What are you currently playing?

wings012

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I picked up Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown in the Bandai Namco sale on Steam. It's pretty and it runs well and the combat is arcadey enough to be easy to pick up and play, but with enough detail to play pretend that you're a real fighter ace. The story is... weirdly told to say the least, since you're a faceless silent protagonist but there are fully voiced cutscenes about other characters that happen between missions. I'm basically on board with the story but the flight is clearly the main focus and I'm enjoying it a lot so far.
I think Assault Horizon is the only one with a voice protagonist(and long time AC fans pretend it doesn't exist)? But you are otherwise going to be a faceless mute with a callsign that becomes legendary. 5 tends to feel a lot more coherent since the cutscenes focus on your squad, and your squadmates are kinda your voice and stay with you from start to finish. Whereas 7 has it follow a bunch of other characters off doing a bunch of other things.

The flight's definitely fun and there's more exotic subweapons this time like lasers and railguns. The story's definitely very.... just don't have any expectations for it. I never considered Ace Combat to have the most stellar writing ever, but it generally does a good job of creating epic scenarios which feel good to fly about in and usually the plot's fairly coherent. But I feel 7 does a bad job at even that.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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For the moment I’m kinda stuck in Sekiro after nabbing the lotus and stone. I know I’m supposed to be at the castle but it’s *completely* sealed off along with access to Kuro and fast travel idols, and all Emma basically says is, “Oh hi. I like coming back (to Dilapidated Temple) sometimes…”

Guess I need to be looking for some back door opening or something. Not sure if once I get the first batch of endings I’ll continue a NG+ for the other choice, or take a break and get back into MGSV to get all the side ops, mission tasks, S ranks and animals. Depends on how strenuous the final bosses are.
 
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NerfedFalcon

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For the moment I’m kinda stuck in Sekiro after nabbing the lotus and stone. I know I’m supposed to be at the castle but it’s *completely* sealed off along with access to Kuro and fast travel idols, and all Emma basically says is, “Oh hi. I like coming back (to Dilapidated Temple) sometimes…”

Guess I need to be looking for some back door opening or something. Not sure if once I get the first batch of endings I’ll continue a NG+ for the other choice, or take a break and get back into MGSV to get all the side ops, mission tasks, S ranks and animals. Depends on how strenuous the final bosses are.
Don't click (or reply to me) unless you're totally stuck: The idol you want to go to is Abandoned Dungeon Entrance in the Ashina Castle set. Go back from there instead of forward to get to Ashina Castle again.

I haven't played Metal Gear in a little bit because I've been putting most of my time into levelling my Genshin Impact team, and now I've hit a wall on that until I continue the MSQ. Though, all things considered, they should be able to handle that by now. And Metal Gear Solid has plot recaps when you load a save file, so it won't be too much of a problem to have not played it for a bit.
 

happyninja42

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Still plodding through Farcry 4. The game physically injured me last night, with surprise rhino attack. I fucking swear, the game should've piped in "AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!!" for how quickly, and out of nowhere, that charging rhino showed up. I'm not joking, I loaded up the game, and was at a rebel base. I walked out from the little shop/sleeping area you have, trotted 40meters to the default "here is your random vehicle to drive around" that is deployed at every outpost, turned the ignition key, hit the gas, looked to my right, and there was a rhino charging down the middle of the street, right...fucking..at me. Before I had time to really process it, the thing hit my truck, flipped it, dropped me to "about to die" health, and I violently flinched so hard from the unexpected situation, that I wrenched my back out.

So, on that note, I feel it's time to point out, that the animal attacks in Farcry 4 are fucking ridiculous. :LOL: Seriously, on every level, in every region, just, insane amounts of random animal attacks. The whole thing really, is extreme. Random attacks on outposts as soon as I leave, forcing me to turn around. Random eagle attacks on people I just saved from Pagan Min's troops. Multiple predators showing up because I just killed ANYTHING, and now they smell the blood, so I'm getting attacked again. And...oh yeah, what the fuck was I trying to do 15 minutes ago? Before being sidetracked by this chaotic chain of random encounters? I think...something about liberating a country? Yeah that was it. It's very frustrating, that I have to actively ignore random events that spawn, just so I can get anything productive done with the plot.

Also, the map is cluttered with SO many collectible things. And so many of them award you Karma, but you can max out Karma so fast, if you are being even remotely inquisitive, and doing the side quest stuff. I unlocked a skill that boosts my Karma rewards by up to 50%, but by the time it unlocked, I was already so close to maxing out, that it felt like a really strange use of 10 skill points.

It's strange.

