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Everything posted by Upthrust

  1. So does Campo Santo go below the giant underground hats-and-gun-skins factory, or are they part of the above-ground operation?
  2. I just burned through Supergiant's latest, and I'm still really impressed by whatever they're putting out. It has all the aesthetics merits of Bastion or Transistor, plus some excellent, surprisingly-deep quasi-basketball gameplay. I was particularly impressed by how it seemed like the AI actually knew how to exploit the rules the way a player might. For example: players have auras that, if you run into an opposing player, that player gets taken out of the game for a few seconds. The character holding the ball, however, doesn't have an aura, which encourages you to sometimes toss the ball at an opposing player and immediately bum-rush them, banishing them. It's a simple but somewhat-unintuitive consequence of the rules (the game introduces tossing the ball as a way to score goals, passing to your teammates is another button), and I was floored when the AI pulled it on me before I figured the strategy out for myself. Beyond that, the story has some really great hooks, mostly playing out in Banner Saga-style interactions as your team travels from match to match. The second-act turn when you discover The story even accounts for you losing matches, to the point that I'm pretty sure you could lose literally every match in the game and still finish. So, uh, anybody else playing it?
  3. The Witness by Jonathan Blow

    Oops, you're right! I fixed it to link to this tweet: I'm really not sure how it would have fit in to the apparently-abandoned piece he was working on, but there's something about that video that works really well. As for the Run Button podcast, I'm glad you linked it because I missed it, and I do like the critique Austin outlines there. Even if I still overall like the themes that The Witness is presenting, it's hard to argue that it isn't trying to apply them as a worldview when a bunch of the audios and videos are explicitly about solving the problems of the world, and that worldview does have definite flaws (even if I'm partial to it).
  4. The Witness by Jonathan Blow

