xtal rants, mini or not, are the best!
So I finished Enslaved recently on PC and it looked pretty damn amazing with everything cranked up, a few tweaks here and there and some super high anti-aliasing forced through Nvidia Inspector.
The game itself I found monumentally dull but the characters and promise of the story kept me playing. Unfortunately, I don't think the story really did enough with the characters, instead choosing to focus on some last minute twist that didn't make an awful lot of sense. And those orbs... those fucking flow-breaking orbs filling up every last nook and cranny from start to finish. Terrible. Terrible terrible terrible.
I started FTL and really enjoyed it but then got distracted by something else so I need to get back on that. It very much reminds me of a game idea I had years ago, only, instead of being set in space, my game was set in a kind of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind-style canyon network and had a flying fortress vertical (but directional) shoot 'em up element to it.
Chaos Reborn, Julian Gollop's remake of his ZX Spectrum TBS classic Chaos, finally left Early Access so I've been playing that online and off the last couple of weeks. It's got that X-COM element of chance so it's ultimately about risk management, but there are some delicious systems in place that overlap and jostle with each other in really cool and interesting ways.
Take the summoning for example. You can summon real creatures or illusions. There's a percentage chance to summon real creatures so a Sapphire Dragon's base chance is 20% while a Spider's is 60%. Whether you succeed or fail at summoning a creature, the spell card will disappear. The thing is, summoning an illusion never fails. They look real, they're just as solid, and just as deadly. So why would you ever want a real creature? Every warlock has the Disbelieve spell. It's unlimited, never fails to cast, has unlimited range, no line of sight requirement and is exclusively for dealing with illusions. If you disbelieve an illusion, the creature will disappear and you'll get another action. However, if you try to disbelieve a real creature then nothing will happen and you'll have effectively wasted your action. Bummer. Summoning illusions is risky then, but using Disbelieve is also risky. Both can reap huge rewards though if used carefully.
So Chaos Reborn is elegant, clever and brilliant and comes with some fantastic in-game documentation and tooltips as well as a slew of excellent tutorials and challenges to chew on while you're learning.
And those orbs... those fucking flow-breaking orbs filling up every last nook and cranny from start to finish. Terrible. Terrible terrible terrible.
Oh my yes. I've stated the same thing myself. Simply a poor design choice which completely distracted from an interesting narrative.
Rule #2: Double-tap
Ahhh, yes, I remember your post now! Reading it back, you even used the phrase 'nook and cranny'. They really did put them everywhere. "Wait a sec Trip while I waltz over here to collect these god damned orbs that seemingly nobody else but me can see. No no, I don't care if we've bigger pressing issues: I need these orbs dude."
I've been playing Heavy Rain. Well, I was until my save got corrupted at the 80% done mark! I don't like saving with the PS button and this time I guess I quit as it was saving, though I never saw a saving icon. I prefer to save using the start menu. Maybe I'll try again in a few years.
I played Might and Magic 6 before that and it still holds up after all these years. Also, finishing up Risen 3.
Looking forward to playing Fallout 4 soon.
I'm playing Persona 4 as my SMT tour continues. The thing is, I'm not having a lot of fun; nothing like with DDS (which might just be my favorite take on the SMT formula). I'm right about up to the point where I stalled the first time I played. This is a restart since I forgot everything from before. We'll see how it goes. I like that there's a mystery to solve, but I don't like the vibe nearly as much as that of P3. This is one of those games in which the devs fixed much of the clunkiness of the previous game, but which nonetheless doesn't actually feel like a better game.
Rule #2: Double-tap
Aside: I'm sorry some longtime forum users are needing to be approved every time they post something. We still haven't figured out why this is happening and when I'm out of town or something as I was last week, there can be quite a delay. Apologies!
Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.
I finished Persona 4, by which I mean I reached the true ending, by which I mean not the almost-but-not-quite-true ending, by which I mean not the bad ending. I can now definitively say that I like Persona 3 better. Is Persona 3 a better game? I don't know, maybe not. But I like it more. I like the story more, the characters more, even the dungeons (well, dungeon) more. The music is a wash, with the slight edge possibly going to P4. Still, I stuck around for 170 hours so that's saying something.
Anyway, my body is ready for Persona 5. There's still the little matter of Nocturne hanging around, unfinished. But I don't feel the urge to finish it before P5 comes out (which frankly could slip into 2017 at this point for all I know, so maybe I will finish it next).
I've watched some LPs of P4G, and it's almost unrecognizable for all the changes. I have no desire to try it out (though I am a bit curious to try out the PS TV), nor do I have a desire for P4 NG+. Now back to Dark Souls 3...
Rule #2: Double-tap
For most of the month I've been back on Splatoon and having a blast, but last week I was torn away from it by Offworld Trading Company. Never would I have thought that an economics strategy game would enthral me so much, and the music by Christopher Tin is superb.
