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About I_smell

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

    I've recently given up on trying to get to the end of Cultist Simulator. It was a good game, I really liked it, and I even appreciated how there was no tutorial or instructions at all. In the back half of the game though, this drove me crazy. One rougelike run can take a couple hours, which includes installing your cult, managing numbers and waiting. I got very deep into a run, and then realized that I had been pushing step 9 further and further away from myself. ...then I started again, and did the same thing with step 10. ...then I started again, and fumbled the next secret >:[ This is a couple afternoons spent playing a game that's nice, that I do like, but making no progress. It's good and I would recommend it, but if you decide that you want to just see what the back half of the game looks like, looking it up in a guide is the only way. Solving each new puzzle as they come up is doable, but very risky~ and the thing you're risking is your own free time.
  2. Cyberpunk 2077

    Yeah I was talking about Human Revolution before. I didn't know if people actually used that sub-header. Oh phew I'm glad people get where I'm coming from. I had a conversation in the office today where I felt very guilty for dumping on everyone's most anticipated game. These characters are talking about motherfucker this and bitch that, but I just want a history lesson on this "Euro-Dollar" concept!
  3. Recently completed video games

    I've defeated God of War (2018) This game doesn't really do anything new, but everything it does do is accomplished thoroughly, and on a massive budget. It's a decent milestone for triple-A console games, but doesn't leave a blip on the radar for games as a whole. The combat is more layered and beefy than I expected. I expected an off-the-shelf, ticks-all-the-boxes punching bag to grind through, but they really flexed some design muscle here. If you're getting S-ranks in Bayonetta and Devil May Cry on the regular: This isn't quite as replayable as that, but it's a strong showing and you'll be quite satisfied. I think the merging of mid-2000s God of War and current-day over-the-shoulder combat like Bloodborne is an academically interesting mash-up to look at. The storytelling was just compelling enough to pull me deeper into the game. The more time I spend looking back on it though, the more weird, bad choices I see. I guess I can really applaud that their PACING is great. I was on the hook for the whole game, and couldn't put it down. It's really well-made and I enjoyed it at the time, but I won't remember most of it later. Similar to a game like Uncharted or Tomb Raider. Zooming out to a timeline of 15 years; I think the identity and perspective that God of War (2005) gave us will leave a much bigger impact on pop culture, and games, than this new one will. Not just culturally with their quick-time events and brutal, grubby god-strangling, but also the coding techniques developed to allow a player to run up the knuckle of a titan and fight the horde under his fingernails. That's always the case with reboots, I guess. Anyway I also played Bad North. I love Oskar Stalberg's procedural artwork, so I was constantly seeing this game on Twitter. It delivers on the artwork, the game looks very nice. It's a fun time-waster, and commanding 4 squads around a little island is a fresh take, but doesn't stay interesting for very long. I like spending time in this charming game, but it is very slow-paced. There's not much unit variety or many combat options, there's not much enemy variety and there are few surprises. I'm playing on the Switch, and each session lasts a little bit too long to be a great fit for a portable game. This is the developer's debut game, and the portrait it paints of the studio team is still exciting. I really hope the game rakes in some money, because I think these people have the unique perspective and talents to make something very special soon.
  4. Cyberpunk 2077

    I was really interested in this from the E3 trailer, and hearing people just go nuts about it from the secret E3 showing, but wow this footage convinced me outright that CyberPunk 2077 is not my thing. Relevant note here: I don't like Deus Ex either. I think that character's voice, and every square inch of his look, is NEXT-LEVEL try-hard. Someone is DESPERATE for me to think this is sssooooo cccooooool, and that's very off-putting to me. At some time I did think Solid Snake and Wolverine or Devil-May-Cry were cool dudes, but shoving that double-shot of machismo in my face now, especially without any levity, just feels misguided. It felt like the characters in CyberPunk were really trying to jam in as much badass attitude as they could, at the behest of building compelling characters. It really painted the scene with the limp, cold body in a different light after a character said "I've got news as big as MY BALLS!" a couple minutes later. I was ready for the cool car and the cool jacket, but once you introduce the notion that this is all just pandering to my arrested development, it makes the whole thing feel like a pessimistic man-cave wank-fest, like Ready Player One or Duke Nukem. I'm sorry I don't like this big game everyone likes. I did want to! I actually felt myself wondering "Do I just not like the cyberpunk genre?", but I loved watching Blade Runner for the first time recently, and I do like Final Fantasy 7's grubby neon slums. That cyberpunk is mostly about people just feeling abandoned in a very busy world though.
  5. Jurassic Franchise