    I'm quoting this so people can minimize it if they want. I really didn't mean for this to get this long, but the Danielle/Waypoint view on the Witness has been rolling around in my head for a while.
  5. I definitely do primarily judge bosses on mechanics. Obviously aesthetic plays some role, but I enjoyed my fight with the Dragonslayer Armour than against Yhorm, even though I think putting an Ornstein clone in every sequel has been kind of lame while the story of the giant-king who accidentally incinerates his people in the very act of trying to save them is cool as hell. My favorites generally end up being whatever bosses I had the hardest time fighting, along the same lines of Nick's explanation of the value of Dark Souls being in falling into the pit and climbing your way out.
  6. Funny of you to mention that: https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/FriendlyDogSwiftRage
  7. Sounds alright to me! I think I'll miss Omar Sharif most of all, but I'm sure we'll carry on the tradition in-chat.
  8. DS1 https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/AlertSquidSmoocherZ - Nick mocks Dusk, to Janel's horror https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/AmusedHerdBlargNaut - Social Eating https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/PowerfulSardineSmoocherZ - Nick ruminates on his experiences, gets meta https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/BreakableOpossumPicoMause - Nick walking off the branch on the Bed of Chaos https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/LuckyElephantMikeHogu - Janel leaves, Nick is free https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/HelplessDuckCoolCat - Nick likes the ending DS2 https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/EnthusiasticPoultryOSsloth - Nick narrowly avoids defeat against the Dragonrider, immediately dies https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/ExcitedOpossumAsianGlow - Nick getting killed by a mob at the primal bonfire after Freja https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/DifferentOryxSoonerLater - Nick likes the Covetous Demon https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/AlertGooseNoNoSpot - Nick falls off the cool bridge https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/MuddyFoxFunRun - Nick kills the Smelter Demon https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/HilariousBadgerRaccAttack - Nick's great escape from an invader in the Gutter https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/GleamingSalamanderOhMyDog - Nick meets Aldia https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/PerfectJaguarPazPazowitz - Nick's future girlfriend https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/ProudSnailAsianGlow - "Are you a spooky bad man?" https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/LovelyFoxDatSheffy - Nick picks up a Schwarzenegger soundboard https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/ProudOstrichHeyGuys - "Free to play the game the way it was intended" https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/StupidCockroachFuzzyOtterOO - "Sometimes you gotta use your words" https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/GentleSalmonGingerPower - Nick politely asks Sinh to die https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/ProudLeopardBrokeBack - Nick responds to Kyir's concerns re: a horse https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/JollyNarwhalBlargNaut - Cheatin' Hitman World Champ https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/TalentedEchidnaWinWaker - Nick beats Alonne https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/SmilingCamelOSkomodo - Nick is let down by a chair https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/LuckyScorpionSoonerLater - Vendrick kills Nick without even trying https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/RichSquidDendiFace - The ending, Nick is thoroughly satisfied by a chair
  9. Nick uses his words: https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/StupidCockroachFuzzyOtterOO Nick learns the importance of asking politely: https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/GentleSalmonGingerPower Nick has a message for the haters ("the haters" = Kyir): https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/ProudLeopardBrokeBack Nick becomes the cheatin' hitman world champ: https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/JollyNarwhalBlargNaut Another recommendation here for the madness. The Nick and the chat begin to go pumped-up insane around here: https://www.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/v/109006811?t=8h17m
  10. "Are you a spooky bad man?" Nick asks: https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/ProudSnailAsianGlow (Nick said Chris should see this)
  11. Nick was talking about invaders hiding as enemies, so here's a video about a guy who dresses up as an enemy to hide from invaders. Pretty much the same thing, right?
  12. Yeah, the only reason I managed to get through both of those areas was by deliberately killing the mobs until they de-spawned, and even then the run to the latter boss fight took about 3 mintues. After I got close enough to winning solo that I felt like I "solved" it, I just summoned an NPC and beat it so I could get on with my life. Felt especially disjointed after I went on to beat the main boss for that segment in one go. I did make pretty decent progress through the audiobook I was listening to, though.
  13. I just finished my first run of DS2 this week, and finished DS1 earlier this year (haven't made it to DS3 yet). I think DS2 was harder on the whole, but it also felt smoother. The couple of times I got tripped up in Dark Souls (Taurus Demon, Ornstein and Smough, Tomb of the Giants), it meant several multi-hour sessions to figure out what I was doing wrong and how to correct. For Dark Souls 2, I only had to walk away and come back later for one boss, but it also had more bosses that took more than one hour. So from my experience, you'll probably find the early parts of Dark Souls 2 fairly easy, but it'll ramp up to a comfortable challenge. I'll also add that Dark Souls 2 has a couple areas in the DLC that I think are worth skipping for being too hard in ways that aren't really fun (specifically ), but the DLC in general has had some of my favorite fights of the series so far.
  14. Nick had a really nice social eating stream today: https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/AmusedHerdBlargNaut It was very good. https://clips.twitch.tv/idlethumbs/AlertSquidSmoocherZ
  15. I actually got in to the Giant Bombcast through Idle Thumbs as well. The full genealogy of my gaming-related pod-listening goes as follows: The Kingdom of Loathing Podcast > Video Games Hot Dog > Idle Thumbs > the Giant Bombcast > the Giant Beastcast > "VICE Gaming's" New Podcast*, with a couple branches off Idle Thumbs for Three Moves Ahead and Idle Weekend, a branch off the Beastcast for Friends at the Table, and a totally separate tree for Cool Games Inc and The Adventure Zone, by way of MBMBAM and Judge John Hodgman. It actually seems pretty insane when I lay it out like that, and even more insane that gaming podcasts are less than half of my overall podcast listening. *For full effect, read the ">" arrow as "begat".
  16. Donald "Cheatin' Hitman" Trump has always been perfectly clear about what he is: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters."
  17. Hyper Light Drifter

    Yeah, I'm running up against the end of the game pretty fast, so I'm sure I can actually beat the game, but I was actually getting into the wall-hugging, secret-area-finding part of the game. I was specifically lamenting
  18. Hyper Light Drifter

    Boy, am I awful at that chain-dash move. I can occasionally pull one off mid-battle, and I can pull off just enough to make it a fun little way to get across the map, but if a certain section requires me to chain dash across it, it ain't happening. I managed to cheese a couple with invincibility frames and healing, but there are others designed to prevent you from doing that. I really like that the game seems to know just how difficult it wants to be, but in this case it feels like the game is disappointed that I can't pull off a weird parlor trick, even though I have the overall combat down to an art-science. I eventually had to tell myself I just won't 100% this game, even though I would really love to.
  19. Stardew Valley