I also wonder, if you mix up the various Amita/Sabal choices, if you can actually construct a "good" ending. Like, the big thing with Amita, is that she turns the country into a drug cartel, it's modern but, you are peddling the same drugs Pagan Min was. But, what if I don't do that part? What if, for those missions, I back Sabal instead, thus making the country not have the drug infrastructure? But ultimately end up backing her for the rest of the events? Will it make for a less shitty scenario? I dunno. I kind of want to replay it and experiment but....fuck me, I don't think I could manage that.
 
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hanselthecaretaker

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Still plodding through Farcry 4. The game physically injured me last night, with surprise rhino attack. I fucking swear, the game should've piped in "AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!!" for how quickly, and out of nowhere, that charging rhino showed up. I'm not joking, I loaded up the game, and was at a rebel base. I walked out from the little shop/sleeping area you have, trotted 40meters to the default "here is your random vehicle to drive around" that is deployed at every outpost, turned the ignition key, hit the gas, looked to my right, and there was a rhino charging down the middle of the street, right...fucking..at me. Before I had time to really process it, the thing hit my truck, flipped it, dropped me to "about to die" health, and I violently flinched so hard from the unexpected situation, that I wrenched my back out.

So, on that note, I feel it's time to point out, that the animal attacks in Farcry 4 are fucking ridiculous. :LOL: Seriously, on every level, in every region, just, insane amounts of random animal attacks. The whole thing really, is extreme. Random attacks on outposts as soon as I leave, forcing me to turn around. Random eagle attacks on people I just saved from Pagan Min's troops. Multiple predators showing up because I just killed ANYTHING, and now they smell the blood, so I'm getting attacked again. And...oh yeah, what the fuck was I trying to do 15 minutes ago? Before being sidetracked by this chaotic chain of random encounters? I think...something about liberating a country? Yeah that was it. It's very frustrating, that I have to actively ignore random events that spawn, just so I can get anything productive done with the plot.

Also, the map is cluttered with SO many collectible things. And so many of them award you Karma, but you can max out Karma so fast, if you are being even remotely inquisitive, and doing the side quest stuff. I unlocked a skill that boosts my Karma rewards by up to 50%, but by the time it unlocked, I was already so close to maxing out, that it felt like a really strange use of 10 skill points.

It's strange.

I also wonder, if you mix up the various Amita/Sabal choices, if you can actually construct a "good" ending. Like, the big thing with Amita, is that she turns the country into a drug cartel, it's modern but, you are peddling the same drugs Pagan Min was. But, what if I don't do that part? What if, for those missions, I back Sabal instead, thus making the country not have the drug infrastructure? But ultimately end up backing her for the rest of the events? Will it make for a less shitty scenario? I dunno. I kind of want to replay it and experiment but....fuck me, I don't think I could manage that.
How’s the elephant riding?


Seems it was the biggest draw from a gameplay standpoint back during all the hype.
 

happyninja42

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How’s the elephant riding?


Seems it was the biggest draw from a gameplay standpoint back during all the hype.
I've honestly only done it one time, and that was during a drug trip mission, and I didn't fight anything. There is no subtle way to ride an elephant, and I tend to go for "sneaky homicidal batman" when I'm playing Farcry. Plus going loud in a base assault, means you get reinforcements. So I haven't actually done much with the elephants. Plus part of me dislikes using them in combat, because they will often die from a hail of bullet fire. :( Me no likey that. So, I stick to being sneaky stabby stabby, and let the elephants just go do their elephant stuff in peace.
 

Dalisclock

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Castlevania: Bloodlines-

One of the lesser known CV games that came out during the 16 bit era, Bloodlines takes a bit of a departure from the usual CV formula by having you starting at Dracula's Castle and roaming across Europe doing....something. The brief amount of story you get from the opening crawl is that a Vampire named Elizabeth Bartley is using WW1 to try to bring back the Big D and...well, that's pretty much it. Also for some reason you're playing the son of Quincy Morris from the Dracula Novel, who is wielding the Belmonts Famous Whip because....reasons(apparently it's explained somewhere).

There's not much plot that I could see so you're more or less running around Europe fighting through cool stages before fighting Drac and Death and such yet again, and while it's set during WW1, all it apparently means is that Lizzie was going to use the Dead as a mass blood sacrifice to bring back old Dracie(Yep, we're on first name basis now. Deal with it) because sure, why the hell not? Magik be weird like that.

