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What games are people playing these days!?


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#1681 Matt Diamond

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 07:25 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 18 February 2018 - 05:06 PM, said:

Papa & Yo was a very moving experience for me because I understood on a deeply personal level what the creator of the game was trying to express and illustrate. For a certain audience the game is a powerful experience. For anyone else I think it offers an interesting window into the world too many children grow up in but then one child would be too many. I saw the simple gameplay and surreal visuals as simply a vehicle to tell an important story.

I agree. Even people who didn't have an abusive parent might know someone with a chemical dependency or rage disorder. I think the game nailed that feeling of needing to anticipate and manage someone's moods. Not to mention the tragedy of seeing a child bear the responsibility for (and instead of) an adult.

And yet, despite the subject matter I don't think the game was too serious or "heavy". I think they struck a good balance between theme and gameplay. I found it memorable.

(My main complaints were: camera issues, a picky trigger point that I apparently missed by inches, lip sync problems, and difficulty judging a few jumps due to lack of depth cues. I suspect those last two might be issues with the Mac port.)
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#1682 Matt Diamond

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 07:46 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 19 February 2018 - 01:11 AM, said:

You have got to be kitten me, can't you google yourself for meowsome games? Don't take your life so furry serious, so pawse for a minute, stroke your furry whiskers, and take a catnap while you do it. The game is completely filled with puns, and you can dress up your cat as a pawsome ninja wearing a katana with cool meowdifiers, and develop fur-ocious powerful magic spells like Healpaw, Lightnyan and Flamepurr to easily vanquish your foes! And you'll even get to battle the pawerful and meowsterious Drakoth..! So of this sounds pawsitively purrfect for you, pawse your life and take a trip to Felingard in Cat Quest and visit Furrbidden Fields, East Pawt or even The Catpital!

I'll be honest: I had a few more cat puns lined up just in case a pun war broke out.

Looks like I brought a knife to a gun fight.
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#1683 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 20 February 2018 - 08:56 AM

Over the past several days I played The Order: 1886 which I found to be a far better game than the reviews made it out to be generally speaking. I think they did quite a good job of what they set out to do with this title. It was very much a cinematic experience with many cutscenes, some of them being lengthy but they were all well done. Transitions into and back out of cutscenes were seamless with the gameplay experience in a way that flowed naturally which was something I think they did particularly well. I liked the story, characters and also the orchestral music. The voice acting is consistently excellent throughout.

The major problems with this game seem related to the management of expectations in my opinion along with the misguided choice to rely on quick time events for major encounters/boss battles. You could count the boss battles on one hand at least which was certainly a good thing here. I feel this really hurt the gameplay experience significantly unfortunately. Otherwise, it is a decent cover shooter for most of the gameplay portion which Iíd guess is perhaps 60% of the 10 or so hours a play though realistically takes. Complaints about the gameís length were unjustified but then the original $60. price tag arguably was as well I think.

Last but not least, the game certainly is a looker. The visual presentation is fantastic. With better gameplay design and a little further fleshing out of the story this could have been a hit and while it seems unlikely to me, I hope it sold enough to get a sequel that learns from the missteps the developers made this time around. It ends with ample room for a next installment in this world and a continuation of the story. It did not end on a cliffhanger but they could easily pick up where this left off to make something truly great. As it stands, The Order: 1886 is very much a worthwhile experience if a cinematic game appeals to you and you go into it with the patience for some quick time events. I should add that the game does not hit you with these constantly and when it does they arenít all that difficult. Most of the gameplay I found quite fun otherwise.

Despite its flaws, I consider this to be good game that does something different and succeeds much more often than it fails and I am glad to have experienced it.
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#1684 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:06 AM

Finished Catquest. Enjoyed it immensely. 5/5 stars. And now I am down with the flu, so all I can manage is to read the Attack on Titan manga (Which is awesome - got it as a Humble Bundle).
"They're everywhere!" -And now, time for some Legend of Zelda.

