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Toth

Video Games: In the Grim Darkness of licensed Games.

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So, I hope I haven't overstepped some boundaries by opening a new Video Games thread. Especially since I can't really come up with witty titles.

In any case... Just a couple of hours ago I... I finished DoWII Chaos Rising. And... seriously? That's all there is to it?!? 12 freaking missions and the credits run? This barely qualifies as a game! I guess they wanted to drag out a couple of minutes by giving you that Great Unclean One as final boss that is incredibly frustrating to kill. Much more than Kyras in Retribution ever was, given how I was supposed to run back and forth between him and the nearest drop pod because his waves of minions were forcing my shooty team into close combat situations.

I'm also slightly irritated that I didn't manage to get the canon ending. My traitor was Martellus because Avitus got purified by a secondary objective on the last mission before the game said "Screw you, I can't make any of your characters a traitor!". Bloody hell. I was then so irritated that I removed his cursed armor and went for the full purity ending instead of the canon neutral ending. But having seen that one on Youtube now... I can't say I like it very much. If the Force Commander wouldn't be an empty sheet of nothing, if there is any hint that he would give in to chaos corruption, then I would understand this ending. But with things being like they are, he is the valiant hero who single-handedly slowed the advance of a Tyranid splinter fleet down to a crawl and here he and Thaddeus are sent to their certain deaths for what seems like minor idiocies.

On the plus side, however, is that with all the politicking around the Chief Librarian and the First Company, Chaos Rising seems to be the first game where the Blood Ravens' odd chapter structure gets (somewhat) highlighted. It's heavily implied since the first game that they are secretly loyalist Thousand Sons, so it strikes me as strange that they always used to be as generic as they come instead of embracing their Primarch's so well fleshed out eccentrics. But here, especially when confronted with the relics on the space hulk, their gene-seed that makes them obsessed with obtaining knowledge shines through for once, especially with Librarian Jonas being finally in the team. Or maybe it's just Diomedes' constant harping about their "Knowledge is Power" creed...

Well... now I'm downloading DoWIII... even though I might regret that one. If anything, at least they seemingly retconned Jonas' death in Retribution away, which was an extremely frustrating waste of such an interesting character. I'm glad about that at least. Despite Terminator backflips or whatever.

Meanwhile in Magia Record: One of the amusing oddities about Japanese gacha-RPGs is how the developers will inadvertently throw numerous versions of the same character at you for the sake of making more money. Therefore I can now field an army of Madokas: https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/magiarecord-en/images/5/5b/Screenshot_20181225-175434.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20181225170031

Bwahaha! If Rebellion Homura ever shows up as a boss fight, I will field this exact team just to smack some sense into her! XD

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53 minutes ago, Toth said:

Especially since I can't really come up with witty titles.

I refuse to accept this.

Search down deep. Reach into the infinite power that it your soul. And the witty title that this forum..... nay, that our world needs, shall arise.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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I really spend too much money on mid-level and indie games that I end up disappointed with after a few hours, or even almost immediately (at least Steam refunds are a thing). But then I stumble onto something like WH40K Mechanicus, and I'm reminded why I keep buying these kinds of games, instead if only sticking with the safer bet of AAA games. It's very good, shockingly so for a WH40K game. 

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I again was weak and I bought the Sega Genesis Classics collection for the Switch.  Its a pretty neat set up where the "selection" screen looks like a kid's bedroom from the 90's with posters on the wall for Shinobi and stuff and there is a shelf with games where you click over to choose what you want to play and then that game is put in a Genesis console sitting beneath an old tube style TV.  Nostalgia.

You know what isn't fun though?  Playing ESWAT and dieing halfway through the first level...

Or getting to the first time you fight Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog and dieing...

Or not knowing WTF is going on in Gunstar Heroes...

