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#487779 UNCHARTED: A thief's end to a series he didn't create

Posted by Ocelot on 16 July 2018 - 08:29 AM

I have no idea where this came from, but it's great!


#487773 Star Wars Movies and Positivity Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 15 July 2018 - 01:08 AM

Did somebody say Episode IX hopes and wishes?




- Ghost Luke is a 100%, done deal, sure thing, supermax prison electronic LOCK, and it always has been. I don't know how anyone could think otherwise, to be honest. That's what Jedi do, they turn into ghosts and give fatherly advice. Or, in Kylo's case, salt in the wound from beyond the grave. "Strike me down in anger and I'll always be with you". Luke's going to be flitting between imparting knowledge to Rey on one side of the galaxy and roasting Kylo from beyond the grave on the other. 


- Rey makes a cool new lightsabre. Maybe it's a new colour, maybe she builds it into the end of her staff, I don't know, but it's Star Wars law that she has to have a cool new one. Also she needs a cool new Jedi Knight outfit. And a new hairstyle. 


- Supreme Leader Kylo Ren sits on his throne, totally unsatisfied with power, hated by his underlings, fending off constant assassination and coup attempts, growing ever more angry, petulant and unstable. He's made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. Stew in it. He won't admit it to himself, but it needs to be clear that he made the wrong choice by not going with Rey in TLJ.


- More Porgs.


- The legend of Luke Skywalker facing down the First Order all by his lonesome spreads throughout the galaxy, the Rebellion is born again, meaning lots of new soldiers and spaceships for big pew pew space battles. Finn and Rose are big heroes, Finn's leading a troop of commandos or something, Poe's grown a cool beard and is one of the Generals leading everything.


- I don't know what I want them to do with the Knights of Ren, other than a cool fight scene. I've seen suggestions that maybe Rey will train her own little group of young Jedi to go toe-to-toe with them, but I don't really like that because it'd be too many new characters to introduce in the last movie of a trilogy (it could still work, though). I kind of like imagining Rey just cutting them all down in a glorious one-shot fight scene, but then we're getting back to the idea of Jedi not being about carving dudes up. Yeah, I don't know. As long as they actually show up and there's a cool fight, I'll be happy :P


- I don't know what I want them to do with Kylo in the end, either, but I can't wait to see it. The thing is, Rey has to at least try to turn him good. If Darth Vader wasn't beyond redemption then Kylo can't be either. Rey wouldn't be doing her Jedi job if she just showed up spoiling for a fight; she's seen the good in him. But I think it would be interesting if it was actually Kylo who came to her, or at least wasn't just sitting on his throne waiting for a fight when she walks in the door.


OK, y'know what, I just thought of something. Imagine Kylo at the bridge of his Super Mega Star Destroyer, the last of the Rebel fleet on the ropes, and he's ready to push the big red button that blows them all up once and for all. But the emotions we've seen him struggle with all through the movie have reached fever pitch (maybe he met Rey earlier and she said something that stuck with him). He doesn't press the button. His men turn on him once and for all. He cuts down Hux and whatever other officers are in the room, but then the Knights of Ren come running and he has to fight them himself. And then, I don't know, maybe Rey bursts in the room and understands that he's turned good, but she arrives just in time to see him take a mortal blow as he kills his last Knight. We get a scene that mirrors the "Come with me" scene from TLJ, only this time Kylo wants to go with her but he can't because he's about to die in a pool of his own blood. Poetic irony, reap what you sow, all that good stuff. Rey is overcome with complex feelings, because she knows he could have been good in another life, but at the same time he 100% deserves this.


- Right before Rey's story ends, Darth Maul's Force Ghost shows up via hologram and calls her away

#487766 Star Wars Movies and Positivity Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 14 July 2018 - 01:59 AM

One nice idea I saw somewhere was having the movie open with Lando delivering Leia's eulogy at a funeral with all the Rebels attending, and then they could cut to Supreme Leader Kylo across the galaxy struggling with his emotions.


