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#4321 Ocelot

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Posted 05 June 2018 - 06:25 AM

Alright, Zero Time Dilemma got really weird, and I can see why people hate it. Lemme just do a quick rundown of some of the late-game plot twists (big spoilers, if anyone ever plans to play this game some day):

 

Spoiler

 

I finished Yakuza Ishin, and I absolutely loved it. 62 hours of some of the best the Yakuza series has to offer. There was a while there where I thought it might end up being my favourite game in the series, but ultimately I don't think it stuck the landing as well as 0 and 2 did for me. Which is not to say the ending isn't great (it is!), just that it relies on some historical knowledge that I think your average Japanese player might be at least vaguely familiar with, whereas a white Aussie who learnt Japanese from video games had no idea about. Not enough to spoil the game, but enough to have me thinking, "Wait, what?" at a pivotal moment.

 

But, oh man, what a game it was. The Yakuza series has this unspoken rule that anything goes during gameplay, but in cutscenes the games will generally follow the rules of our real world. It's the reason you can clearly murder men in gameplay, but when the cutscenes take over they simply stagger away clutching their sides and apologising, and how a gun can be only a minor annoyance in gameplay but a genuine threat in a major story cutscene. But it feels like the developers got a little frisky when making this game, and sometimes the gameplay world bleeds into the cutscene world, resulting in some outrageous moments of pure hype. At a certain point in this game characters just start cutting BULLETS out of the air, and the bosses start getting borderline DBZ powerup sequences before their fights. One guy can straight up Instant Transmission, I swear to God. It's AWESOME!

 

I honestly don't know why Sega never brought this game out in the West. It's easily on-par with (or better than) every other currently-localised Yakuza game, and it came out in a period early in the PS4's lifespan when people were begging for new games. Are you telling me people wouldn't want to play a sick samurai sword game? Get out of my face, you wouldn't dare. I really hope Sega rethinks their decision at some point, even if it's only when the game's up for a PS5 remaster, because way more people need to be able to play it.

 

And, finally, I played a little bit of that there Dark Souls Remastered. This game is, what, seven years old now, and basically universally acclaimed? I'd still never even touched a moment of it to this day. And not because I doubted what people were saying about it or anything; I was perfectly willing to believe it was the masterpiece everyone claimed it to be, I just never thought it'd be my kind of thing. I like a game where you hit a guy with a sword, but I'm also easily frustrated, and knowing what I knew about the game's notorious difficulty and punishing perma-ish-death system, I always just wrote it off as a "you fellers enjoy yourselves" kind of situation. 

 

Buuut then this remaster came out, and it was cheap and 60FPS and, well, here we are. I played a couple of hours of it (I've just got past the angry pig with the unarmoured butthole and found an elevator back to Firelink Shrine), and, hey, it's pretty cool! It actually feels a lot better than I thought it would after seeing various bits of footage over the years. I always figured it'd be all loose and squirrelly from the way the character seems to be able to twirl on the spot and get the weightless corpses of enemies tangled around his feet, but it's actually incredible solid-feeling and responsive. And the combat, while a world away from anything resembling character action, feels great, too. It's not hard in terms of simply killing an enemy, but it requires you to think a couple of moves ahead in terms of whether there are other enemies around, where you're standing, what your stamina bar looks like and probably some other stuff I'm not thinking about yet. I like it.

 

So, I don't really know what I'm doing, but I just thought I'd give it a try and see how I do. I'm just playing as a Warrior, and I've been bonking fellows with a sword and occasionally a spear when I'm in a tight hallway, and I feel like I'm doing OK. I don't really know what to spend my souls on, but I figure Vitality and Endurance must be safe bets, right? I'm enjoying myself so far.

 

EDIT - How 'bout those Bell Gargoyles, huh? Turns out this game's pretty hard. I feel like I pretty much know what I need to know to win the fight, but now it's just a matter of putting it all together in one good run. Run to the left and circle around them when they do their flame breath attack, and dodge everything else, don't back yourself into a corner; I guess this is that "Git gud" I've heard so much about. I managed to kill one of them once, but I ran out of Estus and only had a sliver of health for the other. But I'm gonna get those guys, don't you worry.



