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Videogames: "No E3 for you!" edition.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2020 at 4:50 PM, Simon Steele said:

Man, it's too bad the writing is so bad in Mass Effect Andromeda. The gameplay is really a ton of fun, and I love the open world aspect. I'm having a ton of fun leveling up, collecting things, fighting, etc. I also have some mods that make my squadmates useful which has made this game so much more enjoyable. The enemies still only focus on me, but as they close in on my position and I have low health and no shields, Drack will just destroy them. It's great.

I've been going back through it lately as well, and I'm enjoying it a lot more this time around (and I didn't hate it the first time). One thing that's different is I'm now playing it on PS4 instead of PC - I enjoy combat in this game more with a controller than K&M for some reason. I have to say also, on my PS4 Pro the environments are phenomenal to behold. Really makes exploring the different planets a lot of fun. 

The dialogue is pretty wonky in places, but I mostly don't mind it. I actually like all of the squadmates except for PeeBee - she's neither funny nor insightful nor entertaining. I would've preferred another Andromeda alien squadmate instead, because J'aal is pretty awesome.  

Edited by Ferrum Aeternum

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4 minutes ago, Ferrum Aeternum said:

I've been going back through it lately as well, and I'm enjoying it a lot more this time around (and I didn't hate it the first time). One thing that's different is I'm now playing it on PS4 instead of PC - I enjoy combat in this game more with a controller than K&M for some reason. I have to say also, on my PS4 Pro the environments are phenomenal to behold. Really makes exploring the different planets a lot of fun. 

The dialogue is pretty wonky in places, but I mostly don't mind it. I actually like all of the squadmates except for PeeBee - she's neither funny nor insightful nor entertaining. I would've preferred another Andromeda alien squadmate instead, because J'aal is pretty awesome.  

I tend to agree on PeeBee; but if the game had come out without an Asari teammate... the fan rage would have been even worse!  :lol: 

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30 minutes ago, Rhom said:

I tend to agree on PeeBee; but if the game had come out without an Asari teammate... the fan rage would have been even worse!  :lol: 

Considering how different PeeBee is from other major Asari characters, I'd say the problem isn't with there being an Asari on the team. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Ferrum Aeternum said:

I've been going back through it lately as well, and I'm enjoying it a lot more this time around (and I didn't hate it the first time). One thing that's different is I'm now playing it on PS4 instead of PC - I enjoy combat in this game more with a controller than K&M for some reason. I have to say also, on my PS4 Pro the environments are phenomenal to behold. Really makes exploring the different planets a lot of fun. 

The dialogue is pretty wonky in places, but I mostly don't mind it. I actually like all of the squadmates except for PeeBee - she's neither funny nor insightful nor entertaining. I would've preferred another Andromeda alien squadmate instead, because J'aal is pretty awesome.  

Oh, the dialogue and characters get me...big time. Like, obviously Pee Bee is the worst offender, but the inability to develop characters beyond one single trait is annoying. Every time Drack has dialogue, I predict to myself, "He is old, and that will come up." And every time it's true. I don't know if there is a single back and forth about Drack that doesn't bring up his age. It's fine, I guess, because at least we have a Krogan in this game. 

One of the most annoying parts I ran into recently was on this asteroid with no low gravity. I was having a blast hitting jumps and floating super high, but the game won't let me experience this. Suddenly my squad overwhelms the speakers with loud, forced laughter (I guess because they're having fun). 

Ryder is also so annoying. But I am enjoying playing the game.

Looking back on weird Mass Effect choices, I have to wonder about the OT's insistence on never letting us have Wrex back in our squad after the first game. I get he's up to big stuff, and Grunt was a fun replacement, but to take them both away in the third game? Ugh. 

P.S. I love Krogans.

Edited by Simon Steele

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5 hours ago, Rhom said:

I tend to agree on PeeBee; but if the game had come out without an Asari teammate... the fan rage would have been even worse!  :lol: 

I agree, but wasn't Liara supposed to be a young-ish, naive Asari? That, to me, was well done, whereas Pee Bee feels like an 8th grader.

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11 hours ago, aceluby said:

Started up God of War this weekend for a new, non-VR game to play while it rained.  Game is MUCH different than the previous ones and I'm torn as to whether that's good or bad.  I was kind of hoping for some mindless hack and slash with a decent story - but instead it's got a kind of souls-like feel in combat, builds, equipment, leveling; an open world that I constantly feel lost in; and a pretty deep story line that carries a pretty heavy emotional weight to it.  It's great, and I'm enjoying it in short bursts - but it's not at all what I expected.

One of my favorite games. Hope it comes around for you.

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Posted (edited)

This 1:1 recreation of Los Angeles in Minecraft is insane (correction: a more generic city inspired by LA), although at only 20% complete after ten years I suspect is not going to be finished any time soon.

All of the Witcher games are on sale on GoG and Steam. The Witcher III and its DLC is well worth £10 for the best CRPG of the decade.

Official confirmation of the ground-up remake of Mafia, which is great news. Unfortunately, based on the trailer they've recast the actor who played Tommy which is a shame. The original actor was outstanding, this guy sounds very generic.

