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Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
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Back on the Blasmphous train after taking 2 weeks off for AC Unity.

Got to the boss of the Sleeping Canvases and that's the Giant Baby. It's kind of horrifying because the boss is basically a baby who is blindfolded and screams when you hit the "mom" holding him(and it all bursts into flames when you kill it), but it can also tear you apart and not even realize what it's doing and you've had to kill a giant nun to get this far. Cvstodia is so horrific that this is pretty much par for the course at this point. Also, the baby boss went down pretty quickly so I didn't have much time to dwell on it(It turns out it's quite easy to hurt a baby, even if it's morally indefensible). Still need to explore the rest of the area, because it was actually fairly easy to reach the baby and I bypassed a shaft leading down on the way there and after that, time to explore the rest of the NOT-Vatican(which used to have a giant baby in their basement). Also, fuck those swinging axes in the Sleeping Canvases.
 
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Bartholen

At age 6 I was born without a face
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I'm about 16 hours into Noita currently, which is a truly frightening number considering I bought that game like a week ago.

It is one of the most ruthlessly time-voiding roguelikes I've ever played. The hours just melt away without a second thought. It's even worse than Binding of Isaac in that regard, since you rarely get the "ah, got a shitty start" feeling you get in Isaac. It's incredibly simple, yet has a lot of depth with its mechanics and the simple gimmick of simulating every pixel and differentiating between different materials. I also can't help but feel a bit of national pride at seeing this game being played so much on Twitch.

All of this said, I'm not sure how much I like it. I haven't gotten that far into it yet, but right now it feels about equal parts frustrating and rewarding. The different spells are just stupefyingly unbalanced. The Chain Bolt can one-shot most enemies and homes in on them, so beside it most other spells feel utterly worthless. A lot of the different spell effects you can apply feel like just straight up nerfs. The Heavy Spread and Bifurcation effects might as well be called "instant seppuku" and "hit nothing ever again". Again, these might come more into play later when you really can experiment with them, but right now they feel like utter garbage.

The first zone in particular feels pretty frustrating considering its ample environmental hazards, projectile attacks and tight hallways. Often times there's just no space to maneuver out of the way. And since there are always super enemies that can clip off a quarter of your health in a single hit and light you on fire, most of the time I've lost about 80% of my health only a couple of minutes into the run, leaving me to explore the zone with that annoying as shit red flashing on screen. It only goes away when you heal, and that only happens when you exit a zone. Many times I feel I might as well quit if I don't find a health upgrade in the first zone, since the difficulty ramps up quite fast.

I also despise the sniper enemies in the third zone that can clip about 30% of your health away the instant they appear on the edge of your screen.
 
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laggyteabag

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Just smashing through all of the Halo games at the moment, and just finished Halo 3: ODST.

Its short, and sweet, but the "open world" sections are probably the weakest part of the game. New Mombassa is small, which isn't a bad thing by any means, but there really isn't much to do there, other than walk over to your next objective marker, or hunt for collectibles. There is some really cool environmental storytelling, with the remnants of battles long since won or lost, but from a gameplay perspective, it is a complete snoozefest.

The story of your character, the Rookie, doesn't really make much sense, either. ODST's story is framed as a bit of a detective story, in the sense of you find clues as to where the rest of your squad are, then you play a flashback mission showing what your squad member(s) did, and then it goes back to the Rookie. Assuming the character doesn't have any superpowers (he doesn't), and cant actually see these flashbacks (he cant), if you were to just strip these flashbacks out of the game, it would just be some random soldier, wandering around the city, picking up multiple random objects, putting them back down again, before deciding to go underground, and conveniently meeting up with the rest of his squad.

Im sure the excuse is that the Superintendent (the city's AI) is helping him out by pointing him towards these clues, but most of these "clues" offer litterally 0 actionable information about anything (a bent sniper rifle, an explosive, a destroyed turret, etc), so it would be one hell of a logical leap to deduce from a discarded sniper rifle (in an active warzone) that the events of NMPD HQ occured. Its not even like the Superintendent couldn't just lead the Rookie underground in the first place, either, because it is made clear during cutscenes that the AI has been watching the rest of your squad for the entire day, and knows exactly where they are/what happened to them, so making this soldier wander around the city for no reason, just to look at some useless junk, is just weird when you stop and think about it.

I do like the game quite a bit (the music is the obvious standout), but the story doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.
 
