What game are you playing?

Started playing a game called Super Mecha Champions on a lark because it was recommended to me on Steam. It’s a battle royale… with mecha in it! I’ve played a handful of matches in the battle royale and team deathmatch modes (and won all of them, bizarrely enough) and I think it’s pretty fun! Granted, I can count the amount of battle royale shooters I’ve played on one hand but I can at least recognize there’s a lot of stuff in this game that’s already existed in games like Fortnite or Apex.

I’m playing on PC with a mouse and keyboard and in a lot of ways the game does feel like a mobile game (the UI, the simple look and the minimal item management, among other things) but the guns feel decent enough to fire. The mechs (that I’ve tried out) are real hefty and satisfyingly to move and shoot in. Game’s also positively rotten with free to play hooks in it. I started the game and was just buried in log-in notices and free items. I normally like figuring out how to navigate obtuse menus but everything is so confusingly laid out in this game. I can’t find stuff I’ve ostensibly picked up from the dozen or so progression menus but I cannot find where half of that stuff even exists. There’s just way too much information for my brain to parse.

As far as monetization goes, there’s also an overwhelming amount of stuff you can buy. You can get pilots to play as (which may have minor gameplay differences but seem mostly cosmetic in nature) and I’m fairly certain there’s a way to unlock them at a slow pace without buying them. Same with the mechs but it looks like there are items you can get that’ll let you play as them for a limited time. You can also try out every mech, gun and item in the training mode, which I really appreciate. There’re lots of skins (for mechs and pilots), smaller customization options for pilots (hats, accessories) and mechs (stickers, warp-in effects) as well.

I actually really like how all of the cosmetics look but I cannot understate how many different ways this game will let you buy things. It’s got a gacha, a battle pass (with a premium path), log-in bonuses (with multiple!!! different buy-in tiers), multiple(?) premium currencies you can buy… If you can think of a monetization scheme that’s ever existed within games there’s a chance that it’s in Super Mecha Champions. There’s still some top level system stuff I’ve yet to unlock, so I’ll at least keep playing until I get those but because of the extremely aggressive nature of the free to play stuff in this game I’m unsure how much longer I’ll be able to put up with it all.

ALSO: the actual worst thing in this game is that there’s a global chat that you’re put into on the menu that I don’t think you can turn off. It’s about as awful as you might expect it to be and I hate it!!!

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I’m diving back into Martinaise again with the release of the Disco Elysium Final Cut on PS5. I got to day 4 and as it turns out not very far at all in the main case on Mac but I hate playing on my laptop so the save just fell away.

I have a lot of unfocused thoughts as I head in to day 4 again not the least of which is how beautiful and melancholic it is. That coupled with me stumbling on to the latest Twitter outrage cycle has me feeling very sad. Glad I put my headphones on because the sparse soundtrack and general voice acting, while quite amateurish, feels very real in a way I appreciate. So much love has went into this and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.

I’m also determined to do the right thing by everyone including down in the fishing villages and one of the principal victims which has probably shut me off from progressing but I’m determined not to compromise my morals in my first playthrough if I can avoid it.

And I’ve learned my name! It only took a day…

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No one told me Dicey Dungeons had such good music. I see now why the Waypoint family had such good things to say about it - in the galaxy of deckbuilding roguelikes, it’s very approachable.

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I wouldn’t recommend buying this on PS5 because the frequency of bugs increased rapidly for me to the point that I literally can’t complete the game because of a fade to black screen that doesn’t fire what I’m sure are the credits.

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That sucks. Is the game a decent console port in terms of controller support at least? Hopefully they’ll patch it up, but if it’s an unwieldy mess to play due to the limitations of a gamepad, I may have to miss Disco indefinitely.

I’m finally playing Nier: Automata and despite never avoiding spoilers when it was actually being talked about I’m still being surprised and delighted by its humanity.

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Recently, I got Stardew Valley, Work Time and Hollow Knight. I’ve just been playing Hollow Knight so far. I like it looks very stylish, but in some places the game is quite difficult even at the initial levels.
And one of my favorites is Deponia :smile:

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Yea, there aren’t any issues with the controller support. It’s actually been a really smooth experience for moving around and engaging with objects and people when it works probably because there just aren’t that many buttons required to play the game. Most of the issues have probably come from mapping to the mouse to the right analog stick which trades being able to move the mouse around the screen for the ability to cycle between highlightable objects and people. That has caused some issues I think as a lot of the bugs are related to it.

