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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    So I got what implants I could afford and this mission is still next to impossible. As are any assaults in progress I come across, so I'm not going to have any luck with using those to grind up money. I feel like the game might have been a tad optimistic in this mission being suitable for my level, but immersion demands it can't be put off.

    Also doing another playthrough of VtM: Out For Blood, this time as an Intelligence Officer with five Faith. It's really nice to see the fluff text reflecting that, especially as the latter is remarkably extensive. Honestly the biggest issue I'm having is deciding if I want to romance Salem or Lacey this run.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    *checks year* What do you know... time to consider another Skyrim run. Maybe do something I don't usually do this time. How about a stealth archer?
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  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by DaedalusMkV View Post
    Spoiler: Midnight Suns
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    For a substantial part of the game they play up that Caretaker has been keeping secrets, that she seems to be encouraging the player to follow orders and not think about things too much. Then, mid-way through, you learn that the secrets she kept were pretty minor things mostly because she didn't want to deal with them emotionally right now, and she really is just exactly what she appears to be at first glance: An overprotective mother figure who can't leave well enough alone and is in a pretty vulnerable emotional state. It was a very unexpected resolution, but not exactly the most satisfying one. At least for me.
    Spoiler: Caretaker
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    She also lies though, unless that was just a symptom of the inconsistent writing (plausible). Late in the game she tells Hunter she used all her magic to make the collar, but thatís not true: we see her use her powers to drive back Fallen!Wanda earlier on.


    Quote Originally Posted by DaedalusMkV View Post
    Spoiler: Midnight Suns
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    As for the final battle, it's not that complicated. First, the game picks the 4 heroes you have the most Friendship points with, and uses those for phase 2 in order from highest to lowest. In the event of a tie, it breaks said tie with levels. If that's also tied as well, it's alphabetical. Then, it picks the three characters with the least Friendship points (always Hulk, since he never has any, then two others who will probably be Scarlet Witch and whoever you spent the least time hanging out with) for the start of phase 1. It doesn't care about deck at all, and level will almost never come into play unless you have a bunch of characters tied on Friendship.
    Spoiler: Final Battle
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    Except as noted before, that isnít what happened.

    My pillar people were Robbie, Spider-man, Wolverine and Carol. Robbie makes sense, because he was the first person I maxed out on friendship. But Carol was only middle of the pack, Dr. Strange and a couple others had beat her out as far as Friendship levels.


    Quote Originally Posted by DaedalusMkV View Post
    Spoiler: Midnight Suns
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    Honestly, the game was good, but I think the plot actually held it back a fair bit. If it had less story missions that barely advance the plot at all and spent more time in a proper rhythm of 'go on mission, hang out with superheroes' it would have been a much more satisfying game. There are way too many points that you spend an hour talking to everybody about their feelings on THIS minor surprise twist or small plot point before you can get back to the satisfying gameplay loop. Oh, and burn the entire Abby exploration side of things to the ground, of course. That added basically nothing.
    Spoiler
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    I could have done with A LOT more hanging out with superheroes TBH. I didnít really get a chance to know any of them before Iím being quizzed on their likes and dislikes. In the early parts of the game I kept trying to pry more dialogue out of them; half of these people I didnít know, and most of the rest I only knew from the MCU. So in the early game the handful of real conversations became minefields wherein I tried to avoid pissing off my teammates in new and exciting ways, and the hangouts were just drawn out games of roulette as I tried to figure out which innocuous activity was going to torpedo my chances of making friends the least. And having the same canned dialogue regardless if we just saved the day or the Sanctum got leveled is jarring to the point it just put me off talking to anyone unless they had a quest marker over their head, which was the opposite of what I wanted.

    Thereís also a very obvious rift between the groups I canít do anything about until the plot says the problem is fixed, Iíd have preferred some more agency.

    Agree that much of the Abby exploration was severely lacking. Gathering currencies was a chore, and for all the emphasis they put on exploration youíd think theyíd let me jump off the path or take a shortcut once in a while.
    Spoiler: Adventures in Helnith
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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Got further in Sherlock Holmes the Awakened. I got stuck for a bit, based mostly on not quite understanding one of the investigation mechanics, but now I'm back to rolling forward. It's really quite fun, gets a good balance of the game telling you things and giving you a framework to work them out, and letting you do the actual working out.