    I also watched the latest movie, which is Jurassic World 2, and I had to REALLY switch off my brain to enjoy it, because it is a dumb movie. I didn't really have the energy to complain about it, because nobody's that interested. It'd be like giving an in-depth review of why tree-bark makes for a bad lunch: We instinctively already know it's bad, so why bother? The premise of Act 1, though, I just rejected from the word go: They gotta save the dinosaurs from a volcano. Dino Green-Peace (I would say Dino-WWF, but I know what you'd think) really just raised the question for me: What does an animal conservationist charity like this look like in a world where you can clone dinosaurs? In this fiction, we can CLONE more giant pandas. They could spend the dinosaur money on more snow leopards or white rhinos. For the ivory, if nothing else!! Secondly: This year, I found out that California did a smashing job stopping forest-fires for 30 years, and then a massive one roared up out of nowhere because there were 30 years of dead leaves on the ground in one place. It really reminds me of what the good guys were warning about so much in the original Jurassic Park. You couldn't get further away from this theme in Jurassic World 2, where the PROTAGONISTS are circumventing nature to rescue all the dinos, and not one of them stops to think about whether or not they should. It's a volcano, they're on an island, this'll be the first natural thing that happens to these dinosaurs since birth. I found every other major beat in the movie to be a total head-scratcher as well, but hey I'll spare us all the time. This movie is Billy and the Cloneasaurus.
  6. E3 2018

    Yeah I'd love to play Cultist Simulator, but I haven't gotten around to it yet! I had a good time splitting 4 protein bars between 7 people in The Walking Dead. I think that is gameplay, as much as it would be in a board game. Are the decisions you make in 80 Days or Out There any less gameplay than any other games? Maybe they are, now that I write it down... I've never played it, but I imagine that the timeline of how you handle your responsibilities in a systemic game like Prison Architect is a compelling story, and also a compelling game, and I imagine they mesh together fairly well.
  7. E3 2018

    What I really found intere-- DOUBLE THE DEMONS?? Hold up, Doom designer: Double the demons is not something you just say. You all spent years making Doom 4, and then scrapping it to spend years again making a totally new, unique type of shooter. Designing one enemy is hard, and an impactful composition of enemies can take a long time to reign in. You doubled it? I'm really champing, and chomping, at the bit to see what DOOM Eternal is. Could it really be a stripped down fountain of enemies, like Devil Daggers? Could it be a rogue-like? Segueing into my next topic, I've played many hours of Devil May Cry 4's Bloody Palace run-based survival mode. It's my favourite way to play it, and I think it could fit DOOM like a glove. I'd love to see it. Devil May Cry 4 is one of my favourite games, and their DMC reboot was not bad either. The reboot was not as tightly designed and didn't quite stick with me, so I'm really trying to parse out whether this newly announced game is really Devil May Cry 5, or "DmC 2". The old designer is working on it, so... should be a step up, right? I hope so, cos a step up from Devil May Cry 4 would really knock my socks off. (I'd embed the video, but I'm on my phone, I'll edit it in later)
  8. Is Steam (Valve) Good? If not, what then?

    Ah I was looking for some real chat about this, so thanks for talking about it guys. Most of my thoughts are basically already covered here. Part of me is excited to let anarchy reign, but it's the part of me that was excited about that back when I was submitting games to Newgrounds as a teenager. That was a badass stance to me there and then, but the punk-rock underground attitude doesn't feel right when lots of small businesses live and die by the Steam store. As a consumer, am I buying today's big blockbuster, or some kid's abandoned college project? The flip side of that coin is that the most popular games throughout 2017 were games that wouldn't have passed certification on consoles, so it seems like customers are ready to pan for gold. Minecraft, Rust, H1Z1, Ark weren't close to finished when they blew up, and a completely bare-bones executable like Cart Life might be adding something legitemate to the conversation as well. I'm mostly flipping back and forth on quality control. Welcoming objectionable content is not really a worry for me, or at least I'm not thinking about it very often. I do think quality control and cultural curating should be two separate discussions, and it's a shame that they're lumped together here. I'll make sure they're not lumped together in my post with this squiggly line: ~~~~~~~~ Can you imagine if there was a game like Papers Please, but you had to pan immigrants for terrorists coming into the US or UK? Or a game that straight-up demonized the police force in your area? Or where you responded to school shootings as the NRA? I'd be interested to see more politically charged games really test Valve's position on this, but luckily those don't exist. Protecting the right to upload anime porno is not that interesting or admirable, so this side of things is more of a deflated shoulder shrug from me right now.
  9. Red Faction: Guerilla

