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  1. The very king of fighting games is back, and I'm head over heels with the little beauty. It looks and plays incredible. So much detail and so fluid in motion. I know I'll be posting in this thread in five years time, although tbf, probably as the avid spectator to online tournaments that I've been for 10 years by now. Truth is I've never been able to play the thing to any degree of competence, I just like watching other people do it. Having said that I've decided to do something I've never done when (trying) to play it. I'm going to go with grapplers. Maybe slowing things down a bit for myself might be more appropriate for my age - (advanced)!
  2. I'm probably over halfway through the game and, yeah, it's as good as the last game in most ways except in ways that doesn't make much sense to me. The story is still the main focus and it is as well performed as last time but it isn't as striking as before. That had a unique, almost theatrical one-woman show due to it existing mostly in Senua's head and memories where as here she is interacting with others. I do like that though since it's a good place to go after the first game being all about self actualisation and then seeing how she puts that into action around others. It just also means the scenes are a bit more conventional. Outside the story you wander around solving perspective based puzzles which feels easier this time around because I got stuck a bit on the last game but they do hide the optional lore poles (?) and hidden faces in the environment which tell stories too. I find those harder this time, I've missed so many. But it's the combat which is a problem. It has been simplified to the point where it's just block and hammer attack. There's no reason to use the heavy attacks really and they've made the parry have such a small window it's frustrating to use. I don't know why they made that harder but the rest so much easier. Fights are also one on one only so the spacing element from the original is completely gone. I don't know why the went in this direction, I am a bit baffled by it. No, it's not a combat focused game but they had a really nice compromise going with the original, and I don't think I'd heard of people dropping it, finding it too hard. It's just a bit disappointing that they've felt they had to address a problem that wasn't there. But the drama is good, how it incorporates mythology with coping with or explaining the affects of mental health is good so it's still entertaining but it's always gonna baffle me that they've removed any remotely interesting friction the original had.
  3. I've already played the start of the game a few times now, and with all the average press i was starting to get a bit down on this despite having been looking forward to it for ages. anyway so far i think it's a bit like the first game, awesome but flawed, maybe a bit of a missed opportunity to make it all amazing. i just did a level that i loved, the view was amazing, there was some nice running away from people, finding the right route up a tower, some nice jumping to find some hidden stuff, it was really great. combat is a bit of a mixed bag, jumping over something and smacking a dude in the face as you land and running off is great fun, but sometimes you have to stop and fight which is much less fun. the directional kicks so you can kick people into each other or off buildings is cool. other mixed stuff is the some of the side missions are too difficult imo - they need a 3 star rating like the timetrials to avoid frustration - i tried a delivery one and had to retry it maybe 20 times to finish it, you have to find alternate routes to complete it in the time as far as i could tell - this isn't really a bad thing but at the start of the game i just want to have a quick go to get 1 star or something then later go back to it to try and do better. there was a similarly annoying distraction mission that's basically impossible without many retries and finding shortcuts, again not really a bad thing if you know what youre getting into. i actually had a good sense of achievement and ended up enjoying these missions when i knew what i needed to do, but they were really frustrating at first. anyway i know to avoid them unless until i'm in the mood for that sort of thing now - i'll probably enjoy them after finishing the main missions. the main mirrors edge gameplay of parkouring about the place is still there and is generally great fun imo. it looks great, runs nice and smooth, well except for a bug i'm having on pc where the cutscenes stutter and the audio is completely out of sync. so there you go.
  4. I played the first hour or so of this. The game has a very bombastic opening although I think it was largely shown when they first revealed the game. The opening “escape” sequence is snappy, much faster than the opening of DOS2. Dialogue scenes now play out Mass Effect style which gives the game a slightly more AAA feel. Character creation is pretty breezy, I didn’t spend too long on it. You can choose from five different penises. I just made my character a human fighter. My main takeaway is - no crashes or performances issues. Long may it continue. After a few more hours I should be able to comment more on the differences between this and Divinity, but so far so good.
