What are you currently playing?

Bartholen

At age 6 I was born without a face
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In other games, I played through Arkham Knight. Story aside, this is easily the most mechanically refined of the games, if a bit bloated. The escalation of things is mostly handled pretty well: the fear takedowns being recharged by executing a successful silent takedown is a surprisingly good bit of balancing. The traversal is just out of this world, and probably the most satisfying movement system I've ever experienced in a game. Merely zipping and gliding over Gotham has that zen quality to it where you just fall into a trance and keep doing it. As I mentioned, this is one of the most gorgeous games I've ever played.

But it also feels like this is the game where the series hit the ceiling, and had nowhere left to go without devolving into total stupidity. The tank stuff is quite pushing it: you're blowing up tens of billions of dollars' worth of military hardware willy-nilly, yet the Arkham Knight always has more to spare. The Cobra segments feel especially egregious: apparently the Knight couldn't just spare a few footsoldiers surveying the environment from the rooftops or something. "Sneaking" in basically a tank just feels silly.

The story is just a mess. It jumps between different plot threads constantly, and feels like the central bits were picked at random. You could slot almost any part of this game into any point in it, and probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. City at least had Protocol 10 to count down to, here it's just Scarecrow making the same speech ad nauseam, and it also just feels silly. At least the ending section was memorable, if a bit mechanically underwhelming. I'm probably going to keep doing the challenge maps for quite a while, since there's just an astronomical amount of them... and like 8 different characters to play as.
 

BrawlMan

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Streets of Rage 4, Samurai Showdown, and RE4R Mercenaries. Been getting used to Krauser and loving his melee and evasion options.

I played Last Blade 2 for the first time....

Beautiful game; wonderful presentation, sound, music (when it plays depending on the stage), and character animations. I chose Hibiki Takamine for my first playthrough. My only gripe is that since this is a late 90s SNK arcade game, there will be bullshit difficulty spikes towards the end. Doesn't matter, if you lower the difficulty to the easiest setting. The next to last fight was tougher than the final boss. I will play another character later. Great fighting game with excellent combat, but be warned it's unfairly tough towards the end.
 

Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
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That's a wrap on Blasphemous II. A generally very good sequel that is simultaneously improved by refurbished gameplay but also rendered underwhelming by it. The overall "gameyness" of the level design and overall instantly recognizable metroidvania structure removes some of the mystery and sands off some of the series' personality. The game is still rife with wtf NPCs, beautifully forlorn landscapes and freely cribs from Goya/Ribera paintings. But I never really felt that sense of awe I got from OG. Everything was a little cozier, more convenient and generally easier than the first one. Which is all very nice, but I was missing a challenge by the end of the thing. The one skill check is the penultimate boss, which depending who you ask is harder than Crisanta from OG or second only to her. But that's about it.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

Is on the Gin
May 26, 2020
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Marvel's Midnight Suns - Pretty good so far, I mean some of the abby stuff seems like it's going to be weird and cringey like the whole Blade romance subplot but we'll see and I can take dumb cringe as at least I can laugh at it being dumb.

Forspoken - Apparently this was heavily patched since launch and I bought it because if nothing else it's spectacle to show what the PS5 can do. For all the talk of it being cringey I'm not seeing that much unless they've matched it out a bit. Yeh there's some wise cracking stuff early on but then the game hits you with a pretty big emotional moment early on and it seems to very much go "Time to get more real". Definitely Square's attempt at an open world collecty thing game though with all the map markers etc.
 

gorfias

Unrealistic but happy
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Got the Meta Quest 3 and for early buyers it came with upcoming Asgard's Wrath 2. But somehow I got 1 too. So far, this 4 year old game still looks amazing. Like VR G-d of War. There's even a chapter by that name. Part 2, I think, comes out in December. Hard to believe there will be much of an upgrade visually from here as this looks that good.


Opening walk through

 
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BrawlMan

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Code of Princess EX - I am starting to remember why I prefer the 3DS version. This game is more challenging, but for the wrong reasons. You can't use your Burst Super Bar as much. You're only limited to a certain amount, and then you can't use it anymore and enemies have been buffed in health and AI. The AI I get, but it becomes a grind fest to level up your character(s). There are the bonus missions you can play to alleviate this, but I honesty wished they didn't limit the Bursts you could do. Yes, it could be a game breaker in the right hands, and yes it could be spammed, but that was part of the fun. The game's combat is limited already and you don't get new moves or expanded moves like in Guardian Heroes. What they should have done was give you the option for original burst or limited burst, instead of outright removing it. Also, no English Dub. I might sell this version of the game at some point, because I hate grinding in games and this makes the game more frustrating to play. I still have the 3DS copy and a 3DSXL, so I might just go back to playing that again.
 