What really makes this game stand out, aside from being able play as John Morris(son of Quincy the Texan who put a Big Fucking Knife in Dracs chest in the novel) or his Spear Wielding buddy(no Switching like in CV3), is aside from a brief, single stage visit to D's castle at the beginning, the rest of the game is a Grand European Tour. And man does it create a bit of an Uncanny Valley here. Stage 2 is an Atlantean Shrine in Greece, which means Atlantis is apparently canon in the CV Universe now, so sure, why not? Stage 3 visits the Leaning tower of Piza, which IRL is Tourist Attraction of a Slanty Belltower, but here it's bordering on Eldritch Location(with a lot of cool rotational gimmicks in the stage). Then a German Weapons Factory, with is Staffed by Skellingtons and Medusa heads, seems to produce nothing but cogs and gears and is guarded by a post modern art piece also made of cogs and gears(This is why you lost the War, Germany! Weapons Factories should be practical, not crazy steampunk fun houses! I DEMAND FACTORY REALISM IN MY GAMES ABOUT VAMPIRE MURDER!). Finally a quick stop by Versailles in France which kinda looks like the real thing but with a lot more murder armor and artwork, not to mention a BLOOD FOUNTAIN!(I didn't see that on the tour when I visited a few years back. I see how you are France, hiding the good stuff from the American Tourists!). THe end is in Evil Castle Somewhere England that's totally not Dracs Castle because it's in England.

I think this is where the CV devs pretty much stopped trying to pretend this is anywhere close to our world and just started creating their own lore. The earlier games all took place in Bumfuck Eastern Europe(No offense to any Eastern Europe or Romania, but the games imply transylvania/Wallachia to be tucked away enough in the Hinterlands of Europe not to affect the rest of History or the rest of the world much) but here you're visiting Tourist Attractions and Royal Palaces(Versailles is right outside of Paris, easily reachable by train or car) filled with monsters and steampunk Robots and apparently nobody noticed because everyone was watching the Russian Revolution spin up on the far side of the continent or something.

But all that aside, I did enjoy it. It's damn hard and has like a tiny bit of extra cutscenes hidden behind beating EXPERT mode(I cheated and youtubed just to see the difference between the Normal and Expert Endings). The devs also pulled off some really cool tricks with the stages, like aforementioned Piza stage and the final level having a mirrored mode in the middle of one of the sections superimposed on the screen that makes platforming very, very tricky but it's damn cool. Now with that done I'm taking a break from Vampire Murder for a while to play some other stuff.
 
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BrawlMan

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One of the lesser known CV games that came out during the 16 bit era, Bloodlines takes a bit of a departure from the usual CV formula by having you starting at Dracula's Castle and roaming across Europe doing....something.
Killing Dracula/Elizabeth's minions and following their trail.

who is wielding the Belmonts Famous Whip because....reasons(apparently it's explained somewhere)
Apparently, they're related and are descendants of the Belmonts, but not full blooded Belmonts.

THe end is in Evil Castle Somewhere England that's totally not Dracs Castle because it's in England.
That particular castle belonged to Elizabeth.

But all that aside, I did enjoy it. It's damn hard and has like a tiny bit of extra cutscenes hidden behind beating EXPERT mode(I cheated and youtubed just to see the difference between the Normal and Expert Endings).
Play the Japanese version. You get the full ending no matter the difficulty.

The devs also pulled off some really cool tricks with the stages, like aforementioned Piza stage and the final level having a mirrored mode in the middle of one of the sections superimposed on the screen that makes platforming very, very tricky but it's damn cool.
The wizards at Konami, Treasure, and Sega Technical Institute pushed the Genesis/Mega Drive to its absolute limits. Those guys and gals were geniuses.
 
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Dalisclock

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Apparently, they're related and are descendants of the Belmonts, but not full blooded Belmonts.

That particular castle belonged to Elizabeth.
.
Apparently there's some particular plot point that the Belmonts lost the Vampire Killer during the 20th century but it's never explained why.

And I figured it was her castle but it reminded me a lot of Dracs Castle. I also find it amusing she's Elizabeth Bartley and not Elizabeth Báthory who more or less gets pegged as a vampire anyway(due to the alleged Virgin Blood Bathing) and pretty sure there's an no estate gonna sue over the depiction.
 
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Apparently there's some particular plot point that the Belmonts lost the Vampire Killer during the 20th century but it's never explained why.
And future games never develop on this nor explain it. Not even Portrait of Ruin.
And I figured it was her castle but it reminded me a lot of Dracs Castle. I also find it amusing she's Elizabeth Bartley and not Elizabeth Báthory who more or less gets pegged as a vampire anyway(due to the alleged Virgin Blood Bathing) and pretty sure there's an no estate gonna sue over the depiction.
I guess they were just trying to be clever based on this entry I found from the wiki.

