the moment but credit where credit is due I suppose.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » December 10th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Huh, that sounds really interesting.

Not my cup of tea as such, but sounds cool non the less.

I do like that art style though.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » December 11th, 2019, 7:57 am

Yeah it's an interesting one that I couldn't really recommend to anyone because of its uniqueness, even though that's what makes it cool. It has some drawbacks too - very slow traversal of the map, in particular.

The challenge now is for me to finish it. A lot of walking still to do.


Soundtrack is pretty neat
for a mixture of bluegrass-y and jazz-y stuff. Fits really well with the walking around in different regions.

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MauricioMM
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by MauricioMM » December 11th, 2019, 11:41 pm

After many, many weekends, I’ve beaten Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past for 3DS. Pretty great game, especially if you’re already a fan of the saga and if you have patience for slow games, because the pacing in this one is glacial :lol: Even so, I’d say it's my favorite one from all the DQ games I’ve played so far—1 through 7—, it’s got a lot of charm (notably from characters like Maribel and the protagonist’s family), some heartfelt storylines (like Faraday’s and Haven’s respective pasts), memorable locations (El Ciclo and Villa Priores, to name just two), and improves on many of its predecessors’ flaws and inconveniences. Now I just need to play 8 and 11 (I’ll skip 9 and 10) and I’ll consider my DQ experience fulfilled.

At this moment, I’m tackling the Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy. Very entertaining and fairly challenging games controls-wise, especially the 2nd. and 3rd. games. Animations look amazing in their cartoonish glory! :)

And, after I’m done with that, I’ll probably play Grim Fandango. Hopefully this time I’ll make it beyond the lighthouse, it’s about time I beat this gaming classic. And, after that, I might try Thronebreaker: The WItcher Tales.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » December 12th, 2019, 6:45 am

I've been waiting pretty excitedly for Dauntless to come out on the Switch, and on Tuesday it finally did!

I tried it last night. If you don't know, it's basically Monster Hunter Lite, with quite a nice Fortnite-esque art style. The monsters look good, and there are tons of them in the game. Lots of different weapons and armor sets etc. I've never played Monster Hunter, but have some limited experience with the genre. Soul Sacrifice and God Eater I played a fair amount of, and this Dauntless seems pretty fun. It automatically matches you up with other players for hunts (although you can turn this off and fight solo if you wish) and it all works pretty well.

The game itself then - it drops frames in the hub area left right and centre, but I've never played an MMO that doesn't, and it's not too bad. The frame rate when battling seems solid so far, but it's definitely not 60fps, I think it may be locked at 30? The resolution looks quite low and graphics are a little smudgy (I've only played in handheld), but again, the art style does hide the worst of it. The battles are pretty fun. It's missing a lock on function, but from what I've read MH doesn't have this, either. You can hack at monsters tails and other body parts to cause specific injuries and even chop them completely off. The weapons feel weighty and feedback when you attack seems good. There are different combos you can do, and a raft of status effects different weapons can cause.

I've only played a couple of hours so far, but I'm looking forward to trying it again tonight. It's a perfect fit for the Switch, and if they can iron out a few imperfections it could be a huge hit for them. I'm not sure if it's going to pull the 10-20 year olds away from Fortnite, but it's a nice (free) addition to the Switch's line up.

Anyone else checked it out?

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » December 14th, 2019, 9:12 am

After seeming Micheal pick up a UN Squadron cart for the SNES the other week, it really reminded me that I'd never really gone back to that game since I was a child seeing it on someone else's console.

I dipped into eBay and picked up an Area 88 Super Famicom cart for about £13 - funnily enough the seller also threw in a Wild Trax (Stunt Race FX) which is awful but kind enough anyway.

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After a quick clean up of the board and connectors I played a this for a good few hours last night.

I did three play throughs, two each time finding my way through the differing stages and working out which order was the best/easiest to go :lol: .

Only once did I manage to get enough resources for a new plane but each time I finished a stag I found the pattern easier to follow and beat.

Funnily enough as soon as I was using new plane it became apparent that not all the special weapons work on each plane and certain stages almost require a certain type of weapon.

The majority of the descriptive and story based text is in Japanese - so OK then :lol: .

I really like teh day you have to sort of race the Stealth bombers, submarine and cannon base thing over the map as they bear down on your base.

Pretty challenging but very rewarding.

Nice to be back on a Super Famicom again too, its been a long time since I last set it up.

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stvnorman
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by stvnorman » December 14th, 2019, 9:13 am

I’m utterly hooked on Graveyard Keeper, which I picked up for a fiver in the PS4 Christmas sale (with Fire Pro Wrestling which was £13). Knew I would be when it was first announced for PC, then somehow missed it when it launched on consoles earlier this year. If I could get someone to make a game just for me, Stardew Valley in a graveyard is probably it! This is game of the year stuff!