    I've not really been grabbed by more narrative games in a while, but this is working for me. It isn't an RPG approach to narrative, where you spend 10 minutes talking to people and then go on a 40 minute murder spree to get across town and retrieve Mrs NPC's handbag, which I tend to find doesn't work for the story because it's a mass murder simulator that refuses to admit it, and frankly the talky bits bog down my quest to explode all goblins. But it isn't a walking simulator either, there's an actual game here with genuine mechanics and things to do.

    Rather, I think it does a very good job of turning the narrative into gameplay and vice versa. What happened is the story, but figuring out what happened is the gameplay, and they feed into each other quite nicely.


    Also I would like to issue a Second Extinction correction. They are subterranean mutant killer dinosaurs, not space mutant killer dinosaurs. I apologize for getting this vital piece of 'deep lore' wrong.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
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    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Also I would like to issue a Second Extinction correction. They are subterranean mutant killer dinosaurs, not space mutant killer dinosaurs. I apologize for getting this vital piece of 'deep lore' wrong.
    As a longtime DRG (Deep Rock Galactic) employee, the two can be interchanged depending on context. Subterranean mutant Killer dinosaurs inside an asteroid or other such rocky planetoid (really any planet not named Earth/Terra), definitely qualify as both. Really the important distinction is enemy vs. war mount.
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    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga View Post
    Spoiler: Caretaker
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    She also lies though, unless that was just a symptom of the inconsistent writing (plausible). Late in the game she tells Hunter she used all her magic to make the collar, but thatís not true: we see her use her powers to drive back Fallen!Wanda earlier on.
    Spoiler: Caretaker
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    I don't think that one was actually a lie. It wasn't her magic she used, it was her... What were they, the Blood? The immortal godkin inherited powers thing she used for that, along with all the Orichalcum she brought from the old country. She still has magic, it's just of the mortal variety. And because she's the one controlling all the Abbey's magical defenses, she is able to push Scarlet Witch back in a situation where Wanda should be at an extreme disadvantage (ripping open a Limbo portal and following Magik through against her will is something that even Mephisto might not be able to pull off).

    At least, that was how I interpreted it. Like a lot of what gets said in Midnight Suns, it can definitely be ambiguous. I know that I for one got sick of everyone just saying the word 'gamma' and assuming I'd just go 'okay, yeah, sure, you said the magic word, I'll suspend my disbelief now. It's perfectly reasonable for a random Hydra thug with a gun to KO Captain Marvel at full power'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga View Post
    Spoiler: Final Battle
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    Except as noted before, that isnít what happened.

    My pillar people were Robbie, Spider-man, Wolverine and Carol. Robbie makes sense, because he was the first person I maxed out on friendship. But Carol was only middle of the pack, Dr. Strange and a couple others had beat her out as far as Friendship levels.
    Spoiler: Final Battle
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    Okay, yeah, I don't know then. Everything I've read suggests that's how it works, and that was how it worked for me. There might be some sort of dividing characters based on category? I got Robbie, Iron Man, Dr. Strange and Captain Marvel, who were my top 4 for Friendship points (and three characters I used a lot, plus Robbie).

    Actually, some people suggest it picks in a sorted list from everyone at friendship level 5 or higher, ignoring extra levels past 5. Was Carol at level 5 for you? If not, it seems like the system is pretty wonky.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kareeah_Indaga View Post
    Spoiler
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    I could have done with A LOT more hanging out with superheroes TBH. I didnít really get a chance to know any of them before Iím being quizzed on their likes and dislikes. In the early parts of the game I kept trying to pry more dialogue out of them; half of these people I didnít know, and most of the rest I only knew from the MCU. So in the early game the handful of real conversations became minefields wherein I tried to avoid pissing off my teammates in new and exciting ways, and the hangouts were just drawn out games of roulette as I tried to figure out which innocuous activity was going to torpedo my chances of making friends the least. And having the same canned dialogue regardless if we just saved the day or the Sanctum got leveled is jarring to the point it just put me off talking to anyone unless they had a quest marker over their head, which was the opposite of what I wanted.
    Spoiler
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    I fully agree. I wish they'd eased up a bit on the heroes judging you in the first couple hours of the game (seriously, Blade? Disapproval of the very first dialogue choice in the entire game?), and given you more chances for hangouts and free time.

