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Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
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Finished Days Gone and got my Platinum.

I liked the game better by the end than I did at the beginning... or for the first 20 hours or so... I dunno, the whole thing is kinda bland. I struck this workaday rhythm about the halfway point where I'd log in, ride around wiping out hordes and bandit camps, and that was fun. The missions themselves are generic and cumbersome in their restraint and hand-holding. Gameplay feels no different than watching cutscenes at times... especially when the screen fades to black and opens on more cutscene every 5 minutes of forced slow walking to the next waypoint. The story itself is nothing to write home about, and every time it picks up it sorts itself out rather anticlimactically, but It's nice to get a happy ending for a change.

PS This is still notoriously buggy by the way. Director complaining that people only played the game once they gave it away for free can go fuck himself.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
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Finished Days Gone and got my Platinum.

I liked the game better by the end than I did at the beginning... or for the first 20 hours or so... I dunno, the whole thing is kinda bland. I struck this workaday rhythm about the halfway point where I'd log in, ride around wiping out hordes and bandit camps, and that was fun. The missions themselves are generic and cumbersome in their restraint and hand-holding. Gameplay feels no different than watching cutscenes at times... especially when the screen fades to black and opens on more cutscene every 5 minutes of forced slow walking to the next waypoint. The story itself is nothing to write home about, and every time it picks up it sorts itself out rather anticlimactically, but It's nice to get a happy ending for a change.

PS This is still notoriously buggy by the way. Director complaining that people only played the game once they gave it away for free can go fuck himself.
So I guess I’ll wait for a steep Steam sale on this one, thanks!
 
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gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
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May the Fourth be with you.

11 years later, I'm about 1/3 through Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II. At about 1:12:30 of this 3 hour film.
I'm loving it. I get stuck, leave it alone for a year or 2, then try it again and make some progress.
The lore of the game beats anything in the sequels IMHO. But I spoiled something for myself
I read the wiki on it and it reads that this ends abruptly, screaming, "place sequel here" and, well, 11 years later, this isn't getting a sequel. More is the pity. The game is great.
Funny, the wiki reads the Wii version is thought to be the best version, with added content, slightly different story. Oh dear. Does this mean I have to start all over? Hope you all are getting in some Star Wars games today.
 

Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.

So I'm only about 6 hours into this game and I'm still learning how it works, so this is my thoughts so far. Ancestors is a survival simulation game with a unique concept. You are a pre-human hominid, starting about 10 million years ago and your goal is to lead your clan/tribe to eventually reach something close to human over the next 8 million years. The game doesn't explicitly tell you where you are in the evolutionary tree where you start out at 10 million BCE but based on cursory wiki research it's just about the time Human and Chimp lines were beginning to diverge from each other but the earliest stage feels a lot like playing a chimpanzee. Eventually the game will dump off at the proto-human stage approximately around Homo Erectus(hehe....Erectus) which is apparently our immediate precursors in the chain before being approximately (if not actual) humans, about 2 million years ago.

How you play the game is that you control one of the members of your ape clan and you want to not only survive but evolve, so on a base level it's making sure you have food, water and the ability to rest in safety without getting poisoned or murdered by predators(of which there are PLENTY). When one of your monkees(yes, I know they're apes but the monkey is also used by the fanbase and it's more amusing) dies, they're dead for good and you switch to another member of the clan(you can also do this whenever you want as long as you are next to them and hit the appropriate prompt). If the entire clan dies, your line is wiped out and presumably lose all your progress. So this means its important to keep them safe and make baby monkees to keep the line going. This is where things get interesting, because as you do things in the world, you gain essentially XP and develop Neurons in your primitive monkey brain which acts as a skill tree, but the amount you again depends on what you do, how often you've done it before(novel experiences are worth more than ones you're familiar with). And you gain more XP by carrying a baby monkee or two around with you(which means if you die you might lose the baby too, though you do have a chance to take control of the baby and tree to run back to camp and safety), because presumably it's learning from watching you do things.