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XsjadoBlaydette

Piss-Drinking Nazi Wine-Mums
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Nintendo? where's the pause button Nintendo? Where's the button?? You had me thinking you weren't like the others, yet there was I, playing Super Mario RPG when a feline creature IRL demanded to be let outside for poops or murder or whatever, so i said "no worries, just gonna pause this videogame here once talky toad is done telling me how to waterfall." And do you think it worked? Nintendo, do you really, do you...where's the sodding pause button Nintendo, not you too!?

have learnt through careful scientific observation that pause don't work during Yoshi race also. the pause button population is being slowly disappeared
 
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Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
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Nintendo? where's the pause button Nintendo? Where's the button?? You had me thinking you weren't like the others, yet there was I, playing Super Mario RPG when a feline creature IRL demanded to be let outside for poops or murder or whatever, so i said "no worries, just gonna pause this videogame here once talky toad is done telling me how to waterfall." And do you think it worked? Nintendo, do you really, do you...where's the sodding pause button Nintendo, not you too!?

have learnt through careful scientific observation that pause don't work during Yoshi race also. the pause button population is being slowly disappeared
If they let you pause then speedrunners could use that to frame buffer and cheat and stuff.
 
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XsjadoBlaydette

Piss-Drinking Nazi Wine-Mums
May 26, 2022
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majority of dlc ain't usually the sort to peak interest most the time. that said, the Dead island 2 one is ticking a few sordid fancies and obsessions of mine at least tbf,


Dead Island 2 is introducing the first story expansion to the first-person zombie game with the Haus DLC developed by Deep Silver. Players will explore a mysterious villa in Malibu where players will seek out answers to a secret cult with an enigmatic leader as they survive and flourish amid the zombie apocalypse. Use a variety of new weapons as players hack and slash through the deranged labyrinth of biomes. Dead Island 2 Haus DLC is available now for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, Amazon Alexa, and PC.




 
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Johnny Novgorod

Bebop Man
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Enjoying Dredge. It's a cozy work sim with a really addictive gameplay loop and just a hint of danger involved. Everything from fishing to dredging to arranging cargo takes the form of a minigame and there're enough bells and whistles to a day's fishing to keep you entertained. It's also pretty fun how it develops its Lovecraftian plot more or less to the side of your daily routine. Neat game.
 
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BrawlMan

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Capcom Fighting Collection - I've been playing the various Darkstalkers games. the Vampire Saviors 2 and Vampire Hunters 2 (both with slightly different intros) are just upgraded versions with each missing a character, because the CPS2 didn't have enough memory. They do have faster gameplay, but there's no story, nor individual endings in those games. Not worth playing, unless you're doing multiplayer in these games or wanna play Donovan that badly. Also, you can change the damage parameters for player 1 and player 2. I did take advantage of this when playing arcade mode. I found out just now.

I do wonder why Capcom just didn't pack in the PSP version of Darkstalkers Chronicles? It has all the characters, their endings, and the bonus Tower Mode. That was fun! I am grateful for the collection, but it is one of those weird Capcom decisions Capcom makes for no reason. I'll probably play Puzzle Fighter next or something.
 

NerfedFalcon

Level i Flare!
Mar 23, 2011
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Confession: I am so bad at stealth games that so far, I have been unable to get through the first room where you have to sneak past the chainsaw guy. Hiding under a bed just leaves me unable to tell when he's looking in my direction when I come out, throwing bottles doesn't give me enough of a distraction because I can't find the right spots to throw to, and every time he just catches me before I even really get into the second half of the room. There must be something obvious I'm missing, but I just can't figure out what I'm supposed to do here.

Feels really bad that I have to resort to it this early but I don't have a choice but to look at a guide...
 
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BrawlMan

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@BrawlMan Decided to pick up The Evil Within, its DLC and its sequel while they were on sale for practically nothing.
Enjoy!

Confession: I am so bad at stealth games that so far, I have been unable to get through the first room where you have to sneak past the chainsaw guy. Hiding under a bed just leaves me unable to tell when he's looking in my direction when I come out, throwing bottles doesn't give me enough of a distraction because I can't find the right spots to throw to, and every time he just catches me before I even really get into the second half of the room. There must be something obvious I'm missing, but I just can't figure out what I'm supposed to do here.

