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Everything posted by Bjorn

  1. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    If I have a complaint about this game so far (and at this point, I'm pretty deep in and its my only complaint), it's that I'm starting to get a little lost on what to do. I'm slowly tracking down the last few upgrades to gear that I want before I dive deep, but some of the cave systems I've found seem pretty confusing, and there's not a good way to map them. Which, the lack of a map is both a blessing and a curse it seems. I took the Cyclops out for its first long venture, and it feels like it's mostly too much of a pain in the ass? Slow, cumbersome, surprisingly weak if attacked. I mean, a mobile food source and storage is nice, but the sea moth generally gets the job done, and the extra faffing about I did with the cyclops on running back and forth probably ate up about a round trip to the main base.
  2. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    LoL at "tiny base" I manage to build an extra room or two on most trips back, so I now have a somewhat sprawling multi-story main compound. I've burned a couple of hours just scavenging quartz so the whole thing can be glass walled barring one tower of rooms that dedicated to reinforcements so it doesn't spring a link. But yeah, I completely agree with that. And it's especially true when I've built small scout bases (entirely for scanner rooms to speed up finding the rarer resources) in particularly inhospitable areas of the game. The sea creatures in this feel more alien and threatening than the alien monsters from many other games, despite often also feeling like many of them could be oddities from our own seas. The use of color and sound and bioluminescence all contribute to that feeling of other-worldliness.
  3. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    "The Blood Kelp Zone: This ecological biome matches 7 of the 9 preconditions for stimulating terror in humans." (If you click through the link, you can listen to the dispassionate computer voice read that to you). When it comes to the terror elements, I have generally found them manageable. You can almost always hear something bad before you see it, so you know when you've crossed over into something's turf. As long as you save frequently (and aren't playing on permadeath mode.....fuck that in this game), the monsters are really only as threatening as monsters in the runaway style horror games, where the initial shock of finding them gets you, but after that they're just something to be managed and approached.
  4. I've certainly enjoyed ITB a whole bunch, but I can say I don't think it has the staying power that FTL did. It's mechanically so, so good, but it lacks that sense of narrative hook and emergent moments that FTL had in its best times.
  5. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    The empty solitude of it is a selling feature for some people (me included), but I can understand how that doesn't work or click with everyone. I enjoyed the run to each colossus (and keeping an eye out for fruits and lizards). When I played it, I remember thinking how a less confident game would insist on having throwaway minions to chew through that added nothing other than hollow action for action's sake, and the empty world made for a better experience than needless fodder.
  6. I've only done one (failed) run with fire, but so far they feel like the squad that most desperately needs to add on additional equipment. Everyone else I've played feels perfectly capable of a 4 island victory with just their starting gear. On that one run, I even got the Chain Lightning gun on my Prime, but then splitting points between another weapon still left them overall underpowered, and thus the eventual loss.
  7. Subnautica: Sleeping with the fishes

    I started to play this recently, and this game is my jam in so many ways. It's stunningly beautiful, like easily just one of the prettiest first person games I've ever played. It manages to mostly be relaxing, punctuated by moments of stress, fear and anxiety, ala Don't Starve, which is pretty much exactly what I want out of a survival game. I don't want to have to worry about dying at every moment in a game, but I also don't want a game that feels like it has no risk at all to it. Discovery is so good in this too. Like, it captures the awe of discovering something alien in a way that Mass Effect only wishes it could. There was a moment walking through an alien structure where I was reminded at how poorly ME: Andromeda managed to handle those same moments.
  8. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Weeeeeiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrd. Like, "we know our combats boring, here's a way to let it go while you do something else." I mean, it's probably there for people who want to experience "the world" and whatnot, but still, for those people, why make them sit for minutes with a pointless, boring virtual battle raging?
  9. You would lose that pilot no matter what tho, right? If you win, lose or abandon a game, you have to pick a new pilot to take back with you. So the choice is always A) Do I want this maxed pilot for an easier start or do I want to pick a pilot that better synergizes with the mechs I'm going to take?
  10. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Nappi, yeah, the combination of playing Pit People and Into the Breach back to back really does highlight what each does well and poorly. And while Pit People might be more forgivable if played in a vacuum, the speed and efficiency and weight of what Into the Breach does just highlights its flaws all the more. Also agree that just everything in the game could have half the health, or do double damage, and it would only improve it. How does auto-resolve of combat work? The AI just plays both sides and you watch?
  11. Recently completed video games

