What are you playing?

If I could run Insect Glaive minus the bug-managing minigame I'd be all about it, but I really don't want to spend the time not fighting in order to refresh its buffs. Instead I run Gunlance, which feels like it has a good balance between defense and being able to blow things up with explosions.
 
I find that once I’m used to where to aim for the buffs it’s great. The first few fights against a monster are rough.

I love lance, but it’s not always enough damage and I play solo primarily. It was a hot mess vs Kirin.
 
I finally succeeded against tempered Kirin with dual blades which was super scary, but I was able to do damage quickly and evade away to safety. I also cheesed with many bombs :)
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I'm still trying to make up my mind whether Shortest Trip to Earth is good or not. So far, it's basically FTL but with a lot of unnecessary complications, and detrimental simplifications, and an out-of-control RNG that 100% determines your success or failure.
 
I've been really struggling to force myself to enjoy Fallout 4, and it's just not happening. I finally put it on hold and started God of War 2018 and hot damn that was a good ass decision. GOW deserves all the praise it got. I loved the original GOW games but the 2018 entry just flips the whole series into something else entirely.
 
The kids and I now have PS plus and we’re playing MHW together. Omg how cute!!

The family that slays together....
 
I've been really struggling to force myself to enjoy Fallout 4, and it's just not happening. I finally put it on hold and started God of War 2018 and hot damn that was a good ass decision. GOW deserves all the praise it got. I loved the original GOW games but the 2018 entry just flips the whole series into something else entirely.
I loved Fallout 3 and New Vegas. For 4 I think I got to
meeting the Brotherhood of Steel
and have never played it since.
 
So I set up my raspberry pi to run mame and downloaded the typical 4900 games that go with it, and the experience was not what I expected. It's interesting playing all of the old games, but I clearly remember them through a lens of nostalgia, and no longer feel the need to build an entire cabinet for it. On the bright side, I've never played Silent Hill 2, and there's a playstation emulator on there, so it's still fully falling in the win category.
 
I loved Fallout 3 and New Vegas. For 4 I think I got to
meeting the Brotherhood of Steel
and have never played it since.
Yeah I haven't made it that far.

I may finish it eventually but for now I'm enjoying the hell out of God of War. And I have myself RDR2 for my birthday so that's next.
 
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I almost never play post-story stuff, but Shadow of War gives so much to do still!

Since the game ended, one of my fortresses was attacked. I let it fall because letting Sauron's orcs upgrade it was cheaper than doing it myself, and then I'd take it back. They captured my overlord.
I failed his rescue mission and they executed him.
Then he came back to get revenge on me. His old title was Grog-Maker. I met him because I blew up some grog and that upset him. I thought we would be friends after that.
Now his title is the Abandoned and his face is covered in bandages and metal. I couldn't get him back on my side until I shamed him twice, adding hand scars to his problems. I don't know what'll happen now, but it was emotional turnoil seeing him like this after my strategic loss.

I love this game. The story is dumb as rocks, but everything is so much fun. I would've paid full price when it came out had WB not been so greedy and added loot boxes. Now that those are gone, it can be the great game it should've been from the start, and it was cheap too.
 
I almost never play post-story stuff, but Shadow of War gives so much to do still!

Since the game ended, one of my fortresses was attacked. I let it fall because letting Sauron's orcs upgrade it was cheaper than doing it myself, and then I'd take it back. They captured my overlord.
I failed his rescue mission and they executed him.
Then he came back to get revenge on me. His old title was Grog-Maker. I met him because I blew up some grog and that upset him. I thought we would be friends after that.
Now his title is the Abandoned and his face is covered in bandages and metal. I couldn't get him back on my side until I shamed him twice, adding hand scars to his problems. I don't know what'll happen now, but it was emotional turnoil seeing him like this after my strategic loss.

I love this game. The story is dumb as rocks, but everything is so much fun. I would've paid full price when it came out had WB not been so greedy and added loot boxes. Now that those are gone, it can be the great game it should've been from the start, and it was cheap too.
Man, and I was called crazy for liking it. People said it was grindy. Never felt that way to me. I had a blast with it.
 
Haven't heard much good things about Shadow of War, but the nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor had me completely engrossed, and it sounds like the way they've expanded on that would appeal to me.
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How wonderfully decadent!

