What games are you playing?

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Just finished Metro Exodus, and whilst I would say that it is still my least favourite in the trilogy, there were a couple of standout moments towards the end. In the penultimate zone, there was an area full of spiderbugs (spider/scorpions who burn in the light), and it forced you to go through the area without your flashlight, and without any time to prepare beforehand - that was great. The entire last area was also amazing, too. Funnily enough, when Metro starts playing like Metro again, and stops pretending to be STALKER or Mad Max, its an enjoyable Metro game. I must say that I am also always a fan of power fantasy endings, where the game just gives you the best weapon in the game, and tells you to go for it.

That was fun.

I also got the "Good" ending too - first time and everything! Both times that I have plaed 2033 and LL, I have gotten the "Bad" ending, so I must have done something very right, or it was just easier this time around.

Now, I am replaying the Gears of War franchise. I haven't played a Gears since Gears 3, around 2012, and with Gears 5 on the horizon, I thought I may as well replay these as I do remember enjoying them a lot, and I have never played Gears Judgement or 4, and I also have the Gears 1 remake lying around.

Gears Judgement so far seems... strange. The gimmick is that the game revolves around characters recalling their mission, and each combat arena is split up like a spectacle fighter game, with scores and everything. There are also these modifiers for each section that makes them more difficult, and spices up the combat with additional variables like "Only use X weapon" or "Visibility is reduced" - whilst this is fun, I must admit that I really ruins the immersion and pacing, as you are constantly being shown a score screen.

For an Xbox 360 game running at 720p though, it does look really good.

Ace Combat X for PSP.
Comparing it to the other handheld Ace Combat I've played, Assault Horizon Legacy for 3DS, this one has better controls and mission scale which isn't surprising due to hardware. So far X has been a pretty good AC game mainly held back by hardware and control limitations (not having R2/L2 buttons or the ability to change camera is annoying), but at least the non-linear mission structure is neat.

Another problem I have is the relatively huge amount of fictional planes that have sub-par or average stats. I feel like fictional planes should mainly be reserved for late-game superplanes, otherwise they lose their impact.

Recently completed Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I'll undoubtedly play it at least once more, since it has four quite distinct story routes. I played Golden Deer this time, and had an absolute blast.

Currently mulling over whether to play Oninaki or Astral Chain. I was really looking forward to Oninaki on the basis of strong visual design, but now watching gameplay footage, it looks rather... staid and boring. I'm pretty sure I'll wait for Astral Chain instead.

DOOM! No, not that one, the 90's one. Not really sure why, just randomly got back into it. I finally got around to playing the first secret level, cause I never actually have before, might go and play the others.

I also am much better at DOOM than I think. I usually get so nervious about wasting ammo or health, but I usually have more than I need. Even tested it by beating the whole first Episode without saving or worrying about health or ammo too much, in one sitting. I still need to go back and finish Heretic though...

Saelune:
DOOM! No, not that one, the 90's one. Not really sure why, just randomly got back into it. I finally got around to playing the first secret level, cause I never actually have before, might go and play the others.

I also am much better at DOOM than I think. I usually get so nervious about wasting ammo or health, but I usually have more than I need. Even tested it by beating the whole first Episode without saving or worrying about health or ammo too much, in one sitting. I still need to go back and finish Heretic though...

Modded? Unflavored? Any source port?

Smithnikov:

Saelune:
DOOM! No, not that one, the 90's one. Not really sure why, just randomly got back into it. I finally got around to playing the first secret level, cause I never actually have before, might go and play the others.

I also am much better at DOOM than I think. I usually get so nervious about wasting ammo or health, but I usually have more than I need. Even tested it by beating the whole first Episode without saving or worrying about health or ammo too much, in one sitting. I still need to go back and finish Heretic though...

Modded? Unflavored? Any source port?

Default version of Ultimate DOOM on Steam. I never use mods in games ever. I am kinda a purist for the most part beyond using Steam versions anyways.

