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What game are you playing?
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geggis
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June 27, 2016 - 2:13 pm
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I'm playing Doom (2016)!

DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)! DOOM (2016)!

I'm enjoying it a lot. I expected it to chug fully maxed out but it's solid as a rock. What a fantastic engine.

I adored this moment:

Two things I love about it:

  • The glory killing turns the 'run backwards while shooting' arena modus operandi on its head.
  • Irreverent protagonist who doesn't give a fuck about the plot points. Because it's Doom, why should he?
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Synonamess Botch
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August 12, 2016 - 10:19 pm
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I sampled a little of Valkyria Chronicles, which I picked up on a Steam sale.  Here's my one-word impression: Meh.  I know it's highly regarded and maybe it gets better but I'm not feeling it.  Is it basically a Fire Emblem clone?  Am I just not perceptive enough to appreciate its charms?  Anyone else played it?  Steam tells me Steerpike has played it for 3.2 hours and Gregg for 0.2 hours.  Not exactly ringing endorsements I'll wager.  I'm willing to be educated though.

Rule #2: Double-tap

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Dix
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August 12, 2016 - 10:35 pm
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Valkyria Chronicles is one of my personal favorites (and the reason you don't see a ton of hours on my Steam log is that I dumped them into the PS3 version before it was cool), but you do have to give it a little time to get itself going.  The first several missions are very handholdy, and the story takes a little while to get good.

I personally really like the gameplay in Valkyria Chronicles (and I don't really see much similarity to Fire Emblem except that they're in the same SRPG genre, broadly; I feel like calling Valkyria ChroniclesFire Emblem clone is a bit like calling Modern Warfare a Halo clone) and the mission design is generally very good.  The early missions keep things simple (again, the game wants to make sure you know what's going on), but this is not a game that rests on its laurels and presents you with a couple slightly rejiggered maps over and over again (the sequel, unfortunately, is one of those games).

The main charm of the game comes from its cast, however, and that does take some time to kick in, because while the main characters are fine they alone don't really capture what becomes really memorable.  Once you get far enough to have access to the rest of the soldiers, and learn to toy with their individual traits, and form a general bond with them because they all have character despite never appearing in cutscenes and stuff (and they aren't randomly created), the game becomes a lot more endearing.

The story, also, picks up after the first act, and ends up being, while still fairly cute in many cases, one of the better war stories in mainstream gaming, certainly relative to its jingoistic contemporaries.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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Synonamess Botch
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August 12, 2016 - 11:10 pm
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Thanks Dix.  I was kind of expecting someone to try setting me straight 🙂
Your point about VC and Fire Emblem is well taken and I'm glad to hear it.  I've only played Path of Radiance and while I liked it OK, I wasn't exactly crazy for it.  I will give the game another chance.  I'm currently up against the first tank (3rd, 4th or so mission?) so it's still in handholdy territory.

Rule #2: Double-tap

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Dix
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August 12, 2016 - 11:24 pm
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Yeah, those first several missions are very, "Oh, let's only give them like four guys to worry about.  That way when we give them like eight guys plus a tank in most missions they won't freak out."

Looking back, I feel like it's the mission in Chapter 4 ("Battle for the Bridge") where you really get your first proper taste of the full tactical game.  By then they've introduced you to all the mechanics (you might not have hit Orders yet, I forget) and that mission is the first I think where there are a lot of special circumstances and little strategic touches that give the game depth and make score chasing rather fun.

I think it's also around there, or shortly thereafter, where you start getting introduced to optional side missions and story content, research & development, and so on.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

Steerpike
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August 13, 2016 - 1:52 am
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Valkyria Chronicles reminds me of Advance Wars in the sense that both of them made the horrors of war horrific, but also family-friendly. Which is weird, but they manage.

I really love Valkyria Chronicles. A friend of mine and I played through it trading off on the PS3 controller; he always called "The Schoolgirl Tank Game." There's a lot of disbelief to suspend, but if you do that, it's like Brandon says -- this is actually one of the more deep and nuanced and often dark but also very human war stories to be found in games.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Dix
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August 13, 2016 - 1:54 am
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This friend must have loved the sequel, since they asked themselves, "How would we follow up this game?", and their answer was, "Let's put all the characters in a military academy, remove all the nuance, and replace it with light dating sim mechanics!"

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

Steerpike
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August 18, 2016 - 1:23 pm
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I'm glad I never played the sequels then -- they were Vita only, right? I do have hopes for the sort-of-announced sort-of-sequel that was sort-of floating around the news a while ago. VC, meanwhile, had some strange issues that made it hard to progress into the endgame, and often seemed to conflict with the fundamentals of gameplay. The need to actively replay certain missions in order to gain experience and cash for upgrades, and the fact that though the game tells you to be tactical and take your time, it actually rewards you for finishing a mission in as few turns as possible, even those missions where there isn't a turn limit.

