What are you playing?

Spaceloaf

New member
Jun 22, 2020
14
9
3
I got Hades off the Steam sale and the general design is pretty good. There are some puzzling elements though.

I beat the end boss on only my 10th run through the game. It wasn't that I had mastered the game, not even close. In fact I doubt I've even seen half of what the game has to offer, and it's not even out of Early Access. But in it's current state the game feels way too front-loaded with mechanics and abilities. Its sort of like Binding of Issac, but there's nothing past Mom. So I reached the "end" and I haven't even seen all the enemy types yet, which feels like a pacing issue. I'm sure some of this will be fixed in the final release, but this is the state of Early Access.

As for how I achieved victory, I feel that the enemy encounters are a bit too frenetic. They start throwing too many enemies at a time, so it sort of naturally pushes the player towards an AOE/ranged build where you can just take out a bunch of enemies from a distance. It turns out this is hyper effective; by midway through my run I was beating every room by just casting poison clouds everywhere and mindlessly throwing my shield while dashing. I made it through two complete levels including bosses without needing to change strategy at all.

It's not to say that the gameplay is bad, on the contrary it's tight enough that they could pull off some Hyper Light Drifter-style combat. But the current amount of mobs kind of dis-incentivizes they player from playing the tight game because it is so much easier to just spam AOE and dodge. I would have preferred to see less enemies which are stronger to push the balance back towards thoughtful engagement.

In summary, so far I'm finding it to be rich with content and mechanics, but the actual game is much too short to experience it organically. You really need to grind to see everything the game has to offer.
 

DtoidJordan

Administrator
Staff member
Robot
Apr 15, 2020
27
55
18
We're still slowly carving through Borderlands 2 on Switch.

It's been so long, and I never played a lot of the post-launch stuff originally, so we're kind of just blindly picking out random post-campaign missions right now. We got through Son of Crawmerax on our second try (thanks, Deathtrap!) and only just hit level 35, so there's a long way to go still.
 
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DtoidJordan

Administrator
Staff member
Robot
Apr 15, 2020
27
55
18
How is the Switch port? I’m kinda curious once it drops a little in price.
It gets the job done well enough in split-screen. There can be slowdown in rare situations with tons of enemies and every time someone hits the buy button on the vending machines, but otherwise, no real complaints.
 

modern_moron

Gold Standard in Stupidity
Jun 11, 2020
117
88
28
Location
I told myself I'd hold off on TLOU2 because I need to save up some money.

So instead I ended up spending an equivalent amount on a bunch of Steam games.

Then twice as much on additional storage/backup space. 🙃

Anyway, Legend of Bum-Bo is neat. Playing Afterbirth+ again, too.

Fallout 4 with some mods so i maybe enjoy it a bit more than I did on PS4. I saw a lot of people hyping up the Synth alternate start mod, but found it kind of disappointing so far.

All it does is let you pick a starting background that includes appropriate gear, but then it teleported me in the middle of Jamaica Plain at level one.

I died about 10 times trying to make my way back to the vanilla starting area.

Then it crashed :(
 
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Flubious

New member
Jun 30, 2020
3
1
3
Dragon Quest 11 on the Switch a lot. I started Ashen for PC last night and am diggin it so far. I’m also always in the middle of a Souls game play through. Right now its 3, at Yhorm, dex build.
 

JuIc3

Member
Jul 5, 2020
75
38
18
Kansas City
I'm frolicking through Bloodborne again, basically killing time until Ghosts of Sushi Booshi.

What are your guys thoughts on FarCry 3? Is it better than 4 and 5?
 

Yue

Member
Jul 5, 2020
45
36
18
I’m playing BOTW again. It seems to be the only game that doesn’t make me nauseous. I wish I could play something new but alas this baby as other plans for me.
 

taterchimp

Member
Jun 8, 2020
25
27
13
Iowa
I'm frolicking through Bloodborne again, basically killing time until Ghosts of Sushi Booshi.

What are your guys thoughts on FarCry 3? Is it better than 4 and 5?

Not sure if its 'better', or just the origin of the style. Hunting animals and grinding cash can be super repetitive, but it can also be fun to shoot down cassowaries.
 

taterchimp

Member
Jun 8, 2020
25
27
13
Iowa
I'm back to my DotA 2 ways after being Troubleshooter: Abandoned Children. I spent like $100 on the Battlepass because I'm a whale and they had some pretty sweet skins and stuff.
 

JuIc3

Member
Jul 5, 2020
75
38
18
Kansas City
I went ahead and picked up Far Cry 3 Classic for PS4.

It looks really good, and I don't think they upgraded the visuals too much. I never played it before, and I have a 360, but the framerate seems to buckle on legacy consoles.
 
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modern_moron

Gold Standard in Stupidity
Jun 11, 2020
117
88
28
Location
Very much getting into the Forest now.

First time in a while a game has scared me to the point where I just quit to desktop lol

It was my first time entering a cave. Didn't even run into any cannibals or mutants. The dark and noises were all I needed.

