What game are you playing?


#1588

I’m finally done with Final Fantasy VI! And only 17 years after I started it for the first time! I have so, so many thoughts. I’m collapsing all this because it’s so long and full of spoilers.

Summary

-Even though I liked it and I’m glad I finally finished it, I’m not sure going back to it deepened my appreciation of it in any meaningful way. I’d already seen a lot of the most memorable moments (the Opera House, Kefka’s various meltdowns, the end of the World of Balance) and going back with an older, more critical eye made me more aware of its flaws and areas where it hasn’t aged well.

-I know it gets a lot of credit for its good writing, but I think it’s maybe more complicated than that. It might be more accurate to say that it benefits from a lack of bad writing, which was pretty much standard for games at the time, and from an excellent localization. There’s barely any plot or dialogue in the second half of the game, and even in the first half, there are so many characters and so much going on that no one character or plotline ever takes center stage for too long. I can imagine versions of the game where the plots for Locke and Celes’ romance or Terra’s past become bloated and overwrought, but because the script is so tight, that never happens. Most character moments are actually so brief that they come across as very genuine, and leave plenty of space for you to fill in on your own.

-One of the things that stands out for me is how bleak the World of Ruin is. We’re used to post-apocalyptic settings in video games, but I think it’s rare to see a world as utterly devastated as this one. Part of that comes down to seeing what the world was like before the calamity of the floating continent, but one of the things I think think this game gets really right is its deep dive into how broken and traumatized everybody is in this new world. You spend the entire second half of the game working through your party’s emotional baggage, and in a lot of cases you don’t actually solve anything, you just get your characters to a point where they can at least function again. It’s really heavy stuff, especially for an SNES game, and seeing the depths of despair everyone falls to makes it a lot more meaningful when the plot takes a turn towards the hopeful again.

After that I started Super Metroid and after about 6 hours I’d guess I’m very nearly done with it. It’s the first time I’ve ever played it and just… wow. I didn’t expect it to be this good. It’s maybe a little smaller than Metroidvania’s I’m used to, but it’s really striking how packed every corner of the map is and how every upgrade gives you a significant boost in power. I have the plasma beam, spring ball and space jump now, and I feel like a monster going back through old parts of the map. Aside from shinesparking and wall-jumping not being explained super well, it doesn’t seem like it’s aged at all. I remember reading that Nintendo thought it was so close to perfect that they were nervous about making a sequel, and I actually understand why now.


#1589

Yup. As I got better at XCOM, pretty much the only times I’d fail a mission or get a squad member killed is when I’d activate a pod accidentally.

War of the Chosen has some solutions to help in this regard, like the reaper class especially, which remains in a special concealment where they almost certainly won’t be found unless they preform an attack or are withing one block of an enemy. I was saved on multiple missions by having my reapers scout out the map in concealment and save me from finding pods accidentally.

I also believe this is why they created the scout subclass of the ranger in the vanilla game, but it is much less effective a scout.


#1590

I’d say that “benefits from a lack of bad writing” is not giving the game enough credit, especially when you see the trajectory of later FF games. FFVI’s restraint allowed it to avoid a ton of the pitfalls that make later entries much harder to sit through now that I’m not 13 anymore. Having major moments addressed with a bare minimum of fluff makes them feel more impactful, unlike FFVII where I get to watch Cloud and co. wax on endlessly.


#1591

I’m closing in on the final hours of Dragon Quest XI, and having a good time with it. Like other games in the series, it’s very committed to nostalgia and the DQ formula, but overall I’m impressed with how playable it feels given how little has changed (gameplay-wise) in the last 20-odd years. It’s been a nice respite from the hellscape of 2018.

Also just starting to jump back into Heat Signature after today’s big update, I forgot how rad that game is.


#1592

I’ve been playing Space Hulk Tactics, currently in its ‘beta’, which is basically bug testing by people who pre-ordered.

So far, it has a great feel but is absolutely unforgiving if you play as Space Marine. Only negative is your SM are very slow to move, but this has been acknowledged by the devs and will hopefully get changed at some point.


#1593

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed 3 on and off for like, uhhh, a year? It’s very buggy on PC and it wasn’t very interesting early on, but now I’m finally on adult Connor, after 5 chapters, and it’s actually quite good now.

Also finished endings A and B of NieR: Automata, but kinda chilling with AC3 more atm before I continue with C onwards. I sort of like what they are doing with the different paths, but after playing two back to back I kinda just want a break before I keep playing.

Hollow Knight is reserved for train rides, but heck it’s kinda hard and it gets a bit frustrating when I mis-input something because the joycon controllers aren’t the best for precision movement.


#1594

Without getting into the reasons as to why, Route C is where the game really starts picking up steam. I wouldn’t stop now.


#1595

Started Life is Strange 2

Enjoying it so far (only, I think, half way through the episode), though there is one thing I’m very apprehensive about (not really a spoiler but I’ll tag it as such) – it asked what I did at the end of the first one, and I’m really hoping it’s just for a passing reference and not some kind of continuation that will make no sense.

Also, some of that text is downright impossible to read, maaaan.


