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5000TH REPLY IN EPIC THREAD

 

We sure played some games, didn't we?

 

 

To clear my gaming-plate for RDR2 coming out tomorrow, I powered through Sniper Elite 4's final mission tonight. Following in the steps of it's predecessor, the levels are open and huge, usually take 2-3 hours to play through each one. The stealth is solid but perhaps unremarkable. The sniping is delicious. The writing is terrible. Overall a very enjoyable stealth-action game.

 

The past month I also played through Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider, which was great. And a couple VR games: Moss, which had an adorable protagonist and a few cool moments, but for the most part it's just a bog-standard action-adventure that's also a very short. And Creed: Rise to Glory, which had a few clever gameplay ideas, but the core gameplay of flailing your arms at dudes is pretty lacklustre.

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I keep trying to arrange Co-Op to play through Sniper Elite 4 as, for me, that is the way I love to play them.

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Finished Xenoblade 2: Torna - The Golden Country! Though it didn't have the stupendous scope of the original, I must say the END GAME of Torna was much improved. The final boss was actually fun instead of a tedious grind, and the (obviously long) closing cinematic was neatly emotional. Overal, ended the game on a high note and glad I finished it.

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I recently finished My Memories of Us. It is an interesting story around the Warsaw Uprising - the story beats are the best parts and I help that the collectibles encourage people to research it more. Most people see Poland as the country that housed the concentration camps and not really much else.

 

I got a review of it on Gamecritics

https://gamecritics.com/aj-small/my-memory-of-us-review/

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I finally finished ending E of NieR Automata! Everything else that follows will be in spoilers:

Spoiler

I accidentally said "no" when I was presented with the final question of helping out other players at the cost of my save file. I have no intention of going back to the game for additional endings F-Z (I got two of those just by being bad) and don't really care about achievements so my save file really doesn't mean much to me. I somewhat appreciated what it was doing with the multiple playthroughs but I think I missed a few important details during the B route because much of the events were the same so I wasn't paying as close attention to the story unfolding deeper as I should have been. So when C started and all the YoRHa became aggressive to the players, I wasn't sure why 2B and 9S weren't affected. I think there was a line or two that 9S mentioned early in the B route that explains something to do with not backing themselves up to the server. Although this sort of presents a problem in the gameplay/story meshing because doesn't that mean you technically can't load and go back to your original body in the first place if in-game, your characters' memories/personalities/other data aren't backed up? I thought the whole point of the game's save/load system was that you are doing just that. I think in route C that whole system is thrown aside anyway, and the save/load becomes a typical checkpoint save system seen in many other games, but technically it should have been like that from the start. I could have missed something else here. Anyway in terms of gameplay, I actually didn't really enjoy the combat; I thought there was too much visual clutter and not enough feedback on enemy hit to make it actually feel good. I eventually (during C route) just turned the difficulty to easy and used most of the auto-chips just to get through the combat faster since I wasn't enjoying it. I still liked it overall, but I guess my expectations weren't really met. The PC port also doesn't run very well eheh. I think there was a fix floating around somewhere but I never got around to applying it.

 

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Recently completed games round-up!

 

Fade To Black

 

 

 

This lesser-known sequel to Flashback came out in 1995, I played it back then but could never make it past the first level. After Flashback showed up on GOG the other week I felt the strange urge to go back to this thing and see if my aged gamer skillz might let me progress further this time, ended up playing through the whole thing over a few days. The graphics actually look kinda cool in a retro way, but the controls have not aged as well(for instance, the jump key is J and it's unrebindable), I also had to play the entire thing on keyboard because while it does support mouse-input, the control layout pretty much means you'd need 3 hands to comfortably play it with M+KB.

 

Although it looks like an action game, the cumbersome movement and rough difficulty makes it feel more like a survival horror game. It's pretty wonky, but interesting enough that I couldn't stop playing.

 

Steel Rats

 

Sidescrolling motorbike action that kinda feels like a mix between Trials and Sonic. Length and pacing felt appropriate. Game was pretty easy, aside from 2-3 difficulty spikes. End bossfight was quite tepid, story bleh. The gameplay's fun though!

