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Ocelot

Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 08:51 PM

#488133 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on Today, 04:55 AM

OK, fellow players of Halo, let's talk about Halo 2! I... can't say I really liked it. I definitely appreciate the move towards all the dumb video game tropes that I like, like massive setpieces, bossfights, villains to hate and Keith David to listen to. I really liked some of the new Covenant weapons, and I loved that bit where you jump off a bridge onto the new Covenant Metal Gear to kill everyone inside it and shut it down. I still had a fun time blasting through another Halo campaign, buuuut...
 
It didn't really keep me engaged like the first Halo did, though. Despite a lot of really nice improvements, I could only get through the game one or two levels at a time, whereas I finished the first game in a couple of days. It could just be shooter fatigue, but I also feel like that first Halo has such a solid throughline of "we crashed on a Halo and we have to escape", so you always know where you're going and what you're doing. Halo 2 adopts more of a globetrotting style with a different goal, a different environment, and even a different playable character for seemingly every mission, so it's constantly halting its momentum and restarting over and over. 
 
But more than that, I think it's just that I found the story totally impenetrable. Bungie likes to come up with a couple of dozen generic nouns to use as names of characters or McGuffins, breezily introduce them exactly once, and then just assume you're keeping up for the entire rest of the game because nobody has time to explain why they don't have time to explain anything to you and the game never slows down to take a breath. You're endlessly pushing towards the next thing while characters throw around capitalized word salad like Truth, Regret, Oracle, The Sacred Icon, High Charity, Brutes and Grunts and Elites and the Forerunners and the Reclaimers and the Demon. I suppose you can either keep up with all of it, or you can just fall hopelessly far behind with no chance of ever catching up.
 
Adding to my confusion is that the Covenant just speak English now. At first I thought it was an MGS3 situation where their BLARGs were being translated into English for my watching benefit, but then I got to a scene where the Arbiter and Master Chief spoke to eachother in perfect, American-accented English, while being held by a giant tentacle monster that also spoke English, so I don't know what's going on. Honestly, I even had trouble keeping track of where anyone was during the story in the game. I was playing as the Chief on a new Halo and I fell into a tropical ocean, and then I played as the Arbiter for a bit on what I thought was a totally different planet, only to fall down a hole in a snowy installation and end up in a chamber with the aforementioned giant monster... with Master Chief right next to me. And then the very next mission started with Chief teleporting into the inner sanctum of the Covenant's holy city. And I accept that some of this is probably down to me being dumb and missing stuff, but I feel like once we're getting to giant tentacle monsters that live inside Halos and can teleport you wherever they please, you can cut me some slack for losing the thread. The tentacle monster doesn't even come back until after the credits.
 
I don't mind so much when the rickety, held-together-with-duct-tape Master Chief Collection crashes, but it really sucks that it lacks any kind of individual audio mixing sliders, and its subtitles option doesn't actually seem to work. You get subtitles in cutscenes, where you probably don't need them, but you're left high and dry during gameplay where the bulk of the exposition actually happens, and the audio mixing is such that the in-game dialogue is completely drowned out by the general roar of combat. Basically I just couldn't hear about 75% of the script, and the parts of it I did catch sounded like they wrote a normal script and then went back through it to cut out any of the connective tissue or explanations for things to make absolutely sure I wouldn't understand anything. And then there are these terminals you find that boot you right out of the game to a separate Halo Xbox app to show you some cutscenes of 343 Guilty Spark studying Covenant history or something, which I'm sure the Halo Wiki editing crowd must eat up but doesn't really do anything for making the actual moment-to-moment storytelling of the game any easier to take in.
 
