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Posts posted by Sno

  1. Does anybody else find it particularly interesting that the mini-NES thing has several Konami games on it? At least we can rest assured that Konami isn't going to bury its library and end its licensing.


    Even having no interest in Pokken, when I played it I was very underwhelmed. Mind you, of all genres, Streetfighter-clone fighting games are among my least favorite, but still I can enjoy something like Smash Bros. Pokken just seemed very boring and slow.


    I read an article somewhere (always the best possible thing to base your opinions on!) that Star Fox was indeed kind of bad and it was especially a shame that Nintendo apparently chose to push it, rather than the superior TMS#fe as 'the game to have' for this period.


    The game is anything but boring and slow, but i think i can understand how you got that impression. I had a hard time getting a feel for it at first, i wasn't sure how i was supposed to approach it because it's such an unfamiliar game.

    I started watching random matches on youtube to try and get a feel for what i was doing wrong, and it was me watching this set that kind of made me realize a few things about the potential Pokken has as a fighting game:


    As of right now, i'm pretty positive on the game, i think it's super cool. I'm eager to see people play it at Evo.


    Holy crap, what is this now?



    Oh man if they would do the same for SNES that would blow my mind.


    I like Star Fox Zero also, it has a learning curve with the controls, but the game is quite nice if/when you learn to handle it. I do understand the criticism though. But for example I almost stopped reading Polygon's website completely after the absolutely ridiculously stupid Star Fox Zero "review" that they made. The reviewer didn't even try it for real.


    To be clear, for my part, Star Fox Zero is something i went into wanting to like and gave a sincere chance. I'm a big fan of Platinum and i have played every other Starfox game, Starfox is something i want to be good. Starfox is my Sonic the Hedgehog.


    I also don't think it's egregiously bad, nor do i think its control scheme is unreasonably difficult to grapple with. I think there's some good mission design in there and despite the low-fi aesthetic at a glance, there's a ton of detail in those levels. It's clear to me that a sincere attempt was made with this game. It is trying so god damn hard, and in the moments where it comes together, it is a technical and engaging action game.


    I think where it fails is that playing that game well is made harder and not easier by its central gimmick, and moreover that the interesting aspects of the game that are enabled by that gimmick aren't emphasized enough to justify that control gimmick's existence. Starfox Zero is unfocused, it's messy. It's a game that is made worse by its central feature, and i think that qualifies as a failure.


    Again though, i would say it is the least bad of the bad Starfox games.

  2. For what it's worth, the Steam port is pretty solid. It's one of those ultra basic ports that are common of japanese developers, but it runs perfectly, i haven't had any issues with it at all. ArcSys seems to be doing ongoing work to it as well, and it has all of the original game's DLC just built in. (Most of the negative reviews it has on Steam were from a rough launch window, and there actually aren't many negative reviews at all considering, the game is finally getting the positive reception it deserves.)

    For other people: You need a gamepad for GG2O, do not try to play this game without a gamepad.


    Also, here's some ancient grainy footage of what it looks like when people know how to play that game:

  3. Two things i want to champion:

    8-Bit Armies

    Do you like Command & Conquer? Do you want a true spiritual successor to Command & Conquer? Well here it fucking is, coming literally out of nowhere to surprise the shit out of me, Petroglyph has finally gone and done it.

    It adheres most closely to the original C&C, it even has a story that even references a despotic villain "Kain" and differs only in a few key areas. There's no landing pad aircraft, they act like normal units, and instead of tiberium/ore fields, you have oil wells. Engineers also don't capture buildings anymore, they act as a universal healer instead, and there's some other smaller differences as well. Other than that, it's pretty much the original C&C with modern visuals and controls. I have just been thrilled with this thing, it's great. It even has a Frank Klepacki soundtrack with him unambiguously doing his C&C thing.


