Episode 404 - Live by the Nomura, Die by the Nomura

After a hefty sports/politics minute (look, it was a busy weekend!), the Waypoint Radio crew is here to talk about one of their favorite things, roguelike deckbuilders. Rob is playing Roguebook, a new game designed by Richard Garfield (of Netrunner/Magic: the Gathering fame), which presents a new take on the deckbuilding genre of video games: what if all the cards? After the break, Austin, Patrick, and Cado report back on their time fighting "Chaos?" in Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Austin has also been checking out Wildermyth, an RPG with proc-gen narrative told through the shifting personality traits of your characters. Then we do a quick wrap up on some of our favorite Steam Next Fest demos before entering an especially cursed Question Bucket.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://play.acast.com/s/vicegamingsnewpodcast/episode404-livebythenomura-diebythenomura

It’s always wild to me to here Austin and Rob talk about how they play slay the spire. They always emphasize trimming down their deck which is like the exact opposite of what I do. Since the most reliable way to get cards out of your deck is at shops for increasing amounts of gold, you end not spending gold on relics. I’m sure their play style comes from experience with other deck builders and it sounds like they enjoy it and it works for them. But I find that rather than having a really efficient deck, if you have a massive deck you can hide the dud cards amongst the ok to good cards. Effectively raising your average. This combined with the added potency from additional relics has proven to an effective strategy for me, and shows a strength for slay the spire, that it can be played multiple ways.

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All the New York mayoral candidates make the fucking presidential candidates we got last year seem great in comparison.

Can’t believe Austin forgot about Hitman III!

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I finished a run of Suzerain yesterday (got impeached by my own anti-corruption team like a genius) and it really is as good as Rob said. There is a level of detail in the history of these fictional countries and the characters you talk to that makes you engage with the world as is, instead of playing it more abstractly, even as you’re trying to achieve certain outcomes. And almost everything is presented through text and dialog instead of pure numbers, so the information you have access to is always subjective in some way; you have to trust your gut that it will work out. I would love to see it played on a stream like when they played Stellaris, with the team debating their next move as a council.

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Austin bringing up what the best game of 2021 led me to wonder. Best games I’ve played this year are undeniably Disco Elysium: Final Cut and Nier Replicant Numbers. FFVII Remake’s Yuffie DLC is pretty fun too, but way too short for the money.

So I guess the best true 2021 game I’ve played so far is… Gnosia. And sure, Gnosia is pretty solid. It has a cat boy with big himbo energy. That’s fun.

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I have the exact same reaction too! You need a thick, somewhat generalist deck because, if nothing else, you need to be able to handle curses and dazes and wounds.

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Well, some mild NY politics good news.

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Phoenix Point is not worth the time IMO. I tried going back to it and it still feels lifeless and meh. I get what they were going for but the harsh truth is if you are wanting something that feels like it is taking cues from old XCOM you should play Xenonauts instead.

There is also OpenXcom which is a really cool community project that deserves more light. It is trying to emulate the original XCOM but it is written from scratch so as to abide licensing. All the code is open source but the assets are from the original and require you to have a copy of the original somewhere on your PC so it can import them.

This has led to some good high quality community made mods and it is even tied into ModDB’s new mod.io platform.

I genuinely do not understand liking the combat in Mass Effect 1 more than the other games in the series. The gunplay was floaty, the powers had longer cooldowns and were less impactful, and while there were technically more guns they were largely undifferentiated and required you to use one of the worst inventory screens in the history of games.

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Individual power cool downs were slower, yes, but they were all on separate cool downs, unlike ME2 and 3. So in practice you could use ME1 powers more frequently than in later games. I still think ME3 has the best combat by far, but I can see the argument for ME1, especially taking the view of a Bioware fan who really dug KotOR’s pseudo-turn based combat.

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ME3 fixes the cooldown issue with the “weight” system, IMO. My Adept has like a 1s cooldown on Pull and a 2s cooldown on Singularity right from the start of the game. Part of that is being an imported character who already had a lot of skill points invested, but the +200% cooldown rate bonus from restricting myself to only a Pistol and SMG is really the main factor. So you get to choose whether you want to mostly shoot or mostly spam abilities in a way that the prior games didn’t really let you do.

I maintain that ME1 was no less of a cover shooter than the later games, but it was a lot worse at being a cover shooter. The one thing I’ll grant it is that the combat – apart from a couple of missions where you’ll get stunlocked by biotics – is slower-paced than the sequels, and I think that’s what a lot of people are reacting to. But the problem is that it’s slower-paced largely because it’s entirely flat; aside from the aforementioned biotics, who are extremely rare, there aren’t different enemy types that challenge you to adjust your tactics the way they do in ME3.

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I haven’t revisited Mass Effect recently in any capacity (let alone the Legendary version) so I’m relying on hazy memories from a decade ago, but I remember loving how it felt playing a Vanguard in ME2 after slogging through the original ME - and I did a lot of combat, because it’s one of the rare games where I decided, for some reason, to not only replay it multiple times but to get every achievement, which included playing on the highest difficult in which every enemy is a gigantic bullet sponge. But I’ve got respect for Cado sticking with his niche opinion.

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