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What games are people playing these days!?


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#1921 Matt Diamond

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Posted 22 October 2019 - 07:16 PM

Speaking of Portal...

My daughter got a part-time job in a VR center. You rent by the hour and play any of the hundreds of games they stock. Mostly PC but also Playstation and XBox. She's been bugging me to try it so I went last week.

Holy cow. I played three things:

The Blu:  You don't do much but look around but I LOVED it and it reminded me strongly of when I scuba dived as a teen.

I Expect You To Die: and you do. Some of the puzzles require searching diligently, others are genuinely tricky yet logical. The controls can be frustrating (was using controllers, not gloves) and you are supposed to die and replay each mission repeatedly. Restarting over and over got kind of annoying. Also, aside from turning your head, and the need to turn over every piece of paper you pick up, it really could have been a 2D point and click adventure-- the VR doesn't seem fundamental to it (maybe on the harder levels?)

The Lab: "a compilation of Valve’s room-scale VR experiments". The longbow mini game was particularly fun. The most memorable thing was Robot Repair, which (minor spoiler)
Spoiler

I barely scratched the surface. Definitely going back.

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#1922 Frost

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Posted 23 October 2019 - 09:42 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 22 October 2019 - 06:54 AM, said:

but but but m'uh steam rreeeeeeeeeeeeee

Where were the complaints when everything was a "steam exclusive". :whistling:

:rolleyes:

Great example of false equivalency, but no. Remind me when, again, Valve was paying developers not to use anyone else's stores and openly touting said exclusivity? Oh wait, they weren't. Stuff appeared on GoG, Uplay (UGH!), the Mac App Store, etc. and continued to be on Steam too. They were even cool with developers handing out keys for stuff bought elsewhere (which I did several times with some older games when I was new to Steam).

Epic is paying for exclusives. Epic pays to keep third party products off other storefronts. They're doing the same crap Sony and Microsoft have been doing to each other for the past decade and a half with their consoles. That is not even remotely in the same universe as a developer not putting a game on another PC storefront because they just don't want to put in the time/effort, or another storefront doesn't offer enough of a ready userbase to be financially attractive when working with limited funds.
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#1923 Frigidman™

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 09:05 PM

Been beating on zombies this last week or so in Dying Light (in the mood cause of the halloweenadays). Fun game for that genre... nice fluid animation and action. Lots of parkour too.

It has the ability to turn off ALL the HUD... which makes for an interesting gameplay (more fun/cleaner action), but a couple key things get lost in that... like being completely unable to switch to the right utility item since there is no display on screen which one you tabbed too (also no keys to directly switch to a specific slot of 4 items).

At least when tabbing between your 4 equiped weapons are seen in your hands on screen... you can kind of tell what you have ready to fight with. But the utility items... when you have to 'throw' or 'use' them to know what you have, can be very dangerous if the one you selected was a grenade and you actually thought you had a throwing star selected *ahem*.

Decent game, even runs for Mac users ;)

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#1924 richmlow

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Posted 02 November 2019 - 05:20 PM

Recently, I've been playing John Wick Hex.

:)

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#1925 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 03 January 2020 - 03:30 PM

Just finished VVVVVV. 74 minutes according to Steam. Installed it along with some other games, which looked too weird for my taste, so I just wanted to test it out, because I was sure I didn't like it.
But wow, what an indie! Hardcore platforming done perfectly. Man, I had a blast. Highly recommended! The only gimmick in the game, is that you can flip your own gravity 180°, but it works soooo well, and makes for some excellent platforming. Coupled with some ingenious level design, I can whole heartedly recommend this one for old school platforming cravings.

Short, but so delightful. Unfortunately, I only got 13 of the 20 hidden stars, and I am not enough of a masochist to go back and get the remaining ones. And I died 593 times during those 74 minutes (The game keeps count. I flipped some 2700+ times), so good luck to those that go for the 'No death' extra mode.. :P

5/5

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#1926 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 04:43 AM

Fired up Toki Tori 2+ now, as it looked like another simple platformer. Didn't play much yet, but it looks and sounds great, but the gameplay is very simplistic, and so far I am unsure if I will put much into it. Reviews seem to be great for the game though, so maybe there's more to it than immediately meets the eye.

Maybe the chicken picks up a BFG-2000 later, or something...

Edit: The user interface is CLEARLY made for touch screens. Overhead map and story feels very badly explained. So far I don't get why this got so good reviews. Cute, but not much more.

Edit 2: For some reason it doesn't run too well, with lag here and there but nothing too bad, despite not being anything taxing. Must be a shoddy port. The game even told me it was running slowly and I should fix it in preferences!
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#1927 Matt Diamond

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Posted 04 January 2020 - 11:23 AM

I'm still mostly playing Borderlands 3, but I also started Baba is You. Neat idea for a puzzle game- rules for each level (what can be moved, what can kill you, what the goal is) are present in the level, and you can change some of them.

