Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by Chopper »

DomsBeard wrote: August 27th, 2019, 5:14 pm Generation Zero

It has always been on my pick up when cheaper or when on Game Pass list for a while as it looked interesting. Lo and behold it appears for free on Xbox Live for the weekend so downloaded straight away.

I had a good couple of hours but ultimately I deleted it before the weekend was up. The setting is good (think Everybody's Gone to the rapture in Sweden) with some combat. The atmosphere is good as the world feels abandoned much like Rapture and you are piecing together what happened. Ultimately I struggled with the combat as I was playing alone and was then downed I had to respawn at a ''safe house'' which was usually another 10 minutes back from where I died. If there was more than 2 enemies it was pretty much game over. This 100% needs to be played with friends.
Man, that's a pity. This has been on my radar for a while, and the reviews I read didn't really satisfy me as to why it was a bad game (despite universal condemnation) so I had a sneaking suspicion I would like it. Sad to hear, it looked really promising. Would playing it on Easy (if possible) work?

*Doesn't remove from watch list quite yet* (I'm stubborn!)
ColinAlonso wrote: August 23rd, 2019, 10:41 pm Dicey Dungeons is a clever little game. Each run involves going through 5 levels of enemies and a boss and each (successful) run takes up to an hour. Battles involve rolling dice and using them to power your ability cards. Abilities can do a number of things aside from attacking including inflicting status effects, adding a shield, duplicating dice, raising or lowering the value of dice etc. The abilities that affect dice mean you're not stuck with the original roll and each turn can become quite involved. The five characters I've unlocked so far each have their own difficulty, but that's due to each having a different playstyle. The first, the warrior, can reroll dice but then it get more complicated from there. The robot can roll dice up to the value of his CPU, if he lands on the total he gets to choose a special move, if he goes over he cannot use any moves. During his run you can obtain abilities that play around with that system a bit too. I've unlocked the subsequent episodes for the first 5 characters but I'm still trying to complete the witch's first episode so its early days yet. The soundtrack is a funky chiptune banger.
Struggling to spend any time gaming this week, as I'm just not feeling it, but I started this today and it looks pretty good. I think I might try and finish each campaign (eg complete the Warrior levels before moving onto Thief etc), rather than trying out all the characters like you are doing, otherwise I'll get confused. Then again, the later levels for each char are probably rock hard.

Edit: Ah, I see that's actually not possible, and you have to play through as each character first to unlock the episodes.

*****

I haven't done much else this week; I've had a look at the card collecting/loot box mode for Out of the Park Baseball, which I have resisted till now (this is its second year). It consists of opening packs and using them to put together a team, which is entered in a league and a fixture simmed every 30 mins. It really is pay to win - I just played and with my crappy team, beat (via the vagaries of baseball) a team that had all 90s-rated players - and the alternative is a gradual accumulation of points with which to buy more cards, which is what I am doing. I have two teams on the go and they are in a preliminary league. I'll get placed into a proper league on Monday depending on my results, so I'll monitor the situation and see what happens.

The temptation is definitely there to invest $20 and see if I can power up the league.

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duskvstweak
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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World of Warcraft Classic.

I didn't couldn't afford/manage to keep playing it back in 2006 after only a few months of playing, so I've been waiting for something like this. There's definitely the nostalgia factor, but I'm enjoying it for other reasons as well. Will probably take up most of my gaming time for a bit, hopefully I can start Dead Cells soon, but I gotta let this fever run its course.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I decided to download the Epic Games Store to my ancient laptop this evening seeing as I had it out anyway. I was jealous of all these brilliant indie games they keep giving away. To my amazement, it is running Celeste flawlessly! I'm so pleased, been wanting to play this for ages! Tried the first chapter and it's great. Kicking myself for not grabbing Hyper Light Drifter the other month now.

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chase210
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Astral Chain is flipping brilliant.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

So far, it seems like all the great stuff from Platinum games without the filler and longueurs.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Dicey Dungeons. It's weird, I find something about it a bit offputting but don't know what it is. I'm leaning towards a combination of the Dad Joke writing and Spongebob art style.

At the same time, it is quite 'one more turn'-ish.

Just got to the boss of Episode 4 with the Warrior, it could not have gone better for me up to that point, full health and all, and then got destroyed by the Scathach. Yes, burn all my dice on every single turn, thanks!

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

Played the first three chapters of Astral Chain, so some first impressions. So far it is pretty interesting, and has some very cool ideas that can be very fun, but it's got some rough edges and is kind of hard to get your head around.