Saelune:

Smithnikov:

Saelune:
DOOM! No, not that one, the 90's one. Not really sure why, just randomly got back into it. I finally got around to playing the first secret level, cause I never actually have before, might go and play the others.

I also am much better at DOOM than I think. I usually get so nervious about wasting ammo or health, but I usually have more than I need. Even tested it by beating the whole first Episode without saving or worrying about health or ammo too much, in one sitting. I still need to go back and finish Heretic though...

Modded? Unflavored? Any source port?

Default version of Ultimate DOOM on Steam. I never use mods in games ever. I am kinda a purist for the most part beyond using Steam versions anyways.

Gotcha, but you're missing out :)

Xprimentyl:

Kyrian007:
I'm just now getting into GTA 5. I've owned it for over a year, but I'm one of those guys that won't play something without finishing any prior games in the series... and IV just never grabbed me. The tone is so dour, the colors so drab, the gameplay and driving is so slow... it just isn't a good game. Everybody always harped on Roman calling to go bowling all the time... frankly the social minigames were the most fun you could have in the game. At least it was a break from "dress in brown, go there, shoot those guys." There just wasn't any of the kind of variety in gameplay that there was in SA. But I have finally recently managed to slog through it. And so far 5 has learned its lesson and learned why Saints Row went from knock-off to far superior experience.

I personally played and loved every GTA from III to V, but I understand why some might find IV to be the most tonally grating in that it is generally dark and dreary (true to the stereotype of New York City it?s inspired by) and doesn?t directly lend itself to the crude levity one expects from GTA; it?s more ?cynical and world-weary? than ?funny and carefree.? I Feel GTA V got the mix right; here?s hoping you enjoy your time with it.

I am. Its much improved over 4. That being said, it still seems to be lacking over the level of fun provided by VC and SA. Just like in 4, there seems to be a lack of anything to do outside of "head to the next mission." The missions (taking me so far to 50% or so) haven't really provided me enough funds to buy 1 fairly cheap business for each of the characters... and in those there really isn't much to do. I like the ability to buy and sell on the stock market, but it seems to be that there doesn't seem to be much one can do to manipulate the markets other than franklin's assassination missions, and there's only like 4 of those.

And as for the tone... in a way it is just as bleak and dreary as IV. Trevor's side stuff is correspondingly wacky... but the game acknoledges that he's the psychopath and is the one crazy stuff happens to. The "fun" of SA and VC was taking the serious characters of Tommy and CJ an putting them INTO the absurd scenarios they fell into. Franklin at times falls into that category but seeing as how he's only a thrid of the story, its about 1/3rd as effective.

And that brings me to the other problem, the story split between the 3 leads. I like the idea for adding the mechanic to allow a player to take different parts in each heist... that varies gameplay and adds replayablility. However it was a misstep to apply that mechanic to the story. All it does is divide focus and add big progress stopping shifts in each of the characters stories. It does allow them to tell 3 stories instead on one, but each seems shallow compared to what it could have been if they had focused on it.

Still, way better than 4. And a shout-out to Lazlow Jones. I've had the privilege of working with Lazlow before and he's as good as it gets and as professional as they come. And his work on the in-game radio stations, the imaging, production, and talent... it is probably the ONLY aspect of GTA that has gotten better with every single new release.

Got back into Red Dead: Redemption 2. Stopped at the end of Chapter 2 back in December to finish some other games. Now that I'm back in it has its hooks in me even deeper. At least for now I'm still basking in all the little details they've crammed in here. I just got the White Arabian horse too, so it's a bit quicker getting around now. Will probably do some treasure hunting and legendary animal hunting before picking the main story back up.

Kyrian007:
That being said, it still seems to be lacking over the level of fun provided by VC and SA. Just like in 4, there seems to be a lack of anything to do outside of "head to the next mission." The missions (taking me so far to 50% or so) haven't really provided me enough funds to buy 1 fairly cheap business for each of the characters... and in those there really isn't much to do. I like the ability to buy and sell on the stock market, but it seems to be that there doesn't seem to be much one can do to manipulate the markets other than franklin's assassination missions, and there's only like 4 of those.

