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About Bjorn

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    Great Axe of Social Justice +1

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  1. Demon's Souls

    FWIW 3-1 (and much of 3 in general) is possibly my favorite horror environment in any game ever. It's so oppressive and terrifying in the best ways on a first time through.
  2. GOTY of the Year

    I think I've barely played any games released in 2017, but for what I have played, the standout would be Resident Evil 7, which was just a phenomenal re-invention for the series. After years of moving further and further into being rather bad, generic action games, 7 was tense, well paced and played with genre conventions in a way that previous REs haven't.
  3. Gaming HDTV recommendations

    I've been on the far extreme of this as you can be, and it's absolutely true. We went from a 40" tv to a 150" projector screen, and it took surprisingly little time to just be "normal" to us. This is very true. Also, I'm a big proponent of a projector, if you already have an audio receiver/speakers and you have a room that is a good fit for one. A few years ago when I went down that rabbit hole, there were several quality mid-level units in the $650-$1000 range. It's definitely more work on initial setup, but once it's done, it's really worth it.
  4. Recently completed video games

    Copying something I posted in the slack. I finished up the narrative portion of Slime Rancher yesterday. It's a pretty good but frustrating game. Frustrating mostly because it feels like it promises a depth it can never deliver on. But that promise seeps out of its pores. You can see the opportunity for more complexity or interaction all over the place. It's a really tiny team that made it though. I suspect they ultimately just didn't have the bandwidth to include everything they laid the foundation for. It's greatest sin though is probably the raw amount of time that it takes to manage the most basic things on your farm, because it is sorely lacking in automation elements. You use your vacuum for everything: gathering food for slimes, feeding slimes, gathering their poop plorts, etc. But you have to first suck up the thing you need, then shoot it out. So every action has to be repeated twice (suck up food from garden, shoot out food to corral; suck up plorts, shoot out plorts to sell). This is fine when you're dealing in quantities of 10 or 20. But once you get to the point of dealing with hundreds of things, it's a significant amount of time spent just sucking and blowing. And you only ever have 4 inventory slots, so there's lots of running around, emptying, running back. The market is also reactive to you selling, so in order to get the best price, you want to stockpile a bunch of plorts and sell at once. To stockpile them, you need a silo. Which just adds yet another layer of sucking and blowing. At some point, there should be an upgrade to just insta-fill/insta-dump the gun without having to play out the animation for hundreds of items. And the late game upgrades cost a lot. You're going to sell tens of thousands of plorts, potentially seeing the sucking/blowing animation, a hundred thousand times to fully upgrade your ranch. It's potentially hours of gametime just spent holding a trigger filling and emptying a tank. I....didn't actually mean to rant about that? I think it was bugging me more than I realized. That's really a mid- to late-game complaint. I'm quite glad I played it, and there's a ton of good stuff in it. I think it's one of those things where the parts that are frustrating really stand out in comparison to what's good about it (it's gorgeous, exploring is a joy, the story is simple, but touching).
  5. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War(dor)