It's immediately apparent that this is very different from Bayonetta and the likes. Instead of having the wealth of different combos and weapons that game does, here you are very limited in your basic attacks and arsenal. You only have one basic combo string, and the control scheme is very odd. Attacks on the triggers, and dodge on B, so it requires some relearning of the hard-baked muscle memory of Bayo. The focus of the gameplay is clearly in a very different place. The core of the combat is using your character and Legion familiar to set up situations to exploit, and then syncing up attacks with them when you've got an enemy where you want them. It's a very different feel to how this genre usually is, and it's a big shock to the system. Sometimes it can feel pretty overwhelming and confusing, trying to wrangle your Legion around moving enemies, while trying to avoid their attacks yourself. The camera isn't the best either, and things can be hard to keep track of at 30fps too. But when you're on top of things and really in sync and pulling off some cool stuff, it's really satisfying, and there's nothing quite like it. It feels very cool to toy around with an enemy and trade blows between yourself and your Legion. So far though I feel like that hasn't been happening as much as I'd like, especially with bosses. But I get the feeling this game isn't one that you can really immediately understand, and that it's designed around multiple playthroughs where the first run is almost more of a tutorial.

The aesthetic and narrative side of things are something of a mixed bag. Visually it's pretty impressive and the world design is really cool. The neon futuristic cyberpunk city looks great, and has a very Ghost in the Shell feel to it, and the Astral Plane otherworld areas are very striking too. The soundtrack is a very diverse mix of different genres, with many tracks evoking a lot of other things. Nier, Deus Ex, GitS, and even NFS: World in parts. The characters however, have left a lot to be desired. Although strangely, the more central the characters are, the worse they seem to be. A couple of the secondary background characters have some appealing designs to them and some quirky character traits, but the main characters are quite dull and cliched. They're not exactly badly designed visually, but just feel very standard anime and not original in any way. And strangely for a genre that usually revels in protagonists that are larger-than-life caricatures, here they are silent. I presume because there's a character creator, but I don't really get why. It feels like the default looks are the canon appearance, so changing that feels sort of pointless. While your character's sibling does get a lot of dialogue, they are just a messy pile of angsty anime cliches. There's this one cutscene at the end of chapter 3 where it seems like they're trying to squeeze the most cliches in to a 10 second stretch as they possibly can. I think I can tell exactly what their arc is going to be already.

So right now I'm quite liking the gameplay on a conceptual level, and can see the potential that there is to this system, but I'm still trying to get the hang of it. So I'm eager to see where that goes and want to get to a point where I can mine out that potential. I like the world too and want to see more of that. But I'm not expecting much from the story or characters.

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Scrustle wrote: August 31st, 2019, 9:50 pm things can be hard to keep track of at 30fps
Can you comment on potential framerate differences between docked and handheld mode? Or is it locked 30fps across the board?

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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KSubzero1000 wrote: August 31st, 2019, 9:53 pm
Scrustle wrote: August 31st, 2019, 9:50 pm things can be hard to keep track of at 30fps
Can you comment on potential framerate differences between docked and handheld mode? Or is it locked 30fps across the board?
I've only played docked so far, it's just limited to 30. There have been a few dips when there's been a high number of enemies on screen too, but nothing disastrous so far.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KSubzero1000 »

Okay, thanks for the clarification!

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ColinAlonso
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Chopper wrote: August 31st, 2019, 2:08 pm Dicey Dungeons. It's weird, I find something about it a bit offputting but don't know what it is. I'm leaning towards a combination of the Dad Joke writing and Spongebob art style.

At the same time, it is quite 'one more turn'-ish.

Just got to the boss of Episode 4 with the Warrior, it could not have gone better for me up to that point, full health and all, and then got destroyed by the Scathach. Yes, burn all my dice on every single turn, thanks!
I wouldn't quite describe the style as Spongebob-ish, but I can see why people would fall either side of liking it or not.

My gaming time has been quite limited for the last week and a half (and I think it will be that way for the next few weeks too) so I'm only on the second episodes. Oddly the Robot's (3-star difficulty) episode 2 was much harder than the Inventor's (4-star). Difficulty stars mightn't mean as much past the first episodes perhaps.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

Scrustle, I heard Astral Chain opens up considerably in terms of combat options and mechanics after chapter 3. We'll see. Still not there yet.

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Kacey
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Need for Speed Undercover - Playstation 2

So, the PS2 and Wii versions of Undercover were different games. This was the late PS2 era where it really just couldn't keep up with the new consoles anymore at all- and thus, Undercover was a separate, scaled down affair. This version also made it to the Wii- which, going forward, would receive completely unique Need for Speed games even if they shared a name with the more powerful consoles' counterparts. I plan to cover all these on the channel at some point, in one fell swoop, but I'll probably do Undercover separately since it's on the PS2 as well.

I would not call NFS Undercover for the PS2 a looker. It's very blurry, as you'd expect from a PS2 game in 2009.