:lol: 

What I really bought the collection for was Phantasy Star 2-4.  I won't be able to mess those up... I think.  :leaving: 

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Okay, so... today I played the first three missions of Dawn of War III and as expected, I can't make heads or tails out of this... thing. The story is bland and idiotic, though it's also not helping that despite all three main characters having appeared in previous games, there is no sense of history at all here. DoWII at least constantly referenced DoWI and retconned its main characters back into it as minor grunts who happened to fight there. That gave it a surprising amount of depth despite the predecessors being so shallow on the story front. Here it's just... another mission for Gabe, Macha and Gorgutz. Or something. Admittedly, the 3D-stillshots look suitably epic and are in my opinion better than this weird puppet theatre in the vein of "If the Emperor had a Text-to-Spech device" that is all the craze right now. If only it would make me care for the characters...

Also the game-play... fast-paced mass battles like in DoWI, but with the units having the odd tendency to cluster together in a way that makes micro-managing them absolutely painful. Enemies die so fast that you barely get to throw a grenate (especially since it's far too fiddly to switch to the right squad). Own units also die horribly fast and since you can only replenish your numbers by marching back to you base, stand absurdly close to the barracks and hammer the replenish button like a maniac, you end up just letting them die more often than not. The infantry handling really takes the worst of the previous two games and combines it into something utterly atrocious. No awesome cover system (which was the defining feature of both games) and no role-playing aspects.

Also the graphics suck. Heck, it didn't look nearly as bad in screenshots, but in the flow of the game it really kills all of the entire atmosphere. You can't zoom far enough in to look at the troops, the textures are so comically stylized that it looks like they have no details at all anyway, and the bright unit highlighting truly makes it look more like League of Legends than anything else. Nothing about it feels like 40k. Heck, I remember that as a kid I often let the AI play against the AI to sit back and watch the carnage ensue. That's how pretty DoWII looked like. But this? Totally bland and now my eyes actually hurt like hell.

The resource system is the only thing that actually feels okay. It is nice that you can upgrade flags even without placing a listening post on them. But the skirmish battle I did was still hopelessly confusing. I made a Space Marine vs. Space Marine match, painting my own as Pre-Heresy Thousand Sons against the Space Wolves. The only amusing moment was when I attacked the enemy base and called in another Devastor squad with a Lascannon via Drop Pod (which are actually a really useful addition here) and the jerkass Space Furries immediately smashed their own Drop Pod on top of mine even before mine was opening, squishing the Marines inside. Freaking Space Corgies...

I don't even know whether I want to finish the game. It feels more like a chore.

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I got Dawn of War III free in a Steam giveaway. I've heard it's worth every penny. Seriously, that's a series which peaked with the first game and it's main accomplished was giving us the Company of Heroes spin-off series (same engine in WWII) which is vastly superior on every single level.

Meanwhile, it's somehow 20 years since Baldur's Gate was released.

This also reminds me of the claim that 1998 is the greatest year in video game history, which I think is a very strong possibility (1993 and 2004 I think are also good claims, but 1998 probably takes it): Fallout 2Baldur's GateHalf-LifeStarCraftResident Evil 2, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeFinal Fantasy TacticsCommandos: Behind Enemy LinesRainbow SixThief: The Dark ProjectGrim Fandango, Myth II: Soulblighter and SHOGO: Mobile Armored Division.

Edited by Werthead

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I got Dawn of War III free in a Steam giveaway. I've heard it's worth every penny.

You know that you yourself make it sound like it's worth nothing at all? XD

Have you ever played the Dawn of War series yourself? Because I had played both previous installments... and both played extremely different, with the only link being the cover and moral system that they share with the Company of Heroes series. The first game was very close to the tabletop game, with big infantry-heavy armies and tanks duking it out, but everything having a comparably large scale, which the addons added upon by introducing risk-style planet-maps where you have to capture provinces in order to unlock bonus stuff. DoWII in comparison had a focus on small squads with heavy role-playing aspects. In the campaign you don't even get to have any tanks, but instead you could collect a plethora of equipment for your squads alongside a very motivating level-system for further optimization in accordance to your strategies. It made you however feel utterly invincible when your tiny company at the end of the game is able to single-handedly mow down an entire Tyranid hive and save your subsector. It made the Space Marines feel extremely powerful, like they are supposed to be in the lore.

