Day 119, still playing Diablo 3…
So I played Warlock of Firetop Mountain last night, after grabbing it from Humble Bundle.
It was pretty good, especially for the price.
I love the art style, with all the rooms and corridors dropping in around you like Bastion and your character being a hopping miniature.
The addition of characters with different quests is a nice feature, although there doesn’t appear to be an option for creating your own.
Overall it does a good job of evoking the experience of the book. The only thing I find a bit odd is the implementation of combat. It’s a grid system where you move around a predict the enemy’s moves which the tutorial leads you to believe is straightforward. However later on, enemies have a varied range of attacks and movements that makes it mostly guess-work unless you’ve encountered the fight before.
I can see why they did it, it adds a bit more ‘game’ to the game and lets them add depth with each character having a different set of combat moves. I don’t hate it, but it feels out of place. Especially as they have kept the luck and skill checks true to the book.
Thus ends my initial report.
So after finishing Demon’s Soul’s I’ve now finished Metal Gear Solid 4. What a disappointment! The Metal Gear games are some of my favourite of all time but there was so little gameplay and such a poor plot (in contrast to the previous games) I did not have a good experience at all. And Act 3 was somewhat rubbish too…
inFAMOUS is up next thanks to the free games from the 2011 Sony hack.
I managed to complete a run in Renowned Explorers yesterday, can’t really say I’ve finished it. It’s not the kind of game you finish. But I managed to get through the 5 (I think) expeditions on classic difficulty for the first time, maybe on my 5th or 6th attempt.
It’s a rather pleasant little turn based tactical rogue-lit… no sod it it’s not a rogue-anything. It has “permadeath” and you replay the same content with a variety of random elements thrown in to keep it interesting.
The basics are that you start out with a team of 3 explorers chosen from 20 or so characters with various skills, abilities and affinities, mixing and matching as you please. You then embark on a number of expeditions within which you accrue a variety of resources that you get to spend to equip and otherwise improve your team with in-between expeditions. Manage to survive 5 expeditions and see how good a score you got and that’s the game. It’s not easy though, last 2 expeditions I pulled through just by the skin of my teeth and even opted out of going on the last unlocked highest difficulty expeditions at the end. Choosing to go for a more likely victory instead.
I’ve rather enjoyed it and will probably keep it installed to go for a run every now and then.
@Fraggles I didn’t enjoy Renowned Explorers as much as I thought I would. I played about 10 expeditions in the end. Only completing a few successfully.
I think I felt that the progression was lacking, only unlocking an alternative expedition leader. It seemed strange to me that the other shops and areas where you can spend renown didn’t persist, it lead to me losing interest faster.
The main variation in shops comes from the things you get the option to unlock. You send a letter off after every completed expedition that gives you 2-3 choices on new places to access. Those places seem to have random selections of things in them and you don’t get offered the same places every time, as far as I have been able to tell thus far. The initial set of jobs and stores are set so as to offer reliably things for any team composition. I bet you’d be kind of bothered if you had a run where no research job was offered or only books could be bought or something. But I see your point still, there could be more variation, certainly.
Continuing my Humble Bundle theme I played Satellite Reign last night.
I only ended up playing about an hour or so, but what I’ve played so far I like.
It does a good job of recreating that Syndicate feeling. I broke an agent out, stole some tech, sent it off to be researched, after stealing cash and bribing a scientist to join me. Just to top it off I used something that was definitely not a ‘Persuadatron’ to hijack a civilian’s mind and send her to my cloning vats!
One of the complaints against it early on was that it was hard to react in time until you got the slow time ability and leveled it up. The Dev’s responded by letting you use it from the start, which was a nice change, you enable it right when you start a new game in the customisation options.
Will certainly go back to it, but in the mean time I’m engrossed in another game.
It’s not super sexy, but I decided to chill with a childhood classic, updated to 2017 standards: Project Highrise. Loved it, and it has some really fun mods in the Steam Workshop too. There are a ton of scenarios, and even some more DLC I might buy in the future if I ever decide I’m in the mood for tower building.
Hint: don’t build left and right to both edges or you might regret not being able to purchase some stuff later.
