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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. So, this is the new game from the Civ and XCOM developers, Firaxis. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, it is a turn-based game. It's safe to say it's more closely aligned to XCOM than Civ though, but this has an ace (or many aces to be exact) up its sleeve that differentiates it from just being a Marvel XCOM game, and that's the largely divisive (from Previews) inclusion of Cards into the combat. As a result of the cards coming into play, the game isn't as rigid or locked into a grid like it is in XCOM, you're free to move somewhere within the little combat arena you're placed in once per turn, with certain placements being preferable, scoring knockbacks or environmental attacks. You can draw three cards per turn, but certain cards do get refunded as they're used up, giving you an additional card or two per turn, you can also redraw any card you're not happy with twice per turn. A lot of the cards so far are quite basic, in that they are 'standard' kind of slash/punch kind of moves, but they do come with additional benefits like knockbacks, chain attacks, inflicting bleed damage and the ilk, on top of these you've got ability cards which gives you and your team buffs as you fight and hero cards which are much more powerful and usually allow you to take out multiple enemies at a time, the kicker being that you need 'heroism' to use them, which is gained by taking out enemies. The enemies themselves have been fairly standard grunts for the most part, if you imagine the basic super soldiers from XCOM, then it's pretty much the same here, just they're now Hydra Soldiers. The bosses have been more interesting as they're now various Marvel villains instead of snake-creatures or something like they were in the XCOM titles. As established in the paragraphs above, the game shares a lot of DNA with XCOM, and that's no bad thing, the animations, certain effects you can pull of like the knockbacks mentioned earlier and the environmental attacks all look and feel very similar to XCOM but they've now got a more grandiose superhero sheen on them. You'll head out on missions from the 'war room' with yourself ('The Hunter') and two other heroes chosen at random to assist you. You'll about your task, fight a boss or retrieve an item at the end of it and then return back to your base. It's in this base segment of the game where you can see where Firaxis has been far more ambitious than their previous title. In XCOM, the base was an important part of the game where you'd build new sections, invest research points into them to help bolster certain specialisations, new weapons and all that good stuff. All of this DNA is contained within the 'Abbey' in this game, which is a huge Cathedral with sprawling grounds for you to explore to your hearts content, you explore this in 3D in your role as the Hunter, gone are the days of a 2D plain, seeing all your little soldiers move into their newly built wing. It's super impressive and such a great feeling 'base' right away that really makes you feel at home, all the segments you'd expect to be there are in their place but there's also tons of secrets to explore and a sprawling grounds containing blocked passageways which will likely reveal themselves to me later on. The Abbey has the feel of the School in Fire Emblem Three Houses or the Normandy in Mass Effect to it. This also takes inspiration from those titles in the new social links system, where you can sit down and hang out around the Abbey with your new team mates as you assimilate and get used to your new surroundings, doing so gets you friendship points which levels up your bond with your squad mates as the game goes on. I'm not too far into the game but I assume the more it goes on the more activities around the Abbey get unlocked and some of the more mysterious bits and pieces I've seen so far unveil themselves. The Abbey is the most ambitious element of the game and is almost a game unto itself, it makes me realise why it got delayed a few times. So yeah, I've loved my time with it so far (probably about 4-5 hours) and can't wait to play more, it's a real breath of fresh air compared to some of the other stuff I've played lately. To be continued and pics added.