Image

It's not offensive looking by any stretch, but one really needs to see these trees in motion to understand how bad the aliasing is- and how low the framerate on their swaying is, independent of the game's already struggling framerate.

To be fair, those still playing a PS2 in 2009 were likely doing so out of necessity, and the 360 and PS3 were still quite expensive at the time. Maybe criticizing it for its graphics isn't the fairest thing to do, but I really think it could've been served better by not trying to push the console as hard as it did. With framerates that dip, I would have preferred a little less visual treatment.

The world map is different from NFS Undercover- but it's not original. In fact, it's just Need for Speed Most Wanted's map, rearranged to vaguely resemble Palm City in the big boy version of Undercover, and with buildings and features replaced with much more Miami-ish scenery. It's not always super obvious, even though Most Wanted is one of my favorite games ever, but you will run across areas that are unmistakably iconic parts of Rockport.

The game's structure is more or less identical to Undercover's, as well, but the physics are somewhere between Most Wanted, Carbon and Undercover360's.

I'm interested to see where this one goes, I'm only about two hours into it.

Another fun tidbit- I didn't realize playing this game when it was new but the main theme is Nine Inch Nails' "The Mark Has Been Made" off The Fragile. I love finding my favorite bands in games I never knew they were in- and to EA's credit, this song sounds like it could be original score with the way Trent came up with these epic instrumentals that built like they were meant for the silver screen. There's a NIN Year Zero remix on here as well, plus Justice, Mindless Self Indulgence, etc. Good soundtrack.

Image

The sound design in general seems to be this game's strong suit. I'm impressed. The car sounds aren't any better than Most Wanted/Carbon but those games still sound great, in my opinion. The ambient sound is nice, I like that the distant street racers you hear have identifiable engine noises- I can hear the Gallardos.

EDIT: oh my god. I just... did the first heist-style mission in Undercover, which is set up the same as in the big boy game. This one.... reuses the exact bridge jump sequence as the ending of Most Wanted. animations and all, cops sliding to the end of the bridge. no words

The Matrix: Path of Neo - Playstation 2

I'm a youngin- only 20, so The Matrix came out while I was in diapers. Late to the party as usual, I discovered it earlier this year and loved it- the industrial music fanatic in me couldn't get enough of it, I liked Reloaded as well, and I got to experience being disappointed by Revolutions sixteen years late. Got to see the original in theaters last night for its 20th anniversary and it put me in the mood for the games.

I played Enter the Matrix briefly on the PS2 a few years back and remembered not getting super into it- partially because these games... really were made for fans of the source material. If you don't like The Matrix, you will not enjoy the games, either. ETM was directed by the Wachowskis and features a lot of original movie footage with the real cast, as well as voice work again from the original cast. That game fell flat, and my current Xbox copy won't read. From what the internet tells me, that's a blessing in disguise.

I picked up Path of Neo finally at a local game shop, catching the off time where they had a copy in. The dude I usually chat with when I go in said he's had a strange amount of demand for Path of Neo lately. I have to say, I get it- this one surprised me. It feels very much ahead of its time, trying to give the player a lot of agency and rolling with what happens instead of forcing the player to take a particular path.

For example, being captured by an agent in the beginning allows you to retry- or you can accept it and the scene plays out as it does in the movie, instead. You can even take the blue pill which rolls the credits 20 seconds after starting the game.

Image

The new movie footage specifically for the game that graced Enter the Matrix is gone, probably because this game came out two years after the sequel films. Instead it's supercuts of footage from the theatrical releases of the films, often sequence breaking or edited to make the 30-second version of the plot make sense. It's.... jarring, at times, but given that this game encompasses all three films (from what I understand) it makes sense that they'd need to accelerate the pace a bit to make sure they hit all the must-have stops along the way.

I... do question the decision to spend an hour in virtual dojos doing combat training, since the only Matrix-y thing I've done other than the difficulty tester is escape Neo's office- but in fairness, the combat in this game is really complex for a movie tie in. It's actually a bit too complex. Two hours in and I've forgotten entirely about some abilities, forgotten the button combo for others and some of the things in the unlock tree are... useless (healing NPCs?)

The game does have some gimmicks it thinks are more fun than they actually are, specifically punching weak walls in the wetwall section, or using the detpacks in the section that follows which is completely spliced into the series of events. I get that they need to pad out the time as this scene in the movie isn't long enough for a level but *come on*- do it better.