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#1685 ipickert55

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 02:23 AM

Just played Perseus Mandate and it's even harder than extraction point. There's one particular enemy type that's just ridiculous to deal with, pushed me to the limit each time I encountered it. F.E.A.R. is a really fun shooter.
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#1686 the Battle Cat

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:49 AM

M-mainlining Fallout f-4 with one of those t-turkey b-b-b-b-baster sized hypos.  The J-jet will make you j-j-jittery.
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#1687 Cougar

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Posted 21 February 2018 - 01:05 PM

Just finished Tacoma, the second walking simulator from Fullbright, the people who made Gone Home. Like that game, the environments have a great lived-in feel (how many games have hair bands?) and the characters themselves are well-written. However, the plot was a little predictable and short, and a final act could have been both exciting and offered an opportunity to flesh out the player character, who ironically we know the least about.

Don't buy at full price but worth the cost of a movie ticket (I got mine in the Humble Monthly.)

Now I'm playing Subnautica, which just got a Mac version. I'm not usually into survival games because they're tedious, but this one is really pretty and has a narrative/quests. It's still a bit grindy and it's definitely a "play with a podcast on" type game.

#1688 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 25 February 2018 - 04:00 PM

I've finished Duke Nukem Forever and its DLC (The Doctor Who Cloned Me). Twice, actually, one in easy and the second run in insane difficulty (easiest way to get 100% achievements). So I guess I liked the game, and it's nowhere near as bad as some reviewers would make believe. I had a few good laughs (of course the humour is mostly below the belt, that's Duke after all).

#1689 Matt Diamond

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 09:16 PM

Started playing a game from my bucket list: Half-Life 2.

I'm sorry that I didn't play it long ago because it hasn't aged well. Would it help to install that cinematic mod to improve the visuals? (Though I have issues with the gameplay and story too, so maybe not.) Are Episode 1 & 2 better?

I'll keep going a while longer, maybe I'll find myself getting into the right mindset.
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#1690 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 01:39 AM

I played Half-Life 2 before Half-Life 1, and consider the former one of the best shooters ever made. It has been years since I played it, but I don't recall it being something that wouldn't age well. What's your issue with it Matt?

I enjoyed Episode 1 and 2 at least as much as the main game. All of them were an easy 5/5 for me. But I do seem to recall that the Episodes (Or Episode 2 only perhaps? Vague memories!) were somehow slightly more interestingly put together.
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#1691 ipickert55

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:49 AM

Half Life 2's greatest strength is the variety and memorableness of it's levels, so I'd recommend at least going a little longer. If you're still apathetic after Ravenholm then perhaps it just isn't your game. I won't lie I wasn't terribly impressed with it when I played either, especially because some people consider it to be the second coming of christ. Also I think i liked the episodes a bit better but I can't remember exactly.
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#1692 Matt Diamond

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 09:51 PM

Thanks for the comments. I'll stick it out a little longer.

Here are some of the problems I'm having with HL2:
- not immersive or scary, because the texture res and polygon counts are low. For example head-crabs should be creepy and terrifying but they just look goofy and annoying.
- story - I was waked from stasis and set loose without explanation in a city that has monsters and the Combine (which seems to be fronted by humans? It really wasn't clear to me that the Combine was supposed to be aliens.) Why does everyone know who I am, but I don't know who I'm fighting or why? I just go wherever the next person I encounter tells me to go. It felt like I missed the first reel of a movie.
- I hate the way Gordon climbs ladders and won't get off them when I want him to.
- It took me a while to realize that tapping a weapon button would make it look like I was switching to that weapon, but unless I pressed the trigger button quickly no switch would occur. I died many times after "selecting" a gun, then charged into battle only to find myself waving that damn crowbar at the heavily armed guards 50 feet away from me.

I would have gone gaga over it 15-20 years ago. And of course its great secret weapon was mods and the modding community. It's place in history is undeniable but the state of the art in both technology and storytelling has moved on. I've been spoiled by what has come since.

On a more positive note: the actual combat is starting to grow on me. The guards sometimes try to flush me out, other times they hunker down behind cover. I'm having to think more, which is good. And it is fun to feed exploding barrels to the rope-hanging-ceiling-monsters.
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#1693 Cougar

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:23 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 08 March 2018 - 09:51 PM, said:

Thanks for the comments. I'll stick it out a little longer.

Here are some of the problems I'm having with HL2:
- not immersive or scary, because the texture res and polygon counts are low. For example head-crabs should be creepy and terrifying but they just look goofy and annoying.