Putting the merits of the writing aside as a subjective.

That is probably what I'd consider GTA 5's obvious pitfall (my fairly limited experience with 4 was that it controlled horribly and felt awful to play. which honestly is still mostly true).

Anyways, yeah, the sandbox element of GTA 5 in terms of actually having anything to do is woefully lacking. You have to almost look up a guide on how to exploit those assassination missions to the fullest to even get one of those buyable properties, they have effectively nothing to do, and they take real time months to actually pay for themselves back. Which even curtails ye olde mayhem as ammo and so on has a significant associated cost.

Not to say the sandbox content doens't exist, because it was all clearly put into Online. Which is quagmire of its own problematic issues. From the obvious normal online presence (exacerbated perhaps by the games subject matter) to generally having a really awkward interface for actually choosing to do anything other then throwing yourself on random activity roulettes.

I'm playing Battletech (2018). I backed the Kickstarter back in 2016 and its taken me until now to get around to actually playing it. Its pretty fun so far, but you can see where the limitations of a kickstarter budget hold it back. No regrets backing it, though. Harebrained Schemes haven't let me down yet.

Getting back into Monster Hunter World, in preparation for Iceborne. Managed to get a Taroth Crest Claw so I now have a superior lance build compared to what I used to run. It's probably what I'll take into Iceborne whenever it rolls out for PC.

Since console is getting Iceborne first, I can probably gain some foreknowledge on whether it is worth farming more Kulve Taroth gear. By god I hate doing KT.

Seth Carter:
Not to say the sandbox content doens't exist, because it was all clearly put into Online. Which is quagmire of its own problematic issues. From the obvious normal online presence (exacerbated perhaps by the games subject matter) to generally having a really awkward interface for actually choosing to do anything other then throwing yourself on random activity roulettes.

That makes sense, toss most of the stuff I like (the sandbox activity extras) into the online experience I might play once before abandoning it forever due to there being other players there. As much as I think it is completely useless, I'm starting to prefer Ubisoft's "partial multiplayer" in games like Farcry and Watch Dogs. First and foremost you can turn it off and lose almost none of the content, and honestly... its way more fun when you only have to deal with it occasionally. I especially loved it in Watch Dogs, where a player's reward for keeping a low profile was FEWER online interactions. "Here's a feature nobody asked for we're adding to a game and as a reward for playing the game right... you don't have to use that feature as much." Priceless.

Finished The World Ends With You on Nintendo Switch. What a ride! It ended up being both unexpectedly dark and indescribably silly. The soundtrack rocks!

Just started playing Wreckfest the other day. It has a few issues (which we have been assured will be patched out soon) but overall the game is really good fun. In short, Wreckfest is the 2019 reincarnation of that old 90s classic Destruction Derby. You have numerous game modes, from straight-up Banger Races (finish 1st to win but be prepared to get your elbows out) and Destruction Derbys (person with the most wreckages wins) to more, erm, whimsical Challenge modes (the last one I did was on an oval dirt ring with myself in a three-wheeled Reliant Robin and the other 15 drivers in school buses). There is a wide selection of customizable cars, allowing you to tweak everything from graphical decals and paint jobs through to engine upgrades and gearbox ratios. The driving mechanics are pretty tight, with the balancing of the car needing to be done through careful throttle control rather than the more GTA style of 'plant finger on RT and don't let go' way of doing things. Multiplayer is a hoot (not something I usually say) and there is a suite of building tools allowing you to set up your own custom game modes and championships to play, which promises to add a decent amount of replay value.

TL;DR: If you grew up playing Destruction Derby, play Wreckfest.

^^ Wreckfest sounds pretty awesome. It was on my watchlist on Steam so I might pick it up in the next sale.