Shining Force being one of my favorite games from The Days Of My Youth, it follows that I'd like Valkyria Chronicles, which modernizes the same overall concept and amps up the in-between story. VC takes an unreasonable amount of time to get into, and does itself few favors with those early missions, but despite those and other missteps it's a great game. I'm glad the PC port was so well done, as it's easier to go there than recharge the PS3 controller.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Dix
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August 18, 2016 - 1:44 pm
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Valkyria Chronicles 2 was on PSP, actually, not even Vita.  The nuts and bolts were fine, I suppose, and some of the way that the broader story advanced were compelling, but it lost most of the things that made the original game function well.  It's not bad, just fairly mediocre.

Valkyria Chronicles 3 was also a PSP title, but was never given an English localization, so you have to kind of go out of your way to play it (which I don't have the stomach for).  There is a PS4 title in the works, to be released in Japan by the end of the year, in theory, but who knows if it'll be released here.

"Home is not a place.  It is wherever your passion takes you."

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geggis
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August 19, 2016 - 8:36 am
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Synonamess Botch said
I sampled a little of Valkyria Chronicles, which I picked up on a Steam sale. Here's my one-word impression: Meh. I know it's highly regarded and maybe it gets better but I'm not feeling it. Is it basically a Fire Emblem clone? Am I just not perceptive enough to appreciate its charms? Anyone else played it? Steam tells me Steerpike has played it for 3.2 hours and Gregg for 0.2 hours. Not exactly ringing endorsements I'll wager. I'm willing to be educated though.  

I bought it a while back when it first released on PC and fired it up to show a friend who was familiar with the PS3 version but wanted to see how it looked at 1080p/60fps. I was intending on playing it around that time but for whatever reason didn't get round to it! From what I gather the PC version is a really solid port too.

I recently played (and finished) Doom, Fran Bow and The Flame and The Flood. Doom was brilliant, what a blast. Fran Bow was fantastic too, with nary a daft solution in sight. There were a few interface niggles here and there but it's a beautifully illustrated and bizarre game.

The Flame and The Flood was a weird one because while it took me about 17 hours to finish, and was largely very repetitive, I still enjoyed the rhythm of it and the quiet victories here and there; like poisoning a bear by getting it to run over a snake and later making a jacket out of its hide; or risking using my only spear trap to kill a lone boar so I could raid the nearby buildings in peace, hoping to find old lumber to fix up my raft -- and finding it!

I get the impression that Don't Starve is a much better survival game but despite playing it on PC and Vita, I just couldn't get on with it. They're both very pretty games, with The Flame and The Flood pipping it for me -- the animation, visuals, music and sound design are so evocative -- but I think one of the key things is the metric by which each game measures your progress. In Don't Starve it's how long you've lasted, in The Flame and The Flood it's how far you've traversed down the river. One's about time, the other's about space, and I find being in a new area more interesting than, say, surviving two months instead of one.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that The Flame and The Flood gives you enough to competently start out. Don't Starve I've started numerous times and I almost always die of insanity very early on (like, within the first few nights). I've still no idea how to deal with it. I should give it more time but its opaqueness and unwillingness to introduce me to its systems I find incredibly frustrating. The Flame and The Flood was pitched just about right for me.

I'm looking to start State of Decay next while I carry on with Age of Wonders 3 and the usual Rocket League and Evolve multiplayer. Oh! Overcooked! This game is so damn good local co-op:

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Synonamess Botch
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August 26, 2016 - 6:25 pm
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I'm playing Dead Space.  On the PC.  In 2016.  Dead Space 1.  With a controller.
This is one of a handful of unplayed games I still had in my Xbox 360 queue after that P.O.S. stopped reading my disks.  The games themselves I sold off and acquired on Steam.  Deadly Premonition was one of them.  There may have been a third but I forget at the moment.
Anyway, I originally got some distance into chapter 5 on the 360.  I've just started that chapter so have almost gotten as far as I did back in, umm, 2007?  I remember it distinctly because it was that really tough part where you run into the [redacted] who can't be [redacted].  I'm actually enjoying myself pretty well.
A while back I started playing Alien Isolation and somehow got the urge to pick up Dead Space again (look, the urge took a while to manifest as actual game-playing ok?).  I guess the one reminds me of the other, and in my idiosyncratic way I kind of wanted to finish Dead Space before moving on to Isolation.  Also, Alien Isolation creeped me the hell out and I had to put it down and naturally Dead Space was the obvious choice for a relaxing and leisurely alternative.

I haven't forgotten about Valkyria Chronicles.  I just put a team of 20 (I think?) together and am ready to be blown away by awesomeness, but limb shooting calls...

Rule #2: Double-tap

Steerpike
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August 26, 2016 - 6:35 pm
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I saw you playing Dead Space Botch, and figured it was something just like you describe. Good on you for delving into the backlog! I should do that too.