  5. A bit surprised this doesn't have a topic yet as I think the other games did have a few fans here. But then again I bought this on release and only now felt in the right mood to play it, so maybe it just came out at the wrong time. This immediately feels a lot more like 1 than 2, which is most likely a byproduct of it being made by Deck Nine (Before the Storm) who feel probably more comfortable reproducing what worked in the first place and a desire to, well, get back to what worked in the first place. Alex, the protagonist, is extremely approachable in an almost ironic way as she's a bit of introvert with a loaded background, so not unlike Max from the original. Setting the game in a small, rural area in some fictional part of an American mountain range gives it a very idyllic and soothing feel where standing around and rotating the camera is a joy in itself. A byproduct of this is that it also goes back to a fixed cast of NPCs with their own jobs, motivations, backgrounds and personalities. It is not without its faults – Alex' superpower is 'just there' and I find it baffling how the promo material spoiled this game's Aerith moment – but I felt right at home from the first minute. It's just a wonderfully cleansing experience, though it'll probably throw some existential angst in my direction soon (I'm only on chapter 2). One other thing I want to point out is that it looks phenomenal. The lighting, use of colours, the significantly improved facial animations all result in this not being the best-looking LiS title but a genuinely beautiful game even by other standards. It's also the first game in which I actually noticed Raytracing (which can be activated in Performance mode, too) when looking at the extremely realistic reflections on Alex' glasses. They look so good in fact that they almost clash with the slightly dreamy and soft art style. Playing this amidst the recent Square Enix news feels a bit bittersweet as well because I'm unfortunately not expecting them to finance another one of these anytime soon. So I'm definitely taking my time with it and enjoying the ride. Edit: Glasses
  6. So this has a demo out, presumably on every system, and it's relatively chunky at around 90 minutes to two hours. Turns out it's pretty neat and I actually bought it on a whim after the demo ended. One thing I noticed right away is that despite there being lots of discourse about it, most of it was so focused on its technical side that I never really knew what kind of game it actually is. So I was a bit surprised to find out that it's not a linear run & gun shooter, but more of a story-driven adventure with (very) slight Metroid elements, platforming sections, a couple of (easy) puzzles, a skill tree and some downtime sections where you talk to NPC. Not saying a straight up shooter would have been worse than this cocktail but the fact that there's more to do than just click on heads was a welcome surprise. I also really enjoyed its opening act – the story is a relatively trope-heavy YA mix of different things, but it's surprisingly engaging IMO. On the gameplay side, while it's not all shooting, the shooting part is still the meat of it, with every aspect of the skill tree boosting your combat prowess. As the Avatar Unforeseen, you can wield all four elements three magic types, which means you have the funky equivalents of a rifle, a shotgun and an SMG build into the gauntlet on your hand. Per magic type are three subtypes and there's a bunch of other stuff like Overdrive and more powerful spells filled by a mana gauge. It can feel a tad overwhelming at first but you'll soon learn to wield them properly, pick out snipers with blue magic (rifle), pull in supports to finish them off with the red magic (shotgun) and slow down brutes while pumping them full with green magic (SMG). I do want to point out though that it's a very static game in the sense that all the horsepower of the console is being used to make it look as pretty as possible. There are zero physic toys available here, the world is purely decorative. I'm not too bothered by this but it does feed into the discussion that hardware resources are being used for ultimately irrelevant things today. Speaking of, visually it's really stunning, as expected. I think there have been a few patches since release that increase the native resolution and make the upsampling a tad less aggressive. It does look sharp, but I'm only on 1080p, so hardly a high-end benchmark situation. But it also runs a but sluggishly at times and can only really hold the 60fps target in closed-off spaces. Which I think is the exact opposite at what it was at launch, when it was locked to 60 no matter the cost. Probably would have preferred that to be honest, but at the end of the day it's not a dealbreaker for me. But so far, so good. I wish the demo had come out a bit sooner, because I think it might have helped selling a few more copies and avoiding the unfortunate downsizing of the developer. Getting greeted by this when booting it up feels really bittersweet now:
  7. I don't know how to give impressions on this without getting in the weeds. In terms of features it's an old fashioned 2D fighting game. You have an arcade mode (which is kinda interesting in that the better you do the harder the end boss gets) and there is a story that is literally an anime that you just watch, which is what the last game did too but it's still wild to me. There's also a pretty intense Mission Mode that does it's best to teach you the deeper mechanics of the game which if you're the studious type could work pretty well. I could do with spending more time in it myself but getting wrecked by someone using my character then trying to rip them off in the next match is more fun for me. It's the good netcode that saves it though. Well, the matchmaking is pretty rough at the mo but it plays really well in game. It just means there's always people to play with. This came online at midnight and I was ready to play it so I went to the east coast of USA since it was a more sensible time there and while it was a little choppy visually my inputs were barely delayed, if at all. I really hope they put this in a DBFZ2, in fact it would be shocking if they didn't. I've not saved many fights yet since I think I'm still pretty scrubby but my Gio is coming along a little. And this fight with Zato was fun when I wasn't put in the corner with all his nonsense:
  8. Nag