Countess Erzsébet Báthory was an infamous serial killer, one of the most prolific female ones in history, who's thought to have killed up to 650 victims over her life, all young women. This, along with myths about her bathing in their blood to keep herself youthful, has led to her commonly being associated with vampires. In addition, the Countess was distantly related to the historic Vlad III Drăculea, but, contrary to the game's background, she was his cousin rather than his niece.
  • Bartley's Japanese name, Erizabēto Bātorī (エリザベート・バートリー), is an antiquated way to render Erzsébet Báthory's name and was probably intended as a direct reference to the historical figure. The Japanese version also places Elizabeth's death in 1614, further reinforcing the connection, as this was the year of Erzsébet's death.
 
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Dalisclock

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And future games never develop on this nor explain it. Not even Portrait of Ruin.

I guess they were just trying to be clever based on this entry I found from the wiki.


Yeah, kinda like they teased 1999 as Dracula's final "Death" in the Sorrow games and then just left it there. Then again, I'm not sure how they could really do it justice as a CV game.

That is a bit clever on her name. Reminds me, slightly on subject, of a reference I caught rewatching the series. In season 4, Lenore makes a brief comment how she was raised in a castle and her family died when english soldiers climbed up the toilet with knives in their teeth. While not an exact match, that sounds an awful lot like fall of the castle Château Gaillard during the hundred years war, where the castle was reportedly breached by assaulting soldiers climbing into the castle chapel through a toilet chute(Lesson: Cover the exhaust port!) The only way it's really off is that she said English Soldiers, where IRL it was an English Castle(in Northern France) being taken by the French Army. But the CV series already counts as an alternate history so it probably still fits.
 
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I finally unlocked the Guardian Flail weapon in Age of Calamity. This weapon is sick. It triples as a nun-chuck, a gap closer where you can pull mooks towards you or pull yourself towards them, and you can grab an enemies weapon and have two weapons. Whenever you grab a weapon, a sword for example, and will be added to your move set. Albeit, temporarily. There is a meter you have to build first by attacking and defeating enemies. When it's full, Link can then grab a weapon. The meter drains when in use, but there us mechanic where you can throw weapon and depending how big your meter is, it will cause huge damage. It took a couple EX battles and the weapon path to finally unlock them.

To unlock the Master Cycle, it's best to do the Boss EX challenges, but you have to at least be at Lv. 85. The requirement the game tells you is a lie. I hate in KT games where they make it artificially difficult by giving bosses and enemies absurd defense and health boosts. That is not fun and makes unlocking bonuses an even more tedious grind than it needs to be. Why can't these weapons be unlocked from the start? Give me the weapon first, and then dangle the better version in my face. The original HW game accomplished more than fine. The moment you downloaded the DLC, you automatically got the new weapon for the specific character(s). I gotta do some grinding to unlock a damn motorcycle.
 

Bob_McMillan

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Playing Horizon Zero Dawn at long last. Visually stunning game, but I'm feeling a little bummed out by the gameplay. So much vital gameplay elements stuck behind the skill tree. I mean seriously, you need to unlock the stealth takedown??? That makes no fucking sense. I know I just need to tough it out, but as someone who likes to do every side quest the moment I get it, it feels like the game is slowing me down with its bullshit.
 

Dalisclock

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Playing Horizon Zero Dawn at long last. Visually stunning game, but I'm feeling a little bummed out by the gameplay. So much vital gameplay elements stuck behind the skill tree. I mean seriously, you need to unlock the stealth takedown??? That makes no fucking sense. I know I just need to tough it out, but as someone who likes to do every side quest the moment I get it, it feels like the game is slowing me down with its bullshit.
Aloy needs to learn how to be sneaky with her bright red hair :)

I'm not sure how far you are. The first few hours are a bit slow and it gets better once you leave the Embrace and get to wander around the world and start advancing the plot.
 
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Bob_McMillan

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I'm not sure how far you are. The first few hours are a bit slow and it gets better once you leave the Embrace and get to wander around the world and start advancing the plot.
I think I'm just about to get there. Level 11 I think? I just want to get all the base level skills already. If you don't choose the right skills the game genuinely feels like ass. Methinks they could have made the sidequest progression a little smoother.
 

