Dear VG Diary~

What are you playing. Hands out of your pockets!

Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:08 pm

Absentia wrote:
Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:What I've realized I hate about Stellaris is how easily a game becomes gridlocked. I can't count the number of times I finally spin up a navy capable of taking on enemy space stations only to find that the particular enemy I've been eying has suddenly made an alliance with eight other people. Then when Federations come into the picture, a quick war becomes an hours-long nightmare.


It's a shame because Stellaris does so many things right, but then it turns into an ungodly slog in the mid-late game. I'm waiting for another expansion or two to see if they can fix it.


In other news, I've had my eye on Shadow of Mordor for awhile but I've been waiting until I get a computer that can actually run it decently well. After much difficulty my new laptop with a GeForce 940MX has arrived, and I'm one very large download away from murdering some orcs.


Well, I've realized that the only way to win the game is to basically be Littlefinger. Invite other people to decimate enemies for you so you can vassalize them. So on and so forth until you've got like...a dozen vassals and can just declare war on whoever and let them do all the work until the endgame comes.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Absentia » Fri Aug 04, 2017 5:13 pm

I'm about halfway through Shadow of Mordor and I don't hate it, but I didn't realize it would be practically an exact clone of Assassin's Creed's gameplay. I stopped playing Screed games after AC2 because the combat is so repetitive and uninteresting and I'm feeling the same way about Shadow; in the end everything boils down to "go over there and kill some dudes using the same three weapons you start the game with".
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:22 pm

Absentia wrote:I'm about halfway through Shadow of Mordor and I don't hate it, but I didn't realize it would be practically an exact clone of Assassin's Creed's gameplay. I stopped playing Screed games after AC2 because the combat is so repetitive and uninteresting and I'm feeling the same way about Shadow; in the end everything boils down to "go over there and kill some dudes using the same three weapons you start the game with".


Oh, dude, you gotta play AC4. I mean, there's still the AC part of it, which is garbage, but holy shit the pirating.

Anyways, I'm giving Tales of Berseria a shot, because even though I don't typically like games with this kind of aesthetic, it has an overwhelmingly positive rating and seems interesting enough. Once my vacation starts, I'm gonna restart Pyre and do the whole game beginning to end.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Absentia » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:32 pm

Got through about 75% of Shadow before I got bored. I can't complain too much since I got it for $5, but apart from some excellent voice acting it's hard to believe that was anybody's GOTY.

Now I'm finally going to break my rule against buying Early Access games and try out the flavor of the month, PUBG. I'm told it's more fun in duos if any of you guys want to get annihilated with me.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Absentia » Thu Aug 10, 2017 5:11 pm

So, PUBG. I've played about 50 rounds in 12 hours and gotten 10 kills. Not great, although I managed to sneak around well enough one round to finish at #2 (with zero kills, but still).

The game has a weird rhythm of looting, running, and hiding that's hard to get the hang of even before you get into the problem of actually trying to shoot at people. It's also incredibly stressful, because you're almost always going to get killed by somebody you never saw: either a sniper or somebody who got behind you. I have to play it in small doses to keep from getting too frustrated, but so far I keep coming back.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Windy » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:28 pm

I was playing Third Age Total War and I destroyed the One Ring but the volcano exploded and killed Aragorn and Gandalf. RIP
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby octoberpumpkin » Sun Aug 13, 2017 4:23 am

Bf and I started Catherine. Not super far, just did the first "boss area"

I'm in Arson in LA Noire

I'm also at day 2 in Parasite Eve

I'm going to the second island in Pokimans Moon

Playing a crap ton of DOA5LR

Chapter 5 in Child of Light
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:17 am

Playing Nier:Automata right now, and holy shit, I misjudged this game.

I thought it was "Watch fetishized android girl slash through bland robots for entire bog-standard big budget Japanese game" when really it's "Watch fetishized android girl slash/twin stick shooter/Contra/Armored Core her way through robots undergoing a disturbingly empathetic existential crisis (while the 'good guys' go through their own weird existential crisis) in a gorgeous game with surprising amounts of customization and an amazing soundtrack."

While I'm obviously surprised that it's so beautiful, stylistic and has a story that looks like it's shaping up to be a very heavy one, the combat is ridiculously good. It switches between regular third person to side-scrolling to top-down twin stick combat at the drop of the hat, sometimes within the same fights (I literally just got done fighting on a roller coaster). Adding that you sometimes jet in on weird jetpack/aircraft units, and you get a full air-ground spectrum.'