Took me about 3 new games to get the hang of the basics and pick a decent base location (the last one was awful. right on the pathway for daily patrols)
 

Fendibull

New member
May 24, 2020
15
6
3
"Bass" "He's playing a bass" "He's our bass player have you guys met" *ensure laughter* - Dream Theater funny moments from Score.

I'm currently playing Diablo 3 and Assassin's Creed Origin. I already own the full set of Gears of Dreadlands, so I'm jumping from Torment 4 to Torment 10 after two farming.
 

Spaceloaf

New member
Jun 22, 2020
14
9
3
I started playing Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It made me realize something. I was never a huge fan of the first Ori; I thought it was fine, but not GOTY material that many seemed to think it was. I'm realizing a big part of the reason it didn't click as hard for me is because the game design is at odds with itself.

It's essentially a platformer forced into the framework of a Metroidvania. Now that there isn't that goofy manual check-point system from the first game (which I do think is an improvement), it's more blatantly obvious. The game autosaves like crazy because there are so many ways to instantly die that it would be super frustrating without the copious checkpoints.

But it also completely removes any tension from either exploration or combat because you know you can't ever really lose progress or get lost. The world is really just a framework for these isolated platforming challenges that usually stop at a dead end with a collectible/power-up. In that sense, its more like Super Meat Boy, except instead of selecting levels you have to navigate the world to get to each challenge. There isn't really that sense of exploration where you jump down a hole and wonder how you're going to make it back home because the world is really just a single trunk with various side branches, and the autosave ensures you'll always restart at the main trunk.

I'm still enjoying the game for what it is, but it kind of makes me think the devs would be better off trimming the fat and just making a Celeste style platformer.
 

Scrustle

Active member
May 11, 2020
74
113
33
A few days ago I started Shadow Warrior 2, since they announced the third game recently, and I've been meaning to get around to this one for a while. I was kind of hesitant to try this one, even though I have had it sitting on my GOG account for ages thanks to some giveaway that happened years ago. But I had heard how this one wasn't as well received as the previous game, and had randomly generated levels and Borderlands-like looter-shooter systems. And those things are definitely there, but I'm still enjoying the game a lot regardless. The moment-to-moment is fantastic. It's fast and furious, with fluid movement and a frenetic pace. Swift and stylist, punchy and powerful. Guns feel great, as do swords, both having a visceral feeling of tearing through enemies in an excessively gratifying way. The controls feel really tight, and you have a lot of freedom of movement too. Much like the recent Doom games, it's a high bar for what modern shooters can feel like if they try, and it all works really well on a controller. Visually it's really impressive too, with gorgeously detailed environments, and great lighting and wind effects.

But those randomly generated levels are hard to ignore. Despite looking great, none of the levels are particularly interesting from a gameplay design point of view. They don't feel like they have much logic or direction to them, and there isn't really much point in exploring around. While they work well as arenas for combat, and even have some level of verticality to them, navigating them feels kind of thoughtless. But so far it hasn't really ruined the experience, as the combat and aesthetic is where the real appeal is. Although I am glad it seems the third game is going back to more intentionally designed levels.

I've also been spending a lot of time with Gujian 3 as well. It's an action RPG made by a Chinese developer, and seemingly their attempt at creating their own big budget, AAA game. Or at least as close as they can manage. And I've actually been pretty impressed with it. Aesthetically it is really strong, with great looking environments that have a great use of colour and scene composition, and a nice variety of different areas that explore some cool concepts. The world the game is set in is pretty interesting too, which had me digging around in the lore records to wrap my head around it. Combat is fun, although it's not particularly deep. But it's flashy and responsive, and some of the bosses have been pretty entertaining. It has a lot of rough edges though. Cutscenes can be a bit janky at times, translation can be a bit iffy, and performance is not great. Although thankfully that seems to mostly occur when you're travelling around and streaming in and out the world, and so combat sections tends to fare better.

I've reached a point where a huge crafting system has opened up. It's kind of overwhelming at first, with multiple hours of tutorials on the myriad of things you can craft, and how all the farming systems work. It's pretty crazy. The story is starting to feel a bit meandering right now though, as it's hard to keep track of why I'm doing the stuff I am at the given moment. But at the very least it's taking me on a tour through some really fantastic looking environments. I've also managed to improve the performance somewhat, by using RTSS. It still struggles to reach 60fps a lot of the time, but at least now with this tool the frame pacing is evened out a bit, so it feels much less stuttery.
 

zatoseyes

Active member
May 11, 2020
78
118
33
I finally started Dark Souls 3. I'm recording my gameplay and hoping to turn it into a video review. So far I've reached the bottom of the High Wall and I just can't stop thinking about Bloodborne while I play. Is that normal?
 
Jun 9, 2020
60
53
18
UK
Finished playing Halo 2 and now started Halo 3. Don't know how much they've changed for the MCC but really enjoying the gameplay.