The early puzzles have been fun. I thought one early one was too hard (you had to learn two new mechanics, rather than the usual one). Also they mostly seem to have just one solution-- I like it when puzzles allow a straightforward solution and one or more creative solutions, and reward you for finding both kinds. But its still very early in the game. Thumbs up in general!

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#1928 Matt Diamond

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 02:40 PM

Baba Is You:  it's amazing to me how quickly the puzzles got hard. I've read that it has ~200 puzzles, I've solved only 10-15%. And some of them took me quite a while.

Even a simple puzzle can have many degrees of freedom. And it's tricky to keep the set of logical rules in my head ("water is sink and closed", "skull is defeat", "rock is rock") as i solve block-moving puzzles. Some rules can be changed, but only if I solve a block-moving puzzle that itself requires changing the rules in a different way... The combination of logic and geometric puzzle types makes my head hurt.

And yet I'm still plugging away. I've consulted no walkthroughs yet, but I may cave if I get stuck on all the unlocked puzzles at once.

TIP: turn off the wiggle effect. It's cute but makes it hard to see the (occasional) visual cues for which objects are hot, floating etc. Technically you don't need those cues because rules like "skull is hot" are visible as text in the level, but having them can help.

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#1929 Cougar

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Posted 06 January 2020 - 05:50 PM

Baba is You looks super cool but I think I’m too dumb for it. It reminds me too much of Snakebird and Super Sausage Roll and I was too dumb for those.

#1930 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 01:12 PM

Finished Toki Tori 2+. What a weird experience! Good sound design, great visuals, freaking amazing puzzles (!), a really nice number of small details here and there, and good gameplay when you finally *get* the game.

My only problem is a weird one: I had absolutely no freaking idea what the game was about? The presentation of the game was severely lacking in that the story was practically not explained at all. Some times you get a bubble with a little text at the top of the screen, but it switches between sounding like a help for plea, to a villainy monologue, to random blabber - And that's it for presentation. In the end, my fellow chickens are caught in a giant bubble flying around over the main map for some reason? There is black smoke coming up from the ground in a few levels, that kill you upon touch? I *think* this dark smoke is because of a giant corrupted gem underneath the chicken world? And I had to cleanse this gem by finding five magical frogs. Or maybe I had to destroy the giant gem. I don't know, since I wasn't told what happened after I found the five magical frogs and the other chickens came out of the bubble. Or why the gem was corrupted in the first place. And who was talking to me.
Oh and there's songs... Which I found out by chance by going to a menu at one point. The game didn't really tell me about those. And the songs are really important for the gameplay, as they reset levels and gives you the ability to portal around the map.

Essentially a really polished game, with some really really well thought out puzzles, and hundreds of those at that, surrounding by a presentation which offered essentially no guidance or explanations, which is a real pity. In the end, I really enjoyed it because of the puzzles and quality of everything else (I am a gamer at heart!), so I would recommend it for players who likes slow moving games where you have to think about what to do, in a world that looks really nice.

4/5 from me. A pity they didn't spend that last week on adding some more coherence to everything. And I wonder why they left that out as the only missing thing.
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#1931 Tibur

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Posted 12 January 2020 - 09:28 PM

Cancelled my WoW subscription for a while, so I'm hitting the backlog! First stop, Borderlands 2. I forgot how much I hate the inventory system, and not having a weapon that regenerates ammo is (a little) annoying (I know, 1st world problems).  Missions are (mostly) fun though (except for those that make me slog through to the end of the map--without a vehicle--and then back again.) Dialog and humor are great, though. Handsome Jack is such a fun antagonist - you know, for a sociopath.

#1932 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 12:46 PM

Finished up Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden - Collector's Edition. (Yeah, that's a mouth full). No idea where I picked that one up. It is one of those simple games with puzzles, find hidden items, mini games, and a small story to go. It was okay, had some pretty decent animations here and there, and some lovely backgrounds most of the time. Not too hard, not too exciting, but both my girlfriend and my daughter found the hidden items parts interesting so that was nice I guess. Story was pretty out there though, with a hidden society under water than finds a demon-thingy inside a monster statue in some caves on the sea floor. 3/5, nothing too exciting, but okay for what it was.

Then I fired up Super Meat Boy. Played two levels, and then accepted that I DEFINITELY need a controller for it, so I deleted that again for the time being. The arrow keys on my Macbook are definitely not up for that job.