*edit* Oh shit. The game is already getting trashed due to the new update - from just this morning - apparently dumbing it down and having other performance issues. Sad thing is it was highly praised beforehand, and it just so turns out the devs literally said the update was"to celebrate the launch of the game on consoles." Yikes.

Guessing the THQ Nordic suits took a shit on it across the board for "parity" sake, or perhaps the physics in the game were really that demanding idk. RDR2 has some pretty demanding physics within a huge open world and does fine. If that was the case they should've left it optional on the PC version. Definitely gonna wait now.

Binged Classic WoW to level 23 and now I am about to go to Dragon*Con tonight through Monday. Hopefully I won't get the itch to play while I am there haha.

Silvanus:
Recently completed Fire Emblem: Three Houses. I'll undoubtedly play it at least once more, since it has four quite distinct story routes. I played Golden Deer this time, and had an absolute blast.

Currently mulling over whether to play Oninaki or Astral Chain. I was really looking forward to Oninaki on the basis of strong visual design, but now watching gameplay footage, it looks rather... staid and boring. I'm pretty sure I'll wait for Astral Chain instead.

Spookular, I'm pretty much in the exact same boat. Finished Three Houses yesterday, except I went Black Eagles. My next will probably be Golden Deer, cuz Dimitri seems rather boring and Rhea is crazy.

And yeah, I was also interested in Oninaki and Astral Chain, but then I played the demo for the former. So Astral Chain it is. Don't have to wait long tho, will be getting my copy later today.

Tho I might give Celeste or Inside a shot this weekend.

'Cos I suddenly felt like it yesterday evening... Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2...!

Other than that... another Spartan campaign in Total War: Rome 2 (and struggling not to get pissed off over every end turn TBH...), started Fable 3 and probably gonna start Dishonored 2 at some point (at long last).

Chimpzy:
Spookular, I'm pretty much in the exact same boat. Finished Three Houses yesterday, except I went Black Eagles. My next will probably be Golden Deer, cuz Dimitri seems rather boring and Rhea is crazy.

And yeah, I was also interested in Oninaki and Astral Chain, but then I played the demo for the former. So Astral Chain it is. Don't have to wait long tho, will be getting my copy later today.

Tho I might give Celeste or Inside a shot this weekend.

Very spookarific. Golden Deer is fun, & Claude > Dimitri.

The Oninaki demo didn't inspire, then? It looked rather disappointing & dull after a promising original trailer.

Edit: double post.

My day consisted of surprisingly being able to take down Ornstein and Smough in DS1 Remastered... on only my 2nd attempt at it too. Then moving on to killing Sif and Ceaseless Discharge.

Silvanus:
The Oninaki demo didn't inspire, then? It looked rather disappointing & dull after a promising original trailer.

No, I was looking for an action rpg, emphasis on the action, and the demo didn't leave me impressed. Interesting mechanical concepts and setting, and a nice art style, but the combat was bland and shallow as anything.

Much like Tokyo RPG Factory's previous efforts, come to think of it. At least they sort of live up to their name.

For what it's worth, I've only played a half hour of Astral Chain and I'm already way more into it.

Finished playing Ace Combat X.
In terms of gameplay and controls I found it better than Assault Horizon Legacy. However, AHL had much more memorable boss fights and soundtrack (X doesn't feature a single song, not one!). The game was incredibly short even by Ace Combat standards, but the branching story path alleviates this to a small extent.

Been playing Man of Medan and Control.

Man of Medan is a worse Until Dawn. Worse controls, worse acting, worse directing. I don't know if it was the lack of those Sony exclussivity bucks, it just feels totally off. And I really liked Until Dawn, but with this I could tell from the start that it wasn't going to be good.

Control is pretty damn good so far. The action is nice and solid, all the furniture and the interior breaks real nice, and the story and tone scratches a very specific itch. I'd almost describe it as Kojima-esque if Kojima wasn't Kojima.

hanselthecaretaker:
^^ Wreckfest sounds pretty awesome. It was on my watchlist on Steam so I might pick it up in the next sale.

