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  #261  
Old 10 February 2017, 09:44 PM
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I got Wild Guns Reloaded for the PS4 to hold me over until Horizon Zero Dawn gets released. It's an updated and expanded version of an old SNES shooter.

Fun, but man do I hate being a one-hitpoint wonder.
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  #262  
Old 18 February 2017, 06:26 PM
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I've been fooling around with the alpha build of Klei's new space colony survival simulator Oxygen Not Included, and it's pretty fun! I've had a great experience with the dev's previous early access releases of Don't Starve and Invisible, Inc. Klei really, really knows how early access should be done and even for an alpha Oxygen shows some nice UI polish. There is some placeholder art, but a lot of the art assets are in and the style is really nice. There are some occasional weirdnesses in the stat/job allocation system. My duplicant Ernestine has 7 Learning but has the Yokel trait, so excellent for research but Yokels don't do research. Not sure if that's intentional. It's not like it's unheard of for somebody to not want to do the thing they have an aptitude for.

Now to get back to the game and figure out the mysteries of plumbing. It turns out I can't make mush bars or liceloafs (loaves??) without water. I also put my duplicants' cots near a large cavern of contaminated air. Really hope that doesn't turn out to be a GOB Bluth huge tiny mistake. Aaannnnd my colony's kinda running into oxygen debt.
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  #263  
Old 19 February 2017, 09:32 PM
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After revisiting an old review, I downloaded Dragon's Dogma from Steam and gave it a try. It's kind of in the same vein as Skyrim (right down to the game starting with a dragon attack) but has a few interesting variations - most notably the 'pawns,' who are NPC's you can recruit. You get to custom design your primary one (appearance and character class) and recruit up to two more; the gimmick is that you can hire ones that were designed by other players, and they can hire yours; when you dismiss one, you can give it a rating and a gift to pass along to the original player.

It's quite a pretty game, but I don't think much of the way the controls handle. The whole inventory system is extremely awkward, and there doesn't seem to be a way to link hotkeys to things like healing potions. Combat can get very confusing; on the other hand, on normal difficulty, after recruiting 3 pawns I can usually just stand there and they'll take care of it, except for boss fights. (The other gimmick is that when you're fighting something big, you can -- and usually need to -- climb on to it and try to attack critical points.) But what fun is that? They also gather resources for you kind of indiscriminately. I will probably play with it a bit more, but I don't think it's going to pull me in too deeply.
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  #264  
Old 26 February 2017, 11:46 PM
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Still playing through Oxygen Not Included. Hilariously, even though there is not yet an official way to make your colony self-sustainable, someone has figured out how to reach full self-sufficiency. So the solution is to make duplicants with Small Bladders and Diver's Lungs, and with vomiting stress responses. Then collect the runoff in a giant cesspit and purify the contaminated air and water. Huzzah, now the colony can self-sustain at the cost of the dupes being absolutely miserable. Interestingly the water is not even completely necessary if the mealwood supply can be kept up, although I've been having issues getting enough of them to farm up in my game; I think my colony didn't spawn with very many which is why I'm so dependent on feeding my dupes mush bars (which are just dirt and water run through the food machine). I'm kind of expecting this strategy to get patched out fast once the tech tree gets further love, but it's funny to see people on the forum posting questions like "How will this affect the vomiting strategy?" to balancing suggestions.

Also going through Night in the Woods, an adventure game with some minor platforming elements. It's about young adult animal people in a small town that's hit hard times. Great art and the writing is really sharp. The platforming is thankfully vestigial since I'm not really that great at it and would rather not have it get too much in the way of my adventure game. I've noticed some regular animals in the game, like on 4 legs and all. Your character Mae even tells someone that she looked after his cat, but she herself is a cat. I can't figure how they're reconciling the two-legged talkers from the four-legged inarticulates. Maybe it's Mae's Whatevergod, who has decreed that some cats shall be upright and work at the Ham Panther while other cats shall doze on sunlit windowsills while the 2-legged cats do obeisance to them. Cats for the Cat God!

Last edited by Cure the Blues; 26 February 2017 at 11:57 PM.
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  #265  
Old 28 February 2017, 10:41 PM
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Horizon Zero Dawn.

It is awesome.
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  #266  
Old 01 March 2017, 11:02 AM
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I have finally finished playing Skyrim for the next several years at least, having done a 100% complete playthrough of Special edition. Now it's off my computer, and I'm starting up the Overhaul Games redo of Baldur's Gate. Because I am always on the cutting edge of gaming.

