Whatcha Been Playing?

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

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Midnight Fight Express has been on my steam wishlist for a while but after recently signing up to ps plus, I noticed it was on there so gave it a go.
I was expecting something like a mix between SIFU and Arkham combat, but I came away disappointed. The game is focused on combat but the combat just felt imprecise to me. It wasn't really clear to me how to read enemies actions and how to counter them effectively. It ended up being a bit too button mashy which wasn't particularly satisfying to play in a game where the focus is on combat.
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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Jobobonobo »

After three weeks or so, finally finished up the surprisingly lengthy demo for SaGa: Emerald Beyond. I never played a SaGa game before so thought I would try this new release. I was a little intimidated trying it out as the SaGa games do have a reputation for being somewhat obtuse and convoluted to new players. I was pleasantly surprised when I found myself really getting into it. The battle system with its focus on where your party members are positioned on a timeline and how it effects combos and turn order can take a bit of getting used to but once I got the hang of it, I was really enjoying myself. The constant equipment upgrades and trials which reward you for performing certain actions are a really fun and moreish feedback loop. The leveling system is a bit strange too with only relevant stats being leveled depending on how your character performed in battle (for example, getting hit a lot increases your defense). I heard many Final Fantasy fans decry this system when it debuted in FFII but here I found it perfectly fine. The fact that each battle is completely relevant to whatever mission you are on means that grinding is completely removed from the game and even if you are dying constantly, re-configuring your equipment, stats and battle formation can really put the odds in your favour.

Another thing I really liked was how open the game is, by making certain choices through your playthrough you can unlock completely different story paths and I replayed certain parts over and over so i can see all the different paths you can do in one world. The simple overworld where you can move over the map like a figurine on a board game was actually quite refreshing from traversing a huge world map and since you always know your next objective you never waste time getting lost. JRPGs especially these days really focus on massive worlds where you spend ages getting into constant battles and sometimes it makes them really monotonous to get through but the simple to the point way of navigation here makes Emerald Beyond a breath of fresh air among its contemporaries.

My only complaints are petty but I still feel like airing them out so I will. The music while generally good (I love the jazzy overworld score in particular) can sometimes be utilised in ways that don't make sense in context. For example, I meet up with this witch and this sinister foreboding music is playing so I'm thinking "Uh oh, trouble's afoot." But it turns out she wants to help you on your quest so she insists another witch who was accompanying me joins me on my journey and wishes us luck on our adventure. So I get a new party member and am fully supported by this character but this creepy music is playing suggesting something awful is going to happen. And it never does. Maybe in the full game, it is revealed that she was some Machiavellian schemer plotting my downfall from the very beginning but somehow I don't think so as she gave off no vibes other than the music playing that she was bad. This happens often where spooky music is playing over otherwise mundane events and it just makes me wonder did they not think to put something more relevant playing during these scenes. It is not a big thing really but it is the one element of the game that came off as a bit half arsed which is a shame because I liked everything else about it. Well there is one other thing, I'm not a fan of some of the localisation in the script. Often your character will use saccharine internet lingo like "hecking" and I roll my eyes whenever stuff like that comes up. I never understand how talking like Ned Flanders became part of modern day internet speak but that is just my late 30s millennial grouchiness kicking in I suppose. Very small thing but it annoyed me enough to ding this otherwise quite enjoyable title a point or two.

Overall though, for my first time with a SaGa game it was not nearly as painful as I was expecting and has interested me enough that I might try the full game sometime in the future when I don't have such a mental backlog to deal with.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

I noticed Baba Is You was on Android a couple of days ago and grabbed it right away. I've wanted to play it since it came out but for whatever reason never bought it for Switch. The mobile version was a lot cheaper and it's really a perfect game to play on phone. I've made good progress through the first three worlds but really just hit a brick wall now. The difficulty curve is steep and I think I'm just not smart or patient enough to compete it, but what an interesting and clever game it is. I've still had five hours solid play from it and even if I just dip in and out over the next few months it's been worth it. Just wish it was a little less complicated! Or maybe had a built in hint system.
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markfm007
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by markfm007 »

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth: I've made it through Cosmo Canyon and back to Nibelheim. Feeling a bit burnt out. This game has an unreasonable amount of 'content', and can be quite annoying about it. That said, I do find a decent amount of it enjoyable, and the game overall is a lot of fun. Everything I liked in Remake is better here, the battle system, characters, music etc. I love the variety of mini games, even if some of them are naff. I'm enjoying it more now that I have completed the original, seeing how they've approached each scenario, although I'm also more aware of all the added fluff. They probably would've been better off condensing it into a two parter, but it is what it is at this point.