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Drathnoxis

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I'm about 16 hours into Noita currently, which is a truly frightening number considering I bought that game like a week ago.

It is one of the most ruthlessly time-voiding roguelikes I've ever played. The hours just melt away without a second thought. It's even worse than Binding of Isaac in that regard, since you rarely get the "ah, got a shitty start" feeling you get in Isaac. It's incredibly simple, yet has a lot of depth with its mechanics and the simple gimmick of simulating every pixel and differentiating between different materials. I also can't help but feel a bit of national pride at seeing this game being played so much on Twitch.

All of this said, I'm not sure how much I like it. I haven't gotten that far into it yet, but right now it feels about equal parts frustrating and rewarding. The different spells are just stupefyingly unbalanced. The Chain Bolt can one-shot most enemies and homes in on them, so beside it most other spells feel utterly worthless. A lot of the different spell effects you can apply feel like just straight up nerfs. The Heavy Spread and Bifurcation effects might as well be called "instant seppuku" and "hit nothing ever again". Again, these might come more into play later when you really can experiment with them, but right now they feel like utter garbage.

The first zone in particular feels pretty frustrating considering its ample environmental hazards, projectile attacks and tight hallways. Often times there's just no space to maneuver out of the way. And since there are always super enemies that can clip off a quarter of your health in a single hit and light you on fire, most of the time I've lost about 80% of my health only a couple of minutes into the run, leaving me to explore the zone with that annoying as shit red flashing on screen. It only goes away when you heal, and that only happens when you exit a zone. Many times I feel I might as well quit if I don't find a health upgrade in the first zone, since the difficulty ramps up quite fast.
Noita is a lot of fun but also completely unfair. For the first couple hundred runs the game feels impossible, but I've actually managed to get a win streak of like 3 or something now that I know the enemy attack patterns and good spell combinations and stuff. It's a lot like Nethack in that the game becomes significantly easier once you learn a bunch of stuff that the game doesn't tell you off of the wiki.

A couple of hints:
-You can dump out flasks and refill them with whatever you want. Keep a flask of water on hotkey at all times, since it washes off most bad things you can get on you.
-You can drop a flask without breaking it if you keep your mouse right next to you when throwing it so the x disappears.
-Learning proper wand building techniques is essential. Nothing will help you more than understanding the nuances of the system.
-Chainsaw is one of the best spells in the game, since it has very low mana cost and a negative recharge time it can be used in combination with other spells to create machine gun wands.
-Probably 1/3 of the spells in the game will kill you the first time you use them. Eventually I just started looking it up whether a spell could hurt me or not.
-If you don't cross over the exit of the shop and collapse the temple you can still go back and edit your wands again.
-Don't bother looking too hard for health upgrades in the first level, there are barely any except a guaranteed one that's hidden in a... water area(spoilers). One of my early problems with the game was spending too long in the first level, nothing amazing spawns there so beyond getting 400 gold and a couple potions and wands it isn't necessary to explore it completely.
-Turn on the instant replay feature in the settings. It will help you understand what the heck killed you in a half a second from full health.


Also look at this video clip someone made. I've watched it 50 times and still think it looks crazy awesome.



I also despise the sniper enemies in the third zone that can clip about 30% of your health away the instant they appear on the edge of your screen.
Incorrect, enemies don't need to be remotely on screen to kill you because... screw you.
 

Chupathingy

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Finished playing Genji for PS2.

A short, fun action-adventure game set in an under-utilised (fantasy) Genpei War of Japan. The combat and flow of the game reminded me of Onimusha, but with much smoother and less frustrating controls and enemies, as well as no irritating puzzle sections. The game featured a nice parry system called "Kamui" which, when activated, cause all enemies to either charge you one by one or all at once which you then must parry at the right time to one-hit kill them (or inflict critical damage against bosses), ending with a satisfying samurai film-esque flourish.
 
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Bedinsis

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I purchased Growing Up yesterday, and aged my character from cradle to 14 years old.
 

meiam

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Finished playing Genji for PS2.

A short, fun action-adventure game set in an under-utilised (fantasy) Genpei War of Japan. The combat and flow of the game reminded me of Onimusha, but with much smoother and less frustrating controls and enemies, as well as no irritating puzzle sections. The game featured a nice parry system called "Kamui" which, when activated, cause all enemies to either charge you one by one or all at once which you then must parry at the right time to one-hit kill them (or inflict critical damage against bosses), ending with a satisfying samurai film-esque flourish.
I remember that game, I rented it forever ago. That's also the limit of what I remember about it, onimusha clone with not much more to say. I think they made a sequel?
 

hanselthecaretaker

My flask is half full
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Played another session in the Elden Ring NT, and it’s digging its hooks into me in a way few games have lately. On one hand, yes it’s “more Souls”, but it feels like Souls: Liberated.