And, yeah, it seems really likely they'll do some kind of significant time skip between VIII and IX. TLJ ends with Rey having no lightsabre, but a drawer full of the sacred texts that she can study Jedi-ing from.

#487738 The Resident Evil Series: An Ocelot Story

Posted by Ocelot on 06 July 2018 - 04:09 AM

Ey yo SSLF, it's ya boi, the bravest man in the world. A week ago I had never played a game with tank controls. I had never played a survival horror game. To be honest, I'd never played a scary game at all, unless you count that one part in The Last of Us when you fall into the hotel basement and find a surprise horror game down there. But I come to you today a changed man, for you see I have played Resident Evil HD from start to finish like a big brave boy, and I loved it!
OK, so I played as Jill and I chose the super duper baby difficulty mode to go easy on myself, so maybe I'm not that cool. I actually ended up regretting my choice of difficulty later in the game once I'd got my head above water and realised I just had way too much health and ammo, but I still found the game incredibly tense in the early hours. I had to play the first half of the game in short spurts because it was leaving me shook, but after a few days I ended up getting so into it that I powered through from Lisa Trevor's cabin to the end of the game in one sitting. I loved the overall design of seemingly dumping you into a mansion to fend for yourself but subtly guiding you the whole time by hiding the keys and tchotchkes needed to progress in just the right places. And I was surprised to find the game pretty damn intuitive, after a lifetime of hearing about obtuse Resident Evil puzzle design. The only time I got irreparably stuck was when I completely missed the entrance to the Residence tucked away behind a camera angle change, which is my fault for not looking at the map anyway (the crows kept pecking at me and I ran away :P).
Shinji Mikami is the master of minimalism in gameplay, or design by subtraction, or whatever the Youtube essayists are calling it these days. He'll give you exactly what he knows you need to play his game, and absolutely nothing else. RE4 is a game where you can move or you can shoot, and if you really want to you can look side to side a little bit, and that game is a perennial masterpiece. In God Hand he took away the 'look side to side' option; if you want to see things you'd better play a different game, because God Hahnd ez just a geem about punching people. P.N.03 made the shooting almost automatic and told you to simply be in the right place. Are you getting hit by enemies? You shouldn't have been there. Be somewhere else. Vanquish gives you all the gameplay mechanics, but then you have to deal with the second half of the game not being there (I still love you, Vanquish).
I feel like classic RE is the ultimate example of this. Can you move? Sorta. Can you shoot? Yeah, but not too often. Can you see? No. Can you... pick things up? Well, a few things. At every possible turn there's something in your way, forcing you to make those hard decisions. But what I never realised before actually playing the game is that it's not just logistical decisions about conserving resources or what to keep in your inventory; this is a game that turns SEEING DUDES into a commodity. I think the experience that's going to stick with me the most is standing in a room, knowing there's at least one horrible monster in there with me, but juuuuust not quite being able to see him due to the camera angle. Where is that guy? Do I wait for him to come to me? Do I fire where I think he might be, potentially wasting ammo? Do I risk moving forward until the camera angle changes, knowing he might be right there waiting to eat my face off? They're moments where I would give anything to just be able to see a guy, but Shinji Mikami won't let me. Mikami sees me there, and he tells me he'll point the camera at the bad guy... but ooooonly if I leave my comfort zone. Ooh, it's good. I hate it, but it's so good.
The only complaints I can muster are the minor quirk of it reusing the "find a fake key/emblem/shotgun to swap for the real one" puzzle a few times, and the fact that the Tyrant is only a two-stager (can we even call it an RE game if you don't fight the final boss four times or more?). I think I've read that the game's original assets were lost, and, unfortunately, it does show in a few very soft, waxy-looking areas in this remaster, but, y'know, what can you do. I'm going to do another playthrough as Chris on big boy Normal difficulty, and now that I've got my tank control legs I guess I'll have to play all of these games, won't I?