So you can choose which neurons/skills to develop but eventually you'll reach the limit of how many baby monkees you can have at a time and will need to skip to the next generation(about 15 years) to allow the babies to grow to adulthood(and the adults become elder monkees while the elder monkees die of old age in the interim). However, when you do this, any skills/neurons you don't reinforce(by selecting on the tree are lost) and you can only reinforce as many as you have baby monkees(which caps at 6 per generation and each female can only have 2 before becoming infertile). So essentially, you can learn new skills and then reinforce them before performing a time skip to lock in those skills for the next generation(and once locked in, skills don't become unlocked, so you will slowly expand the tree and get stronger). You also get random mutations as well(which are always beneficial) when you skip to the next generation.-

There's also a step up from this called Evolution where you evolve towards the present day based on milestones you've achieved along the way, such as attaining new skills, finding landmarks on the map, making new tools, repeating certain actions, etc which eventually. This also skips Thousands to million of years based on how many milestones you've racked up and eventually a new type of monkee that's a step closer to humans(which I haven't accomplished yet). Doing so also moves you to a new biome on the map, starting the jungle and eventually moving out onto the African Savannas.

Granted, this whole "Make Baby Monkees to level/skill up" comes with it's own weirdness because whatever monkee you are controlling is the only one that really does anything. The others, while not being controlled, will hang out at camp unless you lead them somewhere and pretty much will do nothing other then the minimum to keep themselves alive. You(the monkee you are controlling) must explore the world, learn new skills, figure out tools, and most importantly, make all the baby monkees, because none of the others will do it on their own. Which leads to this awkward situation where you can bond with any opposite sex monkee(by grooming them), regardless if they're listed as bonded with another in the clan, take to a bed, do some quick monkee sex(in case you're wondering, you don't see it because they move off camera, but you do hear some shouting as it's happening), pump out some kids and keep doing that till you run out of fertile females or reach the baby limit. Also, despite the fact you can never make more then 2 babies per female, the population doesn't die out and you can find other monkees to recruit on the map.

But yeah, the world is a dangerous place, since predators abound, you can only eat certain things to start with(or risk poisoning, but that's easily fixed by drinking a bunch of water to flush your system) and there's no map. You have icons and your senses, which you must use or risk getting lost and even your camp may not be safe from predators(some are, some are basically open with no real protection). I found this out the hard way when a saber tooth cat wandered into my camp and started eating my tribe one by one and since I didn't know how to fight it(I'll get to that soon), it would not go away and the best thing I could do was try to distract from eating the entire monkee buffet(complete with snack sized baby portions) until restarted the game to despawn it from my camp(but all the dead were still dead). It's worst because in case of animal attacks like that, your monkee gets stressed, gets scared and will eventually go fear crazy and run around out of your control. And even if you survive, the predator is still eating your fellow monkees while this is happening.

Part of this is because I didn't understand how to defend again such attacks because you can't actually attack predators. You essentially have to do a QTE akin to a parry if you are holding a weapon, and if you fail you die. You can also dodge but you'll probably take damage, drop any weapon you have and still be within striking range. If you succeed, you can kill or drive off the predator(which feels wonderful if you do). The game kind of teaches you this except it kinda doesn't.So it's easy enough to learn how to make a weapon early on. Making a crude spear(a sharpened stick made from a tree branch and using a rock to sharpen the end to a point) can be done with a minute or two of work once you know how and resources are all over the place, but the other monkees won't make them on their own, so you need to arm them yourself and hope they know how to use them properly, and the game only sort of tells you how to actually fight off a predator.

That's the real problem with the game, assuming you're onboard with the Pre-human survival sim. There are tutorials but it feels like they don't really tell you how to do stuff, but only give you some idea what to do. I've had to check the wiki numerous times to figure out how to deal with common survival issues, such as how to heal wounds, how to fight off predators and how to recruit other monkees. And apparently the originally released version was worse about this, which is one of the reasons it wasn't reviewed that well. I get that it's part of the conceit, that our Early ape ancestors had nothing but their wits to rely on and somehow made it work or we wouldn't be here playing games and then talking about it on the internet. However, it still needs to be engaging/entertaining and getting wiped out because everything is trying to murder you and you don't know the rules of survival plays a little too well into the "Survival of the fittest" nature of the setting. This is where the game needs to train the player to play it properly so it is engaging, which it only sort of does because the tutorial pop ups don't do a great job of explaining this too you.