Speaking of open world games, one of the biggest sins IMHO is littering the map with icons, as there’s no quicker way to mute the player’s sense of curiosity and willingness to explore the map as it lies before them. Few games have averted this sin, but Elden Ring is certainly looking to be one that does. It also manages to avoid feeling overwhelming by gradually introducing the player to its systems as they visit different parts of the map and find aspects applicable to them. For instance when you beat a boss, it will yield something specific like an Ashes of War, which acts as the game’s skill system. When you run into certain merchants, they will tell you about crafting the different plants you’ve been gathering or animal parts (this is very streamlined as well; plants can be snatched up simply by tapping triangle while running over them, or a brief pause when pillaging animal parts).

I went towards the water after a certain giant boss wrecked me a few times, and came across one of the cooler enemies I’ve seen in recent times called a Land Octopus, and they are fun to fight. Using a lightning infused Twin Spear, I got fairly easy setups for critical hits that felt very satisfying to land (no pun) on their spongy bodies. The game makes you start wondering what the hell can be made from their pillaged parts.

So anyways, I ran across a cave which had its own crew of baddies, including another boss, but what was cool about it was it introduced the first FROM-like level design in an open world atmosphere. I don’t want to spoil it but the takeaway is you’ll see some place you know you should be able to get to but the path is as unsuspecting as any of their other games have been. I still haven’t found the horse, but the map has been engaging enough that I haven’t actively seeked it out yet. Time is limited though so I’ll probably get on that tonight.

I also like how two-handing works. Holding triangle acts as an augmentor for either L1 or R1 to switch them up, and it feels pretty natural since it works for what’s in either hand independently. Also, the kick attack is back along with a punch, but now act as barehanded skills on an empty L2 or R2 respectively. It’s a more intuitive solution than before and works more reliably.

The most intriguing part to me so far about FROM’s first venture into open world territory is it strikes an odd balance - or perhaps middle ground - between two other open world games I’ve played a lot of this year. It takes the better parts of MGSV’s design, where the open world is merely there to serve the gameplay, and the curiosity of natural exploration found in RDR2. They’ve explicitly stated they don’t want to throw a bunch of NPCs in there just to check the box so many of these style of games do, and it works for the better. They tackled it using their strengths based on previously gained experience with world design, iterated their accumulated knowledge in mechanics and folded them into a new game that seems to make sense of it all in a good way. Can’t wait to get back into it.
 
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Caperf

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Just smashing through all of the Halo games at the moment, and just finished Halo 3: ODST.

Its short, and sweet, but the "open world" sections are probably the weakest part of the game. New Mombassa is small, which isn't a bad thing by any means, but there really isn't much to do there, other than walk over to your next objective marker, or hunt for collectibles. There is some really cool environmental storytelling, with the remnants of battles long since won or lost, but from a gameplay perspective, it is a complete snoozefest.

The story of your character, the Rookie, doesn't really make much sense, either. ODST's story is framed as a bit of a detective story, in the sense of you find clues as to where the rest of your squad are, then you play a flashback mission showing what your squad member(s) did, and then it goes back to the Rookie. Assuming the character doesn't have any superpowers (he doesn't), and cant actually see these flashbacks (he cant), if you were to just strip these flashbacks out of the game, it would just be some random soldier, wandering around the city, picking up multiple random objects, putting them back down again, before deciding to go underground, and conveniently meeting up with the rest of his squad.

Im sure the excuse is that the Superintendent (the city's AI) is helping him out by pointing him towards these clues, but most of these "clues" offer litterally 0 actionable information about anything (a bent sniper rifle, an explosive, a destroyed turret, etc), so it would be one hell of a logical leap to deduce from a discarded sniper rifle (in an active warzone) that the events of NMPD HQ occured. Its not even like the Superintendent couldn't just lead the Rookie underground in the first place, either, because it is made clear during cutscenes that the AI has been watching the rest of your squad for the entire day, and knows exactly where they are/what happened to them, so making this soldier wander around the city for no reason, just to look at some useless junk, is just weird when you stop and think about it.