  3. I put an umlaut in the thread title 🪓 Quick thread post to say like some others I imagine I stayed up a bit last night to check out the intro to this. Very familiar, almost expansion like in how familiar it is. But as someone who's several GOTYs are FFXIV expansions I don't really consider that a huge negative, but it is noticeable coming into this from 2018. It's like changing a disc, if this was an older PSX rpg. It's neat tho, it has that IMAX level presentation to its cinematic fights. Dialogue between characters is maximalist in every degree. Every mythical character is super expressive and drawn like a caricature out of a HBO mob drama, or a scenery-chewing performance from a Tarantino film, which I'm way into. I like the contemporary treatment of it all. I mainly want to ask the question here tho to the 120hz VRR users, what settings are you rolling with? I messed around with quality performance last night and I feel the fps wasn't quite as smooth as I'd liked (I don't know if it is the 40fps or not) and the resolution was very soft looking to me. The visuals aren't quite where I'd expect them to be. If that is the case I might just stick with quality and 30fps. For a game that's as deliberate and slow in its movement as this I think I can get by with that, it worked fine in 2018. But slightly foggy and soft visuals would spoil a lot more of what's going on here, imo.
  4. radiofloyd

    Elden Ring

    Played an hour, on PC. The game defaulted to High graphical settings, so I left it at that. I chose the Vagabond class. So far, so Dark Souls. Looking forward to losing my life to this game. The opening cinematic is very cool. One of my Steam friends has already played this for 8 hours.:.
  5. FromSoft isn't messing around! Giant Mech✔️ Missile launcher✔️ Big gun✔️ Laser sword✔️ Jet propelled agility✔️ ..And go! This isn't Metroid however, this is your standard tool kit. Master it quickly. You get about the first couple minutes to introduce you to the controls. Then, you're on your own. Free to roam and battle as you wish. Your first objective has four markers, to be approached in any order. Naturally there is a lot of distance between each and From is quick to demonstrate that the enemies have the advantage. This is their base, you are the intruder. Be prepared to fight waves around any given corner. Some nice little Codec-like voices are your only warning the enemy has spotted you. The controls have come a long way since early AC's. After only an hour or so, I get what they were saying about taking what they've learned from Souls (more from Sekiro, really) and applying it to AC. Combat is fluid, reactionary and fast-paced. It all feels really intuitive, however. I imagine the first boss will be a rude awakening to any new to AC. I died a handful of times. But, this isn't Souls. This ain't no Vanguard either. I didn't defeat the boss by learning it's patterns, tells and counteracting them. No, I beat the boss by making the most of my own abilities. Your handler gives you one hint to dodge a specific attack. But it's more important than it seems. I mentioned Sekiro before, because you have the same meter system to the boss fights. Get the bar into the red with sustained damage and not only does this put the boss in a stunned state. But they take more damage too. Be careful that it does work both ways. Not to mention the cooldown to all your weapons and dodge/agility capabilities. This is all demonstrated in the first boss fight. When I "got it", I smashed the boss quite easily. I didn't get long to play today and likely even less time tomorrow. But just from the opening mission, I'm very impressed.
  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. I was pretty close to just bumping the old thread because man, is this Persona 3. I'm sure there are plenty that want a remake as faithful as this but I was more on the side of using the opportunity to take a second run at it and tighten it up a bit and improve some of the story of the game. There are quite a few changes to the dungeon crawling element, a lot of additions in presentation and mechanics such as the ability to pass a turn to another party member after hitting a weak spot which makes the game easier. But I was a bit disappointed with the AI party members since there are less tactics than the original and they don't use the new mechanics. Just for nostalgia's sake I tried to play it the old way but it's so not optimal. It just seems to be thoughtlessly added and it's clear they're really expecting people to play it with direct control of the party. I just always thought it was cool to be the leader of an autonomous group and it's just faster too. But oh well! Bosses haven't really been touched very much either, mechanically, despite those getting quite a bit better in later games is a big missed opportunity too. Other difference is it obviously looks better... actually, I dunno, it doesn't have the creepiness of the original to me, something to do with some of the colour grading maybe. Looking too clean isn't hitting quite right. More of the game is voice acted, I think it might be a little rewritten but I'd have to look at side by sides to be sure but it's mostly the same stuff happening and even acted out the same way. I'm not new to this game but I think to someone that is or is coming from Persona 5 it's still gonna feel like an older iteration despite the new coat of paint. It's still one of my favourite games, and I've barely stopped playing it but it's my fault, I did at one point dream of a game that felt like a sequel to P5 but with P3's story and it isn't that. It's P3 with some modern concessions.
