What game are you playing?


Honestly, the #1 reason I felt ready to jump in was because I’ve listened to hundreds of hours of Friends at the Table. Although they only play Scum and Villainy for the second half of Twilight Mirage, the majority of the games that they play share the same general improvisational ethos and it’s really helpful to hear Austin’s approach to so many different situations. I’m also a subscriber to their Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/friends_table) and at the $5/mo tier there’s a monthly tips cast that’s full of super useful information for running these kinds of games.

It requires a different approach, but once you embrace it I think it’s actually easier on the GM than D&D. I don’t know what your D&D experience was like, but for me I wasted so much time prepping possible things that the players could do, people they could talk to, etc only for them to entirely miss all that stuff. I also always stressed about keeping them on track for the thing I had prepped because if they went off it I wouldn’t be ready.

Because Scum and Villainy (and all the Forged in the Dark & Powered by the Apocalypse games) is much more collaborative and encourages players to invent things out of the blue, it forces you to let go of prepping everything which at first I was really nervous about but I actually found to be really freeing. This is not a game where you as the GM create the scenario and are a facilitator of the players experiencing it - they are co-creators. If they come up with a cool idea, ask them to flesh it out. If their action fails, ask them if they have any ideas for an interesting reason it could have gone wrong.

The book explains this but it didn’t really click until I had played just how much the system propels the game forward. The mission always starts with the players in a position that demands some kind of immediate action. Regardless of how well or poorly it goes, the specific action they choose and the result of their roll will point to a pretty specific outcome, which gives them another situation that demands action. It’s a really tight loop that doesn’t leave a lot of space for “what do we do now” both from their side and from your side.

One other thing: my players chose the Cerberus ship (bounty hunters) and for me, the absolute most useful prep I did was binge-watch Cowboy Bebop in the few days before we played. The game is designed to around the loop of an episodic TV show - get the mission, plan the mission, run the mission, get paid. Being steeped in the genre is, IMO, the most useful thing you can do to help yourself be ready. When the player inevitably does something you didn’t expect or plan for, you’ll have a catalogue of little snippets of cool shots and scenes to pull from when deciding what happens.

That was kind of longwinded and rambly but I hope it helps. I’m hardly an expert having only run one game so far but if you have any questions or want to chat about it feel free to DM me. Also - I’ll send you the action report I wrote up of our first session so you can see how the game flowed and the rolls played out, to give you an idea of what it looks like in practice. Hope that helps!


Been playing Kingdom Hearts 3, and really enjoying it. I really like the formchanges that come with each Keyblade. They add a nice little twist to the combat. Speaking of combat, I don’t know if I like it that much. I think the attractions show up way to often, and they have definitely lost their appeal to me. I enjoy the team attacks or formchanges to them much more, but I have to use the attraction then cancel it so I can do that sometimes.

Another interesting note is that the Pirates of Caribbean world is very interesting and unique. I wish each world had a way to make it more unique to the Disney movie it is using. Every other world just seems like run around in this world, where Pirates world feels like be a part of this world. It’s just a bummer to see such a cool idea to incorporate Sora and the gang into the world come after so many other worlds that were all mostly the same.

I just started Big Hero 6 world, and I’m liking it so far. I hope I can finish the game by the time the KH3 Lore Reasons gets released so I can listen to it. Especially since I’m holding off to listening to the philosophical Lore Reasons to avoid any spoilers. I need my Lore Reasons!


The game doesn’t tell you that, but you can scroll through the available Triangle commands with L2. Now you never have to suffer through an unwanted attraction again!


So, all this Sekiro talk reminded me I hadn’t played Dark Souls 2 (or 3) yet.

Booted up 2, and it took me a bit, but I’m past the Last Giant boss now, and my Souls-like reflexes are starting to come back. Still haven’t got my parry timing back, and I’m sure I’m going to need that soon. Missed this kind of game, for sure.


WHAT?!?!? Why didn’t they say this? It’s an easy little message they can add to one of the tutorial messages they show. Thank you so much!


Replaying Mass Effect Andromeda for the third time. About three hours in I realized that I made Sara look basically exactly like Deadpool 2 Negasonic Teenage Warhead, so I went all-in and respecced into vanguard.

I already thought the game had the best gameplay of the series but playing as a Vanguard in it? No contest. Just the ability to jump and hover then charge at enemies from an above angle changes things up immensely. The amount of mobility available even when playing a non-vanguard class is ridiculous, so when you add vanguard absurdity on top of that? It’s a complete blast. Pun intended.

Dang I really like this game.


I just beat Devil May Cry 5 and I really wish this game had been 20 missions of Dante. His gameplay is so complex with so many combo options between five different weapons, four different “stances”, like another five guns, and infinite attacks. But the game isn’t long enough for me to flesh any of that out and it’s never hard enough to make me really learn the combos. Basically dodge or jump away from attacks, spam Triangle or maybe Circle, Limit Break occasionally for tons of damage and health restore.

There’s more depth here than I put in but I ended up playing this like a Kingdom Hearts game. It just never pushed me for more.

Also while I liked V’s levels for being ridiculous button mashing nonsense, I hated playing as Nero. You never got to choose which of his arms you were using so his Limit Breaks were totally random. Plus he just wasn’t as much fun. The whole thing ended up being very frustrating… I don’t wanna play this 3/5 game with Nero if there’s a 5/5 game with Dante instead.


I saw Andromeda on sale for £5 over here in the UK. I think that’s the cheapest I’ve ever seen a current gen game on retail for. Is it worth it? Your post seems to say it is. I heard a lot of the bugs got fixed, but tbh for £5 I’m all up for seeing the game in it’s buggy glory.

As for games I’m playing.