#4322 Ocelot

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Posted 14 June 2018 - 01:29 AM

I need to tell you guys about this game called Vampyr, because I think I might love it. It's a new action RPG from Dontnod, the people what made Life is Strange, where you play as a vampire named Jonathan in foggy post-war London, and to be honest it's pretty janky and gives a really bad first impression, but if you stick with it for a couple of hours it turns into an incredible RPG with some of the most interesting RPG-ing mechanics I've seen in years. Let's get into this bad boy!

 

Step 1: OK, so check this out: vampires eat people, right? And RPGs (good ones, at least) are all about making choices about how you're going to treat people and whether you're going to be a Paragon or a Renegade, or a cool customer somewhere in between. So what Vampyr does is give you a world where every NPC in the game is named, with their own personality, sub story, side quests and social links with other characters, with an excellent Mass Effect style dialogue wheel and wonderful branching conversation options with each of them. Apart from generic enemies you fight in combat sections, there are no nameless, faceless NPCs here; it's a really intricately crafted and interlinked world of people. Those links take the form of friendships, professional rivalries, family relationships and all manner of others, and, of course, you find out through the old RPG routine of talking to everyone and exhausting dialogue trees. Vampyr treats new morsels of information as keys that will unlock new branches of those dialogue trees, so if you're anything like me you'll want to spend hours just moseying around prying into everyone's private business so you can find out everything about them, open up new sidequests and generally just find out all the hot gossip.

 

Step 2: Alright, but now check THIS out: you can eat every named character in this game. All of them. In the midst of dialogue there's a button you can hit to mesmerise them with your vampire powers, walk them out into the shadows and suck'em dry. Whether you can glamour a certain character is governed by your Mesmerisation Level, so it isn't a complete free-for-all where you can eat every NPC at the start of the game and break the story entirely (I'm assuming certain important story characters won't be edible until towards the end), but I think that's pretty cool all the same.

 

Step 3: Right, you with me so far? Now see if you can hang with THIS: as a classy gentleman vampire, you don't want to drink just any old blood. In fact, Vampire Jonathan is a physician, one who specialises in blood transfusions no less, so he has an innate sense for the quality of a human's blood. In gameplay terms, this manifests as a checklist of things you can do with each of your potential victims to improve the quality of their blood, and thus the quantity of XP you'll receive if you decide to have a nibble on them. If you just walk up to a new character and chomp'em, you'll miss out on a lot of potential XP that you might have been able to reap if you'd spent a little time getting to know them, getting them to reveal their inner secrets, maybe completing a side quest for them that sets their mind at ease and makes their delicious blood all the sweeter. It becomes this perverse game of solving people's problems like a good little RPG protagonist, but at the same time feeling like you're just fattening up all your little piggies for the inevitable feast :P

 

Step 4: BOYS, this is where it all comes together. This game doesn't have a difficulty setting, instead the game's challenge is predicated on how much XP you can suck down to buy the necessary stat upgrades to spec your character out just right. You'll get a drip feed of XP from conversations and unlocking new hints about characters, a decent chunk of it from completing quests, but by far the biggest source of XP comes from sucking the blood of characters in the game. If you manage to complete all their little substories and get their blood to maximum tastiness level you can get HUGE blasts of XP from them. And the game tells you this right as you load it up: if you want the game to be easier, you've gotta eat those dudes.

 

So, I think this is brilliant. I think it's not only an incredibly clever RPG mechanic, but a wonderful new twist on the morality system and even a pretty cool way of designing a game's difficulty level, and they're all tied together. If you're struggling with the difficulty you have to consider biting some of the people that you're trying to help in the game, but then you also have to consider what's going to happen with all the other characters they're linked to, and what you might be missing out on later in the game in terms of unlockable substories or sidequests. You obviously want to complete those characters' sidequests to fatten them up to get the most XP out of them, but in doing so you learn their stories, and then it becomes a matter of "Can I kill this guy knowing that he has children at home waiting for him?" And then how is everyone else going to react if people around them start going missing?

 

I honestly don't know, and I find it absolutely fascinating. I'm trying to play the game without chomping on any of these people, because I generally like to play a goodie-two-shoes in RPGs, but also because I'm really enjoying all the dialogue trees and character relationships and I don't want to lock myself out of them. I'm so curious about what might happen if I started gnoshing these guys, though! The game tells me there will be consequences, and the atmosphere they've created so far is enough for me to believe them. I'm definitely going to have to do another playthrough once I finish it.