#487714 The Video Game News Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 28 June 2018 - 08:55 AM

Eurogamer did an interview with Amy Hennig, where she revealed what we all pretty much knew in our hearts: her Star Wars game is on the shelf and she has nothing to do with it any more. But, on the bright side, she's left EA and started up her own small studio. She talks about wanting to get into some VR stuff and work on games of her own, and it's really nice to see that she might finally have landed on her feet.

#487713 Star Wars Movies and Positivity Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 28 June 2018 - 07:23 AM

As a lifelong Star Wars fan I'm ready to admit that we haven't been doing our part as a fandom. We've been bitter, angry, loathsome, entitled, and hyper-critical of these movies since the internet came about. Why? Why do we need to analyze every little detail about the Star Wars universe? I mean heck I was trashing George Lucas RIGHT HERE the other week. I feel bad about that. I feel bad about trashing the prequels to 12 year olds on Youtube comments. Let people enjoy things. It costs $0 to not be a huge jerk when someone says they love a thing.


I even feel bad for ragging on Game of Thrones as much as I do. It's clear that I'm no longer the target audience for that show either, and I've been real bitter about it the past few years. Why? I don't own the property. It isn't for me. I've read the books about 4 times through and gotten my enjoyment out of them. That show is its own new thing at this point, and while I'm no longer interested I'm glad that it can bring joy and hype to people's lives. Even if it is horrible trash.  :ph34r:


Florent, I wish I could Like that whole thing more than once, but I especially wish I could Double Like this bit. I've spent so many hours of my life writing stupid garbage about Star Wars on the internet, most of it on this very forum, and while I thankfully shouted all my adolescent hate for the Prequels into a pre-social-media internet where none of it could reach any of the actual creators of those movies, it still occupies that part of my memory that my mind loves to dredge up to embarrass me with when I can't sleep at night.


And, y'know, I didn't like the Prequels, and I still don't, but that needs to be the end of the story. "I didn't like it. OK, now to move on with my life...". Instead it was "I didn't like it, time to spend the entire rest of my life coming up with new ways to tell everyone how much I hated it". I like to think I would have had the decency not to hound George Lucas or Jake Lloyd or whoever on social media if I'd had the chance, but the fact is that I didn't have that chance, and I don't know that I can give my young, furious-about-children's-movies self the benefit of the doubt. God, I'm just so, so relieved that I was born before social media :P


At this point I would never introduce myself as a fan of Star Wars, because that time is over. The tide has turned. "Star Wars fan" is turning into the rallying warcry of the gross incel manchild contingent who have somehow convinced themselves that their hateful opinion about a fictional space wizard not only has value in this day and age (not being political, but oh my God come on), but that it NEEDS TO BE HEARD. I literally saw some horrible man talking about how he didn't care that he'd chased Kelly Marie Tran off the internet, all he cared about was that Lucasfilm listened to his opinions, and I think that might have broken me. I know not all Star Wars fans are terrible, but the ones who are are so vocal and so terrible that I just don't want any part of it. They want their perfect Star Wars movie that ticks all their imaginary checkboxes, oh yes and also doesn't have any people of colour or women with agency in the plot, and we all have to pretend they aren't just being openly racist and sexist by referring to Disney casting non-white-men as an 'agenda' oh my GOD.


Ugh, I don't know any more. It got really bad, you guys. It all got really bad, and I have no confidence that it's going to get better again. The bad guys are winning, but what makes it worse is that they genuinely think they're the good guys. And, I mean, you always have the nice thought to fall back on that all the older people with the bad opinions are going to die one day, like with racism and homophobia and stuff, but I feel like this culture of "Go and harass someone on social media any time you aren't happy about anything" is only growing, and young people live on their phones in a way that would put even my hopeless internet addiction to shame, so maybe this is just what life is from now on. 


I do still really want to see what happens to all my favourite characters in Episode IX, though. I mean, I'm lying to myself by pretending I don't like Star Wars, because I super do and I'm never going to stop, but I kind of dread what's going to happen when IX comes out.