    Also, it's got a co-op campaign, so that's fun. (Btw, 8-Bit Armies apparently launched with just one faction, a GDI analogue, but the second faction - a Nod analogue - was a free DLC. There's also a paid DLC for that second faction's campaign.)


    I'll also use this opportunity to again pimp Petroglyph's previous game, Grey Goo, another game i liked quite an awful lot. (I'm a little out of the loop on it, but I understand Grey Goo has a fourth faction now.)


    Guilty Gear 2 Overture


    So this just came to Steam and is a port of a 9 year old 360 game that was kind of a proto-Lords Management when Lords Managements were only just finally starting to become visible to the mainstream, it was a game that left its fighting game fanbase confused and actually quite angry. (Tip: Don't try to present your obvious spin-off as a true sequel.) So yeah, it was a game nobody played and nobody liked. I felt like a lone holdout, because the game seemed incredibly interesting and cool to me, kind of blending fighting game mechanics and RTS mechanics, leaning into both with scarcely any restraint. It's a super strange game and having played a lot of it, i think its balance is actually pretty wonky and its campaign is admittedly terrible, but if you can get some friends together for a casual game like i used to, i think it's a ton of fun. It's chaotic and fast and full of odd ideas.

    If you need the one sentence review: It's like Brutal Legend's multiplayer two years earlier, but better and more sophisticated. I've always had a ton of fun with this one despite how widely hated it was, and i feel somewhat vindicated by the quite positive reception it's had with the Steam crowd.

  4. You can spend the normal currency on rerolls when you're out of shells. (It's expensive.)

    I imagine they'll just leave it at that.

    So Splatoon will just end up being more of a grind.


    Also, the Marie and Callie Amiibos are out.

  5. I am surprised to see TMS#FE get really, really positive reviews after all the pre-release buzz being so negative.


    Also, i played StarFox Zero.


    It kinda sucks.


    To be fair, it probably sucks the least of any post N64 Star Fox game, and i have played them all, but it still kind of sucks.


    It feels like Platinum trying their god damn best to make a decent game out of an awkward idea, and i think they actually get a pretty good part of the way there, but that game feels like it's pulling in five different directions with its control scheme. For example, it's incredibly difficult to aim with the third-person view, but it's incredibly difficult to dodge shit with the first-person view. Jumping between these perspectives does not work in a difficult, fast-paced action game, and that's just part of it. Why does the arwing mech have both a strafing lock-on mechanic and a torso-twist mechanic?


    I love me some weird obtuse control mechanics, but even i think this game barely works.


    Edit: I also played Pokken.

    That game is weird as shit and kind of awesome, i might say more about it at a later date.

  6. So i played this.


    I really sincerely love this thing, but it comes with some caveats that make it not easy to universally recommend.


    First though, i think i have to say that it's possibly one of the most striking and attractive games i've ever played. It's something that doesn't really come across in still screenshots or compressed footage.

    The game plays a real neat trick, where all of its assets were rendered in 3d, converted to 2d sprites, and then combined with the data from the 3d modelling to create true 3d lighting across those sprites. The result they have in this game seems undeniable and unmistakable, it's absolutely beautiful to look at. It's an intensely detailed, populous, dense world that runs at a perfect 60fps, has persistent environmental destruction, and still feels like it has real three dimensional depth. It's something quite special.


    And, mechanically, there's a fair bit more going on than you would normally expect from what appears to be a twin stick shooter. (For one, it's not a twin-stick shooter, purposefully awkward tank controls abound.) Definitely play the tutorials. There's a lot of concepts like z-axis being considered and having to manipulate the height of your shot by where you aim on the ground around you. (The example the tutorial gives you is having to aim past hover tanks so that your firing arc intersects with them in the air.) Your weapons also all have loudness stats, and if detected, enemies will search for the source of that sound instead of all instantly going aggro on you. Some matches can turn into an intense cat and mouse chase as you attempt to flee from a huge mob headed towards your last known position so you can go resupply elsewhere on the map. Alternately, you can use smaller weapons and faster vehicles to try and pick apart enemy mobs in more manageable numbers. Either way, you often end up weaving between buildings and trees both for cover and to simply break line of sight, keeping in mind that in these maps everything is destructible. (As an aside, the game could probably use some kind of onscreen gauge to track how much noise you're generating, because that can be pretty hard to get a feel for.)