    Story of Seasons falls into the same trap as most of the recent Harvest Moon games: If take a break from it for more than a week or two, I am completely lost. I think it's a significant improvement on A New Beginning (it is less up its own butt with ANB's "you can build and move everything" mechanics), but it's still a game weighed down by twenty years of feature creep. Also worth noting that one of my gripes about Stardew Valley has already been fixed (the "auto-run" option is automatically turned on), and the devs are working on making diagonal movement feel better. I feel better and better about the game as I go along. It's a really good farm sim.
  20. Stardew Valley

    I've played through the first season so far, and I'm fairly optimistic about it. A disordered list of things I like: Terraria's inventory system works really well for a Harvest Moon-style game, because switching tools is not a chore unto itself. You are limited to giving villagers gifts twice a week, which lends to just handing stuff out spontaneously instead of creating obsessive "gifting runs" that ended up defining the bulk of even my early Harvest Moon experiences. None of the marriage candidates appear to be pre-pubescent, unlike certain Harvest Moon games. After you figure out how fishing works, it's pretty entertaining. It feels like Flappy Bird, even if it doesn't look anything like it. There are at least two alcoholics in town, which seems to have been the hallmark of Harvest Moon games I actually enjoyed. When you cut down trees, they explode into a dozen little branches, Terraria-style. Stuff that I don't really like: The only way to save is to sleep, which I think works out to roughly every 30 minutes. The fishing tutorial was vague enough that I had to brute-force my way to understanding it. It only took 2 or 3 attempts, but it wasn't a good moment for my trust in the game. Walking diagonally has been scientifically proven to be slower than waling orthogonally, and it feels kind of bad. You have to go to the options to turn on auto-run when there is no reason to ever walk. The otherwise pretty neat side-job system only gives you two days to fulfill requests, which feels like the bare minimum amount of time to reasonably complete them. There is a Wal-Mart clone in town that is threatening to ruin the local business and do other devious corporate things. I always liked that the Harvest Moon games made the case for rural life by just being super idyllic, rather than by defining itself in direct opposition to something. Things I am not yet sure or ambivalent about: It seems like the farming system is potentially nearly as baroque as the later Harvest Moons, but I also don't feel like I'm being actively shamed for not understanding how to make my crops 5-STAR GRADE S+++. I have avoided getting animals so far because I hated livestock in every Harvest Moon game, so I can't speak on Stardew Valley's livestock one way or the other. Mining is engrossing enough, but I never liked combat systems in my farming sims. You can kill a slime with a sword in this game, but I don't want to. Some of the villager interactions ring with a low-intensity pathos that the earlier Harvest Moon games excelled at, with the notable exception of almost every single marriage candidate.
  21. I was always fascinated by the subtitle of Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together. Even though I only played the Ogre Battle games that came after it, that subtitle encapsulated the moody, self-serious tone of the series much better than the actual title of the series. I'm a little disappointed it isn't some baroque translation of the Japanese title (which is just "Tactics Ogre"). As for board game names, I really like Twilight Struggle and feel compelled to obnoxiously read aloud the Kennedy quotation it references every time I start a game of it.
  22. Listening to Jeff on the GOTY cast this year kind of felt like watching a chess grandmaster. You have no idea how they "won" but you can't shake the impression that everything that came up to that point was way more deliberate than you realized.
  23. The Witcher 3: What Geralt Wants

    The impression I get from Bioware games is if you actually pursue different romances to the point that you trigger a confrontation, it's just an A/B choice where B apologizes for getting in the way of your relationship with A, because B is just happy to be on the team. Maybe they call out the player in one line of dialogue, but their approach toward the player doesn't actually change. There's a lot I like about those games, but the romance plots are definitely not part of it. Yeah, that's the upside of this. I think the fact that Geralt is an actual character (even if I think he's kind of a doofus) helps a lot to make Yennefer and Triss feel more specific than your bog-standard RPG romance options. I actually gave some thought to the choice rather than more-or-less arbitrarily picking a romance option to provide More Content for my player-cipher main character.
  24. The Witcher 3: What Geralt Wants

    Maybe my favorite gaming-adjacent experience this year has been reading internet posts about a particular aspect of the romance subplots in this game. Specifically:
  25. In case anyone wanted to experience Patrick Klepek's nightmare poetry firsthand: https://twitter.com/Fobwashed/status/652506070254944256