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What games are people playing these days!?
I was plugging through the full compilation of lega star wars games. I had put it down a while back cause it was monotonous 'collecting studs' and trying to find the special parts only to constantly be faced with 'you can do that now'. Got so sick of being shown shiney baubles and never being able to gather then once I found them... I had quit the game for months, months.

Was trying to just play through story mode and ignore the constant nonsense of collectibles you cannot collect until you finish the entire game, at which point you really don't want to be bothered to go through it all again to find the ones you couldn't collect in the first place.

Anyhow... it just reminds me how much I hate those lego games.
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Warhammer 40k: Rogue Trader

Very good so far, though ive heard the story falls off in the last chapter and it just sorta... ends. Weirdly. But the game mechanics are there, and it does a bang up job of capturing the setting and lore.

(11-20-2023, 04:47 PM)Matt Diamond Wrote: Finished Dishonored 2 (Xbox). Awesome game. I started to play New Game+ for a while, the plan being to go all-out chaos this time (and try new powers) but my heart wasn't in it so I found myself sneaking around and choking people unconscious again. This was too much like my last playthrough so I stopped. (I just have Death of the Outsider left in that series.)

My recomendation is to replay it with the other character AND go the opposite way. 

If you played Corvo, especially, Emily's powers lend themselves a lot more to high chaos, because her Blink equivalent isnt a teleport - the enemies can see your shadow as it moves.  

Its a lot harder to not kill people as Emily unless you're super careful.  It was much easier to stick to "gonna go High Chaos" as her.
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Quote:My recomendation is to replay it with the other character AND go the opposite way. 

In fact, that's what I was doing. But I did Emily low-chaos the first time, and the second time I found myself drifting back into low-chaos as Corvo.

Quote:Its a lot harder to not kill people as Emily unless you're super careful.

Good to know. I don't feel too bad then-- I always had a couple deaths per level, and I got into a lot of fights even though I was trying to sneak up on everybody. I just got very good at the block-then-choke-them-out move.

--
Next game was Car Machanic Simulator 2018. I thought it would be fun change of pace, and also I might learn a bit more about cars. But after the tutorial was done I was left sitting in my garage with a little money, and no customers. Not sure what I was supposed to do next-- I poked around the space and menus for a while, then gave up. 

I could have gotten a hint from a walkthrough but there were already two reasons to think I wasn't going to take to the game:

1. The game was clearly going to make me jump through some hoops, like purchase speed upgrades to change oil quicker.
2. A big in-game motivation is to save up to purchase or fix high end cars. That doesn't do anything for me.

So, on to the next game. (Coincidentally enough, it is also a simulator, of a futuristic city in the year 2077.)
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Over the holiday break I finished: 
  • Ferazel’s Wand, again. My favorite Mac-only game. The holidays were making me feel nostalgic. It was a bit tricky to get Sheepshaver up and running again for Mac OS 9 emulation. For some reason I had thought that I never beat the last third of it, but playing through it again, I definitely got to the final boss. Not sure if I’d beaten it before, though. Technically, I still didn’t—it was brutally hard, and I cheated. Oldschool games, man. Interestingly, the ending had a plot twist, leaving room for a sequel. Too bad it never happened. 
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn. Really liked the postapocalyptic far future setting, the robot dino combat, and the backstory. The main plot and side quests were less interesting, but fine. Aside from the combat, it plays like a combination of Witcher 3 and later Assassin’s Creed games. It even has future tech “dungeons,” which reminded me of the sci-fi sections of Assassin’s Creed. It is a bit overstuffed with pointless collectibles and content, but they’re easily skipped. The worst thing about it was the unbearable crafting system, especially in the beginning when you have no crafting upgrades. Way too many animal parts you have to get to upgrade your item capacity. And even at the highest capacity, you can hardly carry any arrows, so you’re constantly pausing the game mid combat to craft more (especially when you get upgrades that lets you shoot 3 at a time). Stupid. But overall, I enjoyed it, and the ending plot twist was intriguing. Excited for Forbidden West. 
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Recently bought an M1 Pro 14" MBP and pleasantly surprised with how well it runs Baldur's Gate 3. Can stroll around the city in Act 3 while maintaining a locked 30 fps (30fps being preferred for a game like BG3 as more then that is really not necessary for a top down, turn-based, CRPG). If I unlock the framerate it is around 45 fps (1080p, medium settings).

I know BG3 has already been heavily praised - but it's been my game of choice for the last few months. Around 100 hours on it so far and probably many more to come.

