Whatcha Been Playing?

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

Anyone here played Moonlighter? I bought it for Switch because it was about £2 and had been on my watch list for ages.

I think I'm enjoying it. It's a mixture of lots of different types of games - a little bit Stardew, a bit Animal Crossing, touches of early Zelda. You run a shop, but get the things to sell in your shop by crawling randomly generated dungeons on the side.

There are some interesting mechanics around setting prices in your shop. Set them too high and people won't buy the things. Set them too low and customers can't believe their luck, and are visibly excited to be getting a bargain.

The gameplay loop is very much sell, kill, sell, kill etc. but you can also build up your town around you, upgrade the shop as well as armour and weapons etc. It's interesting but I can't help feeling I'm not getting the most out of it at the moment, something around not fully understanding the shop mechanics, what I should be selling, what I should be saving for upgrades etc. and the whole supply and demand system where you can flood the market driving price down, there doesn't seem to be an easy way to recognise when this is happening.

I'll keep at it though, fun so far.
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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

With today being the last day of the Wii U online servers, I've been continuing to play more of Splatoon 1 and saying my last goodbyes to it. It's been great to come back and revisit that experience again for one last time. The series has come a very long way since this game, but it's still a lot of fun in its own right and has certain quirks missing from the sequels.

I've mentioned before how the map design in this game is drastically different to what came later, especially in S3. There's a lot more verticality and way more access to flank routes and climbable walls and such. It gives the levels more of an exploratory feel to them that is a lot of fun. That said, as I've played more and refamiliarized myself with them, some of them also do feel a little awkward and pokey. They can be difficult to navigate at times, and have narrow areas that can be very fiddly to play around. Swimming up walls can also cause some issues as well. Later games feel much better suited to actual open encounters with opponents, and feel fairer as a result, but at the same time they so also lose a lot bit of the personality these maps had.

This game has a certain charm to its visuals and atmosphere, which come from it being not as fully formed as later games. Everything is a bit basic, a bit rough around the edges, not quite as confident in itself. But still bursting with the attitude and fun that defines the series and that was first realised here. There are some little touches that I really appreciate too, like specific lighting choices on certain maps. Like the warm evening glow on Flounder Heights accompanied by the cries of cicadas, or the overpowering sunshine of Mahi-Mahi Resort.

I also had a good time scraping off some of the rust on my skills too. When I left off with this game I had reached A+ rank, but I found as I came back I couldn't maintain that and dropped quite quickly down to A-. But since then I've been learning the ins and outs again and started to climb back up. I managed to make it back up to mid A rank. I got close to A+ again once or twice, but I couldn't reach it. Maybe if I played more on rotations that were going well I could've managed it. Ah well. It was a good feeling to have things click again just like they did way back in the day though.

Playing this game does make you appreciate the changes to how map rotations work in the later games too. Only having one Turf War and one Ranked playlist available at any time, with rotations each lasting four whole hours does get rather monotonous. The smaller map list in this game also doesn't help. It makes me glad to have access to Salmon Run and the two ranked playlists in S3.

But still, I love this game a whole lot. It means a great deal to me. It spawned something that has been a huge part of my life for almost the past decade now, and has managed to maintain a sense of freshness and unadulterated joy that is so hard to find in games these days as someone who has been playing them a long time. The gameplay, the aesthetic, the music, the community, and the sense of uniqueness and novelty were all just so engrossing and enjoyable. Despite not being in to competitive games much at all, this one really struck a chord with me in a way that very few games of any kind ever do. So thanks, and farewell to this silly little squid game.

Although... this doesn't have to be the end. I have been keeping an eye on Pretendo, the community run replacement for the Wii U and 3DS online services. I haven't tried it out yet, and it seems like a lot of it is still a work-in-progress, but it looks very promising. They already have private battles for Splatoon set up, and are apparently planning to get public matches working at some point in the future. I do intend to give it a go at some point, especially if they do manage to get general matchmaking to work. PBs are good and all, but that does require going out of your way to organise with people who are likely not on the same skill level. It would be cool to be able to queue up like normal and easily get a good fair game.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

I picked up Gran Turismo 7 for the PS5 in a sale recently. Now, I've been a huge fan of the series since day one and have played the death out of every single entry, except GT Sport.

Oh boy, they really make it difficult to love this game. It is utterly maddening. What's all this bullshit with the cafe and menus and a world map? What an absolutely baffling structure to the game. I want a list of events that I can enter, car dealerships and a tuning shop.