—Patrick
The 3 was a typo, obviously.
 
Haven't heard much good things about Shadow of War, but the nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor had me completely engrossed, and it sounds like the way they've expanded on that would appeal to me.
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The 3 was a typo, obviously.
In some ways it's much better than SoM. In some ways it's a step back, or just more smeared out. I mean, the end game pretty much is "do the same battles 25 times, but with different orcs coming and going". if you like the Nemesis system, they make good use of it. If you don't care, that gets pretty grindy. But it's pretty much "just more of the exact same game play" at that point, which is fine if you like the game play.
I will say that the beginning drags on a bit because, well, obviously, story reasons and whatever, you don't get all the toys and powers to play with at the beginning.
 

Dave

Staff member
By the way, if you got he XBox Game Pass for The Outer Worlds, Shadow of War is now on there as well.
 
If you aren't crazy about the Nemesis system, Shadow of War isn't going to change that.

If you are, there are so so so many new things!
 
What's kept me away from SoW, aside from time, is that my friend, who is also a big fan of the Nemesis system, hated it.

But, said friend also loves Fallout 4. So, you know, different tastes.
 
What's kept me away from SoW, aside from time, is that my friend, who is also a big fan of the Nemesis system, hated it.

But, said friend also loves Fallout 4. So, you know, different tastes.
Before the patch where they removed DLC, it was more of a slog for sure.
 
I recall talking about Shadow of War when I played it I think last year. I tried to like it, because I wound up quite enjoying Shadow of Mordor, but Shadow of War just didn't pull me in. I think because on top of being grindy, it felt very samey. The only thing that was enjoyable was seeing the different orc personalities with the nemesis system, but the gameplay and sandbox just wasn't enough for me.

Meanwhile, I just finished playing Soma. Really great sci-fi game with horror elements awkwardly crowbarred in. In fact, I decided to take advantage of the "Safe Mode" option and glad I did. I wouldn't have the patience to do the annoying stealth parts of the game.

Thankfully, because I was able to skip the stealth parts, I was able to just get right into the story, which pulled me right in. I kinda wish more games would do this. Just have the option to explore and enjoy the game without the danger of the monsters.

Honestly, the monster bits were seldom and didn't really gel with the rest of the story. It could've just been a glorified walking simulator, with puzzles rather than stealth and avoiding monsters. Because the story is REALLY good.
 
Inside

Made by creators of the indie darling, Limbo, this is basically more of the same of that, gameplay wise. Jump, climb, push boxes. There's some new additions to the gameplay that's really neat, like controlling NPCs in a Lemmings style way. And then the final sequence made me verbally say, "What the fuck? What the fuck!?" multiple times. In a good way, mind you. It's probably the best part of the game, even though it doesn't make sense.

I'm watching some video essays to hear some more thoughts on it and everyone seems as lost as I am. There's possible themes of collectivism, but because the whole story and world is vague with no explanation, it's really hard to say. Still, I enjoyed it for what it was: a short, clever and occasionally unsettling platformer.
 
I just tried playing a bit of Layers of Fear and I'm left unimpressed. The problem is that "startling" doesn't mean "scary." That's a lesson many horror movies could learn, too. Stuff happens that made me jump but it wasn't scary. I never felt uneasy or apprehensive.

On top of that, there's the whole "walk through the same door and end up in a different room" gimmick. Which is the whole Silent Hill PT thing. Except that was a demo and this was a full game. It's unsettling for 1 or 2 doors, but then it becomes the norm.

I'm not really feeling inclined to continue with this one.
 
I was actually talking to my husband last night about how most old horror movies that relied on effects to be scary are really not scary anymore, and the ones that rely on psychological scares are still good.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
I pirated DQXI. I'm 30 hours in and it feels like it's just now starting to get "good," true to JRPG form.

Up until now it's felt like a big ol' Fisher Price My First RPG rated Y7+ for Puff Puff. But despite the simplicity and shallow family-friendliness, I am really digging some parts of it.

I absolutely LOVE that you can switch out party members even in the middle of a fight, and that everybody in your stable gets exp even if they're not in the party when it ends. The biggest source of angst I've had in RPGs previously of this nature was in selecting party members and worrying about my choices later. Gone. Everybody comes, even if only 4 people are active at any one moment.

