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Member Since 07 Apr 2008
Offline Last Active Today, 07:42 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: What Are You Currently Playing?

Today, 05:07 AM

I'm taking a break from the longest game ever made, RDR2, to play...


Hitman 2, a.k.a. the sequel to the 2016 Hitman game. That game was called Hitman, which is the same name as the game from 2000, and now they've made a sequel to it and given it the same name as the 2002 game, in what must now be the most irritating version of the "reboot with the same name as the original" trope. We're back with Agent 47, assassinating another series of rich and powerful jerks to systematically dismantle another shadowy cabal that secretly rules the world, and it's great! I really liked the 2016 game, and this is... basically just more of the same, but that's fine because they're nailing it. They've tweaked the UI a little bit to make certain gameplay states more obvious, and made it easier to follow what they call the Mission Stories, which are the pre-built opportunities that you can follow in order to carry out your hits, which I was really grateful for. I tend to turn off as much HUD and handholding as I can when I play, say, Dishonored, but I'm not quite so good at Hitman-ing so I'll take all the help I can get.


Hitman is never going to be my immersive sim of choice, because the timed nature of all the interlinking AI routines and the fact that you have to be out there in the open rather than hiding in the shadows kind of stresses me out, but I do really want to go back and play this whole series one day. There's nothing quite so exquisitely satisfying as planning out a surreptitious assassination and then just executing it perfectly. I always try to play without ever firing a gun, and just ingratiating myself into restricted areas by hunting down the right disguises, and I really love when I can kill a target without having to be in the room at the time. Like in Hitman 2, there was one mission where I found out that the target was going to be getting a shave that day, so I posed as the barber and slit his throat for him before he even suspected anything was amiss, and that was pretty cool. But the one I'm really proud of is when I managed to pose as a doctor to administer another target's daily IV drip, which I'd previously spiked with a lethal drug. I left them to sit there as the IV drip did its thing, and by the time they actually died I'd already sauntered over to the other side of the level. That's the good stuff.


I played on PS4 Pro, and the game looks great and runs at a perfectly locked 30FPS (and makes my Pro run unusually quietly, too), buuuut the load times on saving and loading are just too long for a game where I'm going to be savescumming so often. I'm definitely going to get this on PC at some point.


Spyro Reignited Trilogy: I don't really like the way these games feel. I feel like Spyro is too close to the camera, and maybe the field of view is too low, so you have to constantly adjust the camera with the right stick to see where you're going, which is awkward when you're also jumping and gliding and 'hovering' (which is a weird term to choose for what is clearly flapping). You can also pull L2 to lock the camera behind you, but it locks so rigidly that the slightest turn to either side sends the world zooming past the screen crazily, which is very unpleasant looking at 30FPS. I mean, I know it's a PSX-era 3D platformer, so I can't expect it to have everything worked out, but... it just doesn't quite do it for me in this year of our Lord 2018.


But this PS4 remake looks pretty nice, and it's pretty cheap for three whole games. I think making it 60FPS would have been really helpful, but it doesn't seem like they had much of a budget to work with so maybe it was never in the cards. Oh well.

In Topic: John Wick News and also Regular Movie/TV News Thread

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.

In Topic: The Video Game News Thread

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

In Topic: What Are You Currently Playing?

12 November 2018 - 06:04 AM

Red Dead Redemption 2 is turning into a real slog, you guys. My best times with the game were back in that last post when I was just roaming around the world, exploring all there was to explore, drinking in that lovely environmental storytelling. This game has an absolutely gorgeous, fantastically-designed world, where you can feel every last cent of the hundreds of millions of dollars they spent making it. Rockstar's essentially infinite money has let them craft dozens of bespoke encounters that they can throw at you to make the world feel wonderfully alive, and I had a solid 20 hours of pure exploring bliss with it.


Now, though, I'm back to the story missions, and, boy oh boy, I'm starting to getting sick of it. It's not that the story is bad, or the writing doesn't hold up, because it isn't, and it does. The character building here is excellent, and the story deals with some uncommonly mature subject matter for this medium we call video games. And that's not "mature" as in "swearing", but "mature" as in "an exploration of the relationships between emotionally distant and morally dubious men at a turning point in the culture of a young country". I think Arthur is probably the best character Rockstar has ever written, and I love the way he's animated and voiced. This game is right there on par with the best of Naughty Dog in terms of subtle but incredibly expressive animations, and Arthur's dry, world-weary smirks and line reads have made me chuckle more than a few times.


Buuuuut, every mission in this game goes like this:


1) Watch cutscene with mission giver


2) Slow walk next to, or ride your horse behind, said mission giver for 5-10 minutes as they deliver further exposition


3) Follow the text prompts at the bottom of the screen. You'll either fail the mission and have to restart if you stray too far from the script, or you literally won't be able to stray from the script because the game will disable your buttons


4) Most probably, kill a bunch of guys


I'm at the point now where I'm just fast-travelling as often as I can, because knowing that what awaits me after ten minutes of riding to a mission start point is another ten minutes of riding is just grating on me. This game is an absolutely beautiful spectacle, an opulent, magnificent sight that must be seen because nobody else out there makes games like this, but in terms of actual mechanical gameplay design it's surprisingly subpar. The attention to detail and majesty of it all dazzles, but the game goes on long enough that your eyes will inevitably adjust to it.


On the plus side, at least you can have your fun playing with Arthur's hair. The man's got good beard genes, and he'll hair up day by day over the course of the game. I've experimented with a lot of different looks during my playthrough, but I've eventually settled on my one true canon Arthur Morgan. You might not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like:



In Topic: The Video Game News Thread

11 November 2018 - 09:59 PM

Y'know, if Microsoft wanted to buy Arkane so I can keep getting my beautiful Dishonoreds and Preys and they don't have to sell their souls to the dark, malevolent multiplayer gods just to keep the lights on, that'd be fine by me. 


Or, say, if they wanted to buy back a certain sci-fi IP that was originally Microsoft exclusive but was since sold to, and steadily run into the ground by, EA, and restore it to its former glory...



Good stuff. Satya Nadella, the overall boss of Microsoft, has said that Game Pass is going to come to PC for realsies, not just the occasional Play Anywhere game, so hopefully they'll fix the store in time for that.