What game are you playing?

I started playing Guilty Gear Strive. I didn’t follow it pre-release or play any of the betas, so a lot of the changes from Xrd are surprising. These differences had me kind of bummed out; it felt like what I thought Guilty Gear was and what ArcSys thought were pretty far apart.

I’m in a good place with it now. Partly because I think Strive is a pretty fun game once I got around my expectations. Partly because there’s a new Melty Blood game coming sometime and I think it will fill a bit of what I’m missing. And partly because it’s still reminiscent of past versions (fighting Leo and Potemkin mostly).

I wonder how much the differences between the versions are based on my choice to play the completely new character Giovanna.

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I would like the training ground person from Chivalry 2 to commentate my life

I’m finally playing the Citadel DLC just before the point of no return in ME3 and… I don’t like it.

Definitely feels like an apology for Mass Effect 3 and it’s super weird that it’s now canonically part of the Mass Effect 3 story. It’s just memes! It’s like they scoured the BioWare forums and then filled in the gaps with material that I’d describe (in the style of Monty Burns) as too cutesy-poo.

I didn’t mind Andromeda because it was a new cast and deliberately pulling for a lighter tone, but this aggressively Whedon-esque tone, the whole getting the gang back for one last caper thing? Doesn’t work for me. The central conflict has zero stakes, which is fine I guess, but goddamn did I not dig inter-party banter and incessant in-jokes. I ended up taking the renegade options for the final decisions purely because I was so annoyed with the people responsible for making me put up with it.

The party and everything leading up to it is cute in a more tonally consistent way. It feels slightly more poignant and celebratory of the relationships you’ve built with these characters. It still feels weird considering what is going on in the rest of the game. I’m playing this at the end of the game, which feels like a mistake as the tone is too light to fit what’s happened so far. However, I can’t for the life of me figure out where this fits into the game. The only point I can think of is the point between ME2 and 3? Mass Effect 3 has this problem in general. It’s too dire right from the jump to support almost all of its diversions.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed hanging out with everyone. I’m excited to see how the ending hits this time!!

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Citadel does feel discordant with the rest of ME3, but for me I give it a pass just because it’s totally Bioware saying goodbye to the franchise, plus it’s got some funny jokes and neat Easter eggs.

For the rest of ME3, I am actually appreciating the structure of it more in this playthrough. Outside of Citadel, literally every thing you do is about the war effort. It really emphasizes the war-at-home aspect, and having Shepard be like Steve Rogers criss-crossing the galaxy trying to raise the space equivalent of war bonds is actually a really cool conceit. Even humanity’s greatest soldier is better utilized as a diplomat, but I do appreciate Jennifer Hale really selling the guilt Shepard feels for “running away from the fight”.

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Finished Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart. If you sacrifice the requisite goats to Wario64 and wind up with a PS5, it’s one of the things you need to pick up. And stay through the credits.

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I tried out Vigor after it got mentioned in the community discord and I’m kind of enjoying it? You go out into rural 80s Norway with 6-12 other people, loot stuff, and try to get out alive. Then use the stuff you looted to upgrade your own little Norwegian cabin. I got into exactly one gunfight with someone, realized that I don’t really want to play that way, and have instead been doing “pacifist” runs. I don’t equip any weapons going in and I don’t pick up any while I’m looting stuff. It’s been it’s own kind of fun of listening for gunshots or footsteps, or looking for signs of people having been somewhere, and trying to use that information to decide where to go next knowing that if I someone finds me I’ll almost certainly get murdered. Sometimes you just wanna collect glass and wire and metal scraps and upgrade your cabin, y’know?

I’ll admit to not minding the structure of ME3 nearly as much as I did back in 2012. I think the DLC, with its greater impact on the series’ lore and just generally great pacing and mood, really slows the player down as they move through the content. ME3 previously felt like it was constantly getting up to speed and then you went and did a multilayer arena for 5 minutes or something.

One thing I will say about Citadel is that they took the lessons from it and did the entire ‘getting the gang back together’ thing better in Trespasser. Trespasser somehow manages to contain the most earth-shattering revelations about Dragon Age lore to date while also having an hour of jokes and fun times with the crew. While it’s tempting to draw a straight line from Citadel to Andromeda and see it as the seed for some of that game’s deficiencies, they did have another crack at this formula with their other series and refined it in some cool and impactful ways.

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Just recruited Jack in Mass Effect 2. I’d like to have a long, pointed conversation with video game costume designers circa 2010 or so.

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If anything, her “loyalty” costume is even more embarrassing. It adds a sleeveless shirt under her strappy things, which just calls attention to how ridiculous her original costume is.