If you are looking for something to play on your Mac I would highly recommend - and I am saying this as someone who typically does not like CRPGs.
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(01-12-2024, 02:57 PM)Sneaky Snake Wrote: Recently bought an M1 Pro 14" MBP and pleasantly surprised with how well it runs Baldur's Gate 3. Can stroll around the city in Act 3 while maintaining a locked 30 fps (30fps being preferred for a game like BG3 as more then that is really not necessary for a top down, turn-based, CRPG). If I unlock the framerate it is around 45 fps (1080p, medium settings).

I know BG3 has already been heavily praised - but it's been my game of choice for the last few months. Around 100 hours on it so far and probably many more to come.

If you are looking for something to play on your Mac I would highly recommend - and I am saying this as someone who typically does not like CRPGs.

Cool. I really want to play BG3, but I'm not smart enough. :-( Trying to keep track of a party of about ten chars who have like 35 abilities each (not including weapons and whatever else) sounds like pure drudgery/micro management.
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(01-12-2024, 05:56 PM)Atticus Wrote:
(01-12-2024, 02:57 PM)Sneaky Snake Wrote: Recently bought an M1 Pro 14" MBP and pleasantly surprised with how well it runs Baldur's Gate 3. Can stroll around the city in Act 3 while maintaining a locked 30 fps (30fps being preferred for a game like BG3 as more then that is really not necessary for a top down, turn-based, CRPG). If I unlock the framerate it is around 45 fps (1080p, medium settings).

I know BG3 has already been heavily praised - but it's been my game of choice for the last few months. Around 100 hours on it so far and probably many more to come.

If you are looking for something to play on your Mac I would highly recommend - and I am saying this as someone who typically does not like CRPGs.

Cool. I really want to play BG3, but I'm not smart enough. :-( Trying to keep track of a party of about ten chars who have like 35 abilities each (not including weapons and whatever else) sounds like pure drudgery/micro management.

I think it's more time consuming than having to be smart. I've started playing XCOM 2 and after only a week I've put over 83 hours into it and I play only on Rookie difficulty. My record is 145 hours in Deus Ex HR because I tried to play stealthy. In XCOM 2 you manage only 6 soldiers so it's less demanding perhaps. It's my first strategy game but very fun and addicting. Every time I think I'm OP and about to switch to Veteran the enemies get bigger and tuffer so I keep playing as Rookie. Smile
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About halfway with Mass Effect I think. Mostly doing side missions, since it seems I can wait with the main story until I feel like it. I like driving the Mako around, and I really like the varied looks of the planets. But man, is this one repetitive game… Unfortunately I think ME takes the price for my largest disappointment vs. anticipation to play the game.
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(01-12-2024, 08:50 PM)Homy Wrote:
(01-12-2024, 05:56 PM)Atticus Wrote: Cool. I really want to play BG3, but I'm not smart enough. :-( Trying to keep track of a party of about ten chars who have like 35 abilities each (not including weapons and whatever else) sounds like pure drudgery/micro management.

I think it's more time consuming than having to be smart. I've started playing XCOM 2 and after only a week I've put over 83 hours into it and I play only on Rookie difficulty. My record is 145 hours in Deus Ex HR because I tried to play stealthy. In XCOM 2 you manage only 6 soldiers so it's less demanding perhaps. It's my first strategy game but very fun and addicting. Every time I think I'm OP and about to switch to Veteran the enemies get bigger and tuffer so I keep playing as Rookie. Smile

I loved XCOM 2 when I finally played it a couple years ago. Just a perfect blend of strategy and tactics. And punishes you if you make a tactical mistake. XCOM 1 is equally as fun - played the iPad version of that since the Mac version didn't work back in 2020 (think it got lost in the 64 bit apocalypse).
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(01-15-2024, 09:19 AM)ozzy Wrote:
(01-12-2024, 08:50 PM)Homy Wrote: I think it's more time consuming than having to be smart. I've started playing XCOM 2 and after only a week I've put over 83 hours into it and I play only on Rookie difficulty. My record is 145 hours in Deus Ex HR because I tried to play stealthy. In XCOM 2 you manage only 6 soldiers so it's less demanding perhaps. It's my first strategy game but very fun and addicting. Every time I think I'm OP and about to switch to Veteran the enemies get bigger and tuffer so I keep playing as Rookie. Smile

I loved XCOM 2 when I finally played it a couple years ago. Just a perfect blend of strategy and tactics. And punishes you if you make a tactical mistake. XCOM 1 is equally as fun - played the iPad version of that since the Mac version didn't work back in 2020 (think it got lost in the 64 bit apocalypse).

