Jump to content


Ocelot

Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Dec 22 2019 03:40 AM

#489270 moving Wicktures that you are watching: John Wick 3 Edition

Posted by Ocelot on 16 December 2019 - 01:26 AM

MORE MOVIES!

 

Midsommar: This is the second movie from Ari Aster, director of Hereditary, and it's really good! Hereditary made me feel physically sick for a few days after I saw it, and Midsommar isn't quite so intense, but it's still a wonderful, almost Wicker-Man-esque horror movie. Aster has a knack for wallowing in incredibly uncomfortable moments of extreme emotion (grief and despair being some big go-tos), and the lead actress of Midsommar, Florence Pugh, feels like the perfect team up for him. She acts 'grief' as this almost physical force, like she's literally out of breath from pure, brutal despair, and it is... boy oh boy, it's really difficult to watch! Like, I don't know how else to put it; Hereditary and Midsommar both get super, super real and they had me squirming.

 

Midsommar is the story of some American teens being invited to participate in the strange, once-a-generation festival/ritual performed by a curious Swedish village, way up north where the sun stays out for the entire Summer. If you're thinking that they're all going to die, then... yeah, that's what happens. I feel like that isn't even a spoiler, to be honest. This ain't a twist movie. This ain't really a story or a character movie, either (Florence Pugh's incredible performance notwithstanding). The entire movie is the festival, an ever-escalating spectacle of bizarreness and gorgeous imagery where you simultaneously dread and can't wait for the next step of the ritual, and it's a real experience with a capital E. I highly recommend it.

 

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: It's been a long time since I've watched this movie all the way through. I mostly just watch the fight scenes on Youtube when I need to get HOYPE for something, but I bought the 4K Blu Ray and wanted to remind myself what this bad boy is actually like. Turns out it's really good, but you already knew that. What I found interesting this time around is the unusual structure of it all. After an excellent opening act, a huuuuge chunk of the movie is devoted to a giant flashback to fill in Zhang Ziyi's character's back story, and the latter half of the movie feels a little rushed because of it. The script has Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun Fat talking about settling down and living peacefully together, but there's only one brief scene of this before the action kicks up again for the big climax.

 

I never knew until recently that this movie was based on a book, actually the fourth of a five-book series, and I wonder if it's just the age-old problem of cutting a book down to fit it into a film's length. It's not bad, just a liiiittle on the rushed side. Oh well. You know what is absolutely 10/10, sandblast-my-face-clean-off, literally-can't-watch-them-without-tearing-up-a-little-bit, though? THESE FIGHT SCENES, oh my God you guys. I'm not going to post the one with all the weapons in the dojo, because we all know that's a Top 5 All Time-er already. I'm not going to post the one where Zhang Ziyi demolishes the whole restaurant. I'm not even going to post the one where Chow Yun Fat effortlessly beats Zhang Ziyi using a stick he finds on the ground. I'm going to post this one that I bet you don't even remember:

 

 

Michelle Yeoh is the absolute Queen of all martial arts movies and CTHD is her best performance ever. 100/10.

 

Godzilla: King of the Monsters: There were a few moments when I thought I might genuinely like this. It's kind of interesting in the beginning, and there's a lot of neato stuff with enormous underwater science bases and a massive aerial command centre that looks like some ridiculous boss plane from an Ace Combat game. I'm not up on my lore for... whatever this particular cinematic universe is called, so I don't know where all this Thunderbirds tech came from, but I can appreciate a cool underwater base and a big ol' plane that drops smaller planes out of its belly.

 

But this movie has a real problem with something I think I've brought up here before, which is a really uncomfortable disrespect for human life. Some of these big CGI blockbusters are just so brutal, showing scores of people being absolutely annihilated in explosions or plane crashes or monster lightning or whatever, and I really dislike it. Remember the innocent English lady in Jurassic World who gets graphically ripped apart by pterodactyls in a super uncomfortable, lingering scene? I'm talking about that kind of thing. These pointless, savage deaths that aren't given any thematic weight in the story and just feel like cruelty for cruelty's sake. There's a scene in this movie where Rodan kills an entire squadron of fighter pilots, and the camera keeps cutting to this graphic on a computer screen that shows the pilots' names and faces every time as if to say, "Yep, there was a real person in each of those planes, with a family, with hopes and dreams. A real person like you, with 20-30 years of experience on this planet. Think of all the people they touched in their lives. That spark is now gone from this world. Because a giant pterodactyl did a spinny-winny and blew everyone up".

