Merus

Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Merus

  1. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    To answer this one months late: no
  2. Horizon: Zero Dawn

    I'm playing this! It's aces. I'm enjoying that the main story quest, once you finish the Proving, is almost entirely 'go to this edge of the map because there's something there' and the game can trust that there'll be enough things going on from here to there that you'll have a little adventure just getting there. I had a story mission send me north, and on the way I ran across two side quests, a bandit nest with a very creepy-yet-friendly NPC, a corrupted zone, two ambushes and two boss fights. Only one each of those last two were part of the main quest, to my knowledge. I am really liking the combat system, as well - it's a really smart elaboration on headshots. At first, you shoot the watchers right in the eyes and they go down, but other machines need to be shot in the side first and then in the face. Later, you understand that the machines have both armour and components, and if the components get ripped off or damaged enough in a specific way, the machine loses a big chunk of HP. So when you go hunting you start looking to rip off specific components because you need those resources, which you don't get if you just kill the machine, and you start running into machines that have separate weapon components and have components that are only exposed under certain conditions, and components that, if you damage them enough, cause them to expose their weakpoints more frequently, so each boss fight becomes trying to decide between a dozen different options for weakpoints to aim for or states to put it in, which all affect the machine in different, specific ways - go for the weapon mowing you down, or rip off the heavy weapon so you can use it, or break its legs, or set it on fire? I love how fluid the combat can get even without the stealth stuff, and when you can use the stealth it's pretty good too (although humans, disappointingly, go down pretty quickly with one sniper shot so arrays of human enemies are frankly not that interesting). I notice that Guerilla Games have borrowed the Dark Souls model for status effects, which I think is a big reason why status effects feel so good in this game and is probably the one mechanic Dark Souls has that I think every game should swipe. Building up a meter that applies the status effect, which then runs for a set time, gives you so much more room for interesting decisions than binary on/off status effects or status effects you have to keep topping up. I also like the corrupted zones - the trick there is that you have to use stealth because you mostly can't survive being attacked by a pack of machines, but once a machine gets hurt the rest are informed of your presence, so you have to set up your booby traps ahead of time and know your escape routes and where to break line of sight. Also doesn't hurt bringing along a friendly machine because their attacks are inexplicably powerful; I had a fight where I was stuck on a tiny rock tower with three birds spitting liquid nitrogen at me, which lingers, but they panic and stop flying when they catch on fire. So I set them on fire, they'd plummet to the ground, and my mount would spot a hostile machine, run over, and kick it to death. I had another fight where I was hiding in long grass from corrupted machines, and they had lost me. Unfortunately when those machines aren't sure where their prey got to, they use their goddamn echolocation. So I ran blindly backwards away from the pursuing corrupted machines into another pack of machines, who swivelled around, saw me and the corrupted machines, and they weren't having any of that. I ducked into a lake and the machines started fighting each other, and got out of the lake to see this massive fire-spitting bellowback come charging out of the forest, drawn by the fight, and start smashing the corrupted machines, forgetting all about me. I then get a pop-up: 'Corrupted Zone Cleared'. It's aces.
  3. Half-Life 2: Episode 3

    I'm a little frustrated that the G-Man's role is perpetually to be a deus ex machina and that he never had a narrative purpose beyond that, to be honest. I'd written off Half-Life as a going concern years ago so I didn't really feel much in the way of catharsis. I'm happy that those who feel differently to me can take this as the closure they needed, though. I appreciate closure.
  4. Beyond Good and Evil 2

    In the first one I had a hovercraft and several adorable orphans
  5. E3 2017

    Finding Sakamoto directly involved had the opposite effect for me; I don't think he knows why Metroid works.
  6. Keiji Inafune's Mighty No.9

    He was also pretty humbled by the failure of Daikatana, which counts for a lot. Hard to know if Inafune is humbled by the failure of Mighty No. 9.
  7. Keiji Inafune's Mighty No.9

    Because he kept being mouthy about the state of Japanese game development. It's been a long time since Inafune has done anything worthwhile, whole console generations have come and gone. I think he's basically squandered most of the goodwill he had; a lot of people had written him off before the Kickstarter, but after it's hard to imagine anyone taking a chance on his abilities. The only comparison I can think of is Daikatana.
  8. E3 2017

    Imagine if the Rabbids were being led by Waluigi.
  9. Recently completed video games