  9. Demo is out, first chapter of the game. I made a video fighting the demo boss. I did really bad, maybe you can do better. It feels well designed but lacking in polish, I dunno. There's a lot to like here but I hope they get it up to a better standard for release edit ok I spent time practicing and took a better video of the boss fight. This game has really good combat. It's so mechanical, a nice amount to think about. Some AI problems tho. I wish you could call characters to a position but it seems you need to babysit them with switch mechanic
  10. This is a massive WRPG based on the Harry Potter book/film series from the early to late 2000s. Potter, Malfoy, Hermione, Ron, Neville & Co. aren't in this though as it is set in the late 1800s, so it's set in the same world and there are certainly plenty of references to the books/films, certain character names etc. and some fan service in terms of locations you'll visit (particularly the intro which is super cool for a Potter-fan, which I won't spoil) but it doesn't try too hard or wink metaphorically at you too much if that makes sense. You play as a new character of your choice who joins Hogwarts as a 5th year, one of the few Witches/Wizards that have done this in history. The game is set in Hogwarts itself and its surroundings, no real surprise there. Hogwarts itself is absolutely gigantic, filled with labyrinthian corridors, dungeons, classrooms with all the key locales you'll recognise from the films like the moving staircase, broom lawn, clock tower etc. everything feels exactly as it should do, everything is in its correct place from the films and just feels right. Outside of Hogwarts is a humungous world to explore based on the Scottish Highlands, with plenty of greenery, forests and undulating hills, flora and fauna, Hogsmeade is largely the shopping district where you'll get all your bits needed for your classes and adventures throughout the region, it's every bit as charming as it is in the films and an absolute delight to just walkthrough and take in all the kookiness of the wizarding world you inhabit. The two core pillars to the game, as in many games I guess, are combat and exploration. The combat is easily what has surprised me about the game the most, I think when you look at it in videos it's quite easy to dismiss as being perhaps a bit overly simplistic but in your hands it's got a lot of depth to it. There's a weight to the spell casting that isn't easy to get across on video, I don't really know how to describe it but there's a wind-up to the animation, a motion, a movement to it, it's not just firing off little bolts of whatever spell, it feels like you've actually cast it if that makes any sense at all lol. Different enemies will have a shield that corresponds with a certain spell colour (red, purple, yellow are the main combat-based spells) which you'll have to use to break their shield and ultimately defeat them. You can have up to 12 named spells in the spell wheel at any one time (need to hold R2 and press one of the face buttons to cast), these act as special spells on a cooldown meter. On top of this you've also got your regular no-name spell which you can cast at anyone at anytime by pressing R2 (or by using L2, going into a 3rd-person over the shoulder aiming mode) which you can keep firing off at enemies whilst your special spells are on a cooldown. There's a lot of different enemy types I've encountered so far. These Guardian/Statue type things I guess a little bit similar to the Gargoyles in Souls games or something (maybe?), your more standard dark witches/wizards, Ashwinders which are kind of suped up dark witches/wizards, Spiders, Wolves, Trolls, Goblins, these little furball looking things that reside in rivers/lakes (can't remember the name), so there's a lot of variety there and each have their own strengths and weaknesses for you to exploit. Combat in this game is far from easy as well, it's not anywhere near something like Souls or something like that but you do have to think about your attacks, strategies etc. quite a bit, it's not mindless button mashing in the slightest, there is some strategy involved and some threat associated whenever you enter a combat scenario. Exploration is handled a little more how you'd expect really, I absolutely hate the 'Ubisoft game' analogy as I feel it's a lazy quasi-criticism, I've played many and they're all slightly differently to one another but the closest analogy I can give to how this game handles its exploration is AC Valhalla. The landscapes are very similar on the surface of it, one being set mainly in England and this being set in the Scottish Highlands, there are these 'Merlin Trials' which are very similar to a lot of the little puzzles and glitches you see dotted around in that game. Standard kind of stuff like getting a ball from the top of a hill down into a hole, lighting three pillars before the