#487712 The Resident Evil Series: An Ocelot Story

Posted by Ocelot on 28 June 2018 - 06:46 AM


I wanted to start this thread off right, with a compilation of the spooky voices that say the words "RESIDENT EVIL" at the title menus of every game, because I am a firm believer that this is the correct way of beginning a video game. It's something I've always loved about all the wonderful, dumb, amazing Capcom games of the PSX and PS2 era, and I think Resident Evil started the tradition. If a game shouts its own title at you when you hit 'Start Game', you know you're in for a ride.


OK, so, long story short, I've always been interested in Resident Evil, but I've also always been a huge wuss when it comes to scary games and I've only played precious few of these bad boys. I played about half of Resident Evil 4 when it came out on PS2 back in the day, then I played a lot of Resident Evil 5 on the PS3, and then I was sort of excited for RE6 but never got around to playing it, and that's basically it. Until this last week or so, when the hype of Capcom's two big E3 reveals hit me will strength, and since I already replayed the entire DMC series earlier this year I thought I'd channel this anxious hype energy into finally spackling up the gaps in my Resident Evil series history.


So I just started up Resident Evil HD on Steam, which is to say the 2015 remastered version of the 2002 remade version of the original 1996 game that was just named Resident Evil, and it seems really cool! I decided to play with the original tank controls, because I wanted to experience the game in its original state, but then I decided play on the newly-added super easy baby mode because I'm still a huge chicken about scary games, and I'm really enjoying myself so far. It's very much like a point and click adventure game in terms of exploring every available area and mashing your interact button on everything that looks interact-with-able, except you also have to shoot a zambaberjambo every now and then, and then also some dogs explode through the window, and sometimes the dead zombies come back again even zombie-er and everything is terrible. Should be fun!


In conclusion, Chris Redfield is the best Resident Evil character. And also tell me about your favourite Resident Evil stuff!


(Also, yes, this is what we're doing on the video game board now :P)

#487702 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 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.

#487666 Scorp's RPG Corner - Pillars of Eternity II is here

Posted by Ocelot on 19 June 2018 - 08:29 AM

I thought I'd continue my post about Vampyr here so we can get some use out of Scorp's thread :P


Alright, so I finished Vampyr, and boy I really liked that game. It's honestly not objectively great. I think even the most generous reviewer would struggle to justify an 8/10. Playing on PS4, some of the technical aspects were bad enough to have an effect on my role-playing itself. The city is gorgeous, but every street looks identical, and the loooong load times between areas and baffling lack of any kind of fast-travel system makes it a chore to get around. I often just gave up on any sidequest that involved a trek across the city because I couldn't put up with the schlep. I tried not to kill anyone, but at a certain point I was too underleveled and couldn't stand the minute-long load times after death so I started eating people just to save my patience. I had three hard crashes during my playthrough, and nearly had a heart attack thinking I was about to have a fourth when the post-final-boss cutscene started hitching. Combat is honestly just bad. Just... bad. Mushy dodges, bad hitboxes, unsatisfying weapons; imagine Bloodborne made by French walking-simulator developers, because that's what it is.


But if you're the kind of RPG fan who isn't afraid of a little of that Eurojank, and has a PC to play this on, then I'd still strongly recommend it. There's just so much to love here, so many cool RPG mechanics to dig into, and so many dialogue trees to exhaust. I mentioned I abandoned my no-kill playthrough, and I think I enjoyed the game much better for it because it opened up a whole new world of possibilities for me. Vampyr's 'good' run is actually quite difficult to achieve because of how tightly interwoven all its mechanics are. There's far more to it than just picking up all the nice guy options, and more importantly, the other paths and levels of morality are really interesting to explore in their own right. To lay things out a bit more clearly:


Being a good guy in Vampyr: You just don't eat the guys, right? Ah, but seeing as how that sweet human blood is your main source of XP in this game, you're choosing to play a much more difficult game for which you'll be perpetually underleveled. The plight of the RPG nice guy, amirite? But, furthermore, you'll actually be locking yourself out of certain options amongst NPCs. A few of London's citizens are monsters in their own right, and there are actually positive outcomes to be had by judiciously gnoshing one or two of'em. Certain dialogue options only unlock after a related NPC is killed, and some of the other folks will live better lives out from under the thumb of the bad crowd.


