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#488379 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on Yesterday, 10:10 PM

If anyone's wondering what that sound was, it's the sound of ALL THE WALLS CRASHING DOWN.


So we start with Google joining the world of video games, of course.


Next thing is the formerly-Microsoft-exclusive Cuphead coming to the Switch, with Xbox Live support. Are you going to be able to get Achievements in a Switch game?


Not to be outdone on losing former exclusives, Sony's formerly-exclusive games from Quantic Dream, Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human, are all coming to PC, exclusive to the Epic Games Store.


And speaking of 'exclusive to the Epic Games Store', Epic has splashed that Fortnite cash to moneyhat Obsidian's The Outer Worlds, Remedy's Control, and apparently 'several major PC releases' from Ubisoft.


In short, the world as we know it has been turned upside down and nobody knows where it's going to go from here. Everything is getting both less and more exclusive at the same time, Microsoft is Nintendo, video game consoles are old news and apparently we're just skipping straight over dedicated streaming boxes into just streaming to whatever you have on you at any given moment.

#488365 Devil May Cry 5 Thread: Ocelot Must Die

Posted by Ocelot on 18 March 2019 - 05:13 AM

To continue the "What a game" sentiment, I just finished the game on Son of Sparda difficulty, and what a game. I almost never play games on harder difficulties, in fact these days I'm playing more and more games on Easy, but good character action games really come into their own when you go back through them on a second playthrough with harder enemies and all your moveset unlocked. It's this wonderful feeling of overcoming a harder challenge but actually having an easier time of it because you, the player, are now better at the game. Boy oh boy I love it.


So now I guess I have to try Dante Must Die, and we'll see how that goes. I think my Nero game is pretty good right now, and I'm definitely getting there with Dante. I'm OK with V, but there are certain enemies I just have no idea how to deal with as him (Proto Angelo and Sin Scissors, to name a couple). Luckily there are only four missions where you have to play as him. Hopefully I don't embarrass myself too badly :P


EDIT - Speaking of DMD, here's someone SSS-ranking the hardest fight in the game on the hardest difficulty, taking zero damage, blasting DT Vergil out of the sky with a Royal Release, perfect parrying Judgment Cut End, using literally every weapon in the game...


#488320 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 25 February 2019 - 01:39 AM

Well, I finished Anthem. I had to quit last night because I got a bug that stopped a mission from progressing, and after loading it up again and hoping for the best today it turned out that it was the second last main mission of the story and now I'm done. I mean, technically you're never supposed to be 'done' done, because there's always going to be a drip feed of new content to keep you playing and buying microtransactions, and the game is eager to assure you that you can go back and play the missions you've already played at higher difficulties in the now classic Bioware post-game message to the players. Commander Freelancer has become a legend by ending the Monitor thread. Now you can continue to build that legend through further gameplay and downloadable content. Please buy cosmetics so EA doesn't turn the lights off...


I'd like to use this cutscene as a demonstration of my argument here, so please watch it. It's probably my favourite part of the whole game, so I promise you'll like it. For context, the two characters on the right side of the table are our character's old frienemies that we haven't spoken to in a couple of years and now have to come awkwardly begging for their help while they're negotiating with a pirate princess:



Doesn't that feel like Mass Effect? Doesn't that feel like Bioware's best? Those facial animations, the characters, the bit where your character reaches out and eats the pheromone sac might as well be a Renegade Interrupt. It is such a great cutscene, but that's exactly the problem: it's just a cutscene. You just sit there and watch it, and then right after it ends you start killing guys again because that's the only agency you have over the world in this game. This game is screaming out for the Bioware touch. The characters are there, the lore is interesting enough, this could have been Bioware's newest and shiniest singleplayer RPG, and it could have been a great one. And instead it's just this monotonous loot shooter where the loot isn't even good and there's nothing interesting to shoot at.