Thing is, normally I'm not so keen on trusting the mob mentality when a game is as universally loathed as DoWIII, but it actually feels too much like C&C4. They have thrown away everything that made the previous two games good and replaced it with something... that... really doesn't seem to be all that thought out. Innovation is well and good, but this is just soulless. I repeat, it doesn't have a cover system, I don't know whether it has a morale system (I was never pinned down as of yet) and only the resources feel like in the first game. It's a severely watered-down version of the first one, really...

Also I should note that the dialogue is horrendous. The voice acting too, but that's nothing new for the series. At least DoWI was entertainingly bad. DoWIII is just boring and bland. Especially the Orks... are... speaking in complete and fairly eloquent sentences, using stupidly complicated words that no Ork would ever use. It's little stuff like that that annoys you every time you try to shut your head down and try to enjoy whatever spectacle there is.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

I got Dawn of War III free in a Steam giveaway. I've heard it's worth every penny. Seriously, that's a series which peaked with the first game and it's main accomplished was giving us the Company of Heroes spin-off series (same engine in WWII) which is vastly superior on every single level.

Meanwhile, it's somehow 20 years since Baldur's Gate was released.

This also reminds me of the claim that 1998 is the greatest year in video game history, which I think is a very strong possibility (1993 and 2004 I think are also good claims, but 1998 probably takes it): Fallout 2Baldur's GateHalf-LifeStarCraftResident Evil 2, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeFinal Fantasy TacticsCommandos: Behind Enemy LinesRainbow SixThief: The Dark ProjectGrim Fandango, Myth II: Soulblighter and SHOGO: Mobile Armored Division.

I know I've had this debate before, though I don't remember if it was here or on a different forum. I think 1998 is definitely one of the top years, to me only rivaled by 2011 (Dark Souls, Skyrim, Saints Row: The Third, Portal 2, Batman: Arkham City, Dead Space 2, Gears of War 3), which also had tons of really good lesser games (AC: Revelations, Crysis 2, Killzone 3, LA Noire, Dragon Age 2, Witcher 2, Infamous 2, Bastion, Catherine, Limbo, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Star Wars: TOR, Zelda: Skyward Sword).

It was far enough to the 360/PS3 life cycle that developers really knew what they were doing and it showed; a trend which continued into 2012. If we're talking about a two-year period I think 2011-2012 absolutely wins.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

This also reminds me of the claim that 1998 is the greatest year in video game history, which I think is a very strong possibility (1993 and 2004 I think are also good claims, but 1998 probably takes it): Fallout 2Baldur's GateHalf-LifeStarCraftResident Evil 2, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of TimeFinal Fantasy TacticsCommandos: Behind Enemy LinesRainbow SixThief: The Dark ProjectGrim Fandango, Myth II: Soulblighter and SHOGO: Mobile Armored Division.

I'll forgive you for not mentioning MGS, since it was released in Europe only in 1999.

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52 minutes ago, Toth said:

Have you ever played the Dawn of War series yourself? Because I had played both previous installments... and both played extremely different, with the only link being the cover and moral system that they share with the Company of Heroes series. The first game was very close to the tabletop game, with big infantry-heavy armies and tanks duking it out, but everything having a comparably large scale, which the addons added upon by introducing risk-style planet-maps where you have to capture provinces in order to unlock bonus stuff. DoWII in comparison had a focus on small squads with heavy role-playing aspects. In the campaign you don't even get to have any tanks, but instead you could collect a plethora of equipment for your squads alongside a very motivating level-system for further optimization in accordance to your strategies. It made you however feel utterly invincible when your tiny company at the end of the game is able to single-handedly mow down an entire Tyranid hive and save your subsector. It made the Space Marines feel extremely powerful, like they are supposed to be in the lore.

Yes, I've played both games, although oddly I found their expansions tough going and never really got into them. The base games are solid with that focus you mention making them feel and play different.

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Started playing Surviving Mars.

Fun game from the makers of Tropico and it has way more depth than that game. However, it's a bit stodgy in the start and I can't see myself doing more that a couple of scenarios. The Tropico series and other management games like Two Point Hospital do a better job of getting you invested in each scenario and that may have been a better way to go here. I do feel the game tries to throw way too much at you at once, even the tutorial is quite overwhelming (to the point where the tutorial seems to be aware of it and suggests you stop using it!).

