What game are you playing?

I’ve gone through 4 chapters of A Plague Tale: Innocence and I feel like stopping and watching let’s play of the rest. It’s not a bad game, but there’s a tension between exploration and progression that is frustrating me. There are collectibles and I don’t mind if I miss those. But I started exploring more thoroughly looking for materials. Then I noticed that I could only ever afford a specific upgrade and nothing else at each crafting table. That, combined with more complex distract the guard sneaking sequences sort of sapped my desire to spend time exploring side-paths.

Yeah, I’ve honestly no real desire to rush to Cyberpunk as I imagine it’ll be a bit of a mess mechanically never mind politically.

@Alveric Combat has actually been surprisingly fine for me so far, movement in combat has seemed pretty ok and I’ve been able to pull of some cool looking stuff. The biggest problems I’m having are managing my speed, sometimes I just want to walk slowly toward a chest and not sprint the fuck over it. Similarly inside buildings is a bit of a nightmare, it slows you down alright but I cant figure out the range/proximity to things I need to loot or search.
Don’t mention that fucking horse, it’s dead to me, I refuse to call it.

I haven’t touched it for two days as I’ve been busy but I am looking forward to the rest of the story and exploring places, I just wish Geralt moved like a human being.

Still playing the Overlord Picross, technically called Picross Lord of the Nazarik.



It’s some good ass Picross and the puzzles are getting steadily more difficult even w the assists on.
Also starting Thronebreaker, the Witcher tie in card game that’s based on Gwent but actually not much at all like Gwent (that I remember) , but its good! I’ll def keep with it.

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One final comment on The Witcher 3, as I spent my lunch break reading up on it: Gwent is extremely fun. I need so much more Gwent.

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Yuuup. I played 4 games against the chap in White Orchard for no reward whatsoever because it’s so fun. Saving up my coin for the last two cards I need to buy from the merchant

I started up a new game in Hades after being away from it for a few months and I gotta say, it’s shaping up spectacularly. The art is as gorgeous as it’s ever been, there’s a new system for adding things to the main hub area, there are now small quests and challenges you complete across runs, and the combat has been honed to a fine edge.

Last night I was on a run with Coronacht (the bow, maybe my favorite weapon) and I got one boon that split my arrow into three separate shots, and another that made each of my shots ricochet to up to three enemies, so pretty much every every time I fired it set of a chain reaction across the screen; I also turned my special into a deflect, which as it turns out is amazing on the bow, because the special is so wide it can send entire streams of projectiles back at enemies. I got up to Elysium before I died, and it felt absolutely sublime - it’s probably the most I’ve enjoyed a combat system on a mechanical level since Sekiro. It’s getting to a point where the overall game is approaching the level of Supergiant’s best. Between this, Noita and Griftlands, I’m feeling very good about the state of roguelikes in 2020.

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The combat in Hades is SO GOOD! It’s exhilarating to figure out a new synergies and experiment with all combinations of boons. On a moment to moment mechanical level it just feels incredible. When I get into a good run I can usually get into a flow state where I don’t really have to think, but my fingers just react to what’s on the screen. I can almost feel my brain buzzing when shut my computer off after a particularly good session.

Something I really appreciate about the game is how smooth the difficulty curve is. It starts off easy, so there’s plenty of room to experiment with new weapons and boon combos, but by the time you reach the first boss it’s already pushing you. Every room from then on is harder than the last, but it’s so gradual that by the time you get to the really challenging stuff your deep inside “the zone.” Contrast that with games like Spelunky or Binding of Isaac (both games I adore) where bad luck can have you dying in the first world or even screen pretty consistently.

I’m excited for this game to reach full release so more people can play it. A lot of people have trouble justifying buying games in early access, and I totally understand that, but this game is incredible and I want it to be the sensation it deserves to be.

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My sadness with Hades is that literally the only Super Giant Games release I got on with is Transistor - and that’s because I don’t do hectic & real-time. The pause-to-setup mechanism in Transistor was perfect for me, and I would love to see a version of Hades with it so I can play it…

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Hades is probably the most hectic of Supergiant’s games, but they kind of broke character and added an easier difficulty mode in December. Basically it just gives you better defense, so it won’t make the game less hectic on a sensory level, but you may not die as much. I think it’s kinda like RE4 where it makes it easier and harder based on how far you make it before dying. I don’t know if that would make the game accesible to you, but it’s cool to see Supergaint add something like that as they’ve generally only used difficulty modifiers to make their games harder.

Hades feels like a successor to Transistor in how it’s all about finding cool synergies between powers. It would be cool to see them revisit that.

Hell yeah Hades talk!

The combat in this game is so frantic, but it’s been amazing to feel myself be able to respond quicker and better as I improve.

I’ve reached the point in the game where I’m now just raising the pact of pain and hoping I make a good enough build that I can beat the final encounter.