I do like the game quite a bit (the music is the obvious standout), but the story doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.
Is the Halo series any good, do you recommend it?
 

XsjadoBlayde

~it ends here~
Apr 29, 2020
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Kerbal Space Program - ENHANCED FOR CONSOLE BIG BOIS! AND GIRLS! AND THOSE IN-BETWEEN!
Managed to bumble through tutorials, though stopped at the moon ones so as to get to grips with career first. And damn, they do not teach you the career etiquette at all in those lessons. I've no idea how to know what direction to point during take off for the early low-flight observation missions. I can see the areas from the solar system view menu, but they are totally out of sight when I drag my sorry-ass pile of rocket crap to the launch pad. Is well made despite that and the font size for dwarven ants. Felt a bit dizzy a couple of times when pushing the camera too fast in outer-space, may have to avoid accidentally leaning on thumbsticks in future after the psilocybin kicks in.

Doom Eternal has new shiny gen upgrade, buuuuut it wants me to download the humongous digital file even though I got the disc first. So just waiting on that twiddling me paws meanwhile.
 
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Johnny Novgorod

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Got to the metroidvania part of The Messenger. Really enjoying the game. Last couple of bosses ramped up the difficulty nicely.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Just smashing through all of the Halo games at the moment, and just finished Halo 3: ODST.

Its short, and sweet, but the "open world" sections are probably the weakest part of the game. New Mombassa is small, which isn't a bad thing by any means, but there really isn't much to do there, other than walk over to your next objective marker, or hunt for collectibles. There is some really cool environmental storytelling, with the remnants of battles long since won or lost, but from a gameplay perspective, it is a complete snoozefest.

The story of your character, the Rookie, doesn't really make much sense, either. ODST's story is framed as a bit of a detective story, in the sense of you find clues as to where the rest of your squad are, then you play a flashback mission showing what your squad member(s) did, and then it goes back to the Rookie. Assuming the character doesn't have any superpowers (he doesn't), and cant actually see these flashbacks (he cant), if you were to just strip these flashbacks out of the game, it would just be some random soldier, wandering around the city, picking up multiple random objects, putting them back down again, before deciding to go underground, and conveniently meeting up with the rest of his squad.

Im sure the excuse is that the Superintendent (the city's AI) is helping him out by pointing him towards these clues, but most of these "clues" offer litterally 0 actionable information about anything (a bent sniper rifle, an explosive, a destroyed turret, etc), so it would be one hell of a logical leap to deduce from a discarded sniper rifle (in an active warzone) that the events of NMPD HQ occured. Its not even like the Superintendent couldn't just lead the Rookie underground in the first place, either, because it is made clear during cutscenes that the AI has been watching the rest of your squad for the entire day, and knows exactly where they are/what happened to them, so making this soldier wander around the city for no reason, just to look at some useless junk, is just weird when you stop and think about it.

I do like the game quite a bit (the music is the obvious standout), but the story doesn't really stand up to scrutiny.
From an atmospheric and presentation point of view ODST is my favorite Halo game. I really dig the noir influences, and it has my favorite soundtrack, which is really saying something considering all of the Halo soundtracks are bangers.

But yes, your criticisms are entirely justified. I do like the open world gameplay with the rookie though. Despite not necessarily having a lot going on those open world sections give the levels a better sense of continuity than discrete levels by themselves would have, and I think it really works. On the higher difficulties the brute squads you run across do tend to put up a bit of a fight given your much more limited resources, and trying to get the jump on them using stealth and the environment gives those sections a unique pacing (for a Halo game) that I really enjoyed.
 

laggyteabag

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Is the Halo series any good, do you recommend it?
Im a bit biased, because Halo is my favourite franchise.

In an era of open-world whatevers, I find Halo's linearity and brevity to be really refreshing, and the games - despite being 10-20 years old at this point - still hold up wonderfully.

Halo is a game where each weapon, enemy, and vehicle, plays a distinct role in the sandbox, and the games let the player approach the combat arenas in whatever way they see fit, mostly avoiding the handholding of a lot of other FPS games of the 2000's and 2010's.

If you are more of a multiplayer guy, the communities for all of the games are still quite active. Halo is quite different to the rest of the genre. There aren't any loadouts, and weapons are found on the map. Time-to-kill is also much slower, prioritising accuracy and weapon choice, over the "who saw who first" of the Call of Duty's and Battlefields of the world. Halo Infinite's MP is also just around the corner, and that is going to be F2P.