    My complaints about the plot aren't really about the early game. Everything up to Scarlet Witch being corrupted is really solid. It's really starting in part 2 that you get a whole bunch of filler 'story' missions that the game wallows on for way too long. Roughly at that point it really should have gone to a rate of 2 non-story missions for each story mission, if only to keep the pace of the Fallen being introduced and removed a little slower. I only fought Fallen Scarlet Witch twice, in her introduction and when you purify her! I fought those random demon lady 'supervillains' more often than Venom or Sabertooth! Cut some of the filler fighting random demons for no reason out of the 'story' missions, have me fight random demons for no reason in procedural missions where supervillains can show up instead! Hell, I'm still not entirely sure what removed Venom from the enemy pool, and I cannot believe they let Sabertooth go out like a chump the way they did.
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  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Still just repeating cycles of getting Path of Exile league characters to about level 50 and switching, getting to about sol 15 in Surviving Mars and restarting, getting to around year 2050 in Stellaris and wanting to play some other empire... Bad case of restartitis.

    Need to find something new. Been watching a lot of lets plays of both Wallworld and Domekeeper. The former has more interesting looking meta-progression, latter is way cheaper.. But then again, I've spoilered myself by watching both too much, argh.
    Well that was awkward.

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by DaedalusMkV View Post
    Spoiler
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    Hell, I'm still not entirely sure what removed Venom from the enemy pool, and I cannot believe they let Sabertooth go out like a chump the way they did.
    Spoiler
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    Iím assuming Venomís transition out of the Fallen is explained in his DLC, but as I mentioned I didnít see any hooks to start that so I canít be sure.
    Spoiler: Adventures in Helnith
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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    I've not really been grabbed by more narrative games in a while, but this is working for me. It isn't an RPG approach to narrative, where you spend 10 minutes talking to people and then go on a 40 minute murder spree to get across town and retrieve Mrs NPC's handbag, which I tend to find doesn't work for the story because it's a mass murder simulator that refuses to admit it, and frankly the talky bits bog down my quest to explode all goblins. But it isn't a walking simulator either, there's an actual game here with genuine mechanics and things to do.

    Rather, I think it does a very good job of turning the narrative into gameplay and vice versa. What happened is the story, but figuring out what happened is the gameplay, and they feed into each other quite nicely.
    Not that I haven't enjoyed the more "classic" type of narrative RPGs as well, but I agree, the most fulfilling narrative games are those that manage to marry its gameplay to the theme successfully.

    Incidentally, I just wrapped up Dredge, which was one of the better takes on the recent Lovecraftian remembrance trend.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2023-04-20 at 12:25 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Just finished playing The Last of Us 2.

    Wherever you may stand regarding the narrative choices made, it cannot be ignored: this is a masterclass in cinematic & storytelling craft. I found myself taking several pictures in photo mode because the game looks just so good. The story itself is gripping and dark, something I expected- youíre not getting a happy ending in this world, regardless of who you are.

    I question several key moments in the game- at the beginning and the end especially. But other than that, itís an experience worth going through at least once.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    I'm still playing Shadows of Forbidden Gods but now I'm trying to beat it on the 52x52 map size, which is a LOT harder than the 24x24 maps I started on
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  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Lightbulb Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Hello guys,

    To be honest, I wanted to post my first message in the new members thread, but it seems to be closed, so here I am. Name is Roy, and I was looking for a decent playground form, so here I am! Pleased to join the community, promise to contribute!

    Btw, now I am playing Darkest Dungeon 2 (my favorite game series, the first part is a masterpiece).

    Cheers,

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Hello final boss! Sorry I'm late but this game has ended like five* times already and I needed a break after the bonus dungeon! Do you mind holding on for a bit while I grind to like level 90 and fuse the OP Personas?

    ...the one thing I miss from the sequel us the social link that let you fuse higher level Personas. Otherwise who in their right mind would actually fuse Lucifer?

    Also actually fought the Reaper for Luke the first time in a Persona game. He turned out to be a bit of a pushover who mostly relied on Phys attacks and instant kills.