Very solid game with a great score and great atmosphere though.

Picked up Dishonored 2 which had (finally!) dropped to a reasonable level in the latest Steam sale. It had stayed quite expensive for a long time but not only did it drop this week, it even got a package deal where you get Death of the Outsider really cheap as well (which might be an idea as apparently Death may be the last Dishonored game ever, as the game undersold according to Bethesda's expectations quite severely).

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On to chapter 5!!! I've finally got all the tricks down, am loaded with cash and guns, including these awesome eight shot pistols, and have a look as close to The Man in Black as I'm going to get. The only difference is I've never cut my hair, so it's super long, and I've never cut the goatee either, so it's also massive. 

I'm hoping to finish the chapter by the end of the weekend since I don't have a lot to do unless a friend is free, and it's damn cold here right now.

Also, got an unexpected gift at Christmas: The Last of Us:D Will be dipping into it once RDR2 has been completed (I'm like half way through I think). 

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2 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Also, got an unexpected gift at Christmas: The Last of Us:D Will be dipping into it once RDR2 has been completed (I'm like half way through I think). 

You ever play it before? If not, then you're in for a treat.

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2 hours ago, A True Kaniggit said:

You ever play it before? If not, then you're in for a treat.

One of the best video game endings ever.  

Although, to be fair, that's not saying much since most games have awful endings.

Edited by briantw

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I just finished playing 'Trails of Cold Steel 2'. It's an awesome RPG.

If you are looking for an awesome RPG, start with Trails in the Sky on steam. It's on sale now! It has a really good story, lot's of content and good characters. Even though it looks a bit old fashioned. There are try pc games!

And after that you can play Trails of Cold steel. It's on steam and ps3, but coming to ps4. Also a good series in the same world, with some of the same characters.

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I finally picked up Celeste and have been playing it the last couple of days. It's wonderful and incredibly difficult. I've been trying to get as many of the collectibles as I can find which is resulting in me having nearly 400 deaths in a single level. The music is just as fantastic as everyone says and it just feels damn good to play. 

Threatening to make me redo my top 5 picks for this year. 

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Okay... I guess I did something I will deeply regret. In anticipation of the inevitable New Years event and the hope of a return of Iskandar, I reinstalled Fate/Grand Order and proceeded to slowly crawl myself through the Babylon chapter. That takes place in Uruk, because the developers suck at history.

Or are they? I guess that's the frustrating part about this game. The current story consists of copious amounts of info dumping about both actual mythology and made-up one. Of course only when male characters are talking. Because female characters are just a bundle of Anime stereotypes, only there for fanservice and/or wacky 'humor'. Of course you can't bring that up to other players, they will shout you down about how 'deep' the story is... or that it's just tits and dragons you have to shut up either way.

Of course, even if Iskandar shows up, m chances at actually getting him are basically nil. This gacha is far, far, far more unforgivable than Magia Record's. I recently sat back and counted. Both games claim that you have a 1% chance to get a 5-star character with each roll. I played Magia Record now for nearly 11 months and got 26 of these characters. Before that I played Fate/Grand Order for 15 months and got... three... I didn't pay a penny for both games, mind you.

I guess I came back to it because Magia Record didn't frustrate me enough...

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Excellent documentary on GoG.com, complete with stuff on curation, rights and licensing, convincing publishers to remove DRM from their games and so on. Great stuff.

Ooh, the bit where GoG confirm they've got old console games working fine on the service and they're trying to nail the licensing is very tasty.

Edited by Werthead

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I'm into Chapter 3 of RDR2 and I have to say, while it's a very good, immersive game, the lack of a true driving force through the narrative is making it hard on me. This always seems the issue for me with these big open worlds. Having played Zelda: BOTW, God of War and The Last of Us before this game, the difference is quite noticeable. I'll keep going because I'm curious enough to see where it goes but at the same time, "getting enough money for the gang to find somewhere in the west to live" is kind of weak. I need more Pinkertons.

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