Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by Jobobonobo »

MauricioMM wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 1:14 am
I might try it, if I manage to find a copy in my country and if the online component isn't too obligatory in the first place. And yeah, the Dragon Quest games are pretty chill experiences, I recommend them especially if one needs to take a break from either western RPGs or other JRPG IPs.
If I remember, online connection is not mandatory at all to play the game and you can finish it without going online ever. I know that is what I did so it should still be perfectly playable after all this time. Incidentally, I think that games that require one to be online all the time are at great risk of being unplayable entirely when the server goes down and in terms of preservation and general future proofing will be lost entirely. From that perspective, it is a model I am not fond of at all.
MauricioMM wrote:
December 31st, 2019, 1:14 am
Oh yeah, I have already :lol: It's not the toughest game of its kind I've seen so far (I'm halfway through Rubacava) but it did make me scratch my head in some parts. What I'm loving the most about it is its Día de los Muertos aesthetics and its characters :)
Oh yeah the settings and characters definitely make it a memorable experience for sure and are easily the best part of the game. Hope you are making good headway through it!

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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dezm0nd wrote:
December 22nd, 2019, 7:00 pm

Thanks for watching, mate! I genuinely didnt expect to like Sonic 1 as much as I did and that's probably why I felt like I enjoyed them more than 2 and 3.
No problem at all, it is good to see someone go through this series as it really has a long and eventful history that one will appreciate in full when you go through the games.
dezm0nd wrote:
December 22nd, 2019, 7:00 pm
I've really enjoyed the streaming so far and will carry it on throughout 2020. Mania is currently on offer on xbox and I'm very tempted.
Oh, Mania is fantastic and really felt like what Sonic 4 should have been. Definitely one to stream when you get the chance. Maybe save it after you go through one of the rubbish Sonic games as a palette cleanser. :lol:
dezm0nd wrote:
December 22nd, 2019, 7:00 pm
CD is definitely an odd one. I've been told many times that it's the real Sonic 2, chronologically speaking so I'm excited to go in with that in mind.

I'll be back on in the new year.
Yeah I remember hearing that 2 was developed in the US at the same time this was developed in Japan which explains certain things such as the lack of spin dash in CD and the level design being more exploration focused. Will check out your stream of it and interested to see what you think of it. One thing for sure is that the soundtrack (Japan/PAL) is an absolute banger, one of the best in the series IMO.

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod »

AC Odyssey is a great 20 hour game trapped in an 80 hour game. I'll have much more to say about that on the podcast. :P

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

I agree Kassandra is the one to go for - I was amazed how Melissanthi Mahut put so much humour and life into every single piece of dialogue when there are just thousands of speech instances you can hear.

My wife lived in Athens as a kid so I already knew the word malaka, nice to see it getting more global popularity haha.

Can't wait for the podcast on it!

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Jon Cheetham
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jon Cheetham »

Booted up Dishonored 2 last night. I played the original on PS4, but managed to get all three games plus the DLC for the first one in a Steam sale at a good price. Have to say, I think I prefer playing these with mouse and keyboard for aiming and quick reactions, as opposed to the DualShock.

My goodness it looks good. Dunwall looks better than ever (and it was pretty nostalgic to essentially run backwards through an old level from the first game to make my initial escape) and Karnaca is insanely beautiful. Reminds me of Cape Town, maybe Lisbon a little bit... I''m running the game on an Asus Tuf with everything set to low for performance, and it still looks stunning. The art style in Arkane games is also a part of that, slightly stylised, with echoes of a Paul Kidby Discworld painting.

Also, the moment where you choose your character is literally the coolest way I have ever seen that choice presented in a video game - I won't spoil it, but it really put a smile on my face. I chose Emily, since I had time with Corvo in the original.

Since my playthrough of the first game was high chaos as I was getting used to the playstyle and basically brute-forcing the levels, I'm trying a different tack and going low chaos and non-lethal as much as possible in this one. I accidentally dropped a bloke off a balcony, so I've got one kill, but otherwise going well so far! It is a rewarding way to play as I have to carefully consider every room even more so than when stealthily (and not so stealthily) murderising everyone, build towards a stealthy and hyper-aware loadout for Emily with the runes, and use distractions and timing as much as possible. I am extremely bought in, in other words!