    * No I'm not kidding, part of P4's presentation of it's themes involves making it look like everything's wrapped up multiple times and expecting you to spot the incredibly subtle loose ends. At least the last one gets a bit more in the way of hints in Golden.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  14. - Top - End - #104
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    After the dark gritty ride that was Last of Us 2, I chose to go a lighter route.

    Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores DLC. I have already played the main game, so I am aware of the story. Aloy flying over the overgrown ruins of Los Angeles never gets old. The new outfits are really nice. Combat is incredibly satisfying, especially against the new machine types.

    I did not care too much for the new antagonist- Sylens is still the best in the bunch. But you get a great set piece for a final fight.

    As always, Photo mode in that game is a true joy with how many expressions and poses Aloy can do.

    And then I began playing Kena Bridge of Spirits. A cute little game about aÖ druid? Priestess? A mix of both, probably. The world is colorful and soothing, and the minions are adorable.

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by AlanBruce View Post
    After the dark gritty ride that was Last of Us 2, I chose to go a lighter route.

    Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores DLC. I have already played the main game, so I am aware of the story. Aloy flying over the overgrown ruins of Los Angeles never gets old. The new outfits are really nice. Combat is incredibly satisfying, especially against the new machine types.
    I want to play that game so bad. I hope they'll port it to PC sometime as well, like with the previous game.

    Still making my way through Wrath of the Righteous myself. I'm 50 hours in and only partway through act 3? I was toying with the thought of giving the game a second playthrough with a melee magus build (using a longbow inquisitor for my current playthrough), but this game is long. Right now I'm honestly not sure if I'll even finish my first playthrough. And maaaaaybe I should reduce the difficulty again just a tad, if only to make sure I can keep moving forward at a steady pace.

  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Planescape: Torment:

    I want one more level of Wizard before going to the Fortress of Regrets. I've done everything else to drive along the story, now my plan is to get Nordom, and hope that pushes me to 13th level.
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  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Finished up Dragon Age 2. I know it's hardly a novel observation around here, but while playing it I found myself thinking that a big part of why it's my favorite of that series is because it's the smallest-scale, most personal of them. You aren't saving the world from a Blight or a Magister or a returned Elven God, you're a refugee trying to make it in a hell-hole of a city. Even once you've secured a noble title and enough money for your own mansion, you're still just a well-meaning person of means trying to navigate the complicated events unfolding in the city during some tumultuous years. And even once you're the "Champion" in the final act, that mostly just makes you famous. You're not special, not one of the last two Grey Wardens in the land where a Blight's starting, not carrying unique magic in your hand that's the key to stopping the apocalypse, you're just someone who is in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at all the worst times, depending on how you look a it).

    It also helps that its most important conflicts are two of the setting's most interesting - how mages are treated, and the tensions between the Qunari and the rest of Thedas. And hell, this is also probably the Bioware game where your companions are much more central to the plot than any other: obviously there's Anders' role at the ending there, but Varric's connection to Bartrand and Anders' map of the Deep Roads are the only reasons you're able to go on the expedition at the end of act 1, Aveline's role as Captain of the Guard gives her importance at times throughout act 2, Isabela's theft of the Tome of Koslun is the entire reason the Qunari are around at all (and, if you you get her friendship/rivalry high enough, her returning it helps resolve the conflict with them), and even Carver and Bethany can play small roles in act 3 if they join the Templars/Circle. Only Fenris, Merril, and Sebastian are just kind of sequestered in their own side-stories and otherwise just along for the ride. It's a very different story than Bioware games usually tell, and those differences help elevate it, in my opinion.

    I also can't help but think of how there was a time when Bioware could put out their most obviously rushed, clearly flawed game ever, and still have it turn out to be something like this, which I can not only enjoy returning to over a decade later, but consider one of their best despite its flaws. Whereas in the past ten years they've put out only three games, one of which I couldn't get through a second time, and the other two of which I didn't even want to play once. Which is just really sad to think about.