In between that I've been progressing slowly on Anachronox and I'm really enjoying it, more so than Pillars of Eternity which I ditched after a good 18 hours last month. I just couldn't handle the fiddly combat, weird ability/spell timings, and the barrage of icons and necessary explanations. And dare I say it: most of the dialogue I found boring.
Which is a total contrast to Anachronox. It looks old but, man, I still find it really evocative with plenty of cute details littered about the city, like a pair of trainers hanging in some overhead cables high above the streets or newspaper sheets flapping around at the station when the shuttles pull away. The camera work, such as when you activate lifts, is surprisingly dynamic too. Amazing what the Quake 2 engine was capable of.
The dialogue is great, as is the acting. The characters, despite their low poly appearance, have obviously had a lot of care and attention poured into them; their textures and slight facial expressions I still find impressive, for their time. Aesthetically I think it holds up really well. It's also made me laugh a number of times now.
The combat so far has been pretty humdrum yet serviceable but I don't think that's really got going yet. The side quests have been a good reason to explore and poke around and I've found myself getting a bit lost at times which is... unlike me. Those little red dudes you have to snap with your camera have been a fun thing to keep my eyes -- and most importantly ears -- out for.
Overall it feels like an adventure game without the puzzles, and reminds me of Beyond Good & Evil and Bernband but with the look of the original Deus Ex. We'll see how the combat and the rest of it shakes out though. I've just got to Sender Station after 8-9 hours.
Oh and I finished Affordable Space Adventures with my girlfriend and a friend recently, and it was fantastic. What a wonderful game and sorely overlooked on the Wii U. Personally, I think the sweet spot is two-player co-op. Solo would be hard work and three-player dilutes the mechanics a bit too much.
It runs well although I just got some slow down at Sender Station in the plaza (basically the first time you leave Anachronox). That's where I'm at trying to get some tickets to get off the station. Just met The Meatles; Jawnn, Pawl, Ree'ngo and Jorj!
I tried the widescreen mod but it just exposed all kinds of ugly 'spawning-in' at the edges of the screen so 4:3 it is. I've forced some FXAA too to smoothen everything a bit and it looks a lot more pleasing to my eyes. Jaggies drive me nuts. I really need to get back on it though, been on Offworld Trading Company so much this last week. 21 hours now!
I've been watching a little bit of Overwatch on Twitch. It seems... late to the party? I don't see much difference between it and the CounterStrike stuff that's going on, gameplay wise anyway. Is there anything there that's new?
I've been playing World of Warships for nearly a year now, since the early open Beta days. I had a review worked up at one stage prior to release, but the game has been changing continually and the comments I had earlier on aren't valid any longer.
I've found my place as a mid-tier Battleship player, but enjoy the Cruiser life and have been trying to make it work through the last month. The roles for Cruisers are more interesting, but dang they're fragile.
My Dark Souls single player sensibilities are protected by a +10 GfWL Firewall of Ineptitude
I'm also hooked on Overwatch. I assume you're playing on PC, Amanda? I'm on PS4 :/
Overwatch definitely has a look to it that gives off a goofy vibe of their other games, I wasn't really interested until the day before release I read quite a bit about the deep character variety and such.
I consider myself pretty well versed in online shooters that came out from about '97 to 2010. Overwatch immediately reminded me of Team Fortress Classic (which I, and probably many other Half-Life curmudgeons, consider superior to the full blown TF2).
Overwatch is already in the running for the best online team-based shooter I've ever played. It's unquestionably better than TFC and TF2, it's easily better than the very good Unreal Tournament 2004, and it's probably as good as or better than Quake 3, which I know not everyone loved, but I think was a great online game.
I've seen a lot of doubters, and I don't blame them. Blizzard's online competitive modes have never been my favourite thing. I absolutely detest Starcraft multiplayer because it was just so impossible to compete with the good players. I'm competent at shooting games. I'm not great nor terrible. Just good. Overwatch can be played by anyone, really. There are 21 characters (right now), and nothing needs to be unlocked from the start (except cosmetics), everything is available to all and the balance seems spot on.
The cartoonish look might be off-putting to some but I think it's fresh. And there are of course shouting, insufferable teens and tweens playing the game, but it's easy enough to mute people.
I think the game, in Blizzard's canon, is most comparable to World of Warcraft. It's not entirely original, but it's astonishing just how much better than everyone else at doing a certain thing Blizzard can be.
Team Fortresses, Calls of Duties, Borderlands, whatever online shooter you want to compare this to, none of them stack up. OW is the best online team shooter I've played since Modern Warfare (the first obviously aka CoD 4) and UT2004 at least, and maybe the best ever, period. It's up there on the podium with the original Unreal Tournament and Modern Warfare.
I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend Overwatch to anyone. There is such a variety of characters, and it's so easy to quickly jump from one to another to check them all out and find what fits your style. You don't have to be a shooting game savant, there are many support and defensive characters that require more creative styles of play.