With that out of the way, I am engaged by this and it's commitment to "Be Monkey, Act like Monkey become smarter and eventually to become human". Learning how to make a spear is pretty awesome, figuring out to find new food sources is always nice and slowly watching your characters become stronger and more capable does feel like a nice sense of progression. Once you get in the mindset of you are not the apex predator here, but rather a scared monkee in a big unknown world and you need to think like a monkee to thrive(staying in the trees, using your senses to look for food, resources and threats, etc) makes it a unique experience in a survival sim but by using tools like sharpened sticks properly you can take down large predators without too much trouble. I'll update once I get further in and get a better feel for how the game changes as you go through the evolutionary ladder.
 
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happyninja42

Elite Member
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May 7, 2020
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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.

So I'm only about 6 hours into this game and I'm still learning how it works, so this is my thoughts so far. Ancestors is a survival simulation game with a unique concept. You are a pre-human hominid, starting about 10 million years ago and your goal is to lead your clan/tribe to eventually reach something close to human over the next 8 million years. The game doesn't explicitly tell you where you are in the evolutionary tree where you start out at 10 million BCE but based on cursory wiki research it's just about the time Human and Chimp lines were beginning to diverge from each other but the earliest stage feels a lot like playing a chimpanzee. Eventually the game will dump off at the proto-human stage approximately around Homo Erectus(hehe....Erectus) which is apparently our immediate precursors in the chain before being approximately (if not actual) humans, about 2 million years ago.

How you play the game is that you control one of the members of your ape clan and you want to not only survive but evolve, so on a base level it's making sure you have food, water and the ability to rest in safety without getting poisoned or murdered by predators(of which there are PLENTY). When one of your monkees(yes, I know they're apes but the monkey is also used by the fanbase and it's more amusing) dies, they're dead for good and you switch to another member of the clan(you can also do this whenever you want as long as you are next to them and hit the appropriate prompt). If the entire clan dies, your line is wiped out and presumably lose all your progress. So this means its important to keep them safe and make baby monkees to keep the line going. This is where things get interesting, because as you do things in the world, you gain essentially XP and develop Neurons in your primitive monkey brain which acts as a skill tree, but the amount you again depends on what you do, how often you've done it before(novel experiences are worth more than ones you're familiar with). And you gain more XP by carrying a baby monkee or two around with you(which means if you die you might lose the baby too, though you do have a chance to take control of the baby and tree to run back to camp and safety), because presumably it's learning from watching you do things.

So you can choose which neurons/skills to develop but eventually you'll reach the limit of how many baby monkees you can have at a time and will need to skip to the next generation(about 15 years) to allow the babies to grow to adulthood(and the adults become elder monkees while the elder monkees die of old age in the interim). However, when you do this, any skills/neurons you don't reinforce(by selecting on the tree are lost) and you can only reinforce as many as you have baby monkees(which caps at 6 per generation and each female can only have 2 before becoming infertile). So essentially, you can learn new skills and then reinforce them before performing a time skip to lock in those skills for the next generation(and once locked in, skills don't become unlocked, so you will slowly expand the tree and get stronger). You also get random mutations as well(which are always beneficial) when you skip to the next generation.-

There's also a step up from this called Evolution where you evolve towards the present day based on milestones you've achieved along the way, such as attaining new skills, finding landmarks on the map, making new tools, repeating certain actions, etc which eventually. This also skips Thousands to million of years based on how many milestones you've racked up and eventually a new type of monkee that's a step closer to humans(which I haven't accomplished yet). Doing so also moves you to a new biome on the map, starting the jungle and eventually moving out onto the African Savannas.

Granted, this whole "Make Baby Monkees to level/skill up" comes with it's own weirdness because whatever monkee you are controlling is the only one that really does anything. The others, while not being controlled, will hang out at camp unless you lead them somewhere and pretty much will do nothing other then the minimum to keep themselves alive. You(the monkee you are controlling) must explore the world, learn new skills, figure out tools, and most importantly, make all the baby monkees, because none of the others will do it on their own. Which leads to this awkward situation where you can bond with any opposite sex monkee(by grooming them), regardless if they're listed as bonded with another in the clan, take to a bed, do some quick monkee sex(in case you're wondering, you don't see it because they move off camera, but you do hear some shouting as it's happening), pump out some kids and keep doing that till you run out of fertile females or reach the baby limit. Also, despite the fact you can never make more then 2 babies per female, the population doesn't die out and you can find other monkees to recruit on the map.