It is a joy to watch Halo 2 Anniversary's NNGOOORGEOUS cutscenes, though, even if you aren't following the story they tell. It feels like an entire high budget CG movie's worth of goodness, writing cheques that the in-game graphics absolutely cannot cash.You watch the beautiful cutscenes, then the gameplay starts and you think "Oof, these must be the old graphics", so you hit the button to swap to the new style but then you realise, double oof, you were already on the new graphics and these are the old old ones. Again, it's still a nice-looking game, but that ability to A/B so quickly between two sets of graphics just puts it all in such stark contrast. Music is still incredible, though. I don't know what they paid Steve Vai to shred as hard as he did, but whatever it was they got their money's worth.
 
So I think I'm going to take a break from Halo-ing before 3 so as not to Halo myself out. I was already just sprinting from checkpoint to checkpoint at the end of 2. It's not an ideal point to take a break, considering Halo 2 doesn't really have an ending, as such, but I suppose I'll have to manage.



#488121 The New! HALO Thread - Hosted by Spark

Posted by Ocelot on 13 December 2018 - 06:06 AM

Does anyone remember this one game called Halo? This little game that came out about forty years ago on a console that you can't even refer to by its original name any more because history has stolen "Xbox 1", before video games had any of those things that we apparently love these days like lootboxes and having to pull two triggers to shoot guys instead of just one, and people have been telling me for years that I should play it because apparently it's pretty good? That Halo? Well, I played it. And guess what it SUUUUUCKED lol more like suxbox I'm gonna do a 360 and then walk away lol

 

No I'm just kidding it was actually really good. I ploughed through the whole game in two days and really enjoyed... most of it, and I'm excited to talk about all this Halo stuff now that I've finally played it after only SEVENTEEN YEARS. What a great game! I've never been much of a shooter guy, but even I can tell when a developer just nails all the dude-shooting mechanics as well as Bungie did here. Every gun feels great to shoot, every enemy has an interesting little quirk to keep you on your toes while you're fighting them, your movement speed and all that sticky-aiming stuff Bungie does feel just right the moment you lay hands on the controller; it's really good. I always hate bullet sponge enemies in shooters, like those big mechs that turned up in Mass Effect 2 that you just have to duuuuump ammo into forever, and to me a good shooter will always give you some way of dealing with everything it throws at you in a fun (and timely) manner. Doom 2016 did this by always giving you that huge arsenal of weapons to make sure you always had something big in stock, but Halo does it with all kinds of different sneaky little tricks, like charging a Plasma Pistol, or hitting Hunters in their gooey lower back bits, or sticking someone with a Plasma Grenade and then running away laughing. It just feels really good to fight dudes in this game.

 

And then you're fighting dudes for a little while, and you're thinking that this is all pretty great, but then the MUSIC kicks in and you're just like UNG UNG UNG UNNNNNNNNNGH. I don't know if the game sounded like this back in 2001 or if all the music was remastered for the Anniversary remake, but boy oh boy does it sound incredible. Ones the string section starts up and those drums kick in? Forget about it. FORGET. ABOUT. IT. Even when I was technically just running around shooting my two-thousandth dude, that music just turns the whole experience into this volcanic, transcendent... thing. Did I mention the drums? Oh my GOURD.

 

Speaking of the Anniversary edition, I'm a big fan of the button that pops the game back and forth between original and remastered graphics. I hit that pretty regularly over the course of my playthrough, and I think the game looks pretty good either way. The newer look goes pretty hard on the purple, and is maybe a little busy for its own good, but it can also look really nice, too, and the original has that nice, clean look of an older game running at a modern resolution. Though, if I'm perfectly honest, I'm such a spoiled Millennial that I quite often forgot which set of graphics I was looking at, because in the comparison between 17 year old video game graphics and 7 year old video game graphics... they both look kind of old. Nice, but things only stay state-of-the-art for so long, and what was cutting edge for 2011 is now just "Yeah, this looks great for its time". I'm sorry, I hate myself too :P

 