#1596

Been playing a lot of 2D action games lately. Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, The Messenger, Timespinner and now I’m currently playing CrossCode which I am super into. I want to go back and get all achievements in Bloodstained eventually.


#1597

I’m playing Enslaved: Journey to the West, which is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi retelling of the classic Chinese story called, well, Journey to the West. I loved that whole saga as a child, so I feel pretty great about getting to revisit it. It’s not a great game though; it’s got a lot of jank and the toxic masculinity on display is unabashed and unceasing. The protag is just straight-up awful to his female companion so far. The plot so far promises to be really compelling, so that’s keeping me going for now. Otherwise, I’m simply through with this game.


#1598

So I realized that the ultimate edition of Forza Horizon 4 comes with both upcoming expansions so I went ahead and got it. I’ve been really enjoying I so far!

I’ll likely come back with more solid feedback but my pro tip for anyone playing horizon 3 or 4 is to buy an Ariel Nomad, and upgrade and tune it to be the lightest weight possible. You wont be able to steer at all, but you’ll rocket across fields at the slightest of bumps and it’s maybe the most fun vehicle I’ve driven in a game in years!


#1599

I played four matches in Soul Calibur 6.

It’s definitely another Soul Calibur game.

I am so happy.


#1600

I’ve been playing Forza Horizon 4 and it’s super fun!

Looking beyond some minor gripes I have with the game (the controls for entering Photo Mode are a little fiddly and require you to take your hands off the controls a little too much, the exclusion of Mitsubishi and Toyota production model cars due to licensing issues. Goodbye, Eight-Six) it might be the best multiplayer driving experience I’ve had since Burnout Paradise.

I did my first Forzathon Live and it was such a great experience watching everyone drive to one spot and just hang out blaring silly horns and doing donuts, and then trying to get the fastest speed through a speed trap or the longest jump off a specific danger sign. It’s something I didnt know I missed from driving games and it gives the whole thing a really awesome, communal feeling that I really dig.

Also: The only game I know that allows you to pull sick drifts in a Peel P50:


#1601

Started up Mass Effect 2 since we’re still a week away from Odyssey dropping. I should be able to get through most of it pretty quick.

The opening still annoys me. Specifically the part where Miranda shoots Wilson. I don’t like that Shepard immediately accepts what happened with barely any question, especially knowing what she does about Cerberus just from the first game. I get we’re not going to let the player shoot Miranda in the head right here in the first 20 minutes but come on we can do a little better than that.

Miranda is the biggest problem with 2 in general though. At least Tali shows up right away to let us know that familiar faces (so to speak) are just around the corner.


#1602

I’m surprised how much fun I’ve been having with the Forzathon live events. Even if it’s mostly passivley social, it’s fun watching everyone complete these challenges together.

Also, thank goodness they’ve finally fixed traffic in the middle of challenges!!! Too many times in fh3 I’d be doing a speed zone challenge and having to dodge traffic.

But yes, I really wanted some Toyota cars in this game :sob:


#1603

I can finally run Dragon Age Origins so i’m playing that and it’s extremely my shit.


#1604

DA:O is to me still the gold standard CRPG. What’s your character build/origin?


#1605

Having played a ton of Cities: Skylines on the PC when it first came out, I started playing the Switch version. It’s… okay. It’s still the same game, and that game is still very good. But playing on the Switch* is a bad way to play this kind of game. So it sort of evens out I guess? It might be worth playing if playing it on a computer is absolutely not an option for whatever reason (which is fair), but this version is certainly less than ideal unfortunately.

Still, I can play this version in bed, and the fact that my cities can’t be as EFFICIENT as they are on the PC doesn’t really matter when I have infinite money turned on. That’s a plus.

*Most of my issues with the Switch version would probably also apply just as much to the PS4 and XB1 versions, but the Switch’s relative lack of power makes later game stuff that much harder to deal with


#1606

This weekend I finished Episode 1 of Life Is Strange 2 and really enjoyed it. I like how they handle the mechanics of looking out for your little brother. It’s interactive without being a chore. Both Sean and Daniel struck me as realistic young people (especially Daniel) and the episode felt tight with a good balance of action and exploration.

I was surprised and appreciative of how hard they went in on racism. This is the reality me and many others face on the daily and I’ve never seen it depicted in a game so kudos to Dontnod.

Looking forward to hearing what the Waypoint team has to say as well!


#1607

I just finished the main story in God of War. I wanted to get through it since I’m going on an offshore trip in the next few days and listening to the spoilercast from both Waypoint and Giant Bomb sounds really nice listen sitting out on a boat in the middle of the ocean.

As for the game itself, I absolutely loved it! The story was really impressive, and not what I expected at all. I wasn’t expecting to care so much about Kratos! From the opening fight with Baldur to the spreading of Faye’s ashes it was just an amazing adventure. When Kratos had to go into Hel, and they said he would need a fire weapon I got goosebumps. Then when he finally pulled out the blades I did a little fistpump. The only gripe I have against it is that I can’t immediately dive into Kratos’ and Atreus’ next adventure right now! Thankfully I left a bunch of the side stuff as I quickly got through the story so I have a bunch left to do in the game.