But yeah, the world is a dangerous place, since predators abound, you can only eat certain things to start with(or risk poisoning, but that's easily fixed by drinking a bunch of water to flush your system) and there's no map. You have icons and your senses, which you must use or risk getting lost and even your camp may not be safe from predators(some are, some are basically open with no real protection). I found this out the hard way when a saber tooth cat wandered into my camp and started eating my tribe one by one and since I didn't know how to fight it(I'll get to that soon), it would not go away and the best thing I could do was try to distract from eating the entire monkee buffet(complete with snack sized baby portions) until restarted the game to despawn it from my camp(but all the dead were still dead). It's worst because in case of animal attacks like that, your monkee gets stressed, gets scared and will eventually go fear crazy and run around out of your control. And even if you survive, the predator is still eating your fellow monkees while this is happening.

Part of this is because I didn't understand how to defend again such attacks because you can't actually attack predators. You essentially have to do a QTE akin to a parry if you are holding a weapon, and if you fail you die. You can also dodge but you'll probably take damage, drop any weapon you have and still be within striking range. If you succeed, you can kill or drive off the predator(which feels wonderful if you do). The game kind of teaches you this except it kinda doesn't.So it's easy enough to learn how to make a weapon early on. Making a crude spear(a sharpened stick made from a tree branch and using a rock to sharpen the end to a point) can be done with a minute or two of work once you know how and resources are all over the place, but the other monkees won't make them on their own, so you need to arm them yourself and hope they know how to use them properly, and the game only sort of tells you how to actually fight off a predator.

That's the real problem with the game, assuming you're onboard with the Pre-human survival sim. There are tutorials but it feels like they don't really tell you how to do stuff, but only give you some idea what to do. I've had to check the wiki numerous times to figure out how to deal with common survival issues, such as how to heal wounds, how to fight off predators and how to recruit other monkees. And apparently the originally released version was worse about this, which is one of the reasons it wasn't reviewed that well. I get that it's part of the conceit, that our Early ape ancestors had nothing but their wits to rely on and somehow made it work or we wouldn't be here playing games and then talking about it on the internet. However, it still needs to be engaging/entertaining and getting wiped out because everything is trying to murder you and you don't know the rules of survival plays a little too well into the "Survival of the fittest" nature of the setting. This is where the game needs to train the player to play it properly so it is engaging, which it only sort of does because the tutorial pop ups don't do a great job of explaining this too you.

With that out of the way, I am engaged by this and it's commitment to "Be Monkey, Act like Monkey become smarter and eventually to become human". Learning how to make a spear is pretty awesome, figuring out to find new food sources is always nice and slowly watching your characters become stronger and more capable does feel like a nice sense of progression. Once you get in the mindset of you are not the apex predator here, but rather a scared monkee in a big unknown world and you need to think like a monkee to thrive(staying in the trees, using your senses to look for food, resources and threats, etc) makes it a unique experience in a survival sim but by using tools like sharpened sticks properly you can take down large predators without too much trouble. I'll update once I get further in and get a better feel for how the game changes as you go through the evolutionary ladder.
Just curious, but would there be benefit, in a strategy of trying to skill up as many of your tribe as you can? By that I mean instead of trying to get 1 monkey to be super smart, and try/hope they are able to breed a ton of babies with their traits. Would it perhaps work to try and just get an entire tribe a handful of abilities, reinforce them, that way no one death would cripple your evolutionary advancement?
 