If you'll allow me to segue into the complaints section, though, I'm surprised nobody seems to talk about how much asset re-use there is in this game. It honestly reminded me of Devil May Cry 4, a game that famously has you turn around at the mid-point and then play through the entire first half of the game again in reverse. You spend the beginning of Halo fighting your way through all manner of Halo environments until you hit the Library, and then the Library is the exact same giant corridor like four times in a row, and then you practically go all the way back to the beginning through all the same levels again. They even find a way to re-use the Covenant ship and the Pillar of Autumn. And, to be fair, there is still some new stuff in the back half; it's definitely not to the same extent as DMC4. The addition of the Flood changes your playstyle a whole lot, and it's a whole lot of fun seeing the absolute chaos of all the different enemy types fighting eachother as you steamroll through with your new shotgun. It didn't ruin the game for me or anything, but, y'know, you like to see new stuff all the same.

 

My biggest complaint about this game is that it ranks pretty highly on the "WHERE DO I GO!?"-o-meter, with the bulk of the indoor levels made up of identical-looking rooms where I'd get into gunfights, get turned around and then forget which door I came in. It's one of those games where you have to play the "Oh, enemies, I must be going the right way" game a lot. That is, until I realised in THE FINAL LEVEL that there's a little waypoint arrow on the assault rifle's little ammo-counter screen thing that always points towards your objective. I legitimately never even saw it. I... I am not a smart man, you guys.

 

I had some frustrations with some of the vehicle levels, like getting insta-killed any time a Ghost or a Banshee even brushed up against me (I even got killed by MY OWN Banshee once by getting out too far from the ground and having it fall on me), but overall I found Halo incredibly playable for a game of its vintage. And now I have three more Halos in this here Master Chief Collection, so I suppose I'll have to play those, too. I still remember some guys I knew in High School taking the day off school when Halo 2 came out, so it feels weird to have it ready and waiting to go right after I finish the first game :P




#488116 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 11 December 2018 - 04:24 AM

I feel like this is truly a momentous occasion. I think you should commemorate it with a full Ocelot Write UpTM for each entry in the series. :P

 

Oh God, this is that peer pressure they always talk about, isn't it? I suppose I can't back out now :P

 

But first I've been playing... well, I've basically been playing the DMC5 demo over and over, but I managed to tear myself away from it long enough to play through Gears of War 4, which I thought was pretty fun.

 

I'm peripherally aware that there's a whole Gears of War expanded universe out there of books and comics, and I know that stuff had started trickling into the games by the time Gears 3 rolled around and featured a ton of new characters I'd never heard of before. I've been on both sides of that situation, and I feel like there's never a good way of doing it. When comic characters started turning up in Gears and Assassin's Creed I just felt left out, whereas when Kahlee Sanders from the Mass Effect books popped up in ME3 I just felt like such a corporate drone for having bought all their dumb cross-media material and clapping like the trained seal I was. From what I understand the same sort of stuff starts happening in the Halo series at a certain point, too, so we'll see how that goes.

 

Gears 4 starts with a clever little recap of the history of... the planet they live on in Gears land, where you play through little snippets of historical battles as various nameless soldiers. The first one has you fighting "Indies", who at first I thought were Locust wearing armour but then I realised must actually be humans, and that this particular historical war must have been fought before the Locust ever dug their way out of the ground on Gears Planet. Y'know, I have no idea what the lore of Gears is. I don't know if Earth is even a thing in Gears, to be honest. Anyway, eventually you skip ahead to what I think they said was 20 years post Gears 3 and you play as Marcus Fenix's son J.D., who I feel like must be older than 20 but Gears character proportions make it impossible to tell.

 

J.D. Fenix and his friends Del and Laura Bailey shoot a bunch of robots, then some monsters called Swarm, then after a little while the Locust come back and so does old grumpy Marcus, and it's all a bit of face shooting fun. The writing strikes the same "lol memes" tone as Mass Effect Andromeda, to the point where the entire game feels like an extended hack comedy skit running through all your favourite Reddit vernacular.. The only thing this game loves more than network-sitcom-esque jokes is teasing dramatic reveals of characters and things you remember from the older Gears games (drink every time a character says "I know someone who can help us..." and almost looks directly into the camera). I don't know if I've ever played a more painfully self-referential ourobouros of a game.