 

I wish filmmakers wouldn't do that.

 

Anyway the movie's not good. It's a big CG spectacle that doesn't really rise above the ranks of every other big CG spectacle. Lots of people die pointlessly, even named characters, and it's one of those movies where you can feel that there's another hour of footage on the cutting room floor and neither the director nor the studio were particularly happy with the final edit. The movie can't decide whether it's going to have a real shot at the story of the human characters or if it's just going to be big monsters brawling. It's just another disposable blockbuster that nobody's going to think about ever again. Oh well.

 

The Handmaid's Tale: Season 3: I don't know why this show is still going. The first season was excellent, and it came around at just the right time, but we've long-since reached the point where the only reason the show's still going is so the cast and crew can keep their steady paycheques. It's just going round and round in circles, establishing plans and then sticking a spanner in the works, then dealing with the spanner and getting back to the original plan, then more spanners, on and on forever. I don't think I'm going to watch another season.

 

Dead Ringers: How's this for a premise: Jeremy Irons plays twins, both brilliant gynecologists, whose weird twin bond goes on the fritz over a woman they each become obsessed with, and then they steadily go mad? And what if I told you it's directed by David Cronenberg? I feel like I'm automatically interested any time you tell me that one actor is playing multiple characters, because that's just a bit of movie magic I'm always totally transfixed by (how do they do it, tho?), but then you've got that delicious Cronenberg grossness on top. It's great. You shouldn't watch it, but do it anyway.




#489248 SSLF's Runner-Up GOTY of the Year 2019 Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 December 2019 - 09:40 PM

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice comes out of nowhere to win GOTY.

 

Kojima's friendship with Geoff is officially over.

 

There was no "And one more thing!" announcement. It's just finished. Bayonetta 3 was a no show. Nintendo showed nothing. No Elden Ring. No Halo Infinite. The PS5 announcement was for that looter thing I've already forgotten the name of. I guess the new Xbox announcement was neat.

 

I have wasted three hours of my life again.




#489241 SSLF's Runner-Up GOTY of the Year 2019 Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 December 2019 - 08:52 PM

E S P O R T S

S

P

O

R

T

S




#489239 SSLF's Runner-Up GOTY of the Year 2019 Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 December 2019 - 08:42 PM

Well Ghost of Tsoosh looks pretty good. Weirdly enough the lack of any supernatural stuff makes it feel pretty unique, at least in the current era of video games. When's the last time you went to olde-timey Japan and there wasn't at least one ghost?

 

I'm just waiting for Geoff to bring Reggie up on stage so he can show me Bayonetta's new hairstyle for Bayo 3.




#489232 SSLF's Runner-Up GOTY of the Year 2019 Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 December 2019 - 07:32 PM

OK, so they gave Best Audio to Modern Warfare, which is patently ridiculous because it was obviously Sekiro. Did Geoff not read my post about it above?

 

Now they're showing off some new Square-Enix RPG for the Switch, which might be a Bravely Default sequel.

 

EDIT - Yep, it's Bravely Default 2. Which is weird, because I would have sworn there was already a second Bravely Default, but I don't know these things.

 

 

Geoff Keighley seems a lot more natural and at ease up on stage this year. This is the first officially confirmed Playstation 5 game, by the way:

 

 

It's a 'looter/slasher', and I don't want to immediately poopoo but oh my goodness I couldn't be less interested. Linus Tech Tips is going to be here all night doing advertisements for Samsung, btw.

 

EDIT - Ikumi Nakamura is here, and she's still the absolute most delightful human being in the world. She barely speaks English but she's just going for it anyway and I love it.




#489218 SSLF's Runner-Up GOTY of the Year 2019 Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 10 December 2019 - 10:31 PM

Ladies and gentlemen, you know what it is. Summer E3 is here (a.k.a. Winter E3 for the Bore-thern Hemisphere), and His Excellence, Pope Geoff Keighley, first of His name, King of the Doritos and the First Giraffes, will be gracing us with another of his awards shows. The awards themselves are bunk, obviously, since it's already been announced that Devil May Cry 5 isn't even nominated for GOTY, but we aren't there to watch them anyway. It's all about those HOT. VIDEO. GAME. TRAILERS. BAYBEE. Don't tell me you don't want to see another round of CG trailers for games that won't be out until 2022, because I won't believe you.