Don't like and never have played other strategy games like Civilization but it was the Sci-Fi theme that caught me. Wasn't sure I wanted to put so much time into it upgrading soldiers, weapons and all the other stuff but it's very addicting. Smile
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XCOM 2 put me off it pretty early on with its early levels of "you gotta do this in X turns" and you are racing a clock. I just can't find enjoyment in being beaten over the head to rush and limit myself. I just wanna have fun... explore each area, find things and sneak up on enemies and double-back and ambush from another side etc. Cant do ANY of that with all the stupid limits in place. So, I uninstalled XCOM2 and never looked back.
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(01-15-2024, 05:46 PM)Frigidman Wrote: XCOM 2 put me off it pretty early on with its early levels of "you gotta do this in X turns" and you are racing a clock. I just can't find enjoyment in being beaten over the head to rush and limit myself. I just wanna have fun... explore each area, find things and sneak up on enemies and double-back and ambush from another side etc. Cant do ANY of that with all the stupid limits in place. So, I uninstalled XCOM2 and never looked back.

Yeah, but I learned after a while now that the time/turn limitation is only for the objective, not defeating enemies. I thought before that you have to do both in 8-12 turns which seemed impossible sometimes but now I focus first on reaching the objective with my Ranger to hack or turn off a device and after that the timer is gone and you can take your time to have fun with the enemies so it was a relief to find out. I realized it one time when the time ran out and the objective was lost but the mission didn't end since there were enemies left. It's easier when your Ranger makes a kill and becomes untouchable and can dash to the device. Smile

I also play on rookie which still was hard early in the game and have focused on upgrading and researching before I take on Blacksite missions so now I'm almost done with all the research, got tier 3 weapons, armor and ammo and have only Avatar research left in Shadow chamber. I've already met all the enemies, even Gatekeeper and Avatar and killed an Avatar. So as many have said it's far more enjoyable when you play on rookie and actually can advance than play on harder difficulty and die all the time. I don't feel that the time-limited missions are so many actually. It's the other way around.
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Finished up Mass Effect 1. Overall I think it was a really great, albeit sort of short, story, and see why it has gotten praise. But ultimately with a really lousy loot-shooter on top. I think I end up on a small 4/5. There are so many technical aspects of the game where I feel it should have been better (Shooting, loot, inventory, journal, repetitive planets, lack of different assets), and that the story, look, animations, and settings are really the only things carrying it (Big praise there though - The guys designing the planetary backdrops should definitely get a raise!).

I will look forward to the sequel, merely because of the great story, and play something else in between. I think I will go for a strategy game this time around, need something I can relax to.
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I've been toying around in Watch_Dogs Legion.... not so thrilling, and its basically a mish mash of random things. Nowhere near as fun as the first one (and the second one was just blah overall).

I think its the whole "you are not playing a specific character" ... you just play from a random roster of whomever you recruit off the street. Its weird.

Once done, this will definitely go into the "uninstall n forget" pile.
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I have been giving Surviving Mars a serious spin, a strategy game where you are trying to settle Mars and get a self sustainable colony going. I think I land on a 4/5 score. Overall pretty good, with a great micro managing aspects, but with a few caveats.

I love how it looks, and in general how it plays. You select a sponsor and a background, both of which gives you specific abilities and funding from the start, select whatever resources you want, and take a rocket to Mars. You can freely select where on the planet to land, with different parameters (Water, metals, concrete, dust storms, meteorites, temperature, etc.) and different geological surfaces, all of which affect your game. You then build buildings, and try to cope, while getting resources shipped from Earth with your measly money, all while going through a tech tree that provides you with new or better buildings. There is a lengthy tutorial for you to go through, but you'll likely have forgotten half of it by the time you are through. Still, it helps. And the first game is on very easy, which helps a lot, as you get 10x the funding, and can buy yourself out of all problems, while you learn the game.

It is a tight game, where you have to consider all steps, as not to run out of resources, and it is quite nice when things work together as you wanted them to. My main problems are:
• Every game is quite the same. Sure, there are a few variables, but you are pretty much doing the same things in the same order, having the same resource problems, getting techs in the same order, facing the same local issues.
• The building menu, which is by far the menu you'll spend the most time in, is highly illogically sorted. You are often searching for things, because of how the developers minds works. You learn it, but darn, does it take a long time. This could really use a makeover.
• You are extremely reliant on how your initial starting location looks. And a hint; the default one you get is always not good. I always have to bring 5-6 probes from the start, to scout out another location I think look the best in my starting area, and then land there instead, simply to enjoy the game more.
• There is a restart map option, which just resets your current landing site, but not a “Select different landing site on Mars” option, which is a big oversight IMHO. You usually pick the same starting resources due to your gameplay preferences, but if you find a shitty landing site, well, tough luck, you have to go back to the main menu and repeat what you just did.

I have been playing the free Epic version (Thank you very much) on Geforce Now, which comes with the Space Race DLC, and I really recommend getting that one as it adds quite a bit of needed narrative and opponent interactions IMHO. I can recommend the game for strategy gamers, that needs a casual game you can go to and from whenever you have time.
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I finally began playing Red Dead Redemption 2.