Jack rules, though.

No smoke with Jack the character. I’m just in favor of a real shirt and real pants/skirt being standard issue in costuming.

I just started playing Copy Kitty and… y’all???
This game rules???
Like… why have I heard no one talk about this game???

The elevator pitch is “what if Kirby played like Bangai-O?” and it whips. It is absurdly polished for a game I feel like I’ve only heard about once or twice. I actually only heard this from one of George Weidman’s “Games from My Inbox” videos some years ago. It really teleports me back to the era of Treasure games and other complex action games like them, both in aesthetic and in play. Like Kirby, you’re copying abilities, but you’re also combining them like in Crystal Stars, and taking out swathes of enemies, with destructible environments, a combo meter and dodge rolls and guard attacks and a dive kick and there’s a second playable character that’s completely different and all the animations are smooth and slick and it’s so colorful and exlosions are always going off and it… it’s just??? incredible??? It’s a vibrant, ambitious game that I’m kind of amazed exists and even more bummed it wasn’t the sensation it deserves to be.

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Just finished all the Introductory lessons in Game Builder garage. and I’m having a lot of fun!

Since I don’t know any programing language is cool to be able to do simple programing using a visual system.

I’ll try to do a simple 2D platformer as my first garage game.

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I picked up Umurangi Generation yesterday and having fun with it, but I remember back when it came out on PC last year there was some discussion of the mission timers and yeah, I think I’m in the camp that wishes they didn’t exist. Feels like a lot of pressure to either rush through everything rather than exploring or play every level (at least) twice. I’d rather just take my time and explore since so much of the vibe I like from it just walking around and looking at all the interesting narrative stuff the world design points at.

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Played through Observation before it leaves Game Pass today. I’m a sucker for a good sci-fi thriller, and this game fits the mold, more or less. It had some really good, tense moments, and most of the puzzles were fun and interesting. The story wasn’t amazing, though, and I think it definitely fell apart in the 3rd act.

Still, at about 5 hours, it’s not a huge commitment, and I would say it’s worth the time for the atmosphere alone.

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I played an hour of the Final Fantasy Origin: Stranger in Paradise game. And it’s the thing you think it would be, it’s Final Fantasy Souls, or more precisely, Nioh in a Final Fantasy skin.

I’m surprised by just how much fun this demo is. It does nothing to explain who your characters are and why they’re so mad. I feel bad for the poor little Bombs and Goblins you curb stomp viscously. But I really think this all works.

There’s some oddness I need to get used to. The standard control sets attack to R1, which no, changed that to Square. There’s two guards, one with extra parry effects, and I don’t know why I would use the other one. I really don’t love the lock-on so far, feels janky.

But this is addicting in a way I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoy it a lot more than Episode Yuffie, gonna be honest.

Just recruited Kasumi in Mass Effect 2. She seems like a mad cool character. I wish the DLC characters had a little more meat on their bones.

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Kasumi is 110% underutilized, which is a real shame. Honestly make Mass Effect 4 a Kasumi story that’s just video game Ocean’s Eleven.

Her loyalty mission, though. Great fun and almost makes up for the lack of character development outside of it.

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Extremely stylish thief with a heart of gold is a thing we don’t see nearly often enough in video games.

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I’m deeper into Cloudpunk now and I really love it, but I think I need someone to tell me if it’s ok to skip the third installment of this punchcard collection mission, or whether I should stick it out. Collecting cards along the way generally isn’t too labourious because so far it hasn’t required me to go far off critical path, but it does feel unfortunately tacked-on to a game that is already a series of generally quite narratively enticing fetch quests.

Minor complaint tho, because the game is otherwise a joy. Flying the hova scratches that Blade Runner hover car and/or Attack of the Clones speeder itch so well. The writing is unapologetically quirky and wears its themes on its sleeve without belabouring the point. The cyberpunk metropolis vibes are on point, and if I didn’t have a queue of things I’m intent on getting to afterwards, Cloudpunk would have me going straight into another playthrough of OG Deus Ex

Best DLC in ME2. Nicely paced, lots of variety and humour. The DLCs are such a mixed bag because they’re all experimental in their own way, which leads to BioWare leaning on their core gameplay pillars a bit too hard.

You really see the progression from a combat heavy-slog with some fun lore at the end ala Shadow Broke to the galaxy-spanning, variety-filled treasure hunt of Leviathan in the Legendary Edition. While I’d like it if BioWare actually finished their games, I can’t deny the quality of the stuff they eventually use to fill in the gaps