The crafting system isn't bad either, it's a novel take on it, though I can see why the switch edition changed up things like letting you craft anywhere - it's a bit irritating to have to go camping whenever you want to craft.

I kinda feel like the dude in the review oversold a few aspects of the game... he went on and on about how massive and intricate all the cities are, and let me tell you, coming from MMOs like Conan Hyborean Adventures or Warhammer Online, or heck, just RPGs like Beyond Divinity 1 and 2... these cities are tiny and simple. And going with midi for the soundtrack is kind of a strange choice - said soundtrack ranging between corny and cheesy, occasionally repetitive AF. But he was right about one thing - this is an excellent game to play when you want to relax and "hang out" and not think too hard. I especially like how the AI controls characters if you tell it to do so - it usually makes the choices I would want it to in any given situation. I also agree that this game is only as grindy as you make it, and also only as easy or as hard as you want it to be. I stop fighting mooks as soon as it feels like I'm not being given enough exp for victories to make it worthwhile (which usually leads to me dodging a LOT of battles by sprinting around monsters crono trigger style), and so far that seems to be the sweet spot for making the boss fights slightly challenging but not overwhelming. I've never had a total party wipe, but I did stop and reload saves once or twice due to botched minigames (for which I blame the keyboard controls, they're HORRIBLE in the horse race, I plugged my controller in specifically for that part and that part only) or RNG crafting fuckery.

I'll tell you one thing though, ESC on the keyboard being "immediately quit without saving" instead of "open system menu" is a HORRIBLE design choice.

Anyway, I'll still probably buy it once it gets to be 10 bucks on steam.
 
Finally completed the most recent scenario of Frost Punk, The Last Autumn. This mode is sort of an inversion of the normal A New Home scenario; instead of building a city around a generator, you're building the generator that a future city will be built around... and you have to do it before Winter comes AND make your deadlines along the way or you'll be sent home and the project will fail. Not only are you on a deadline, you also need to deal with politics between the Engineers and the Workers, both whom have advantages and disadvantages.

Anyway, I managed to build the generator with no faults and all it's upgrades about 5 days before the icebreakers came to bring us home, which is apparently only something like 2% of players manage. Next goal is to do it by Day 37 so I can leave with the ships when they come with the last delivery.
 
I finished Half-Life 2, and it was pretty good. It definitely gave me a taste for story driven shooters again, so I bucked and bough the Bioshock Collection and restarted Bioshock before I realized I got a Half-Life package and have Episodes 1 and 2 to play though. Well, at least I'll be busy for a while.
 
On a whim I fired up This War of Mine again. I played a few days, then realized I wasn't really in the mood for its bleak and stressful gameplay, so I downloaded a mod that allowed me to get an assault rifle and tons of ammo very early on in the game. This meant I no longer had to be careful when I went out scavenging, because I was almost certainly more heavily armed than anyone I encountered in the war-torn city. In fact, it became easier to simply shoot everyone dead and then do my scavenging.

And then I realized I had become one of the looters in the night that I'm usually trying to defend against.

Interesting game, this.
 
On a whim I fired up This War of Mine again. I played a few days, then realized I wasn't really in the mood for its bleak and stressful gameplay, so I downloaded a mod that allowed me to get an assault rifle and tons of ammo very early on in the game. This meant I no longer had to be careful when I went out scavenging, because I was almost certainly more heavily armed than anyone I encountered in the war-torn city. In fact, it became easier to simply shoot everyone dead and then do my scavenging.

And then I realized I had become one of the looters in the night that I'm usually trying to defend against.

Interesting game, this.
Yeah, that's a rough play... and it's supposed to dawn on you eventually that, yeah, you aren't much better than the people you have to kill to survive, but the second you can take ANYTHING you want is the moment you've essentially become the boogieman.

Their other game, Frostpunk, has clear lines for when things have gone too far as well. But it feels less nessacery there because good gameplay means you'll never need those tools to begin with.
 

Dave

Staff member
I hate Path of Exile. My builds are so viable and then around level 50 or so they just fall apart. My HC character died tonight at level 53. I've never been able to get a HC character past the 60th level bump.
 
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