Also played through the Titanfall 2 campaign and did a few multiplayer games. Had a lot of fun with the variety and general polish of the single player stuff, but online shooters aren’t my thing and this didn’t change my mind.

And of course I picked up Arcade Archives Frogger on Switch this week. I’d forgotten how hard that game was, but there’s not a single death where you can say that was unfair - you really know it’s you being rubbish every time! Still a brilliantly addictive game though.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » December 14th, 2019, 10:36 am

stvnorman wrote:
December 14th, 2019, 9:13 am
I’m utterly hooked on Graveyard Keeper, which I picked up for a fiver in the PS4 Christmas sale (with Fire Pro Wrestling which was £13). Knew I would be when it was first announced for PC, then somehow missed it when it launched on consoles earlier this year. If I could get someone to make a game just for me, Stardew Valley in a graveyard is probably it! This is game of the year stuff!
Hmmm, I didn't know this was out for console - and a great price too! This Christmas sale seems to end on the 23rd, is that normal? I thought it went on into the new year but maybe they launch a January sale right after this one ends.

The reason I ask is that I used up my gaming budget months ago and am waiting hard for Jan 1. I've already missed the Halloween sales, I'll have to plan better next year :)


Just a note of caution on Where the Water Tastes like Wine which I was extolling a few posts above, as it seems to have made an appearance on console recently and people might be considering it: since the excitement of that first day, it has fallen a bit flat for me. The gameplay, such as it is, is a bit frustrating. It requires you to meet 16 travellers around the map, and tell them 5 stories in order to get to the next level, and this repeats three times, at which point they disappear or open a portal or something I'm unclear on. You can't tell what type of story they ask for, and you can only 'equip' a certain amount of stories at a time, and as previously mentioned, it's hard sometimes to tell the different type of stories - sad, scary, exciting, optimistic - apart. If you fail, they relocate and you need to walk very slowly to them, switch out your stories, and try again (told stories become unavailable for that character). So it's very trial and error and I have been using a guide (to tell the story types apart) and it's still not foolproof.

However, ambiance, music, the stories themselves, are still spot-on and lovely.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » December 15th, 2019, 10:13 pm

A few more thoughts on Darksiders: Genesis. Still enjoying it, but a couple of issues have started to become apparent. Some of the problems from earlier have lessened though. The issues with platforming seem to have become less frequent. While those sections still pop up, and they are still awkward with the isometric camera, they aren't nearly as common as it seemed they would be given the early levels, and I haven't had to do one where I have to run away from something either, so there hasn't been the issue of failing under pressure and having to repeat the section. Puzzles have started to become a bit more involved as more tools have been unlocked as well. Still less of an emphasis on them than in the usual Darksiders game, but still enough to feel like they actually can mix up levels a bit and get you to think about your surroundings.

But unfortunately one problem that has shown up as I've progressed further seems to be a pretty constant one. The levels feel too long. After the early post-intro levels, the level length expands out and settles in to something that feels like a standard the game is aiming for. And they drag a bit. Not terribly, but just enough that it feels like you only want to do one at a time, and then turn the game off. It hurts the pacing somewhat. If each of these levels were like 30% shorter, I suspect the pacing would feel much better. Perhaps simply increasing your run speed might help. But anyway, despite that, I'm still liking it. It's just not blowing my mind. Which is fine. I wasn't expecting it would.

I also played a bit of Street Racing Syndicate today. It's one of those PS2 era games that jumped on the bandwagon of Fast and Furious and NFS Underground. Thinking back to playing through NFSU2 earlier this year, and remembering I picked this up on PC years ago for pennies, I figured I should finally try to get the thing running properly, since like NFSU2, this needs a few mods to play with a controller and at modern resolutions. This is also not a new game to me though. Another game I first played around release. It's one of those weird and kind of bad B-games this genre had so much of at the time. But I kind of like them. They have a kind of quirky feeling in their badness, as well as being something of a nostalgic time capsule of the early 2000s.

The handling is stiff, the scope feels small, and it's a bit buggy playing on a modern PC. It also has the cringe inducing inclusion of live action bikini babe "girlfriends" that can thankfully be mostly ignored. But the graphics are actually not bad for the time, and it had an amusing little quirk to its modestly sized open world. Most of the city is shrouded in the dark of night, but if you travel through a highway tunnel up to the northern section of the map, that area has daytime lighting. Or more accurately evening lighting. I've always thought that was a neat little work around to try to create some kind of time-of-day variance to the open world. Something that not many other games of the time were trying, even if they were "faking" it. And I just find the concept kind of funny too. That time stands still forever in this city, yet there are two separate completely different, permanent time zones.

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