Posts posted by SuddenSight
Roguelike burnout is a funny thing. I thought I would put down Slay the Spire after getting an Ascension 1 Heart kill on each character. But I found StS to be the perfect time-killer game, as the early game required very little concentration and the end-game was either very satisfying (if I have a good run) or non-existent (if I die). So I ended up hitting Ascension 20 on Watcher, and now I am working up the ranks on Defect. My point is that StS is the kind of game I burned out on, but then got back into and while I haven't been obsessed with it, I haven't dropped it either. I haven't hit my burnout point with Griftlands, but we will see.
This kind of interest rejuvenation hasn't happened with all roguelikes for me. A bit off-topic for this forum, but I was seriously into Crypt of the Necrodancer (a rhythm rogue-like) for years after release. The character that basically broke the game for me was actually Aria. For those who haven't played, Aria is the "one-hitpoint, dagger only" character. When I first played her I found it very interesting because she forces you to really learn the enemy patterns. However, I don't like playing her casually because she is stressful to play and doesn't have much variety in her gameplay. I like Cadence (the default character) more, but Aria is basically Cadence with less health and no fancy weapons. After mastering Aria's gameplay, the truth is I do best with Cadence when I play her like Aria. Basically, Aria taught me the low-creativity but high-consistency play style, and it kind of killed the game for me. It didn't happen all at once, but now whenever I play I realize I am forcing myself to play in a more creative manner and I know it is suboptimal and it just saps a lot of the enjoyment away.
As regards Griftlands, the conversation seems to focus on the first playthrough of Sal's campaign. I personally found the negotiation and battle mechanics for Rook and Smith more interesting than those for Sal. I also thought there were some nice interactions between the deck and the RPG that would be difficult to simulate in a non-deck builder, such as the way bloat cards work, or the way item cards work.
While I haven't climbed all the way to the top, the prestige levels also do a good job of making the game feel more like a rogue-like. At higher prestige levels you need to work harder to exploit the system, and the balance between the different systems feels sharper. The question of how to spend your funds also becomes much more interesting, especially because the game gives you so many options. Should you spend your money upgrading your deck, buying grafts, buying items, sharing drinks to make friends, buying and training pets, hiring muscle, or just save it to pay bribes? All of these options can be correct in certain situations. In my opinion the huge number of approaches to solving your problems makes the game more interesting, especially because there is at least one non-skippable fight per day so you can't completely ignore your battle deck. Thofere aren't any non-skippable negotiations, but on higher difficulties the fights can be so lethal that going all-in on fighting just isn't feasible, so you need some negotation skills as well. The game really does do a good job of making you feel like a "grifter."
PS, I somewhat understand Rob's complaint that the negotiations aren't super different from the battles. However, I have also read other reviews (RPS had one) that complained the two systems were too different (and required learning too many rules). I think there is just no winning here. In my opinion, the most important thing is just that there are two separate decks, so you can have a grifter that is good at fighting but bad at talking and vice versa.
Three Moves Ahead 540: A Send Off to Civilization 6
in Three Moves Ahead Episodes
They covered the idea of accessibility, but one of the other things I appreciate a lot about Civ 6 is the 2D-map-mode. Unlike previous entries, in Civ 6 the 2D-map-mode actually doesn't bother rendering the standard 3D-map-mode at all (and you can set the game to launch directly into the 2D mode in the options!). For Civ 4 and Civ 5 in particular (when Civ first became 3D) the game has been moderately demanding of your graphics card, but Civ 6 gets to have the best of both worlds with a pretty 3D mode and a graphics-light 2D mode. That push to accomodate a wide range of computer systems is part of the reason I think Civ 6 has managed to port to so many platforms (iOS, Switch, and so on).