What game are you playing?

Yeah, I think that Heaven’s Vault is one of the best games I’ve played in ages. Its different systems and sometimes-jank really makes it feel like going on a long adventure. And I like that Aliya has a clear character to her that shines through, even if you are picking her responses.

It’s a good, fleshed out world that I hope more people will come to experience with time.

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Rented Mutant Year Zero for the Switch. On the positive side, had no technical problems and you could save at any time! (so rare in console ports I take notice)
Unfortunately, it’s rendered at a low resolution and gets very blurry and hard to make out details. This became a problem on missions in snowy areas where objects blend in with the background.
I’d like to think I’m not picky about graphical fidelty but it definately bothered me,

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darkest dungeon: week 12. i have cleared out my first boss!
since starting seriously on medium length expeditions, i think i have found my favorite part of the game, and it is camping.
in the midst of all this eldritch bullshit, your beleaguered heroes get a rare chance to take a breather by the light of a campfire and look after each other, instead of seeking distraction independently in the hamlet, and it’s perfect.

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I’m currently playing Audica. It’s a rhythm VR game made by the music game masterminds over at Harmonix. It released earlier this year on Steam and Oculus, but just got ported over to PSVR this week (where I’m playing). It has a very strong Beat Saber (one of my all time favorite VR titles) feel, but instead of slashing blocks, you’re shooting targets in time to music. I’m having a great time with it so far, it’s sooo energetic and satisfying to play. If you ever get the opportunity to try it (or Beat Saber!!!) out, please please please do. For me

I’m still playing more Dota Underlords then I should. I just can’t stop, it’s become the thing XCOM 2 was where if I can’t decide on something to play in 10 minutes it’s going to be underlords + video watching.

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I’m playing FF12 but I don’t really know if I want to stick with it for the entirety of its JRPG length

I just did the bit where you run around yelling that you’re Captain Basch for no reason and I can’t for the life of me imagine how any one person signed off on that, let alone a development team

Playing some game involving beached whales, jar babies, and Do You Still Shower With Norman Reedus?

Death Stranding. I’m playing Death Stranding.

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Playing this Japanese 13 Sentinels demo and after a couple hours they name dropped H.G. Wells and then some giant spider robots showed up.

Game seems good. Only problem I have is I’m not super into the look of the combat. Doesn’t hold up to the rest of the game or what you’d expect out of Vanillaware visually.

Finished Afterparty. I truly, with all of my heart wish i loved it more than i did. Its legitimately a funny game, but its kinda thematically shallow? Does it have anything to say about Religion? Alcohol? Your personal demons? Friendship? Yes kind of but like not a lot? The game in moments feels close to being very profound, but it takes too little and too long to get to that. It ended stronger than it started at the very least, and despite playing the first 75% of the game in fits and spurts the last parts managed to interest me, even if said events were tangled in that really thin web of themes. Also minor complaint but the game ran terribly on my PS4, stutters and wierd loading pauses all over the place. I dunno, i’m still a sucker for repurposed religious iconography, and the game is legitimatly funny, so i can’t say i hated it. But i don’t think it was that good either. I’ll still be there for whatever Night School does in the future, but unfortunately i think this one is a miss.

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Been playing more of Vampyr and I’m sort of loving it. It’s refreshing to play something hewing close to Nosferatu in the modern gaming scene. And I’m in awe of how Dontnod pulls off great visuals in cutscenes without pulling much attention to them – I feel the heritage of Mafia 3 in this, in that sense.

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Been on a bit of a Quake kick lately. I played all the way through Quake 1.5, which is a bit like Quake’s version of “Brutal Doom” (minus all the stuff the Doom community hates about Brutal Doom). It’s basically a big overhaul for the original game, with beefier sound, new mechanics (melee kick!), new guns, reworked levels, an expanded roster of enemies (including old ones gaining new abilities), new boss fights to cap off episodes 2 and 3, and even slight roguelike elements where monster layouts change slightly from run to run.

It’s absolutely brilliant, filling Quake out to feel like more than just another Doom-also-ran. Now it feels closer to the standard of modern-retro FPS games like Dusk, or Amid Evil, or Ion Maiden. My only real complaint is the ending – Quake 1’s original final boss, Shub-niggurath, is kind of a dumb, gimmicky fight, almost more of a joke than anything (to beat it, you must simply telefrag it). Quake 1.5 keeps the same basic idea but completely changes the execution in a way that’s legitimately awesome on paper but is dragged down by being an insane difficulty spike. I played on normal difficulty, which was a reasonable challenge for most of the game until near the end of the 4th episode. But even that didn’t feel insurmountable, it just meant I had to buckle down and grit my teeth.

