Whatcha Been Playing?

This is where you can deliberate anything relating to videogames - past, present and future.
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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 13th, 2019, 11:22 am

Started Super Mario Bros 3 on the Switch with the intention of finishing it, which I don't think I've ever actually done. On World 2 at the moment, and it's still a fantastic game. Not used the the NES visuals which were so much more nicely polished up for the SNES All Stars version, but it doesn't look too bad. Does make me wish we had the option though - and a decent D-Pad! Using the face buttons rather than the stick seems preferable, but they're not ideal.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » July 13th, 2019, 12:27 pm

Just finished off the Minerva's Den DLC for Bioshock 2, and it was pretty great. I think my impression of it now is a bit more positive than it was previously, but probably not by much. I did like it before after all. While I used to think of it as being sort of a contracted version of the main game, now I think it's more of a "greatest hits" instead. Both of the two (and a bit) levels are really impressive, among the best in the game. It feels like they were able to focus on to this shorter experience than maybe they were able to do across all the levels of the main game. It's got a really good atmosphere too, as they put a lot of effort in to the audio design, with the sounds of old mechanical computers always clacking and creaking away in the background. The new weapon and plasmid are pretty cool as well. The Ion Cannon pulls of the admirable task of making a laser beam weapon that feels like it has weight and power to it. It also feels like a more usable long range weapon on a controller compared to the spear gun. The black hole plasmid is really fun to use, and useful for clearing out several enemies at once in a physics flailing spectacle.

The story is also really good, but especially the ending. This isn't quite like the main game's plot though, so my metaphor doesn't quite fit so well here, but it still feels like a very appropriate "Bioshock" story. Having a single plot arc over several levels instead of just one means that you get a better sense of the main character, Porter, who talks to you over the radio. More chances to pick up audio diaries and hear about him and his life. He has a much more fleshed out backstory than most comparable characters in the game, which makes the ending much more poignant. But it differs from the main game in that it doesn't deal with any themes of fatherhood or parenthood in general, so I suppose it misses out on some of the things the main game was going for, but I think what they're aiming at here is pulled off better, despite it not being as fleshed out. The ending though is the real kicker. Even though I was fully aware of the twist coming, it had more impact on me this time than it had before.
Spoiler: show
Finding out that you're actually playing as Porter who has since been turned in to a Big Daddy, and that the voice on the radio was just a simulated personality by the super computer that he built, and that the plot revolves around, feels like a really good Bioshock-esque twist. It fits in to the style of the series really well, as it's something you had all the clues to work out before, but still isn't directly hinted at until it happens, as well as it cleverly playing with player perception and re-framing what came before. It's also good in that it feels like it's within an appropriate scope for what this side-story is too. It feels like it does carry weight, but it's not trying to one-up what came before or anything like that. Perhaps knowing the twist going in helped it somewhat, as I knew listening to the audio logs of Porter that I was hearing the thoughts of someone who was already gone. Helped add some pathos to it I think. But the part that hits the hardest is after the twist is revealed, and you're walking through Porter's old office, seeing the artefacts of his past lying around. Like a time capsules of a lost moment in time, untouched by the chaos of Rapture. Listening to the audio diary you find in there, of when Porter first tests the personality replication abilities of the computer, is particularly affecting. When the voice of his dead wife starts speaking, you can really empathise with Porter's instant regret, and feel what he's feeling as he has the bittersweet realisation that all his efforts were a mistake. There's a profound sadness there that the main plot cannot compare to.
Another thing I liked is how it feels like it fits in to the canon of this universe much better than the main game, despite it doing some similar things in a way. While a lot of the stuff from the central game suffered from either feeling like it was so important it should have come up in the original, or that it simply breaks continuity in order to insert itself in to places it can't have been, in this DLC it felt natural and like a no-brainer that the stuff it introduced would exist in this world. Of course there would be a massive, centralised supercomputing hub in Rapture. Even if we never heard of it before, there were clearly robots and computers in this world that seemed to be connected to each other somehow. And so here it is.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by dezm0nd » July 13th, 2019, 4:58 pm

Timespinner on gamepass.