 

Kathy Rain

 

Just finished this! I liked the characters and story, and it had some pretty good puzzling.

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Just Cause 4 made a few improvements over Just Cause 3 but overall was buggier, emptier and had less content. The new grapple abilities were great fun but not enough to make this game worth playing. :tdown:

 

Mutant Year Zero A refreshing change from the Xcom formula, I don't miss the overworld base building, research, training elements at all and having movement be real time before combat starts is very nice. Also loved the ambush system, hopefully more xcom-alikes notice this. Art style was cool and the characters were well written, hoping for some DLC on this one despite how much I struggled with the difficulty of some levels. :tup:

 

Titanfall 2 lots of cool design ideas in the campaign, but man do I hate first person 3d platforming, at least the checkpoints were very frequent. The combat was fun but I would have liked a few more weapon choices. Titan combat is good, got me pumped for MechWarrior 5 next year. :tup:

 

Ashen My first Soulslike, ended up cheating my way to the end because I despise the combat system of soulslikes, the world is very pretty, the town getting build up as you finish quests is a fantastic touch. The story was pleasant if a bit nonsense. :tup:

 

Black Mesa its an interesting mix of nostalgia combined with remixed levels so it still feels distinct from the original Half Life. Not sure how true to the original it is as I haven't played HL1 in a long long time. Again first person platforming is bad and should feel bad. :tup:

 

Borderlands the Presequel The solo loot system seemed better than BL2 but overall the game felt smaller and less interesting than the previous 2. Not really worth the time. Borderlands 1 is still my favorite of the series. :tdown:

 

HITMAN 2018 like HITMAN 2016 (it was originally intended as season 2) but bigger, prettier and with more systems to utilize. Loved the scale and variety of the levels and getting the remastered 2016 is a great touch. I love this series so much except for Absolution which we will never speak about. :tup:

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On 12/19/2018 at 8:19 AM, Cordeos said:

Titanfall 2 lots of cool design ideas in the campaign, but man do I hate first person 3d platforming, at least the checkpoints were very frequent. The combat was fun but I would have liked a few more weapon choices. Titan combat is good, got me pumped for MechWarrior 5 next year. :tup:

 

I also just played this. It's funny I think we have total opposite opinions...I thought there were maybe too many weapons. Or at least it felt like they made too many similar guns available right away...I never got a feel for how they were different and usually any given gun was good enough. And the 3d platforming stuff was a ton of fun. At first I wasn't that into the Titan combat, but about halfway through the campaign it clicked for me and got a lot more exciting.

 

Other stuff I've gotten through recently:

 

The Last Guardian - Seems like I saw a lot of negative talk out there about this one which made me a little wary going in. Bad framerate, bad camera, and frustrations with Trico not doing what he should. It may come down to personal taste, but I thought the framerate was serviceable outside a few moments and the camera is similarly mostly fine outside some of the more cramped moments...it never wonked out on me at a critical moment though. Trico almost always behaved pretty reasonably...the few times I was stuck I just looked up what to do. Usually it was just that I needed to give a command at a certain spot...if you refuse to look things up it could get frustrating though. Anyway, I really liked it. If you've played any other Ueda games you know the general vibe...ancient ruins, weird techno-magic, etc. And Trico is so so good...the animation is fantastic. All his movements feel dynamic and organic...I can see how this can lead to frustration in some of the navigation, but I think it's worth it. And there is a button dedicated to petting him. They know what's up.

 

Yakuza 0 and Kiwami - 0 was my first Yakuza game. It took some time to get a feel for the combat, but I got it eventually. I love Kiryu, I love Majima, and I love smashing people with motorcycles. The main plot in 0 is insane gangster melodrama and the side stories are this wild mix of heartwarming and absurd. I love it all. Kiwami isn't quite as good...the side stories in particular are relatively dull and the Majima Everywhere thing is mostly fun but as his health bar got bigger and bigger it got a bit tedious (true with bosses in general in this one, especially when they dodge almost everything and you just have to wait for a specific moment in their attack cycle to get a few hits in). I've heard Kiwami 2 is much better than 1...I'm taking a break for now but will definitely be playing that one (and 6).

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Game I completed recently: Firewatch.