I recently had an incredible run with the shield where the key of the build was hit with your basic attack to make an enemy Weak, then throw your shield to inflict Doom. This is because I also had an ability that allowed Doom to trigger every second an enemy had Doom if they also had weak status. Usually Doom lasts 3 seconds and then deals it’s damage during the last second, but the duo ability gave a chance for Doom to deal damage in seconds 1 and 2 as well.

One of the keys to my favorite builds is getting Aphrodite boons, because she also seems to have the most Duo boons which make for really powerful builds!

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Please come to switch Hades :persevere:

Like a lot of people it seems I’ve done the whole “man you know what was a good game? Apex Legends”. And you know what it’s a dang good game.

Also finished Act 3 of KR0 and and it’s corresponding interlude. That game makes me sad. And I keep picking the saddest options because I’m that guy

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I’ve gone back to my Battletech career. One thing I’ve come to appreciate is just how different Career plays compared to the campaign. The random contracts are kind of like an optional grind you can do to make the next story mission easier. The campaign waits for you. It’s up to you how you play, but it’s very easy to just play comfortably.

Career mode gives you 1200 days and that encourages you to start imposing some constraints on yourself. Time doesn’t advance unless you’re travelling or you manually decide to cool your heels. So you basically want to squeeze all your mech repairs/refits into the travel time between systems, then shotgun as many of the contracts there as you can, even if that means your Mechwarriors are somehow doing 5 missions in a single day. Then the cycle repeats. You decide what repairs/refits you can do before you hit the next system.

I’ve dropped into missions with a mech that’s barely got all its limbs in place because there’s just one contract left in the system. I’ve made heartbreaking choices like leaving my shiny new salvaged Grasshopper or Shadowhawk sitting in the Mech Bay because it’d take almost 2 weeks to strap weapons on it, and I could get 3 or 4 mechs patched up to battle ready status in that time. Once I had enough time to put just a single gun on and figured it could soak a bunch of damage and punch things to death. Something is always better than nothing. It’s just so much… scrappier.

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The Witcher 3 I have finally freed Dandelion in Novigrad and did the quest where you put on a play. Which was very cute. I am officially past the part the stoved me in last time. Even more invested in the game this time. I’m off in Skellige now. Feeling right at home thanks to all the Northern Ireland accents and how it all feels a bit more like Skyrim. Got a haircut style that makes Geralt look like a Final Fantasy character and I just had sex on a unicorn after walking around the wake in matching garments to my queen Yennifer.

One thing I’ll say, the more you level up and the more quests you leave behind at the lower levels and the less you get out of the quests. Not a huge problem as it does direct you to more of the harder stuff and potentially more of the story, but I do feel it harms going back to the game and crossing off mixed quests. That said it is satisfying going back to parts of Velen and absolutely trashing a giant Alghoul that you had to run away from last time.

Last thing, I know a lot of games have issues with it, but there does seem to be a lot of dialogue that gets interrupted by brawls, races or horse races. I really liked the quest where you had to put on a play. My Geralt was really trying at being an actor, but then the church afficionados just straight up pulled out swords after it ended.

Game is good y’all. Feels good that there is still so much more of it to go including the DLCs. It’s a nice feeling actually.

One final comment on The Witcher 3 , as I spent my lunch break reading up on it: Gwent is extremely fun. I need so much more Gwent.

I still don’t know what I am doing with Gwent. Do I need better cards? Can’t win for the life of me…

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My advice for Gwent is to not be afraid to concede a round if it forces your opponent to spend a lot of their hand.

That way you can force a victory due to your opponent running out of cards.

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I am still early in the game so perhaps my Gwent strategy is only successful with very basic AI but I have found a good approach to be to “throw” the first round or try and get my opponent to empty their hand as much as I can. On top of that, I have tried to prioritize drawing cards and pulling cards from my discard pile. The game really seems to be about having the most cards in your hand.

As to my own progress in the main game, I completed “Wandering in the Dark” last night and thoroughly enjoyed the quest line. However, what I liked even more was that it ends with you exiting a cave into unexplored wilderness. Trying to find my way to any sort of place of refuge while I was overburdened with loot from the quest and unexpectedly encountering difficult enemies really reminded me of playing both Breath of the Wild and Dragon’s Dogma. There is a very fun and enchanting sense of exploration in this game.

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Something flipped in me the last few days and I was like…“wait, I have three decently-to-actually powerful PCs in the house. Maybe I should use them for gaming.” (The Hackintosh I built that powers our recording studio has a pretty good graphics card, ditto the Plex server I built hooked up to the TV in the living room, and I’m using a Surface Book 2 w/ an Nvidia discrete graphics card as my laptop now, so…)

In keeping with my “I will never again play anything that forces me to be a dude” rule, I went through my Steam, etc. library and in combo with Game Pass for PC I loaded up several things to play or revisit on the 'puter. Crosscode, Dishonored 2, Dragon’s Dogma, The Outer Worlds, Battletech, etc.