    Hi-Fi Rush

    Well this has turned out to be a very pleasant surprise... So let's get this out there straight the way, although this has strong rhythm elements you could (up till where I've played at least) get by with a bare minimum of rhythm... yeah you'll get damage perks and better scores but you can button mash your way through just as well. It looks lovely, very stylized with a look of Lollipop Chainsaw or Sunset Overdrive and for me pretty humorous too without going too far that way. Special mention must go to the soundtrack which so far has been pretty amazing, especially the original music and the way the whole stage seems in sync with the beat. There's a fairly decent amount of accessibility options too for people, who like me, have no rhythm whatsoever... so far so enjoyable and it's a game I probably never would've given a second thought to if not for my Game Pass sub... Great stuff.
  9. one-armed dwarf

    Indika

    Maf refused to create the thread for the weird Russian nun game I put about 4 hours or so into it the other day, cause the description sounded pretty weird. Anyway it's sort of a third person narrative adventure with a focus on puzzle solving and platforming. It's set in a surreal realisation of 19th century Russia. You're playing a nun at this like Orthodox covenant, everyone hates you for some reason. It blends together a few styles, mainly the TP narrative thing mentioned but also 2D platformers, which indicates a split in the period of the narrative (the 2D bits are the main character's memories). The 3D sections is fairly standard block pushing type stuff, but also an interesting environmental manipulation gimmick involving prayers and shame, it's like the environment gets all DmC for a bit. There's a few strange things with the setting, a kind of steampunk thing going on and one section with unreasonably huge fish. It sort of straddles the line between feeling like this ironic sendup of... something but also using genre conventions from games and maybe some eastern european cinema to chat about guilt, religious conflict, sexual repression, v. standard stuff. It's alright, I expected it to be weirder tbh. Make sure to light up these Christ icons so you can get a high score and level up your Christian guilt skilltree (points are pointless)
  10. About time for some impressions, I think. So its a 2D fighting game made by ArcSystem Works, a studio famous for its 'Anime' fighting games. They usually have a lot of systems and movement options as well as combo systems that can be extended to let players do some crazy stuff as long as they have the execution to do them, which is usually quite hard to do. They have made it simpler here. The first thing is its very easy to 'get in' in DBF since you have a button that activates the 'Dragon Dash' which has you fly across the screen and home into your opponent, and it also goes through most projectiles so for beginners fighting each other having that is useful for swiftly getting in. But it is very punishable, so learning when to use it properly is an early lesson. It has a few mechanics to aid beginners because I'm sure they recognise that this is a Dragon Ball game and a number of people playing it won't necessarily be into fighting games, they'll just be fans of the show so letting them have a good time is a priority here. One of the other ways they do this is by having auto-combos (performed by repeatedly pressing the light attack (LA) or medium attack (MA) for a more powerful variant that ends in a metre costing super). They're not a thing I'm fond of as they won't teach you the game that well but they do make for some cool looking action. The auto-combos, in fact, are totally unique combos. In a lot of other games, they are the same visually as manual combos but do less damage. And since they are unique here its a shame to see them locked into the auto-combos and not be able to do them manually. For example, Frieza, a character I use has a really cool looking move in the first part of his auto-combo which launched them into the air. So what I sometimes do to mix things up is perform the first half of the A-C then go into a manual one when in the air. But I wish I had the option to do this move anytime. But while there is a very flashy and basic fighter there is a high skill ceiling here as well, which you will discover at the time of writing when you go online. It isn't as high as ArcSystem's other games but there is still quirky stuff. Since this is a 3v3 fighter you can call in a member of your team to do a one-off move and jump out again. Using these can give you the ability to get hits in and continue combos where you couldn't without. Or they can be used to cover approaches, help defend etc. There is also the little mechanic also found in ArcSytem's other games; the jump cancel. Its something I've always known about but I've not really put serious time into learning but if you want to get beyond hammering out basic stuff you gotta get used to it. Essentially any medium attack can be jump cancelled. A common thing to do would be crouching MA (which puts them in the air a little), standing MA (pops them up a little more) then hit up while the animation is still happening to quickly meet them in the air. Since you can only use your proper launchers and Dragon Dash once per combo link it frees you up to use them later in the combo and its the mastery of this that really frees up the fighting system as a whole. It's here where it really gets fun. I've not really played the story yet but I hope to get round to it soon (it's kinda bonkers it's about the Dragon Ball gang being controlled by an entity and they turn to the camera when referencing this entity) and it also has this weird turn-based map system between fights. There's other stuff. Sparking Blast and how the online seems to be kinda borked at the moment in that the games run fine until it kicks you out of the lobby for no reason, but this will do for now.
  11. Maryokutai