*edit* Oh shit. The game is already getting trashed due to the new update - from just this morning - apparently dumbing it down and having other performance issues. Sad thing is it was highly praised beforehand, and it just so turns out the devs literally said the update was?to celebrate the launch of the game on consoles.? Yikes.

Guessing the THQ Nordic suits took a shit on it across the board for ?parity? sake, or perhaps the physics in the game were really that demanding idk. RDR2 has some pretty demanding physics within a huge open world and does fine. If that was the case they should?ve left it optional on the PC version. Definitely gonna wait now.

The loading times are pretty atrocious, it has to be said. Each multiplayer lobby has a 60 second timer before each game launches, and although my friends and I with Xbox One Xs can beat this timer no problem the friends I have with bog-standard Xbox Ones cannot load each race before the timer has run down and keep getting kicked back into preload lobbies. One friend of mine was only able to get three races in over four hours of trying the other week due to constantly missing race starts thanks to lengthy loading times. I mean, in singleplayer you just have to be patient, but it definitely hinders multiplayer gaming for those with entry-level consoles.

Casual Shinji:
Been playing Man of Medan and Control.

Man of Medan is a worse Until Dawn. Worse controls, worse acting, worse directing. I don't know if it was the lack of those Sony exclussivity bucks, it just feels totally off. And I really liked Until Dawn, but with this I could tell from the start that it wasn't going to be good.

Peter Stormare's slowly dilapidating brain-dream box is a hard act to follow. I tried a bit of the free demo but not feeling it enough to see it through yet. Quite liked the logo though.

Control is pretty damn good so far. The action is nice and solid, all the furniture and the interior breaks real nice, and the story and tone scratches a very specific itch. I'd almost describe it as Kojima-esque if Kojima wasn't Kojima.

How does that perform currently? Been hearing some unflattering reports from the base consoles lately, but apparently is alright on the upgraded versions apart from the odd busy area. Is the whole ray-tracing tech only for PC too? I hear more about that than any of the story. Perhaps because graphics are less spoiler-sensitive I spose. It does look interesting, the set-up kinda reminds a bit of the agency in that RiPD film with Jeff Bridges and Deadpool, without the misfiring humour or hackneyed plot. Ripe videogame material, that.

Neurotic Void Melody:

Casual Shinji:
Been playing Man of Medan and Control.

Man of Medan is a worse Until Dawn. Worse controls, worse acting, worse directing. I don't know if it was the lack of those Sony exclussivity bucks, it just feels totally off. And I really liked Until Dawn, but with this I could tell from the start that it wasn't going to be good.

Peter Stormare's slowly dilapidating brain-dream box is a hard act to follow. I tried a bit of the free demo but not feeling it enough to see it through yet. Quite liked the logo though.

It's also very short, due to it being part one of an anthology. But even then the ending just suddenly happened, so the pacing isn't that great either.

Control is pretty damn good so far. The action is nice and solid, all the furniture and the interior breaks real nice, and the story and tone scratches a very specific itch. I'd almost describe it as Kojima-esque if Kojima wasn't Kojima.

How does that perform currently? Been hearing some unflattering reports from the base consoles lately, but apparently is alright on the upgraded versions apart from the odd busy area. Is the whole ray-tracing tech only for PC too? I hear more about that than any of the story. Perhaps because graphics are less spoiler-sensitive I spose. It does look interesting, the set-up kinda reminds a bit of the agency in that RiPD film with Jeff Bridges and Deadpool, without the misfiring humour or hackneyed plot. Ripe videogame material, that.

I'm playing it on a PS4 pro and it runs well enough. It can have a bit of a stutter if you quickly enter and the leave the menu screen though, and when you finish a main story mission it just freezes for about 4 seconds. And the only ray-tracing I've noticed is the very crude kind you can also see in games like Horizon: Zero Dawn (if that even counts as ray-tracing).

