What game are you playing?

Finally got around to finishing Mass Effect 1: LE. Does that game have the best ending of all three? Because that was rad.

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Oh definitely. That final level where you’re running up that tower? Still rules 14 years later.

It’s simultaneously clever, well-designed, and impactful. The choices you make might let you skip half a boss fight.. It holds up surprisingly well overall (with the Legendary Edition cleanup work) but it’s definitely in the Video Game Ending Hall Of Fame.

ME1 is a perfect example of the value of sticking the landing. About 90% of my love for that game has to do with everything that happens on/after Virmire.

And, yeah, the run up the tower is still rad. The game suddenly realizes the value of spectacle in the last 5 hours.

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I finally managed to actually “win” (the easiest, “default”, no secrets win) a run of Noita [technically, my second potential win, since I beat the boss in a run a few days ago and then decided to go exploring rather than taking the win available, and died in the process].

I think I’m going to go have a trawl through the various itch bundle games again as a break - I have Haque and Signs of the Sojourner downloaded right now, so we’ll see which I am in the mood for…

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I’m into Episode 2 of DUSK. It controls and plays really good. That fast-action DOOM style combat is really addictive. But its general tone/vibe/setting is wearing on me. It’s bleak and ugly, which perhaps is the point, but it also means that everything is a couple shades either side of brown. That first episode’s encounter design was also annoyingly reliant on instant-spawning a group of enemies in front of you when you collect an item, flip a switch or open a door. Sure, it’s a pulse-pumping thrill the first time, but its appeal quickly fades as it’s done over and over.

Still, it’s a seriously cool series of combat challenges. There’s very little at all in the way of narrative or world building, at least so far, but I think Szymanski knew to focus his attention on the gunplay.

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I just started Mass Effect 2 and I would pay basically any price for that N7 leather jacket that Shepard sports. Great googly moogly that’s a good fit.

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There are definitely reproductions floating around the internet. I could have sworn Bioware had an official one, too, but if they ever did it’s not on their shop any more.

My time machine spending spree would mostly be me cleaning out Magic cards and old LEGO sets but I’d think about a pit stop for one of these.

Been playing Plague Tales: Innocence recently, really liking the environments/mood.

Also got Xcom 2 because of Tactical Tuesdays, excited to dig into that more.

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About 27 hours into Assassins Creed Origins now, having thoughts

To some degree you shape your character: choose finesse over strength. My Bayek has evolved from a somewhat sneaky easily distracted-liable to follow cats down the road in the middle of a mission TO a blunt instrument of death. Shaped by the environment, filled with hostility (mostly more annoying than deadly), shaped by Bayek solving every problem with a murder. I am that goddamn Alexander solving the Gordian Knot with a sword slice, which has always seemed bullshit to me. Destroying a puzzle is not solving it.

Anyway, maxing out the combat skill tree and wielding a big ass axe. Guards that constantly harass Bayek as he walks a little too close to whatever bullshit they’re guarding get a quick chop to the gordians.

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Cloudpunk is wonderful. Absolutely gorgeous and engrossing world. Love the feeling of driving the hova through the city in first person, and charmed by all the writing and side characters so far.

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I have acquired a PSP! It’s purple and came with a UMD of the Hannah Montana movie and two GBA games, so it has barely ever been used.

The first game I played on it was God of War: Chains of Olympus because of Keydemographics posts about the GoW games a couple months ago. I was liking it at first, I think that style of game (CAG with a fixed camera) is a very good fit for the PSP, but I shut the game down as soon as I got to the sex mini-game. This is my first GoW game ever, so I don’t know if they all have this.

  1. I am fine with campy, stilted fantasy writing, but this game gives me flashbacks to when people constantly wanted “Gritty reboots” of franchises because presumably they thought that adding sex and violence was the only difference between a thing children like and a thing adults like.
  2. This mini-game also reminded me of all of the backlash to quick time events, probably around this time, because this seems like an example of the bad kind of QTEs. The icon for circle and square look very similar because the square has rounded edges. The prompts are randomized, so you can’t memorize the pattern and it doesn’t correspond to the actions of your character. If you fail one input, you have to restart the whole sequence.
  3. This is a handheld game! That means people will mostly be playing it in public! I don’t want to play a game with naked slave women saying “How can we repay you master?” in public!
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So how was the Hannah Montana movie?

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I haven’t played God of War: Ascension or Ghost of Sparta but the only God of War game that isn’t precisely this is 2018. Congrats on the PSP though. You should play Metal Gear Acid.

I’m not a huge fan of Mass Effect 2’s after-action report + immediately warp you back to the Normandy habit. If I’m on Omega to pick up Zaeed, Mordin, and Garrus, I’d like to do that all in one trip and then go have longer conversations with everybody after the fact.

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What makes it even weirder is that sometimes it does leave you on the hub instead of bringing you straight back to the Normandy, and there’s just no way of knowing in advance whether you’ll stay or go after completing a mission.

It’s a weirdly video game-y seam in a game that’s otherwise pretty good about hiding them. I continue to be amazed at how well these games hold up.

I totally forgot about this but now I remember playing through an entire PSP God of War (can’t remember if it was this or Ghost of Sparta) on a flight back from Japan. Wonder what the neighbouring seats thought.

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I love this about Death of the Outsider. The whole narrative shift is really great and as a deep dive into the series lore, I totally agree it all works. Mechanically, though, I ended up feeling really constrained by Billie’s power set. It felt more like a puzzle of how to use the fixed set of powers rather than picking what I wanted to focus in on like the previous games and then trying to adapt them to the levels. That said, I haven’t tried Original Game+ yet and I wonder how different that ends up feeling.

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I love Billie’s powers for what they are, and DotO’s more focused approach of “here’s what you’re working with, go get it done” is a great compliment, but what I love so much about the numbered Dishonored games and Prey is that I am still trying new things by the 3rd or 4th playthrough. I had never used the bullet deflecting sword-parry ability until my last time through Dis2, for e.g., and it was like discovering there was a Jedi Knight game hidden inside this other fictional world this whole time.

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