 

I don't think I've been this enthralled with just wandering around talking to characters since The Witcher 3, which is probably the highest praise I can muster. To be clear, I don't think Vampyr's technical aspects are up to the comparison (the writing is a bit plain and the voice acting lacks personality, for starters), but considering this was probably made on a much smaller budget I'm still really impressed. The actual action gameplay is kind of a Bloodborne-lite in design, but far short of that game in execution; the combat really doesn't feel very good, but it's at least manageable. The meat of the game is definitely in the RPG-ing, and I'm really surprised by how much I've been enjoying it so far.



#4323 Xarky

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Posted 21 June 2018 - 05:23 PM

Playing a second time through on DOOM(2016) on ultra-violence. Not quite ready to punish myself on Nightmare yet. Also dabbling around in Skyrim and Fallout 4 if I get too frustrated with myself for dying too much in DOOM.
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#4324 Ocelot

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Posted 26 June 2018 - 06:34 AM

I have been playing a LAWT of video games:

 

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: I went back to this game after drifting away from it in the final chapter shortly after launch last year when other video games got in the way. The game has a really easy option to drop down to Easy difficulty at the start of any fight, so I just popped that bad boy down to baby mode to balance out me having forgotten every mechanic in the game at the most difficult point in the game, and I really enjoyed it. I'm going to buy that new Donkey Kong DLC expansion, too. This game's really good; I'd recommend it to anyone with a Switch. I'm still a complete dunce when it comes to strategy games, but I loved this one.

 

Detroit: Become David Cage: I just played the intro chapter of this, the one from all the trailers where you talk a rogue android down off a ledge, and it seems good so far. Not like good good, but good like Heavy Rain was, meaning a really respectable go at the choose-your-own-adventure style of game where every action has legitimate consequences, but also completely ridiculous because it's David Cage. It'll be a big, expensive, good-looking game, at the very least, and finishing that prologue chapter opens up a big ol' flowchart of all the possible branching paths you could have taken so if the rest of the game keeps that up I'll be impressed.

 

Detective Pikachu: This game was a bit... boring, to be honest. It's obviously a game for younger children, sort of like a baby's-first point and click adventure, maybe, and I think I probably wouldn't have kept going if I hadn't been using it for Japanese practice. But I did finish the whole thing, and it was fine. The ending left one very big story thread completely untouched, which I was pretty ornery about for a little while, but then I realised that they're making a Detective Pikachu movie and maybe this is designed to lead into that? I don't know. I guess I don't really care, either :P

 

Layton's Mystery Journey: This is the one about Professor Layton's daughter Katrielle, who's just started up a private detective's agency and met a talking dog who claims not to be a real dog. I'm playing it in Japanese, and Katrielle has been a really fun, quite atypical character so far, but I'm only like half an hour in so I can't really say anything of substance yet.

 

Mario Tennis Aces: I've never played one of these Mario Tennises before, but this one seems pretty cool. It feels very low-budget, though. I'm just playing the story campaign, and it's almost all text-based with a character animation here and there. The game charges you with tracking down five stones of power so that an evil tennis racquet doesn't take over the world (y'know, video games), which are of course strewn about five different worlds and protected by five evil bosses, hidden in five ornate treasure chests. But when you beat a boss and open a treasure chest... you never get to see a power stone. They just didn't make a 3D model for them, or even just a jpeg to show you. It's weird. Also it's a pretty difficult game and there's no quick retry option in any of the story mode challenges, which is just baffling to me. It's 2018, this is a solved problem: "Would you like to restart? Yes/No". Nintendo, you're better than this.

 

Resident Evil 6: This is where I've been spending most of my video game time over the last few days. The RE2 Remake hype has hit me hard, so I thought it was a good time to go back and start catching up on my unplayed Resident Evils, starting with 6 because it was already in my Steam library from some long-forgotten sale.

 
What a stupid, ridiculous, wonderful, stupid, amazing video game. Within ten minutes of loading up the game I'd blown up half of China, done a sick 180 nosegrind on a train in a helicopter and killed the President, and IT ONLY GOT REALER FROM THERE. Resident Evil 6 is set in a world where you're never more than thirty seconds from a random gas tanker careening in from off-screen to erupt in an apocalyptic fireball, where character dialogue is 110% one-liners, and where nobody simply shoots a zombie when they could hurl themselves onto their backs first and then jump up to wrassle that jabroni first. And does it still have that weird, sexless Resident Evil vibe where gorgeous characters perpetually smoulder at eachother but nobody ever actually has sex? You bet it does!
 