Use your imagination. Do you have a hard time playing older games? I can play anything as long as it doesn't look like Dwarf Fortress or System Shock 1. HL2 still looks completely fine to me. I guess everyone is different.

Quote

- story - I was waked from stasis and set loose without explanation in a city that has monsters and the Combine (which seems to be fronted by humans? It really wasn't clear to me that the Combine was supposed to be aliens.) Why does everyone know who I am, but I don't know who I'm fighting or why? I just go wherever the next person I encounter tells me to go. It felt like I missed the first reel of a movie.

The first reel of the movie is Half-Life 1. There's a paid sanctioned-by-Valve remake of the game called Black Mesa that's quite good, but not quite finished. Or you could just read up on the plot, it's not that much.

Quote

- I hate the way Gordon climbs ladders and won't get off them when I want him to.

Yes, this is annoying. So many games have this problem, even today.

Quote

On a more positive note: the actual combat is starting to grow on me. The guards sometimes try to flush me out, other times they hunker down behind cover. I'm having to think more, which is good. And it is fun to feed exploding barrels to the rope-hanging-ceiling-monsters.

Yes, the AI is good even by today's standards (which admittedly are still pretty low. This plus the level design and gravity gun gameplay make it still a must play in my book, and the game gets better as you go, especially at the end when your gravity gun gets upgraded. Except for Ravenholm, that place sucks.

#1694 Janichsan

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:59 AM

I can understand that Half-Life and Half-Life 2 aren't that impressive to anyone who plays them for the first time today: they were simply so influential that pretty much everything that made them special has been copied over and over again, and in many cases even has been massively improved in other games. This certainly was a problem for me when I played HL1 for the first time some time around 2008: I couldn't shake the feeling that I have already seen everything that was in the game somewhere else – and I actually had, in other, later made games.

HL2 certainly has still a lot going for it, like the oppressive atmosphere in CIty 17, the great variety of tones and settings, and the excellent flow of the progression, but it has the same problem now HL1 had back then: everything that made it special has been replicated in other games, and in part even better.

View PostMatt Diamond, on 08 March 2018 - 09:51 PM, said:


- story - I was waked from stasis and set loose without explanation in a city that has monsters and the Combine (which seems to be fronted by humans? It really wasn't clear to me that the Combine was supposed to be aliens.) Why does everyone know who I am, but I don't know who I'm fighting or why? I just go wherever the next person I encounter tells me to go. It felt like I missed the first reel of a movie.
As mentioned, HL1 explains some of the missing part, but not everything: a lot of HL2's background actually happened after the conclusion of HL1, but you can gather parts of it through small hints in the game here and there (e.g. newspaper clippings hanging from pinboards) and a lot will be explained later on. The initial confusion about what it is going on is intentional.

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#1695 Matt Diamond

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:02 PM

View PostCougar, on 09 March 2018 - 12:23 AM, said:

Use your imagination.

That works for some things. I can watch an old episode of Doctor Who or original Star Trek and imagine that the aliens aren't just actors wearing makeup. The actors sell it and the story and the dialog take me partway too. But when a chunky low-poly bug that looks like a muppet crawls towards me there's only so much I can do. :-) I mean compare that to the spider from Limbo, which still creeps me out just thinking about it.

The difference with old games I played like Myth or Descent, is that I tend to see those with rose colored glasses because I remember how I felt at the time. Whereas I am seeing HL2 more objectively. (Not that it's fair to judge HL2 against the games that followed 10-20 years later, but that's what I can't help but do.)

I think Janichsan hit the nail on the head. The curse of the successful pioneering game is that they do the heavy lifting and everyone learns from it and improves it.

It reminds me of a Wozniak interview when he was asked about how Microsoft beat Apple. Woz was upbeat. "Apple won!" Because PC users are now using the mice and windowed GUI that Apple pioneered. Smartphones are another example. The original Google phone wasn't even going to have a touchscreen. As soon as the iPhone was unveiled they went back to the drawing board.. The pioneer changes the world but does not always get rewarded for it. (Valve did okay by HL2 though! And Apple is fine now but there was a time when it looked like they would go under, after having redesigned the way most of the world uses computers.)