Shub-niggurath is where it crossed over to impossible. The amount of tough monsters they expect you to fight, versus the shortage of health and ammo, it was just too much. I gave up and turned on cheats. It was either be miserable trying to legitimately beat the boss, or be miserable with guilt for feeling like I had to cheat. Nobody wins.

Alternate to that, I’ve been playing the Quake Halloween Jam 2. This is a community map pack overlaid over the top of the “Arcane Dimensions” mod framework, which is what parts of Quake 1.5 were also developed from. Here, this just means even more new monsters. It took me a while to find a Quake Source Port that would play nice with it (they recommend Quakespasm for this, whereas Quake 1.5 comes with a custom build of DarkPlaces) but it’s a good, spooky, seasonally appropriate mod. There’s a trailer that gives you a taste of most of the maps, and they run the gamut of high-concept, visually beautiful maps to overly-ambitious worlds and puzzle boxes. It’s also EXTREMELY difficult, so I wouldn’t find any shame in dropping it down to easy (plus, these maps can get pretty long and Quake doesn’t have a checkpointing system).

My favorite part comes at what I’m going to consider the “end” of the mod. The whole mod is presented like a Quake-ified version of Princess Peach’s castle from Super Mario 64, where you jump through paintings to access levels. However, there is a secret painting that I think might only be accessible after you complete at least one map. It’s tucked away in a dark corner where you can’t really see it, and once you find it, it’s just a blank canvas. If you jump through it, suddenly you… end up back at the Quake 1 starting map.

Now, the first thing you think is that this has to be a glitch, and I’ve noticed people here and there actually trying to report it as a glitch, thinking the “real” map is just missing and this is Quake resolving that problem by sending you to the default start map. It’s not, of course, it’s the start of a legitimately great creepypasta where familiar elements are twisted against you and the game itself begins to rip apart. I loved it to pieces.

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Hoo boy Death Stranding.

All game development is a miracle, in one sense, but it’s downright astonishing to watch someone get a bucket of money that big to make this game. A transcription of Hideo Kojima’s “college freshmen staying up too late and in the middle of Philosophy 101” discussions coupled with the world’s most advanced hiking simulator. And sometimes…it works?

There are a few moments in the game where you cross a bridge put there by a previous passerby, or the camera pulls back as you’re treated to another entry of Kojima’s “vibes” Spotify playlist where you take a breath and realize that nothing in this game really happened by accident. That joy you feel when you run into another player’s generator as that bike’s about to run out of juice? The peace of wandering along a riverbed to some mellow tune? Someone absolutely thought of that. It’s in these small moments that I really get the appeal.

It’s the rest of it that doesn’t really work for me. I’m sure someone’s going to love this game to pieces, but that’s not me. I’ll be over here in the Fallen Order/Sword and Shield waiting room.

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Everyone remembers Quake for the multiplayer but honestly those early games had legitimately really good single player campaigns. The first Quake is hands down still one of my most favorite games to just sit down on a weekend and play through.

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See, I was kind of disappointed in Quake. Doom 2 was a tiny evolution of Doom, so I was hoping for the next big paradigm shift. Instead, they gave us a game that may as well have been called Doom 3. Which isn’t bad, I guess, it’s kind of what they were good at, but I was just expecting more than that.

I guess for me Quake 1 was the first time cracks in that era of iD Software were starting to show. Because again, with Quake 2, I was kind of expecting a big shift… and instead Quake 2 feels like a half step between iD’s established shooter core and Half-Life. And Half-Life was the actual shift I was waiting for, making Quake 2 instantly feel out of touch by comparison.

And it kind of got worse for iD Software from there, at least as far as what I was looking for.

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Finished Bloodstained and it was enjoyable. I think starting this directly after Hollow Knight, which I feel is a superior game, wasn’t the best idea, and as a result I stopped playing for a while. Symphony of the Night is one of my all time favourites, and this game follows in its footsteps almost to a fault. I wish it had done more to establish its own identity.

From the depths of the backlog I played Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light for the DS. It’s a straightforward lighthearted JRPG with some frustrating difficulty spikes. It also has a battle system that is the predecessor of what appeared in Bravely Default and Octopath Traveller, where you can “store” action points and unleash greater spells and abilities than you could otherwise. Structurally, your party of 4 is only together for the first boss fight, and then they separate for nearly 3/4 of the game, pairing up in different ways as they run into each other across the world map. Also has a nice job system, with cool jobs such as Spell Fencer (imbue your weapon with an equipped spell), Party Host (increases likelihood to do combined attacks) and Scribe (damage is based on completion rate).