    Elex II

    Played roughly five hours of this over the weekend. It's very similar to the first game to the point where I was thinking of just hijacking that other topic, but I'll play by the rules. When I say similar, I mean that you play as the same character, in the same world, meeting up with the same NPCs. It's been too long for me to remember if the world is actually 1:1 or rather some sort of "remake", but I think it's the latter. The story is a bit weird (alien invasion, protagonist gets infected, mumbo jumbo) and there's absolutely zero explanation as to why he has to start from scratch again in terms of skills and abilities, which I actually found very charming in an unapologetic 'I'm sequel to videogame!' kind of way. The biggest difference to 1 so far is that you don't start off as a walking paper cutout. Sure, most of the enemies can and will kill you, but against mutated rats and insects you actually stand a chance. I see this as neither a good nor a bad thing. It's obviously designed in a way to be more approachable and short-term rewarding, but I actually enjoyed the feeling of being at the absolute bottom of the food chain in Elex 1 and having to rely on Quest XP to level up or companions to do the dirty work for you. But I realise just as many if not more people will prefer being able to swing a pipe and do actual damage from the first hour onward. There's a couple of cool little details I noticed about NPCs. For one, they use that Uncharted system where, if someone in your party gets interrupted during dialogue because a combat encounter happens, they actually finish their lines later when everything has settled. There was also one cool moment where I saw two NPCs talking to each other and I pressed the button to talk to one of them. She then said I shouldn't interrupt her, finished her discussion, and then went back to me to scold me before the actual dialogue branch started. I've actually never seen that in an RPG, or any game for that matter. It also negatively influenced my standing with her, as there's some invisible relationship thing with major NPCs going on, too. Of course this being a certified eurojankTM game, you have to accept that it's not a looker, that combat is still very wonky, and the unusual unpolished aspects that come with it. But I'm really enjoying it so far, particularly as I've always liked PB's dual progression system with skill points and trainer perks. Makes the whole thing a bit more tangible as it bypasses the illogical construct of the classic RPG fundamentals. Not that this is an issue in other games, but it's a design idea I find very clever. Sidenote, this is also their first game that runs almost flawlessly on console. Performance mode on Series X only ever drops a few frames in very busy village settings, otherwise it's rock solid. Definitely not a game for everyone, but I think shiny and dwarf and some others might enjoy this. I'm not sure if I'd recommend playing both Elex games and I'm not far enough into this to say which one is better. So far this seems a bit more streamlined, but I've also read that the mid- to endgame is inferior to the original -- guess I'll see, but so far, so good.
  12. I played 30 minutes of it. It asks you to create a bethesda account before even being able to play which is really annoying but you can get around by setting steam to offline. Anyway it seems good. Kind of more focused on just murder arenas from the look of things. But I'm totally ok with a game like that. You can turn HUD off but it's hard to play. The HUD is a bit much tbh, I need to spend some time figuring out what parts I can turn off. Playing on ultra violent
  13. DANGERMAN

    Roller Drome

    Roller Drome seemed to get talked about a lot right before release, then no one mentioned it again. It's a CEL shaded roller skate arena game with similar muted colours to Sable. Presumably deliberately it reminds me of old 70s genre films. The concept is kind of Running Man, you enter arenas and have to shoot the house players. To reload you have to do tricks, this refills your ammo, killing enemies gets you health back,and there's a bunch of different enemy types. I wasn't feeling this originally, it just felt flat and boring, frustrating even. Movement can be a bit odd, you don't control your momentum, press forward to start then leave it, concentrate on steering, jumping and tricks. Get close enough and there's an auto aim to shots, with some of the weapons having slight tricks to them. There's a dodge, time this with the slow down time mechanic, usually used for aiming, and you get an extended period of slowed time. There's challenges to the levels, things like performing certain tricks, kill enemies with certain weapons, and I think it's this stuff that was annoying me. It's probably best to just beat a level then revisit it and try to get one or two challenges each time, that's not how I was approaching it. You need to beat a certain number of challenges to unlock the next set of levels, so I was trying to beat everything all at once, you just don't have that sort of control early on, or I didn't, I did much better when I came back after a break and went back to the earlier levels. I'm still not sure I see the really high scores for it, but when it does all click with you it is fun, really fun at points
  14. AndyKurosaki