Dalisclock

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Just curious, but would there be benefit, in a strategy of trying to skill up as many of your tribe as you can? By that I mean instead of trying to get 1 monkey to be super smart, and try/hope they are able to breed a ton of babies with their traits. Would it perhaps work to try and just get an entire tribe a handful of abilities, reinforce them, that way no one death would cripple your evolutionary advancement?
It's kind of a moot issue since any skills/traits you lock in are applied to the entire tribe, not just the one you were using or who was doing the breeding. Though you could handwave this by the fact your tribe is limited to about 18 individuals(6 elders, 6 adults and up to 6 kids, balanced for gender) and since you can have the same male impregnate all the fertile females in the tribe, you could make the argument that they all end up being related(and inbred) after a while so the traits will apply to the entire tribe eventually.

I'm not entire sure how the breeding thing works as far as family is concerned, as some apes will not be available to breed with other certain monkees because they have the tag "Family related" and I'm not sure if this is better if you have different males/females spreading the pregnancies' out. Part of the problem is there's not a lot of visual distinction between the apes(except between kids, adults and elders) and you have to rely on a certain Analyze prompt when near one to see their name, gender and how many kids they've had/if they're still considered fertile, but the names are rather non-notable and you go to a new generation probably every 30-60 min so unless you want to build a family tree, it's tricky to track this very well and none of the resources I've found online seem to talk about it.

That aside, I'm still trying to figure out how to teach the other monkees how to sharpen their own damn sticks for defense. There's a "Mimic" command I've unlocked which is supposed to be that the others will mimic exactly what you do but my attempts to teach them base tool construction(by basic I mean, "Grab dead branch off tree, strip the smaller branches off the main section to create a shaft, and then use a rock in one hand and a the shaft in the other to sharpen one end to a sharp point". Crude but effective) hasn't gone well so far and I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or the game is bugged somehow. The alternative is making each stick separately with each monkees or just handing each ape a stick, but that's time consuming.

I posted this a while back but I figured I'd repost it here because it does a pretty good job of explaining what this game is, probably better then I could.
 
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Gethsemani

Hardcore Feminazi
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World of Warships I used to play this way back in 2015 just around its release. Got back into it the other week because a friend of mine is playing and like the sucker I am I am now stuck back in. It is an occasionally infuriating game, there are clear pay-to-win tendencies with the Premium Ships (paid for by real money) and the grind is massive once you get past the halfway point in any tech tree. Still, the game has dropped an absolute shitton of free stuff on me for my "Four Years of Service" so I've got progression boosters enough for months of play and there aren't that many games around that focus on WW2 era naval battles. For some reason I find it pretty relaxing to play a game in which you need to consider where you want to be in four minutes, that rewards good game reading skills and really punishes bad plays. And the ships are gorgeous, which is really all I need.
 
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stroopwafel

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Apr 29, 2020
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Played through route A of Nier Replicant. Didn't grab me as much as Automata did but loved the cast. They had some amazing chemistry and really made the game for me. Who would have thought from an anime boy, a skeleton with the yoko taro mask, a talking book and a chick in nothing but skimpy lingerie. This game couldn't be more 'Japan' if it tried. But below those superficial ehm.. qualities was a genuine heart provoking, contemplative and deeply melancholic treatise about loss, acceptance and the will of the self. There was a wide eyed sincerity that took me by surprise.

The game itself was alright but nothing in particular stood out. The early hours were nothing but fetch quests, backtracking and more fetch quests that felt like it was going nowhere. The combat could be best described as 'discount Platinum' ie kind of similar but not as good. It was really the cast and some high stakes story beats that made me invested enough to complete route A with a runtime of about 20+ hours.

I would love to see how Replicant ties in to Automata but don't exactly feel like replaying a majority of this game. Maybe some time later or I'll just watch ending E on youtube. :p
 

Dalisclock

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Played through route A of Nier Replicant. Didn't grab me as much as Automata did but loved the cast. They had some amazing chemistry and really made the game for me. Who would have thought from an anime boy, a skeleton with the yoko taro mask, a talking book and a chick in nothing but skimpy lingerie. This game couldn't be more 'Japan' if it tried. But below those superficial ehm.. qualities was a genuine heart provoking, contemplative and deeply melancholic treatise about loss, acceptance and the will of the self. There was a wide eyed sincerity that took me by surprise.

