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What games are people playing these days!?


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#2121 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 01:33 AM

I have been playing Breath of the Wild (Almost finished! Clocked around 200 hours now), and Survivors: The Quest on my iPad the last couple of months. Haven't had much free time so I need pick up and go for a short time games.

Survivors is a funny thing. It actually looks quite good IMHO, with an excellent and very well detailed setting, and is a mixture of find hidden things, and Bejeweled-mini games. The story is also interesting, and you have three main characters that you follow, who has crash landed on an island, and now needs to solve an apparent supernatural mystery and get off the island. It is also quite long, and most of the time I am enjoying myself with such a casual game. Unfortunately, it is free and RIDDLED with µ-transactions. Every time you open the game, you have to close *four* advertisements. Also it keeps reminding you to create an account on their internal network, sign up with friends, etc. And as you reach midway into the game, you either needs LOADS of patience and REALLY dig Bejeweled, or pay up to get help with the Bejeweled mini games, because by then the majority of them either requires 20+ tries until you get that specific lucky combo required to finish the mini game unless you pay for help. Also, "You need to start the engine, so you need 25 batteries, and 20 wires for that (for some reason), go find them!" over and over again, and they only spawn 1-2 at a time, then you need to reload the entire map, rinse and repeat. I wouldn't mind paying a bit for it, but getting shoveled timed advertisements in my face continuously, and also continuously having to pay up to finish mini games, has made me stubborn. Fortunately, I am also patient and dig hidden item games and bejeweled (And their version is actually quite good, short of the too few moves on most of them), so I've made it my personal thing to finish the game without paying anything. Good thing I like it! But man, have I wasted a lot of time on Bejeweled now..
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#2122 Matt Diamond

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 08:12 AM

That's a shame- sounds like I would have enjoyed Survivors, and I don't mind paying a few bucks to turn off ads. But that degree and length sounds abusive of the player.

Now I'm hearing that game companies are looking at cryptocurrency as the Next Big Thing. I guess the games use your CPU to mine bitcoin, and either that pays the microtransaction fee, or maybe players get kickbacks for playing? Just insane. Investors love it though.

--
Back on topic:

Just finished Mass Effect 1. Will take a break before tackling 2.
Finishing up my 3rd or 4th playthrough of Space Minor for iOS - a great, funny asteroids game that's over 10 years old now. A favorite that I return to every few years.

I think my next game will be one of: Tacoma, Gris, or (for XBox) Arkham Kinght or Control.
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#2123 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 25 November 2021 - 01:54 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 23 November 2021 - 01:33 AM, said:

And as you reach midway into the game, you either needs LOADS of patience and REALLY dig Bejeweled, or pay up to get help with the Bejeweled mini games, because by then the majority of them either requires 20+ tries until you get that specific lucky combo required to finish the mini game unless you pay for help.

That's basically the definition of free-to-play. I now avoid those games, just a waste of time and if you pay, they quickly become very expensive.

#2124 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 05:40 AM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 25 November 2021 - 01:54 PM, said:

That's basically the definition of free-to-play. I now avoid those games, just a waste of time and if you pay, they quickly become very expensive.
I get that, but I don't get the actual amount of money you have to put into it, to really enjoy it. It seems insane! I could understand it if you payed a small amount, and got what was akin to an indie game, but this... You'll quickly end up paying 50+$.
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#2125 the Battle Cat

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 02:48 PM

Lots and lots of Borderlands 3.  Sunday I started playing Saint's Row 3 and took it to where I didn't have fighting missions anymore, just activities, so I switched over Wednesday to Ghost Recon: Wildlands.  Didn't play much Thanksgiving because the holiday was also my wife's birthday but other than that it's been wake up, make a quart of coffee, fire up the gaming computer, game, whiz as needed, quaff fruit juice and water, game to 3, eat, game to 8, watch a movie, go to sleep.  Been doing that routine for 2 weeks breaking only to grocery shop Wednesdays and for Sabbath.  Saturday nights I'm co-oping BL3 with a wretched crew of scum and villainy.

I hereby officially declare retirement is dope.  I am living the gamer life immersed in the thing I most enjoy doing.  So that mean's I haven't even checked in with you knuckleheads for 2 weeks.  The Eagle has landed and by Eagle I mean Cat.  Woe those my gaze settles upon.  I yearn to drive you before me and hear the lamentations of your widows.
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#2126 Matt Diamond

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 11:03 PM

Finished Halo 3, which I'd started a while back and then took a break from.

The good: Combat was very good as usual, some fun weapons. Like previous Halos, battles play out a little differently each time. A few missions pissed me off though by requiring too much trial and error. If I'm going to die repeatedly, I should at least feel like it was my fault. Otherwise I get mad and want to throw the controller at the wall.