time runs out, exploding 4 rock columns, having to lead a group of fireflies into a column to light it up, just little bits and pieces like that. There's a lot of collectibles to get, the field pages are the most plentiful of the bunch, I think Hogwarts alone has over 100 of these that you get by pressing Revelio to reveal hidden objects in the surroundings, much like the pulse mechanic in a lot of games that reveals hidden items, there's also Chests, little statues, seals to find where you'll have to lead a dragonfly-type thing to a cabinet to squash it into the hole and open it up. Nothing too ground-breaking here or anything really no one has seen before, but they all work well in harmony with one another. Again, similar to AC Valhalla there's also dungeons and caves you can enter dotted around the landscape, the infamous bandit camps where you have to clear them out and find the chest to tick them off as completed, Balloons in the sky to pop whilst flying your broom, broom time trials, mini-games with your wand you can compete with other students at Hogwarts. The game has such a fantastic atmosphere to it and is such a joy to explore, whether that's just walking around on foot or flying around on your broom, it's always visually arresting to just meander even if you don't have a set goal in mind. The attention to detail here is just absolutely staggering, there's a sweetshop in Hogsmeade and every single individual kooky wizardy type sweet is included in such an special authentic way, every aspect of the game feels extremely polished, it runs well and everything feels like it has that same attention to detail that the sweetshop has, it really is a sight to behold. Graphically, this is a current-gen showpiece, the world feels so alive and helps bring everything to life and look as magnificent as it does, the music in this game is absolutely fantastic as well and helps place you into this world. There's a few ditties in here that will sound familiar if you've seen the films but nothing is a straight up rip from the movies, everything feels unique and makes you feel like you're on your own adventure in this world, not reliving Harry's. The sound design with all the spells like 'Lumos' sounding exactly how it should from the films, is really special. Again, it just helps drive home how much attention to detail was spent in this world and getting everything right, in terms of world design and world building, it's nothing but a masterpiece. The story itself has been interesting too, I'm not too far in as I've been mostly ignoring it and doing collectibles, side quests and all that good stuff, but yeah it has been intriguing so far and I can't wait to learn more, I've only just got my broom at 22-ish hours in which is meant to be something you get within the first 3 hours, so I think I'm quite behind on this front lol. Talking of side quests, they're in here but largely unremarkable really, they're standard kind of side quests where you'll have to clear out a bandit camp to get an item or something like that, nothing out of ordinary. Occasionally you do get assignments from the various different classes at Hogwarts which will give you a couple of tasks to complete, this are usually more interesting and reward you with a nice little classroom scene once you hand it to the Professor in question. So yeah, I think it is absolutely fantastic so far. I just wish I had more time to play more of it really, it's one of the best WPRGs I've played in recent years, feels like its had an awful lot of money spent on it and is just dripping in polish and attention to detail. A must-play if you're a fan of the films/books but I think a great game (so far) in its own right and well worth playing still if you're not. Pics:
  11. Quick thread to kick it off. I'm 2 chapters in, trying it on hard mode (you cant change after selecting, warning for that upfront). Beat a boss fight It's got some cool visual stylings, but it's a game I'm not sure I have calibrated correctly. It's extremely dark and grey, have went back and forth on what the intent is here. If I set the HDR brightness high it improves things but washes out many of the darker scenes. I think they really want you to play in pitch blackness. I don't want to dunk on the game too early in, it's one I was looking forward to. But I'm finding it a bit boring. It's got some interesting setup, very Twin Peaks. I guess even similar to season 3 in a sense, given the time gap. But I don't really feel like I'm investigating stuff, I'm just sort of running through mazes and corridors unlocking the next exposition dump, and a samey FMV jump scare happens now and then. Then you go into the 'mind palace' and stick photos on a wall by pressing A a lot. I read a review which says it gets off to a very slow start though, so maybe I'll turn around on it. I hope so anyway. By this point with Control though I was completely bought into it. This in comparison is feeling very standard, at least in these early hours