The game itself was alright but nothing in particular stood out. The early hours were nothing but fetch quests, backtracking and more fetch quests that felt like it was going nowhere. The combat could be best described as 'discount Platinum' ie kind of similar but not as good. It was really the cast and some high stakes story beats that made me invested enough to complete route A with a runtime of about 20+ hours.

I would love to see how Replicant ties in to Automata but don't exactly feel like replaying a majority of this game. Maybe some time later or I'll just watch ending E on youtube. :p
I watched a LP of the original(along with Drakangard) a few years ago prior to playing Automata.

Light Spoilers for NIer: Automata

They don't connect very much, honestly. There's a couple of characters that cross over from Nier to Nier Automata, which you've no doubt already noticed. The Red Headed androids and Emile being the big ones.

Otherwise it's pretty much setup to why all the humans are long since dead in Nier: Automata, IIRC.
 
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Agema

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver
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Well, that's Close Combat: Last Stand At Arnhem done, with a dramatic ambush of some King Tigers by Sherman Fireflies. Gotta love those 17-pounders.

Next stop, Close Combat: Gateway to Caen.
 

Gergar12

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Nier Replicant, so depressing in the beginning.

Also replaying DMC5 as Vergil.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
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The Witness

First-person puzzle game ala Talos Principle, complete with audiologs of pseudo-philosophical musings and the one puzzle you have to do over and over on your quest for more of the same. Instead of Talos' redirecting lasers and pressure plates you're given the equivalent of labyrinth puzzles from a McDonald's placemat, where you trace lines from start to finish while meeting increasingly obscure requirements (ie. separate color tiles). And that's it. There's no context to the game other than you're there and you might as well complete the puzzles because that's all there is to do. Talos at least manages to be intriguing, and there was a great back and forth between Elohim and Milton that kept things tense. What's more, you always knew what you were supposed to do, even if the physics presented impossible deadlocks. Witness never explains what it wants you to do and I'm finding that half the time it's impossible to tell other than through trial and error, which becomes frustrating.
 
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gorfias

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Battlefield V dropped this week on PS+ and I've started it.
1: It is very pretty. I've been playing on the Pro on a 75" HDR 4K Samsung but I think it would look great on just about any decent LED TV.
2: The opening is very similar to Battlefield 1 but without those awesome super titles saying, "Joe Blow, DOB, DOD". There is a single player campaign and a Battle Royal mode... I thought it was Battle Royal only. I was wrong. A decent game so far worth more interest than I gave it.
 

happyninja42

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Just beat Haven with the wifey.

It's a really fun couples game.

It's hard to articulate but, I find it a really refreshing kind of game. It's not meant to be hard, that's not the point. It's meant to let you play out a story of a young couple, being romeo and juliet in space. It's almost a VN in some regards, as the majority of it is that typical "show image of the 2 people talking in the bottom left/right, with the text in the bottom center" design, at least when you are not exploring. And a lot of the game is you not exploring. It's doing various things around the house with the couple. Having dinner, cooking the dinner, just chatting on the couch, giving each other dirty talk before having sex. Talking about weird shit they did as kids. You know, the casual, everyday, yet totally intimate things a couple does when they are opening themselves up to another person, and letting them into their personal world.

And when you aren't doing that, you're flying around with your main squeeze, and having very low stakes challenges meant to just represent the obstacles of your relationship. Not in any metaphorical thing, but more tangible. We need to fix our ship/home, so we have to go out and salvage parts, but we have to find them, which means exploring, and thus more chances to relate with each other. Also have some fights with monsters, have some small scale obstacle courses where you have to follow glowy paths to reach new platforms and reach other areas.

Wife loved it, I loved it, we both had a lot of fun playing together.

Cons:
The combat is pretty weird. It's mostly rock/paper/scissors, but trying to time the various attacks and defenses, is strange. Partly because you have ZERO control over which enemy you target. So, you might be aiming a ranged hit at Mob A, because he's weak to that, but, for some reason, the game decides you wanted to hit Mob C, who is resistant to ranged. Also things like enemies that have a short duration vulnerability, you can exploit with a combined attack. The two of you can do a Duo-Impact (melee) or Duo-Blast (ranged). The problem is the animation for the duo-blast (which looks exactly like the DBZ fusion animation) takes so long, you often miss the window to hit them. So it's actually almost useless, and it's much better to just do 2 single blasts back to back.

