What game are you playing?


#975

Played Stories Untold yesterday. It’s a horror text adventure anthology, where you play as a character interacting with terminals in a few different environments. The mood and atmosphere are perfectly realized, and the pacing of the segments is on point. Of the four sections, each of which last about 30 minutes (2 hours for a full playthrough), the first section was my favorite, though I enjoyed them all. The third section suffered from requiring that the player read a manual in the environment that is super difficult to read at the highest graphics settings, and so I recommend having a walkthrough at the ready for moments when you feel stuck. Lastly, I think the experience was made a little weaker by tying all of the segments together in the end. The true nature of the stories is tragic, but the game is at its strongest when it is trying to scare you, which it is very good at. I don’t think it needed to explain anything that was happening, and doing so undermines the horror of the unknown. Frankly, I’m also pretty tired of the storytelling device used to explain everything. Anyway, the moment-to-moment experience is great, so, highly recommended!

Also playing Mr. Shifty. It’s a cool, simple action game that, as the devs put it, plays like Hotline Miami if you were Nightcrawler, able to BAMF! around the environment at will. It’s tight, controls very predictably (a good thing in a twitchy game like this), and propulsive, clocking in at about 4 hours for a full playthrough. The difficulty curve is very well-realized, which is evidenced by my death/attempt count increasing with every mission. The game feels like a product of prioritizing function over form. It’s pretty ugly and spare, but the mechanics are very sound. It could stand to have a bit more polish on it.

I have two problems with it: the flamethrower enemies are very difficult, because unlike other enemies who ‘line up’ their shots allowing for you to react, the flamethrower dudes will spurt out a tiny puff of flame that can drift in just the wrong way, very unpredictably. Since you die in one hit in this game, this can be very frustrating when you warp up to a flamethrower guy and die before you can even see the flame that has killed you.

My other problem is that the game is unstable. It’s crashed three times in as many hours of play, and now that I’m on the second-to-last mission, I lost 45 minutes of play because of the most recent crash, putting me at the beginning of the level when I loaded the game back up. Pretty weak.

Whatever the case, this is also a good game, and I also recommend it!

I’ve changed my opinion. The last two levels are unbelievably punishing, and the rooms in the last level are fucking intolerable and extremely, overly long. After over a hundred attempts on one of the last rooms, I just uninstalled the game. It was extremely unpleasant. If not being able to complete the game is okay, then up until the end, it’s good, and I recommend that part.


#976

Attack on Titan 2 for the Switch.


I’m about 80% done with the main story.
If you’ve read about the bad frame rate, it’s true, there are some serious problems when a lot of titans or other characters are on screen. Unfortunately the late game missions have tended to practically fill the screen with titans.
On the positive side, they’ve nailed the physics of zipping around in ODM gear and killing giant naked men. The character creator is a nice touch, and the amount of content they’ve packed into this game is overwhelming.


#977

Dark Souls 3 has totally monopolized all of my gaming time for the past few weeks, and probably stolen a good chunk of time I should have spent doing other things, as well. I didn’t play it when it was released because I’d just gotten a PS4, and Bloodborne was scratching my FromSoftware itch. While I don’t love it quite as much as that game (to be fair, Bloodborne might be my favorite game ever), it’s still great and I’m enjoying getting back into the Dark Souls world after being away for a while.

I’m one of those freaks who loved DkS II, so while it does bother me a little to see From walking back from the way that game handled lore, and a few parts have struck me as overly fan service-y, between the locations and bosses I still have to admit that 3 has some of the series’ highest highs. I’ve finished the main game and Ashes of Ariendel (which was okay) and now I’m working through The Ringed City. I’m also tempted to do NG+, even though I have a huge backlog of games waiting for me. There are so many weapons and armor sets I want to play around with and so few opportunities left to use them.


#978

Ooh, you’re in for a treat. I didn’t care for most of DSIII all that much but Ringed City (and to a lesser extent, Ashes of Ariandel) is one of my favorite parts of any Souls game.


#979

Thanks for reminding me of this game. It’s $2 on steam right now so the timing was perfect.


#980

Gotta love those Daedalic sales!


#981

DS3 is my personal favorite souls game but otherwise seconding this, The Ringed City is absolutely awesome and I didn’t want it to end. One of the most fun areas in the game to get summoned as a co-operator for randos too, what with how much there is to do there.


#982

Played the Final Fantasy XV PC Demo now that my desktop is back up and running. Quick takes:

  • All of this dialog feels like it was written by a space alien. I have to wonder if it sounds more natural in Japanese; I imagine this is what dubbed Uncharted feels like to them. Super dynamic and natural sounding in the native language but hell to properly translate and retain that feel.

  • At the same time, every other scene in this game feels like it was constructed in a vacuum. I can think of a thousand better ways to take the CONCEPTS presented in the intro to this game and actually make them resonate. Starting the game with your dad (the king) lending you (the prince) the car only to hard cut to the car broken down on the side of the road is a great idea, but the way it’s presented feels so disposable and WEIRD. They should have pushed it to the top of a hill and then coasted down in to the Hammerhead garage instead of showing the titlecard and then awkwardly going to a loading screen.

  • Everybody calls these four guys “the boy band” but honestly they’re kind of the Ninja Turtles. The smart one, the clown, the powerhouse, and the leader.

  • I still don’t like Cindy. It is 1000% obvious she’s only there to be eye candy and while I could tolerate that more when the graphics were more stylized and cartoony (back in FF7), it is omega-level gross in the pseudo-realistic style every Final Fantasy has now.