Uuuugh, just... why did they do this? Why does a studio synonymous with great singleplayer RPGs bet the farm on a loot shooter instead? Have any of them really been successful? I still don't think I've ever met anyone who thinks Destiny is truly good without a laundry list of caveats. I don't even know if anyone plays The Division outside of the scripted banter gameplay demos they capture for Ubisoft's press conferences. Fallout 76 was a several-month-long slapstick comedy routine that couldn't stay out of the headlines for more than a week. It seems like all I ever hear about this grand new genre of Games-as-a-Service is dubious content-to-price value propositions, patches and updates that break everything overnight, and all the newest, lowest depths in the field of aggressive monetisation schemes. All these big name developers threw their lots in with loot-shooters six years ago thinking they'd be the next biggest thing, and now that they've actually got their troubled projects out of development hell and onto store shelves it turns out that people only want to play F2P Battle Royales now and maybe they should just have stuck to their strengths.


There's a parallel universe out there where Bioware did make Anthem as a singleplayer RPG, and all our mirror selves are having the time of their lives playing it right now. We know Bioware knows how to make that game, and make it damn well, and instead of focusing on all this multiplayer GaaS guff they could have been filling it to the brim with delicious sidequests and using those wonderful facial animations to build the next great leap forward in the field of RPG conversations. Perhaps then they might have come up with a better story than "evil man wants to use power to take over world, you should stop him". Perhaps then they might have thought up more than three types of mission design that repeat over and over for 12-15-ish hours of story campaign, and then presumably infinite hours of grinding after that. Yet here we are, we putzes, in our regular dark universe where Anthem is not a singleplayer RPG and dreams don't come true.


I'm upset, you guys. When I played Mass Effect all those years ago it hit me like a bolt of lightning, and Mass Effect 2 did it all over again, but then this developer that once upon a time I considered one of my favourites has embarked on a near-decade-long string of just not getting it, man. Mass Effect 3 has its moments, yes, but that ending is something I'll never get over. Mass Effect Andromeda is absolutely awful. Anthem is either going to be patched up into an acceptable state and then used as a microtransaction platform, or EA's going to cut the cord and that'll be that for Bioware. How did it get to this?

#488312 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 21 February 2019 - 04:34 PM

Reggie has a personal message for everyone on Twitter, too.


What a guy, it's sad to see him go. Even if he could sometimes launch into those wild, meaningless spumes of pure marketing speak, he was a whole lot of fun for all the time he spent as President. Considering just how unethical and cutthroat a lot of the CEOs in this industry are, Nintendo's had really great leadership over the years. And he's definitely going out on a high now that the Switch is doing so well for Nintendo. Farewell, Reggie. Your body is now ready for rest.


In other news, remember when Mass Effect Andromeda tanked and we all marveled at how Bioware could have screwed up such a sure thing? But, of course, that was the B-team, right? The real Bioware was hard at work on Anthem, and that was bound to be a huge hit. Well... so far Anthem is reviewing even worse than Andromeda did.


And, finally, Microsoft is apparently looking into bringing an Xbox app and Game Pass to... the Nintendo Switch? It sounds like Microsoft is getting into the streaming game, and maybe partnering up with Nintendo to let you stream Xbox One games on your Switch, which is insane to me but also really cool.

#488298 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 18 February 2019 - 03:59 PM

Alright you guys, I have what might end up being the best rumour I ever post. I'm going to let the video thumbnail do the talking:




I'm going to die for real if this turns out to be true, and I know I say that a lot but this time it's true. Scalebound? Hideki Kamiya's white whale? Coming BACK? I can't take it.

#488292 Star Wars Movies and Disney Fanfiction Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 15 February 2019 - 03:48 PM



Tweeted by JJ Abrams himself to celebrate the end of photography on Episode IX!


EDIT - I just noticed Daisy Ridley's lat poking out of her shirt sleeve. WERK IT GURRRLLL

#488268 moving Wicktures that you are watching

Posted by Ocelot on 10 February 2019 - 06:06 AM

I watched The Incredibles 2 and Venom, and I found them both surprisingly enjoyable!


I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised about liking The Incredibles 2, since I did like the first one and, y'know, Pixar doesn't really make bad movies. But I haven't actually watched any of them since Inside Out, and I haven't really liked one since Toy Story 3, so I guess I just fell off the Pixar bandwagon. I don't want to say that I've grown out of this kind of movie, because I still love them when they're good, but at this point I can't really sit through a mediocre one. I need a bit of groundswell to get me interested, I suppose. Or maybe I just need a recognisable brand, and I only watched this because it had the word "Incredibles" in the title and I'm a helpless slave to the marketing machine like everyone else is.