This game has FOUR main campaigns, each starring a different fan-favourite RE character or Troy Baker, and I've finished the first three, so let's go step by step:
 
LEON: Former rookie cop and current superhero Leon S. Kennedy has just failed his one mission as a Secret Service agent, and finds himself on the run alongside Laura Bailey, blowing up an entire city, delving down into an impossibly deep underground RE4-throwback laboratory under a church, then eventually crashing a plane into China and dumping about three tons of ammunition into an ever-evolving final boss that is, at various points, a giant cat, a giant cat with organic gun turret, a huge fly/spider monster, and a STRAIGHT UP T-REX. Leon is pushing 40 but still insists on that floppy mid-90s hairstyle, and he will die alone and pathetic before he ever tells Ada that he likes her, but you cannot fault the man on his cool-jacket-wearing and one-liner-delivering skills.
 
PUNISHED CHRIS: I love Chris' story in this game. We catch up with our favourite muscular boyscout drinking away his sorrows in a bar in Eastern Europistan after having lost another platoon of men to the BOW menace. The Chris we thought we knew has given way to a broken man who isn't afraid to use naughty words and doesn't even mind his manners, which is such a shock to the system for our giant sweaty cherub that I genuinely got a little anxious waiting for the game to complete his character arc and let him be happy again. My sweet boy. Chris teams up with another handsome soldier named Piers Nivans, and together you Gears of War your way through about seven thousand zamboes, drive a car, fly a plane, and have your own eighteen-phase final bossfight.
 
TROY BAKER: Jake Muller is the son of Albert Wesker, and as such has inherited his super kung fu powers and some magic blood that the powers that be need to cure the newest Resident Evil virus. Jake pairs up with Sherry Birkin, all grown up from her debut in RE2 and now an honest-to-goodness special agent, and I really enjoyed the way the two of them played off eachother. Jake is the typical cool American-action-hero-as-written-by-Japanese-people, and he seems pretty capable of taking care of himself with his Wesker powers, but Sherry is so outspoken and fastidious about doing her job that she insists on being the one who's going to save his life, and by the end of the game she actually does it and it's great. The two of them end up as the closest thing the RE series can manage to a couple, which is to say two good friends who will never ever even kiss but might cast a wistful glance at eachother every few years, which warmed my heart a little.
 
RE6 is really big, really long, and a little bit bad, if we're being honest. I remember it being received really poorly back at launch, and I can tell why; there's absolutely no hint of any classic Resident Evil gameplay, and the game does a really poor job of explaining all its gameplay mechanics to you. There are also a lot of genuinely bad moments you have to suffer through (most of them in Jake and Sherry's campaign, unfortunately). Buuut, once you get the hang of all the dodges, dives, slides and ridiculous wrestling moves you can do the game just feels amazing to play, and at 120FPS on PC it's even better. It feels like Capcom accidentally made a Platinum game, all gameplay depth and spectacle, even if it is a little rough around the edges, and comparing anything to my favourite boys at Platinum is the highest praise I can give.
 
EDIT - Ada's campaign was a lot of fun, too! She's such a cartoonishly cool cucumber that she almost sounds sleepy throughout her whole story, not even raising an eyebrow when she learns that there's an evil clone of her running around trying to destroy the world. She has a couple of cool weapons, and a few pseudo stealth sections that aren't too terrible, and it was really fun seeing how she snakes her way through the background of all the three other groups' campaigns. 
 
I'm going to play all these Resident Evils, you guys. I'm finally going to do it. I've always really enjoyed reading about these games over the years, but until a few days ago I'd only finished 5 and played half of 4, so I'm going to play these bad boys. I bought REmake HD in the Steam Sale and I want to do that one next.


#4325 The Gaming Hoodie

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 07:05 PM

Been awhile since I've posted here. Lately I've had an RPG itch so I've started up Morrowind on the Xbox One and also bought ESO for the PC. Really fun games but having two jobs is cutting into my time to play them. Gotta pay those student loans somehow.

 

Also got back into Destiny 2 on PS4. Currently 381 power level but getting raids set up is starting to become a pain with my clan. Really wish it had matchmaking that worked but at least I can use Reddit or Destiny's app to find a group relatively easily. Anyway guys, have an awesome day/week!


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#4326 Spark

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 02:10 PM

So I'm playing Octopath Traveler.

