Replaying Red Dead Redemption (I know, I’m a little late to the 101 party). Then planning to play RDR2 over the break. Also have AC Odyssey and Obra Dinn on deck if I manage to wrap up the latter.
So far I have to say that Red Dead is enjoyable and holds up pretty well, bar the odd ridiculous and outdated open world crap (i.e. a mission where I couldn’t line up a shot properly because of weird camera angles to take out a guy holding a rancher’s daughter hostage and somehow that meant I lost 200 honor). Also, please stop throwing random events at me that immediately fail if I’m riding through an area quickly and I move outside their range before I even notice what’s happening.
The production value is pretty fantastic (surprise) and I’m sort of amazed by the guy who voices John Marston considering that he had no real experience and that he dipped out of Hollywood and moved back to the Midwest after playing this role. Obviously it (and Rockstar as a studio) is problematic in plenty of ways, but I can also see why people love it. It does feel like a living, breathing world in a lot of ways. I’m really looking forward to seeing where they go with it in 2.
I got Thumper for Switch because it was on sale, and I’m remembering why I didn’t finish it when it was first released. I love everything about it, but it’s basically pure anxiety in video game form. I can’t play it without forgetting to blink and gripping my Switch so tight it hurts.
Did my initial runs of every Hitman 2 level, they were all awesome, though Whittleton Creek is my personal favorite. I can’t wait to go through them again and do all the mission stories. This is very likely my GOTY.
Muscled my way to the last level in Tetris Effect’s journey mode before I gave up. I don’t like this game. It was one thing when I thought “Well, I’m a novice, of course I’m having a hard time”, but nah, apparently this game is actually difficult, which frustrates me, greatly. TE feels like two halves that don’t form a whole, I can’t focus on the audio/visual accompaniment because the game is tough, and I can’t focus on the game because everything surrounding it sends my brain into overdrive. The “beginner” difficulty is 100% innacurate as well, it absolutely assumes you’re already quite familiar with Tetris and won’t mind if super fast tempos are introduced on a whim; by the end, I found the whole shtick super grating. I wish more critics would’ve pointed these things out, but this is a niche title that, I guess, got reviewed by hardcore Tetris fans, so of course that didn’t happen. I want the chill-ass psychedelic experience I was advertised, not “I drop ecstasy to help me focus on my physics homework”.
If you told me at the start of 2018 that:
The main theme of the newest Rockstar game is “Redemption, if anywhere, can be found in the loving acts we choose to perform in the time we have left”
The game I’d have an actual hot take on is FUCKING TETRIS
I started playing Octopath Traveler on my Thanksgiving travels, and got through 6 of the opening chapters on my plane rides. My thoughts so far:
This was the perfect grindy JRPG for sinking hours into during holiday airplane travel 10/10 for that
Octopath Traveler remains a goofy-ass title and I can’t decide if I love it or hate it
I like the battles a lot: I’m glad it’s not Active Time Battle (I want to take as long as I want on my turn dangit!) and I think the weakness and battle point systems are fun wrinkles on the classic turn-based formula
Others have said it, but the hybrid 2D/3D art style looks a lot better in motion than as static screenshots and ultimately I like how it makes the world feel like a living pop-up book or diorama
The storytelling is a weak spot for me. The individual character plots tend to lean on cliche, and some of the dialogue is really bad. Also the structure of the game itself makes you switch between the different storylines all the time, which for me robs them of a sense of urgency. I like the idea of a JRPG anthology of stories in principle, but in practice they haven’t done anything too interesting with the narrative (yet).
Anyway, I’m having fun so far and I’m looking forward to playing more of it on my Christmas plane travels!
I literally did the exact same thing last week! So its been Zelda all the way down. I have played about 10-15 ish hours before on a former roomate’s switch, but that was in the midgame, so it will be nice to get a well rounded and more holistic opinion start to finish on the game. So far its been really good!
Yeah, the whole Switch experience has been so nice. Any suggestions on good indies while they are cheap? I picked up Dead Cells. And this game is so smooth it’s ridiculous. I didn’t really believe the hype until I had mine in my hands.
I had no idea the DLC was so extensive! 15-20 hours is pretty beefy.
I’ve been playing The Messenger. Which is a super hard 2D retro Platformer that feels like a love letter to old Ninja Gaiden games. Its a few dollars off, and if you liked that synopsis, I’m having a really good time with it.
So, so many, depending on what you’ve played on other platforms. Into the Breach, Golf Story, Celeste, Hollow Knight, Stardew Valley, Night in the Woods, Oxenfree, Steamworld Dig 2, Enter the Gungeon, Undertale, Shovel Knight, Battle Chef Brigade, and more.
I’m playing Pathfinder: Kingmaker and this game is INSANE. I mean that in a mostly positive way. I’ve never played the tabletop Pathfinder, but I did play D&D’s 2nd edition through 5th and a bunch of other tabletop games ranging from crunchy to narrative. I tend to prefer turn based RPGs over RtwP but I have to say, there is something absolutely gobsmackingly charming about Kingmaker.