    That all said, i don't think this game really knows what to do with itself, because it's sandwiched by incredibly plain menus and a no-frills presentation. The campaign, containing missions that are actually quite enjoyable and well-designed, is presented as a list with text blurbs to set up what you should be doing. (Well-written text blurbs, but still.) There's no real sense of a connecting thread through those missions, by the time you have any picture of what is going on in the world the game is depicting, you'll likely be most of the way through. Moreover, the "freelance" mode the game offers, a not-quite-roguelite affair, is very strangely structured with its pre-baked sets of levels to work through. (Which are highly redundant as they often contain the same levels ad nauseum, and level sets aren't even "checked" off as you complete them.) You also set difficulty separately from the level sets in the form of a pilot that has a variety of difficulty modifying stats, so there's really not anything setting apart the different level packs that often contain the same levels.

    It also tries to present itself as something where you have to make a risky choice to continue on in a level set or exit early to try and preserve some of your earned income for the run, but it kind of ends up being a false choice, and it's because the game has such hard swings. You can go into a level in a perfect situation and die in five seconds, you're as fragile coming out of a mission as you are going in. You don't have have character progression between levels in a set, you can't have a good run that you feel like you're going to cash in on pushing your luck.


    That all said, unlocking all the vehicles and weapons and playing around with those combinations is super enjoyable and i've already sunk more than a couple dozen hours into it.


    This is a game where if you know exactly what you're getting into, it's hard to imagine you would be upset about it. If what you want is a spiritual successor to 90's isometric action games like Desert Strike and Mechwarrior 3050, here you go. This is it. It's pretty awesome.

  7. Vulkan support was just released for the PC version, has anybody given it a shot? I've seen claims of massive performance boosts across the full spectrum of hardware.


    I'm also very nearly finished a nightmare playthrough and my prior positive attitude towards the game holds firm. Doom 4 is really great.

  8. For the standard shotgun, the explosive mod allowing some flanking damage gives it some persisting value over the super shotgun, considering how durable armor plated and shielded enemies are, but if you build down the triple shot path, yeah... what you said. The same is true of the chaingun and the rifle if you build down the micro missiles for the rifle. You then have two strong mid-range DPS dealers that melt through ammo at similar rates. I don't know why i would choose one over the other in any given fight.


    At least the gauss/plasma are fulfilling clearly different roles off of that shared ammo pool. If you have one ammo type available, you want to spend it in the most optimal way for the situation at hand, that's what the choice is supposed to be.


    I mean, then you get the chaingun and how its two paths maxed out create virtually identical results. The turret mode has a slightly faster time to kill with a slight move penalty, but they both do their work in about the same ammo cost and at the same range with the same effects. Are those limited differences really enough to justify the chaingun having two alternate forms that both permanently sit in your character inventory?


    Honestly, shared ammo, as a mechanic, is pretty thorny and problematic. I've never been fond of it. I think Id's games in the past have only barely gotten away with it. The shotgun and super shotgun in Doom 2 and Quake have this trade off of range-versus-power, but the nailgun and super nailgun in Quake are... The super nailgun literally just does twice as much damage for twice the ammo cost, it completely invalidates the existence of the normal nailgun.

  9. So i think Doom 4 is pretty remarkable.


    I also don't think it's much at all like the original games, i might even argue that it's less of a Doom game than Doom 3 was, or at least extracts different lessons from the original games about what defines Doom. (Messages that might be more on point with the ethos of Doom, if not necessarily its mechanics.)


    I've been a long-suffering advocate of Doom 3, but i have to say that i think the way Doom 4 has broken down the originals and reconstituted them has been an immensely more effective and interesting approach.


