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What game are you playing?
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xtal
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October 4, 2017 - 12:15 pm
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It's hard to understand why region locks still exist in the 2017 global economy. That's frustrating.

Gregg, Journey was one thing. Breath of the Wild another. Will you reveal your true soulless robot self with your loathing of Nier Automata? We'll see!

Ummmm has anyone heard of the mouthful-of-a-title, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun? Imagine the Commandos games from the late '90s, except this one takes place in 17th century Japan. There's a demo available on PS4/XB1/PC as far as I know. It's really cool, especially if you were a fan of the Commandos games as I was.

Also finished Pyre, the first Supergiant game I've managed to finish, and it was cool. I think I wrote about it a few posts ago in this thread. Visual novel + weird sports game. Definitely worth a look.

And yes, I tore through Nier: Automata and its five main "endings" (plus three others). Steerpike, I think this is a game you should play. This game takes the cake in the existential crisis-of-the-self category / rumination on the crushing sadness and meaninglessness of everything. What a fucking experience it was, for me at least.

If anyone needs me, I'll be living in Pascal's Village.

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

Steerpike
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October 12, 2017 - 5:00 pm
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need to play Nier Automata to fulfill a promise made to Armand. I'm just waiting for the right sale to pull the trigger!

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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October 16, 2017 - 11:05 am
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I bought it on sale on the PSN a few weeks ago. You missed it! But definitely make time for it. Also, I said it before, but I highly recommend breezing through the game on easy with auto-chips. It saved me from button mashing, and it made my characters do really cool-looking moves that I probably wouldn't have been able to pull off myself anyway.

In other new game news, I finished Uncharted: The Lost Legacy last night. It's another good Uncharted game, but it's so Uncharted-y, and especially very similar to 4, I can't recommend it unless you're definitely prepared for another full blown Uncharted experience. People are saying it's about as long as the first game. That was 7 years ago for me so I can't remember. So yeah. It's good, but not essential. For what it's worth, the games are ranked as follows in my books: 3 > 4 > 2 > Lost Legacy > Golden Abyss > 1.

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geggis
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October 16, 2017 - 12:56 pm
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xtal said
Ummmm has anyone heard of the mouthful-of-a-title, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun? Imagine the Commandos games from the late '90s, except this one takes place in 17th century Japan. There's a demo available on PS4/XB1/PC as far as I know. It's really cool, especially if you were a fan of the Commandos games as I was.

I forgot to respond to this! Yeah, I've heard of it and it looks pretty cool. I remember loving Commandos back in the day, then later Soldiers: Heroes of World War.

Interesting to see you rating Uncharted 3 above the rest! I've only played 1 and 2 so can't really comment.

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Dix
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October 16, 2017 - 1:00 pm
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geggis said

Interesting to see you rating Uncharted 3 above the rest! I've only played 1 and 2 so can't really comment.  

Yes. That is a fascinating perspective.

I realize now that my internal work chat program has poisoned me with emojis, since I lack a way to nonverbally express my suspicion that xtal may be some kind of robot.

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

Steerpike
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October 16, 2017 - 4:54 pm
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You know, we used to have a library of strange emojis that I salvaged from the FFC forum system ages ago. They were all rather specific and... peculiar... but at least you would have felt somewhat empowered. I wonder what happened to them.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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Dix
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October 17, 2017 - 6:41 pm
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In other news, I spent some of the weekend blowing through Quantum Break, as I had yet to do that. I actually really liked it (which is maybe no surprise, considering I like everything Remedy's made), despite some of the criticisms it received at the time being valid. It feels like a game that was hamstrung by a change in direction somewhere in the middle that I imagine was more Microsoft and the Xbox One than it was Remedy.

I will say I think the last chapter, and particularly the final boss, was pretty poorly done from a design perspective. I liked everything that was happening narratively, all the threads connecting, but I just could not be done with the game part soon enough for most of that section.

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

Steerpike
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October 18, 2017 - 9:33 am
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You're at least the third person I know to mention Quantum Break recently, Dix. This is a game that I allowed to fall off my radar when it was an XB1 exclusive -- the approach, which seemed rather gimmicky at the time, didn't impress me either -- but like you I've always enjoyed Remedy's work. Everyone I know who's played Quantum Break has said that it's worth spending time with.

With approximately eight minutes left in Persona 5 I've realized I need to spend several hours grinding in order to reach the end of the game; this is irritating since it's been an (almost) entirely grind-free experience up to now, and the place I'm at limits my options considerably. The game deserves to be finished, though -- 141 hours is a major investment -- and despite frustration with this setback I'm going to make it a priority. There's also Horizon to return to and my long-overdue commitment to Armand to buy and play Nier:Automata.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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xtal
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October 23, 2017 - 8:51 pm
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It's no surprise at all when I hear someone liking Quantum Break, despite the bad I've heard about the game. Remedy...they're just so very excellent at their craft. It's absolutely a not-super-current game that I will play at some point.