Feels really bad that I have to resort to it this early but I don't have a choice but to look at a guide...
There is no shame in looking at a guide. The first part is actually simple, but the early section is really though, if you pick Hard first. I do admit the stealth in this game is really basic. It's not the worst, but not much sticks out about it and works enough. The sequel does a much better job with the stealth and is much more polished. The stealth there is still simple, but you are given way more options on how to deal with most enemies.
 

NerfedFalcon

Level i Flare!
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The first part is actually simple, but the early section is really though, if you pick Hard first.
I didn't get that option, only Easy and (what appears to be) Normal. Also, apparently, there was a really obvious thing that I missed because I was overthinking it:
wait for chainsaw guy to go into the side corridor, then run straight for the exit.
 
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Bartholen

At age 6 I was born without a face
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I got back into Fear & Hunger after delving into its lore a bit. My opinion of this game has lowered drastically once I started to think about the design of this game. In short, this game has two completely conflicting core design principles:
  1. Deliberate obtuseness, lack of tutorialization and explanation, and relying on the player discovering things for themselves
  2. Survival mechanics (the titular fear and hunger) with a finite amount of resources that can be discovered on each playthrough, and randomized drops.
It should be obvious why these conflict. You can't really have proper exploration while being essentially on a timer. The game's two core elements actively punish and reduce each other: if you explore, backtrack, and check out previous areas, you'll run out of resources very fast, forcing you to either push forward or ditch the entire playthrough to start a new one. If you beeline towards an objective, the survival mechanics and resource management become trivial and almost completely ignorable.

While I initially thought the idea of drops randomizing on each death seemed neat, I've come to realize that it's "fuck you" RNG of the very worst kind: runs can live and die on a single roll of the dice. Get infected without having a Cloth Fragment? Fuck you, off to a restart with you. In this game with such a punishing save system, restarting can sometimes mean having to redo like an hour's worth of progress. And not in the fun, roguelike way either: you're literally just repeating the exact same steps again, with maybe some minor differences if you luck into a powerful drop (like the accessory that restores MP in combat). I've seen some people say that this game is supposed to be figured out over the course of multiple playthroughs, and not meant to be completed on your first, or even second run. Which might be fine if runs took maybe 2 hours max, but this is a deliberately slow-paced, methodical game where you're pushed to consider your choices carefully. A complete playthrough can take like 5-7 hours, and that is a shitton of time to be repeating the same steps over and over again across multiple playthroughs. The element of randomization is actually extremely minor, almost to the point of being totally meaningless.

But the most demoralizing realization was when I thought about the videos I'd watched about this game's many, many different endings and secret elements. Simply put, think of the way the Artorias DLC is accessed in Dark Souls 1, and now think discovering it was on a timer. That's what the secrets in this game are like. The conditions for each are so obtuse, the hints given so general and vague, and the game world so big, that I cannot conceive of someone actually having fun trying to discover them by themselves. That's where using the wiki and the guides come in, and here we arrive at the most devastating conclusion I came to: that's not gameplay, that's just following instructions. It's no more interactive than constructing a miniature model. There's nothing immersive, organic or spontaneous about it. You're not exploring or discovering anything, you're just following tracks already laid out in front of you. That's where I not only stopped liking the game, but actively started being annoyed by it.

I will always appreciate this series for its incredible lore, uncompromising vision and excellent execution of Lovecraftian horror. But those are all things you can get from just watching youtube videos about it. Playing it boils down to either A) stumbling blindly through the game on a first playthrough, likely screwing yourself multiple times by things you had no way to prepare for or know about, or B) just going through the motions on further playthroughs, where all sense of immersion, danger or discovery is gone, replaced with rote repetition of things you've already seen.
 
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Drathnoxis

Became a mass murderer for your sake
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I got back into Fear & Hunger after delving into its lore a bit. My opinion of this game has lowered drastically once I started to think about the design of this game. In short, this game has two completely conflicting core design principles:
  1. Deliberate obtuseness, lack of tutorialization and explanation, and relying on the player discovering things for themselves
  2. Survival mechanics (the titular fear and hunger) with a finite amount of resources that can be discovered on each playthrough, and randomized drops.
It should be obvious why these conflict. You can't really have proper exploration while being essentially on a timer. The game's two core elements actively punish and reduce each other: if you explore, backtrack, and check out previous areas, you'll run out of resources very fast, forcing you to either push forward or ditch the entire playthrough to start a new one. If you beeline towards an objective, the survival mechanics and resource management become trivial and almost completely ignorable.