It was good. It was fine. I don't know, it was a little bit on the boring side but it had some fabulous action scenes carried the rest of the movie. Boy oh boy, kinetic thrills and inventive superpower usage and all that good stuff. If there's one thing I can't fault Pixar on, they know how to make stuff look real good when it moves. Elastigirl is the main focus here, and they have such great ideas about what she can do with her powers. She's half Spider-Man, half Mr Fantastic, and she has this amazing way of doing basically everything. They convey her elasticity so well through her animation, and she's just a joy to watch. There's a new character named Voyd who can make Portal-style portals appear whenever she likes, who's another highlight of the show, and then the rest... don't really make an impression. I was a little disappointed they didn't do anything with Dash, whose running-on-water scene in the first movie is still one of my favourite moments in cinema, but you can't win them all.


I'll be good and gosh darned if I can tell you what the moral of this story is, though, or if it has any kind of deeper message beyond "superheroes are good, though". It's a premise vague enough that you can project your choice of uplifting triumph-over-adversity story onto it, like "be proud of the things that make you different" or whatevs, but the movie itself doesn't really say anything specific. They didn't really do any character development or arcs or anything, either. I thought they were going to have Bob learn a lesson about stepping back and letting someone else do the hero-ing, but they don't. I thought they might address the whole catastrophic collateral damage thing that got superheroes outlawed in this universe in the first place, but they don't. It's this weird water-treading thing where all the characters more or less end up exactly where they were at the end of the first movie, only now superhero-ing is legal again. Violet even finishes the movie asking the same boy out on a date due to some memory wiping shenanigans. Dash doesn't really do anything. They didn't even catch The Underminer. It's an odd direction to go with a sequel fourteen years in the making.


I don't know where to begin with Venom. What a weird movie. It's this totally boilerplate superhero-origin-by-numbers movie, where the only thing they really did to disguise the off-the-rack story structure is replace the customary beam of light shooting up into the sky in the third act with... a space rocket shooting up into the sky. The trailers all looked terrible, and by all accounts this Venom movie without Spider-Man, made by Sony without Marvel's input was bound to fail. But then you actually watch it, and it's honestly a lot of fun. Tom Hardy puts in such a bizarre performance that you can't take your eyes off him, and every now and then it'll zig when you think it's going to zag in some really silly ways, and I had a good time with it.


Tom Hardy makes all the acting choices in this movie. He shouts, he whispers, he sweats bullets the entire time and drenches not only his shirt but the hoodie above it. He talks like he fell from the top of the accent tree and got hit by every branch on the way down. He sounds like a completely different person from scene to scene, sometimes shot to shot. Sometimes it even looks like he's lost a significant amount of weight between two scenes. He's one of those actors who's bounced between being normal-sized and juiced up on steroids so many times that his body is all screwed up and he's kind of skinny, kind of buff and kind of fat all at the same time, and all these things I'm mentioning take place BEFORE he gets infected with Venom and really starts getting weird. Tom Hardy is unintelligible at the best of times, but Tom Hardy playing a guy with alien goop inside him is a spectacle worth seeing.


The villain this time is a California tech billionaire who brought a bunch of Symbiotes down to Earth for some reason I didn't catch, and wants to goop people up with them, and generally does a bunch of stuff you've seen movie villains do a dozen times before. The most interesting thing about him is that his assistant is named Dora Skirth, which is just so bizarre a name that I can't imagine how anyone thought it up. The first time she introduced herself I heard it as "Doris Girth", and then when they showed a close-up of the spelling on her business card I wasn't sure which name I liked better. Dora Skirth. Amazing.