Yes it's true. I listened to every episode of Thumbs cowering, a fake gamer hidden in plaine sight. Stone me to death: I truly deserve it.

 

Here's a weird take though: I work at a publisher and I look at in-development indie games every day. I think a lot about the relationship between a budget (money and time) and a design doc. Harmonizing these two antithetical projects is CRUCIALLY important to starting a game development studio, but about 90% of teams fail to do it. Firewatch is music to my ears in this regard, from the rendering style to the level design to the plot points, they raise this powerful, unique experience from very minimalist parts. I can really admire the work ethic that shines through this game.

They certainly gave Delilah a big personality without animating her, they said a lot more with words than with pictures in that intro, and I often felt like I wasn't alone when I actually was. Many more examples than that, too.

 

Anyway as for how I liked the game: I'd maybe more call it a story than a game. They used the medium of games to help add some empathy and context to the novel that they wrote. I liked it. I liked spending time with Henry and Delilah. I can see the common thread between the A-plot and the B-plot and I appreciate it. Not blown away, but maybe I'll see more in it over time?

I got lost in the forest a lot, just like everyone else.

 

 

The ending was quite melancholy. Everybody was a bit shaken and exhausted. I invited Delilah to meet up and I felt a bit foolish when she declined. I decided that Henry would go back to Julia out of personal duty and to kind of accept his reality head-on, but that's still not a very happy ending. I felt good about the time I spent with these characters, but not comfortable with how it ended.

 


 

Typing that out, I actually do value how unique it is, even though things didn't end with a bang.

 

 

I'll happily play the game with audio commentaries ASAP.

 

There's one line of dialogue where Henry is reading a clipboard and says "Hey who's Javier?" and Delilah says "What the fuck? I never told you about that!" I thought it was a funny, ambiguous piece of backstory, but then I saw a clip of footage where someone else was enjoying this huge expository conversation about Javier earlier in the game. The flowchart of dialogue and recorded choices in this game is very smooth and feels more like natural social behavior than a game feature. It worked well to put me in Henry's position, but I also enjoyed cheating and hearing that extra dialogue too. Sorry!

 

I appreciate that it was a deliberate choice to MAKE Henry put his wedding ring ON every day, and yes, I passed the test, I did do it.



 

Actually... I'm just now realizing that I guess he was taking it off every night. Huh. That's quite sad, I didn't realize that.

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So far this year I've beaten Rusty Lake Roots and Paradise. Played them co-op with my girlfriend. Really fun, weird, Twin Peaksy games. Highly recommend them.

 

I also finished The Darkside Detective. Nice collection of "cases", nice pixel art, puzzles, good writing and alot of 90s references that I dig (Twin Peaks, X-Files etc). Will check out the sequel for sure.

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I finished The Messenger today.  I was watching the run from AGDQ and they mentioned that it was free with Twitch Prime so I picked it up.  It's a 2D platformer that starts very reminiscent of NES Ninja Gaiden but then later turns into a Metroidvania.  It's pretty fun, although the back half of the game has way too much required backtracking.  There's a few portals that let you quick travel but they're spaced pretty far apart so you still need to cover a lot of ground.  There's a lot of meta humor that frankly got old quick.  I have a couple of nitpicks with the movement and controls but I eventually got used to them.  The music is absolutely fantastic, definitely a highlight of the game.  I liked it overall, though I suspect many people will find the first half more fun than the second.  :tup:

 

A couple of my favorite tracks

 

 

 

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I unexpectedly was alone for quite some time over the holidays, so I dug in and played through Divinity Original Sin 2 - I've not got the time and stamina for such long games these days, but this was an unexpected delight. The systemic nature of the combat and the willingness of the game to let you just do things when you think you should be able is amazing. Examples: a speedrun of the game involves carrying barrels of toxic fog around and exploding them in key fights, rather than severe glitching. I got stuck on a few puzzles but it was never because the puzzle was bad, but rather that I've been trained by games so thoroughly to only think inside the box of combining items. So for example when I'd run into a well with spirits that complained the well was dry I tried dragging buckets of water onto the well to no effect, instead of simply casting a rain spell on it.