While I initially thought the idea of drops randomizing on each death seemed neat, I've come to realize that it's "fuck you" RNG of the very worst kind: runs can live and die on a single roll of the dice. Get infected without having a Cloth Fragment? Fuck you, off to a restart with you. In this game with such a punishing save system, restarting can sometimes mean having to redo like an hour's worth of progress. And not in the fun, roguelike way either: you're literally just repeating the exact same steps again, with maybe some minor differences if you luck into a powerful drop (like the accessory that restores MP in combat). I've seen some people say that this game is supposed to be figured out over the course of multiple playthroughs, and not meant to be completed on your first, or even second run. Which might be fine if runs took maybe 2 hours max, but this is a deliberately slow-paced, methodical game where you're pushed to consider your choices carefully. A complete playthrough can take like 5-7 hours, and that is a shitton of time to be repeating the same steps over and over again across multiple playthroughs. The element of randomization is actually extremely minor, almost to the point of being totally meaningless.

But the most demoralizing realization was when I thought about the videos I'd watched about this game's many, many different endings and secret elements. Simply put, think of the way the Artorias DLC is accessed in Dark Souls 1, and now think discovering it was on a timer. That's what the secrets in this game are like. The conditions for each are so obtuse, the hints given so general and vague, and the game world so big, that I cannot conceive of someone actually having fun trying to discover them by themselves. That's where using the wiki and the guides come in, and here we arrive at the most devastating conclusion I came to: that's not gameplay, that's just following instructions. It's no more interactive than constructing a miniature model. There's nothing immersive, organic or spontaneous about it. You're not exploring or discovering anything, you're just following tracks already laid out in front of you. That's where I not only stopped liking the game, but actively started being annoyed by it.

I will always appreciate this series for its incredible lore, uncompromising vision and excellent execution of Lovecraftian horror. But those are all things you can get from just watching youtube videos about it. Playing it boils down to either A) stumbling blindly through the game on a first playthrough, likely screwing yourself multiple times by things you had no way to prepare for or know about, or B) just going through the motions on further playthroughs, where all sense of immersion, danger or discovery is gone, replaced with rote repetition of things you've already seen.
I agree completely. I never felt like the incredibly punishing and almost arbitrary nature of the game worked in its favour. I like hard games, roguelikes are pretty much my favorite genre, but in F&H you are just doing the exact same thing over and over until you figure out the proper order to lop off the enemies limbs or whatever so they don't afflict you with severe anal bleeding or something. That's why I couldn't muster the energy to actually finish the game after I got to the city.
 

BrawlMan

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I did some more Streets of Rage 4, and did the current Survival twice before the weekly expired. I couldn't get past Level 42.

@Old_Hunter_77, did you ever finish the main campaign? I know you are having trouble with the last stage.

I'll be playing Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart later tonight.
 

Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
Grabbed a few games on the fall steam sale. Dungeons of Aether, Done Keeper, Steel Vampire and Evil West.

Dungeons of Aether is pretty cool, great looking pixel art and animation with interesting gameplay. It puts me in mind of a deck builder but you don't have any cards, instead each turn in battle you roll 6 dice and you and your opponent take turns picking dice. There are 4 colors of dice and each one is a stat, attack, def, accuracy and speed. for 3 of those you just want higher numbers then your opponent, higher attack will beat def, higher speed means you go first. Accuracy is the odd one out and it just lets you choose from more abilities for your turn. Either way its quite cool.

Dome Keeper is a rougelike where you have a dome and you keep it. *mind blown* OK ok, its really a game where you take your lil spaceguy and dig down under your dome to find resources so you can upgrade yourself and your dome enough to survive the increasing waves of shadow creatures, till you find the relic and can leave. Its cool.

Steel Vampire is a shootemup, its kinda weird but neat. Its got an interesting mechanic of enemies dropping items that raise and lower the difficulty and you do more damage and get more drops if you kill enemies at point blank then you do from far away. Plus contact with enemies doesn't hurt.

Evil West its a 3rd person action game were you fight vampires and their monsters with a bit more emphasis on melee combat then I was expecting, but its not fluid like Devil May Cry, but it is fun. Its a very... before gears of war type 3rd person game. Its got the camera locked behind your character, there is no cover system, you are kinda chunky but have some decent movement abilities. Its nothing mind blowing, but its a really solid older style 3rd person action game.
 
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