Doom (2016): I needed a break from RPGs and a stress reliever, something I can throw on and blast away without thinking too hard. So I decided to pick this game up from its long time on my backlog, and it's fit the bill perfectly. I'm probably not getting the best out of it as I'm ignoring the story, not actively searching for secrets or doing any of the challenges. But I'm enjoying blasting demons and that's all I want from it.
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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle »

I dug out the old 360 again to play Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, a game that for many years I've wanted to check out since it keeps coming up as a cult classic and a good example of what Arkane were up to before they blew up in popularity with Dishonored. So far it's pretty good. It is significantly flawed though, as it's very janky with controls, performance, and visuals too. But it's interesting as an example of a game that tried to apply the im-sim philosophy in a more streamlined and action-focused way that pre-dates Bioshock. It's fun being able to combine various systems to take down enemies, which the game naturally pushes you towards as just swinging away with your sword isn't that effective on its own. In this game your foot is your most powerful weapon, with a kick letting you knock enemies off balance or in to traps and such. There are other systems at play as well that can create some fun chains of effect. Like one time I threw a jar of oil at a mage who tried to shoot a fireball at me, only to set himself on fire. Then when his companion came running up from behind he walked over the flaming body of the first guy and caught fire himself. It's really cool that the game can facilitate moments like that.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Alex79 wrote: May 19th, 2024, 11:42 am I noticed Baba Is You was on Android a couple of days ago and grabbed it right away. I've wanted to play it since it came out but for whatever reason never bought it for Switch. The mobile version was a lot cheaper and it's really a perfect game to play on phone. I've made good progress through the first three worlds but really just hit a brick wall now. The difficulty curve is steep and I think I'm just not smart or patient enough to compete it, but what an interesting and clever game it is. I've still had five hours solid play from it and even if I just dip in and out over the next few months it's been worth it. Just wish it was a little less complicated! Or maybe had a built in hint system.
This really is brilliant. The more I play, the easier it gets. Well, no, it doesn't get easier as such, the puzzles get fiendishly complicated and the solutions can take an age to work out, but you begin to understand the games language and tricks more easily and can logically work things out better with more practice. Really enjoying this.
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Seph
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Seph »

Been playing that Balatro that's out these days. I don't get what all the fuss is about and the only reason I've clocked up 15 hours so far is for research purposes to prove that I actually don't like it.
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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Seph wrote: May 23rd, 2024, 2:58 pm Been playing that Balatro that's out these days. I don't get what all the fuss is about and the only reason I've clocked up 15 hours so far is for research purposes to prove that I actually don't like it.
I'm on 33 hours and still haven't won a game yet :( but it's testament to how good it is that I've kept playing.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Patiently waiting for the mobile release of this before jumping in. Seems like a prime candidate for a Netflix game, but not sure, will have to wait and see.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

I bought a bunch of games in the current Switch eShop sale.

First off, one I've been meaning to buy for years: Dead Cells. I must admit I'm a little tired with rogue-likes at this point which might be why I put off getting it for so long (as well as it never quite hit the right price for me) but it was just over a tenner in the sale at the moment so I bought it. Seems fun so far. It's one of those games, like Rogue Legacy, I'm not sure I'll ever finish, but it seems good for a few goes here and there.

Second I picked up Monster Boy & The Cursed Kingdom for £8. I loved Wonder Boy III: The Dragons Trap back on the Sega Master System but never got round to the remake. This is a spiritual successor and looks lovely. Seems like a quality MetroidVania.

Lastly I bought Lacuna. This is a 2D, sprite art detective noir story based game and drips with atmosphere. Only checked out the first few minutes but it's reviewed well and was under two quid, so I'll look forward to playing it at some point.