I particularly like the combat customization, which reminds me of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. You can build, steal, or fuse a bunch of chips, but you only have a limited number of slots to install them. Much like how KH lets you pull out actual necessary things, this leads to a situation where you can literally disable things in your HUD (health, enemy health, map, etc) in order to slap in other chips and maximize your stats.

I have a few nitpicks with the game (invisible walls everywhere, it takes too long for it to let you warp between points, it does that Dark Souls "go get your dead body or lose everything" thing, playing it practically requires you to be holding down buttons at all times and antagonizes the shit out of your arm, part where I accidentally fell into a really high-level area and spent an hour killing all the enemies but couldn't get out) but man, this is going on my end of year list with RE7 and Pyre (and TFTB, since I played it this year).
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Last edited by Doodle Dee. Snickers on Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby gisambards » Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:36 pm

I've been playing Resident Evil 7. Just got to the old house. I think it's for the most part pretty strong - and the old house being my favourite bit so far, with Marguerite being by far the scariest member of the family (by way of being the only scary member of the family).
But
I didn't like Jack at all - he wasn't scary, nor funny, and the gameplay outside his boss fights (i.e. being stalked by an unkillable enemy through a relatively open area) was something that's been done a lot better in a lot of other games. His AI in these segments was far too underdeveloped to be effective. I thought the first boss fight against him fit the tone of the game well, being a little daft but still having a) some grounding, and b) a legitimate scariness, but the second boss fight crept over that line in to just being straight stupid.
Lucas has barely appeared but he and Jack also seem to represent another problem which is that only Marguerite really captures the concept of what it seems like the family are meant to be - a potentially really disturbing concept that is made completely ridiculous in the wrong by having Jack and Lucas be cliche giggling psychopaths.
Worst of all, though, is our protagonist, Ethan, who through combination of awful writing and awful voice acting is so thoroughly unlikable and unrelatable that he makes it much harder to get at all invested in the game, to the point where I genuinely think this would be a noticeably better game if he were a silent protagonist. He ruins a number of potentially creepy moments through sarcastic quips, his interaction with the policeman is a prime example of idiot plot (where the plot is only advanced through characters being unrealistically stupid), and the way his interactions with his wife are written are genuinely appalling in their emotional tone-deafness. All of this really breaks the immersion, and makes the game as a whole a lot harder to like.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:34 pm

Alright, as I continue my playthrough of Nier:Automata, I've found another problem I have with this game (though I admit, this is something of a personal grouse). It has a nasty habit of randomly being like "Instead of a relatively fast boss battle, enjoy a twelve stage boss battle or (in the case of right now, where I fought a boss, went to save at a location, then fought it there too, and now I'm fighting like...a six-stage boss immediately after) a back-to-back series of boss battles of bosses you sometimes have to fight multiple times for the next hour."

Like...shit, game, sometimes I have to get to sleep for work tomorrow or answer the door to get my Jimmy Johns(#notspon) sandwich. Unless we're at the endgame, don't spring that shit on me out of left field.

*EDIT* OH. I guess I was at the end of the game. Okay, now I have a different complaint. The ending for this game (well, the first time through, anyways) came out of nowhere. I was fighting a robot cult, then I was suddenly launched into the endgame. I'm still going to try to get all the endings before I review this game (the main endings, anyways, not the silly one-off ones).
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby KleinerKiller » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:22 pm

Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:*EDIT* OH. I guess I was at the end of the game. Okay, now I have a different complaint. The ending for this game (well, the first time through, anyways) came out of nowhere. I was fighting a robot cult, then I was suddenly launched into the endgame. I'm still going to try to get all the endings before I review this game (the main endings, anyways, not the silly one-off ones).


Yeah, the initial two routes are really weird about pacing. It's a byproduct of how the routes are really structured -- Route A looks like the full game, but what you think is the start of the third act is really... mid-second act, I guess? And then Route C (wherein you can also get Endings D and E) is the second half of the second act and then the lengthy final act. Whereas in the original Nier, you got the full game more or less right away, and then the final route was just an extra boss battle and a few more critical cutscenes.

But the true ending (E) is much better timed. You'll want to set aside a good chunk of time for it since the last part of C before the boss is a bit of a fucking drag with no save points, but it's well worth it.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:25 pm

KleinerKiller wrote:
Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:*EDIT* OH. I guess I was at the end of the game. Okay, now I have a different complaint. The ending for this game (well, the first time through, anyways) came out of nowhere. I was fighting a robot cult, then I was suddenly launched into the endgame. I'm still going to try to get all the endings before I review this game (the main endings, anyways, not the silly one-off ones).