    It was when I realised that Noodle's body and tail had weight and could drag Noodle off things. Before, I just kept falling off things because I'd try sticking my head where it needed to go, and I'd start sliding off. Once I realised that moving my head around and slithering forward was shifting my weight, and that job 1 was making sure that Noodle's weight was evenly distributed, it became a lot more manageable. Moving platforms are still a pain but then that's what gripping is for, and there's only a handful of moving platforms in the game you can't cheese. It's either that or realising that you can zip up ladders by spiralling up one side of them. The movement mechanics are built around contact and support, and spiralling around a pole with regular horizontal rungs provides almost as much of both as a horizontal surface. It's interesting, people say they don't like tutorials telling you what to do, but Snake Pass demonstrates that learning through doing is not necessarily the superior choice. I understand why they made the checkpoints so far apart, because you're supposed to get to the point where you don't find that kind of climbing risky (and later in the game, where it's all inherently risky, there's a checkpoint every two or three obstacles) and you can cheese it with luck enough that you don't have to learn. Maybe the sequel needs a couple of minigames where you have to climb a ladder in 5 seconds or something like that, to help people from basic movement to full mastery.
  10. E3 2017

    I sure hope Cuphead's stages have improved over the demo I saw a couple of years ago, where they felt like they'd been built with no thought to what players are going to actually be experiencing. Plop some platforms down, scatter some enemies, done!
  11. E3 2017

    So I actually watched the Wolfenstein trailer, and boy is it refreshing to see a first person shooter that has time for humans. Even the scenes you've seen a dozen times before, like where BJ tries to convince people pointing guns at him that he's not an enemy, feel like it's rooted in character in a way that's so rare. And then there's just beautiful ideas like the guy dropping acid and having a cartoon gecko appear, or a guy with a malfunctioning robot arm fail to eat a biscuit while his commander trails off in horror. It's been a pretty light E3, but I'm still down for some more Ori, I'll be interested in that Ubisoft piracy game if it's got any kind of singleplayer, and of course Tacoma. Willing to give Spiderman a chance if it's an Arkham Asylum kind of thing - no idea how that'd work but I'm willing to see. (i initially wrote Arkham Horror, which is an entirely different thing which I have no idea how it'd work but I'm willing to see.) Weirdly, I didn't have that reaction - it's a chav monkey of course he's going to say 'fuck' a lot - but I also came in assuming that Ubisoft would crush what was interesting about the first game. I don't know if they realise how potent the photography mechanic was in drawing attention to background details and thereby making the world feel like it existed outside of the needs of the game. Jane Ng's comments on Twitter about how shallow the reference pool was - the signs were using random Chinese characters and the chav monkey is basically Monkey King - also bothers me. Wolfenstein shouldn't feel like it has a deeper and more thought-out world than Beyond Good & Evil, I feel. (Don't tell me that BG&E was ultimately fairly shallow and substituted unexpected references for actual worldbuilding because you're probably right but 2003 was a simpler time)
  12. E3 2017

    I assume Hillys is another planet in the solar system because it better be. Hillys is probably my favourite game world.
  13. E3 2017

    I'm cynical because I don't dare hope that BG&E2 will be actually worth the wait. So Wolfenstein is being protested by Nazis upset that you shoot Nazis in Wolfenstein games. We're through the looking glass, people.
  14. E3 2017

    It's a prequel, apparently, which is a shame because I wanted to see more Jade but I guess we're instead going to get more of the weird backstory people didn't like much. Also it's Ubisoft so look forward to icon clearing I guess
  15. E3 2017

    I pinged Doug and several Thumbs to let them know so they could lock the thread. I can't imagine they'll do too much damage if the thread itself is locked, and the forum has impeccable standards of behaviour which will disorient any shitlords enough to contain them. You are all excellent people, every last one of you. Let's enjoy some more Entertainment 3.
  16. E3 2017

    Not alone there, but I haven't played any Dishonoured yet and that's the only thing I'd potentially be interested in so far. PlayStation and Nintendo are generally more my speed at the moment.
  17. E3 2017

    So the publisher, Raw Fury, has responded: Brace for impact.
  18. E3 2017

    Mike: the joke is that they didn't actually announce anything To spoil it: they have trailers for Ruiner, Serious Sam's Bogus Detour, as well as demonstrations of Super-Self Concerned Burrito and Devolver Digital's new technology, Screen Pay, Earliest Access, and Comment Created Content.
  19. Recently completed video games