    Wow. I'm just flabbergasted that they used that song. Actually, after a minute I did feel like somebody came in at the very last second and swapped a different song for this one right before they uploaded the video. Really bizarre decision there... Anyway Red Faction Guerrilla is one of my favorite games on the 360. I even just brought it up at work yesterday, saying that the multiplayer was a cool, unique game. I'm doing a lot of console porting and optimization these days, and holy moley; this game running on a 360 is a pure miracle of science to me now. I was impressed then, and in retrospect I'm just blown away. -IGN.com I bet there's more to do with these tools and this design, but I understand that Volition is not the studio it used to be any more. I think?? ...wow this trailer really doesn't show a clean shot of you knocking down a building for like 30 seconds. Who in the world made this?
  10. Id's Rage

    I really liked the trailer as well! I can't 100% tell what kind of game it is, but it seems like a fun place to be. So is it multiplayer??? I dunno! Honestly I like the Tank-Girl, gutter-punk aesthetic, it looks like they're just about pulling it off. I feel like many people are trying it these days and it can easily fall flat. I had a fairly good time with RⒶGE, and I think there was a lot of space to build something better. I think they would have a more potent identity and personality if they funneled all their themes into a character that you could point to, but I guess Bethesda knows that and consistently chooses a different path.
  11. I can't see a number on that page, but the comments do say it's a 7.5/10. It reads like this reviewer is very insulted that the game can soak up so much of your time without doing anything impactful to earn it. This is something I think about with games these days too, so maybe I would agree! It looks like this site gave Persona 5 a negative review with similar thoughts. I definitely agree that Persona 5 dragged it's heels for miles and miles too long, so I'm actually liking this perspective. Wow, their review on Horizon matches closely enough with what I said as well, I'm gonna listen to their podcast.
  12. I only got halfway through that giant post, sorry, but I can empathize with where you're coming from. I'm a big fan of good combat, I love all the Devil May Cry games, I loved that DOOM game in 2016, and I played God of War 3~ It was good, but the combat still had room to grow. I wanted to cut to the facts on this mad, raving stampede of 10/10, 5-star reviews as well. I bought Horizon: Zero Dawn thinking I was in for a 5-star time, but the combat was good-enough compared to what I like and the characters were very wooden and boring compared to what I was watching in TV and films. I was so annoyed I'd spent money and time on this thing waiting for it to open up!! Collecting trinkets and crafting nik-naks again? Using ice attacks when they're weak to ice again? These game reviewers have been playing games for just as long as me, how can they be blown away by this stuff!?? When they announced God of War I laughed and said "The potency of this story will be compromised by the beat-em-up boss fights, and the depth of this combat will be compromised by the need to be more cinematic. Nobody reaches their potential with this concept, except marketing". I checked out the game with a friend for a couple hours, until you reach World 2-1, and I think I was basically right. I'm not annoyed, I think the game's exceedingly well-made. It's good. I could probably play the whole thing and be happily invested, the same way I would watch an Avengers movie for a fun afternoon. I don't feel very compelled to though, cos I like playing interesting combat systems more than I like watching summer-blockbuster custscenes. It bugs me that I don't trust a 10/10 from practically anyone these days. I decided to go on twitter and ask my favourite indie combat designers what they thought of God of War to get a review personally written for me. They were critical of the same stuff I would be, and let me know that the game was nicely put together, but nothing new if you've already played X, Y and Z. So that's how I decided to basically skip it. This comes up commonly for me now. Should I REALLY, ACTUALLY play Nier: Automata, Hitman, Shadow of Mordor? Or are they re-writes of games and mechanics I've already played? Who do I have to ask to get my own personal answer? It was only when I heard about Into The Breach on 3-Moves-Ahead that I decided it must be something really good. I'm not a big strategy or tactics expert, but it really penetrates the noise for me to hear from someone who is.
  13. Super Mario Odyssey (One D, Two Ss)