The lobby shootout was fun, though. The game just feels like it needed a bit more time and polish- and a better framerate. Wondering if the Xbox runs better.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Kacey wrote: September 1st, 2019, 7:15 am Another fun tidbit- I didn't realize playing this game when it was new but the main theme is Nine Inch Nails' "The Mark Has Been Made" off The Fragile. I love finding my favorite bands in games I never knew they were in- and to EA's credit, this song sounds like it could be original score with the way Trent came up with these epic instrumentals that built like they were meant for the silver screen. There's a NIN Year Zero remix on here as well, plus Justice, Mindless Self Indulgence, etc. Good soundtrack.
OK I'm straying off topic, but NIN is my favourite band ever, seen them a few times. Reznor can do no wrong in my eyes. My all time musical hero for sure!

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Kacey
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Kacey »

Alex79uk wrote: September 1st, 2019, 7:33 am
Kacey wrote: September 1st, 2019, 7:15 am Another fun tidbit- I didn't realize playing this game when it was new but the main theme is Nine Inch Nails' "The Mark Has Been Made" off The Fragile. I love finding my favorite bands in games I never knew they were in- and to EA's credit, this song sounds like it could be original score with the way Trent came up with these epic instrumentals that built like they were meant for the silver screen. There's a NIN Year Zero remix on here as well, plus Justice, Mindless Self Indulgence, etc. Good soundtrack.
OK I'm straying off topic, but NIN is my favourite band ever, seen them a few times. Reznor can do no wrong in my eyes. My all time musical hero for sure!
My favorite as well, a close tie with Queens of the Stone Age but Trent probably still wins. It's kind of crazy seeing what games he's been in or influenced the style of. Black Ops 2 was a surprising one, he did the main theme- something I never realized when it was new, but listening to it, it definitely could have come out of The Fragile.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Stanshall wrote: August 31st, 2019, 11:20 pm Scrustle, I heard Astral Chain opens up considerably in terms of combat options and mechanics after chapter 3. We'll see. Still not there yet.
I can see why that could be, considering the end of that chapter is when you first unlock an additional Legion. I wasn't trying to say the combat felt limited at this point though. It's just that the depth is done in a very different way. It's not where you expect it if you're used to these sorts of games, but there's still clearly a lot to dig in to. And with how different it is, I'm kind of glad it eases you in to things. I'll be looking forward to going through a second time with everything unlocked, and when I can hopefully understand how to play better.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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ColinAlonso wrote: August 31st, 2019, 10:03 pm I wouldn't quite describe the style as Spongebob-ish
I will bow to your greater expertise in this matter ;)

Just beat level 1-4. Steam says I have almost 8 hours played...this game is tough. It's probably a bit early for me to say it is very harsh, given that I am probably not fully understanding some of the strategies (for example, I can see the thing that doubles your poison at the expense of 24 points would be brilliant, but I can't accept the damage taken to get there).

Good game.

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Kacey
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Going forward with Undercover PS2, I have determined that this game... is ultra, mega ass.

https://i.imgur.com/zpw5IM4.gifv

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Playing the Outcast remake at the moment. It’s ok, but I suspect people new to it won’t think it particularly revolutionary like we did back in 99.

It loses some of its charm without the voxels, but there’s still a lot there to like. I’ve consumed a lot more media since I first played it though so I can see how much it’s taking from Stargate and other sci-fi of the time. I also remember the plot twist coming a lot later than it actually does, weird what memory can do.

I do have strong memories of playing the original though. I was about a year into my first game dev job, and while the project I was on was not crunching, my house mate of the time (and lift home) was. I had a lot of spare time stuck in the office of an evening, so I played through games from the company library, and one of those was Outcast (at the time I didn’t own a home pc, wouldnt get one until Diablo 2 launched).

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Went to Arcade Club in Leeds on Friday evening and played the following:

Star Wars Arcade 1983

Proper emotional sitting in this one as it was the very first video game I can remember playing, it was the sit down version. Sitting in it now was weird as in my memories it was a huge machine and I had to sit up to hold the controls. I finished a couple of runs with my credit and it is still great fun to play.

Aliens

Played this through to completion with a friend and went through a lot of credits (going to watch Ben one credit it, it now). Would love to see this get a home port but I know with licencing it is likely to never happen. A really good side-scrolling shooter.

I finished Aliens and noticed the cabinet next to it looked like Parodius in Japanese. I looked it up when I got home and it wasn't it was [/b]Sexy Parodius[/b] which I had never played before. Great fun side-scrolling shooter. I hope Parodius gets a home release one day as that would be an instant purchase

Music GunGun! 2

A Japanese Rhythm Action shooting game. Think Point Blank crossed with Parappa the rapper. Went back to this a few times.

Also played

Street Fighter 2
Daytona USA
Scud Race
Tapper
Killer Instinct
Final Fight
Track and Field

There were loads of games I never got around to due to time and how busy it was but the place was amazing and I would highly recommend.

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