    Oh, and I'm probably late to the party on this one since I didn't play Trespasser until just last year, but when playing again, I was reminded that Sandal's cryptic maybe-prophecy is a thing that exists, and, uh,
    Spoiler: Trespasser spoilers/Dreadwolf speculation.
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    the first part of it clearly lines up perfectly with Solas' plans. "One day, the magic will come back - all of it. Everyone will be just like they were." Tearing down the Veil to reunite the Fade and the material world, restoring the Elves to how they were before he separated them. The rest is a bit more ambiguous still, but could also be related to that, particularly the "when he rises" part referring to Solas' reawakening, or to him enacting his plans.

    Which you could just say is minor foreshadowing because they'd already decided on Solas' basic thing back then, but there's a scary element to it. Taken at face value, if this is a prophecy, it means that Solas will succeed, at least in that first and most important part of his plan. That whatever we can accomplish opposing him in Dreadwolf, the Veil will come down at some point in it. And considering he's expecting that alone to cause the destruction of the world as we know it, well, it implies that Dreadwolf may end up trying to out-apocalypse Inquisition. And I don't know how I'd feel about that, because while seeing what happens when the Fade and material world reunite would be very interesting, another game where the world is in the process of falling apart right after Inquisition feels a little tiring... even if they are separated by a decade of real time.
    Last edited by Zevox; 2023-04-22 at 06:35 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #108
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Finally beat Shadows of Forbidden Gods with a 52x52 map. I remembered towards the end of the game that since I had completely enshadowed the capital of the alliance that meant that I could spawn the Monarch to take it over.
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Dragon Age as a setting has the problem of being written into a corner of being an apocalypse turducken. They kept the stakes up so much it all just sort of blends together in an uninteresting way despite how it sounds. Let's take another fantasy series for example, Zelda. Sometimes you're saving the world due to the prophecy. Sometimes you're trapped in a dream. Sometimes you're a nobody but opens up to trying to right the wrongs of a fallen past long forgotten.

    DA2 I think is the best because it's the only time it doesn't just jump into an apocalypse for funsies. The rest is just soooooo much.


    Anyway, the Advance Wars remake is pure-grade nostalgia that one hooks straight into their veins
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    Finished up Dragon Age 2. I know it's hardly a novel observation around here, but while playing it I found myself thinking that a big part of why it's my favorite of that series is because it's the smallest-scale, most personal of them.
    Somehow a lot of people think that DAO is a far more grittier and darker game than DA2, despite the fact that DAO lets you be the moral victor and lose nothing in 90% of its' decision making and aside from a few key figures being bad people it's just a typical "dirty medieval" setting where the biggest threat is still the evil hordes of darkness. Whereas in DA2 everything falls apart regardless of what you do, your surroundings are an outright cursed city where crime is rampant, people sell themselves into indentured servitude or take part in outright slave trade, and even the main character loses a lot in their life over the course of the story.

    I also find that DA2 has the best combat in the series by actual design. Could it be better in execution? Probably, yeah, the respawning waves of enemies are done rather poorly. But it clearly had far more thought put into "how do we make non-Mage characters fun to play" and "why would you want all classes in your party?" than DAO (three mages and a rogue are the superior setup for everything eventually, and also have the most options), while also making sure to provide fun catharsis moments during the fight, and the enemies aren't too damage-spongy.
    Last edited by Ignimortis; 2023-04-23 at 01:06 AM.
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  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    Somehow a lot of people think that DAO is a far more grittier and darker game than DA2, despite the fact that DAO lets you be the moral victor and lose nothing in 90% of its' decision making and aside from a few key figures being bad people it's just a typical "dirty medieval" setting where the biggest threat is still the evil hordes of darkness. Whereas in DA2 everything falls apart regardless of what you do, your surroundings are an outright cursed city where crime is rampant, people sell themselves into indentured servitude or take part in outright slave trade, and even the main character loses a lot in their life over the course of the story.

    I also find that DA2 has the best combat in the series by actual design. Could it be better in execution? Probably, yeah, the respawning waves of enemies are done rather poorly. But it clearly had far more thought put into "how do we make non-Mage characters fun to play" and "why would you want all classes in your party?" than DAO (three mages and a rogue are the superior setup for everything eventually, and also have the most options), while also making sure to provide fun catharsis moments during the fight, and the enemies aren't too damage-spongy.
    I feel like the artstyle and presentation differences kind of do make it feel like DAO is darker, even if content-wise you're right that that's not really true. Also, DAO doesn't have anyone as funny as Varric or as adorable as Merrill. Ultimately, at the end of the game my first Hawke was fairly satisfied with herself and her girlfriend Merrill escaping the city and having stopped the very worst outcomes from happening.