There are so many, completely unnecessary barriers to just getting on and playing the game. Want to do the Sunday Cup? Ok. Want to do the next cup? Tough shit, you can do half the races in that cup until you jump through this arbitrary hoop we've put in the way for you. Want to finish a race and get to the next one? Get ready to press X about 15 times to get past all the complete nonsense menus, stat progress trackers and mandatory race replays.

It's crazy. Absolute insanity. The on-track action is fine, but even that is lacking compared to the likes of the most recent Forza Motorsport. Want a racing line? Ok, but it's all one colour and doesn't indicate where you need to brake. Oh no, instead we've got MASSIVE glowing strips on the entire track, urging you to brake for corners. It's horrible to look at. I don't usually use the racing line feature to be honest, so I'll turn that off as soon as I can work out how.

I do not know who this game is for. It has surely pissed off seasoned veterans of the series, and is impenetrably obtuse for newcomers. What an absolute mess.

I'm hoping it gets better. Somehow.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

Actually, it did get better. I like it now.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

(It's a lot better game with all the assists off and a clean screen for driving without the HUD clutter).
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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Alex79 wrote: April 12th, 2024, 10:32 pm Actually, it did get better. I like it now.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

(It's a lot better game with all the assists off and a clean screen for driving without the HUD clutter).
I've been waiting on a sale on this for a while either digitally or physically but never seen one. I bet it's no longer on sale now
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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Picked up Balatro on Saturday morning, I have not put it down ever since :D
It gives me the same feelings I got from Into the Breach in that is has that one more run mindset behind it. And whilst they're different gameplay types, I do think there are some similarities with like how the different squads and their abilities is similar to the different decks and their abilities. I can see this being a GOTY contender.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

Truk_Kurt wrote: April 15th, 2024, 9:01 am
Alex79 wrote: April 12th, 2024, 10:32 pm Actually, it did get better. I like it now.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

(It's a lot better game with all the assists off and a clean screen for driving without the HUD clutter).
I've been waiting on a sale on this for a while either digitally or physically but never seen one. I bet it's no longer on sale now
It was a couple of weeks ago, was between £30-36 everywhere physically. I got it from Argos for £35 but seems to be back up to £60 now. If I see it on sale again I'll let you know.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

Truk_Kurt wrote: April 15th, 2024, 9:03 am Picked up Balatro on Saturday morning...I can see this being a GOTY contender.
Well it's an indie game they've all played so it's 100% dead cert for the TCGS game of the year :lol:
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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Alex79 wrote: April 15th, 2024, 9:21 am
Truk_Kurt wrote: April 15th, 2024, 9:01 am
Alex79 wrote: April 12th, 2024, 10:32 pm Actually, it did get better. I like it now.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

(It's a lot better game with all the assists off and a clean screen for driving without the HUD clutter).
I've been waiting on a sale on this for a while either digitally or physically but never seen one. I bet it's no longer on sale now
It was a couple of weeks ago, was between £30-36 everywhere physically. I got it from Argos for £35 but seems to be back up to £60 now. If I see it on sale again I'll let you know.
cheers
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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

Finally beat the Elite Four in Pokemon Radical Red. It took a lot of strategizing and coming in with the right held items and moveset but after many weeks I got into the Hall of Fame! But I am not fully dine with this game yet, there is some postgame content I want to do. You can head to a new location in this ROM hack called the Sevii Islands where there is more rare Pokemon to catch and tougher trainers to take on. This game is hard as hell but I love it so much and want to get at least some of my monsters to level 100 before I consider myself fully done with this endeavour. It really shows what a complex gameplay system Pokemon can produce when you tweak with the base formula.

Also been playing Pac-Man World: Re-Pac. Remember playing the original on PS1 many years ago but only as a demo. It was pretty enjoyable and always wanted to return to it at some point. And while it is not groundbreaking this is a really solid little platformer. Collecting the fruits, keys and PACMAN letters is fun and all the little nods to the history of the character are endearing. The mazes are also just a pleasant way to pass the time. The villain is pretty unnerving to look at though, a horrible robotic abomination with massive teeth. I could imagine this thing traumatizing me as a small child!
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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

I went back and did some of the Guardian Trials in New Super Lucky’s Tale and while it is not too hard it is definitely a step up in difficulty from the rest of the game. Did not have time to finish this game up properly early this year so now that I have a bit more free time it was nice to clear up some good content that I missed out on.
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