I just came around to finishing Watch_Dogs 1. I can’t think of a game I’ve been more moderately okay with. It does a lot of small things right, and a lot of small things wrong… almost none of which were addressed in WD2.
It stumbles in a few areas of the story and gets a lot of hate, but honestly I enjoyed it quite a bit. Right off the bat, I’ll start off with a few complaints: performance is iffy in the city center, the mouse controls are pretty bad overall, and the entire subplot of the Chicago human trafficking ring could have been handled better-- it’s a case where “tell, don’t show” could have helped a bit and it felt a bit on-the-nose in execution.
With all that said, the core story was… surprisingly great. It had a rough start for sure, and I have a feeling that at launch it got panned for its first hour or two of a generic-sounding revenge story as people started to check out over the various performance/downgrade controversies. My theory is that the launch performance and downgrade basically sealed the game’s reputation, which is a shame as five or so hours in, things take a turn I didn’t exactly see coming.
It also has an incredible setting. The Chicago portrayal is nice and all, but it’s still perhaps my favorite interpretation of Orwellian society ideas because it really hits home as a realistic setting. There’s rigged elections, an underground network of “fixers” (mercenaries) working as contract killers in Chicago, and surveillance that takes data that people clearly never meant for you to see… but nobody cares. Life goes on. It’s still just an open world, and unless something’s actually happening around them, the residents have normal conversations, go about their daily lives, and don’t really worry too much about ctOS and everything surrounding it.
Now, back to the story. As far as The Count of Monté Christo goes, it’s an absolute classic for several reasons, but what I always appreciated about the old book was the twist.
When it gets down to his actual revenge, this actually takes its own price. Similarly, you’ll start playing new main missions only to find that actions take a direct toll on the people around him, first as a red herring then as an actual issue, and it creates a serious dilemma during the last few hours of the game.
Surprisingly… Watch_Dogs played this out. I didn’t expect it, but things really start kicking off in a way I didn’t expect by Act III (of V). Aiden isn’t a great person, but for other reasons, he is a good character, and the plot has a lot going for it in this regard-- it all depends on whether you can tolerate a character that clearly has no chill.
As for everything else…
It plays overall like an open world you’d expect, but the hacking mechanics add a lot of depth to everything. It’s not so much how difficult everything is to use (it really isn’t), but it does give you plenty of options in your approach. You can go all-in with a direct attack, you can use morally dubious tactics involving lots of bombs and motorcycles, you can stealth your way in using the Profiler and disruption/lures, or escape a place by turning a stoplight into all-green. Other than that, the driving is… tolerable, and the gunplay+profiler works exceptionally well. The animation quality especially sells this game, with smooth movement and no odd pauses between cover/running/aiming.
The world mechanics, though? That’s what makes everything work. There’s no pauses to anything. The areas are connected by both a highway and an L-Train that you’re free to hack and board (also a great escape tool), the random citizens you can hack add a nice touch of both background and distractions that help to sell the environment, and many of the online mechanics help to reinforce the whole setting of a shady underground with Fixers… which you happen to be a part of.
As for the visuals by default, I’ve got to say that they’re rather impressive. They do seem a bit behind the curve due to a lack of screen-cluttering nonsense or overkill “photorealistic” shiny-things, but the attention to detail is incredible. Every time I see the cans rolling around on the L-Train floor, or the way Aiden quickly pulls up his edgy mask the moment you get in combat, or the way he wipes off his phone’s screen during a storm, or even when an exploit on an enemy that actually uses his statistics (including a particular one where distracting a guard sexually attracted to musical intsruments led to a two minute text conversation where he excitedly followed up on a sudden offering to perform instrument cleaning services for a band)… it’s hard not to appreciate every new detail you see, knowing there’s so many you probably missed.
Overall, I’d actually recommend the game. It’s not Sleeping Dogs, that much is true… but it’s still definitely worth a look. If the graphics are really a huge issue to you, check out WorseMod sometime. It brings back many of the E3-tier effects with a small caveat of optimization weirdness as a result. It looks fine as-is to be honest, but if you just look at the game thinking “muh PBR and blur,” well, there you go.