    I think I'd also agree about the combat design; the ideas generally seemed good, but the large numbers of minor enemies I think made some of them kind of not work. In particular, things like cross-class combos and other multi-step setup things seem like they'd work better with small numbers of tougher enemies to me.

    On another part of Dragon Age,
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    of all the bad decisions and disasters in all of DA2, and Act 3 in particular, I might have said "at least we got rid of the extremist religious Knight-Commander." But no, apparently Hawke can't have that one as a win either.

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    The Dragon Age games are at their best when dealing with difficult choices or horrible consequences, and DA2 has the most of them. Origins lets you sidestep some of the best scenes in the game and get a perfect resolution, whereas Inquisition is a clichť storm that mostly feels devoid of meaningful decisions. It also helps that you don't have to be best buddies with any companion except the chest hair, it helps Hawke not ping pong between viewpoints depending on who she's speaking with (although other games can be even worse for that).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
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    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    A few games...

    Monster World IV for Sega Genesis. My first time, actually. I heard some of its songs, wanted to play it.

    Rise of Kingdoms, mobile. My parents play it, wanted to play with them.

    Minecraft with my wife and kids.

    FFVII Remake, off and on.

    Wizard of Legend, off and on with my son. Still chaos gem farming, haven't done any runs like we're seriously trying to beat it. Not sure we'd be able to do it, though.
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    As a DM, I deal with character death by cheering and giving a fist pump, or maybe a V-for-victory sign. I would also pat myself on the back, but I can't really reach around like that.
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    I've returned to Kingdom Come of all things, decided to go on a more scoundrely route this time, and found out to my surprise that it pulls off the "Thief" gameplay better than 99% of other titles out there, including the Elder Scrolls.

    There is a rather nerdy conspicuousness vs. noticeability system that is calculated with your clothing, where everyday clothes are noticed easily, but then discarded easily as well, while more professional garbs have the opposite stats.

    And it's just not with the base system as well, there are actually a rather staggering amount of hand-crafted thievery-adjacent quests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCerberus View Post
    Dragon Age as a setting has the problem of being written into a corner of being an apocalypse turducken. They kept the stakes up so much it all just sort of blends together in an uninteresting way despite how it sounds.
    Eh, I don't think that's anything unique to Dragon Age, it's just how Bioware typically does things. Since they're usually trying to let you play characters that can be anything from saints to mustache-twirling evil, they need a threat that's big enough that anyone would want to fight it as their main antagonist. Hence we get Sith Empires, people twisting the natural world to empower themselves at the expense of everyone else, Blights, Reapers, Corypheus, etc. DA2 somewhat gets around this a bit by having the parts you have to pursue all come from either people who have authority over you (the Viscount, Meredith) or your companions, but I'm sure there were people who wanted to just tell the former to go screw themselves at times rather than working with them since there isn't a mortal threat to themselves motivating them to do so, and were unhappy that they couldn't. I'm not one of them, but still.

    Which is to Bioware's detriment, I think. Between DA2 and the loyalty missions of ME2, I'd say it's clear that their writing was at its best when the stories are more personal and don't necessarily have world-shaking stakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignimortis View Post
    I also find that DA2 has the best combat in the series by actual design. Could it be better in execution? Probably, yeah, the respawning waves of enemies are done rather poorly. But it clearly had far more thought put into "how do we make non-Mage characters fun to play" and "why would you want all classes in your party?" than DAO (three mages and a rogue are the superior setup for everything eventually, and also have the most options), while also making sure to provide fun catharsis moments during the fight, and the enemies aren't too damage-spongy.
    I certainly remember thinking that DA2's combat was a net improvement over Origins' back in the day. Though these days I'd just say that I don't think the series has particularly good combat at all, personally. Like I said when I started replaying DA2, I simply have lost all interest in real-time-with-pause combat at this point; to me it's just another half-assed attempt at mixing turn-based and action combat that isn't as good as either one.