I imagine in another couple of weeks or so they’ll hopefully have ironed that problem and the rest out tho and the game will be good to go. I will definitely post in here when that happens as I’ll have finally got to roll credits!

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I thought I was officially done, but I forgot there are secret bosses I still haven’t beaten. Just when I thought I was out, they drag me back to the loop.

Valheim and Fornite. Anyone?

The Expeditions update to No Man’s Sky really brought me back in a big way.

As much as I love the game, I started playing a little while after Next came out in 2018. I’ve long since finished all the story content and got all my gear to a not-perfect-but-close-enough state that I’m happy leaving it at. So while the additions over the years have been really cool, they usually don’t pull me back in for more than a couple of hours at a time.

Expeditions, on the other hand, are a new enough way to play the game that I’ve put in around 15 hours since the update and will almost certainly put in another 20 before I finish the current Expedition. I’m not even all that excited for the fancy gold ship at the end, it’s just cool having this combination of a curated achievement list and alternative progression system justify starting from scratch on a fresh save. (Expeditions all start on a new save with a random set of starting gear. The main quest that usually unlocks a bunch of blueprints and such is disabled, so instead you get those key blueprints by completing the Expedition Milestones – i.e., achievements.)

It’s also pretty fun seeing the bases everyone builds around the Rendezvous points. Most of them are either cool-looking or helpful (a few people have built “stairways to heaven” to assist in completing a milestone that requires free-falling for 30s). Message spam, on the other hand, is a problem. The ones I’ve seen have been innocuous, but the subreddit has reports of people posting racist stuff. Internet gonna internet. And even aside from that, the icon clutter is obnoxious.

But anyway, yeah, as someone who was “done” with NMS before this, I find myself happily putting in a full-sized game’s worth of time into this new Expedition, and I imagine I’ll end up doing so for the next ones as well. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the game, honestly. The 5th anniversary of the original release is coming up, and the next update will be the 16th – a magic number in the lore. I have to imagine the team have something really cool planned.

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Ok I have finally finished Control and wow I cannot remember the last time I have had this strong a negative reaction to a game. I knew it wasn’t going to fit perfectly into my preferences–I’m not big on third person action/shooters or games that prioritize cinematics. And so I’m not surprised or disappointed that it’s not for me.

But if I take this game on its terms, it’s still 95% visual and narrative noise surrounding an immensely dull action game. All that imagination going into the lore, for better or for worse, depending on how it lands for you, and the game can barely think of anything for you to do but fight the worst AI I can recall fighting in years. Perhaps even more damning, because of what this game seems to set out to do, I do not feel at all like this game pulled together all the weird bits of world-building that it dropped in. I moved through this game pretty efficiently and I still feel like it dragged on and on.

I usually try to come on here to rave about something I’m really vibing with, so I’m sorry for being so sour. And I know there are people that love this game. I just needed to vent real quick.

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I’m still playing tons of Monster Hunter: Rise, alternating with re-playing Control in its ultimate edition Series X form for my partner and absolutely adoring it perhaps even more than I did when I played it the first time. Easily one of my favs of the last several years in virtually every way. It’s rare that I love a game that much. (Other than the map.) The way she connects with it as I play is really a delight, too - she’s not a shooter/action-y person so it’s kind of become one of her favorite “shows.”

In Rise I’ve somehow fallen into being a Hunting Horn main and find it a delight both solo and in multiplayer. I’m surprised at how much I’ve taken to Rise considering that I bounced off of World repeatedly despite several earnest attempts to get into it. So this is my second MoHun technically, but the first I’ve actually gotten to stick.

I know deep down that soon enough the Mass Effect Legendary Edition will be here to reclaim my emotions and time fully but I’m glad to be knocking through these before then, as I’m having a joy with both.

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Fuelled by a desire to know more about Romance of the Three Kingdoms I bought Dynasty Warriors 8 and I don’t know why I did that!? It’s an awful port, and you just mash x on big groups of enemies, then Liu bu is sad that he just murdered a bunch of peasants.