 

But the thing is that Gears has always been an unabashedly stupid game about meatheads screaming all the time and shooting giant worms, so pivoting to idiots saying memes at eachother while shooting giant worms isn't as jarring a departure from the norm as Andromeda was from my beautiful boy Mass Effect. Gears 4 is really short, has some gorgeous graphics and art design, some absolutely ridiculous setpieces, and ends with you and Laura Bailey getting into Gears of War Megazords to just kill everything in the entire world:

 

 

And I'm pretty OK with that. I'm also pretty happy that Gears 5 seems to have Laura Bailey as the main character, because J.D. really left no impression on me in 4.




#488112 Scorp's RPG Corner - Pathfinder: Kingmaker is here

Posted by Ocelot on 08 December 2018 - 01:19 AM

I've got some serious hype going for Obsidian's new salt in Bethesda's Fallout 76 wound video game, The Outer Worlds. Here's 15 minutes of gameplay, and it's looking goooooood:

 

 

So it's Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, and it seems like they've basically made Fallout New Vegas 2 in all but name, with care taken to cram the game full of basically everything people complain is absent from modern RPGs. Real dialogue options that aren't just the same sentiment worded three different ways? Got'em. Fully-worded sentences instead of one-word summaries? Yep. Companion characters who aren't just there to idolise you? Mm hmm. The overall style seems like Fallout mixed with Firefly, and while I'm not crazy about the No Man's Sky colour palette it does look impressively solid for an Obsidian game. And, boy oh boy is this reveal perfectly timed given what Bethesda's going through right now with Fallout 76 :P

 

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#488109 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 07 December 2018 - 04:52 PM

Here's a quick roundup of some TGA stuff:

 

Rage 2:

 

 

Far Cry New Dawn:

 

 

Persona 5's Joker in Smash Ultimate:

 

 

Dragon Age: The Dread Wolf Rises:

 

 

The Pathless, from the makers of Abzu, your requisite great-looking indie game:

 




#488088 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 04 December 2018 - 10:29 PM

Hey, what's up, you guys? Oh, me? Oh, nothin', just LOVING MY NEW XBOX ONE X LIKE A SON.

 

So I was trying to work out how to get Ninja Gaiden Black, because I know it's available on XB1 through backwards compatibility and I know the 1X magically increases the resolution to FOUR KAY, but the game was never released in Australia and as such isn't available on the online store here. So I was trying to work out the exact steps required to make a new American Xbox account, and then buy a prepaid card on eBay or something, and then I guess use a VPN to actually buy through the US Xbox online store because it always seems to detect me as a filthy down under convict even when I specifically type in the US URL...

 

And then I stumbled across a Reddit post implying that, with a Game Pass subscription, you can just change your console's region to access another country's Game Pass lineup. And Ninja Gaiden Black happens to be a Game Pass game in the US. But there's no way it could be that simple, right? That's just not how region-specific licencing contracts for subscription services work in this nightmare dystopia of 2018. Nope. Couldn't possibly be right. Except I tried it and it worked. It just worked! I just told the Xbox I was in America now, restarted it, and suddenly it was treating me like a real American: misspelling words with 'u's in them, giving me a handgun I hadn't asked for, but most importantly letting me buy all the video games!

 

So, yeah, I have Ninja Gaiden Black now. I mean, I haven't played it yet, but I can, and you don't know how much that means to a lifelong PAL peasant like little old me. I've also filled my hard drive with Game Pass games, so I'll be chewing through some of those over the next few months. I've played the first few hours of Forza Horizon 4, which is great, and I think I'm finally going to play all the Halos. And I know Hellblade is coming to Game Pass in a few days, so I'm excited to try that one too. Video games!