    Fallout 76

    I got this as a rental yesterday,took about 8 hours to update the damn thing. And there’s more updates on the way already. I’ve only played a couple of hours,so can’t really judge it yet. But the lack of NPCs really is an absolutely stupid decision. Elder Scrolls Online managed it fine,so I don’t get why they went that way with this. I only saw one actual player, who tried to kill me,but as I didn’t shoot back he couldn’t do F all. I was busy getting past the tutorial that I didn’t interact with him,so he got bored and left me to it. Oh,and Bethesda’s reaction to people pissed off about the poor quality bag in the Power Armour Edition is gobsmacking. “We made it out of cheap material,as we couldn’t afford what we advertised. Here,have 500 atoms. That gets you pretty much sod all”. They’re really trying to piss all their goodwill up the wall.
  15. I'm a few hours in, steam says 6 hours but it's closer to 4 with AFK. I'll say so far it's not what I was really expecting, which I mean in both good and bad ways I guess. Firstly it's not really a BGS take on No Man's Sky, or Elite or any of those games. It's not really like Skyrim either though, so far. What it feels more like is a Bethesda take on Mass Effect 1, in that it's an open 'universe' game that's very fragmented. You have central hubs which contain lots of quest givers, then menus which connect you to the rest of the universe. You have bespoke planets like Mars which contain a small open world and settlements. You go in your shuttle and take your pick from a map, and you end up in front of a skybox which represents the nearby planet you're orbiting, and there's some random encounters that can happen out there So that's the way the space travel works in this. You can also immediately just travel somewhere by opening the map whenever you want. That seems kind of spoiling the fun to me though, like a way of making things feel small. In a sense, this is pretty disappointing. Not because it isn't a massive seamless space sim, but moreso the way all the transitions are handled. It seems kind of dated and disconnected. Taken in context it might not turn into such a big deal when the rest of the parts come together and questlines progress. But it does feel a little bit of a misdirect by Bethesda, intentional or not, as to the true character of this game. But in any event Mass Effect 1 is an extremely good game that holds up, so its take on space exploration isn't a bad one to ape. Question is does it work well within the framework of a Bethesda game The setup is pretty dry. It also kind of feels like Mass Effect a bit. You get your macguffin and a companion goes with you. Reviews have said it's a good idea to prioritise the main quest, for gameplay and progression purposes. I don't really know why, but I did plan to mostly stick to it with the odd sidequest rather than drag the pacing out so that's fine. But the universe is not level scaled like Oblivion and Skyrim so at some point you will presumably be forced to do optional stuff to account for that. Also just in general, mainlining a main quest in these games seems like shit advice, you want to weave those sidequests in as well One thing I like: your companion can input on dialogue interactions. Went to a sort of Mos Eisley place on Mars where my companion butted it and haggled with another NPC. This was a sort of tutorial for this mechanic, but it would be an interesting example of the game's flexibility if these quest interactions also extend to the other optional companions you can find. I don't know that they do that for a fact, but you would reckon that they do. Another thing I like is this one quest early on where a guy asks you to find some patient data he misled, and just tells you the general area he lost it in. No waypoint for this quest, you just sort of wander around and it forces the player to take in the environment and incidental dialogue, as well as read signs and develop a mental map of the area layout. Not that the dialogue is riveting or anything, but it's a minor pivot back towards the design of stuff like Morrowind where the world was the point. In terms of reactivity, I picked a trait called 'Serpents Embrace' that made my character addicted to grav jumping or they take a debuff (and a buff if they do grav jump). I completely misunderstood this when I picked it, I thought it meant I had to literally jump all the time, but it means warpspeed jumps with your space ship. Doh. Turns out this also means they are a follow of a thing called the faith of the serpent, which is a pretty edgy backstory for an introverted chef. I got unique dialogue options during one quest because of this, so maybe there's more things like that which branch out and lead to different options. I also like how gravity effects the combat. You can cyberpunk style spring jump over buildings and lightly glide an explosive down a hallway, gently carried by the low gravity of Mars, like a spicey present for the space raiders. It seems like temperature might also play a part in outworld exploration, but I'm not sure in what way really. In terms of hubs, the first hub is a bit boring. Too green. But the 2nd one I went to on Mars was pretty cool and reminded me of Omega in Mass Effect 2. Also seems to be the place where you can take jobs from bounty hunters, if that's the way you want to point your character. Things I don't like, exploring the surfaces of planets seems mad boring. It's just a bunch of fucking rocks, the lack of a Mako is keenly felt. At the very least tho they have different environments. I took a radiation debuff on the surface of the moon which apparently fucked my suit up. Another thing I dislike though it's subjective, they put a weird filter on the game in certain worlds. The starter hub area has The Matrix filter on it. Shit's green all the time. The Mars area has a red filter. You can walk in a room and see the filter fade in and out, it's very weird and overdone and leads to a blown out look. It doesn't look good on OLED, looks fine on LCD though No HDR btw, at least not on PC. You can get auto hdr working using a weird work around, but it looks bad and make things more blown out so IMO stick with SDR. Apparently it's a similar situation on Xbox
  16. OCH

    Tekken 8

    ^ That's the title screen, btw. He is moving the entire time. His left eye (right on the image) also glows red when you push the button. It looks awesome! First Impressions There is much to do, off the bat. Arcade, Character Episodes and Story, I haven't touched yet. That's because not only is there your standard practice mode. But there is a training mode that gives you some combos to practice for every character via challenges. There is also a avatar-based Arcade Quest that is similar in teaching you the mechanics of the game. Including the interesting new Heat system. Which seems very reminiscent of the Soul Gauge mechanic of SC6). This is where I've been spending most of my time. The newer characters IE Reina, I didn't really get a feel for yet. Old faithful main Bryan Fury has eased me into this entry. I tried Yoshimitsu and remembered some stuff (remember I have recently been playing SC6, with it's own Yoshi). But as Tekken likes to do, they have altered the inputs of some attacks. Which has affected my muscle memory. I aim to give a fair crack at most characters. But I know, due to story mode, I have to pay some attention to Jin. Doing more with him than just the button mashing I did in the demo. Definitely more impressed with this than with MK1, already.
  17. Since this was available on Game Pass day one, I jumped in over the weekend and finished it on monday night. You control Harold, a depressed handyman on a colony ship which left Earth several generations ago to find a new home, but which crashed on an ocean planet and is now an underwater city for the inhabitants. I thought it was going to be a 2D adventure game style affair, but there's not really any puzzles or challenge involved. It's much more a narrative game, you go around the ship talking to people to tick off items on your to-do list which moves the story forward. I imagine this could disappoint some people, as you don't really 'do' a lot else. It's a pretty slow-paced game as well. I've seen Wes Anderson's name bandied about a lot in articles and reviews, and although I feel some of it is rather a surface level reaction to the look of it, there were some moments especially towards the end that I think would be right at home in one of this films. It looks incredible, from the clay model style characters, to the ship locations. It's also got a nice, low key soundtrack. I really enjoyed taking my time wandering around the ship, talking to people and the gentle pace that the story moved along. I can also see why that won't be everyone's cup of tea.
  18. Nag