So it pretty much goes the way you'd expect, but Venom living inside Tom Hardy's head makes for some nice scenes along the way. Michelle Williams is there in a pretty thankless role, and her boyfriend is Dan from Veep. The action ranges from reasonably OK to laughably bad, with these teeeerrible reaction shots from Tom Hardy during an awful motorbike chase. The idea of an action scene where the main guy's body is being controlled by another entity was done much better in Upgrade, which just so happens to star that guy who looks exactly like Tom Hardy:



Anyway, two movies that I liked. How about that?

#488265 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on 09 February 2019 - 05:32 PM

Hoo BOY if you were feeling lost story-wise in Halo 3, you are in for a... whatever the opposite of a treat is in Halo 4. An untreat? 


A fellow in a Power Ranger suit just telekinesised Chief into a wall and then flew away in a giant bowling ball with an angry face on the front.

#488264 Star Wars Movies and Disney Fanfiction Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 09 February 2019 - 03:57 PM



Maybe? Apparently people are saying these are legit, and that they line up with some other leaks I haven't seen. They do look pretty believable, so I'm spoilerising it if anyone doesn't want to look. SPOILERS!



#488255 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on 08 February 2019 - 05:55 AM

Hey, remember when I was playing these Halos? Sorry to keep you waiting, but I have now FINISHED THE FIGHT.


Spark, you read me like a book, I did like Halo 3 more than 2. That was a really fun game, and I just blazed through it in a couple of sittings again. I feel like they must have made a conscious effort to un-expand the scope of Halo here after the explosion of Halo-ness that was Halo 2. Whereas 2 had more playable characters, more enemy types in every colour of the rainbow, more lore, more factions, more bossfights, more everything, Halo 3 feels like they hewed it all back down to what worked in the original game, with a much more manageable menagerie of dudes to shoot, and a story that... well, probably could have been easier to understand if I could actually hear it (we'll get to that later). We're back to another single character, single objective story with a pretty clear goal in mind at any given point in the game. Truth wants to kill everything with a Halo or something: don't let him. Run from this side of the level to that side, shoot everyone you meet on the way, jump in a Warthog whenever you see one and generally have a fun time blowing up an entire army single-handedly.


Halo 3 has these great setpieces where they'll bring out the vehicles and the big guns, and the music will kick up to full volume, and it just feels AMAZING. There's a bit where you clear a landing zone (90% of this game is clearing LZs  :P) for what turns out to be a giant space frigate, and when you realise what's coming you hear the marines around you saying "Is it even rated for atmo?", and then all of a sudden this giGANtic ship roars in right above you and the windblast literally blows you right out of the vehicle you were in. I love it. There's a wonderful sense of escalation to the spectacle over the course of the game. Guess what, Chief, a Covenant Metal Gear just clomped onto the battlefield and it's up to you to take it out; here's a laser, bet you didn't know we had those. Oh, by the way? Next time it's going to be two Metal Gears. And we've got attack jet things now. Oh and also you're going to blow up this entire Halo and have to drive out with the explosion nipping at your heels the whole time. We brought the entire orchestra in to just SHRED. The Arbiter is going to be shooting stuff the whole time, btw.


Also Halo 3 is a really nice-looking game that holds up really well in the Master Chief Collection. The specific shaders they use on the various metallic surfaces have a great look to them, and the absurd levels of early-360-gen bloom work really well. At least until you see one of the human characters. They all have these terrifying monster faces that glow like they're made of lightbulbs, and are the easiest way of telling that the game came out in 2007 :P


But, honestly... I just can't hear anything in these games! I think Bungie has problems with storytelling at the best of times, in terms of the noun salad I've mentioned before and the breathless pace that leaves no time for establishing shots or character development or even just simply re-explaining some of the names from Halo 2 (could you imagine playing 3 without having played 2? You wouldn't stand a chance), but my number one problem here is that I JUST CANNOT HEAR WHAT ANYONE IS SAYING. There are no subtitles during gameplay, and there are no audio sliders to crank up the dialogue volume and lower the music and sound effects, so I just can't hear the vast majority of the radio chatter during gameplay. It seems like an absurd problem to have in such a high-profile series, but... there it is. I miss so much of the story because I literally can't hear the people talking to me because the shootybangs are too loud. So don't ask me why the Hunters are back to being enemies, or where the Brutes got their new armour, or what planet the second half of the game takes place on, or what exactly was happening with Cortana and the Gravemind, or what the Gravemind was trying to do... Shouldn't the Gravemind have had a big dramatic scene showing him get blown up? The ending Warthog run is incredible, but the last few cutscenes feel so hurried and slight. Also Miranda Keyes' death was so underplayed I kept expecting her to wake up.