#488073 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 24 November 2018 - 07:29 PM

I've been playing the game of hanging out for Black Friday deals, hoping to find a nice cheap Xbox One S that I could use as a 4K Blu Ray player and Game Pass machine, and I think I accidentally played it too well because... I bought an Xbox One X, you guys. I got the most insane deal on it by creating a US eBay account to take advantage of a limited time offer they were doing for a 15% off code if you use the eBay app, using that to buy an 8 game bundle that Australia's EB Games eBay store was doing, and then I sold all the games and kept the console. At the end of it all I now have a brand new XB1X for $315 Australian, which is like $230 US, which is basically the greatest thing I've ever done in my life. It's a cool limited edition one, too, that reminds me of my old Pokemon Gold/Silver Gameboy Colour from back in the day:

 

Xbox-One-X-Gold-Rush-Battlefield-V.png

 

So I've been playing around with it for the last few days, and I love this thing! I'm now a pathetic slave to capitalism who owns all three of the current gen consoles, and this is by far the best one. It's teeny tiny, it's dead silent, and I paid a buck to get two months of Game Pass (they gave me an extra one for turning on automatic renewal) so I'm currently downloading every Microsoft exclusive of the entire generation. The dashboard menu is a little confusing and definitely not as snappy as my PS4 Pro's, and I wish it had a dedicated screenshot button on the controller, but everything else here is just so good. Sony screwed up with the PS4 Pro. I know the XB1X is $500 and the Pro's only $400, but, straight up, Sony should have charged $500 too and just made a better console. I've had a 1X for half a week and I already never want to play my Pro again. I mean, I will, because of those damn irresistible Sony exclusives, but I'll be thinking about my X the whole time :P

 

Anyway, how about some actual games? Well, now that I have the ultimate graphical powerhouse video game machine, I naturally chose to put that horsepower to the test with the stunning visual spectacle that is... Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter, because it's leaving Game Pass at the end of the month and I wanted to get in on it while I could. And it's great! Though I prefer to call it Sherlock Hamms: The Devil's Draper, because Sherlock looks so much like Jon Hamm in this game I can't see anything else:

 

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This game is all the wonderful creativity and joy of that prince of genres, Eurojank, but with a very welcome attention to logical mystery gameplay design and quality of life features that make it really enjoyable to play. Thanks to certain conveniences like clear indications of when you've investigated everything in a given room, good checkpointing in the occasional goofy action sequences, and seemingly no missable clues or points of no return, I'm having a really relaxing, thoughtful time churning through some solid detective work. 
 
I really appreciate the sense of agency the game gives you in your sleuthing, too. I love detective games, but all too often the player is only allowed to do the rote footwork, while the actual epiphanies and dramatic accusations are either pre-scripted or only happen in cutscene land (AHEM L.A. NOIRE AHHRMCOUGH). Devil's Daughter carries over the Deduction Board from Crimes & Punishments, that allows you to link together various clues and leads you've uncovered, but what I really like is that the game trusts you to work things out for yourself and won't step in to lead you down a particular part. You're free to twist the clues in whichever direction you like, and you can almost always end a case before you've even seen half the content by accusing the first guy you can drum up a cockamamie case against. There will always be some hints there if you go looking for them, but for the most part it's very hands-off, and all about the thrill of the chase.
 
It's not all amazing, with a few more one-off action sequences and minigames than you'd really want. Apart from a very ill-advised extended Sherlock-o-vision section in an imaginary Mayan temple, though, they're all fairly inoffensive and short. I think this is a really great game, so if you have Game Pass (or you're one of those dinosaurs who still buys games) and you're in the mood for some high quality detective-ing, I'd strongly recommend it.
 
I'm also dabbling in a bit of The Technomancer, also Eurojank, also leaving Game Pass this week. It's an action RPG set on Mars, with a grungy cyberpunk kind of aesthetic and a whole bunch of lore that it very confusingly dumps all over you in an opening cutscene that nobody could possibly follow. The writing has a very non-native English feel to it, and the mechanics of the storytelling are pretty poor, trying to drop revelations on the audience before they've set up why said revelation is significant. The titular Technomancers are your Spectre/Grey Warden/Pathfinder du jour (basically science wizards with bonking sticks), and your character is a new initiate to the fold, and your initiation ceremony involves watching this holotape recording of a guy from the past telling a doctor that he feels this new power growing in his body, which I took to be the origin of the Technomancers. Except the game treats it like this terrible secret that all Technomancers must keep, and if it ever got out they'd be cast out, and... I have no idea why. It's just not well done.
 