Here's my Uncharted 3 explanation. I know that Uncharted 1 did Uncharted first. And that Uncharted 2 is where it became a franchise that entered the public consciousness as a major blockbuster with big dick swagger. And a lot of people agree that Uncharted 4 is by far the best story of the bunch (I'd agree with that). Uncharted 3 is my favourite because of all the games, that one simply had the most moments where I had a huge grin on my face because of what was transpiring. Subsequent reasons being that it has the most Sully in it; it did the wonderfully unexpected flashback sequences; and the ending (gameplay-wise) was less bad than the ending of 1 or 2.

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

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Dix
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October 23, 2017 - 9:04 pm
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xtal said
It's no surprise at all when I hear someone liking Quantum Break, despite the bad I've heard about the game. Remedy...they're just so very excellent at their craft. It's absolutely a not-super-current game that I will play at some point.

I mean, there's a lot of lackluster stuff about it, but I think it's probably also a victim of things like "not being a highly tactical shooter because everything should be" and "conveying a good portion of its plot in an often-lame live action TV show between chunks of gameplay."

Okay, that second one honestly doesn't work that well. It starts out better than you're expecting and then gets less better than you're expecting.

As for Uncharted...it's my favorite AAA franchise for sure, and Uncharted 3 is the only one that I've ever put down in the middle of a playthrough (twice), though I'll grant that Golden Abyss barely counts because I never went back to it after the first time. I think Uncharted 3 still has a lot of good stuff in it, but it's also the game that strikes me as falling most victim to Naughty Dog's hubris at the time in that its pacing is kind of all over the place. I mean, it was their testing ground for doing a game like that that had sections that really just weren't gameplay, and those sections are often good (and Uncharted 4 made them really sing), I can never really play it without feeling that some of it is a bit bloated.

But, I mean, most AAA action games can only dream of being the weakest Uncharted game.

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

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xtal
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November 3, 2017 - 8:54 pm
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Putting this out there: Come one come all to check out my Extra Life stream tomorrow. If you'd like to donate you can visit my Extra Life page. I'm playing on behalf of Toronto's SickKids Hospital.

I'll be jumping from game to game throughout the day, including the following: Rainbow Six: Siege, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, SteamWorld Dig, Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, Downwell, Invisible, Inc., The Last Guardian, The Fall, No Man's Sky, Grim Fandango Remastered, Elite: Dangerous, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, and potentially others if I feel like it!

twitch.tv/xtal84

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

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geggis
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November 9, 2017 - 9:27 am
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Oh hey, so I started Nier: Automata and I'm really enjoying it. Took me a while to get into the groove of it but the pacing is good after the initial hour save-free slog. The combat is satisfying and the side quests are interesting enough to keep distracting me from the main quest while the world is just wide enough to feel open but narrow enough to have focus and maintain momentum. It's still early doors on the story front but I'm liking what I've witnessed so far. It's very unusual and intriguing which is kind of what I need these days.

Edit: I am about to head into the forest for the first time, I think.

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xtal
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November 11, 2017 - 7:18 pm
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Did you do the first quest that sends you out into the desert yet?

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geggis
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November 16, 2017 - 10:40 am
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xtal said
Did you do the first quest that sends you out into the desert yet?  

I'm waaaay past that now! "We become as Gods!" (highlight the hwite for possible spoiler.) I'm working my way through that bit at present, but I've not reached the top of the factory yet.

This is just so much more interesting to me than Breath of the Wild. I know they're aiming for different things but where Zelda stumbled for having lots of similar content copied and pasted sparsely across Hyrule (its insane sprawl exasperating the problem), Nier: Automata excels in populating a smaller space with lots of unique, weird and intriguing hand-crafted content. I value that so much more. I mean, it's a weird and intriguing game to begin with but all the side quests feed into that. It's one of the reasons I loved Anachronox too: you could tell that the creator(s) were brimming with ideas, many of which end up right there on the screen. There's lots of cool and fascinating things to discover which makes exploring exciting.

Take last night for example, I fought the forest king's guard behind a giant wooden door that was unlocked using several items found around the castle. It was exciting to find the door, exciting to assemble the key, exciting to see what was behind it, exciting to get beyond the king's guard and exciting to find an old robot overgrown with flora in front of a gravestone dappled with sunbeams breaking through the forest boughs. What was there? Would it be some lore and further insight into the world? A wad of G? A new weapon? A diamond plug-in? A pod? A pod program? Some rare materials? Another quest layer? Some strange new item? That mystery made all the stages that came before it exciting and it's the beating heart of the game's side quests. Where will this lead? What will I discover? Anachronox had the same quality. Zelda on the other hand just felt so flat in this regard.