The setting really is the star of the show. It feels like a combination of the cold, hard science of Portal and the slick, futuristic style of Metal Gear Solid 2. And the writing fleshes out the world in a way that makes its pseudo-science feel surprisingly legitimate.

Casual Shinji:
It's also very short, due to it being part one of an anthology. But even then the ending just suddenly happened, so the pacing isn't that great either.

-

I'm playing it on a PS4 pro and it runs well enough. It can have a bit of a stutter if you quickly enter and the leave the menu screen though, and when you finish a main story mission it just freezes for about 4 seconds. And the only ray-tracing I've noticed is the very crude kind you can also see in games like Horizon: Zero Dawn (if that even counts as ray-tracing).

The setting really is the star of the show. It feels like a combination of the cold, hard science of Portal and the slick, futuristic style of Metal Gear Solid 2. And the writing fleshes out the world in a way that makes its pseudo-science feel surprisingly legitimate.

Oh yeah, completely forgot Supermassive were doing an episodic thing with it. Sounds like it's best to wait till all are out and at a much better price first, as it might be one those wobbly starts while they find their footing amongst the feedback. Wonder if they're going for a meta-narrative too, as it would make sense; Until Dawn always felt one gleeful hop away from a Cabin in the Woods style genre flip.

Control sounds doable, happenstance led to an upgrading to pro last year so should be alright. I just feel a bit of sympathy toward those who were excited for the release on the base consoles. Have avoided reviews including Yahtzee's cause there's always something spoilt or an opinion that colours the experience somewhat. It appears Remedy have a lot of care for the world they've created. Observed a couple of screenshots of the various architecture, and those alone inspired a fair bit of confidence.

I'm playing Mercenaries on RE4 as a way of killing free time, which I haven't had much of anyway. Going for 5 stars with every character on every stage. I'm done with Wesker, Ada and HUNK; missing 2 stages with Krauser and all 4 with Leon.

Catherine Full Body. The incredibly fun demonic puzzle driven relationship simulator returns! Whoever wrote this game is genius. Also really enjoying Control. The environmental destruction and particle effects are crazy. Everything breaks, shatters, explodes in real time amidst hectic shoot outs that have you lodge the entire office furniture at your enemies. Game is a technical marvel. Though it seems a bit too demanding for current consoles at times. Almost like the game is a gen too early. Kinda remind me of 16-bit games that would often do the same with too much on screen. Great atmosphere and interesting theme as well. Also playing FF8 remaster for the first time in 20 years. Enjoying the story more now that I am older for whatever reason. That and the nostalgia is a great mix. Surprised about the sublime quality of the remaster especially the update on the character models.

I tried out Stellaris because a friend recommended it. And by Tried it, I mean, I decided I'd play for like an hour, eat some lunch and then play again. Suddenly I realized I'd played for 4 hours straight and forgotten to eat lunch. It's a lot like Master of Orion, but a with a lot more going on. And I'm still in the early game,but I've managed to carve out a respectable empire so far. I did get a rude awakening from some obnoxious raiders who demanded ransom and then came over to kick my shit in when I decided not to pay up.

i picked up Omensight the other day, and it's a fun little game. Simple design and premise, but the execution of it is very interesting. You play the Harbinger, a being who appears at the end of the world, to try and stop the end. The game revolves around replaying the final day before the end, and you run around with the various key players in the events, trying to figure out what happened. The Godless-Priestess was killed, and with her death, noone was there to stop the Big Bad from showing up and destroying everything. So it's basically a murder mystery, via Groundhog Day. You can gain powers that let you explore outside of the normal path when you are reliving the basic routes people took, and just lots of fun little things. It's a hack n slash combat game, set in a fantasy world populated by talking animals. It's really cool.

YS 1 (Steam) - Wonderful game, aged really well once you adjust to bump mechanics.

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