Important side note
If you haven’t played Sleeping Dogs yet, I strongly urge you to buy that game ASAP. It’s the greatest GTA-type game ever made. That’s not an opinion. Sleeping Dogs is one of the greatest games ever made, hands down, and you owe it to yourself to play through it AT LEAST once.
Finished inFAMOUS a while back (felt a bit meh, although the parkour elements were nice). Then played Uncharted 1 and 2 through back to back (both ace…yes even the first one. Although the end bosses on both were rubbish). Then decided to give inFAMOUS 2 a go because of all the positivity surrounding it…much better than the first one…almost worth a replay.
I’ve now started Final Fantasy XIII and am on chapter 4…just discovering what everyone was moaning about around a decade ago!
I’ve recently played Little Nightmares, a twisted and ominous puzzle platformer with stealth elements and lots of gross and weird things. And gnomes.
You play as this little thing, dressed in a yellow coat, the only spot of color on a dark and grimey palette; you adventure through a handful of levels on a two hours journey that will keep your jaw wide open and your ass on the edge of your sit.
The style is minimal, somewhere between swedish and japanese design and the graphics are outstanding, thanks to Unreal Engine 4. The story is weird, in the vein of Spirited Away, with a final twist.
If you’ve played Inside from Playdead, you’ll probably love Little Nightmares, a little weird game.
I don’t know what to play. As mainly a console gamer (sorry), I got some deals on Black Friday and now I have Destiny 2, COD:WW2, and Agents of Mayhem. Paid like $27 for all three (had a coupon they let me use for some reason). What should I play?
- Destiny 2
- Call of Duty: WWII
- Agents of Mayhem
you are missing the “obligatory Chrono poll option”: Mark of the ninja
Well, I just wanted to make sure it worked…
I don’t know too much about that game, but the whole stop-motion aesthetic is just “awful” (not the bad kind… ah, what am I saying?). It’s hard not to appreciate that ugly unnatural-ness to everything when it comes to the characters.
Isn’t really similar to stop-motion, animations are really smooth, there’s no frame skipping. The whole game is wonderfully animated, from the protagonist to the creatures. But there’s that look that reminds of The nightmare before Christmas and Coraline; scale and proportions are especially weird and unnatural. It really is a good looker and the audio is just perfect.
Sorry, that’s kind of what I meant. It has interpolation, sure, but the developers went for that strange stop-motion aesthetic-- lots of strange, jerky movements and generally behaving in odd and unnerving ways. They really nailed the artwork in every regard.
I know it doesn’t run like stop motion, but it has the same kind of flaws [albeit intentionally this time] that made classic horror more unnerving-- smooth, normal animations in a way make what you’re seeing more normal, and lessens the effect. The strange movement patterns and inaccurate movements defy what you’re expecting to see, and they tend to be a little more creepy as a result.
Agreed, now I get what you mean. It’s like in Clash of the Titans (the original one), where the special effects add to that sense of out-of-this-world. Harryhausen was a master in that kind of stuff.
This past week I’ve played a couple games that have something in common, the sense of mistery.
The first one is Night in the woods, a kickstarted game with great narrative, stylized visuals and a nice soundtrack.
The aspect that I’ve more enjoyed is the writing; it’s a tale about the passage from teenage to adulthood and it’s beautifully put in words. Every character has its own identity and by the end of the game you’ll get to know them pretty well.
The things that I personally didn’t completely like, are the excessive length of the game and the mistery itself. Sometimes games can drag a bit too much, I feel like this is one of those instances. Then there’s the mistery that functions as McGuffin, which is cool but I’ve felt it wasn’t as good as a payoff as it could have been.
Maybe the game also lacks in unlikable characters.
Good game none the less that gets very much an endorsement from me. Give it a try if you like story-driven games.
The second game that I’d like to share is RiME, from Tequila Works, a third person exploration puzzle platfromer. This game doesn’t features combat nor dialogue, but it tells a story of a young boy and his struggle in very effective ways.
The graphics are rendered in a beatiful cell shading, besides some questionable interaction between water and some materials. Older and newer titles have done this better, like Wind waker and Breath of the wild.
I don’t want to spoil anything about this game, but it’s something between The witness and Brothers: a tale of two sons. Yes, it’s a sad game, and I’ve liked it a lot.
Plus, the soundtrack is just a marvel to listen to.