Yeah, the initial two routes are really weird about pacing. It's a byproduct of how the routes are really structured -- Route A looks like the full game, but what you think is the start of the third act is really... mid-second act, I guess? And then Route C (wherein you can also get Endings D and E) is the second half of the second act and then the lengthy final act. Whereas in the original Nier, you got the full game more or less right away, and then the final route was just an extra boss battle and a few more critical cutscenes.

But the true ending (E) is much better timed. You'll want to set aside a good chunk of time for it since the last part of C before the boss is a bit of a fucking drag with no save points, but it's well worth it.


MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

Spoiler: show
I guess I'll have to give the game points off for it, then, because it smacks a bit too much of forced replayability. I got the first ending and was like "Wait, what the fuck was all that intrigue with the android command being super shady, then? What about the village of robots? Why have we only see A2 once even though I know she's a main character? What happens to the humans? Are these literally ALL the robots on Earth I've killed? Did the operator get her sweet lesbian android date? Even the ending to Mass Effect 3 gave me more closure." It's less of a 'route' and more that the game is making you restart halfway through the story, which I have to take some umbrage with. It'd be one thing if it built a branching point in the story you restarted from with each ending and there were different paths down each branch (in fact, given the existential thread of this game, that might even be pretty dope within the context of the story), but these are not really routes.

Still a really good game, second-best this year so far (well, third with TFTB, since I only played it this year) but this knock against it's gonna really bother me.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby KleinerKiller » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:50 pm

Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD

Spoiler: show
I guess I'll have to give the game points off for it, then, because it smacks a bit too much of forced replayability. I got the first ending and was like "Wait, what the fuck was all that intrigue with the android command being super shady, then? What about the village of robots? Why have we only see A2 once even though I know she's a main character? What happens to the humans? Are these literally ALL the robots on Earth I've killed? Did the operator get her sweet lesbian android date? Even the ending to Mass Effect 3 gave me more closure." It's less of a 'route' and more that the game is making you restart halfway through the story, which I have to take some umbrage with. It'd be one thing if it built a branching point in the story you restarted from with each ending and there were different paths down each branch (in fact, given the existential thread of this game, that might even be pretty dope within the context of the story), but these are not really routes.

Still a really good game, second-best this year so far (well, third with TFTB, since I only played it this year) but this knock against it's gonna really bother me.


Spoiler: show
It doesn't bother me as much now, having beaten the game already and knowing how well it ultimately comes together, but yeah, as I said in my review, the handling and timing of Route B is my biggest problem with the game. There is a point to restarting halfway through that gets clearer once you see the story continue, and the conclusion of the story is so goddamn good (you'll get closure for everything you mentioned and more) that it dulled my problems with the preceding route, but it's undeniably a fault and one of the few things everyone agrees could have been handled better. Yoko Taro just loves that structure and uses it frequently, and I'd say the higher budget of Automata compared to his usual games led him to overreach a bit in implementing it.

Here's hoping you enjoy Route C once you blitz through B, though! I know I did.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:45 pm

So, still trying to plow through Route B, which...Jesus H. Christ, this game has suddenly dragged. I thought there'd be more difference here; it's all the same missions, just with some extra cutscenes that easily could've been stuck in route A. Like...I'm glad they explained the robot who wanted to be beautiful, who was my favorite boss of the bunch, but damn, didn't need a whole other route for that.
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Re: Dear VG Diary~

Postby KleinerKiller » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:27 pm

Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:So, still trying to plow through Route B, which...Jesus H. Christ, this game has suddenly dragged. I thought there'd be more difference here; it's all the same missions, just with some extra cutscenes that easily could've been stuck in route A. Like...I'm glad they explained the robot who wanted to be beautiful, who was my favorite boss of the bunch, but damn, didn't need a whole other route for that.


So in the first Nier (not going to spoil the exact context because it's a fantastic game and I'm assuming you haven't checked it out),
Spoiler: show
the deal with Route B is that you replay the second half of the game with both extra cutscenes and the ability to understand the garbled speech of the main enemies, which dramatically recontextualizes all of your battles. The second half of Nier being about as long as Automata's Route A/B, I can understand Taro's reasoning behind executing a similar system for the sequel before going into the most ambitious parts in the second half, but the problem is that A) only a few of your enemies in Automata have a clear thought process that couldn't be understood or at least guessed at from your initial encounters, and B) it sets up the potential for completely new gameplay scenarios at the start, only for the realization to kick in that 9S is only separated from 2B's side at two points in A's story, and your only new context until the very end of the route comes from the vague extra cutscenes and the locked chest documents. So yeah, not the best.


I reiterate, though, it's well worth it to blaze past Route B as fast as you can. Route C is what solidified it as Game Of the Year for me.
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