It's a symphony of the night-like and it's bloody brilliant

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 13th, 2019, 5:06 pm

Alex79uk wrote:
July 13th, 2019, 11:22 am
Does make me wish we had the option though - and a decent D-Pad! Using the face buttons rather than the stick seems preferable, but they're not ideal.
Nintendo has a solution for you......

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 14th, 2019, 7:17 am

Yeah they do look nice, but they're expensive and tiny! If they add SNES games at any point I might consider getting one of the third party SNES style pads. There seem to be a few well reviewed ones about.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 14th, 2019, 9:03 am

Alex79uk wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 7:17 am
Yeah they do look nice, but they're expensive and tiny! If they add SNES games at any point I might consider getting one of the third party SNES style pads. There seem to be a few well reviewed ones about.
Well, they are exactly 1-1 replicas (size wise) as original NES controls and feel incredible.

Perfect for playing the NES games on the Switch service.

There are plenty of other options out there like you mention but these, these are what you want if your like your NES games.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Flabyo » July 14th, 2019, 10:11 am

dezm0nd wrote:
July 13th, 2019, 4:58 pm
Timespinner on gamepass.

It's a symphony of the night-like and it's bloody brilliant
As a side note, this is strictly speaking only on gamepass for PC, but as it’s cross buy if you have gamepass ultimate you can download it on the XBO. But you have to go to it store page to do so, it won’t be in your list of XBO gamepass games.

This apparently applies to anything that will be only on pc gamepass but that has crossbuy. Something they’ll probably tidy up in the UI at some point (in that it appears to be intentional, but should be exposed better than it is)

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by clippa » July 14th, 2019, 1:56 pm

Sorry to keep banging on, but Curious Expedition is great, by the way, give the demo a shot. It really reminds me of Sid Meier's Pirates, it's top nana.

I got to the sixth expedition today and it turns out that you have to activate two portals before they'll let you in the pyramid.
I activated the first one on my way to finding the buried pyramid (that golden ring with the green glowing line at the bottom left) and then found the buried pyramid at the top left of the map

The markings on the side of the pyramid showed me the other portal was all the way over the bottom right of the map so I had to pump my guys full of coca leaves (too many and they start to get paranoid) and whiskey (I think my whole crew were alcoholic by the end, but I found some magic mushrooms that healed them of their ailments), trek all the way back, set off the portal and then make my way back.

I'd upset the lizard people bragging about my treasure hunting so they were after my arse, and there were loads of nasty spiders knocking about too that were really easy to aggro. I was so close to getting to the pyramid but I'd ran out of health kits and we were all bleeding pretty badly. A bunch of huge eagle things bum-rushed me. Game over, man, game over.

That's how it all ended, that red line is where I'd been, all over the ruddy map.
Man, I was so sure I was going to do it this time.

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ColinAlonso
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ColinAlonso » July 14th, 2019, 4:55 pm

Currently working my way through DJ Hero. I deleted my original save file (from 2014) and am working through the mixes on normal (pretty much all I did on the previous save). Having quite a bit of fun. I feel if it was any more complex I'd be far worse. I haven't got the hang of scratching and using the crossfader simultaneously yet. Thankfully that's only shown up a few times so far.

Also playing Mega Man 3. I'm past the 8 robot masters and going through the rest of the game. I don't like the weapons as much as the second game and most of the bosses ended up being brute force as I couldn't find which weapon they were weak to. Still its a fairly solid follow-up to Mega Man 2.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by duskvstweak » July 14th, 2019, 8:29 pm

ColinAlonso wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 4:55 pm
Currently working my way through DJ Hero. I deleted my original save file (from 2014) and am working through the mixes on normal (pretty much all I did on the previous save). Having quite a bit of fun. I feel if it was any more complex I'd be far worse. I haven't got the hang of scratching and using the crossfader simultaneously yet. Thankfully that's only shown up a few times so far.

Also playing Mega Man 3. I'm past the 8 robot masters and going through the rest of the game. I don't like the weapons as much as the second game and most of the bosses ended up being brute force as I couldn't find which weapon they were weak to. Still its a fairly solid follow-up to Mega Man 2.
How has your turntable for DJ Hero held up? Still working well?