 

I played on the default difficulty which felt appropriately balanced to me.

 

The biggest issues I had were mostly self-inflicted: I'm one of those do-everything see-everything players and the game is gigantic. I'd run into similar problems in Skyrim where I'd try to carry around everything that wasn't nailed down.

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On 16.01.2019 at 1:31 PM, thenexus6 said:

I also finished The Darkside Detective. Nice collection of "cases", nice pixel art, puzzles, good writing and alot of 90s references that I dig (Twin Peaks, X-Files etc). Will check out the sequel for sure.

1


I've also completed the game. That was a surprise that pixel graphics could be so cool. And humor is quite funny. Hope part two will be even better as developers have promised!

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Just finished Bayonetta on my Switch. The combat is really fun, despite me being pretty bad and getting stone statues after every level segment. I don't like QTEs though. I often died in them but at least there are frequently checkpoints right before and right after a QTE happens. The story though...I had no idea what was going on through the entire thing. I looked up a synopsis after I finished the game and some things made a bit more sense but overall I guess it's still kinda nonsense to me. Still looking forward to playing Bayonetta 2 next.

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I finished Rainswept today.

 

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I thought it was pretty good overall. It had a good setting and story, music. Definitely some limited animations (especially walking looks really odd) and some amateurish dialogue at times. But I think the overall story / message it's trying to get across works. I dig the whole pacific northwest, rain, coffee, twin peaks setting so I knew I had to play it when I saw the screenshots.

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On 12/19/2018 at 3:19 PM, Cordeos said:

Mutant Year Zero A refreshing change from the Xcom formula, I don't miss the overworld base building, research, training elements at all and having movement be real time before combat starts is very nice. Also loved the ambush system, hopefully more xcom-alikes notice this. Art style was cool and the characters were well written, hoping for some DLC on this one despite how much I struggled with the difficulty of some levels. :tup:

 

I also finished this after picking it up in the current Humble Monthly. I like the setting and characters and mostly the gameplay as well, but the XCOM style random dice rolls usually send me into fits of rage so I made the wise decision early on to turn the difficulty down to Normal. This also makes the characters special abilities and health get reset after every encounter which meant I could use Bormin's hog rush ability to knock down enemies and thus easily silently take down lone enemies. On the other hand this turned the stealth-bits into a real chore of just endlessly repeating the same boring, safe, procedure over and over. In the end tho, yeah, I liked this game.

 

Other recently finished games:

Spider-Man - yeah, it was great. :tup:

Rats, Bats, And Bones - a tower defence game that I got ridiculously engrossed in. Loved it. :tup:

Thy Sword - Arcadey hack n slash platformer with some neat mechanics.

What Remains Of Edith Finch - Wonderful.

Sharpshooter3D - this one I gotta post the trailer for, I mean just look at this.

 

 

Is it the most punk rock game you've ever laid your eyes on or what? It's so ugly and violent that it takes on a unique beauty of its own. When I saw it on Steam I knew I must play it. I couldn't quite figure out what its politics where while playing it, but after finishing I kept seeing it referred to as an ANTIFA game, and yeah, that makes sense.

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I can't believe the credits for Assassin's Creed III is almost 20 minutes long. I went back after it to try to finish up some liberation missions (I don't really care for the other side stuff but I figured liberation missions are interesting enough), but one of them bugged out and I couldn't complete :'( there's also an epilogue mission I think, so I'll finish that off before I move away from it.

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Credits get so long that you usually have a way of fast-forwarding through them, right? Smash Bros Ultimate has a shooter minigame with bonuses to keep you busy and even then you can skip the whole thing.

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I couldn't skip or fast forward through the AC3 credits at all. Also because there is a post-credits epilogue that I wanted to play, I didn't just quit out in case it wouldn't save until after the credits.

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I beat Sekiro three times in a row! It's a really great game, probably tied for my second favorite of all of From's titles. It can take a while for everything to click, but once it does the combat is incredibly satisfying in a way that will almost certainly ruin other action-y games for me.

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Three times in a row?! I'm surprised you had the appetite for it. Surely the third time through a sense of repetition sets in? Rare is the game that I want to play again right away, and even rare when I actually do it. Usually I opt to wait a few years for the experience to digest, so I can start it with a fresh sense of wonder.