    Control

    So, straight off the bat this game is weird... As in... It feels like I've been dumped in to the middle of a story and have no knowledge of what's gone (or going) on. It seems like it's a cross of every recent weird TV show or film from recent times, there's touches of Inception, Lost and God knows what else in here so far. Jesse (the main character) seems fine so far, she handles well enough... Shooting seems a little loose but I've turned off a couple of aim assists so that may explain that, I've only unlocked a couple of abilities (like launch) but that's opened up combat a little... I'm enjoying what I've played so far. Oddly, the game this most reminds me of somehow is a Dead Space game but I can't quite put my finger on why... I'm definitely interested to see where they take the story in this as so far it's weird as fuck and I have no idea where it's going.
  19. Maryokutai

    Song of Nunu

    Backlog time! This is one of those projects that came out of Riot Forge, the unfortunately now defunct initiative from Riot to establish the LoL universe beyond the base Moba. In this case, we're looking at a relatively classic, linear action-adventure title, made by Tequila Works (Deadlight, Rime, Gylt). On surface level it looks a bit like a companion game à la Last Guardian or Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, but it works a bit differently in the sense that you control both Nunu (the kid) and Willump (the blue Magic Yeti) in predetermined sections. So there's no manual switching or anything like that, which makes the entire thing relatively streamlined, but also rather simplistic. Nunu can play the flute which allows him to manipulate certain objects to solve puzzles, whereas Willump comes into action for, well, the action when you have to fight. There's also a bit of platforming which both can take part in and a multitude of other little gameplay gimmicks to mix things up, some of which born out of the most unexpected inspirations (Katamari). They can also both throw snowballs, either at each other for fun or to interact with distant objects. Overall its systems, mechanics and difficulty level suggest this is very much a game aimed at kids, with the writing also mimicking your usual tales of family and friendship you'd see in an animated movie. For me I looked at is as a light palette cleanser type game and for that it worked really well. There is a certain amount of ambiguity about the antagonist, resulting in a conflict based around perspective rather than just being black & white, which is a neat touch that goes a bit beyond what you'd expect. It's a cute game overall, 7-8 hours long so doesn't overstay its welcome and even has a few cool surprises up its sleeve. The beginning is a bit bland, both visually and in terms of gameplay, but the latter half really picks up in both of these areas. Not a must play or anything but if you like some simple, well-made classic videogame stuff, this is a nice little project. And also probably a good pick for the intended audience, because it has so many different gameplay elements (platforming, puzzles, combat) that it's a good appetizer for what videogames are about. Forgot to upload some screenshots, I might edit them in later if I don't forget.
  20. Nag

    Dragon's Dogma 2

    Started earlier this afternoon around 2ish and got around 4 hours with it... with around half of that mucking around with the character editor... Made my Arisen... Tried to make Fighter Jill Valentine, to be fair I don't think she turned out too bad...🙂 Next up my Pawn... Who turned out to be a hot Elven Archer called Laurana... Although I've made both of them too bloody tall and they both tower over the male NCP characters wondering around... so once i get the chance to modify them I'll shorten them down a bit. As for actual game play it's very familiar if you've played the first game and as far as I'm concerned that's a good thing... it feels really weird feeling lost on the map because of that though as I knew the previous games areas like the back of my hand. It also seems like the Pawns are really ferocious in this as half the time they've demolished the Goblins and Harpies before I've managed to draw a bead on them... It's nice to be back in this world and I can already tell I'm gonna have a ball with the game.
  21. I want my mummy... Spent a few hours with this through Game Pass (Xbox obviously)... think I played Innocence toward the tale end of last year and so far this feels nicely familiar. I'm up to Act 3, the first act being more or less a tutorial and the second playing pretty much how you'd expect. Things start harmlessly enough but it doesn't take long for things to fall to shit and the whole world wants Amicia dead for reasons... this time she can fight back a little more, she has a stealth attack and can knife enemies, I haven't got her Crossbow yet but like I say I'm only up to Act 3. You can also break line of sight and hide again if discovered, I can't remember if this was a thing in the first, if it was it was bloody difficult. Some of the views look stunning and so far it's played nicely... there's no performance or graphics mode so I'm not sure if it's locked to 30fps or not... think I saw somewhere that it's 40fps if your display supports 120hz (mine does so who knows) I ended up really liking the first so I'm looking forward to playing more of this.
  22. Sly Reflex