    I agree that Breath of The Wild (a great name, now that I'm looking at it) is a bit gotier than Mario Odyssey, and I think that's a relevant game to bring up. It felt like Nintendo designed BotW from a new perspective where they crushed the linear path down to dust, and scattered it to hundreds of novel surprises across Hyrule Field. It worked superbly in Zelda and really brought me in as someone who was bored of the old slingshots, boomerangs and boss-keys. Maybe this was influenced by the Switch being a desktop AND a portable device? Maybe??? Mario has hundreds of small puzzles too, but they're not often surprising in this game. I can name plenty of the 1,000 things in Zelda that were mystifying or broke the rules of the game, or re-set my expectations, but not here. Playing as a Cheep-cheep or a Paragoomba isn't uniquely liberating, it just trades in your entire move-set for one ability and much slower movement. A moon is usually exactly the challenge it appears to be, and most of my favourite moments were scripted into the critical path. I still liked them- but I'm not blown away. -IGN.com That's STILL GOOD, but I think the Mario team started the project with new goals and executed on them, while the Zelda team started the project with new goals, recognized a great new potential they opened up, and then executed on them. All of the Far-Cry-2 influence in big open fields, burning grass, enemy camps, sneaking and shield-surfing were a GREAT space to bring all those freaky novelties to life too! Super Mario Odyssey basically doesn't bring out the potential of it's pitch. It could be swimming like Ecco the dolphin, swinging like Spider-Man, gliding like Just Cause, skating like Tony Hawk and looking at the whole level from a new perspective every time you switch- but it ain't. Even a simple mechanic can prove fruitful when you dig into it's potential. Look at Braid, look at SuperHot, Downwell, Portal, Fez, even some of Kirby's abilities are simple tricks that prove to be more exciting in the long-run. In this game the frog jumps high. It doesn't stick to the ceiling or attract enemies or let you reach a more exciting possession hidden high up in the level. It just jumps high. I have nice things to say about the game too, but I think this is more food for thought.
  14. Super Mario Odyssey (One D, Two Ss)

    Even though the broodals aren't my favourite characters, I do love that animation loop when they're standing on the ship. The tall one is a big gross floppy noodle, and the fat one's going ballistic just to trying to breathe in and out.
  15. Super Mario Odyssey (One D, Two Ss)

    I don't wanna be a debbie downer here, but Galaxy and 64 are a couple of my favourite games. I feel a lot of steps back instead of steps forward in this one. I'm up to the volcano-cooking level. Moving from 64 to Galaxy, I think the camera became a reliable friend. They doubled-down on using strictly top-down or side-on views for more levels, but the rest were tightly rigged too. In this game, I need to pull the camera around a lot more, it's not framing the platforming in a comfortable way without me keeping an eye on the right-stick. Jumping on a goomba in 3D is tough aswel, but Mario 64 built in the ability to punch and dive at them. Less mis-judging the arc, direction and acceleration of your 3D boy. Galaxy made the punch even easier by turning it into an omni-directional spin. But I've found the hat-throw often misses my target or returns to me unexpectedly. A lot of the time I don't WANT TO possess a goomba because they're just as vulnerable as Mario but more stiff and slow. JUMPING precisely onto something rarely ever hits the mark, but this is the first game where I'm really noticing it. Why not let Mario's roll knock out enemies and blocks? Rolling leaves me so vulnerable right now I'm hesitant to roll down hills. I could really dig into the enemy-possession, or these freebie moons, or the nostalgia-trip 8-bit Mario sequences, but I think my most straight-forward gripe is that I don't like the art style, like Olly said. I think Galaxy has a phenomenal, whimsical identity; but what is that grass in the Cascade Kingdom? What is that waterfall? What game is that T-rex from?? It looks like it should be in a video named "Unreal Engine 1080 HD Mario (You Won't Believe Your Eyes)". I'm enjoying the game. I like doing somersaults and diving onto the hat. It's a great game by any other standard, but for me it comes with many more caveats than these games usually do, sorry to bum anyone out.