Being a little bit bad, but mostly good: OK, but don't think you're off the hook just because that guy you ate was a serial killer. You also have the overall health of each of the game's four districts to consider. This is a mechanic made a little bit annoying by the game's lack of fast-travel, but basically every citizen in the game can get sick and your job as town doctor is to make your rounds and give them medicine to keep them healthy. Every time you spend that sweet XP you get from chowing down on a bad guy you have to sleep through a day and wake up the next night, but the game's world state will change overnight. People who were sick will get sicker, and people whose significant others you might have chomped will absolutely tank the district's overall morale level. You might have done London a favour by offing that killer, but consider his elderly mother who lived for her son. Can you keep a district healthy with her bringing down the happiness level? Can you justify killer her, too?


Being a big evil vampire in Vampyr: Ah, and here begins the slippery slope. So you've started killing willy nilly; don't think the game's just going to let you get away with it. In biting these people you're enjoying huge chunks of XP, but when you sleep to spend that XP you'll wake up to a drastically declining world, and if you're having too negative an effect on the district you can simply lose it for good. First a citizen or two will simply disappear without your involvement, but if you're really ruthless you can lose an entire district overnight, failing all their sidequests at once, and when you exit your hideout you'll be accosted by all manner of horrible beastie. Hope the game doesn't send you back through that area later in the story... (it will).


If you haven't already guessed, I got a pretty bad ending thanks to getting a little too fang-happy, and this game follows the Witcher 3 method of deciding your comeuppance long before you actually reach the end of a given quest (or, indeed, the entire game) so there's no last minute Quick Load repenting to be done. I actually really like the ending I got, though. Much like its other clear inspiration, them there Souls games, Vampyr has an autosave function running constantly to force you to live with your decisions, and I really respect that. There was one time early in where I feel I wasn't given enough information before I made a choice, and I ended up choosing an option that I hadn't really wanted (these pesky Mass Effect dialogue wheels not telling you exactly what you're going to say before you say it), but apart from that I feel like the game judged me fairly for how I played it and I'm happy to wallow in the muck I ended up in. I'm definitely going to try and get that elusive perfect playthrough on a replay, though.


I really hope Dontnod is able to make a sequel one day, or at least use what they've learnt from this game in another RPG. I wouldn't say they're one of my favourite developers, but between Life is Strange and Vampyr (and I might even add Remember Me if you caught me in a good mood) they're really building an excellent resume. 

#487662 moving Wicktures that you are watching

Posted by Ocelot on 17 June 2018 - 01:18 AM

I enjoyed that new Tomb Raider for about the first forty minutes. They went with this interesting story where Lara is living by the skin of her teeth as a bike courier in London, with a team of spunky young friends with interesting haircuts. Alicia Vikander's accent is shaky, but she still does posh better than Camilla Luddington from the new games, and she's immediately a lot more lively and likable. She's showing off her sweaty sixpack at an MMA gym, she's showing off her smarts in a bike race through the city streets (that's actually surprisingly well-shot and exciting), and you're immediately drawn in to the mystery of why our favourite rich girl is out there scrambling around for money.


Unfortunately, it becomes a completely different movie once Lara gets to the spooky island. Those spunky friends from the beginning? We never see them again. Instead, we just sit through a checklist of every major action setpiece from the 2013 game, in what is basically an hour of Lara vs. the CGI Animators. The rusty old WW2 bomber, parachuting through the forest, getting impaled on a tree branch, finding a bow, etc etc. They even copy Game Lara's laughably quick transition from reluctant, "What have I done?" self-defence killer to unflappable murder machine, but somehow they do it even worse in the movie! Nothing is given any time to breath, nothing is given any special care, and I'm pretty sure they only had a couple of shooting locations to work with because the big jungle island looks suspiciously like the same two or three places over and over again.