Anyway, I played Halo you guise and I thought it was pretty good. I think I enjoyed the first game the most, now that all's said and done. Something about the gameplay balance, the way the guns felt, the general 'new'ness of fighting all the Covenant enemies for the first time just spoke to me. 1 > 3 > 2 for me. 


I also loaded up Halo 4 and played the first couple of missions, and it seems cool so far. I don't know how they justify giving Chief a completely new suit if he's supposed to have been in a cryogenic chamber for four years between 3 and 4, though, and I definitely don't know how a bunch of grown adults all OKed that Cortana design. She's just a sexy naked woman without nipples now. You can see both butt cheeks. Like, what are we doing here? Have enough respect for yourselves not to just throw your naked dream waifu into a commercial product, y'know? At least it's got gameplay subtitles this time, though!

#488253 Devil May Cry 5 Thread: Ocelot Must Die

Posted by Ocelot on 06 February 2019 - 04:37 PM



THE DMC5 DEMO IS OUT! Sorry, PC players, because it's only on PS4 and XB1 (presumably so people don't datamine the game and crack the DRM before the game's out). Check here for links to the PS4 and XB1 stores in various regions.


And you know what this means? The full game is out in one month. One measly month until DEVIL. MAY. CRY. 5. I will be accepting written apologies from everyone who doubted me over the last few years.

#488250 moving Wicktures that you are watching

Posted by Ocelot on 05 February 2019 - 11:10 PM

Let it never be said that I don't have my finger on the pulse, because I just watched that hot new movie that everyone's talking about and definitely hasn't forgotten even came out: Ready Player One. And I kind of hated it, but not really as much as I expected to. I don't know, it was fine.


Much has been made of the basic premise, i.e. "What if you, a useless white guy who has nothing to offer the world except a tiresome, pedantic knowledge of pop culture touchstones, were actually the coolest guy around and will save the world through a series of plot-convenient epiphanies helping you solve puzzles at just the right moment?" and, yeah, that's exactly what this movie is. I feel like this movie is the spearhead of the nerd glorification trend we've been seeing as movie studios realise that comicbook movies are where all the money is, so they're just starting to make movies about dorky losers so audiences can self-insert and pat themselves on the back. And, worse, I feel I am probably this movie's target audience, because I have wasted my life consuming all this stuff and I do get all the references. Ready Player One wants me to sit up and clap by showing me a lousy, worthless internet person (just like meeee) saving the world. Take that, everyone who bullied me in high school!


But joke's on them, baby, because they're about fifteen years too late to catch me in my "Yeah, I am pretty great" phase. These days it's all about self hatred and regret over having wasted so much of my finite time on memorising the names of fictional spaceships instead of talking to people, and the idea of seeing someone like me in a movie makes me want to run. At least someone like me as the hero. Casting a socially-awkward doofus as someone who isn't glorified in any way? As, say, the bad guy? As, say, perhaps, just for example, hypothetically, the main villain of a new series of followups to a beloved trilogy of the very same movies that Ready Player One encourages idolizing? Now we're getting somewhere...


Anyway, Ready Player One is a movie about overly-busy CGI setpieces so stuffed with recognisable characters that you'll miss seven of them in the time it takes you to say "Oh that's Robocop". There's a laughably self-congratulatory bit where our hero meets his cyber-crush in real life and finds that, HORROR OF HORRORS, she's a perfectly made-up, traditionally beautiful young woman with red hair... with a cool-looking facial birthmark, and he assures her that he is open-minded and magnanimous enough to accept her as she is. What a guy. But, whatever, it's OK. Spielberg knows how to put a movie together, so even if it is too long and a bit boring it's still totally watchable.

