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Recently completed video games

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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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