 

 

But the Keighleys are still a couple of days away, and I thought we could spend the time talking about, y'know, video games or whatever. Throw a top ten at me. Or a top five. Top one, even; I know how it is. Throw some curveballs at me. Make up an award category, I don't mind. And, hey, tell me about movies and books and TV shows and, like, general life stuff, too. I'm not going to ban you for going off-topic in the video game forum. I'll only ban you if you don't pick DMC5 as your GOTY.

 

I'm going to kick things off with a couple of the smaller prizes:

 

Backlog GOTY (i.e. an older game that I only played this year): Bloodborne. What a great game! I went from being too scared to even play a From Software to playing Bloodborne for a solid month this year, and eventually getting the Platinum Trophy, and I loved it. You don't need me to tell you about this game, since it's basically all the internet has talked about for the last four years. Turns out everything everyone said was true and it's really good. The combat system with its wonderful Trick Weapons, the level design that leads you deeper and deeper into a gothic nightmare as the game goes on, a cadre of bosses that go from a scary wolf man to an actual, for-realsies Elder God by the end of it all. How many games have you played where you have to hide from a giant alien brain covered in eyeballs imprisoned in the depths of a castle and sending out pulses of other-worldly light that turns you mad if you look at it?

 

Biggest Stinker: Anthem. Remember Anthem? Remember Bioware? Remember when you found out that they referred to this project as 'Dylan' internally, because they anticipated that it would be THE BOB DYLAN OF VIDEO GAMES?It feels like something from a different epoch. Bioware worked on this thing for like eight years, chewed up and spat out dozens of employees, and I honestly forgot Anthem even came out this year. And I played it to completion!




#489215 The Movie News and John Wick Appreciation Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 10 December 2019 - 08:00 AM

Wonder Woman 1984 looks good. I like that they're coming up with a distinct fighting style for her, all about big ol' sweeping kicks right past the camera lens and some rope dart stuff with her lasso:

 

 

And some Netflix Witcher character trailers with some new footage:

 

 

 

They're doing hunchback Yen, the madmen!




#489213 moving Wicktures that you are watching: John Wick 3 Edition

Posted by Ocelot on 10 December 2019 - 06:34 AM

Let's talk about Knives Out, you guys. Long story short: it's an absolute 10/10, movie of the year, I love it and you should definitely see it.

 

 

OK, short story long: What a fabulous movie! I can't even remember the last time I saw a new, non-remake Whodunnit. It's like a totally lost art form, which is such a shame because they're so fun. Here we have Daniel Craig playing Southern Gent- I say Southern Gentleman private detective Benoit Blanc, hired to investigate the mysterious 'suicide' of wealthy mystery writer Harlan Thrombey after an eventful party earlier that evening. The deceased was the patriarch of an entire multi-generational clan of Thrombeys, all of whom have a motive, most of whom had both the means and the opportunity. The police want to rule it a suicide, but we know it ain't gonna be that simple.

 

Knives Out is a feast of clever writing, hilarious performances from a cast of absolute gems, the kind of gorgeous house porn that would make a House Hunters fan weak at the knees, and one central, driving mystery that still has my mind whirring hours later. It's that perfect kind of movie where every scene drips with subtext, every line of the script is steering you towards something, and even though you know you're being played and you're trying to outsmart the movie like a proper whodunnit fan, it's still gonna getcha. Like a well-oiled machine, boys and girls.

 

Have I mentioned it's a 10/10 yet? It's 2 hours and 10 minutes and it genuinely felt like 90 minutes. This movie sings. I want to see it again like yesterday. I want three dozen more Benoit Blanc mysteries. I loved it. GOTY 2019.




#489209 The Pokemon Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 09 December 2019 - 12:55 AM

I don't want to speak too soon here, but I'm eight gyms in now and unless the endgame is absolutely mindblowing, this is the worst mainline Pokemon game. By far. Like, comically so. It honestly feels like playing Chapter 2 of Metal Gear Solid V, where it's crystal clear that something went wrong during development and they just did not have the time or money to finish the game.