On the story and characters:
Spoiler: show
I also have a few feelings on the morality of Emily as a deposed leader becoming a killer to take back her power when it seems like life in Dunwall hasn't improved drastically since the events of the first game, even if she is the victim of a coup by villainous conspirators who seem to be a lot worse. Since Arkane put a lot more narrative and even systemic weight on this than most studios and I expect it will eventually have resonance for the story, I will have to wait until I am a way through the game to get a good read on this. Either way, non-lethal feels better, I am just wondering what particular ways Arkane have found to knit this together with the story's morals this time. Don't spoil me! :P

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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So I meant to play and beat Sparkster (the SNES one). And man... That is one flawed game. I can't beat it. There's a boss near the end of the game that is basically impossible. Not because it's hard in a fair way, but because it's complete RNG nonsense. It can basically melt your health at complete random, and you can't even defend yourself because your only means of defence can be destroyed - and easily.

Not only that, but using a password to skip to the next level causes the game to straight-up softlock. There's supposed to be a mid-boss, but when it triggers, Sparkster gets stuck in an animation and it's impossible to proceed. Skipping THAT level yields a boss that's beatable, but only accessible on Hard, and I don't have the patience for it after the journey there.

Definitely had the potential to be a great game, but it's just too deeply flawed. The soundtrack is PHENOMENAL, one of the best on the SNES. No hyperbole. But considering the ludicrously high price it's fetching on eBay... I'm jsut gonna sell it and move on.

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KissMammal
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KissMammal »

The Witcher III.

Picked this up when it was on sale on Switch, and after playing for a few hours, I have to ask.... is... is this game actually quite bad, or is it just me?

First and foremost, the controls and the overall ‘feel’ of the game is just awful imo. There is just no fluidity or joy to the movement or combat at all, its just so unpolished and clunky to play. It handles like a midrange PS2 title from 20 years ago. I just can’t get past it.

There’s a whole host of other issues, not least the cluttered and ugly UI (why does everything, down to the last sheep and deer have to be labelled with bright blue text? I find it really immersion-breaking).

Am I crazy here?!?! I’ve heard nothing but praise for this game, but I’m getting a real case of the Emperor’s New Clothes... I’m just not prepared to fight with these terrible controls in the hopes that the game might eventually get bearable as it goes.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

I'd agree the controls aren't great. They're functional, and you get used to their slight clunkiness, but I wouldn't say they were especially bad. Rather something that's not hard to overlook in the big picture. I believe you can turn off the labels for everything in the UI though. Also I wonder if playing on the Switch might contribute to the UI not looking great. After all the game was designed to run at a much higher resolution and on much bigger screens.

The real quality of the game though is in the story, character writing, and world-building. It's a slow burn, that doesn't really show itself in the opening hours.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk »

It took me a few hours to get really sucked in, but no, it's not a case of emperors new clothes. I don't think people are just saying they like it because so many other people are. If you don't like it that's cool because everyone likes different stuff, but that doesn't make the fans of the game wrong. I thought it really was the best open world RPG I've ever played.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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KissMammal wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 7:04 am
Am I crazy here?!?! I’ve heard nothing but praise for this game, but I’m getting a real case of the Emperor’s New Clothes... I’m just not prepared to fight with these terrible controls in the hopes that the game might eventually get bearable as it goes.
:lol:

As someone who doesn't really like the game, I have some sympathy, but I would echo Scrustle and Alex in urging you to persevere for a few hours more to see if it clicks. There are some acclaimed early story quests that should tell you one way or another whether it's something you will click with.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I had a brief dive into Outward (the Dark Souls RPG) last week, but was away for the weekend. I was kinda Jonesing for it last night, but was confined to the couch, so I only went and bought it on PS4 as well (EUR 17.99 so not toooo bad). Now I'm stuck with save games on PC and console. :(

There are three separate storylines, which can only be played once per save, so not all is lost, but I doubt that I will play through one of those on each machine. The game is good, a bit janky, and the world is quite empty. Pretty much all my time so far has been spent getting the basics (a backpack!) together so I can venture out in the world. Money is in very short supply and there is no levelling up or experience points - instead you pay a trainer.

I have crafted a greataxe that does Bleed damage in the console save though, will be hard to turn away from that. :D

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper »

Just to be clear, I am not recommending Outward to Dark Souls fans - the combat is pretty bad, manages to be both awkward and floaty, you're restricted to one save and can lose all your stuff, and scene transition load times on console are unbearably long.