    I think Doom 3 saw its predecessors through a nostalgia lens blind to their inherent sophomoric silliness and attempted to lean into how they were seen at the time as a little bit transgressive. It debatably fell flat on its face with that po-faced self-seriousness and slow-build horror-vibe, despite being strung around around a framework much more faithful to the original games than people generally want to admit. (I always see people cite how "slow" Doom 3 was an example of how it failed in being like the original games - that you can't dodge projectiles - and then i watch footage of these people playing and realize that nobody understands that the game has a sprint key that vaults you into ludicrous Doom 1/2 style sprinting. Never mind that the back half of the game is absolutely manic. Anyways, that's getting off topic.)


    Doom 4 seems to display a significantly greater degree of awareness about its place in video game history, it's a game that is intensely aware of how people perceive Doom and what they want from Doom. In some sense, the idea of Doom has somewhat drifted away from what Doom actually was. Doom 4 is a game that is as inspired by the modding scene and the history around Doom as it is by the game itself. The result is a game that is more frenetic and immediate than Doom has ever been, with dramatic shifts occurring multiple times over the course of a single battle instead of over the course of multiple rooms, and it's additionally borrowed some interesting mechanics from unusual sources in its modern contemporaries.


    A few of you have noted that it feels like a character action game with guns, and you're not wrong, there's many elements here that are common in such games but are virtually unseen in shooters, and Doom 4 takes them and makes them work. Special melee actions generating health has become a relatively common fixture in melee-focused action games, for example. Here, despite Doom 4 still ostensibly being a shooter, the glory kill system never feels like a gimmick that overwhelms that action, and it's because it has a clear, distinct role in the framework the game has. It only gives you health if you're below 100hp, you need to use other weapons to first stagger enemies, and it acts as a tether to pull you into the midst of fights, creating that frantic pace Id is aiming for.


    That all said, no matter what anybody tells you, it essentially means you have regenerating health. The weapons too, people can make big claims about how important and true to the originals not having to reload is, but the big elaborate upgrade trees also create an arsenal of weapons that is less defined by clear roles than in any prior Id game. (I am not particularly a fan of the progression systems in this game.) You play your preferences until you run out of ammo and switch to something else. This is a very different kind of shooter from the original games, one that carries out a significant deception about it being built up on old-school ideas. Again though, i'm not making the argument that this is bad, and i think the way the game has redesigned the chainsaw as a limited-use power weapon is kind of brilliant. Not just a powerful one-hit-kill, but one that drops mountains of ammo to facilitate more shooting and... You know, a lot of this seems really evocative of Bungie's so-called "combat triangle" philosophy for the Halo series. Hell, Doom even has off-hand grenades now.


    There is one thing that i think Doom 4 replicates impressively from the original games though, and it's that it has these huge open-ended levels that often have non-linear layouts with multiple non-linear objectives, and even when levels are more linear, there is an impressive adherence to avoiding points of no return, providing optional routes back through the level. (At one point, after falling into a large shaft, an elevator opens up at the bottom to take you back up, if you want to, something you would literally never do in normal play.) The game wants you to explore, it wants to recapture the sense of wandering exploration that the original Doom games have, and it's done with all the polish and flash that a multi-million dollar game in 2016 would be expected to have. It's incredible. Doom 3 didn't even do this, Doom 3 kind of followed the Half-Life philosophy of level design. I think it's remarkable to see a major AAA FPS in 2016 try to tackle this kind of level design. I mean, holy shit, it even builds major set piece battles around one-off time-limited power-ups. Deciding when is the best time to grab the quad damage is an important, life-saving choice you make in many later fights, it's fantastic.