 

I knew something was up when I hit Gym 4 and realised that the story still hadn't started yet. Despite the constant interruptions from NPCs who stand directly in your path so they can stop you and tell you to go exactly where you were already going, there's just... there's no story here. Every now and then you'll hear a giant explosion or crash off in the distance, and the NPC crew will rush off to investigate it, but you aren't allowed to see what it is. You just have to keep shuffling from city to city, beating gyms while the story happens off-screen. Now I've beaten all eight Gyms and the story STILL hasn't started yet. More off-screen explosions that everyone but me gets to see. Some kind of ancient mystery of the region that Sonia is investigating on her own. Instances of Pokemon mysteriously Dynamaxing all on their own, which the Champion is sorting out without my help. Oh, things are happening, it's just that I don't get to be involved in any of them. This game is like playing Mass Effect from the perspective of that N7 wannabe guy who just meets Shepard a couple of times but doesn't actually take part in the adventure.

 

Even the Gyms themselves peter out pathetically by the end. The seventh Gym 'Challenge' is just walking left to right through a straight line 'town' with painted on doorways to buildings you can't enter, fighting four trainers along the way. The eighth Gym? The one you've been waiting for? It doesn't exist. They didn't create assets for it. You get teleported to the nearby museum to have three consecutive Double Battles in one room, then teleported back to the Gym for the final fight in the same generic arena that all the Gyms share. This game is losing steam it barely even had in the first place.

 

Boy oh boy, you guys. Something has gone drastically wrong with the Pokemon pipeline for them to have cut over half the Pokedex and still released the game in this state.




#489176 The Pokemon Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 03 December 2019 - 11:42 PM

So, how about this here eighth generation of Pokemon, then? I'm about eleven hours into Sword, having just beaten the fourth gym, and eeeeeeeeeehhhh

 

It's acceptable? It's OK?

 

If you were hoping that the Pokemon series' big debut on the Nintendo Switch would be some kind of pivotal, singular moment... keep hoping, I guess, but I really don't think that moment is ever coming. At this point I think it's clear that, while Pokemon might be the biggest money-earner in the entertainment world, Game Freak doesn't actually see much of that cash, and as long as they have to keep pumping out a game every year on a shoestring budget, the big paradigm shift is never going to happen. Sword and Shield are good Pokemon games with some really nice steps forward and a few baffling steps backward, and I feel like that is basically the story of every new Pokemon game.

 

There are a lot of really nice new features, like the 3D environments with Pokemon actually visible in tall grass and clomping around the overworld, which I love. It was wonderful in Let's Go and it's just as good here; I never want to go back to random encounters. I wouldn't call the game a looker in a technical sense, particularly not in the Wild Area which is honestly just pretty ugly, but some of the towns have strong enough artistic beef to overcome the low-res jagginess. There are some really nice QOL improvements, too, with more intuitive menus, a PC you can access from anywhere, really early access to fast travel and the bicycle, and a bunch of other stuff I'm probably forgetting.

 

But then there's stuff like the GTS, the Global Trade System, just being gone. They didn't replace it with something better, they just took it out. An online feature that's been there since the DS games (not the 3DS, the DEE ESS) is not present in the NINTENDO SWITCH game, where you actually PAY MONEY for access to online features. I remember when we first heard that Nintendo was doing a paid online service, lamenting the idea that I'd have to pay for a subscription just to trade Pokemon. Silly me; I couldn't trade Pokemon if I was paying. If you want to trade in Sword/Shield, you need to have a way to talk to the other person outside the game, be online at the same time and trade ID codes with them. We're back to barely a step above Link Cables again. The year is 2019, by the way.

 

Also they've made all the best TMs one-time-uses again, which is just baffling to me. It just seems like a twist of the knife for no discernible reason. This huge, universally-liked upgrade we made back in 2010? Yeah, we're undoing it. It's back to being bad now.

 

Right now my biggest problem with the game is that new Gen 8 Pokemon seem to be extremely thin on the ground. I want to use a team of only new guys, and so far I'm still using 6 dudes I caught in the first couple of patches of grass on Route 1. I don't know where the rest of the new ones are. I don't want to just go and look it up online and ruin the surprise for myself, but I'm just not finding any new bois. And the really irritating part is that my guys aren't learning any good new moves, even in the mid Lv 30s. You see this guy?

 

834.png

 

Water Gun. I'm still using Water Gun at Lv 35 with him. He isn't going to learn another Water move until LEVEL FORTY EIGHT.