The camera controls when flying around the map are bit strange as well. In the options, it clearly has a box you can select to allow you the freedom to move the camera around while flying...but it never worked. It just stays fixed behind the person in the lead. Which at times can be annoying, when you are trying to scout around for the various points of interest in the zone.

But other than that, we really enjoyed it on pretty much every level. A few of the actual game mechanics of it are a tad clunky, but they are hardly a deal breaker. It just made a few things a tad frustrating from time to time.

If you like anime style romance stories, and have an SO that is either not into games, or is just not good at them, or is wanting a gateway drug into the hobby, you could do far worse than this game. It's enjoyable on every level, without being a frustration for non-veterans.
 

BrawlMan

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Raiden IV on Switch. It's a port from the arcade/360 version with some new modes and additional game play. A fun vertical shoot'em up series as always. You get to even play as a fairy. Neat. Tough game too.
 
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TheMysteriousGX

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Played the Aerial Knights Never Yield demo. Think Bit Trip Runner with a hip-hop/free running aesthetic and maybe an actual story.

It's good, but the demo is only 3 levels.

Been playing a fair bit of Stellaris with friends. I think my habit of picking random might be getting to them.
 

Dalisclock

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Super Mario Galaxy.

So I may have mentioned that before I got my Switch, my last Nintendo Console was a SNES. So I missed like 20 years of nintendo games because Nintendo doesn't port any of it's first person games to other consoles(and sometimes not to it's own later consoles). When Super Mario 3D all stars came out last year, this was a no brainer for me because I'd never played 64, Sunshine or Galaxy before but heard about them all for years and because 3 games in one cartridge that I was interested in feels like a good deal, even if it is full price for older games. The "Back in the vault" thing I'm not so keen on but that's a topic for another day.

Anyway, After trying 64 and Sunshine first, I eventually decided to commit to Galaxy because that's the one I have the most interest in and for the most part, the one I'm enjoying the most. Setting it in space allows the game to do new ideas that aren't really seen in other mario games and it's nice to see variations on older ideas and mario levels. The fact it treats objects in space as true 3d objects you can fully traverse makes for some interesting gameplay, especially in boss fights where you need to be paying close attention to the geography of the area to properly escape/attack the boss. What's less well done is that some objects can be fully traversed while others have a safe top while trying to jump to the bottom is essentially jumping into a death pit(justified in game by a nearby black hole which sucks you in) and that occasionally the controls get confused when you're rounding to another side of the circle/sphere and you'll start running in a small circle. This isn't bad except when you're trying to avoid the acid spit of a giant space spider and this happens, leading to DEATH.

One drawback of all of this was brought to my attention by one member of this forum(I can't remember who, sorry) mentioned they couldn't play it because it basically gave them a headache/made them sick trying to keep track of the 3d landscape and how it moves under the camera. And that's a significant problem if you're one of those people which effectively locks you out of being able to play/enjoy it, which I'm not sure if there's a way to get around the way it's designed.

The other issue I can see is that some minigames are heavily dependent on motion controls, either the joycons or the controller thingy that the joycons can be slotted onto to play the game while docked. That is you need hold the joycons/controller in a specific way to traverse and area and it's very position dependent. One of these is a jetski course IN SPACE while the other is you essentially riding a giant golf ball on a mini-golf course IN SPACE and both are very dependent on you being good at this sort of thing. Luckily neither is terribly common and I think all of them are optional. In fact, apparently you only need to get half the stars in the game to actually beat it and the rest are to unlock other features, which means you have a ton of leeway to skip stages you're not enjoying if you don't care about getting ALL the stars.

Suffice it to say I'm really into it now, and I've been playing with my 4 year old in the room because its something she can understand without me having to explain much to her(she still wants me to read the dialogue because she can't read it herself), but the mario games are really good at visual shorthand to make them easily understandable so its great for a kid to be introduced to(though I'm not sure how to answer what Bowser is or why he and Mario are fighting, only to realize I'm old because I said "Mario and Bowser have been fighting since I was a kid").
 

happyninja42

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Loaded up a new profile in Hardspace: Shipbreaker, after seeing the "storyline content" update.