    Helldivers 2

    Helldivers 2. I've put a bit of time into it now. Here's what I think. It's almost all good. Movement and shooting feel great. Shooting has a mechanic I've never seen before where you have a reticule that is fixed where you aim, and one that moves around it depending on how much you are being rocked. If you are springing about the actual aim goes all over the shop, but if you take a knee and control your bursts it stays accurate. It feels really good for the most and makes you really think about your positioning and shooting, especially when the terrain dictates how you must commit or respond to a conflict. The fights are mostly regimented even with randoms, with people cycling in and out as fights bubble over the map and keeping some sort of structure. When it gets really mad and people start scattering it becomes a bit of a mess, but that's part of the charm in that sometimes you're going to be pressed. I've had games where I have seen people be bait for the entire run, and then I've had dives where it was me that was basically being the lightning conductor that everyone thanks for keeping the attention of the more dangerous mobs that require flanking and precise fire to kill. Only 2 factions in this game at launch. Robot and bugs. The way you fight either faction is very different, I feel like the bugs are more a case of zerging the best they can and just absorbing lots of gunfire, whereas the robots it becomes a bit more tactical. Not that they take over or anything like that, it's more a case of them shooting back and having more offence compared to the bugs defence. They have defence as well, but generally it's just a well placed shot that takes them down. The map from the previous game makes a return, but I think it's altered somewhat to before. For the uninitiated, it's a big circle broken up into tetrominoes. Super earth is in the middle and the factions are on the outside, you fight them towards the outside of the circle, conquer their world and that takes them out of the game until the war is over. If any faction makes it to the middle of the circle, it's a collective game over for everyone. I think they have altered how this works in some manner, because previously although it was tetrominoes you had a linear progression between the middle point and the far edge. Now it looks like any adjacent tile can be invaded so theoretically even though you only have 2 enemies, they can approach Super Earth from any angle. I might be wrong there, but this is how I am reading it. The only other explanation I have is that Arrowhead plan to put 2 more factions in the game so you are fighting on 4 fronts. That's just speculation on my behalf. Other changes you might want to know about. A lot of the strategems are now infinite and just have timers on them. If you played the previous game you would know that if you called a heavy weapon down and you lost it, that was it. Now it's very much a case of just wait for your timer to run down and call another in. In fact sometimes this is preferable if you are running low on ammo. Some strategems have had a rework. The ammo one now has a global cool down and has 4 ammo slots in it. For me this is a mixed bag. Some people are awful at just calling them in the wildest of places. And then you are fucked because your ammo is miles away because the one person that refused to come with the group has all the ammo and you have to wait it out. Or you have people chucking them into areas that are too hot to get ammo. It's just the usual 3head and selfish plays you can come to expect. Same with people walking under air strikes, or throwing air strikes on places you need to traverse though. It's not always like that, everyone is different. Some teams are well oiled and consistent, some are dog shit and couldn't give a fuck if you kill all 3 team mates as long as it means they have full ammo and kill that one bug. Reinforcement has also taken an overhaul. Gone are the infinite call ins, now you have 10 drops for one player with an extra 5 added on for each extra player. You can bolster this with some loadout stuff, but once those lives are out, that's it. Unlike Helldivers 1, if all players die, it will drop all players back into the field if you have the lives to do so. Unlocks are done via a few methods. Gone are the unlocks for beating certain missions, now everything relies on samples, credits, medals and the games premium currency super credits. There's a season pass that's not really a season pass, but it is a season pass that has loads of different weapons and stuff you can unlock, as well as armours and other gubbins. This uses medals which are earned through play. The paid season pass I think can be bought for super credits you find or unlock through the normal battlepass and has all the things you would expect in it, flashier customisation and some weapons that are similar to the free ones you unlock, but not really? For instance I got an explosive assault rifle from a dead body and although the bullets exploded, it was way slower on the fire rate. I sort of preferred the vanilla one if I am being honest. Speaking of weapons and different stats, you can hold reload and alter the fire rate and magnification. If you do intent to play this, or already have it, you can also look down your gun in first person if you aim and then press middle mouse button. I assume that will be a stick click on controller. Helps for those extra long distance firefights. The other currencies can be found all over. There's credits that can be gotten that allow you to buy more strategems. The other thing you can collect are samples with allow you to make the ship that is dropping said drops more efficient. Mostly the perks are just stuff like they have a smaller call down time, or a quicker cool down. Some are more specialised like making the centre of explosions larger for more destructive possibilities. I feel like the asking price for these is a bit of a piss take actually, and also I have a sneaking suspension that the difficulty wall I mentioned at the start has migrated here, as there's different rarities of sample and I am suspecting it may be a case of the rarer ones showing in harder missions. Bad points then. The servers are pretty fucked at the time of writing this. I just played an hour before writing this and had a few disconnected games. Once I got in it was all fine, but those frustrating moments looking for a match only for it to lag out. The only other really bad thing I can point out is it makes my PC sweat like crazy. Even RDR2 on ultra isn't putting my hardware under this much pressure. Some optimisation would be nice. It is a very pretty game and there's quite a bit of destruction going on in it, nothing that will blow you away, but yeah, it all has to be accounted for performance wise. It does look very pretty though, I'll give it that. Will Helldivers 2 have the legs to carry on being the game that I hope it will be? I'm not sure right now. I think it has more mass market appeal than a lot of other 4 player co-op shooters, but I think that it depends on Arrowhead being compliant with listening to what works and what doesn't in regards of the game and adjusting accordingly. We're still heavily in the honeymoon period right now, and I am thinking that it could be a long running thing, but the ball really is in their court and they could smash it or they could fumble it really hard depending on what happens.
  23. regemond