I certainly got every penny's worth out of Skyrim, with almost 3500 combined hours between the original and the Special editions. Less than 100 hours involved mods. It was a great game, and I could see going back some day. In the meantime, however, I have Baldur's Gate, and Farming Simulator 17, and Witcher 3 to suck up my time. Witcher will likely be my main time sink, from what I understand, and I am saving it for when I am absolutely done with the other two games.
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  #267  
Old 22 March 2017, 10:47 PM
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Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Switch. It's the first game that I've been so engrossed in for probably a decade. Some open world games can quickly turn into a grind and feel like a chore, or they can be overwhelming in their aimlessness. But this one is just a delight to explore every minute that you're playing. There is a basic main quest line to give you a goal, but most of the time you're just blowing it off to go see the world instead, and it's constantly rewarding to do so.

There are tons of physics based puzzles, at a range of difficulties. The open nature of the game means that they don't have to aim at the lowest common denominator, because if you get stumped by one that's fine and you can still win the game. In a previous game if a puzzle was too hard it was game over because you need to do every single thing in the game in pretty much a straight line. Here it's better if you can solve a puzzle than not, but ultimately any individual puzzle is optional, so some can be a genuine challenge. Most feel just challenging enough to be entertaining, but never really frustrating. And the way all the physics interact, there are not infrequently some tricks to circumvent the traditional solution to a puzzle, which are fair game if you can pull them off.

I appreciate the flexibility of the Switch being a mobile device with enough power to play such an expansive game. You can seamlessly transition the same game from the big screen to small without being chained to any one room. I do worry about Nintendo's ability to attract third party developers, which has held it back in the past. But on its own merits, without regard for the ecosystem of games, it's a nice device. I hope it's more successful than the Wii U and that ultimately they are able to continue to bring a range of high quality games to the platform, and not just one great game.

Normally FPS type games are terrible on console compared to PC, because the thumb sticks are terrible for precision. However, aiming a bow in Zelda actually works reasonably well. You need to snipe small objects from a distance and it's surprisingly feasible. They incorporate motion controls in a smart way, so that the sticks give you fast, approximate aim, and motion control of the controller lets you make fine adjustments to that. So by using the two types of input simultaneously you can specify a precise target in a similar way to how you would with a mouse. Probably would still not be my first choice compared to the PC for certain titles, but it's hopeful that a fun first person action game targeting that system could be OK, like Splatoon 2.

Last edited by Errata; 22 March 2017 at 11:04 PM.
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  #268  
Old 23 March 2017, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Horizon Zero Dawn.

It is awesome.
My friends keep recommending this to me, but when I looked for it the other day I discovered it's a Playstation exclusive, and I've still not yet bought a PS4... and can justify doing so less easily while unemployed! (Even though I've not started to look for jobs yet).

I got Firewatch and have played through that a few times to see different dialogue options (and get the final achievement). It's a nice story, and looks great. You can't really influence what happens much beyond some dialogue changes, but since you're left to fill in a lot of the detail yourself, the changes to the dialogue and background do let you make up different outcomes and motivations if you want.
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  #269  
Old 28 March 2017, 03:37 PM
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Mass Effect Andromeda. I am loving this game. So much to do, so much to see. I know it's getting some hate from some sectors but I'm entranced. I'm 40 hours in and only 32% complete. I'll be playing it for a while.
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  #270  
Old 28 March 2017, 05:08 PM
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Have you tried the multiplayer yet? I love the krogan Engineer.
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  #271  
Old 28 March 2017, 05:15 PM
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No. I'm actually pretty bad at shooting things. I'm playing on narrative in the main campaign even. But I'm going to brave my way in eventually.
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  #272  
Old 28 March 2017, 05:22 PM
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Fair enough.

One thing that weird for me is how squishy Ryder is. Soldier Shepard was typically a really durable character, but Ryder's got a lot less health and shields than any of the squad members. Also, going back to an ME1 style of individual weapons and mods rather than the ME2/ ME3 style of gaining upgrades that applied once and were permanent is taking some getting used to.
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  #273  
Old 03 April 2017, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
Anyone playing Overwatch?

Way back some years ago, I used to play a lot of Team Fortress Classic. Enjoyed it quite a bit, but there were some frustrations with it. I never got very into TF2 when it came out. So when a friend told me about Overwatch, I was interested but dubious.

But I gave it a try during the open beta, and damned if I didn't enjoy it. Oh, at first I thought I just wouldn't be good enough to have fun. But the variety of roles you can play makes it possible even for moderately-skilled players to contribute to a team victory. So I bought the (cheap) version when it was released, and I spent a lot of hours at it over the Memorial Day weekend. It's a good deal of fun.

Most impressively, for a multi-player FPS....the community doesn't suck. So far, anyway. And there are ways to insulate yourself.

So, definite recommendation. Anyone wants to look me up, my BattleNet tag is Pinniped#1370.