My remembered knowledge of D&D 3.5 has proven essential for grasping some of the core mechanics. It is a game that does not explain its systems well. Further complicating matters is that it doesn’t have a respec - so you are stuck with what you build, or you accept starting over a ton. (I advise looking up build guides to sidestep this issue, or just set the difficulty way down.) The mechanics feels like they must be a direct translator of tabletop Pathfinder. Many of the design decisions make no sense for a video game. It would be almost like a film adaptation of the book where the director just went “screw it, just project of the novel on the screen and let them read it.” It is something else. My understanding is that upon release it was extremely buggy, but it seems fine right now.
In exchange for the above headaches, you get access to the weirdest, most detailed, and most enjoyable Baldur’s Gate style game since Baldur’s Gate 2. I’m in what I think is chapter 2, and I’ve put in 50 hours and I still couldn’t tell you with any sense of authority where the story is going - its so weird, and so delightfully not centered on an evil god or demon or what have you (at least not yet.) There are some RPG tropes a-plenty, but the main narrative keeps zigging and zagging on me. Initially I thought it would be about politics, and maneuvering your kingdom against hostile neighbos. But then it seemed like their would be an invasion of… Fae? After that… Well. I won’t spoil. But its so twisty, messy, and unfocused in a good way that I can’t stop playing it. It is wildly open ended, as far as I can tell.
If the crunchiness is dissuading, there are tons of difficulty sliders and the game is very forgiving in its own weird way (I’ve spammed the quick load button more than a few times to succeed at the hard trap disarm roll.)
Worth checking out if you passed on it initially and you are into beautiful messes.
This is more obvious in the alpha now, but the game is designed around a fundamental requirement: don’t get hit, ever. Like, actually never get hit if you want to beat it on the hardest difficulty. While the cursed chests were already kind of an off-the-path gesture at this, the alpha makes it way more obvious by having new doors which don’t open unless you beat 30/60/??? enemies without getting hit, and it moves all the special doors to the hubs between levels so that you have to see them.
There is a big difference between “well, this game is hard”, and “LOL, just don’t get hit loser”. I would like to believe the latter is a pretty fucking unreasonable design choice, but somehow it’s just par for the course now.
So yes, that game can fuck off to the git gud sewer it crawled out of. I don’t plan on touching it again until the big content update (1.3?), and I’ll be cheating my way through all of it, because I assume most/all of the new content will be after the current final boss.
Anyway, I’ve been dabbling in a bunch of different indie(ish) platformers, most of which I don’t have anything to say about yet. Timespinner is just late 90’s/early-2k Castlevania with the serial numbers filed off; it’s fine, but for some reason it hasn’t really hooked me? Ori and the Blind Forest starts fine, then quickly goes off the rails into eye rolling difficulty (which I’ll probably hold my hose and power through, maybe). Treasure Adventure World is a game that would be 10x better if it let you play with a D-pad; as it is, the controls are just off enough to be distracting, and the lack of a quest log means that you need to actually take notes on everything.
I also checked out Infra, which was highlighted over at RPS from the Steam sale. I’m still getting my head around it, but it’s a strong concept. You’re an engineer who’s being sent out into the field to document the failing infrastructure of his city with a camera. There’s supposedly some conspiracy plot nonsense in there, and I’m not 100% sold on the Bioshock-style audio tapes/notes deal (or the battery mechanics), but I love that the game rewards slow, careful observation of the environment. The subtle ways in which moving around a level reveals (literally) different ways of looking at a problem is wonderful, and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of it.
Thanks @Terranova & @mundanesoul I already played the heck out of Hollow Knight, Into the Breach, Oxenfree and and Stardew Valley on PC, but I grabbed The Messenger, Steamworld Dig 2, Night in the Woods and Shovel Knight. I should be good til the New Year at least
I got PS Plus during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals. So I downloaded both Yakuza Kiwami and Bulletstorm. I had fond memories of Bulletstorm when I first played it so many years ago. I liked the shooting and the trick shots added a nice twist to an over saturated shooter market. I also remember it’s horrible humor. It can only be described as edge-lordy. I didn’t find it funny then, and certainly don’t know. I haven’t come across anything offensive or hurtful yet (only 3 or so levels into the story), but it’s just so groan inducing. It’s just over the top cursing and nonsensical dick jokes. Obviously a game wouldn’t be made with this humor today, unless it was specifically going for the offend the “snowflake libs” side of things, but it wasn’t really funny back then either. I don’t understand the thinking behind this choice. Maybe they didn’t want their story to be just a generic story like all the other shooters of that time. Mission accomplished, but Bulletstorm’s is bad and just dragged down by these bad jokes and over the top crassness. I’ll probably complete it since it’s a pretty short game, and then delete it. I’m still enjoying the shooting and trick shots. Trying to figure out how to get a trick shot to work can be really fun some times, and there are enough trick shots that you can just ignore them and still get enough “trick shot points” or whatever they’re called to upgrade your weapons no problem.
I’ll hopefully be playing Yakuza soon. I haven’t played any in the series, but I’ve heard so many great things about them that I can’t wait.