    If there's an issue with what they've done, it's that it could probably throw in a few random enemy spawns, or more incidental groups between major battles, because maps can depopulate very quickly, leading to some pretty uneventful wanderings. They also have a lot of enemies just teleporting in by waves for the big fights, something Doom 3 always got a lot of shit for while nobody's mentioning it with regards to Doom 4. I don't mind it, but I wish they were a little more creative with their enemy composition in those fights, because it often feels like you're just fighting each and every enemy in successive waves.


    There is, however, an impressive sense of verticality in these fights. Doom 4's levels present a lot of three dimensional space that kind of evokes the first Quake a bit, but where strong z axis movement in quake is generally limited to costly mobility tricks, Doom Guy has learned to pull himself up ledges. (You also eventually gain a double jump.) The result is that you're moving fast through all three dimensions in these fights and it's really pretty thrilling. (Some of the first-person platforming it ends up at outside of the fights i'm less fond of, but it's not as finicky as one might imagine it to be, it works well.)


    Also, there's a few boss fights. They're actually pretty terrific. Really surprising, that. Man, and Mick Gordon fuckin` nailed that OST.


    So yeah, i think Doom 4 is mostly kind of spectacular. Way to go New-Id, you've redeemed yourself for Rage. (A game i hated, just to throw it out there.)


    Also, there's MP, i guess? I haven't touched it, i don't care about it. I heard it was bad, then i looked into it and thought it looked bad, i don't want to taint the great experience i've had with the campaign. I might mess around with Snap Map at some point, that seems neat.


    Edit: Oh, and i played on Ultraviolence. I wouldn't recommend any lower difficulty if you are a person who plays a lot of shooters, i didn't find it particularly difficult. It felt comparable to playing Halo on Heroic.


    Edit 2: Doom Guy's not-giving-a-fuck-about-your-problems emoting towards the other characters and all their "serious business" lends a wonderful little bit of character to the game. Less wonderful is that, despite it, the game still wants you to know all about the story it's trying to tell and will make you sit in place and listen on several occasions. Regardless, the story-telling tends towards appropriately terse, i can't really say it overstays its welcome. Also, what is there is tonally - seemingly knowingly - like a shitty 90's comic book, which is super appropriate for Doom. (Amusingly, it opens on a line from an infamous Doom comic.)

  10. The deciding games for every major new console release i've purchased with my own money:


    GBA - F-Zero: Maximum Velocity drove me to pick a GBA up at launch and i had zero regrets about it, Maximum Velocity is a terrific F-Zero game. (It's also the one that owes the most to the original.)


    Dreamcast - SoulCalibur was the one here and there's obviously no regrets about it, SoulCalibur is one of the best 3d fighters ever made and one of the strongest launch games in the history of console launches. (Though i actually didn't get a DC at launch!)


    Gamecube - I was holding off on a Gamecube until Metroid Prime came out, i wanted to see if Nintendo could pull of Metroid in 3D before spending the cash on the console. I remember playing at a store demo station for about 15 minutes before walking off and coming back the next day with cash in hand for a GC and a copy of Prime.


    PS2 - I was a late, late adopter of the PS2. You know what game did it for me? Gradius V. It was totally worth it too, Gradius V is amazing.


    DS - Bought at launch largely on the promise of Metroid Prime Hunters, a game that got delayed and delayed and delayed and left the DS with a pretty dire first year. (At least i had that First Hunt demo...) When Hunters eventually came out, i ended up enjoying it quite a lot, though it was definitely a flawed game in a number of ways.


    PSP - This happened at launch and this one is actually pretty hard to pin down, because as much as that console struggled later on, it had an outrageously good launch line-up. I'm going to say it was probably Lumines that was the deciding factor though.


    Xbox 360 - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. I remember just being bowled over by the early footage of the game available online, and it ended up being the deciding factor in buying a 360. I had a fantastic time with its multiplayer, it was a pretty great game.


    Wii - Red Steel. I don't want to talk about it. I was so mad.


    Wii U - So i told myself i bought my Wii U to play Xenoblade Chronicles X, even though i bought it months in advance of that release, but yeah... Xenoblade Cross is pretty sweet.