The bad: The story is very thin. For example the Flood shows up to crash the party but you are told that by defeating them in one small part of the galaxy, you have ended their threat forever. There is no explanation for it. (The Flood is also nerfed here the same way Star Trek nerfed the Borg: they just aren't as scary when a monologue-ing mastermind leads them.)

Good characters from the previous 2 games (like the Arbiter) are wasted here. None of the emotional beats landed with me. I just didn't care about any of it.

I was confused that there was no payoff in Halo 3 for the Spartan Locke cutscene (from Halo 2). But I learned it was added for the Anniversary edition, as a tie-in for Halo 5 (i.e. the middle of the NEXT trilogy). That would be like remastering Empire Strikes Back and adding a cut scene for Last Jedi.

The ugly: Graphics are a bit dated of course. The human faces in particular were unpleasant to look at, and sometimes unpleasantly lit.


By the end I was impatient for it to be over. But I'll play ODST or Reach eventually.
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#2127 Atticus

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 10:52 AM

I've been playing Quake 2 ftw. Fun nostalgia trip. And realized I'm not sure I ever finished it the first time around, when it came out in the Nineties. /old.
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#2128 Janichsan

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 12:08 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 26 November 2021 - 11:03 PM, said:

That would be like remastering Empire Strikes Back and adding a cut scene for Last Jedi.
You mean like they retroactively added Hayden Christiansen in the DVD release of Return of the Jedi?

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#2129 Matt Diamond

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 08:55 PM

View PostJanichsan, on 27 November 2021 - 12:08 PM, said:

You mean like they retroactively added Hayden Christiansen in the DVD release of Return of the Jedi?
Ha! But not quite the same IMHO. Adding him in didn't change much except possibly lower your opinion of George Lucas. It's obvious who that ghost is, even if you never watch the prequels. So it doesn't add confusion.

Imagine instead they inserted a scene in Empire where you see Chewbacca flying the Falcon with Rey. It's clearly set in the future so you think its foreshadowing something, but then you get to the end of RotJ and wonder why they dropped that plot point. Then you find out on the internet it's from a completely different storyline two movies later.

But in a larger sense you are right - neither Lucas nor Microsoft could leave their original trilogies alone. They had to get clever and try and add more continuity retroactively.
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#2130 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 28 November 2021 - 02:42 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 26 November 2021 - 05:40 AM, said:

I get that, but I don't get the actual amount of money you have to put into it, to really enjoy it. It seems insane! I could understand it if you payed a small amount, and got what was akin to an indie game, but this... You'll quickly end up paying 50+$.

Or $2600 in a day (in another F2P, Candy Crush).

#2131 nick68k

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 10:08 AM

I'm having a blast with inXile's Bard's Tale trilogy remaster. Sure, the originals are 30+ years old, but they're still fun (especially if you like mapping dungeons on graph paper).

It plays well on my M1 MacBook Air (as it should!).
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#2132 Matt Diamond

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Posted 29 November 2021 - 11:09 AM

I'm a few hours into playing Gris.

This is the best game I've played in quite some time. Interesting style, great atmosphere, emotionally evocative. The music complements the action really well. It's just the break I needed from big games like Mass Effect 1 and Halo 3.

My one complaint is that it is occasionally not obvious which parts of the environment can be climbed on. This got me stuck on one puzzle, though in retrospect there were clues I should have noticed.

Although the levels are large you often get restricted to a smaller area when there's an important puzzle to solve. So there's not a lot of backtracking.

Highly recommended.
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#2133 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 12:24 AM

My daughter finally pushed me to beat Ganon in Breath of the Wild, so there we are. Clocked in 200 hours with a completion percentage of 50.6%, according to the game. Will let it sit for quite some time now, and start Final Fantasy VIII instead.
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#2134 Frigidman™

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Posted 30 November 2021 - 10:42 AM

Figured I'd install the "GROUND ZEROES" prequal for the MGSV game I was starting.... figure it might provide some better insights. I had tried it a long time ago, and was disgusted by so many annoying things that I never even finished the first mission in that. Granted the game has some bad design compared to the full game (PHANTOM PAIN), but its manageable to play through the missions and unlock some stuff. It certainly has its glitches that they eased on/fixed in the main game.

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#2135 Frost

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Posted 05 December 2021 - 07:26 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 26 November 2021 - 11:03 PM, said:

Finished Halo 3, which I'd started a while back and then took a break from.

The good: Combat was very good as usual, some fun weapons. Like previous Halos, battles play out a little differently each time. A few missions pissed me off though by requiring too much trial and error. If I'm going to die repeatedly, I should at least feel like it was my fault. Otherwise I get mad and want to throw the controller at the wall.

The bad: The story is very thin. For example the Flood shows up to crash the party but you are told that by defeating them in one small part of the galaxy, you have ended their threat forever. There is no explanation for it. (The Flood is also nerfed here the same way Star Trek nerfed the Borg: they just aren't as scary when a monologue-ing mastermind leads them.)