It's game of the year for me right now. It's Rocket League 2.0.
If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever
Better than Splatoon? 🙂 At present that's my favourite online team shooter and I'd be very surprised if Blizzard's take on TF2 comes close. The biggest problem with Splatoon is that it's a Nintendo game. No voice chat, trapped on the Wii U and no doubt dismissed as a 'kiddie game' by some. I recently came off another Splatoon binge and damn, it's such an ingenious, slick and effervescent game. The ink mechanics and their implications on the moment to moment play alone put it head and shoulders above the competition for me, even if it does have its share of quirks and niggles.
With regards to Overwatch though, I very much share Helmut's view: it does seem old-school and a bit too familiar, albeit with MOBA heroes and the might and experience of Blizzard to buff and polish it till it gleams. What does it do that separates it from everything else? Is it just a Blizzard execution thing?
Truth be told, these days I feel quite apathetic towards a lot of these more traditional team-based shooters, hence why games like Evolve, Guns of Icarus Online, Chivalry, HAWKEN, The Ship, NS2 etc. tickle me pink. I played tons of Battlefield 1942, 2142, 2, 1943 and Bad Company 2 but couldn't take any more with 3 and 4, and I'm not exactly excited about Battlefront or the upcoming 1. I played tons of Quake Wars and Brink too, but Dirty Bomb couldn't keep me interested. Unreal Tournament was the shit back in the day and I didn't enjoy Quake 3 nearly as much as UT. Not to mention, UT supported the Thievery mod, essentially a multiplayer Thief. Guards vs. thieves -- it was amazing! I played plenty of Action Quake and Action Half-Life, as well as Half-Life 1 and 2 deathmatch. TF2 was a blast for a while but I tired of it. I was late to the party with Garden Warfare but that too felt very TF2 only with the wild and unmistakable personality of PvZ. Titanfall I really liked but after the beta I didn't feel compelled to pick it up.
So I here I am, on the precipice of Overwatch, the game everyone and their mother is talking about. I was tempted by Battleborn with its MOBA elements, campaign and Borderlands personality, but at the moment I've got so much on that I reckon by the time I get on to it Overwatch will have gobbled up the playerbase!
'Rocket League 2.0' is high praise indeed though. It's great to hear that Blizzard are giving the cheaters a legitimately hard time too. Let's hope they can keep it up.
I'd love to try Overwatch but I'm a little short on the monies right now. Battleborn was something of a disappointment despite the cartoons it came with, yet you can always look to Blizzard to make a good game. I'm eager to hear more about this!
Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.
I understand the doubt, it looked stupid to me too. I've been seeing the usual internet curmudgeons try to rally against Overwatch (Qt3 comes to mind) but it's a game you really can't judge without playing. I liked TF2, I adored it, moreso admired it than genuinely ever enjoyed playing it. Overwatch is a lot better. And to be clear, it's not a MOBA. The only reasons I can think of that people seem to be saying this is that one of Blizzard's games spawned that genre; that it's very cartoon-y looking like the MOBAs I'm familiar with; and that the game is played strictly 6 vs 6 players. It's a team FPS through and through.
I'm a proud resident of Curmudgeon Island, and I declare Overwatch a great game. Sometimes we must let go of our crustiness.
However, don't blame me if you play it on Steam and run into hacker problems. I would never play a popular online game on PC these days, but if that's your only choice it's probably still worth it.
Also, I probably don't need to clarify this, but it's not a perfect game. It has its problems and annoyances, but they're minor. My overall experience has been sublimely enjoyable.
Lastly, don't judge the game by its intro cinematic either. It seems funny for a few seconds, then it enters into Blizzard's usual awful and embarrassingly serious writing territory (Diablo 3, gah!), but the game itself has no narrative other than what you make of it. And apparently somewhere online you can find back stories for the characters, which I haven't sought out.
Back me up here, AJ or anyone else who has been playing the game!
Edit: Oh, and I haven't played Splatoon so I have no opinion on that. I know that Giant Bomb loved it, and that so did a lot of other people. I have heard one person compare Overwatch to Splatoon (not in terms of gameplay similarity, but in their unexpected greatness).
If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever
Just missed your post by a second xtal!
I've not been following the Overwatch thread on Qt3 but my impression from the few times I've poked my head in there was that most folk were enjoying the heck out of it. I mean, nearly every thread over there has its share of crusties!
Yeah, from what I gather Battleborn definitely has the most 'MOBA' in it of the two, while Overwatch seems more of a pure character/class-based shooter.
Can you play Overwatch on Steam? I thought it was a Blizzard Battle.net only type thing. I don't play many popular online games on PC I've got to say, but I've not seen anything suspect on Rocket League so far. So have the cheaters got through Blizzard's defences now then?
As and when I pick it up I'll be the first to report back here with my thoughts!
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