    Beat some co-op games recently while the kiddo and her husband were in town visiting! Assault Android Cactus - A really solid up to 4 player twin stick shooter with some bullet hell elements. You're androids defending a ship from other robots having gone rogue and killing all the humans. There is a final spike in difficulty at the last boss that is particularly brutal though, to the point that we weren't able to beat it with 4 of us and only got through with 2 of us trying it because of the uptick in number and health of enemies at a full squad. Would probably be a bit lackluster alone, but great for a pick up and play co-op game Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - The lady and I had started this game many moons ago, but ended up hitting a spot where two of us running the ship was feeling more frustrating than fun. Broke it back out with 4 players and it's such a more fun experience! Just having to worry about 1 or 2 stations on the ship makes it a lot less stressful of a game. Big after going back to it. Crawl - Since this is a rougelite MP game, had to say we "finished" it, but we did have multiple completed runs, and it is such a good experience with 4 people. In it, one person is the "hero" and the other three are spirits who animate the monsters and traps of a dungeon. Successfully kill the hero, and your spirit resurrects and the previous hero becomes a spirit. The player who can reach the dungeon boss and slay it is the winner of the match. The interplay of swapping between co-op and vs play, and even having some competitiveness with other spirits if there is someone you want to block from being human, is balanced and makes for great emergent moments throughout a game.
  12. Quitter's Club: Don't be ashamed to quit the game.

    Quit and refunded Pit People, the new Behemoth game that just came out of Early Access. It's got great style and music and design, but mechanically I was finding it confusing and frustrating to the point of just being a slog that I didn't really understand. It also was having some controller issues where it multiple times lost the input completely from controllers (having to restart the game to get them back). Since we were in co-op, there was no way to save using the keyboard, as it would inevitably happen at a point where both players had to confirm a choice. This kind of input loss isn't something I've had with other games. This is one of those games I can super see why some people would love it. Just...not working for us. The combat is weirdly slow for advertising itself as being super fast paced. We only got a couple of hours in, but every combat encounter seemed to be our squad outnumbered by about 50 percent, and killing each enemy requires ganging up on them with multiple characters for multiple rounds. It is super fast and easy to assign orders to characters (the only input is movement, the action is based on the characters distance and orientation to enemies/allies). But then it's just minute after minute of watching enemy healthbars slowly go down. And ranged units will always run away, so one battle ended up with multiple minutes of each of us chasing multiple archers around the map getting increasingly farther and farther away from other enemies.
  13. Seems like I'm averaging about 4.5 hours per victory on Normal, which is definitely taking my time on most turns to make sure I maximize the possible good outcomes. It can get particularly slow on squads that depends on moving enemy units around to line up shots and whatnot. I've felt like Normal is maybe on the easy side for me so far? Which seems to be the opposite experience of what everyone else is having. I've made 4 runs, and won 3 of them. Won with starter, rust and volatile. Lost with Flame (badly). All three of the winning squads play to my strengths though. But this is also obviously a game where something small can spiral out of control very quickly. Failing to kill fast enough, or not block a spawn, or whatever can quickly put you in a position of losing multiple buildings or objectives in a single turn. Failure begats more failure to, not maximizing objectives or protecting time pods puts you in a bad place going into the third and fourth islands especially. So far I've made every run at all 4 islands. Other than shortening game length and going for a few specific achievements, is there a particular reason to go for a 2 or 3 island victory?
  14. Intoxicated:

    Official forums drink located. ********* need never be censored again.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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).
  19. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War(dor)

    "Soap Orcera"
  20. 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.
  21. So I only had a passing interest in Shovel Knight until reading some of the reviews for it this morning. The checkpoint system sounds badass. You can have an easier game thanks to plentiful checkpoints, or you can destroy checkpoints to get more money, but potentially putting you much further back if/when you die. And it has a Dark Souls element of dropping all your hard earned cash when you die, with only one chance to get it back. I'm probably going to have to buy this now.
  22. 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.
  23. Hadn't seen that. What a way to go out. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
  24. 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.
  25. 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).