As for me, I'm playing a lot of Rimworld but I see the end of that pretty clearly -- at least until a bunch of new stuff is added to it -- and still working my way through DOOM and Dark Souls 3. With Kentucky Route Zero completely out (it is, right?) I should add that to my list.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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August 26, 2016 - 8:28 pm
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Kentucky Route Zero is only now completely out?  I occasionally see it go on sale but never deep enough for my (miserly) satisfaction.  It's not like I don't have enough 10-year old games waiting around to be played.  Steerpike I see you playing various games on Steam as well.  Would it be safe to categorize you as a "Sampler"? 🙂

Oh, and this time around, I don't find Dead Space as scary as the first time.  Tense sure, but not scary in the way truly scary things stick with you long after playing (or reading, viewing, etc.).  It still looks perfectly fine to me (as most 360-era games still do, and even many PS2 era games for that matter), but I'm aware that time has inevitably softened it's edge.  Even so, it's really more jump scares anyway.  And it can't properly be called survival horror, not unless that term means shooting chumps with nigh unlimited ammo drops and plenty of cool toys for enlightened dismemberment.

Dead Space feels like a game executed to technical perfection but with precious little soul.  It's got all the parts.  It's smart enough to know that you need this thingy and that thingy in an action horror game, but it doesn't have a good idea how to mold them together into something special.  Oh crap, I have this sinking feeling I just wrote those words thinking they're my own when they're really from some unconscious memory of a review I read years ago...

Aw who cares, gotta go slice some suckas up...

Rule #2: Double-tap

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geggis
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August 31, 2016 - 7:24 am
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Synonamess Botch said
Dead Space feels like a game executed to technical perfection but with precious little soul.

Yeah I think this about sums it up for me. It was one of the games that sold me on a PS3 back when my PC was shit. I really enjoyed it but overall felt that it was a few chapters too long. I own Dead Space 2 and wouldn't mind checking out Dead Space 3 co-op. I'm yet to return to the franchise though since the first game. The thing that really stood out for me was the audio design. I'd just picked up a 5.1 separates system and AV receiver to go with my HDTV and PS3 so the whole thing just really popped technically, as did MotorStorm: Pacific Rift.

Steerpike
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September 7, 2016 - 12:09 pm
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Would it be safe to categorize you as a "Sampler"?

A guilty Sampler. I drift away in the middle of things even if I'm enjoying them, and I hate myself for it.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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September 19, 2016 - 12:22 pm
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Uncharted 4 is so good.  Naughty Dog are at the absolute top of their game if you ask me.  I know Tap opinions about the other three installments vary, but I'm in the "enjoyed them all" camp.  Not having finished the game yet, I'm assuming this is the end for Nathan Drake, which is fine.  Because whatever they do next, it will likely be excellent.  I'm eagerly awaiting news about what that may be.

Rule #2: Double-tap

Steerpike
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September 26, 2016 - 4:40 pm
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I love Uncharted, and I'm super-glad to hear you're enjoying it! There's a huge sack of old games on the front seat of my car right now, waiting to be traded in at GameStop for... like... eighteen cents that I'll put toward Uncharted 4.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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September 27, 2016 - 1:04 pm
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You won't regret that decision.  To all the arguments about it being a movie, or not about you, or ludo-whatever-ative dis-a-something, all I have to say is "Sorry, what was that?  I was too engrossed by this fantastic game I'm playing."

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Steerpike
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October 7, 2016 - 8:55 am
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It turned out the game only cost me eighty-nine cents after the gigantic Whole Foods sack full of trades I hauled in. On reflection that sack probably represented about $1600 in games over the years, but... ours is not to wonder why.

Naughty Dog hasn't lost its touch and so far Uncharted 4 is another great installment in a series that is probably drawing to a close -- if not outright done -- even though I for one would be perfectly happy seeing them produce as many more as they like. Looks like xtal might have put some notes about it out on the front page, and I have some thoughts of my own, so we'll be all Uncharted-heavy for a while!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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October 24, 2016 - 12:43 pm
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Anyone here a South Park fan? A handful of my friends have been huge fans of the show for years, and while I had nothing against it, I just didn't watch it on account of not getting the channel it airs on, and I generally don't torrent TV shows.

That changed when I signed up to Crave TV which is a Canadian streaming service like Netflix. It has all 19 seasons of the show, which I've just been eating up, currently on season 8. I had seen an episode here or there over the years, but now I've finally dug into it, and I love it. Having a bunch of seasons under my belt I recently dove into The Stick of Truth, and I love that too so far.

Just wanted to see if anyone else was a fan. Everything I've ever heard is that, unlike The Simpsons, South Park has gotten better and better over the years. Having watched all of last year's season 19, and now going through the first eight in order, I agree with that sentiment. No television show has ever captured how I feel about current events in the real world like South Park has. I know I'm way late to the party, but I'm okay with that; just glad I got there.

If being wrong's a crime I'm serving forever

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