 

This handsome fellow?

 

828.png

 

Dark-type special attacker. Doesn't naturally learn a single Dark-type special attack over 55 base power.

 

My best bolty boi?

 

836.png

 

Isn't going to learn another Electric-type move until Lv 48. It's Spark until then.

 

Who designed this game?




#489101 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 21 November 2019 - 04:21 AM

Bruh, it's so good! I just finished getting 100% and 1000/1000 Achievements a couple of days ago, and I had such a fun time doing it. Running back through a Metroidvania world with all the abilities unlocked so you can find all the hidden goodies and secret areas is always a delight, and this game is insanely meaty when you really start exploring. There were two absolutely massive areas on Zeffo that I never even saw on my first or second trips there; just totally optional places that were easily as big and complex as some of the main story areas.

 

This game almost singlehandedly makes up for EA wasting the Star Wars licence all these years. This is the big-budget singleplayer Star Wars game I've been waiting for since... like, forever. I think it's my favourite Star Wars game since Rogue Leader on the Gamecube. I hope they do some kind of DLC for it, because I don't want to have to wait until 202X for a sequel.

 

Anyway, in terms of other stuff I've been playing:

 

Night Call: This is a neat game I saw on Game Pass, which is more or less a visual novel about being a night shift taxi driver in Paris. There's a kiiinda sorta detective-y, case-solving frame story, where you're the (unsuccessful) victim of a serial killer, and a crooked cop investigating the case is blackmailing you into helping out, on pain of revealing your mysterious backstory to the world, but the actual investigative mechanics are veeeeery limited and it's more or less just guesswork. The meat of the game is just in meeting a whole slew of weirdos who need a taxi in the middle of the night; talking to weirdos is one of the underappreciated pleasures of video games. There was a nice moment where a Japanese tourist got into my cab and it was supposed to be a vignette about being able to understand people's emotions even through language barriers, but his dialogue was written in real Japanese and I could read it just fine. I didn't end up finishing it, and at this point I probably won't, but I enjoyed the couple of hours I spent with it all the same.

 

Tetris 99: So I ended up with three months of Nintendo Online subscription through Amazon Prime, or maybe Twitch Prime, and anyway this game is absolutely brutal. Tetris crossed with a battle royale is an interesting idea, but this game has really weird meta-mechanics around the basic Tetris-ing and absolutely nothing in the way of tutorials, and I just don't get it at all. I feel like I'm reeeeaaaasonably good at Tetris, at least on a good day, but I have no consistency with this game at all. Sometimes I come top 20, even top 10, and others I'll just get ANNIHILATED within seconds and come 95th or something. I think the idea is that every time you clear a line of blocks, you send it to one of the other 99 players in the match as garbage grey blocks, and you can sort of choose where you 'aim' them by specifying whether you want to send them to, say, people who are close to being knocked out, or people who are aiming at you. But I just have no idea about tactics or best practices, and no clue what to do when there are like five people all banging out Tetrises and sending them all my way. I'll be having a perfectly fine game and then suddenly I'll just have like 20 lines of garbage erupt on my screen, taking me out instantly. I tried watching some Youtube videos, but I don't get it, man.




#489087 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 18 November 2019 - 03:56 AM

SPARK, THAT WAS SO GOOD! I just finished it, too, and I absolutely can't believe how much I loved this game.

 

STRAIGHT

 

UP

 

BANG-GER

 

The characters are astonishingly well written, and they all get their big moments in the spotlight. Without saying too much, the villainous cast are also bright-shiners with an appropriately compelling backstory.

And particular shout-out to one late game addition to the crew, her contributions are short but sweet.

 

Bruh, let's get IN. TO. IT!

 

Spoiler

 

You're right, I can't wait for a sequel. I would love to see this squad go on more adventures. I'm just so amazed at how this game grew on me over my time with it. So impressed with just how good it is. We should have realised this after Titanfall 2's excellent campaign, but Respawn are genuinely excellent storytellers and character writers.

 

What a time we live in when we've got this, The Mandalorian and Episode IX all coming at basically the same time. Star Wars.