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by ColinAlonso » July 15th, 2019, 5:21 am

duskvstweak wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 8:29 pm

How has your turntable for DJ Hero held up? Still working well?
I had a small issue where the d-pad was pushing left on its own. This only happened twice and only affected the menus, so it was still playable. Didn't happen last night. Turntable itself is still good.

My turntable has seen less use than many though. I bought a new one in 2014 when the local Tesco was clearing stock (€5!!), played through the first game's mixes, dabbled in the second game and put it away.

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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 15th, 2019, 6:24 am

Dragon Quest Builders 2 on the Switch.

So far, a very good game.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » July 15th, 2019, 6:32 am

Suits wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 6:24 am
Dragon Quest Builders 2 on the Switch.

So far, a very good game.
Are you playing full screen or handheld? How is it on handheld? I played the first game but wish I spent a bit more time with it - it was very long.


I'm playing Field of Glory - Empires. This is a grand strategy game set in Europe just after the death of Alexander the Great. Rome and Carthage are on the rise. You can take a region and try and achieve domination. There is an interesting decadence mechanic where if your empire is not carefully managed, it enters the decline and fall stage. Very good so far, though i have a developing Druid problem in Cornwall. Those pesky Druids!

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 15th, 2019, 6:52 am

Chopper wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 6:32 am
Are you playing full screen or handheld? How is it on handheld? I played the first game but wish I spent a bit more time with it.
Honestly, mainly it’s TV - as it just looks so good.

I’ve had a quick go on handheld to take a turd and it’s fine.

I was a little concerned about performance, which over all runs fine. However, when it rains, at your base and you get stormed by enemies, it does chug. Not terrible but you can see/feel it.

I put 10 hours into it yesterday, according to the Nintendo app 🥴.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Alex79uk » July 15th, 2019, 7:09 am

Really enjoyed the opening hour of Mario+Rabbids on Switch last night. Very simple so far, but utterly charming and the Rabbids are genuinely slapstick funny in places. Looking forward to getting in to it more later.

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Suits
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Suits » July 15th, 2019, 7:10 am

Alex79uk wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 7:09 am
Very simple so far....
It gets pretty challenging IIRC.

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Chopper
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Chopper » July 15th, 2019, 7:49 am

Suits wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 6:52 am
I put 10 hours into it yesterday, according to the Nintendo app 🥴.
Proper Sunday gaming! :D

Yeah, I'd imagine big screen is the way to go all right.

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clippa
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by clippa » July 15th, 2019, 8:03 am

Suits wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 6:52 am
I’ve had a quick go on handheld to take a turd and it’s fine.

I was a little concerned about performance, which over all runs fine. However, when it rains, at your base
Too much information.

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Stanshall
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Stanshall » July 15th, 2019, 8:21 am

Haha.

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Scrustle
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Re: Whatcha Been Playing?

Post by Scrustle » July 15th, 2019, 5:19 pm

Now I'm on to the final leg of replaying this series, with Bioshock Infinite. Even though I've always been a fan of this game, I've always had big criticisms too. And over the years it feels like general opinions on it have skewed more negative too. But so far I'm really enjoying this playthrough. The early hours are very impressive, especially the opening. It's still breathtaking. Aesthetically this game is jaw-dropping to this day. Columbia is an amazingly realised setting that has a atmosphere that few games could even hope of creating. The architecture, the set design, audio, lighting, everything is just amazing. Even though the levels are really linear, it's a joy to walk through these areas and take in the sights. It's just scene after scene of amazing stuff. A lot of the action set pieces are really impressive too. Even if they're very scripted they feel tense and climactic. First meeting Elizabeth as she first gets out of the tower is still really impressive as well. She's got a real sense of liveliness to her. So far it's really well paced too. I know a big problem with the game later on is how they drop the ball on that, but right now it's still going strong. Maybe I'll have a better reaction to the later bits too once I get to them.

Even the depiction of the more unsavoury parts of Columbia's society feel potent and well realised, for now anyway. It feels like they've put a lot of effort in to thinking about how a racist society like this would be. Being up front with it and not shying away, but not being careless about it. It feels like it's setting something up in a way that inspires confidence. But of course I know where this goes, so there has to be a bit of a caveat with that. This is the first time I've played since hearing some of the really scathing stuff about the racial topics of the game, so I'm interested to see how it stacks up in that new context.

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