Can anyone explain why this series has so many games? I’m failing to see the appeal.

I love the atmosphere and visual design of Control but everything else never clicked for me. Just corridors and fights with dull lock-on mechanics. If the shooting felt better and the PK wasn’t as all-powerful I might have a more positive opinion myself.

Is the story worth seeing through to its conclusion?

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Still working on Demon’s Souls. Made my way through upper latria and the erm… the blood swamps. I’ve onto the maneater boss now and have yet to finish the first one off…

Played the opening level of the new Oddworld games - Soulstorm. I haven’t made much of a scratch yet but it feels a little underwhelming. The platforming feels really floaty - perhaps because I remember the original games feeling a bit more tighter and precise in terms of control. There’s a mechanic where you can throw water bottles to put out fires, and you can only carry twenty but you sometimes need to chuck 5 waterbottles to put a fire out fully before you can pass. You’re constantly looting barrels for bits and pieces, so presumably there’s some crafting in there later.

Maybe it gets better when I start talking to people and mind controlling sligs but having a hard time wanting to go on.

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Outriders is a cover-based shooter except when it totally isn’t. They like nothing better than posting snipers on the other end of a combat arena and then sending melee enemies at you to knock you out of cover. I often wonder if I chose the wrong class.

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I would highly recommend summoning help for this fight, especially since they got rid of the cheese method with the remake. Maneater is really rough on your own, especially is you’re not doing a magic build.

@DarthTythus The abundance of snipers in the back half of Outriders are a true scourge and was part of the reason why I’m taking a break from the game currently. They are not fun, and that’s coming from someone who spec’d as a sniper myself. Sure, I can headshot their snipers one-on-one, but when I have five super accurate lasers pinning me down there’s not much I can do.

As a pyromancer with an assault rifle I can still out-duel most of the game’s snipers because the cover system is so good. It’s when they drop in snipers and other mooks and big machine gunners that drop grenades that knock you out of cover that things get hairy.

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I definitely agree that the visual design is the strongest part of the game. Some of the audio design is also very good. It’s a shame they’re both so poorly utilized, imo. For example, the most visually distinct and striking sector of the Oldest House (the Quarry) is visited a grand total of one (1!) times for a short fetch quest during the main story missions. And that mission ends in a way that incentivizes you to gtfo real quick.

TLDR of the below re story: nope, sure didn’t come together for two friends and I. It’s needlessly cryptic. I may have missed key details in the side content, but I went in willing to do all the necessary legwork and the game seriously wore out it’s welcome for each of us. If you mainline it, it’s a reeeeaaaal mess.

Longer answer:

I played the game bookclub-style with a couple friends with varying tastes in games. We did 5 or 6 check-ins total, every couple main story missions. We had so many questions during the first meeting that we were excited to see answered. We were eagerly hunting for the collectibles and keen to do the side missions. We came to the early convos with specific questions pulled from docs we found, even. But all that enthusiasm drained out of each of us entirely over the course of the game. The content in the collectibles was very hit-or-miss for me, and I say this as someone that read everything in Doom: Eternal. They’d sometimes provide good little details, but the same cryptic-layer that made them exciting early on began to drag. I also stopped listening to the hotline because I didn’t want to sit in the menu for several slow minutes of murmurings at a time. By our penultimate convo, none of us were confident the game would wrap it all up convincingly. With two main missions left, we all agreed that we felt like we were still waiting to discover the plot and we weren’t “in it”.

By the end, essential details of the plot were only communicated to me via Jesse’s internal dialogue, out of nowhere and without any foundation in the actual experience of playing the game if you missed certain key collectibles. The main story missions are effectively fetch quests that promise to reveal something after you complete your goal, but the answers you get are very limited. And to top it off, when one of my friends shared a two-para explainer he found, I was quite frustrated to find that the convoluted story I was doing mental-gymnastics to reason out was effectively stock-standard sci-fi. It’s all needlessly mysterious to meet the theme of paranormalcy–aesthetic noise that makes you think there’s more going on, with actually compelling questions unexplored. Like wtf does The Board’s role in the running of an org stylized as a federal agency say about the government outside of Oldest House? Maybe some of my lingering questions are answered in the side-missions or DLC expansions, but I already gave this game ~12 hours and I refuse to find out.

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