    3DS - Christ, i have no idea why i bought a 3DS a launch, the thing had such a terrible launch line-up. I want to say the promise of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars was the thing that pushed me over the edge. A new turn-based tactics game from Julian Gollop? Sounds great, except the game is a bug-ridden mess. (Quite interestingly though, it was uncannily evocative of what Firaxis would go on to do with their X-com reboot.)

  11. So has anybody here played Ground Control? The original one, mainly.

    That game was a big favorite of mine.

    Can somebody who has played both that and DoK tell me if i'm wrong for seeing a lot of that game in Deserts of Kharak?


    Haven't picked up DoK yet, but... Yeah...


    Edit: Also, DoK's original title of "Homeworld: Shipbreakers" was way more evocative and cool, i kind of hate the final title.

  12. I don't think you have anything to apologize for, differing opinions are allowed.


    I'll concede that i am somewhat predisposed towards appreciating Soma, it's a game that promises the sort of story i love digging into, but it did actually surpass my expectations by quite a margin.


    I think Soma is interested in what happens when body and mind become detached notions and power of one over the other ceases, all of its narrative anecdotes coalesce around disrupting the reality of a singular personhood. So i do think it all comes back around to our main characters. What are Simon and Catherine relative to their originals? Do we empathize with them? Which version of them are we supposed to empathize with? Do we resent the ones that get to prolong their fates in comfort without a second thought to the selves left behind? The game is pretty explicit about these being the kinds of questions it wants you to have on your mind.

  13. Another general quality of life suggestion for Cross: Don't take under-leveled party members into affinity quests.


    Anyways, yeah, the digital manual is actually super useful, it explains a lot.

    It might also be worth glancing through the first few pages of this topic, because we ended up going into detail on some things not covered in the manual.


    If you still have questions after all of that, go ahead and ask.

  14. I was thinking I should watch in release order or post order. He knows more about those games than I do so he must've chosen that order for a reason. My interest is more 'academic' regarding the games themselves, rather than their narrative content. Maybe after I finish I'll go grab The Witness since J. Blow has said he intended to make a modern Myst.

    Oh, speaking of Chip Cheezum, he had a stream where he covered Pyst, that horrible, horrible, 'parody' of Myst (Featuring John Goodman!)


    I don't know if there's any logic to his release order, i think he just liked Riven and Uru most out of the series, but those two do give you pretty good footing to relate to the other games in the series. (Riven tells the story that many of the other Myst games sort of revolve around, while Uru lays out the background lore in about as clear a manner as the series ever offers.)


    Those Let's Plays don't get too much into development history or design analysis or anything like that, if that's what you're looking for. They're very story centric, but... i mean... Myst is kind of all about the story, how it strives to contextualize its puzzles as logical facets of worlds full of implied history, and those LP's are terrific at drawing out those details, noticing and pointing out design motifs and subtle environmental stories that reveal things about those worlds that in turn reveal things about the puzzles contained within.


    That's the kind of stuff people love Myst for, and it's the kind of stuff so few other first-person adventure/puzzle games deal in. Even with the genre kind of exploding back into prominence, i can't honestly think of any recent and clear examples of a game properly doing what the Myst series did. I am quite excited to see what becomes of Obduction.

  15. I bought this game yesterday because I have a bunch of free time right now, and I'm honestly completely overwhelmed. I've never played a game in any way like this, so it's taking me a long time to get used to all the mechanics. Menu-based real-time combat has always been the bane of my existence; I get so overwhelmed and confused and by the time I think I know what I'm doing the battle is finished. I'm only about three hours in and just became a BLADE, so it seems like the game's starting to open up and I don't feel ready!


    Any tips for what to focus on at the beginning to ease myself in? Be it combat tips or just how the general loop of sidequests/equipment/XP/class stuff works....thanks. 


    That is an incredibly broad question for a game like this, can you narrow it down? What specific things do you need answers concerning?