Other than that, I've been trying to get through Policenauts before the upcoming Cane and Rinse show. It's a shame this never got an official English translation. I'd be all over a double pack with this and Snatcher, for example, on modern formats. They're quite similar games, but this is the better of the two in my view. A futuristic space detective story, although you can see Kojima's grimy fingers all over it. I love the man, I think he's a true gaming genius auteur, but he's so immature and misogynistic really. But I suppose you know what you're getting with him when you go in.
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Michiel K
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Michiel K »

I've been playing DoDonPachi on the Saturn (Saturn Mode) almost daily for the past 3 weeks and I'm inching closer and closer to the coveted 1 credit clear.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Despite buying all those games mentioned above, for some reason I've spent the morning playing Theme Hospital for PS1 on the Vita. I forgot how good that game was.
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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I've just started Tunic before it left PS Plus and put a few hours into it over the weekend. I'm really loving it. It was always one of those games I thought I would get around to but deep down knew it was unlikely, however a game club I'm in selected it for June's game which gave me the push I needed. I think when it first came out I had just finished Death's Door and so didn't want to play another similar game at the time.

I've seen people say that it's not like Death's Door but frankly I don't get that opinion, there are some subtleties but I think they are both similar games in the general gameplay and loop which is a mix of Zelda and Souls, but not quite as hard. The only major difference I have noticed so far is that there hasn't been much in the way of puzzles compared to Death's Door. Their similarities isn't meant to be a criticism at all, they're both great, it was just I didn't understand how people could suggest they were very different games.

The combat is fun but the exploration is a highlight, I love it when you discover a shortcut you didn't notice before due to the isometric viewpoint.

Really looking forward to playing more and my mind is at ease knowing that if it gets too difficult there is a plethora of accessibility options to make it easier.
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Jobobonobo
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Been going though the Trials of Mana remake on PS4. This is my first Mana game and I am enjoying it quite a bit. The graphics are lovely and the combat is fun and you gain abilities and magic spells at a steady pace. It also showcases that this was a Super Famicom game from the small towns and limited NPC dialogue but that is also a plus for me as I am not spending ages pottering about in towns doing inane sidequests. It is quite utilitarian design, go buy your equipment, rest up at inn and move onto your next destination. This to the point style of progression was something I noted in Final Fantasy IV as well (which I really need to get back to!) and in these days of bloated adventures is quite refreshing to pick something up for a session and get a lot done in little time.

Also trying out Sonic Advance 2. It is a lot more speed focused similar to how fast Sonic 2 on the Mega Drive was to Sonic 1. However a lot of the level themes are repeats of the first Advance which is a shame as Sonic games were always good with diverse level settings. Also, bottomless pits are still a persistent nuisance here, made even worse with the larger focus on speed so you just barrel right into them. Still willing to stick with it though as aside from these gripes I am liking it.

Lastly, I am trying out Story of Thor for the first time in preparation for the Cane and Rinse episode. This was a title I always wanted to try so the podcast has given me good impetus to finally try it out. I actually am digging this quite a bit. Again the sense of progression is rapid and the dungeons are small and compact. The powers from the elemental spirits are also fun to use and spice up the combat a fair bit. The addition of Streets of Rage type brawling with weapon play also makes for a satisfying combat system. Excited to try more.
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79 »

So pissed off. My EAFC 24 career mode save - 30+ hours, has corrupted somehow and won't load. Crashed the game every time I try to load it. Same thing has happened with my son's save as well. Ridiculous.
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ratsoalbion
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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Argh!
:cry:
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Alex79
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

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I bought Cocoon on Switch in a recent sale. This is a very good game. So inventive and smart, like the cliché about Mario games, it comes up with ideas and then moves on, game mechanics never outstaying their welcome. It looks gorgeous too, even on Switch. The intricate alien machines, the way they open and expand, tiny little parts clicking in to place. Sound design is excellent, gameplay is perfect, really liking this. I'm a couple of hours in and currently have four orbs to play with so not sure how far I am in to the game, but really glad I started this. I've liked but not loved Limbo and Inside, but this is another level.
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Truk_Kurt
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Truk_Kurt »

Basically pasting this over from the Thousand Year Door episode chat, but a kind friend lent me the remake over the weekend and I've put a few hours into it and so far I'm enjoying it. I played Mario RPG remake last year and whilst I thought it was ok, I eventually started to get a bit bored, but I can already tell that the battle system in this has more depth to it. I understand that it is longer than Mario RPG which is a bit of a concern for me given my reaction to Mario RPG and Origami King towards the end of those games, but I also understand that TTYD is seen as better than both of those so hopefully I won't get those same feelings of fatigue towards the end.

I'd be interested to know if any changes have been made from the original outside of the graphics.
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