Not to mention, Nier: Automata's got Platinum's characteristically slick combat which is just really satisfying, especially when it's not shackled to a rank, as in Bayonetta and The Wonderful 101. I love the way the camera snaps into different positions too, transforming the game from a third-person brawler into a vertical shooter then into top-down bullet hell, then into a platformer. It's nuts. Oh, and the music's great too. Really impressed so far.

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xtal
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November 17, 2017 - 1:35 pm
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Finding that overgrown machine in the back of the forest was a memorable moment. The forest overall was a highlight for me. If you're enjoying the weird story shit in the game (sounds like you are) I'd recommend pursuing as many of the side quests as possible. They're mostly short, and while they're not all great (the race side quest is hard with little reward) there are a few that have as much impact as anything in the main story.

Do you just hangout sometimes in Pascal's Village? That's what I did.

 

Regarding Breath of the Wild, it's hilarious that I find myself defending a Zelda game - a franchise that I've been very open about having no reverence for. But here I am, continuing to defend it! I just straight up think you're crazy, Gregg. Denizens of our humble home, don't listen to this crazy fool. Yeah, I dunno man. Maybe the expectations crushed you? I don't know. It's the most enjoyable wide open world I've explored in a game. I don't get the repetitive criticism because at its core every game is repetitive to a degree, and I can think of a thousand games that abuse repetition worse.

There are so many factors that coalesce to create the experience I have in Breath of the Wild. I think if I have to lead with anything, it's that I love moving through the world. Whether through air or on foot, moving around this version of Hyrule is just satisfying. You know how people will always say about Destiny and now Destiny 2, "well the core shooting mechanics are so solid" as they defend the game. That's what I'm saying about BotW. The very basics of moving through the world, which really is the game at its heart, are highly satisfying to me. And then I consider how the beautiful way they've rendered everything gives it this living painting feel. And the weather and the animals. The ponds and forests. The windy, tucked away Kakariko Village; the lazy beaches and golden-orange sunsets of Lurelin Village; from the snowy cliffs of the Hebra mountains to the hot springs at the foot of Death Mountain, there are just so many amazing sights to soak in and live in.

Not to mention the way the world and its emergent systems come alive during a thunderstorm, a brush fire or just any seemingly ordinary combat encounter.

If you know enough about me, it's not hard to understand why I find this game so appealing. It's like Nintendo read that Tevis Thompson piece years ago when he said Zelda should be more like Demon's Souls. Lo and behold, Breath of the Wild is basically Dark Souls.

 

Also to clarify, this defense takes nothing away from Nier; that game probably makes my top 3.

Back to Nier, do you have any of the weird alternate endings? (As in, any ending outside of A, B, C, D, E) I found a handful, all of which were pretty amusing. It's a special game.

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geggis
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December 11, 2017 - 7:22 am
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Max! God. So I actually started writing a reply the day you posted. It got long-winded. Like, Google Docs long-winded. Then I realised that most of what I'd said I'd already said before on the forum so was reluctant to bang those same drums again. But there were some newer thoughts in there that I didn't want to rip out of context either. Bleurgh.

I considered turning it into an article instead but, honestly, I really don't want my only real written contribution on the front page since my last games of the year list to be me shitting on Breath of the Wild from a Gregg height. I really don't like being That Guy, but I often am.

So my response is in limbo then, but while I'm playing Nier: Automata (endings A,B,G,T and K in the can, all possible side quests done too) I'll go back and make adjustments to it. I'll boil it right down if I can. Nier: Automata is definitely helping me work through my thoughts though as someone who bounces off a lot of RPGs and open world games. They feel like polar opposites which is perfect for my situation.

Steerpike, Armand recommended Nier: Automata to me too and it's easily one of his best recommendations. It's consistently surprising in a way that's unlike most games I play these days. I can't imagine going from one heavyweight game (Persona 5) to another heavyweight game (Horizon) then to another (Automata), but I think it's a game you'd get a lot from. I'm a good 50 hours in and I've really not played anything else like it.

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geggis
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December 11, 2017 - 7:49 am
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Oh and Pascal's village is lovely. I really dig the loopy amusement park too, and the Ico-like forest area, and the rolling desert, and... yeah, it's a compact but evocative world! I recently had a Dark Souls moment where two seemingly separate parts of the world suddenly snapped together in a cool and unexpected way. I love that. I also love what they've done with the layered music so it can be manipulated dynamically depending on the situation (and the music itself is great too). Vessel had this kind of thing linked to puzzle progression and I think it works so well in videogames. The side quests are tremendous too. They can be a little fetchy but almost all of them are surprising and feed into the main themes of the game. It's a bit like Planescape: Torment for me where the reward isn't necessarily some XP or an item or some currency, it's a lore piece that slots into another part of the picture.

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