Kyrian007

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Still plodding through Farcry 4. The game physically injured me last night, with surprise rhino attack. I fucking swear, the game should've piped in "AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA!!" for how quickly, and out of nowhere, that charging rhino showed up. I'm not joking, I loaded up the game, and was at a rebel base. I walked out from the little shop/sleeping area you have, trotted 40meters to the default "here is your random vehicle to drive around" that is deployed at every outpost, turned the ignition key, hit the gas, looked to my right, and there was a rhino charging down the middle of the street, right...fucking..at me. Before I had time to really process it, the thing hit my truck, flipped it, dropped me to "about to die" health, and I violently flinched so hard from the unexpected situation, that I wrenched my back out.

So, on that note, I feel it's time to point out, that the animal attacks in Farcry 4 are fucking ridiculous. :LOL: Seriously, on every level, in every region, just, insane amounts of random animal attacks. The whole thing really, is extreme. Random attacks on outposts as soon as I leave, forcing me to turn around. Random eagle attacks on people I just saved from Pagan Min's troops. Multiple predators showing up because I just killed ANYTHING, and now they smell the blood, so I'm getting attacked again. And...oh yeah, what the fuck was I trying to do 15 minutes ago? Before being sidetracked by this chaotic chain of random encounters? I think...something about liberating a country? Yeah that was it. It's very frustrating, that I have to actively ignore random events that spawn, just so I can get anything productive done with the plot.

Also, the map is cluttered with SO many collectible things. And so many of them award you Karma, but you can max out Karma so fast, if you are being even remotely inquisitive, and doing the side quest stuff. I unlocked a skill that boosts my Karma rewards by up to 50%, but by the time it unlocked, I was already so close to maxing out, that it felt like a really strange use of 10 skill points.

It's strange.

I also wonder, if you mix up the various Amita/Sabal choices, if you can actually construct a "good" ending. Like, the big thing with Amita, is that she turns the country into a drug cartel, it's modern but, you are peddling the same drugs Pagan Min was. But, what if I don't do that part? What if, for those missions, I back Sabal instead, thus making the country not have the drug infrastructure? But ultimately end up backing her for the rest of the events? Will it make for a less shitty scenario? I dunno. I kind of want to replay it and experiment but....fuck me, I don't think I could manage that.
I really enjoyed FC 4, but yes the random encounter rate is too high. They scale that back almost too much in FC 5, so even Ubisoft thinks they went overboard. Although I can give a tip with a bit of a caveat, you can ignore attacks on outposts. Nothing has ever happened as a consequence to me when I just ignore them. When I have pointed that out before I've had people claiming that they lost something. They lost the outpost and had to retake it, or something. But to me, that's never happened. It doesn't sound like much of a punishment anyway, if you don't like taking down outposts... you wouldn't be playing FC 4. But just going by my experience, you can let outposts defend themselves.

As for what I'm playing, I predicted it. I was playing Mad Max, because I never finished it the first time around. And once again, I've quit before the end. Its just too grindy and dour. I had to stop just to play something simply joyously fun, just as a contrast. So I picked Just Cause 3. And instead of going back to finish Mad Max... I can't put down JC3. I'll probably even replay JC4 before going back to Mad Max, and 4 was vastly inferior to its predecessor. JC3 is just the thing I'm missing in replaying Mad Max, there's no seriousness to it. It is absolutely mindless, stupid, fun. Even the most serious part of the story, Rico's best friend getting shot, is played for a couple of jokes. A person could get caught up in the story of Mad Max... but I'm left wondering why anyone would want to? Its a dismal, rotten, horrible place to be; even for the "hero." Why wouldn't you rather be in the JC universe, where a magic rock powered hookshot makes you the Magneto of inertia?
 

NerfedFalcon

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Managed to make some good progress in Metal Gear Solid tonight. Think I'm about halfway through now based on prior experience, so I'm making good (in-game) time. Got through the second building, saved in the torture cell. I'm not very good at the button mashing sequence but I usually go for that ending.
 

happyninja42

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I really enjoyed FC 4, but yes the random encounter rate is too high. They scale that back almost too much in FC 5, so even Ubisoft thinks they went overboard. Although I can give a tip with a bit of a caveat, you can ignore attacks on outposts. Nothing has ever happened as a consequence to me when I just ignore them. When I have pointed that out before I've had people claiming that they lost something. They lost the outpost and had to retake it, or something. But to me, that's never happened. It doesn't sound like much of a punishment anyway, if you don't like taking down outposts... you wouldn't be playing FC 4. But just going by my experience, you can let outposts defend themselves.
Well I don't mind defending outposts so it's not a big deal. Plus if you destroy the fortress in that area, outposts are no longer attacked. It's just mildly annoying to have to do a 180 and spend 2 minutes shooting dudes, and then rebuying ammo, and replacing my body armor. But it gets me XP so it's not a total waste of time.