(and Nuclear Throne before I go to bed - I think all the twitch attack action is maybe negatively impacting my sleep).


The big question is the platform you are playing on. I recently played Andromeda on the X1X and it looked and played great. Then I tried it on a launch X1 and woof.

In any case, the core gameplay is solid and the story is better than most give it credit for. If you liked the OG trilogy (including ME3) and can ignore the ish around Andromeda at launch, you’re gonna have a good time.


I’ve just started playing Path of Exile on PS4 (which released 3? days ago), and it is a real slog. I’m not sure if would be better coming to it blind so you didn’t realise how bad things were, or if they might just be so bad that you wouldn’t even bother.

The main culprit is the UI, which is just horrible. Moment to moment gameplay is fine, but the once you have to go into a menu it all goes horribly wrong. Part of the issue is that there are just so many options for this deep RPG game to try and map to a controller, but there are also just silly things.

The most glaring issue is that basic attack, interact with, and pick up item are all mapped to X, so if there is an enemy nearby the thing you want to grab or interact with, good luck getting the prompt you want. This is exacerbated by the current league (think, season with a new twist each time) having specific events which “corrupt” over a short time and if you don’t interact with a thing within the time limit, or grab an item before the thing becomes corrupted then its just gone, which is rough.

In the inventory equipping a weapon/item to off-hand is O, but that is also pick up a skill-gem (which is how PoE does skills/abilities), so if you have a gem in the weapon, it appears it can only be equipped to main-hand, or you can pick it up with triangle and manually move it to the off-hand slot.

There is a UI for equipping skills to hot-keys, but it takes half the screen whilst your inventory is still open on the other half of the screen. And when you are in the skill part, it utilities some of the same button presses as the inventory, which means that if you don’t explicitly do the thing the skill menu wants, you end up interacting with you inventory again.

I’ve sunk a decent number of hours into it on my laptop, but with integrated graphics it starts off at 15FPS and quickly dissolves into a slideshow at higher levels with more things on screen (honestly, I’m amazed that it even runs at all), which has lead me numerous times in higher level difficulties just dying before the screen even updated to tell me I was taking damage. I know why I’m putting up with these issues, but I’m not sure if you should


I also tried out Path of Exile yesterday on PS4. I did not have a good time. The UI is very much not good, difficult to read the text, difficult to move the selection around, confusing/bad choices for buttons. Don’t think it feels good to play either. You can’t hold down the attack and then move between animations to get closer and closer to enemies, so a lot I just stood still missing (and the feedback of which enemy you are hitting and not, is not good). And the pick up item thing, already mentioned.

I’ve enjoyed many hours of Diablo 3 on PS4, but not until now did I realise just how incredibly well-designed it is.


Get into post game, that’s where DMC games really begin, especially this time because one of your characters has a completely new mechanic after the first playthrough.

Wait until bloody balance in DLC, that’s where you’re really going to get to test your mechanical skill.


I already returned it to Redbox so… oops. Onto Sekiro.


I didn’t have any problems with Andromeda at launch. The only bugs I saw were the faces, which didn’t bother me, and those have been fixed.

The story still isn’t as good as the OG Trilogy and the flow/pacing can be a bit wonky if you let yourself get lost completing side quests in the open words, but it plays great and I like the characters a lot. Ryder especially.

My suggestion would be to mainline the main quest until you find an ark, find other arks and do side quests on the nexus, play til the point of no return, then do any loyalty quests and side quests that affect the ending before proceeding. This lets you complete planets and do the extensive side quests post-game and they actually make more sense for being positioned that way.

It has the recent open world game problem of there just being way too much content, but i’m enjoying it a lot. The gameplay is just so much fun.


This looks like a really cool little platformer!


I’m also playing through Andromeda, and yeah, it’s a lot better than it gets credit for. The combat is a lot of fun, and I have a real soft spot for the Nomad, which is basically ME1’s Mako done right. It’s really gorgeous at times, too – Mass Effect’s art really pops with Frostbite’s improved lighting.

The story is definitely a weak link. There’s some good potential in the early setup of “our 600-year mission just went completely sideways, how do we survive and build a functioning society?” before it kinda backgrounds that thread in favor of ancient aliens and a cartoonishly evil genocidal race that just feel like weaker versions of the Protheans/Reapers. But the characters are fun and there are some good smaller stories in there.

It’s a bummer that it turned out the way it did. The core of it is solid, and a ME:Andromeda 2 could have been genuinely great, once the team had more familiarity with the engine. I think its reception would have been a lot better if they were given another few months to polish up some of the technical issues.


I just finished Andromeda’s story so will spend a few days doing all the side stuff now, and yeah it’s a real bummer that we’ll probably not get a sequel.


Just started Final Fantasy 7 on Switch and omg all the feels. This game has a huge emotional significance for me and I’ve wanted to re-play it for years but it’s so long and such a grind, I didn’t think I’d be able to. Between the 3x speed, toggleable random encounters, and battle booster though, I’m flying through it and haven’t had to roll my eyes once at an annoying random encounter.


Last night I started playing Slime Rancher since it was free from the Epic Games storefront. The progress loops in farming-type games like this have a way of sucking me in, and this one was no exception – I sat down for a short session and ended up playing for like 3 hours. But this felt kind of different. In the moment, I had to tear myself away (actually, my spouse did) to force myself to go to bed. But today I’m not really thinking about it, I don’t really have an urge to get back into it like I did with Stardew Valley. Maybe I will when I want a low-key alternative to Sekiro, but it’s just not pulling at me like I kind of expected.


Replaying Crosscode now.

For no particular reason. Don’t need a reason to play the best game of 2018, one of the best games ever made.