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What game are you playing?
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Synonamess Botch
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July 21, 2017 - 9:15 am
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I settled into a routine of spending my time in ways that appealed to me but with an eye for meeting in-game requirements (e.g. Knowledge level at test time).  I emphasized party members because of the sweet benefits they provide (Baton Pass FTW).  It's worked out fairly well and I'm curious if I'll be able to max out everyone.  I also tried to spend as little time as possible in Palaces and Mementos.  The Fortune confidant provides some really good time-savers.  Finally, I admit to using a guide for many Confidant responses, since many of them seemed completely unintuitive as to what provided the best outcome.

Steerpike, why do you think you've mis-spent your time?

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geggis
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July 21, 2017 - 9:19 am
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Steerpike said
it's sort of a mashup between two game types 

Yeah, I always put it alongside the likes of Infested Planet and Dungeon of the Endless, strategy games that pull elements in from all over the genre to make something unique and smart. I might be tempted to throw Offworld Trading Company in there too.

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xtal
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July 21, 2017 - 2:36 pm
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Everyone I hear talk about Persona 5 seems troubled by their mistakes and what-ifs in that game - I imagine you're meant to miss out on a lot intentionally?

About Transistor, Gregg when you said narrator, did you mean the Bastion narrator? He narrates Transistor?? I thought the protagonist spoke to herself throughout or something like that.

I've been finishing up some odds and ends recently, hoping to move on to Nioh and Nier: Automata soon. Based on the people and critics I surround my ears with, the latter appears to be the dark horse candidate for game of the year. I'm trying to acquire a physical copy, but it's already become something of a rare game for reasons I don't know.

In the meantime I played Lara Croft GO, which I would say is less good than Hitman GO, but still a very fun puzzle game and worth the 8 dollars I paid for it. I also played the rest of The Walking Dead game (Season 3, AKA A New Frontier), and am sadly quite negative on that game. The first two episodes were good (not coincidentally they were the two released last December), the last three were meandering to bad. I really regret buying it because I swore after The Wolf Among Us I would stop giving Telltale money. They temporarily won me back with Tales from the Borderlands, but this new Walking Dead season was the worst Telltale game I've played to date. They seriously need to fix their shitty engine. Unsurprisingly they just announced Season 4, AKA The Final Season, and you'll play as Clementine again. I'll be waiting until the last episode to get on-board that train.

Did anyone here play Telltale's Batman game from last year? I've, again, heard good things, but that was mostly from people who are comic book or DC enthusiasts and therefore not trustworthy enough on the matter.

Here's a true story: A few months ago a couple friends and I went to the movies to see Get Out; it was sold out and, scanning our other options, we settled on seeing the Lego Batman movie. My one friend and I agreed that it was actually one of our favourite Batman stories. As far as Batman movies, I would rank it second only to the king, The Dark Knight. It was a nice surprise.

A couple weeks later we returned to the movies and were finally able to see Get Out, which is the movie of the year in my eyes. It will go unnoticed at big award shows for 2017 movies, and then of course five years from now it will be one of the only movies people remember from this year, and revered as a cult classic. Just wait. I urge everyone on earth to see Get Out. I've rarely felt so satisfied leaving a movie theater. For reference, the last "horror" film I enjoyed as much as Get Out was The Cabin in the Woods. Not that they're similar or anything; just an example of what I'm into.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

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Dix
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July 21, 2017 - 3:24 pm
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xtal said
Everyone I hear talk about Persona 5 seems troubled by their mistakes and what-ifs in that game - I imagine you're meant to miss out on a lot intentionally?

Because a large part of the game is time management, yes, it is very difficult - if not impossible - to complete every side character's story and max every stat in a single playthrough. The game does have a New Game+ option so that you can run through it again with some of those boxes already checked off, making it easier to fill in the parts you missed.

xtal said
Did anyone here play Telltale's Batman game from last year? I've, again, heard good things, but that was mostly from people who are comic book or DC enthusiasts and therefore not trustworthy enough on the matter.