    Balatro

    Balatro. What can I say about Balatro that will do it any justice...? For the uninitiated, this presents as roguelike poker. You're dealt a hand of cards and use your card counting skills, or your natural-borne luck, to build a game-winning combination. Everything from high card draws to the fabled royal flush will score points, and it's your job to work through eight rounds of three games. I've managed to get half way through a game up to now - ante 5/8 - before crashing out horribly. Like I said, though, it presents as poker. Realistically, it takes poker to a whole new place, and this is thanks to the store between rounds. You can buy a range of bonuses to increase your chances of reaching the end. Tarot cards apply specific bonuses to individual cards from your deck (this could be anything from giving you an extra $3 if it's not used by the end of a round to a multiplier if it's played and scores). Planet cards provide bonuses to specific hands - I'm a fan of bumping up my two-pair bonus, as it's one of the most common hands I play, and it can become especially prolific for points the more you increase its level. You can get packs that add more cards to your deck, and then there are Joker cards (that's Poker with a J... Coincidence?) that give you overall bonuses. The key to the game right now seems to be the Joker Cards. A two pair hand with two 10s and two 5s can score around 50 points as a base. But add in a Joker card that adds 4 to your multiplier if you play clubs, as well as the joker that adds 30 chips if you play a 10, AND a +4 multiplier for the same numbers, and that two pair hand quickly shoots up to almost 10,000 points. Skipping some rounds is an option, and will present you with a bonus if you do so, but this comes at the cost of making more money to go into the store with. Is that card pack, which is usually $6 worth accepting, rather than playing the round and getting to $10 so you can buy a new bonus card or a couple of new Jokers? In each round of three games, there's also a 'boss' match. This will add further complications to the gameplay. Some of the ones I've encountered include all face cards being dealt face down, specific suits being debuffed (so those awesome bonuses are completely negated) and even ALL dealt cards being handed out face down. These are super tough at times, and if you hit a bad run, you're essentially screwed. I'm under no illusions that I'm not great at this game, but it has a fantastic 'one more go' quality that makes you hop in for another round. I honestly can't express how much I'm enjoying it right now. I'm determined to figure out a way to get through all 8 rounds.
  24. This had a cool demo so I decided to treat myself to a little sidegame over the long weekend. I'd actually encourage giving the demo a shot, because the game looks like a run-of-the-mill pixel indie title but it has an amount of quality and polish to it that really makes it stand out. In a Nintendo-ish way, it's entirely designed around a singular idea and that's the drill your character carries around. It allows you to drill through certain areas of the map, be it ground, snow or other, it works as a propellor underwater, it can revv up certain machines etc. I'm not going to spoil in detail what the developers have cooked up, but there are genuinely cool surprises here throughout and no two levels feel the same – again, very much Nintendo-like. This seems to have been in development for about seven years, which sounds absolutely bonkers, but it shows, because it's really an incredibly accomplished take on one of the oldest genres out there. There is one caveat though and those are the boss battle. I'm not going to mince words, they're all pretty bad. Well, at least the three I played so far. The first one was okay-ish I suppose, but the two that followed were just very tedious 'death by a million cuts' affairs that don't use its central mechanic in an interesting way. The third one, in fact, is easier if you just don't drill into the ground at all. It's weird to see how devoid those fights are of ideas considering how excellent the rest of the package is – almost as if they had been made by a completely different team. So while that might sour the experience a tiny bit at the end of every world, I don't think it drags the game down overall. From what I read it's not super long, but quality over quantity seems the focus here, and there's time trials for crazy people to get a bit more out of it. As a final commentary, the soundtrack is extremely good as well and I wish I could link a few samples but nobody seems to have uploaded anything yet. It's on Spotify though, if you want to give it a listen. Completely misrepresenting screenshotTM
  25. Nag

    Evil West

    Booted this up for the first time today just for a look see... played for a couple of hours and completed four levels. For those not in the know it's a Steam punk (I guess) take on Westerns mixed with Vampires which I thought was going to be much more shooter orientated than it is... it's actually much closer to the newer God of War games than Gears of War, shit, you even open and smash chests the same way as Kratos does. So there's a definite leaning towards melee combat over ranged but there's Guns involved obviously being a Western. These work on a cool down rather than relying on ammo drops and are mainly used for hitting exposed weak points with the rifle or chip damage for the pistol then there's the sawn off which is great for obliterating shields... all standard stuff for anyone who's played a third person adventure game anytime recently. So far in terms of levels it feels very old school with very linear levels designed to funnel you from one encounter to the next. As for looks it's been a very mixed bag so far, actual game play looks ok, I'm not sure if it's a design choice or what but there's a really weird glow with everything... fire sources are ridiculously bright and this isn't even an hdr enabled game and then you have the cutscenes which everything just looks muddy and crushed to fuck... I'm not sure whats going on there. Funnily though the pictures I'll post look a damn sight better then they do on a tv.🤷‍♂️ So a bit of a mixed bag... plays fine, looks a little ropey.
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