    "Soap Orcera"
  6. Guess you Steam top 10 most played

    Dark Souls 2 Binding of Isaac (original) Binding of Isaac Rebirth WarFrame (if Steam logs hours) Don't Starve Spelunky FTL Torchlight 2 Risk of Rain XCOM 6 of 10 called, though to be fair Stardew Valley is too high, as both the lady and I played on my account on it, so a bunch of those hours on it are hers. If it had bumped off, it would have been King's Bounty: WotN, which jesus that was a game that made me hate it. I deleted it without finishing it because it was so big and I was so tired of it. I'm genuinely surprised that Spelunky, FTL, XCOM and BoI original aren't even in the top 15 given how much time I put into each of those. I was also just dumb and brainfarted Renowned Explorers, of course it would be there, I've played the shit out of it. WarFrame's hours are somewhat inflated, because I know it got left idling a fair amount and I left it running on my second monitor farming for awhile, or monitoring trade chat at work to buy/sell stuff. But it still is probably my most played game.
  7. I started playing this a bit, and I'm only maybe 4 or 5 hours into it, but I'm really digging it. I had initially written it off when I got it in a bundle, as I saw something about it being based on a Warhammer board game or something. But I didn't realize it was essentially fantasy XCOM with hardmode permanently enabled. It seems super deep with skills and enchantments you can eventually get, to the point that I'm overwhelmed right now with the handful of skill points I have available on my crew. The actual missions so far are all super tense, since any person going down could result in death or a permanent injury. The looting aspects of missions is a hair annoying, but it seems like once you're rolling it's not like you need to scour the whole map.
  8. Hadn't seen that. What a way to go out. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
  9. Cards automatically give passive bonuses. You have to manually "use" them from the inventory screen in order for them to heal you. The bonuses can be seen in the stat page on the pause screen, but the early cards are weak enough that it takes a bunch of them to even register a single bar. Once you can stack a bunch of cards from level 3 or 4, they effects of the bonuses become a bunch more obvious. You have 100 inventory slots for weapons, heads and cards. The gameplay loop is the thing that I ended up finding so frustrating in this game, in that you're actively discouraged from jumping right back into the castle after a death or leaving. I like a whole bunch of things about this game and I think it's one revision away from being a really wonderful take on the typical roguelike loop. It just needs something that speeds up the re-equipping phase between runs. I ended up rage quitting and deleting it tonight after giving it another shot and wiping again. If you finish it, I'd love to know what the secret at the end is (its related to the "exit screen", I know that much).
  10. Yeah, that immediately occurred to me as well. Bobby and Mike come off as so incredibly unhinged in that scene (and in the original pilot in general).
  11. I think I may ultimately end up quitting this without finishing it because of one of the things I liked about it so much. The fact that power ups both degrade and serve as your primary healing by consuming them means that there's a bit of an opposite arc compared to many roguelikes. Rather than starting weak and building in strength, the optimum run sees you starting fully loaded, and steadily decreasing in power through a run. As a concept I love this! It creates a kind of time pressure to finish a run before all your cards burn out, leaving you suddenly very fragile while in the hardest level. Unfortunately there's no easy to way restock. You can hold up to 100 items, but the only ways to get cards in the hub are to buy them from a vendor 3 at a time (which you can reset, but it takes maybe 10-15 seconds to force the reset), or farm a slot machine, which doesn't produce cards any faster than resetting the vendor. The slot machine cards appear to be of random quality. The vendor's cards match the last level of the castle you reached (doesn't matter if you died or left voluntarily). The debilitating thing is that I ended up having 3 failed runs in a row. First death was on the final level. The next two deaths were both on the first level. All my stockpiled cards are gone. Many of my stockpiled weapons are gone. My vendor is reset to the weakest cards. And I have no money. The only real option is to let the idle clicker portion run in the background for an hour or two to build up a bunch of money, and then manually spend the better part of maybe 20-30 minutes restocking all my lost goods. It's just frustrating that restocking between failed runs is such an onerous chore, and just jumping in without being well stocked doesn't feel like a valid path. The devs likely thought it would feel like cheating or cheap or something to easily let players fully restock between runs. But by making it a chore, it disincentivizes even continuing playing at all, since the exact same pattern might happen again. Which, the game does describe itself as nihilistic, so perhaps it is all intentional.
  12. My mother was diagnosed with dementia last year, and it's been progressing at a faster than normal rate. Like, she's still 70-80 percent "there" most of the times, but this entire season has had me thinking about the relationship between Dougie and dementia/Alzheimer's, the way people relate to him, etc.
  13. Big Ed lighting the paper gave me a ton of anxiety, because I was afraid that he was going to set the Gas Farm on fire and burn it down while he sat in the middle drinking his RR soup, even though that doesn't really feel like his character.
  14. I don't remember if the text gave a specific about where "the farm" was (I just remember Montana). But TP is in the north eastern corner of Washington, walking distance to the Utah state line. It's only a 3 hour drive from Spokane to Missoula, MT.
  15. Nongünz was included in this month's Monthly Humble Bundle, and it's totally the surprise standout for me. It's a rougelite 2d platformer where you're exploring this cathedral/castle place. You have a hub that populates with NPCs and stuff over time, which you return to when you die or when you elect to leave the castle by jumping out a window. There's so many good things going on in here. The art style is gorgeous mostly black and white, with just splashes of color (enemies are color coded to give you an idea of their difficulty). There is no text in the game. Everything is communicated through pictographs. There is definitely a learning curve, but the devs wrote a Steam Guide that's basically just a manual to help you out if you need it. The balance is really interesting. You get passive powerups which are cards, that also double as your health potions. But cards also expire over time. So if you're trying to make a deep run, there's a persistent pressure on you knowing that your cards are expiring, and you may not be picking up enough new ones to replace the ones you're losing to healing. There's no "perfect" build, it's just constantly dealing with the slow degradation of whatever you can cobble together. There's also an Idle Clicker element to the hub world. You gather worshipers who produce points over time. And every time you fire your weapon, you produce points, whether you're shooting an enemy or not. And there are ways to make time pass faster, to build up points more quickly. And this ties into the "mystery element" of the game, which you learn very quickly, but I'll put it in spoilers because it's relatively neat to discover. Overall the pressure of expiring powerups plus the Idle Clicker meta game element have just made this one of the neatest 2d roguelites I've played in a long time.