And neither is the combat, unfortunately. It's a very simple melee attack system where you can switch between three fighting styles, throw out some magic attacks and dodge, but the camera is set too low so your own character model obscures your enemy's model and you can't see whether they're attacking you. Enemy attacks aren't well telegraphed, it's hard to know which part of the attack is actually going to do damage so you never know quite when to dodge, and worst of all there's this screen shake effect when you do damage on enemies and I swear it makes it impossible to tell when you're taking damage because the screen is just shaking all the time.
 
I hate to be so critical, because I do love my janky European RPGs and it pains me to think of so many devs working away on a project like this and then having some schmuck on the internet systematically go through how every element of it is bad, but... it's kind of bad, though.
 
And, of course, I'm still slogging away through Red Dead Redemption 2. I kind of hate the game at this point, to be honest. It's just too long, too boring, too dull. And I want to be clear that the beautiful world and the attention to detail and the wonderful character writing are all absolutely 12/10 masterpiece level, but gaaaaawd actually playing the game is just the most rote, repetitive gameplay design over and over and over forever. I'm in Chapter 6 now, which I understand is the last one, but then apparently there are long epilogues after that, and I've been ready for this game to be over for like thirty hours now.



#488064 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 16 November 2018 - 11:10 PM

MORE RUMOURS!

 

So hot on the heels of the potential PS5 hype, we have a rumour about a new Xbox coming in 2019: apparently it's an Xbox One S with no disc drive:

 

The company is planning to release an updated console next year, but this device will not be in the Scarlett family, according to people familiar with the company’s plans...

 

...In addition to the new console, there will be a ‘disc-to-digital’ program that, as the name states, turns your physical games into digital downloads. The idea is that you can take your disc to a participating retailer (like the Microsoft store) and trade in your disc for a digital download.

 
So that's cool for people who like that kind of thing. It seems like you can go pretty far with just Game Pass on an XB1, so a really cheap one will probably sell well. I think I'm going to get a regular Xbox One S this Black Friday, though. The 4K Blu Ray drive is a huge selling point for me, and going all digital isn't really an option where I live (bad internet, and games are much, much cheaper at retail).



#488058 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 15 November 2018 - 05:41 PM

OK, we've got some NEWS today. First up:

 

- Thronebreaker, the singleplayer Gwent game, is now on Steam, after having launched exclusively on GOG and apparently not done very well, according to CDPR. I feel like their bigger mistake was putting it out three days before Red Dead Redemption 2 hit, though. If it weren't for that I would happily have bought it on GOG day one, but knowing I'd be ensconced in RDR2 and probably wouldn't play it for a while I was happy to wait, and now I'll probably just get it on Steam.

 

- Speaking of Steam, Killer 7 is now out, for $20 with a 10% launch discount, and Sunset Overdrive will be out tomorrow.

 

But forget about all that, because here's the big one: Sony is skipping E3 in 2019.

 

As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community,” according to the statement. “PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can’t wait to share our plans with you.

 

As the article states, E3's been around for 24 years and Sony's been at all of them, so this is pretty surprising. They've already mentioned that they aren't doing PSX this year, too. So I thought I'd use my EXPERT knowledge of the video game industry, which I am never ever wrong about and you can definitely take my word for that, to explore the possibilities that this announcement raises:

 

1. Sony is getting out of the video game business, everyone panic

 

2. Sony is going to start doing Nintendo Directs

 

3. It's the PS5, baby! Everyone get hype!

 

Jason Schreier of Kotaku, who I think is probably the most trustworthy actual journalist in this whole industry, says he expects the PS5 in 2020, according to actual devs he's spoken with. And now some random anonymous leaker on Reddit (who accurately predicted this E3-skipping news yesterday) is saying the PS5 will be revealed mid-2019, with a blowout at PSX 2019 and a release probably early 2020.