  16. Well, you're describing very subjective experiences and i certainly can't deny you how the game made you feel.


    For my part, I thought the writing and acting were pretty consistently great, Simon's breakdowns at various points especially came across as feeling pretty genuine to me. He can come across as insistently oblivious to certain realities of his circumstances, but i generally took it as the character having a degree of genre blindness. (Not everybody is a sci-fi nerd.) It's a reading of the character that i think is supported by the way Katherine talks down to him at times, trying to explain his situation with simple and manipulative metaphors while other corners of the game were far more explicit about the mechanics of what was happening to Simon.


    I think there are some fumbles earlier in the game, the intro sequence in particular has some especially awkward dialogue. Some of it at least, the nightmare in particular, i believe is meant to put you somewhat off balance. On the other hand, when he wakes up in Pathos II, i think he comes across as a little too at ease with his circumstances in the sequences leading up to the the first big reveal. (Where he, at the very least, realizes that he's been wearing a diving suit and finally seems to be genuinely distressed with his situation.)


    I mean, and... I don't know about that last comment. Soma comes across as almost an anthology of ideas in how it skips through its various topics of interest, relating them around the core of its sci-fi narrative, and i think it generally lands on at least a small handful of interesting conclusions about each of those ideas before moving onto the next. In particular, the whole sequence where Simon is struggling with the ethics of bringing a human consciousness in and out of existence for his selfish ends is kind of incredible. I mean, and it doesn't make the choices for you, i think that's kind of the key here. They aren't even reinforced by mechanics that might coerce you down one path or another, the game makes it entirely about doing what you feel is right. Perhaps having those experiences second-hand denies them some of their impact. I certainly don't think a let's play is in any way the ideal way to experience a game in its entirety, this is an interactive medium. Consider how the game presents a certain survey twice, because after having done it once already earlier in the game you're meant to reflect on the scenarios posed by the game in its duration and discover if your answers to the survey and really every choice in the game have changed upon its conclusion, it asks for personal reflection on the things you've done.


    That's my take, at least.


    Moreover, i think it's fair to say that it engendering interesting conversations around itself is a credit to it.


    I really, really liked Soma. A lot.

  17. Sno, I'll check out that LP tonight! I've always been slightly interested in Myst as a figure in gaming history and never played it when it was current. It'll be interesting to learn about it this way.



    The one thing i'll add to what i said above is that the order the player did them in can be slightly irritating at times. If you try to watch in narrative order, you'll find him kind of assuming knowledge of or making reference to things already detailed and explained in videos for later games. The Riven LP might be the best one to start with since It was the first one he did and because it's also still only the second game in the series. It's also pretty universally regarded as the best Myst game.

  18. I think my favorite let's plays ever are this fellow's series of Myst playthroughs.


    Well researched and structured, explaining the story as he goes, putting it in context relative to other materials in the franchise, while also trying to appear to be working through the logic of each puzzle instead of just going ahead and solving it.


    Admittedly, i'm a huge fan of Myst to start, but it's a series of let's plays that might also make a compelling case for the series to a person who never really "got" it.




    That's the proper narrative order for the series, though not the order the Let's Player did them in. (Which was... I think... Riven, Uru, V, IV, Myst, and finally III? Very anarchic.)

  19. For the sake of thoroughness, another action RTS i remember from around the same time as Battlezone and Uprising that hasn't already been posted about here was a Microsoft-published game called Urban Assault. I remember only playing a demo of that one, but it seemed neat and still seems to have a bit of a following.



    Another thing that has always, always stood out as a little odd to me was an old and actually very cool top down action game from 1998 called Future Cop LAPD. Its multiplayer mode, and stop me if this sounds familiar, has you playing as a hero unit in a symmetrical arena filled with defense towers and factories pumping out automated units, with the objective being to push your way into the enemy's base.