    Snake Pass! It's a N64-era-style puzzle platformer, where you play as a snake, that moves like a snake. You can't jump. You can slither, but you have to slither properly or else you lose momentum. You have to keep a careful eye on how much contact you have against things because otherwise you can't really move properly. And so on. It's 'physics-driven' in a way that's unique, especially in that you're fully in control of a creature that has weight and needs contact and grip to move properly, so it feels much more satisfying than almost anything else described as 'physics-driven' Platformers live or die on how fun it is to move around. Their core mechanic is traversing, and Snake Pass knows that trying to be a snake is actually pretty interesting! It's a challenge, though, and the game is a little over-confident in how much it expects players to have internalised how to move like a snake. It took me a while to pick up on it, and it felt like the game was being a little ambitious; I know the average player gets into a real scrape in the second world, where the game starts assuming you basically get it. It doesn't help that the checkpointing and camera was carried over from the late 90s. The checkpoints are relatively sparsely placed, and reset all progress, including collectibles - a solution like Rayman Origins' would have been better, where it counts as collected forever so long as you leave the area without getting killed. The camera is just Bad, particularly on moving obstacles. Still, the level design is really good, and the game knows it's about 'trying to do something that seems straightforward with a character who moves in an alien way' so the levels are readable and complex without being unclear or unfair. They feel big and distinct, too, despite being various flavours of floating ruins, mostly because the levels can be fairly small and contained while still providing a lot of gameplay, thanks to the way the main character moves. Anyway I liked it a lot, I think whether you'd like it depends on 1) how you feel about platformers and 2) how you feel about having to master a sensible but unintuitive control scheme. I like those things.
  20. E3 2017

    Aaanyway if someone can link Devolver's gonzo E3 presentation, that would be fab-u-loussssss
  21. E3 2017

    Fuck Notch is also, in part, a Fuck The Last Night, a promising-looking cyberpunk game shown at E3 that happens to take, as its core premise, that the oppressive overlords that made their setting suck are social justice warriors, and that providing people's basic needs causes civilisation to collapse. Obviously this was upsetting, especially to comedy game creator Zoe Quinn, whose brief but popular foray into non-comedy games, Depression Quest, attracted a lot of attention and was the powderkeg that set off the alt-right's terrorising of video gamers and female video game creators. She tweeted about it, and noted that she is not inclined to let go that time that someone took a breakup so bad the UN got involved, especially if they're not actually sorry and willing to make amends. To this, Notch said, "What a fucking c***". I'm asterisking these because I don't want my pseudonymous title associated with the sheer volume of usages of 'cunt', but none of these are censored in the original quotes. She then immediately incremented the 'millionaires who have called me a c*** in public' tally and tweeted: "Hmu if you're one of the other indies notch has called a c*** I think there's enough of us to release a bundle together at this point." Notch's "explanation" was this: "Stop changing your name. I had no idea it was you. Act like a c***, get called a c***. You were doing so well for a while there." Zoe then changed her Twitter name to "namechanging c***", because Zoe is a larrikin smartass right down to her bones and she is the best. Anyway, Fuck Notch
  22. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    I knew that Frog Fractions 2 took some inspiration from DROD, I just didn't realise that extended to 'DROD's core mechanic'.
  23. 13 Reasons Why

    This doesn't seem like the kind of show that can sustain a second season? She can't commit suicide twice.
  24. I've been trying to tag this thread Far Cry 2 and I can't work out how to do it. Maybe only the thread creator can? Anyway I've genuinely seen comparisons to Far Cry 2 in how dedicated it is to creating emergent stories, including stories where you do something that turns out to be a very bad idea. 'Throwing a bomb and have the moblin knock it back at you with its shield' is a grenade-rolling-down-the-hill moment that feels even more earned because of course moblins with shields should be able to whack bombs away.
  25. Modest Tech: The NX Generation (Nintendo Switch)

    I am particularly interested to see how Breath of the Wild compares to Horizon Zero Dawn, which is inexplicably as good as it seemed. I think Zelda games have been following rather than leading for a while now, and I'm hoping having a game that can be something of a comparison either highlights the strengths of the new Zelda, or finally convinces people that Zelda is no longer a top-tier franchise (and Nintendo will put their effort in Metroid? maybe? please? Samus?)