 

Who's ready for next-gen, dorks? Honestly I'd be fine sticking with this one for another few years, since I think video games look pretty damn good right now, but then I did buy a PS4 Pro like a big sucker so I don't know how I'd feel if I was still on an OG PS4. 2020 is probably the right time. I also think that Sony probably doesn't have any major PS4 games left to announce; We've already seen The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding and Ghosts of Tsushima at the last two E3s, and you can't announce any PS5 games without revealing the PS5.

 

btw, Phil Spencer says that Microsoft is still going to be at E3:

 

A lot to share with fans at E3 2019. Always a high point of the year to witness the industry’s creativity and the energy of the community.

 

Also happy birthday, Wolfie!




#488053 John Wick News and also Regular Movie/TV News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 13 November 2018 - 08:29 PM

Rest in peace, old fellow. 95 is a good run by any measure, but it seems like Stan Lee lived a particularly good life.




#488049 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 12 November 2018 - 04:37 PM

And if you haven't been keeping up on it either, Sunset Overdrive has had numerous little details leaked about an extremely likely PC version coming soon.

 

Aaaaand, it's up already. $20 on Amazon with all the DLC included, releasing November 16th. And on Steam, too, so the Windows Store doesn't even come into it. 

 

EDIT - Nominees for the 2018 Geoff Keighley Awards are out, and you can vote here. As expected it's a lot of RDR2 and God of War. Looking back at it like this, there sure were a lot of big open world games in 2018. Anyway they didn't even nominate Vampyr for Best RPG, but games like Ni no Kuni 2 (which is dreck) and Monster Hunter World (which isn't an RPG) got in there, so we still have a long way to go before this award really means anything. #salty




#488036 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 09 November 2018 - 08:19 PM

- Well known purveyor of high quality products, Bethesda Softworks, will be releasing Fallout 76 next week, a video game where the 54GB day one patch is bigger than the actual game.

 

- The first Crackdown game is free to download right now, for Xbox 360 or Xbox One thanks to those two sweetest words: backwards compatibility.

 

- His Excellency Pope Keighley is hyping up his Game Awards again, promising the "biggest lineup ever in terms of new game announcements". It's happening on December 6th this year.

 

- Microsoft's show X018 is coming in just under 24 hours, teasing "over a dozen game announcements" for Xbox Game Pass, updates for upcoming and on-going Xbox games, and I'm hoping a new DMC5 trailer since Microsoft seems to have the marketing deal for that one.

 




#488031 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 06 November 2018 - 06:35 AM

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an absolute masterclass in environmental storytelling. I've made a point of checking out every little square on the map that denotes a house, hut, cabin or any other kind of building, and I've very rarely been disappointed. There's almost always a little story to find, and maybe a cheeky little bit of loot for your trouble, too. Here are some of my more memorable finds so far:
 
- A farmhouse with two bloody, slaughtered bodies lying on the floor, man and woman. A trail of blood leads outside to a third dead woman who looks like she died trying to climb onto a wagon. Searching her bodies reveals a handwritten letter from, presumably, the farmer, who was having an affair with this woman and decided to break it off, and she obviously came to visit one night and things went bad.
 
- A frozen over pond up in the mountains with a little abandoned beside it and a small grave dug nearby. Searching the shack reveals a newspaper clipping of an article titled something like "Tragic accident for promising young ice skating talent" :(
 
- A little cabin up in the foothills with a huge crater in the floor and about four burned bodies lying around. I thought it was bandits or something, but then I noticed a small hole in the roof, too, and when I went to look at the crater I got a prompt to pick up a small meteorite. When you go outside you get a prompt for Arthur to draw one of his little pictures of the house that the meteorite hit. Not too far from this cabin is a massive crater in the mountainside where the larger chunk of the meteorite obviously hit, with all the trees in the area bent over sideways from the impact.
 