    And speaking of half-assed combat, I've decided to do at least one more of my old 360 games, this time one that I only ever played once: BrŁtal Legend. The game that starts out seeming like it'll be an unimpressive action game, then turns into a weird, unimpressive RTS game. But damn if it doesn't have style, at least - goes all out on the heavy metal world theme in a way you just have to appreciate. Awkward gameplay or not, it's already a fun time, even just a couple of hours into it.
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Finally completed P4G and I don't like the new True Ending as much. I think the original ending just gave much more closure, all was said and done, the themes were wrapped up,
    Spoiler
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    the Main Character gets on the train,
    and then Never More begins playing with the credits.

    Hell, Never More noticeably kicks in about where it does in the original, and then stops before it gets to the lyrics.

    Might start a NG+ run tomorrow to see Chie's romance scenes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zevox View Post
    And speaking of half-assed combat, I've decided to do at least one more of my old 360 games, this time one that I only ever played once: BrŁtal Legend. The game that starts out seeming like it'll be an unimpressive action game, then turns into a weird, unimpressive RTS game. But damn if it doesn't have style, at least - goes all out on the heavy metal world theme in a way you just have to appreciate. Awkward gameplay or not, it's already a fun time, even just a couple of hours into it.
    Brutal Legend is one of only three RTS games I've ever enjoyed, and the campaign is one of the funniest things I've ever played... which makes it so much more frustrating that EA pulled the plug on the dev budget and forced the game out when it was nowhere near done. There was supposed to be an entire other act to the storyline, which was obviously being set up by scenes like the return to the first zone of the game. On top of that, an entire fourth faction was intended for the campaign as well as multiplayer, Fletus' vehicle-centric Motor Freeks, which is why the guy got so many side missions establishing his character. Add on the fact Tim Shafer plans his games as two-parters in the first place...

    Here's hoping those are accurate rumors about Tim Shafer intending to make a sequel now that Psychonauts 2 turned out to be a hit. There are still bands telling him they'd like to be in Brutal Legend 2... but you know, it just won't be the same without the Kill Master.
    Last edited by NeoVid; 2023-04-23 at 08:53 PM.
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Speaking of belated sequels, I was home alone for the weekend, and decided to squander some time with Dead Island 2.

    I don't recall being enormously impressed with the first Dead Island's combat, but this feels really good. The weapon impact physics are turned up to nearly cartoon levels, so you don't just stagger zombies with the bigger weapons, you send them flying. It's silly, and it feels great. There's also a parry system, which I also don't recall from the first game, which (with the right character options) lets you stun a zombie and then beat the hell out of them.

    And oh boy do you beat on zombies. The gore is genuinely next level, and in classic zombie tradition the undead are apparently made out of paper mache, so they just disintegrate when you hit them via a hideously and vaguely hilarious procedural gore system. Arms and heads go flying of course, but so do jawbones, skull fragments, torsos, and pretty much everything else, along with huge gaping wounds, eyeballs dangling out of sockets, and absolute gallons of blood. I was recently assaulted by one zombie missing the entire top of his skull. His brain was jiggling like slightly warm jello.

    In light of the tornado of pulverized undead parts you generate, the tone is very Not Serious. It manages to be slightly serious for maybe the first 15 minutes, but then shifts into full goofs'n'gore mode. You rescue an aging movie star who blew up his chair lift with a grenade. There's another bit where you kill zombies for a livestream. The first boss battle is an undead bride, and yes of course dance music is playing.

    Shockingly the game isn't open world. Actual level design! Not great level design, but good stuff nonetheless, with proper
    exploration and setpieces pacing and stuff. I so, so love levels.

    There's a loot system like the first game, so its basically Diablo But Only Zombies. But the combat is good, and if incinerating zombies with a flaming mattock is wrong, who wants to be right?
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  29. - Top - End - #119
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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Dead Island 2 came out?

    *checks*

    Ah, it's locked in Epic jail. I'll play it when it gets released I guess.

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    Default Re: What Are You Playing 8 (2023 Reboot)

    Quote Originally Posted by NeoVid View Post
    Brutal Legend is one of only three RTS games I've ever enjoyed
    Okay, curiousity compels me: What are the other two?
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