It is very much an RPG for the cool kids/hipsters/dilettantes, from what I can tell at this point in the game. I like it so far.

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod »

Okay but why is no one calling the Switch version "The Switcher" ?

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

KissMammal wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 7:04 am
The Witcher III.
Change to Alternative controls in the options would be my first tip. It's a bit better but generally the controls and combat are janky and feel low budget. The Signs and Oils/Alchemy stuff is where the combat has real depth, not the movesets.

As several others have said, the strengths of the game are the slow burning branching narrative, the side quest stories, the majority of the characters and the stylised, painterly open world. That's the stuff people love about it.

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KissMammal
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by KissMammal »

Thanks. 'Janky and low budget' feeling is exactly how I would describe it. I tried the 'alternative' controls, but this also seems to completely change the button layout - 'A' becomes 'cancel' in menus etc - very disorienting and confusing. I even found myself wrangling with the stick sensitivity to make the loose/floaty aiming and walking controls somewhat bearable, but honestly if the player has to resort to doing this, something's clearly gone wrong somewhere. I'm genuinely not using hyperbole when I say it feels like an old PS2 game to me.

But it isn't just the controls - it's the entire feel of the game; the awkward camera that seems to hover uncomfortably close to the player character. The way I'm constantly sticking to things and bumping into NPCs. The horrible jumping and swimming animations. Even down to little things like the way trees seem to hyperactively wobble in the wind in a really unconvincing way, or the way the landscape is absolutely littered with collectible herbs and whatnot, to the point where its honestly a bit silly... This a gardening game or something? It just feels extremely cluttered and unpolished.

For me it's the epitome of the type of game that looks incredible in still images, but plays really poorly. I'm afraid that traversal is such a fundamental part of an open world exploration game that it's too big of a thing for me to look past, no matter how good the story and characters apparently are. The whole time I was playing I felt like I was wrestling with the game rather than enjoying it.

I'm only shocked because it's such a highly praised game series that I expected the controls to be at worst adequate. Based on this I'm really struggling to understand CD Projekt Red's reputation as a developer.

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chase210
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by chase210 »

I am preparing for Final Fantasy 7 remake by replaying Crisis Core! Which is still very fun, just a shame its locked on the PSP.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall »

KissMammal wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 5:54 pm
Based on this I'm really struggling to understand CD Projekt Red's reputation as a developer.
As I say, the story, character and dialogue stuff is pretty much best in class for an open world game and far better than almost any RPG I've played. That's what people are raving about. The traversal and combat are almost occupational hazards really to access the good stuff.

But I do get where you're coming from. I bounced off it several times, with the first time just after finishing Bloodborne. I'd also played a lot of Souls before that and The Witcher 3 felt like shit to me. It still doesn't feel great, if I'm honest, but that's not what I fire it up for.

The third person combat thing is a bit of a red herring, really. It doesn't easily tally with the type of game it actually is but there are some gorgeous areas and it adds to the grand sense of atmosphere and world building. The other thing though is that you're not really meant to explore the open world, it's pretty severely gated by levels and there aren't really secrets and collectibles as you might expect. The narrative will take you from place to place at the right time until you're leveled up enough to roam freely but that's a long way into the game, and some areas are still locked until the relevant missions.

My advice would be to mainline it for a few hours, get to know the main players and see how the story takes you. The Bloody Baron series of quests is often cited as the one where it really kicks in for a lot of people.

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

clippa wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 9:16 pm
My nephew was playing rust today chatting to his mates sounding like he was in the SAS or something "I've damaged him for 30, he's coming out the base, you get on the other side!"

and my sister walks in "alright little man, we'll take you home and you can have one of your nice unicorn bubble baths ready for school in the morning"

Oohoohoo! Oooof, nay joy, young un! His face went a shade of purple I've never seen before :lol:
Ah, poor lad. That is pretty rough alright! Kinda undermines his authoritative leader thing he had going on, eh?

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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

That is quite sweet actually, he sounds like a real character!

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Magical_Isopod
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Magical_Isopod »

chase210 wrote:
January 6th, 2020, 6:15 pm
I am preparing for Final Fantasy 7 remake by replaying Crisis Core! Which is still very fun, just a shame its locked on the PSP.
I may or may not have it on my PS Classic.

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