- The best example of "Always look behind the waterfall" I've ever seen: a massive cave system behind a small waterfall at what I think is called Elysium Lake, or something like that. I'm guessing this will be part of a mission later, because I couldn't find anything to interact with in there, but there was a cave painting with a very obvious hidey hole that makes me think it might be part of a treasure hunt that I don't have the map for yet. The other paths of the cave were all blocked by rubble, so I went back out the way I came, and when I rode over the hill behind the waterfall I found an abandoned mining site with what had obviously once been the entrance to this cave/mine boarded over.
 
- A house in the hills near Strawberry with a congratulatory hamper left on the doorstep and a note wishing the young newlyweds all the best. Further on down the road I come across a stranger peering over the edge of a cliff, telling me about a cart that must have gone over and crashed. I go down and check it out, and sure enough it's the two newlyweds, dead as doornails.
 
- The best/dumbest one: I walk into a small hunting cabin and am IMMEDIATELY pounced on by a GIANT, ANGRY BEAR. I struggle against him and manage to stab him in the neck, then get to my feet and stand stock still for a solid ten count until I get my wits about me again. There's a well-dressed corpse in the room, and an ornate desk with a nice typewriter on it, and when I search the drawers I find a couple of poems. I suppose he was an aspiring poet who came out to the wilderness for inspiration... and then a bear burst in through the back door and ate him one day :P
 
The game also brings back one of my favourite sidequest-y type things from RDR1 with the treasure maps, and they're just as good here as they were there. The fact that Rockstar has the resources to build these open worlds without resorting to any kind of repetition of assets or procedural generation means they can pack them with very recognisable landmarks, and then they'll send you on treasure hunts with maps that point to those landmarks. There are no waypoints or anything, you just have to find'em, and they could be anywhere in these miles upon miles of forests. It's not something you can sit down and bang out, but rather you just keep that image from the treasure map in the back of your mind, and one day you'll be out there and all of a sudden you'll see the exact face-shaped rocky outcropping you remember from the map and KABAMZO you'll have the next step of the treasure hunt in hand. It's such a wonderful feeling.
 
Also I'm finally getting used to the controls. Once you get a feel for where everything sits within the hopelessly complicated menus within menus, you can actually blast through'em pretty quickly, and right now I'm feeling pretty overpowered. In my first ten-ish hours with the game I felt like I could only reliably win a gunfight if I had some good cover and everyone had the decency to come at me from one direction, but now that I know that the radial menu can pause time, and ability-enhancing tonics can be drunk almost instantly, and the Deadeye bullet time meter can be refilled as many times as you have tonics to refill it, I'm practically invincible. One of the games random encounters will have you ambushed by bad guys after you enter a covered bridge, but thanks to my insta-tonics and Deadeye I was able to effortlessly drop six dudes with six consecutive perfect headshots from my repeater and ride off without a scratch.



#488028 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 03 November 2018 - 07:47 PM

Some say that the phrase "YAS QUEEN" is overused, but I submit to you that nothing has even been more deserving of a YAAAAS QUEEEEN than this:

 

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Lady Gaga is playing Bayonetta. I love this.

 

EDIT - It got better:

 

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#488025 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 03 November 2018 - 12:31 AM

So now we can't complain we have to pay the price of a full game to get the good bits of Destiny 2, I guess?

 

I suppose this is one pro of the dark, Games-as-a-Service, never-ending lootbox-platform grind'em-up future we have to look forward to. After a year the base game's price drops so far that it's in the publisher's interest to just give it away, because you need it to play the newest expansion.

 

Oh, by the way, if anyone feels like a sobering look at the state of video games today, here are the top ten selling games on the PS4 and Xbox One over this entire generation so far:

 

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Everything was first-person shooters :P