#489051 Scorp's RPG Corner - now reaching The Outer Worlds

Posted by Ocelot on 01 November 2019 - 04:52 AM

I'm about 14 hours into The Outer Worlds now, just started exploring Monarch, and I'm still really enjoying it but I think the cracks are starting to show. The biggest one is that the game is just absurdly easy, to the point of feeling totally unbalanced. The whole idea of RPGing is about strengths and weaknesses, right? If you put all your points into schmoozing you aren't going to last long in an open fight, right? If you slam everything into combat skills you aren't going to be the best e-mail reader, right? You make your choice and you live with the consequences... right?

 

Except I've put all my points into speech and hacking skills, nothing into combat, and I am just crushing every combat sequence in the game without any trouble on Normal difficulty. Like, to the point where I'll sometimes get into a surprise fight, and before I can even work out which gun I'd like to kill some guys with my two companions will have annihilated everyone in there. I talk my way out of combat when I can, but I can just as easily kill every single person in my way with just the default combat skills if I need to. I have basically infinite ammo for every weapon just from my standard RPG kleptomaniac playstyle, enough money that I could probably clean out every vendor I meet, an inventory full of great weapons and armour... it just feels like I've totally broken the game by playing it the same way I played Fallout 3 or Mass Effect.

 

I know people complained about how bad Alpha Protocol's shooting was if you didn't put any points into it, and I know it must be really hard to find the right way of depicting a video game character who doesn't know how to shoot very well without making the game a chore to play... but this ain't it. My shots go exactly where I point them, I have bullet time from the start of the game; I honestly don't even know what funneling another hundred stat points into my gun stat would actually do if I'm this capable from the jump.

 

I also feel like the game needs some kind of extra systems for skill checks. The way speech checks work, for example, is if your stat is high enough, you just pass. That's it. Same thing with lockpicking and hacking; there's no minigame, just if your stat is high enough you do it perfectly. I've just been effortlessly picking every lock, hacking every terminal, nailing every speech check, and it feels kind of inconsequential. And since the basic shooting controls are so easy, it's not like I'm paying any penalty for having pumped my hacking/lockpicking/speech stats so high. I don't feel like I have to worry about min/max-ing; I'm just awesome at everything. I have well over a hundred healing items because I never need to use them :P

 

So, that's about where I am right now. I'm still having a lot of fun, and I really appreciate the game's relatively small scope. Areas are nice and small, quests are few enough that they're all pretty dialogue-rich and memorable, and it'll be interesting to replay the game as a completely different character to see the way everything can change. But I do think it's probably worth playing the game on Hard if you really want to get anything out of the RPG systems.




#489045 Scorp's RPG Corner - now reaching The Outer Worlds

Posted by Ocelot on 30 October 2019 - 06:01 AM

It's time to talk about The Outer Worlds, boys and girls! I've put about six hours into it, long enough to get through the Megaton/White Orchard/Citadel kind of tutorial questline, and so far it's shaping up to be something really neato.

 

OK, so we're out in the Halcyon cluster, as part of a space colonisation initiative spearheaded (and, most importantly, bankrolled) by a handful of competing megacorporations that, in a pointedly ripped-from-the-headlines kind of way, have obscene power and authority over their employees. As a loyal worker for Spacer's Choice, for example, you have the privilege to spend your entire life in meek servitude to the company, where losing a hand on-the-job will require you to pay damages for any lost productivity, and suicide will be seen as unlawful damage to company property (with the bill being sent to your next of kin). Seventy-some years ago a ship full of cryo-frozen colonists went astray on its way to Halcyon, too far out in deep space to be considered worth rescuing by the company, so it just floats out there full of eternally slumbering potential colonists, and one potential RPG main character. A mad scientist unfreezes you and sends you on your way into RPG land.

 

So this is very deliberately the Fallout 3/New Vegas school of first-person, open world (ish), dialogue-tree-in', perk-selectin', companion-befriendin' moral-choice-'em-up, and very much not the Fallout 4 style of fake dialogue options, railroaded questlines and lip-service 'choices'. Dialogue trees branch like they should, choices come with consequences, you're juggling the affinity of various different factions, and while I can't yet say how it all plays out in the long term, I have been really impressed with some of the small effects I've seen when it comes to my RPG stats and choice-ery even in these first few levels. As always, I'm pumping everything into Speech, Hacking, Lockpicking and Sneaking, but it isn't just making me a better e-mail reader. No, my Speech stats actually have an effect in combat, too. One of the sub-skills under the Speech header is Intimidate, which gives you a random chance to make enemies cower in combat. Hacking isn't just for reading e-mails, it can also let you screw around with robot enemies. And it works the other way, too, with Combat-specific skills giving you access to particular speech checks in dialogue. The Science stat is supposed to make you better at weapon mods, but it actually opened up a whole new aspect of the main quest that I'd been working on. I don't know that I've ever played an RPG that felt so reactive; it works the way you wish an RPG would but you know they never do. I'm really impressed.