The final act turns into Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade remade by amateurs, with a short reprise of Lara vs. the CGI Animators for good measure. They try to do all the fun riddle-solving and ancient-mechanism-activating scenes, but they forget to establish where Lara gets all the information she needs to solve the puzzles, so she just suddenly starts chanting these "The penitent man will pass"-style cryptic hints that we've never heard before, and rotating these big gear wheels without telling us why she's doing it. They talk a big game about this ancient cursed Japanese Queen who was exiled to this island, and how her thousand servants all killed themselves to protect her in the afterlife, and then they do the least-interesting thing they could do with that setup.


It's just a big load of rubbish, you guys. It has all the hallmarks of a movie that's been rewritten ten times, with bits and pieces from earlier drafts still left over in the finished product but without all the connective tissue they need to make sense, chopped to pieces in the editing room and then sent out to hopefully make some money off the brand name. I wouldn't recommend it.

#487652 D3 2018: The DMC5 Display Demonstration

Posted by Ocelot on 15 June 2018 - 04:30 AM

Here's a translated synopsis of an interview Miyazaki did with Famitsu.

A lot of good info that clarifies some things about Sekiro.


This game sounds awesome. The little taste I've had of From Software I've had so far with the Dark Souls Remaster has been pretty great, so I'm really interested to see with a more traditional action game that's much more up my alley.


Well, I think that will about do it for E3 2018. We've laughed, we've cried, but most importantly we've seen DEVIL MAY CRY 5 and that makes this the best E3 there ever has been. I just want you to know that I love each and every one of you bozos. We've been together all these years, united in our tireless wait for DMC5 (I mean, we've also done other things here, too), but we've finally done it. It's here.


I'll leave you with the gif I didn't get to use because Nintendo's show was so bad:



#487648 What Are You Currently Playing?

Posted by Ocelot on 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.

#487647 D3 2018: The DMC5 Display Demonstration

Posted by Ocelot on 13 June 2018 - 10:17 PM

I'm a little upset that my choice isn't on the poll.

It's pretty obvious looking back through this thread that Ocelot won E3.


DMC5 was announced. We ALL won E3.


I think it's safe to say that Sony "won" E3 even though Microsoft had the best conference. I just find it hard to be Best of E3 when there's still a drastic lack of exclusives for Xbox, aside from your Halo's and your Gears' and your Forza's.


To be fair, I think they did about as well as they could have. Microsoft has had such a bad last few years in terms of canceling games, burning bridges, and taking big gambles that don't really pay off that their show here was almost a mea culpa. Phil basically came out and said "Hey, I went out and bought all these studios because I know we're bad at the first party thing". And of course, the reality of game development these days means none of those deals are going to pay off until the next Xbox comes out, but, y'know, they have to sign those deals sooner rather than later. 


Sony obviously had the best showing in terms of "Look at this sick games you can only play on our toy", but, at the same time, we saw all those games at last year's E3, and while Spidey comes out this year, we're almost definitely going to see the other three at next year's E3, too because none of those bad boys had a release date. I'm getting a bit sick of the whole 'show a game at five consecutive E3s' thing.


(oh btw there's a demo for the Fist of the North Star Yakuza game on the Japanese PSN if you want to check it out. I imported the game when it came out in Japan earlier this year but I still haven't got around to playing it :P)


There are a bunch of people crusading for third person perspective in the CD Projekt forums, and from what I hear, a developer jumped in at one point and said they would reconsider the issue. So it might still happen.