 

Haven't finished it yet, but probably nearing the end of Spider-Man for the PS4. It's a pretty neat game on all fronts, but there's a weird thing going on with it that though I see how insanely detailed and good it is, I simply cannot stop comparing it unfavorably to Arkham City/Knight. It's probably the best clone there has ever been, but the closer it gets to that level of perfection, the more it screams at me that it's the same thing, only slightly less all around.

 

I'll certainly finish it, of course, it's quite enjoyable.

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I got a sense that Spider-Man was a lot like those Batman games, and I haven't even played those Batman games.

 

Recently I bought and devoured Devil May Cry V. DMC 4 is one of my favorite games, so I'll just mention how it's different from that:


I liked Dante in DMC 4, but he was never my favorite choice. I thought his 1 million moves and weapons had a lot of novel trinkets included, and it felt un-focused to me. In this new game though, I've turned into a Dante player. His massive library of moves feel more useful and more straight-forward, which might be a turn-off for some people, but not me.

There's a new character, V, who is a completely different kind of beat-them-up, and the new idea doesn't really come together for me. His detached, 2nd-person combat style achieves what it's going for, but that only serves to add a layer of doubt between my inputs and what they're doing in the game world. It feels like he has less combat options than the other characters too. I think playing with this character holds up for the duration of the game's campaign, it's novel and interesting, but I played DMC 4 for years and I can't imagine playing with this character for years at all.

 

My main feeling after playing 20-something hours of this combat is that Dante and Nero's combat mechanics are a polished sequel of where they were in DMC 4. It's great, I love using them and I applaud the design team for it.

I can't say the same for the ENEMIES though. I am in love with the DMC 4 enemy roster, they feel alive, they're playful, they're loud, they each leave a strong, multi-faceted impression in the composition of the experience. With the enemies in this new game, I often have a hard time identifying their role and behaviors; whether they look similar to other enemies, or just fail to flaunt their stuff. I often feel like a new enemy has maybe one trick up their sleeve, and if that trick doesn't contribute a fun challenge, then all they are is another gray punching bag. The enemies' manures could've used another pass.

The art direction on most of these guys seems to be more sanded down and contemporary than in DMC 4 too, and I just find it more boring to look at and less memorable. On boss fights: There are some good ones, and a couple great ones. They don't top the highs of DMC 3 or 4, but they deliver the goods.

 

I wish I could take these playable characters into the combat zones of DMC 4, or that the developers would work on DLC that juices up the enemy roster. I'd really love that, but I don't expect it to happen.

I'd more expect them to release returning fan-favorite playable characters, which I'm not as hungry for.

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I finished Metro Exodus and found it overall to be fine. I never really liked the first two Metro games because of how linear they were. Exodus had some cool moments, but ultimately still very linear level design which is too bad as there were some larger more open zones that were never fully utilized. Just play a STALKER game instead. :tmeh:

 

Also finished Diablo 3 on the Switch, playing on a controller is very nice, I'm sad they never brought support for controllers to PC.

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On 4/12/2019 at 3:31 PM, I_smell said:

The enemies' manures could've used another pass.

I think you typically just pass manure once!

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On 4/10/2019 at 2:45 AM, Roderick said:

Three times in a row?! I'm surprised you had the appetite for it. Surely the third time through a sense of repetition sets in? Rare is the game that I want to play again right away, and even rare when I actually do it. Usually I opt to wait a few years for the experience to digest, so I can start it with a fresh sense of wonder.

 

Haven't finished it yet, but probably nearing the end of Spider-Man for the PS4. It's a pretty neat game on all fronts, but there's a weird thing going on with it that though I see how insanely detailed and good it is, I simply cannot stop comparing it unfavorably to Arkham City/Knight. It's probably the best clone there has ever been, but the closer it gets to that level of perfection, the more it screams at me that it's the same thing, only slightly less all around.

 

I'll certainly finish it, of course, it's quite enjoyable.

The subsequent runs go very fast since a large portion of the game no longer has any real reward. It's a nice little challenge to see how fast you can go while doing optional content and stuff.

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