  20. Anybody ever played Uprising? Very cool action/strategy hybrid that i played a whole bunch of as a kid, but It seems like one of those games that just nobody really remembers, i never see people talk about it. (It does not even have a wikipedia page.) I remember actually liking it a tiny bit more than Battlezone.


    Looking into it now, apparently it got a couple of sequels, one more than i thought it got. The sequel i did play i remember being fairly unimpressed by, but i remember that first game pretty fondly.


    Kinda loved the whole thing about teleporting units from your production queues straight into battle, you just needed line of sight, either from your personal tank or one of your base citadels. You could still issue orders to units afterwards too, i believe. The game wasn't just skipping the hard part. I believe you could also teleport them back out and cash them in.


    There's a decent little power allocation mechanic on your tank too, and a whole bunch of weird weapons.



    Some random footage from youtube. (Warning: It's loud.)

  21. Sunspire is definitely a level i've never really enjoyed.


    I've played Unreal in its entirety only a few years back and while there certainly were some boring parts there, I actually remember being amazed by level design in the game.


    I love that it was a game that was willing to have all of these low-key interludes creating space and a sense of journey and exploration between the "real" levels, it feels a lot like Half-Life 2 in some regards.

  22. So keep in mind that your gear has what people will refer as main skills and sub skills. The main skills sit at top and are locked in for each piece of gear and include a few special skills not otherwise available, the sub skills are what you randomly roll/re-roll and are usually worth around 1/3rd their main skill equivalents.


    Skills stack, but as you stack more of a certain skill on, each is worth a little bit less.


    Brands weigh a piece of gear towards different sub skill rolls.


    1 star and 2 star gear can be upgraded into 3 star gear with super sea snails. (Which is valuable for getting a three-slotted piece that has the right mix of brand/main skill.)


    It's been a few weeks since i played, but i want to say my current build in Splatoon was a mix of special charge up, ink recovery, and throw range stacks, along with the special ink resistance skill. (My preferred weapon is the dual squelcher, the one that is bundled with an echolocator and splatbombs.)


    Now, it's important to know that we're talking about very small percentages here, a big stack of defense ups might only let you survive one additional hit from a splattershot, and many skills come with a lot of additional caps and restrictions. (Getting much of out strength up requires some pretty particular knowledge of the game.)


    So don't feel like you absolutely need to deep dive on this stuff to stay competitive, i spend most of my time playing using whatever random crap i haven't leveled up yet and still do just fine. It's much more important to play around with the weapons and figure out which is right for you. (You know, and also just generally learning how to support your team and make smart plays.)

  23. Ok, yeah, the lightsaber doesn't remain that fun for long - it's pretty much useless when you have multiple enemies. I managed to get a bit of force speed and jump, which are fun occasionally but don't really help in combat.


    Anyway, I've now quit this game. I wasn't having much fun because it's so fiddly and unsatisfying. Unsatisfying weapons, fiddly combat, annoying level structure and shitty platforming and switch puzzles. I was trying to push through, using a walkthrough to get past the more irritating puzzles (generally to do with switches and bridges) until I got to one level which demands incredibly difficult platforming (sloped surfaces from which you'll easily fall to your death) while trying to find a well-hidden vent, all while a TIE fighter bombs you. I decided to try a few cheats to skip ahead, but just kept on coming up against shitty hidden switches and routes.


    I'll just have to hope that when I get to 2002, the next two Dark Forces games won't have the same irritations as the first two...


    Anyway, onto Quake 2!


    I died a little inside reading this, i sincerely love the first JK. Perhaps it's worth pointing out that, at the time, the scale of its levels was extremely impressive relative to what many other FPS's were doing. (The game ran well even on modest PC's.) Those levels were big and complicated and diverse.


    I personally feel the level design took a dive once it was handed off to Raven, but their games put together a pretty memorable melee system for saber combat, and that's largely why those games are so fondly remembered. (There's actually even quite a few non-evident special moves, it might be worth looking over a movelist faq when you get around to those.)