I think the obvious solution is "whynotboth.gif" - just let us zoom into first person when we want to be immersive or aim, and then zoom out to third when we want to see our character... Heck, I think 99% of games should work like that, but I guess the technology that made it possible in Metal Gear Solid 2 got lost at some point since 2001. :P


From what I've read in various previews of the behind-closed-doors demo they showed press, it seems like CDPR are doing pretty interesting things with the first-person perspective. There was one that talked about the player going into a cyborg chop shop, having their eyeball plucked out and outfitted with a new cybernetic enhancement that changed the whole HUD of the game when they plugged it back into their head, which is something that wouldn't work nearly as well in third-person. CDPR made the best video game of this entire generation, so I'm willing to trust that they know what they're doing here :P




Devil May Cry 5 - Have I mentioned that I'm quite a fan of the DMC series? I think I might have said it here once or twice, right? While the new art style certainly took me by surprise, I actually really like it now and I am 200% hyped about this video game. Itsuno is back. Dante, Nero and Vergil are back (and with their proper voice actors, no less!). Devil May Cry is back. GOTY 2019, boyeeeez. We eatin'.


Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I only just started playing Dark Souls last week, and I think it's pretty cool, but I'm not entirely sold on this "run all the way from the checkpoint to the boss door every time" thing, so hearing Sekiro is more of a traditional action game is a big point in its favour for me. I don't know how we suddenly ended up in this situation of having THREE cool olde-timey Japan samurai sword games coming out at once, but I'm pretty OK with it.


Cyberpunk 2077 - I mean, obviously, right? That game's going to be an absolute juggernaut. I poured almost 200 hours into Witcher 3 and will fite u irl if you don't think it's one of the greatest video games ever made, and now the best RPG studio in the business is setting their sights on the cyberpunk genre. What a time to be alive.


Resident Evil 2 Remake - That game looks really cool. I haven't played any of the REs pre-4, but I've always been interested in 2 because I know it was my boi Hideki Kamiya's first game, so I think I'm going to check this one out. I am an incorrigible wuss when it comes to scary games, though, so I hope I can manage it.


Those big expensive Sony games - I think Sony has settled into a pattern of not doing anything hugely innovative, but basically just taking familiar templates and turning them into very pretty, very well-polished games, and I'm happy to play'em. Spider-Man is an Arkham, Ghost of Tsushima is an Assassin's Creed, TLOU2 is a TLOU; none of them are going to change the game but I imagine I'm really going to enjoy all of them. And I still don't know what to say about Death Stranding. Somehow the more we see the less we understand. But, y'know, how are you not going to play that game? I don't know what it is but I need it.


Babylon's Fall - Yeah, we know absolutely nothing about this game, but Platinum is making it and that's enough for me :P

#487637 Star Wars Movies and Positivity Thread

Posted by Ocelot on 13 June 2018 - 04:38 AM

So, is it okay to come out from the bunker yet? Has the fallout from The Last Jedi dissipated? Did we draft teams?

For the record, I thought TLJ was fantastic. I rank it at #2 following ESB. Solo was pretty cool, too.


I'm sorry, but the fallout from TLJ is never going to dissipate. That movie struck a chord the likes of which I've never seen; usually the internet forgets about things after a week or two, but we're six months past TLJ's release now you still can't even mention Star Wars anywhere without people trying to pitch their best TLJ hot take. Kelly Marie Tran just got chased off social media by the internet hate mob last week, and every comment on every article about it is either "GOOD, GRR SJWS!" or "That's terrible. But I hated her character in TLJ tho".


I think we're doomed to this world until someone makes an even more controversial numbered Star Wars episode.