Anyway I won't apologize for not adoring HL2 as I play, but I do give it it's proper due I think.
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#1696 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 11:10 AM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 21 February 2018 - 01:06 AM, said:

Finished Catquest. Enjoyed it immensely. 5/5 stars. And now I am down with the flu, so all I can manage is to read the Attack on Titan manga (Which is awesome - got it as a Humble Bundle).

I bought this in PS4 disc format for my youngest daughterís birthday on Amazon. She got it yesterday and is looking forward to it this week while on a break from working on her latest degree. I mentioned your glowing review of it. She has a rescued cat named Moby she is very fond of. I liked the demo a lot myself and plan to pick it up too.

I love my cats. They are such good company, even that cantankerous one who prowls the internet at night. You know who you are. ;-)
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#1697 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 11:47 AM

Just finished Act 1 on Diablo III. I recently bought the game and the (true!) expansion on sale, so thought I would plow through it. Haven't played it since close to vanillas release, and they apparently changed a LOT in the mean time.

I can't really remember if the game played much differently since then, but I am having a good time, and that despite playing on Expert which is pretty darn easy still.
The game still looks *amazing* in my opinion - I really think they nailed the look of it! Gameplay is fun, yet I still don't think it is better than D1 and D2 (I recall act 4 being especially bad). Looking forward to the expansion content though, as that should be quite nice. I don't expect it to be as good as D2 act 5 though, because that was awesome. :)
Playing as a crusader, since he's the character I can relate to the most (I'm a really good and righteous guy you know!), and I can really say he plays differently than my vanilla run - Very aggressively, with skills that make you attack quickly. Maybe it is the changes, or maybe it is just the character?

My only major complaint, and that is still unchanged, is the skill selection interface. It is absolutely horrible, and a chore to dive around in! I can't believe this is the best they came up with.. And to think how awesome D2s skill tree GUI was.. Sigh. Whenever you level up, you get these floating announcements that you now have this or that skill improved. Great you think, but I have no idea which one it is. Then I go to the interface, and see several "New!" tags in the interface, okay, so it was this and that skill that was improved.. Then I have to go through each new skill to see how it was improved, and then compare it to whatever skill I was previously using. Again, and again, and again, on almost every level up... >_< Give me a freaking skill tree where I can see what I should go for from the start!
And for some reason I keep getting these floating popups telling me of new banners for my character, and pets, wings and what not, but I can't select them in any way.. I don't get it. They really messed up with the UI in this game. (Yes, I know where in the interface to select them, they just don't appear there)
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#1698 Cougar

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 03:51 PM

View PostThain Esh Kelch, on 11 March 2018 - 11:47 AM, said:

They really messed up with the UI in this game. (Yes, I know where in the interface to select them, they just don't appear there)

I never had an issue with the UI. A skill tree-type UI like D2 wouldn't have made sense because of the way they changed the system. There isn't a strict linear "progression" in terms of skills--you are meant to experiment around and try new synergies.

My main issue with the game (after they fixed the gameplay issues) was the story. It started out promising then popsnizzle the bed about halfway in. I know story isn't the point of a game like this, but it was distractingly bad and hindered my enjoyment. With Chris Metzen gone, if they do another one I hope it's better.

It wasn't just the plot, either. Whenever Diablo opened his mouth my eyes gave a hard roll.

#1699 nick68k

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 04:38 PM

I'm an extremely lazy Diablo III player. I like the game a lot, but I can't be bothered to research optimal builds or farm for gear. I still need to figure out how the new (or rather, 'new') Horadric cube thingy works. Like I said, lazy.

I play the game fairly infrequently, but when I do I'll have a blast for a weekend, and then set it aside for a period of time, usually a few months. I usually run around in adventure mode; there's a couple of zones that remind me of my childhood home (no, really), although perhaps with slightly fewer horrific face-munching monstrosities than I remember. DIII as nostalgia.
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#1700 Thain Esh Kelch

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 11:34 PM

View Postnick68k, on 11 March 2018 - 04:38 PM, said:

I play the game fairly infrequently, but when I do I'll have a blast for a weekend, and then set it aside for a period of time, usually a few months. I usually run around in adventure mode; there's a couple of zones that remind me of my childhood home (no, really), although perhaps with slightly fewer horrific face-munching monstrosities than I remember. DIII as nostalgia.
...there are trailer parks in D3 now? O_o
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