I started off with Dragon’s Dogma. Laying in bed playing that on the Surface Book at 60fps w/ a controller hooked up last night was shockingly fun, so I’m gonna keep rolling on it and use save sync in Steam to just alternate to whichever device feels right at the moment.

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Well, Kentucky Route Zero has failed me with a rather significant bug - I quit playing some way into Act 3, and on reloading it’s completely non-responsive [the “ephemera” and other menus work, but there’s literally nowhere on screen I can click to get the characters to move or interact].

I count this as a “the developers don’t care enough for me to want to play any further”…

[edit: this matches my problem and it’s shocking it isn’t fixed after 5 years. https://steamcommunity.com/app/231200/discussions/0/558755529496803903/ ]

to be honest, it might just be that I’ve had a cold for the past week, but KRZ Act 3 doesn’t sit well with me. The act at the bar is a lovely setpiece, but there’s not much else new, and Xanadu is an interface reference, and homage, which has been so over-done that it’s no longer interesting. And the mechanic of navigating the Zero gets tedious when you have to do it for extended periods. (In addition, it seems like the facade of letting you choose things about the characters by choosing their responses is wearing thin- I deliberately avoided the suggestions that Conway was an alcoholic, and yet Lula’s reaction to him at the Hall of the Mountain King makes it clear that he’s one regardless, even though he’s never drunk under my control. This does not endear it to me either Also, on a similar note, the forced interface control loss at the end of the distillery tour can also get in one

I finally beat the heart in Slay The Spire and so I did the next logical step and started playing The Pokemon Trading Card Game for the GBC. Game holds up incredibly well IMO and proves you don’t need great visuals for a great card game.

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I have some new thoughts re: Breath of the Wild. I think I can point to more concrete reasons of why I’m not completely vibing with the game.

I went out to dinner with one of my really good friends and we ended up talking about video games. He’s the kind of guy that gets the Triple A open world games (Red Dead, Bethesda, etc.), while I generally skip over those types of games. Our shared touchstone for this type of game is Morrowind, and as we talked about Morrowind and Skyrim I realized what it is about BOTW that’s great, and some lingering criticisms about the design.

Morrowind is a phenomenal game, infinitely better than Skyrim for a plethora of reasons. Outside of the world feeling completely alien, it asks the player to explore for themselves. The story will tell you places to go, but nothing pops up on the map. There is no UI to direct the player, and you have to talk to people and follow signs to get to places you need to go. This leads to interesting encounters, and a true sense of place and you try to get your bearings, and find people by talking to others. I remember one quest specifically where the player has to go to a tomb to find an object (vague, I know, I haven’t played the game in over a decade). Along the road there are lots of tombs, so finding the right one in and of itself is a challenge.

This is in direct contrast to Skyrim, a game which has Waypoints for every quest. Because of this, it becomes easy to beeline to not only the right area, but the exact right person/place. Instead of having to talk to townsfolk to find x character, that character is a Waypoint. Not only this, but it leads to a weird phenomenon where instead of following roads and paths, you just end up hopping over mountains and cutting across the map. This doesn’t feel like the right way to play, but it’s the way most people did.

Breath of the Wild fixes this problem by allowing Link to climb, fly, and swim. Suddenly, cutting across mountains doesn’t feel game-breaking, or unintended. It’s the way to play the game, and it feels good and fun. This is great! It feels like a response to Skyrim in the best way possible. Shrine Quests also offer what Morrowind did, giving only vague clues and leaving it to the player to find the shrines.

I can’t shake the feeling that maybe why I’m not in love with BOTW is because I loved Morrowind first. Morrowind is the best open world game I’ve ever played, and soured me on most open world games that I’ve played after, which is why I don’t generally play them. When you’ve played the best, what else can compare? Or if not the best, one of the most formative games for me. Breath of the Wild’s open world is great, exploration and traversal are wonderful, but it will never feel as dangerous, alien, or deep as Morrowind’s world felt to me. This could be rose-tinted glasses, but I feel like Breath of the Wild is a natural evolution and refinement of Morrowind and Skyrim’s open worlds, but I liked how rough around the edges Morrowind was. It wasn’t perfect, but it was astonishing to me at the time.

However, this criticism of BOTW solidifies how AMAZING the shrines and divine beasts are. These are by and far my favorite part of the game. Every time I hear the slate beep because an unexpected shrine is near I get excited.

Sorry this is long and a bit unorganized, I just wanted to write my thoughts down before I forgot. I appreciate y’all on this forum, and such a good place we’ve all created to explore ideas and criticism.

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