 

About an hour in, I started realizing just how massive an itch I had been having for a good JRPG again. I'm please to say Octopath is scratching it quite nicely.

 

The combat system is a really nice twist on turn-based (yes, turn-based, not "active time" like the PS1/2 era Final Fantasy games) that's built around a pretty breakneck pace. Best way I can describe it is giving an old school FF game Persona combat.

 

So there's the 8 characters, and you can start the game as any one of them, and find the rest from there. We've got:
 

-Ophilia, the Cleric

-Cyrus, the Scholar

-Tressa, the Merchant

-Olberic, the Warrior

-Primrose, the Dancer

-Alfyn, the Apothecary

-Therion, the Thief

-H'aanit, the Huntress

 

I started with Therion, and have gone on to get Alf, Prim, and Olberic so far.

 

For better or worse, if you've played a typical JRPG, you're already well aware of what kind of game this is.


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#4327 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 15 July 2018 - 04:45 PM

So, my main gaming PC died recently, which spurred me to finally sit down and finish Mass Effect: Andromeda on my PS4. I had been warned that the ending was a letdown, especially since it hints at sequels that will almost certainly never happen now. The warnings were right. After the requisite "allies you have gathered" show up, the final boss fight is just "shoot down waves of robots and hack 3 computers" while the Big Badguy spouts the most generic villain lines of all time. I am not exaggerating - they are so cliché it feels like parody. The Big Bad looks extremely stupid too. He's probably the least serious & intimidating Big Bad of all time. He makes Lord Helmet seem like Jon Irenicus.

 

Anyway, once you hack all 3 computers, he just sort of falls down and dies. You don't even have to fight the Architect he's controlling. Architects are the biggest robots in the game and by far the hardest enemies to fight... but all of them are optional, and the main story is a cakewalk even on the hardest difficulty. The only time I died in the final fight was when the game crashed. Finally, we're treated to a surprisingly short cutscene, after which we get all these emotional ending conversations with the crew, and then "it's off to the next adventure!"... or not. There are hints of an even bigger big-bad out there, and a search for the Quarian Ark - DLC and sequels that we'll have to leave to our imaginations.

 

There's not much else I can say that I haven't already... It was a lame soft reboot of the Mass Effect universe that didn't try to do anything very new or interesting, but taken on its own, it wasn't THAT bad - not nearly as bad as its critics made it out to be. I don't feel like I totally wasted my time or my ten bucks. Honestly, I enjoyed it quite a bit more than Dragon Age 3 from the main Bioware studio. *shrug* Shame EA killed it so quickly.

 

EDIT: Oh! I forgot to mention the results of my choices... There weren't many. The allies I gathered showed up, a few characters were different than they might have been (you get to choose the pathfinders of the other races, and who rules Kedara), etc. - but unless I'm mistaken, I don't think anything I did affected the final outcome of the main story. There were hints of dissent in the enemy ranks that made me wonder if I could drop some truth bombs on the Big Bad and talk him down rather than shoot him down (remember how you could talk Saren into killing himself in ME1? great stuff), but those led nowhere. Disappointing.


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#4328 Ocelot

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Posted 16 July 2018 - 01:46 AM

So I'm playing Octopath Traveler.

 

Me too! I've only just started too, though. I started as H'aa'ani't, or however you spell her name, and I've just met up with Ophelia. I'm looking forward to getting further in, though. It's a gorgeous game, and the Switch is the perfect platform to play a big long JRPG like this. For some reason I always find it really hard to put serious time into a JRPG on a console (as evidenced by my half-abandoned Persona 5 playthrough that I swear I'm going to get back to :P). On a handheld you can just chip away at a game like this whenever you have a spare moment.

 

I've also been playing:

 

Layton's Mystery Journey: I'm really disappointed with this game. We're playing as Professor Layton's daughter Katrielle, who runs her own Detective Agency in London, and rather than having one long story the game is split up into shorter cases (somewhat like an Ace Attorney). I think it's a good setup, and I quite like the way Katrielle is written. The problem is that, despite this being a game where you play as a Detective, you do not play as a Detective. You just don't. You don't solve anything. Katrielle finds clues and Katrielle solves cases, and you just press the A button to advance dialogue. It's just so incredibly unsatisfying. At the end of an investigation you literally press a button on the touch screen to watch a cutscene of your character solving the mystery!