#488241 The Movie News and John Wick Appreciation Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 03 February 2019 - 04:49 PM

It looks like Marvel personally read my complaints about there not being enough Cap in Infinity War, because he's all over this new Endgame commercial:




And one for Captain Marvel, which I still can't really get excited about but I'm sure it'll be fine or whatever:



#488238 The Movie News and John Wick Appreciation Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 01 February 2019 - 04:52 PM

I hope you've got your funderwear on, because the trailer for Hobbes & Shaw, the Fast & Furious spinoff starring Jason Statham and The Rock is here:



They're straight up doing superheroes now. Idris Elba is a superman and they're going to fight him, and the White Widow from Mission Impossible Fallout is there doing that thing with her eyes where I fall in love with her.


And we have a trailer for The Dragon Prince season 2 (the Netflix show from some of the people behind Avatar):



Season 1 ended really suddenly, so this is more like a Book 1 Part 2 than a real Season 2, hence why it's coming only a few months after the first bit came out. I really liked the show, but it didn't really go anywhere in its first chunk of episodes, so hopefully it'll start heating up here.

#488233 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 31 January 2019 - 01:52 AM

OK, bozos. I decided to play Kingdom Hearts 3 as someone who's only ever played the first two games for an hour or two each back on the PS2 and then hasn't touched the series since then. I basically just wanted to enjoy the spectacle of a huge-budget Square game, knowing I'd probably be completely baffled by the story, but honestly I'm finding the story pretty easy to follow and it's the gameplay I'm not liking.

The controls are all wrong and there's no way to change them, but I got used to the goofy setup of 'attack with A, jump with B, dodge with X' after a couple of hours. What really gets me is that it just... feels bad and unresponsive and so automated that I get no sense of satisfaction from hitting guys. And the camera is terrible. Mashing A sends Sora flying all over the place, locking you into elaborate animations that aren't easily cancelled out of. Enemies have poor attack telegraphs and dodging isn't great. I use my magic and summons and and RB and Y button stuff but they're all extended animations that take me out of the fight for a few seconds. You lock-on target, and it selects one dude in the maelstrom at random, and then when you've killed that guy it doesn't auto-lock-on to someone else so you have to manually lock-on again, usually by pointing Sora this way and that and mashing the lock-on button hoping you find someone so you don't have to sweep the camera around again with the same thumb you want to use to dodge. I feel like I need a video of high-level Kingdom Hearts play so I can work out if I'm missing something or if it's just... like this.
The Disney stuff has been the highlight so far, but it honestly feels very off-brand, like some tier below those straight-to-DVD spinoffs they do. The soundalikes aren't great, but moreso than that the characterisation (particularly for Buzz and Woody) feels really questionable. The graphics look great until characters start moving and all that lively Disney/Pixar animation is replaced with JRPG-style "Let's just stand on the spot for ten minutes delivering exposition and gesturing occasionally" cutscenes. Any attempt at comic timing is ruined by the inexplicable several seconds of dead silence in between each characters' lines (seriously, why is it like that?), and it's never not obvious that the English voice actors are awkwardly contorting their dialogue into lip flap animations tailored to the Japanese voice track. "Sora, are you sure... ... ...that will work?" *several seconds of dead air* "Sure it will! If we just follow our... ...hearts!"
The Square original worlds feel like they're trying to ape MGS4-era Kojima's writing style, where all thought of enjoyable, concise prose goes out the window in favour of these endless, slow-ass cutscenes that take ten repetitive, circular lines to say what could be explained in two. My Xbox has already tried to put itself into dim-screen power-saving mode a couple of times, and half the time you'll end one cutscene only to run down a corridor for about four seconds and hit another one. Like I said, the story itself isn't that hard to pick up on, but that's mostly because I've sat through so much repeated backstory exposition over these last few hours. Nomura apparently has no compunctions about using the trope where two characters loudly and clearly explain something that both of them are already perfectly familiar with for the benefit of the audience.
So, I don't know, I've enjoyed seeing the parts where Square has clearly spent all their money, but the meat and potatoes of running down corridors smashing breakables and fighting Heartless had already turned into a slog after the first four or five hours. The game crashed on me last night, and I don't think I'm going to go back to it.