#487628 D3 2018: The DMC5 Display Demonstration

Posted by Ocelot on 12 June 2018 - 09:32 PM

Liiiiittle bit disappointed to hear Cyberpunk is first-person, I've gotta say. I've always thought third- was the superior of the -persons, but, oh well, I'll get over it. I have to go and rewatch that trailer, now that I think about it; I was in full on DMC5 hype mode when they showed it and I didn't take anything in :P


OK, so, now that all the shows are done, I think it's about time for some HOT LISTS! Now, I should say that this is, of course, entirely subjective, but, let's be honest, I'm definitely right about all of this. From best to worst:


Microsoft: Who'd'a thunk it? I can't remember Microsoft ever winning an E3 before, but they nailed it this year. All killer, no filler; they got in, blasted us in the face with great-looking games, told us about all the new studios they'd bought, teased a new Xbox and then got out. Shadows Die Twice, Cyberpunk, and Microsoft-exclusive Ninja Theory were huge gets, but the hugest get of all was Devil May Cry 5, and that cements Microsoft's crushing victory over every other competitor.


Sony: Great games marred by a weird format where they took an inexplicable fifteen minute intermission after the first game. Apparently it was because they needed to move the live audience from one venue to another, but I don't know why you'd design a show that way. As someone who's only ever going to be watching these bad boys online, I couldn't possibly care less about the live audience. I did like the deep dive into big game -> couple of trailers -> repeat format, and they showed some awesome stuff, but that intermission was a big mistake.


Bethesda: A lot of the stuff they showed was pretty Monkey's-Paw-y, to be honest. Prey DLC available now, but it's randomly-generated dungeons. Doom sequel, but we're going to dance around whether or not it's a proper singleplayer Doom. Fallout 76 is the biggest Fallout ever, but guess what it's an online shared world. Todd's going to say the words 'Elder Scrolls VI' and 'Starfield' onstage, but they're next-gen games and we've only got logos. But it was still a fun show, and Pete Hines and Todd Howard really know how to work the crowd.


Square-Enix: They hired Keith David to narrate between games, and they showed us something new from Platinum Games, so I was pretty happy. On the other hand, their Avengers game and the FFVII Remake were complete no-shows, and they showed the same Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer we'd already seen at Microsoft. And Shadow of the Tomb Raider still has the Lara voice actress who I just can't get along with. And Just Cause 4 looks like Just Cause 3 with an ugly filter slapped on it. Just a very anticlimactic thirty minutes of trailers, really.


Ubisoft: After kicking things off with a ten minute dance number, they settled into their patented method of torture by giving every single game an opening monologue, a CG trailer, a halfway monologue, a gameplay demonstration, and then some closing thoughts before bringing out the next game. It was excruciating. Some of those games look pretty cool, like Assassin's Creed Greece where you play as a lady with huge muscles or the reveal of young Jade and Pey'j in BG&E2, but I just never need to see a game for that long at E3. And we were all waiting for Splinter Cell to be the "Oh, and one last thing", but they didn't even do one! Some points awarded for the surprise Star Fox reveal with Miyamoto in the crowd, though.


EA: It's EA; it was awful. They've had the Star Wars licence for YEARS and they just can't manage to do anything with it. The only Star Wars game we saw here was last year's game that everyone hated! They've locked Bioware up in the Games as a Service dungeon from whence they'll never escape, so say goodbye to any IPs from them other than Anthem. They had like a fifteen minute segment where two dudes played the world's most basic RTS against eachother on smartphones, then when it was done they told us it had been the new Command & Conquer game. The only bright moments were when they brought the indie developers out to talk about their games. Yarny guy and the German woman who pronounced 'balance' as 'bell ends'.


Nintendo: I don't know how they did it, but Nintendo somehow managed the worst show of them all. It was 43 minutes long, beginning with 18 minutes of games I had zero interest in and ending with TWENTY FIVE STRAIGHT MINUTES of Super Smash Brothers. And not even the good Smash stuff, like those great character introduction trailers they always do, but the most boring, lifeless, technical run-through of every character's movesets and how they've been nerfed or buffed since the last Smash. EXCRUCIATING. And then they cut straight to Treehouse where they played Smash for another half hour!


Honorable mention goes to Devolver Digital, of course, who did another fantastic show, but I just don't think we can put the real conferences head to head with the one that's just there to roast them :P