The games are also super cheap, too. If you have Gamepass, they are on that. On PC, you can buy each individual game for £7 on Steam, even off sale, or a bundle of all 6 for £30. On console, you can find copies second-hand for around £10, but two of the games - Halo 3: ODST and Halo Reach - are both DLC.

I'd recommend Halo to just about anyone who likes shooters.
 
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Dalisclock

Making lemons combustible again
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FInished the Mother of Mothers church in Blasphemous. I had to fight a dead Bishop in the process and that was....interesting. It does feel like a nod to the little known Cadaver Synod. At least I've reached the rooftop and am fighting fucking Angels(who hate me, so you know, fair enough). I think I'm getting close to the end, though I'm pretty sure there's like one or two more areas left before I'm done.

I found the poor tortured lady, so I'm gonna try to get her the things she needs to be free(without killing her), I think I've found one of the things I need for that. Also, gotta love their version of the Vatican has the world's largest fucking Censer, swinging by itself petpeturally, so much that it's a hazard.
 
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Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
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Played some Earthworm Jim because I never made it past the second level as a kid and I had decided I was going to try and beat it. After about an hour: screw it, this game sucks! The platforming is so bad and its really difficult to hit enemies before they hit you. Some enemies are immune to certain types of damage despite still doing a damage animation when you hit them. You get 3 lives and one continue so extra lives are absolutely necessary, but the level design is sprawling and it's really hard to figure out how to get a life even when you can see it. The game just feels rushed and unpolished, when you fall down a bottomless pit the screen just goes black and you are placed at your last checkpoint with one life less. No life loss animation or anything, its jarring.

All in all I can really understand why I never played it very long as a kid.
 

BrawlMan

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Played some Earthworm Jim because I never made it past the second level as a kid and I had decided I was going to try and beat it. After about an hour: screw it, this game sucks! The platforming is so bad and its really difficult to hit enemies before they hit you. Some enemies are immune to certain types of damage despite still doing a damage animation when you hit them. You get 3 lives and one continue so extra lives are absolutely necessary, but the level design is sprawling and it's really hard to figure out how to get a life even when you can see it. The game just feels rushed and unpolished, when you fall down a bottomless pit the screen just goes black and you are placed at your last checkpoint with one life less. No life loss animation or anything, its jarring.

All in all I can really understand why I never played it very long as a kid.
The 2nd game is much easier, and from what I heard, the PC, PS1, Sega CD, and Sega Saturn versions tone down the difficulty of the first game a little. I know whenever I play the game, I use save states on the Sega Genesis Mini. Though I actually prefer the spiritual successor, Wild 9. Too bad er never got a sequel, nor an animated series, unlike EJ. Did you ever see the cartoon by any chance? Dan Castella voiced Jim. Good times, and many fun Saturday mornings.


 
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Drathnoxis

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The 2nd game is much easier, and from what I heard, the PC. PS1, Sega CD, and Sega Saturn versions tone down the difficulty of the first game a little. I know whenever I play the game, I use save states on the Sega Genesis Mini. Though I actually prefer the spiritual successor, Wild 9. Too bad er never got a sequel, nor an animated series, unlike EJ. Did you ever see the cartoon by any chance? Dan Castella voiced Jim. Good times, and many fun Saturday mornings.


Yeah, you would definitely need save states to make it playable. I was playing it on my SNES, though. No, I never even knew there was an animated series.
 
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BrawlMan

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Yeah, you would definitely need save states to make it playable. I was playing it on my SNES, though.
For the record, the SNES version is actually the worst console port out of all the versions of the first game. There is actually a level missing and the sound effects are not as strong as the Genesis nor the upgraded games.

No, I never even knew there was an animated series.
Can't know them all, but I am a little surprised. The show got a good amount of advertisement back in the day. The mid to late 90s was just the era of wacky heroes or superheroes. Freakazoid, The Tick, The Mask: The Animated Series, and Ace Ventura: The Animated Series.
 

Drathnoxis

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Can't know them all, but I am a little surprised. The show got a good amount of advertisement back in the day. The mid to late 90s was just the era of wacky heroes or superheroes. Freakazoid, The Tick, The Mask: The Animated Series, and Ace Ventura: The Animated Series.
I think the only one of those I ever saw airing was The Tick, and I hated it as a kid. I haven't seen it since I was like, 6, though so maybe it's not bad.