 

I find the standard Layton puzzling to be fairly lacking, too. There's too much reliance on riddles rather than puzzles; things which follow a very particular subjective kind of logic. One asked me to pick which one out of three paints a painter could use to "depict something you can see every day": blue, white or black. The answer was black, because you can't necessarily see blue sky on a cloudy day or white clouds on a sunny day, but you can always see a black sky at night, right? Imagine my reaction as I played that puzzle on a cloudy night. But that was nothing compared to Puzzle 007, which I am convinced is the worst-written, most ill-conceived puzzle I've ever seen in a Layton game, and I've played every single one of these bad boys. Try it for yourself:

 

 

Detroit: Become Human: a.k.a. the new David Cage emotions-'em'up. Detroit is a near-future story about androids becoming human, and also it's set in Detroit. If you caught the trailers they showed at the last few Sony E3 shows you'll know that it's also an extremely on-the-nose metaphor for civil rights and race relations, and if you're a little bit trepidatious about that subject matter being tackled by a white French guy who's go-to plot twist is almost always "It was ghosts", then you're not alone. You play as three different characters this time, a nanny-boy named Kara who just wants to take care of a kid, a Detective-bot named Connor who's hunting down rogue androids, and Markus, the heterochromatic black man leading the android revolution. And just so you know what you're getting in for, this game doesn't last twenty minutes before it makes Markus stand in an androids-only glass case at the back of the bus. This game is not subtle. At one point you're forced to walk directly into an obvious trap set by a grown up Sid from Toy Story who delights in turning rogue androids into Frankensteins, and when you talk to one of said Frankensteins it says "He turns us into monsters. But who's the real monster?"

 
But at the same time, I actually really liked this game. It's the best representation of the movie/game hybrid David Cage has wanted to make all these years, wonderfully polished and almost entirely free of any jank or uncanny-valley-ness. A very small number of the character models look weird (Lance Henriksen's every wrinkle is modeled to an incredibly high fidelity, but then they use the same rosy baby's bottom skin texture as all the young characters so he looks like a weird young/old baby/man :P), and the hair and beards aren't great (particularly Clancy Brown's), but the vast majority of the time this game looks flat out incredible. I think I pressed my DS4's Share button more often than anything else while playing. The writing has very little of that tin-eared David Cage quality, too, ranging from generically passable to honestly pretty great, particularly whenever Clancy Brown is on screen. There are low points in all three of the characters' stories, particularly with Markus (to be honest, I don't think the actor who plays him is very good. He just kind of recites his lines like he's reading them off the page, and his supporting cast doesn't pick up the slack), but I liked Kara and I loved the buddy cop fun between stuck-up robot Connor and classic burnt-out drunken Lieutenant Clancy Brown. Clancy Brown should win a Geoff Keighley Award for his performance in this game.
 
I think the gameplay side of things is actually pretty good, too. I adore playing as a Detective in games, so I was in heaven investigating crime scenes and analyzing everything as Connor. The fight scenes are much the same as Heavy Rain's, but I really like that (thank goodness they ditched the unsatisfying 'point the stick in the right direction' rubbish from Beyond), and there's one footchase across futuristic rooftops, jumping onto elevated trains and bursting through bustling rooftop gardens that's just amazing. The way the androids' software serves double duty as your in-game HUD leads to some really great design moments, like deciding which paths to take during the chase or preconstructing your sick parkour routes. Early in Markus' uprising the androids seem to suggest that they don't really have any combat abilities, and then within hours your John-Wick-ing your way through entire platoons, but I really enjoy fight scenes so I'm willing to forgive them :P
 
I didn't love the game at the end of my first playthrough, since I just went for a generically happy ending that was all too easy to choose, but after having gone back and seen all the different ways the story can branch and a few really great scenes I missed, I think it's pretty great. The Super Best Friends did an LP of it with each of the three of them playing a different character, and they ended up with a completely different game by the end of it. I don't know if the game is amazing start to finish, but there are certain chapters that are just flat out incredible and they elevate the whole thing. It ranges from having you play through really fun Hollywood tropes, like having a cop invite himself in to scope out your house while you have to act casual even though you're hiding illegal androids in the next room, to a fun little "No I'm the real one!" moment when a robo clone of your character shows up, to this one punch-in-the-guts chapter when you wake up in an android junkyard and have to scavenge new parts from half-dead androids to replace your broken parts and climb out.
 