  12. Surprised no one has made a thread for this yet as I think quite a few of us have now played the demo/Prologue. But yeah, I played through it in two sessions over the weekend and wow, just wow, this is utterly fantastic. Way exceeded my already high expectations, I like pretty much everything about it I think. It's very Game of Thrones-y, that is my overwhelming first impression of it. Warring houses run by ruthless tyrants keen to expand their borders at whatever human cost it takes, it just feels a lot more grounded than a lot of past FF's and a lot of JRPGs in general, there's no super attractive Husbando leading the pack here and no really cute Waifu types either, all the folks encountered so far all feel more like real people and less caricatures if that makes sense. As this is the early game, everything moves at quite a slow pace with lots of exposition, setting up Clive's back story 13 years before the present day and seeing where he grew up, his Father and family in general (has very much a Stark's in GoT vibe). All the combat tutorials and your first real mission take place with teen Clive just getting to grips with his abilities, you're sent on a mission to clear out some Goblins from a derelict nearby town and when you gets there Goblin's aren't all you encounter. It's a cool mission that lets you get to grips with the early combat system for the first time, everything is relatively basic with only one Phoenix Eikon(?) ability to use, basic square and triangle attacks but how fast paced it is and how you can dodge just at the right time to engage a Witch-time equivalent and parry shots along with how phrenetic and bombastic it is just makes it an utter joy. Any game, especially a long RPG like this, that makes me actively want to engage with combat rather than sigh before engaging in another battle is a really great sign. It is relatively simplistic at this early stage but that is to be expected, you can see the roots of where it will grow and become more complex over the course of the game as well. I think what has really drawn me in overall is the story, without giving anything away I really want to see what happens next, the Prologue/Demo ends in such a way that I am incredibly eager to find out what happens next. The eikon fights are a true spectacle, huge set pieces with all the music ramped up to 11 that make the ol' heart tick away at a fair rate of knots, just so much cool and crazy shit going on on screen at once it's just such a visual spectacle and an utter joy to play through. So yeah, very early days but I'm so impressed with this so far and can't wait to carry on with it on Friday. Pics below.
  13. 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.
  14. Nag

    Stellar Blade

    Started this yesterday (Rebirth goes on the back-burner again) and I think I've made a fairly good decision to go with Story difficulty as I'm already feeling better about the parry and dodge than I did with the demo. I still feel like the game feels a little janky, especially anything to do with jumping and platforming. When Eve is in a bright location the game looks really nice when it goes to darker areas not so much. After seeing complaints about Eve and her characters lack of emotion I have to admit I quite like her so far... and she is a android after all. I've only got so far as Xion (the city hub area) up to now and left off being able to explore that area, thankfully it does actually have a map now as it didn't when I first entered. After having my enthusiasm dampened by the demo I'm pleased to say that I've really enjoyed the first few hours with it... getting those perfect parries and then hitting them with those retribution finishers is ever so satisfying. 😁
  15. 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
  16. 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)
  17. 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.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Spent around four or five hours with this and it's safe to say it's pretty great... I'd go as far to say that this (in my opinion) is Sony's premier franchise now... you can just feel the production values running through pretty much everything. I've spent most of my time getting distracted by icons that pop up as you're traversing the map so in regards to main story missions I've not made much progress... I'm not going to pretend that it's a whole different game from the previous two but if you got any sort of enjoyment from those you'll love this and you'll know just what to expect. It's all about the story in these types of games for me and thankfully I've not been spoiled in that sense yet, looking forward to spending some hours with this...
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
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