  • I thought I’d hate this combat, but it’s fine? I guess? I don’t like that Final Fantasy is so afraid of turn based battles these days that we’re at the complete opposite end of the spectrum and now it’s a weird action game, but at least it’s tuned to keep you on your toes.

  • I want to drive the car for real. This half step of “you only have to hold the accelerator” sucks real big.

  • It’s also extremely ridiculous to see how detailed everything is and technically have nothing out there? It feels like they wasted a lot of resources and time on a world you’re only ever meant to see from the passenger seat. Very bloated.

I dunno. I guess I kind of want to keep playing. If it gets down to like $15 I’ll probably pick it up, assuming I have money to spread around when that happens.


#983

So I played Spy Party with a friend tonight and it’s super fun! It feels a lot like a board game in what strategies you are using and it’s tense as hell.

The only problem we’re having right now is the games are leaning heavily in the snipers favor because we both just stalk the statues the entire time and wait for the spy to change them. This might only be an issue with the beginners maps but the few times one of us has tricked the other with the statues it has felt amazing!


#984

Been playing Dying Light, am a number of hours into it. I don’t think I can go on. Every single thing is frustrating. Like the story is garbage so let’s just get that out of the way. But even the gameplay has turned to shit by the time you arrive in the second area. Every zombie is now much too fast and strong. There is a progression tree that is supposed to make you more powerful, but it doesn’t feel like it because the enemies completely outpace you.

A total normal boring zombie will scramble toward you very quickly, arms stretched out. You can barely strike them out of this animation. When hit they often go into a difficult to interrupt animation where they push towards you, forcing you to dash back 2-3 times if you don’t wanna get grabbed. This is just the normal zombie, of which there can be half a dozen of at the same time.

Then there is the fast zombies, absolute pain in the butt and not fun in any way, and the spitting zombies, and the blowy up zombies, and the big zombies. Ugh!

Dead Rising got it right. Zombies should be there for my amusement, not frustration.


#985

For real, that game has one of the worst stories. Its super predictable for starters. Every ally dislikes you. And that automatically makes me disinterested in any of my allies (why do so many games do this? It just makes everyone seem like a jerk). But then your character is also constantly making bad decisions and that makes me even less invested. Ugh, every time I think about that games story I get upset!

Has a dope score though.


#986

And the villain is that awful Far Cry type, “charismatic psychopath”. Open jacket, open shirt, crucifix tattooed chest, monologuing boring ass villain. Several times he just kills his own henchmen for zero reason and the other henchmen are like “whatever”. GOD, it’s bad.


#987

Oh God, I forgot about that guy. Yeah, the story always felt like they were trying to emulate the beats of a far cry game, and even failing that.


#988

Got a Switch for my birthday and I’m currently making my way through Mario Odyssey. Trying to collect all the souvenirs and costumes at the moment. Besides that I’ve also been playing Celeste for the first time.


#989

Recently started playing Mad Max again. I got about a fourth of my way through the story the first time and ended up dropping it for some reason. It’s not a bad game, just kind of samey.

I think the thing that really keeps me interested in the game at all is the way you change the world as you accomplish sidequests. The very first ally stronghold you find is a mess of concrete and rusting rebar. As you complete side quests for the stronghold it builds out into a place with actual rooms and structure. It is interesting to see a game do something like that. It makes the whole postapocalypse feel less hopeless even if your main mode of interaction in the game is still just killing people.


#990

Decided to start working my way through the God of War franchise starting with 1 … and I am already regretting my decision. I’m playing the “remaster” (which is still SD cutscenes), and none of it has aged well at all. Every fight is a slog, and the fixed camera means you have to constantly fight not to have hordes of enemies blocking your view. I guess the game is supposed to be combo oriented … but the enemies aren’t set up that way; anything beyond the easiest scrub requires a mix of blocking and dodging that insta-kills any attempt at combos. Also, the game’s idea of difficulty is cramming a bunch of enemies who can freeze or insta-stun you into narrow corridors, which is super cheap.

Also, the game is really, really bad at communicating how you’re supposed to move through the environment. I think this is deliberate, given the enormous number of crate puzzles and barely visible ropes you’re supposed to see and navigate. Tomb Raider, it ain’t.

I’ll probably push through out of curiosity, but I’m not having any fun at all. Hopefully the later entries aren’t as bad of a slog.

EDIT: I finally lost my patience in the extremely bad swimming sections. Almost every mechanic outside of fighting in this game is rough, and apparently no one actually gave a shit? Time to watch cut scenes and skip to the 2nd game.


#991

That’s exactly my experience. The very first boss fight I was like, woof, this is gonna be the whole game huh - and then it just throws you into what I assume is one of many weirdly misogynistic cutscenes. I think I might do the same as you and skip to the 2nd or even 3rd game.


#992

2 is the only one that’s still any good. 1 has a great central story but a lot of stupid shit surrounding it. 3 is a disaster that wastes what should have been an awesome idea. 2 is the only one that finds any sort of balance between Kratos being a genuinely evil protagonist and letting the player see from his viewpoint when met with even bigger assholes than him.

Now if only the game didn’t have those bloody sex minigames.


#993

Courtesy of the latest Humble Bundle, I’m finally trying Endless Legend. It’s the first time a strategy game has allowed me to play it more like an RPG.


#994

I’m playing unmodded vanilla Skyrim with no DLC on a laptop on low graphics settings. This is a good idea and not a bad idea.

Currently my character is poisoned, but the only effect it has is that lockpicking and stealing is 25% harder. What I like about this is that it has no practical effect on gameplay, but every few minutes an NPC will walk up to my character and say “wow, you look like shit.” This is now an important aspect of my character and I will never fix it.