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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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