(I've also been messing a with WoW again as long as I have BattleNet up, but not seriously.)
I've played a little bit.
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  #274  
Old 22 April 2017, 12:06 PM
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I got Yooka-Laylee yesterday as something lighthearted. It's pretty much identical to Banjo-Kazooie but with different characters substituted. Same slightly adolescent sense of humour - one of the first characters you meet is a snake called Trowzer - and very close to the same graphics, not even updated by much. (I have the XBox 360 version of Banjo-Kazooie so it had already had a graphical revamp over the original).

But that's what the fans wanted, and it makes fun of itself for being so retro as well. There's even an isometric section that could have come almost straight from Knight Lore, although the graphics have been substantially updated for that part!

Being retro, it's also quite hard, though, at least in some of the set-pieces and boss battles which have very unforgiving timing. I can't get the first world boss at all yet. (Although the second world boss was quite easy. Oddly, according to the achievement stats, 42% of players have killed the first world boss and only 20-something% the second boss, so maybe I'm just particularly useless at jumping up slopes over rolling logs, or maybe I'm missing something.) It's not quite as unforgiving as an old eight-bit would have been in that situation; at least you get unlimited tries at the hard sections, rather than having only three or four lives and then needing to fight back through equally tricky stuff for another 15 minutes in order to have another go.

So it is quite fun, but given it's so close to Banjo-Kazooie, I could just have carried on playing that to finally defeat the witch (it has two endings - you "win" when you rescue Banjo's sister, but you can carry on playing to defeat the witch afterwards, which I haven't done yet), or played Banjo-Tooie instead, which I'm only half way into.
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  #275  
Old 23 April 2017, 12:56 AM
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I finished Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, and exported my character for use in Baldur's Gate II; Enhanced Edition. However, those bastards at Beamdog recently released Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition, so I have taken a break from BG to play Torment.

These games still hold up, after all these years. The music in particular, and especially in PST, is just excellent. I am really, really enjoying playing these games; nostalgia has not, in these cases, played my memories false. And my recollection is that BG2 was rather more intense and engaging than BG1, so I anticipate quite a few more hours of retro-gameplay before moving on to The Witcher 3.

I have tried playing Farming Simulator, but beyond my initial exploration/get all the gold nuggets phase, months ago, I can't get into playing a game that simulates actual work. I get enough of that in real life I have to hand it to the creators, it is a remarkably detailed sim, and the main map is very cool.
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  #276  
Old 23 April 2017, 01:08 AM
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Guess you skipped out on the interquel, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.

I'm working on Planescape: Torment EE right now myself, and while it's good, they didn't really change much beyond an improved user interface and some other technical additions. It's not like BG or Icewind Dale's EEs with the new party members, class kits, or spells.
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  #277  
Old 23 April 2017, 10:39 AM
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Oh, hey, I was not aware of Siege. And lucky for me, I haven't even installed BG2, nor uninstalled BG1, so.... looks like I have something else to do after PST. Thanks!
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  #278  
Old 23 April 2017, 11:18 PM
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One thing that is now annoying me about Yooka-Laylee, which was also an annoyance in Banjo-Kazooie (but not until a later stage), is how difficult it is to find the gateways to each world in the main hub.

It took me ages to find my way into world three, and now I've explored the first three worlds quite thoroughly and want to progress in the game and get some new moves to help with remaining bits of the earlier levels. I've easily got enough of the tokens I need to unlock it and buy new moves, but I can't find the bloody entrance to the fourth world anywhere. They're hidden almost as though they're obscure secret bonus levels, and yet they're the main path through the game! I'm going to be reduced to looking it up shortly, which is just stupid...

(eta) Inevitably I found it immediately after writing this comment, as a shadowy entrance that I'd overlooked in an obscure corridor in one area, but personally I think the entrances to the main areas should all be somewhere obvious anyway, rather than hidden in a maze!

Last edited by Richard W; 23 April 2017 at 11:26 PM.
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  #279  
Old 05 May 2017, 09:41 PM
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I just got gifted an Xbox One so I've been getting back into video games after a few years of not having a PC or console. I'm over-saturated with FPS titles at the moment and I'm getting bored.
Are there any sleeper hits for the Xbox One I might want to get?
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  #280  
Old 05 May 2017, 10:06 PM
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What type of games do you like? My favorite XB1 exclusive is Sunset Overdrive, but that's a shooter. The Forza games are excellent driving games. Fallout 4 or the Skyrim redo are both great RPGs. Rise of the Tomb Raider is really fun, better than the first in the reboot, IMO. Titanfall 2 has a single player campaign, so you can drive a mech around without getting into multiplayer.

But for a small game that will really hit you, go with Inside. If you ever played Limbo, this is a great successor to it. If you haven't, then just know that it's a 2-D puzzle platformer, short but packs a punch.
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