Its pretty impressive from an atmospheric perspective. The acting, the cutscenes, the story, and just the general detailedness of everything. Game seems to flow along with your actions too, and changes the landscape as time progresses. A real impressive piece of work in that regard.

Some of the mechanics in the game though suffer 'rockstar stupidity'. Typical, I mean you can't get away from it, they made the game lol. I'm trying to ignore some of them, and just play the game despite glaring flaws in logic or mechanisms... 

The biggest one thats bugging me the most is its absolutely broken "Bounty" system. Apparently as soon as any lawman shows up, and sees you, they telepathically report your exact identity and crimes to a magic authority and your Bounty goes up and up regardless if you are in full disguise, or even kill every witness and person in the area... you still end up with that magically reported bounty.

Took me awhile before I figured that out, and ended up with a thousand dollar bounty on my head in the main region. I couldn't get away with ANYTHING without getting more and more bounty on my head. Very dumb in that regard. If I commit a crime and no one is around to see it (or live to tell about it), then how the hell do I end up with such a high bounty Wink

Anyways..... I'm workin around that flaw, and figuring out ways to be an outlaw and survive this harsh landscape.

Fun game though overall. Also runs fluid on my rig at what appears to be almost max details. Very beautiful scenery.
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Finished a run-through of Cyberpunk (Xbox).

What's to say, really. Does the world need my take on it? Probably not. Feel free to skip down..

An amazingly detailed game on Xbox Series X, I found myself on more than one occasion just watching the sights, driving randomly around, or taking a train ride. I made a point of being present for funerals and long awkward car rides, just because most games don't have those and it made the place feel more real.

Huge number of missions that I didn't make much of a dent in, despite my usual strategy of trying to do almost everything that fell in my lap.

Fun game to kick ass in, and sneaking around and taking down people non-violently is also pretty fun, though sometimes not worth the effort.

I found very little in the way of physical armor; "level 5" clothing seemed the same as "level 1" clothing, most of it didn't give any stats as far as I could tell.

Cars: undriveable until you find the button to use a third-person camera (didn't find any documentation for that, mind you) after which they are pretty good. Traffic can be annoying. Despite supposedly being able to weaponize your ride, I was attacked by other vehicles only rarely and never got a mounted gun. I would either lose enemies by driving fast, or would stop the car so like idiots they would leave their vehicles.

Not a perfect game but by the time I got around to it they'd fixed most of the outright bugs. One complaint: Panam's neck, when seen from certain angles, was twice the length of a normal neck. There was one scene where she was looking at me over her shoulder as she leaned forward, and it was extremely weird. I decided to pretend it was a body modification that future-people get.

I was a gun-toting hacker this time, which seems like a straightforward, obvious approach though I did try to knock people out instead of killing them about 50% of the time. If I ever play it again I'll try something completely different - maybe a ninja-type with blades and knives, with lots of Body and Cool instead of Tech. Who knows.

===

I've started playing A Little to the Left (Mac), at my daughter's recommendation. It's a cozy, light puzzle game. Relaxing while still giving you little dopamine hits from aligning framed pictures and arranging things in drawers... I need something like this while I work on the family's taxes.
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(03-14-2024, 10:30 PM)Matt Diamond Wrote: Traffic can be annoying.
That game is so realistic.
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(03-12-2024, 05:59 AM)Thain Esh Kelch Wrote: I have been giving Surviving Mars a serious spin .. My main problems are:
• Every game is quite the same.  ..
• The building menu, which is by far the many you'll spend the most time in, is highly illogically sorted.  ..

I agree with all of this. There were other frustrations I'm not remembering now, but I probably posted about it in this thread.

And yet it is very much a worthwhile game. But after playing a few time to the end (restoring from saved games along the way as often as needed) I didn't feel like starting over. I wouldn't rule out going back to it one day.

There are lots of mods for it, of varying degrees of quality. I installed one that accelerated the "fast-forward" time factor a lot. That helped.
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(03-17-2024, 02:14 PM)Matt Diamond Wrote: And yet it is very much a worthwhile game. But after playing a few time to the end (restoring from saved games along the way as often as needed) I didn't feel like starting over. I wouldn't rule out going back to it one day.

There are lots of mods for it, of varying degrees of quality. I installed one that accelerated the "fast-forward" time factor a lot. That helped.

I think I would rather go to another of those “I can always play this repetitive” games, such as FTL, Civilization VI, or Into the Brink. It is just too repetitive. But I might. Low priority though.

Playing on Geforce Now, mods is the absolutely only thing I am missing! But, at least I can for macOS releases then start playing it outside of GN if I like it THAT much and want mods. But this is really a game where mods would be nice to have. Too many places where a small change would bring a lot of joy.
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