I feel like there are a few missed opportunities with the story and the kinds of choices you're forced to make, though. For example, it's made abundantly clear that androids are real people with real sapience, so while you are given the option to play the detective Connor as anti-android, you'd have to be a monster to actually do it. You're given the option to be callously mean to the helpless little girl you protect as Kara, too, but you aren't given the option to not walk into the extremely obvious trap laid by a creepy guy in a scary mansion. The most interesting choices in video games aren't "Do you want to do the right thing or be pointlessly evil?", they're in the shades of grey, and this game has a lot of objective right answers, unfortunately. I still think it's a great game, though. It's the first David Cage game where I feel totally comfortable recommending it without having to give a laundry list of caveats.
 
Captain Toad Treasure Tracker on Switch: Well, it's the same game as it was on the Wii U, alright, only this time at 1080p and unfortunately with a worse control scheme. In condensing the original dual-screen setup onto a single screen, Nintendo had to make some choices, and I feel like they went with the worst one every time. Captain Toad is all about exploring these little dollhouse-style levels, moving the camera this way and that to peek from every angle and find new paths, but the original game had a heaping helping of Wii-U-specific touch and motion controls just to fill Nintendo's quota of annoying design quirks. Large wheels you had to spin by drawing swirls on the touch screen with your finger, mobile blocks you could move back and forth by poking at them, platforms you could propel up and down by blowing on your Wii U's mic. You know, Nintendo stuff.
 
Well the Switch doesn't have any touch functionality when you're playing on your TV, so Nintendo did the obvious thing and just converted all the motion/touch controls to regular buttons. Oh, no, wait, did I say Nintendo did the obvious thing? No, sorry, what I meant was Nintendo kept all the motion/touch controls in and forced you to play the game with an big, obnoxious, blue gyro-aiming cursor on your screen at all times so you can pretend to poke things and draw imaginary swirls to spin wheels. And for some reason they changed all the controls around between Docked and Undocked mode for good measure. They even changed the Pause button! In handheld mode it's + (i.e. Start), but on your TV it's - (i.e. Select). And the game has these on-rails shooter levels, but it turns off motion-control aiming for those when you're playing on your TV and it honestly just baffles me. WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS NINTENDO?
 
But Captain Toad is still a great game. Don't get too excited about the added Super Mario Odyssey levels that the game's box makes a big deal of, because there are only four of them (they are really good, though), but it's definitely worth playing if you didn't play the Wii U version.
 
EDIT - I also just played the game of "Let's hook up my Xbox 360 again and see if it still works", because I'm playing through the Resident Evil series and that's the console I own Code Veronica on. Turns out my 360 is still going fine, or actually better than fine, because this baby flies. I loaded up my PS3 recently and that thing is still just sooooo sluggish, but the 360's menus just go bam bam bam like a brand new device. And also I apparently own a bunch of games on the 360 that I have absolutely no memory of ever acquiring. I vaguely remember they gave away Lost Odyssey for free a few years ago, but I also have the original Prey, Perfect Dark Zero and Dead Rising 2, and I have no idea why! And Halo Reach and Hitman Absolution, too!


#4329 Spark

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Posted 19 July 2018 - 10:17 PM

Have I mentioned how Insanely fun Octopath Traveler is? I feel like I haven't said that enough.

 

I'm having a hard time seeing how anything is gonna stack up to this and God of War this year. RDR2 and Spiderman better be on top of their game.


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#4330 Ocelot

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Posted 20 July 2018 - 12:04 AM

Have I mentioned how Insanely fun Octopath Traveler is? I feel like I haven't said that enough.

 

I'm having a hard time seeing how anything is gonna stack up to this and God of War this year. RDR2 and Spiderman better be on top of their game.

 

What's that I hear?

 

Sounds like it's HALFWAY THROUGH 2018 GOTY LISTING TIME!

 

2018 has been a bit of a snoozer compared to this time last year. I've played a lot of thoroughly mediocre Nintendo games  (Kirby Star Allies, Mario Tennis Aces, Detective Pikachu), a lot of ports or HD remasters that can't really count on a GOTY list (Bayonetta 2 Switch, DMC Trilogy, Dark Souls Remastered, Captain Toad), and a couple of games that... were fine? I guess? Ni no Kuni 2 and Far Cry 5 were... games that I played, but I didn't even remember that I'd done so until I looked through the last couple of pages of this thread.