It's not that much to be honest. It's basically a set of...5? I think it was 5, maybe only 4, people that chat with you over your headset both in and out of a cutting job. One of them is the already established...I guess he'd be like the shit supervisor or whatever? The guy who is teaching you the ropes, and gives you the basic pointers. They actually gave him something of a story, and non-tutorial related stuff to say. They also added other cutters, who are part of the work crew that you are now the Rook (rookie) of. So far not much to it, other than clearly setting up the LYNX Corp. is evil and totally doesn't have it's workers best interests in mind. Which was already established right from the start previously, but is now overtly the "plot." There is a subplot about a worker's union, which is of course outlawed by LYNX "for the good of the workers." But that's about where it ends. They establish your coworkers, set up the "you should join the underground worker's union movement" thing, and then end it with "We at LYNX have heard rumors of a union, so we're sending out employees to insure quality of work, and no insubordination." End of storyline stuff for now. Or at least that's all there is of the meta narrative. I suspect there are other things that might be hidden literally within the hulls of the ship? Mainly because of what some of the in game objectives they've added are, and what they imply. Assuming that stuff is implemented currently, it will definitely be a new layer to the shipbreaking.

Other changes, they've spread out the various layers of difficulty a bit more in the tutorial now. For example, you simply cannot deal with pressurized ships until you reach Cutter Rank 6, which is where they specifically say "Ok, you've shown sufficient competency in the less dangerous hulls, we think you are careful enough to not blow yourself up with cabin depressurization. So this training is all about dealing with pressured sections." So that's nice. As prior to that, there was no tutorialization of it at all. You just would sometimes get ships with pressurized sections, and had to figure out how to deal with it in a way that didn't kill you, or waste valuable salvage. It was kind of tedious for me, having already been very familiar with dealing with them, but for a fresh player, totally new to the game, this is much better. Because yeah, fucking up and breaching a hull with pressure, and the immediate cascade failure of things going wrong, is one of the most common ways you are going to die in that game. So kudos to them, for giving the player a chance to actually test out the methods of dealing with it.

They've also introduced at least 1 entirely new ship hull, that I've only experimented with once so far. It's a random draw when you are picking a hull to break, and I've only seen it once so far.

So far I'm still dealing with the standard issue hull that was in the tutorial, and it's really impressive how many different configurations of components and systems you can make, with a basic hull, that makes each different ship a totally different breaking strategy. There's about 5-6 different setups for the standard hull, depending on what the ship does (station hopper, transport, cargo, exploration, etc), and it completely alters your approach. So it's really neat how much content they can have with the multiple hulls they have planned (and I think currently there are 3? Definitely 2 hulls for certain). So replayability is a big feature.

They've added a couple new songs to the musical rotation, which is nice. I loved the original set, even after HOURS of repeat, the songs were always enjoyable. Not like SOME games with a space country song you are forced to hear a lot, yes I'm glaring at YOU Surge 1. The new songs are good, and feel along the same flavor and tone of the original set. So some variety is nice.

And lots of little quality of life improvements here and there. It was a solid game before, and is an even more solid game now. I'd wish for more story content, because I think it's an interesting way to have a story, given the game itself is always in the same place. But yeah, still very solid.



Shadow Warriors 2.

So, yeah just posted a sister comment about this in the SW 3 thread. But, yeah, this game.

Blood Dragon fucks Borderlands 2, and this is the drug crazed love child of that union. It's absurd, it's crude, it's pretty damn fun.

I'm fairly annoyed how pretty much every tough enemy is default "Power Immune", right from the start of the game, when you don't even have powers. Seems a bit annoying to make enemies entirely immune to one of the key elements of the game. But there are work arounds of course. They might be immune to direct powers, but Vanish still works, as that effects ME, and I can then do a charging stab attack for massive sneak attack damage on them, and then just hack them up.

The maps can be a bit too big I think, and I found myself, particularly on the bounty board missions (so far) to feel like the maps and objectives had overstayed their welcome by like 15 minutes. Fewer targets would've made it feel less like a grind/chore, and more fun.
 
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