I never finished Dream Machine, but I loved the heck out of what I played.
As an update to my play of Need for Speed Rivals: I observed a curious thing today.
The game seems a lot easier when I’m playing online. It almost seems like there’s a finite amount of police driving around the world, and when you’re connected to the internet and have six other racers in the world, it keeps the cops distracted to an extent.
Playing offline, I’d routinely get 5-10 cops on my tail, and get hopelessly steamrolled after barely scraping together 30k of the “SP” currency.
Playing online, I usually only aggro around 2-ish cops and can comfortably bank 100k-200k SP in most scenarios.
The only problem there is that once you get disconnected from the Rivals server, there is no way to reconnect without closing and relaunching the game. And while connected, you’re suspect to host migrations and all sorts of other network problems.
Also, sometimes, even with “finite” police, the game will spawn phantom cop cars on the edge of my minimap just to artificially keep chases going.
I’ve had a hankering to play XCOM 2 since Austin and Rob’s new feature on the site, but I don’t own it yet and don’t really have the money to get it.
I tried playing XCOM on the Vita, but the load times and sluggish nature of the port really got to me. Also I may have overestimated my XCOM abilities and set the difficulty too high…
So I found an alternative: Massive Chalice is a game I love, but never ended up finishing it (I lost the final all-or-nothing battle on ironman). I got close, but the save file was lost when I transfered from having my main computer being a mac to a pc. After a long time being frustrated by that, I felt it was time to start from scratch and see how long I can last.
I should finish Massive Chalice some day. It’s kind of embarrassing that I haven’t since I used to be really invested in its development. I don’t think I’ve even lost the game ever, I just kept playing through the first 100 years or so, then taking a long break. Inevitably, after the break, I decide to start a new game and play through 100 years and then leave it for a while.
I do pretty much the same thing with Civ games. I find it tough to pick things up where I left off in long strategy games and they’re far too long to comfortably play in one sitting (though each of the few victories I have in Civ came from playing the entire campaign in an extremely long session). I wish there were some way to leave notes for my future self within the game.
I feel the same way about civ games! Every time I ever beat Galactic Civilizations II it was because I did the whole thing in one go - if I ever saved and came back later, I looked at my empire, said “what the hell was I trying to do here?”, and promptly gave up.
So I picked up XCOM 2 War of the Chosen because I’ve been hankering for some tactics. (probably Rob and Austin’s fault)
Holy shit that game is good.
Throwing the Chosen and the Lost into the mix specifically changes so much. I’ve had missions go flawlessly only to have the Assassin show up and capture my best troops, and have had so much fun trying to manipulate the Lost into attacking Advent troops instead of me by repositioning myself instead of being aggressive.
The skill points system is fantastic, and actually allows you to create unique soldiers since you can pull from both trees on each class now (plus some bonus ones from other classes). The bonds are great since they further the potential for role-playing and humanize your troops. Posters are amazingly ridiculous. (see image below)
It’s just so amazing to me how they turned XCOM 2 from a game I thought was pretty mediocre into something I literally can’t stop playing.
I took this after hitting “random” a few times after my first encounter with the Hunter (where I handily defeated him.) My squad got plopped in front of a softserve place and for some reason and I just loved the image of my squad killing this horrible alien and getting icecream afterwards. No idea why I made the Sonic Youth association.
I just finished Iconoclasts, and I’m tempted to just replay it, that game is incredibly good and somehow more competent at storytelling than literally any other game I’ve ever played.
I picked up They Are Billions after Rob and Austin’s stream and I’ve already put 18 hours into it, according to Steam.
I still haven’t successfully gotten through the whole thing. There is a thing that happens towards the end which I won’t spoil, but now that I know it happens … it changes everything.
I’m playing a lot of Stardew on Switch before bed. I’m about 30 hours in and I have enough of the crafted items (cheese maker, furnace, crab pots, preserves jar) and animals that the systems feel like they’re hitting their stride. At this point, there’s A LOT to do every day.
Thanks to the Paradox Humble Bundle, I’m finally getting into Pillars of Eternity. I always wanted to like Baldur’s Gate, but truth be told I’m not patient or detail-oriented enough to succeed at CRPGs where I have to issue orders and micromanage my squad (a problem I literally always have had with the Dragon Age series as well).
But I’m enjoying Pillars of Eternity so far! I’m a few hours in, just made it to Defiance Bay. Glad to (finally) have a female companion - other than my PC, it was becoming a total sausagefest.
Praise be to “Story Mode” so I can just play the damn game without worrying about combat really.