Good characters from the previous 2 games (like the Arbiter) are wasted here. None of the emotional beats landed with me. I just didn't care about any of it.

I was confused that there was no payoff in Halo 3 for the Spartan Locke cutscene (from Halo 2). But I learned it was added for the Anniversary edition, as a tie-in for Halo 5 (i.e. the middle of the NEXT trilogy). That would be like remastering Empire Strikes Back and adding a cut scene for Last Jedi.

The ugly: Graphics are a bit dated of course. The human faces in particular were unpleasant to look at, and sometimes unpleasantly lit.


By the end I was impatient for it to be over. But I'll play ODST or Reach eventually.

Yeah, I replayed all the Halos with the release of the Master Chief Collection on Steam and I have to say the storylines of Halo 2 and 3 did not age well. Halo 2 starts with a bang and after the first handful of missions you're really jamming. But it peters out and just meanders aimlessly and seems to only provide vague reasons for set pieces for the other 2/3 of the game before it finally picks up again in the final hour or so. Halo 3 was killer fun gameplay-wise all the way through but I agree the story is a little threadbare.

Halo 1, Reach, and ODST aged a lot better IMO.

All of them were still way better than Halo 4 which was way better than Halo 5, but that's a bone to pick for another day. I haven't picked up Infinite yet but I intend to soon.
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#2136 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 01:11 AM

Why did the quality of the Halo storylines go down the drain? Loss of talent at Bungie?
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#2137 Frigidman™

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Posted 06 December 2021 - 09:50 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 06 December 2021 - 01:11 AM, said:

Why did the quality of the Halo storylines go down the drain? Loss of talent at Bungie?

Well this can pretty much be said about the quality of *anything* these days. Lack of people with imagination all around.

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#2138 Frost

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 04:27 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 06 December 2021 - 01:11 AM, said:

Why did the quality of the Halo storylines go down the drain? Loss of talent at Bungie?

If you mean Halo 4 and 5, loss of Bungie at Halo, actually. Microsoft wanted them to continue making Halo games in perpetuity and whipping a dead horse, and they wanted to move on and try new things with Destiny.

Bungie and Microsoft split, and Microsoft formed 343 Industries to churn out Halos. Halo: Reach in 2009 was Bungie's final Halo. Halo 4 and onwards was 343. Thus far they've gotten more "bad fanfiction and weird retcons" with each 343 release. I'm hoping Infinite is different, because so far my headcanon for Halo is that the story starts with Reach and ends with Halo 3 & ODST.

If you mean Halo 2 and 3, most of the folks responsible for the killer backstory and rich writing of Halo departed between Halo 1 and 2. They were kind of going in a hard sci-fi direction on Halo 1 and had been since the late 90s, and then with the loss of story leads Joe Staten and some of the remaining folks wanted to take Halo in more of a sci-fantasy LOTR-in-Space direction. I don't think that was the right direction and was responsible for a lot of the meandering oddness of Halo 2's story. They really found their footing again with ODST and Reach though and brought Halo back into the Halo 1 mold for the final 2 games.

Joe's LOTR-in-Space ideas worked a LOT better with Destiny's setting. After being squeezed out of Bungie by Jason Jones and Luke Smith (who really derailed Destiny as a whole for a while there, but that's another story), Joe ended up returning to 343 for Halo: Infinite, so I'm hopeful having some old Bungie alumns back on the story brings it out of the fanfic tailspin it was in. Amusingly enough on the Bungie end, for the past year and a half or so Bungie's story team has resurrected a bunch of the old 2013 story threads Joe Staten had going that Jones and Smith killed, and they really got Destiny back on track narratively.
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When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#2139 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 04:31 AM

Thanks for that good insight Frost. Such a pity. I've only played Halo 1, and that was a great shooter for its time. But Halo Infinite just looks like Halo Cry 6 to me, going by the trailers.

But that's a discussion for another thread...
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#2140 Matt Diamond

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 11:04 AM

I'm not even sure the soft-sci-fi aspects were the worst part. I can forgive a lot if a story makes INTERNAL sense and is dramatically satisfying. But they didn't explain how destroying one ship's worth of Flood would end the entire threat. They ignored their own world-building.

Plus there were execution errors, such as:
* There's a moment you are supposed to believe a doomsday machine has been activated, but its scored with triumphant music (probably because it looked impressive)
* When **** is revealed near the end of Halo 3, the camera angles are poor so I didn't know what it was until someone says. Could have been a GREAT payoff.

But the ultimate problem was they didn't make me care. I think they assumed that their predominantly male gamers mostly wanted to see Cortana and her skin-tight outfit, so getting her and MC back together was supposed to do the emotional heavy-lifting.

Ah well. It was good enough to finish and the combat was very good. It's just frustrating because many of these story & dialog problems seemed so fixable.
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