Grabbed Crypt of the Necrodancer on Switch and enjoyed it despite the last phase being a struggle to me. You have to fight two bosses in a row and losing sets you back to the beginning of the level. But outside of that it’s super fun and has a great soundtrack.

Early in the year I binged through a lot of Waypoint’s videos on Youtube and saw Anodyne being championed by Danielle. She wrote about it here and here. It’s a 2D Zelda-like that doesn’t give me the same satisfaction in terms of combat and traversal, but makes up for it in other ways. The game seems to start off as a parody but then takes another, darker turn entirely. Not all the ideas hit for me but it was a great experience.

I bought Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate earlier this year and was hoping to be done with it before Iceborne came out but alas . . . Anyways, yesterday I finally got to G Rank! There were two separate urgent quests that I needed to complete to get in, one against a Dalamadur (10 tries) and the other against an Ukanlos (1st try!). I know Monster Hunter World was the first MH for a lot of people here, and I recommend them watching a video of the above fights so they can see what those monsters look like, especially the Dalamadur, the scale of that fight is immense!

I decided this week i would be playing a bunch of phone games this week as i prepare for Pikachu to steal my soul. Played another hour or so of Manifold Garden which is a real gem of a puzzle game that i think has slipped under the radar. Discolored is a 45 minute puzzler/adventure game that suffers from a variety of issues, i had to look up where to go mulitple times despite the constrained length and location, it was a meh game overall. Bleak Sword is a lot of fun. Dark souls by way of Downwell is basically the elevator pitch imo, and its a bunch of bite sized roll and swing combat. Fun little game.

to be fair to iD, they themselves were intending more out of Quake (as is now excessively well documented), and the whole “full 3d techdemo with Doom-like plot” was a plan B.
That said, as I’ve said before, I actually quite like the resulting effect - although it helps that I played Quake before I played Doom or Doom II.

(and, by comparison, I disliked the attempts at adding non-linear structure to Quake II - the hub/spoke map stuff was just confusing to me, since all the bits of the levels looked so similar.)

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Been playing a wee game called Death Stranding. Not sure if anyone’s heard about it as it’s a pretty niche walking simulator.

I’ll probably say more about it in the offical thread, but I think it’s a masterpiece and I haven’t even reached Act 3 yet. What this game does in making you feel the stress and weight of a long journey through a hellish wasteland is incredible. When most games want to deliver you a power fantasy in which you run through the world as a ninja offing fools with whatever gun or blade they give you, Death Stranding’s form of empowerment comes in experience, knowledge of the land, proper planning that is only earned with time with the game. Then using that that in a communal sense to help other players. I think it’s magnificent.

It’s a miracle that it even exists. I just hope this has a knock on effect with other designer/developers doing weirder things with games on a big budget.

I do think the game would be better with less expositionary cutscenes. Nicholas Winding Refn and Mads Mikkelsen are in the game, so Kojima obviously saw Valhalla Rising, I can’t help but feel the game, setting and story would have been better with as less explanation as possible.

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I’m late to the party - but finally playing Breath of the Wild. Or as a friend who forgot the name called it:“Wind of the Land”. Almost the same. :wink:
I love the climbing mechanic, and have thus upgraded stamina twice - meaning I die a lot as I run about with three hearts and am not that fluent with the battle system yet.

I normally try to avoid games that are 20+ hours, but there’s only so many mentions and game-of-the-year awards I can take before I have to play it regardless.

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So, after 3 weeks of Destiny 2 absolutely devouring my life, and more than 200 hours of playtime, I’m finally feeling burnt out. Admittedly I haven’t played Shadowkeep yet (everything leading up to it) and I still got two raids to complete but I definitely stopped feeling the rush. The lore, the gameplay, the exotics, it all kinda becomes stale once you reach that pinnacle content grind, and I get constant technical issues in Crucible and Gambit which makes online play pretty unbearable. I’m still probably gonna go back to it every few days but the daily grind is done.

Which means…I’m looking for a new obsession! definitely got my eyes on RDR2’s PC release, after a year of hype about that game i’m definitely looking to try it out. Definitely in the mood for some rootin tootin cowboy shootin. Disco Elysium is also very much on my radar, although IDK if i’m feeling a big isometric RPG after finishing divinity not too long ago