I finally got around to starting Yono and the Celestial Elephants, a game that I’ve been following the development of for a long long time and it’s everything that I want from a zelda-like. It’s charming, the world is an utter joy to be in and it’s just a very pleasant place to explore.
Seeing as I don’t have my Switch or PS4 any more, I’ve dug out my 3DS and I’m getting back on Pokémon Sun, and yeah, it’s really good!
I downloaded this game called FAITH (or FAItH?) from Itch.io and I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it.
To be clear, I don’t hate it because it’s bad. I hate it because it’s very good but way too effective at tapping into the part of my psyche that was fucking terrified of the (already non-scary) games on my family’s DOS computer when I was like 4. The part of my brain that was convinced that a paint robot from Midnight Rescue or one of the contestants in the CGA graphics Jeopardy game we had was going to crawl out of the computer in the middle of the night, slither up the stairs, sneak into my bedroom, and murder me in my bed.
Now take that fear and apply it to a game that’s intentionally scary.
I started playing Endless Space 2 which I have found to be an amazing game. Never could get into this grand strategy type games because they have been quite intimidating and have somewhat unhelpful tutorials. I was playing Stellaris for a bit but the tutorial system in that game could use some work. I find ES2 to be easier to get into and am enjoying the narratives for the different factions.
Also started Subnautica and have found my fear of the deep ocean also extends to the ocean in video games. I can deal with dark caves on land or dark places in space in video games but for whatever reason just knowing I am in water scares the shit out of me.
I’m playing Assassin’s Creed: Origins. Just finished the main story but am sticking with it to explore more of Egypt and mopping up the last of the quests. I’ve always liked AC as a series, even though I totally get all the arguments people have with it of it being derivative and boring. I think I always appreciate the ambition Ubisoft go to create settings within certain time periods. Yeah some of the AC mechanics, such as those awful follow/eavesdrop missions are terrible but I kind of like exploring and reading the historical accounts of certain landmarks. I just find there’s a real joy to it, I went to Paris two years ago following the release of Unity and went out to seek out all the places from the game. Origins has less of that, (the sooner they bring back Danny Wallace into the fold the better IMO) but I think they go to more lengths in actually depicting the world as this real functioning civilisation. Y’know when your not doing the whole Free Willy exercise with a giant albino crocodile ploughing through Roman legions via a party of angry Hippos… So dumb.
I’m determined to keep playing it before playing Monster Hunter.
Also props to the photo mode. I’ve had so much fun getting shots throughout my playthrough of the game. I really approve of there being more photo modes in games. I wonder if it is time to make an open world game where you are shooting with a camera instead of a gun? I think the time is now!
My 4-year old son has a fascination with pixel art games, so for fun I bought the Mega Man legacy collection to show to him, and he’s become obsessed. I probably played something like 10 hours of various Mega Man games over the weekend so he could watch. He’d pick a stage, get hit by an enemy and fall in a pit, then give the controller to me, “your turn, Dad. You get the bad guys.” He had little regard for boss order at first, but now loves to ask whose weapon is good against who, even when we’re not playing, requiring me to have open tabs of the boss weaknesses on my phone at all times.
It is both wonderfully adorable and completely exhausting, so, y’know… dad stuff.
For some reason I’m replaying all the Deus Ex games. Cyberpunk gets me every time dude.
I seem to be a little late to the Persona 5 party, but I only just got a 2nd hand PS4 and I could pick it up for €30. I got Yakuza 0 as well and I suppose those are my main games from the moment. I’m definitely not used to playing games that are that long. Somehow I don’t count BotW, even though I put 70 hours into that one the main gameplay loop established itself after like an hour of play. And here I am in Persona 5, 5 hours in and still in the introduction. Yakuza 0 seems to only just get started after the same amount of time too, and judging by all the things I see in the menus that I still have no idea about it’ll still be a while before I get into the grove of that one.
I picked up Dragon Ball FighterZ and am having a blast with it. I’ve played a few fighting games before this and every time I start a new one, I get deeper into it than the last one. Maybe this is the one I actually get decent at? I think the presentation is top-notch and having some nostalgia about Dragon Ball as well as following the current anime keeps me engaged with it.
But currently, I’m kind of actively working against getting better at the game by just spending all my time practicing combos in the lab. To win more often I should be learning how to put more pressure out, punish more often and have a stronger defense. Thinking of new combos and learning to do them is just too much fun though! ;D
I’m playing Demon’s Souls for the first time, and just in time before the servers finally close at the end of February. I’ve never played a Soulslike before so wish me luck!