 

The main quest line for the opening hours of the game dumps you on a planet dominated by a town called Edgewater; basically a shanty town built in the shadow of a fish cannery run by the oppressive Spacer's Choice, where you'll meet a host of downtrodden citizens indentured to the corporation for life. Some further exploration puts you in touch with a small enclave of rebellious former cannery workers making a more peaceful life for themselves in a settlement in the hills above the town. In classic RPG fashion, to get off this planet you need a Power Regulator for your ship, and the only way to get it is to take the one from Edgewater or the Deserters' settlement. Now, obviously a major choice like this in an Obsidian game isn't going to be as simple as siding with A, the corrupt, capitalism-gone-mad bureaucrats or B, the peaceful hippies living off the land, so of course there's a catch. The peaceful hippies aren't all good, the evil corporation isn't all bad. But, OK, that's still pretty standard RPG fare, right? Well, what if I told you that the catch comes with a catch? And what if I told you that the more I dug into this main quest line, which ties into basically every other quest line in the entire area in a really marvelous way, the less and less sure of things I became?

 

And what if I told you that I made a save right before the big decision, played through my gut feeling choice first, then went back and made the other choice just to see what it was like and... actually ended up thinking the other choice was the right one. Kinda? I don't know, it's one of those perfectly impossible shades-of-grey quandaries where I... don't know if I did the right thing, but I'm pretty sure I didn't do... the wrong thing? Maybe? Ugh it's killing me :P

 

Spoilers for the whole first quest line (I don't think you should read this if you're going to play the game, because it's some really good RPGing you shouldn't spoil for yourself):

 

Spoiler

 

Anyway, I think the real Outer Worlds is going to be starting from here on, but I'm already really impressed. Now that I've got power for my spaceship it's all gone a little bit Mass Effect, so I'm going to spend some time catching up with my brand new crew before I get stuck in to some questing on another world.




#489042 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 27 October 2019 - 11:55 PM

FIRE. EMBLEM. THREE. HOUSES.

 

You guys, we did it. We made the impossible possible. We didn't let our dreams be dreams. We finished a Fire Emblem game.

 

And it was great! I'm just basking in the feeling of pure relief after having been stressed out of my mind in the last two battles of the game. I absolutely refused to let any of my children die, and I made a bunch of terrible decisions and had to abuse the hell out of the magic time rewind system, but I scraped through. Even when it meant setting up ridiculous chains of having my cheer squad buff my Dragon Master's stats so he could make a suicide run to go and kill a mage that was keeping my whole squad pinned down, and then get my Dancer to use the Rescue spell to bring him back again so he wouldn't get obliterated by five guys in the next turn. Even when I basically had to keep my entire army crowded into the only spot on the map where they were kind of safe and make like one tile of progress per turn. Even when I had to start playing the odds and leaving Felix out directly in the crosshairs of two archers because I knew he could probably dodge the shots.

 

We DID IT.

 

Boy oh boy, what a game! It took me about seventy hours to get through the Gryffindor Blue Lions path, and I definitely want to at least start up one of the other ones. I've had, honestly, no interest whatsoever in Fire Emblem for my entire video game life; basically from the moment I found out it even existed (the first time I unlocked Marth in SSB Melee, of course) until like a month after Three Houses came out. And then I just heard some good buzz about it and decided to try it out on a whim, and here we are. I kind of want to do the whole thing. I want to meet all the other characters from Slytherin and Huffleclaw. I need to find some online guides about how New Game + works.

 

Oh wait, I forgot to talk about the story!

 

Spoiler

 

What a game, you guys. I loved it. 2019 has come out of nowhere and turned out to have a fantastic lineup of games, and putting together my top ten list is going to be a tricky one. And there's still so much more to play! I can't wait to start up The Outer Worlds, and Luigi's Mansion 3, and there's till Death Stranding and a whole Pokemon game. How has it come to this?