I did, of course, but as a comic book enthusiast who prefers DC over Marvel in a general sense, my opinion may not be particularly useful. That said, it does some stuff with Batman that hasn't really been done in games before - you arguably play the most important parts of the story as Bruce Wayne, for instance - and I think puts enough of its own spin on some classic Batman things to feel fresh to people who know the stuff backwards and forwards while also being accessible as an entry point (it is essentially a "year one" story in many ways). I know one person in particular who previously held the opinion that Batman, as a property, is stupid (even in the case of The Dark Knight), and then played this game and went "CRAP I LIKE BATMAN NOW."

If Telltale's engine bothers you, though, you should steer clear of this one. The PC version, at least, runs like shit no matter what you do.

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

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Synonamess Botch
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July 21, 2017 - 5:47 pm
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All Persona games make it very difficult to complete everything on the first playthrough.  But P5 seems more forgiving in that way.  There are many time-saving additions which higher ranks in some Confidants provide, for example.  If I don't max all of my Confidants, I will at least get pretty close, and I haven't done anything extraordinary either (outside of looking up Confidant responses).

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geggis
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July 23, 2017 - 1:37 pm
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xtal said
About Transistor, Gregg when you said narrator, did you mean the Bastion narrator? He narrates Transistor?? I thought the protagonist spoke to herself throughout or something like that.

Sorry, it's the same voice actor but a different character, and he's not narrating as such, but it's a very similar format.

xtal said
Here's a true story: A few months ago a couple friends and I went to the movies to see Get Out; it was sold out and, scanning our other options, we settled on seeing the Lego Batman movie. My one friend and I agreed that it was actually one of our favourite Batman stories. As far as Batman movies, I would rank it second only to the king, The Dark Knight. It was a nice surprise.

I probably need to see The Dark Knight again because I've only seen it once. It was alright, but much like the rest of Nolan's Batman, and this is probably where my disconnect with the source material fails me, I just found it all so po-faced and serious, even with a character in it called The Joker who seemed to do a lot more riddling than joking. His entrance is incredible though, with the pencil. I don't like Bale's Batman voice either which sounds like he's been chain smoking since birth. I just can't take a man with that voice dressed as a bat as serious as the film expects me to. That's one of the reasons I prefer Burton's Batman films: they're still dark but they're also pretty goofy. Keaton rocks too, and Elfman actually did a proper, memorable theme. I do remember enjoying Batman Begins though.

xtal said
A couple weeks later we returned to the movies and were finally able to see Get Out, which is the movie of the year in my eyes. It will go unnoticed at big award shows for 2017 movies, and then of course five years from now it will be one of the only movies people remember from this year, and revered as a cult classic. Just wait. I urge everyone on earth to see Get Out. I've rarely felt so satisfied leaving a movie theater. For reference, the last "horror" film I enjoyed as much as Get Out was The Cabin in the Woods. Not that they're similar or anything; just an example of what I'm into.

Hai and I love our horror and this is high on our watchlist! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Steerpike
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July 24, 2017 - 9:55 am
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Steerpike, why do you think you've mis-spent your time?

Having played about thirty hours of Persona 3, and read a little about P5, I knew what I was getting into here, but despite that knowledge I found myself gravitating toward characters I liked personally rather than characters who would be most useful. The game doesn't punish you for this, not really, because all the confidants have their own interesting little side-stories, but it's not the most efficient technique.

That and my natural desire to not miss anything led to a sort of buffet-style approach to the game, which in turn resulted in me probably missing more than you guys did. I sampled a lot of things and hung out with a lot of characters to, like, level 4, then realized I was wasting my time with them because their confidant bonuses weren't any good. I don't mind exactly, because pretty much every minute I've spent with Persona 5 has been amazing, but at this point I know I'm going to finish the game without having finished most of the stories within it. I probably will do NG+ just to see what I missed (since the game essentially prevents the YouTube solution, my preferred route) and to play Joker as a different type of person than I have been. There's so much in P5 that you could easily play it three or four times with different approaches and see lots of different sub-plots. But as good as the game is, that sounds exhausting.

I don't like Bale's Batman voice either which sounds like he's been chain smoking since birth.

To my great surprise, I found myself liking the computerized voice they went with for Affleck in Batman v. Superman. It addressed the challenge of sounding scary and disguising his voice, but did not sound silly like Bale often did.