Then I went for The Binding of Isaac, a rogue like with a horror theme. And.... It runs surprisingly bad on my machine? As in 3-10 FPS, until the entire room is cleared, after which it takes a few seconds and then jumps to 60+ FPS? O_o Game itself is okay I guess. Not too exciting, but I like the randomization. Will probably try and finish it at least once, even though it runs so bad. May give up though, because of it.
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#1933 nick68k

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 04:58 PM

Having fun with A Short Hike right now which is incredibly fun and mellow, but, as the title suggests, short. It's hard to say exactly how far through I am, but I suspect you could play through it in a couple of evenings. But that's OK. It's the sort of game you can start again just to chill out with the ambience.
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#1934 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 01:56 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 19 January 2020 - 12:46 PM, said:

Finished up Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden - Collector's Edition. (Yeah, that's a mouth full). No idea where I picked that one up. It is one of those simple games with puzzles, find hidden items, mini games, and a small story to go. It was okay, had some pretty decent animations here and there, and some lovely backgrounds most of the time. Not too hard, not too exciting, but both my girlfriend and my daughter found the hidden items parts interesting so that was nice I guess. Story was pretty out there though, with a hidden society under water than finds a demon-thingy inside a monster statue in some caves on the sea floor. 3/5, nothing too exciting, but okay for what it was.

Artifex Mundi has published about 75 of these games on Steam, and that's only one publisher (though I think the largest one, and with some of the best quality titles). All are roughly the same except story, puzzles and pictures. 99% of them have an heroine rather than your usual hero, so I suspect the main buyers of these games are women, unlike more hardcore games (I know, people will say Tomb Raider or other game with an heroine, but that's the exception rather than the norm).
I like playing these casual games from time to time too; quick and easy game, quick and easy 100% achievements.

#1935 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 09:59 AM

Playing Type:Rider currently, a puzzle platformer with a focus on teaching some information about typesetting, fonts, printing history, etc. Quite a unique take, and quite okay, as I am enjoying it. It is very cosy, and not a hardcore platformer of any kind, so easy to pick up and play a bit now and then.
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#1936 Matt Diamond

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Posted 23 February 2020 - 04:57 PM

Taking a break from Borderlands 3.

Also stopped playing Baba Is You - the puzzles are very clever but difficulty is all over the map. Sometimes you just get on the wrong track- for example skulls are deadly on most puzzles, and I got stuck on one because I didn't notice that they weren't. I stopped playing when I found myself looking up hints more and more often. I do recommend it, but its not a casual puzzler- more like a Dark Souls puzzler.

So I finally returned to Divinity Original Sin 2. Apparently I had left it with my party in an area meant for higher level characters. It took me a while to realize that my problems weren't just from me forgetting how to play! I backtracked and now all is well.

Also listened to the audiobook Blood Sweat and Pixels, and it was pretty good. You get one chapter (about 50 minutes) on the story behind each game title, games ranging in size from Stardew Valley & Shovel Knight, to Witcher 3 & Diablo 3 LOD. Any of these titles could merit a whole book by themselves of course.. All but one of the games were successful, but two of the studios described did not survive, and a third emerged forever changed (arguably for the worse).

I laughed out loud when the author described Destiny as "a game where players can fly through space, complaining about Destiny."

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#1937 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 04:14 AM

Finished up Type:Rider with almost all achievements. 4/5, I enjoyed it quite a bit! Informative, with some really well designed levels, and some nasty platforming action at the end!

And I found the secret level, all by myself! For those of you who likes any of the following, please see the link below: LOL, cats, comic sans, rainbows, cats with laser eyes, lolburgers.

https://youtu.be/-I5OLYP4jMw (Not my fault if claw out your eyes after that. But remember, I had to beat the freaking level!)
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#1938 nick68k

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 07:25 AM

So, I've been playing Bard's Tale 2 and inXile certainly have made a decent attempt at remastering it (optional automapping - but why would you? - saving, all-new art etc) BUT it's turbocharging the fan on my 2018 MacBook Air from the get go. Yay Unity, I guess? Which is a shame, cos it'd be a perfect comfy laptop game.
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#1939 Matt Diamond

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Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:37 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 25 February 2020 - 04:14 AM, said:

Finished up Type:Rider with almost all achievements. 4/5, I enjoyed it quite a bit! Informative, with some really well designed levels, and some nasty platforming action at the end!
That does look interesting. There's an iOS puzzle game called SuperType that uses typography in a physical way like that. (Less educational though.)

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#1940 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 09 March 2020 - 06:19 AM

Just finished Anna's Quest, a hand drawn adventure game, about a young girl who lives with her grand father, until the latter becomes ill and she leaves their home to find a cure. She gets caught by a witch, and a grand adventure unfolds with her in the center.

Nice hand drawn backgrounds and animations, great characters, good puzzles, nice voice work, good music, and a top notch adventure game with an excellent plot that unfolds as you play the game.

Highly recommend for adventure game fans! 5/5
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