 

I haven't put enough time into Octopath Traveler to talk about it yet, so I'm going to whittle it down to three really good games I've played this year: Detroit: Become David Cage, God of War, and Vampyr, with Vampyr being my 2018 GOTY FRONTRUNNER so far. Even if it is objectively the least-polished, Eurojank-iest of the three, I just found it so captivating and unique, and that's what I like in a video game.

 

As for the rest of the year, I've got high hopes for Spider-Man, RDR2 and Hitman 2. I guess there's that new Tomb Raider, too, and Just Cause 3 is coming but I think I'm going to wait for a sale on that one. Oh, and like fifty more remasters/reimaginings/remakes, too (Shenmue, Spyro, Yakuza 2, The World Ends With You, Pokemon LGP/E). I feel like I'm going to end up remembering 2018 as the year I finally played all the Resident Evil games rather than any of the year's actual new games :P



#4331 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 07 August 2018 - 10:54 AM

So I'm still wasting my time in World of Warcraft. :P
 
They're tearing up Azeroth again! You'd think that would hardly be possible, since it's been a total wreck ever since Cataclysm, but at the ending of Legion, we finally overthrew Sargeras (the Satan of Warcraft lore, leader of the Burning Legion demons) and as a parting gift he stabbed the planet Azeroth with his sword. You can visit his sword in-game. It's sticking out of Silithus, and it's possibly the biggest structure in the game's history. You can see that thing from halfway across Kalimdor if you have your draw distance maxed! It's massive.
 
The wound it created in Azeroth is causing a volatile mineral called Azerite to erupt from the ground everywhere, and the Horde and Alliance are back at war to fight over this new MacGuffin. The Battle for Azeroth prequel events are all available in the game right now. The Horde burns down Teldrassil (Darnassus, the Night Elf home city), and the Alliance takes out Lordaeron (Undercity, the Forsaken Undead home city), which Sylvanas destroys as she's leaving. Sylvanas has gone full Garrosh now and no longer has any interesting character depth - she's just pure evil to the core. Which sucks, but I guess Blizzard has forgotten how to write villains who aren't totally 1-dimensional. Still, most other parts of the story are pretty awesome. All of the Alliance leaders really get to shine, especially Jaina, who is now Elsa from Frozen if after her parents died at sea she got PISSED. There are lots of cool new cinematics, plus the in-game cutscenes.

The pre-BFA events (and rewards, including 2 unique mounts) are only available until the 14th, when the expansion officially launches.

-Scorp


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#4332 Ocelot

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 01:26 AM

I'm up to the Chapter Twos of Octopath Traveler, which is an interesting sentence to write about a video game. Octopath has an interesting structure where each of the eight octeragonists has an individual story of (I think?) four chapters, but due to the recommended level requirements you're probably going to end up doing everyone's Chapter 1, then all the Chapter 2s, and so on. The jump from 1 to 2 takes quite a bit of grinding, in my experience, but... well, I don't really have much else to play on my Switch at the moment so I'm grinding away anyway.

 

I'm enjoying the game a lot more in Chapter 2, though. I was a bit disappointed after the first lap of the world, picking up all eight characters, when I realised that they were, in fact, all individual stories. This isn't a "team of heroes bands together to defeat ultimate evil" JRPG, but rather eight smaller JRPGs that you flit between. When you're locked into one character's story sections, the other seven will disappear into the shadow realm and only pop up again for overworld navigation and encounters. I started as H'aanit the Huntress, and after the first couple of hours of the game she basically didn't speak again until hour 15 or so, and that's only because the Chapter 2 sequences introduce a new banter dimension where two characters can have pre-canned chats at certain moments. At this point I'm only really interested in maybe half the characters' stories, but maybe they'll spice up as I go along. I'm doing Primrose's Chapter 2 now, and man it gets dark.

 

I'm still liking the combat. Chapter 2 areas come complete with a hot new battle theme (one thing I can't fault this game for is the OST), and I've just found my first Job upgrade (in the form of a Shrine I found out in the world). I outfitted Cyrus, my go-to all-purpose wizard, into a half-wizard half-cleric, which basically gave him access to Light Magic, an extra Healing spell, and a huuuuge boost to his mana gauge so now I can cast the more expensive spells all day long (that delicious +50 SP passive ability). It also made Ophelia completely obsolete, though Cyrus does chew through mana really quickly in a bossfight. Hopefully I'll find some more Job stuff before long, because I could definitely stand to bulk out some of these less useful Octopathers with some better abilities.






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