The Dark Knight is fantastic, though it kind of broke the Batman franchise insofar as it made it very difficult to follow up. You're unlikely to find a villain as compelling as Heath Ledger's Joker, and the whole wrestling-with-identity theme worked as well there as it did in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man 2. Having done it so well, there's little room or reason to do it again. They're also running out of Batman villains who are reasonable for the silver screen. The Caped Crusader may need a cinematic break, like it had between the Burton and Nolan films.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Pokey
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July 28, 2017 - 7:54 pm
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I finished Soma a few days ago and must admit that it that it is now one of my favorites. It wasn't horror so much as just exploration to advance the story. It is a great story with locations that feel real. After the beginning, I didn't open drawers or lockers, since there usually wasn't anything in them. The recorded stories provided by the dead were helpful and sad. I liked the ending, though it was a bit startling. The game had the feel of System Shock 2 without the terror. It was a bit scary at times.

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Synonamess Botch
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August 1, 2017 - 8:36 pm
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Yeah I really need to get back to Soma.  I have a few quality Steam games that I've bounced off of for various reasons.  Alien Isolation among them (art direction is so good).

I'm at that point again where my PC rig is not really up to scratch and I'm not really motivated to upgrade it (although a beefier graphics card would likely suffice).  I'm firmly back into PS4 console gaming right now.  Also, my typical gaming session benefits greatly from a wireless headset (for reasons I won't bore you with, I mean no more than I already am).  The thing is, I don't own and have no intention of shelling out for a wireless headset.  This highlights one of the best features of the PS4 - a headphone jack in the controller itself.  This is huge for me.

Steam directly supports the Dualshock 4, but as far as I know it doesn't support the headphone jack.  Gabe, quit working on Half-life 3 and get on it.

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Steerpike
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August 2, 2017 - 9:26 am
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Funny how the little things make a difference -- the speaker and headphone jack in the PS4 controller are both great benefits.

Botch, I thought a wireless headset was a pointless extravagance until I got one, and while I admit it's one of the less important parts of the equation, it's not an expense I've ever regretted. I have something by Corsair, I think. It was about $100 and it's great. You'd want to find one that works as well with PC and PS4, but even at the rather high price, I'd bet you'd quickly become a big fan.

The Long Dark came out of Early Access last night so I spent some time with that. Tally: Froze to death (3 times); Burned to death (twice); Starved (twice); Died of dehydration (twice); Died of dysentery (once); fell through the ice and drowned (once); Eaten by wolves (twice). So that's going well.

I have about half of the final Palace left in Persona 5, then I think I'll circle back to Horizon. On the PC, after Long Dark and a couple other odds and ends, I suppose it's time to honor my promise to Armand and get Nier Automata.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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August 4, 2017 - 4:37 pm
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Pokey said
I finished Soma a few days ago and must admit that it that it is now one of my favorites. It wasn't horror so much as just exploration to advance the story. It is a great story with locations that feel real. After the beginning, I didn't open drawers or lockers, since there usually wasn't anything in them. The recorded stories provided by the dead were helpful and sad. I liked the ending, though it was a bit startling. The game had the feel of System Shock 2 without the terror. It was a bit scary at times.  

Oh I'm so happy to hear that Pokey! I'd just gone on holiday when I read your post so haven't been able to respond.

Haha, you must be tougher skinned than me! I very much saw it as a horror game because it scared and terrified me on a number of levels. There's the odd jump scare in there but they're not overused or cheap either. I definitely think, however, and I agree with you on this, that it's not so much about the horror as it is about the story, and the place. Yeah, the ending is one of my favourites too.

I have The Long Dark, which I'm hoping to play soon, and picked up The Sexy Brutale.

Oh, and I completed Transistor. I was absolutely convinced after a good 8-10 hours playing that I wasn't going to come round to enjoying it. I was wrong. The last third or so of the game totally won me over. I dare say it'll stay with me longer than Bastion did. It's got its quirks but in the end I found it a worthwhile experience, thankfully. Gorgeous Art Nouveau/Art Deco visuals with some lovely Gustav Klimt influences in there too.

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Synonamess Botch
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August 5, 2017 - 11:29 pm
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Persona 5.  It's finished.  I'm too embarrassed to state my save file time but just know that it was looong.  I'm ready to move on to something else.  Great game, but I do have some criticisms, which I'll elaborate on later.

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Synonamess Botch
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August 6, 2017 - 3:11 pm
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Nier: Automata is awesome.  Love the music.

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Synonamess Botch
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August 13, 2017 - 11:36 am
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I finished Nier, which is to say I finished it once.  It's no spoiler to note that the game is meant to be played multiple times, with more of the story revealed in each successive NG+.
After one playthrough I got the sense that I didn't understand a quarter of what was (really) going on, or what it had to offer gameplay-wise.  One thing is for sure: this game is flat-out bonkers.  Developers/Publishers: more of this please.

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xtal
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August 14, 2017 - 11:47 am
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I've heard that "beating" Nier Automata once won't fill you in on much of the story, and you need to do it two or three times. I also hear you're not replaying the whole game, and the latter playthroughs have less to no repetition. I thought I had a copy at last, as it was back on amazon, but after two weeks they canceled the order. So I'm back on the hunt for this game.

In the meantime I've been playing Pyre and enjoying it so far. It's from Supergiant (the Bastion, Transistor people) and it feels like a game from them (I've played only Bastion) in that it's just doing its own thing and I dig that. This game is mostly a semi-interactive visual novel, with bursts of a really cool sports-type game that's kinda like weird basketball. The story is band of people cast out of their society join up for road tripping and weird basketball. On the whole it's pretty cool; I've probably put in 6-8 hours already. The first story...twist isn't the right word but, the first sort of story revelation seems kinda same-y and been done already, but I'm sticking with it regardless because the characters and setting have snagged me. The writing is also good enough too.

Quick comment on headphones. I've got a nice pair that are great for going back and forth from PS4 to PC. The Steelseries Siberia 350. Good compromise on quality and price. Their best feature is comfort; they can be worn for hours and won't hurt your ears. Anyone who has experienced this with headphones (I wear headphones a lot) knows what I'm talking about. So yeah, if you're looking for inexpensive, good all-around cans for console and computer gaming (fine for music too!), those ones have my stamp of approval.

I'm no longer part of this agency. You there, get my shoes!

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Synonamess Botch
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August 19, 2017 - 9:15 am
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I've heard that "beating" Nier Automata once won't fill you in on much of the story, and you need to do it two or three times. I also hear you're not replaying the whole game, and the latter playthroughs have less to no repetition

I can confirm this, as I've just finished a second playthrough and started a third.  It's a fascinating way to reveal story layers.  I know it's not a unique way buts it's certainly not the norm.  You find out much more about "What's Really Going On" the second time through and it takes less time to get through the main story line, for reasons I won't spoil.

It's a very good game, but some parts are a boring slog.  Perhaps that's my fault since I've been attempting to finish most of the side quests.  Much of that content is pretty dull.  Yet for every cringe-worthy thing it does, it throws something unique at you.  It changes things up in so many different and creative ways, its hard to stay mad at it for long.  I'm sure looking forward to seeing how this next cycle plays out.

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Steerpike
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August 19, 2017 - 11:46 am
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This one is tops on my list once I finish the last two hours or so of Persona and return to Horizon. Actually I think I'll juggle Horizon and Nier. Everyone's thoughts on the game seem to converge at one point: that it's pretty awesome. Hard to say no!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Synonamess Botch
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August 19, 2017 - 8:48 pm
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C'mon Steerpike, finish P5 already!  Spoiler tag where you are exactly.

So Nier.  Whatever else one can say about this game, it's got balls.  There are of course many games out there which take chances and buck the mainstream.  But for a AAA title to do it doesn't happen very often.  For that alone, this game deserves some praise.  It also happens to be pretty good.  The opening sequence of the third game cycle is absolutely insane and a ton of fun.

Also, I just read that Nier basically saved Platinum, after the Scalebound cancellation left them in a tenuous position.  All I can say is "Yay!"  That and a nod to Square Enix.  They deserve praise as well for helping make this game happen.  I hope they learn some good lessons.

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