Edited by Werthead

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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2020 at 5:05 PM, Simon Steele said:

Oh, the dialogue and characters get me...big time. Like, obviously Pee Bee is the worst offender, but the inability to develop characters beyond one single trait is annoying. Every time Drack has dialogue, I predict to myself, "He is old, and that will come up." And every time it's true. I don't know if there is a single back and forth about Drack that doesn't bring up his age. It's fine, I guess, because at least we have a Krogan in this game. 

Drack is one-note at the beginning - the whole squad is, really - but he grows a good bit over time. His loyalty mission "A Future for our People" is phenomenal. It shows how passionate he is about the success of the Krogan colony on Elaaden. And yeah, he's ancient even by Krogan standards, so that's going to come up a lot. I like how the other Krogan, particularly at the colony, show a kind of reverence to him. Dude's a living legend. 

I think we are of two minds here regarding the dialogue - PeeBee is seriously the only character who annoys me. Well, check that - Liam's curtness with the other squadmates can be a little frustrating. It seems like Ryder is the only character he's willing to open up to at all.

I like that Ryder is a cocky smartass most of the time. The devs were purposely going for the anti-Shepard and I think for the most part they got it right. It makes sense to me that people willing to take a 600-year journey into the near-complete unknown of another galaxy would be a bit...different than the usual. I guess the humor and overall lighter tone mostly work for me. 

Some of the conversations in the Nomad are great. Certain combinations of squadmates work better than others, for sure. I haven't encountered the laughing dialogue you mention, although it does remind me of one of my biggest pet peeves with the game - dialogues getting crossed up and/or interrupted, often by SAM. I actually like SAM as a character, but there are times when he simply will not shut up. The lines he repeats at certain points (planet condition warnings, mining zones, etc) get old fast, but those can be modded out on PC.

Edited by Ferrum Aeternum
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3 hours ago, Ferrum Aeternum said:

Drack is one-note at the beginning - the whole squad is, really - but he grows a good bit over time. His loyalty mission "A Future for our People" is phenomenal. It shows how passionate he is about the success of the Krogan colony on Elaaden. And yeah, he's ancient even by Krogan standards, so that's going to come up a lot. I like how the other Krogan, particularly at the colony, show a kind of reverence to him. Dude's a living legend. 

I think we are of two minds here regarding the dialogue - PeeBee is seriously the only character who annoys me. Well, check that - Liam's curtness with the other squadmates can be a little frustrating. It seems like Ryder is the only character he's willing to open up to at all.

I like that Ryder is a cocky smartass most of the time. The devs were purposely going for the anti-Shepard and I think for the most part they got it right. It makes sense to me that people willing to take a 600-year journey into the near-complete unknown of another galaxy would be a bit...different than the usual. I guess the humor and overall lighter tone mostly work for me. 

Some of the conversations in the Nomad are great. Certain combinations of squadmates work better than others, for sure. I haven't encountered the laughing dialogue you mention, although it does remind me of one of my biggest pet peeves with the game - dialogues getting crossed up and/or interrupted, often by SAM. I actually like SAM as a character, but there are times when he simply will not shut up. The lines he repeats at certain points (planet condition warnings, mining zones, etc) get old fast, but those can be modded out on PC.

PeeBee was problematic for me... but she was the source of one of my favorite Nomad interactions.  Driving around with Jaal enough, he tries to ignore her to the point that he pretends to be asleep.  PeeBee figures this out and starts making noises like she and Ryder are having sex and Jaal wakes up and basically says "Let me out!"  :lol: 

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4 hours ago, Ferrum Aeternum said:

Drack is one-note at the beginning - the whole squad is, really - but he grows a good bit over time. His loyalty mission "A Future for our People" is phenomenal. It shows how passionate he is about the success of the Krogan colony on Elaaden. And yeah, he's ancient even by Krogan standards, so that's going to come up a lot. I like how the other Krogan, particularly at the colony, show a kind of reverence to him. Dude's a living legend. 

I think we are of two minds here regarding the dialogue - PeeBee is seriously the only character who annoys me. Well, check that - Liam's curtness with the other squadmates can be a little frustrating. It seems like Ryder is the only character he's willing to open up to at all.

I like that Ryder is a cocky smartass most of the time. The devs were purposely going for the anti-Shepard and I think for the most part they got it right. It makes sense to me that people willing to take a 600-year journey into the near-complete unknown of another galaxy would be a bit...different than the usual. I guess the humor and overall lighter tone mostly work for me. 

Some of the conversations in the Nomad are great. Certain combinations of squadmates work better than others, for sure. I haven't encountered the laughing dialogue you mention, although it does remind me of one of my biggest pet peeves with the game - dialogues getting crossed up and/or interrupted, often by SAM. I actually like SAM as a character, but there are times when he simply will not shut up. The lines he repeats at certain points (planet condition warnings, mining zones, etc) get old fast, but those can be modded out on PC.

Haha, I have the "Shut Up Sam" mod. It mostly takes out his "you're entering extreme cold" then 2 seconds later "temperatures are suitable" then two seconds later "you're entering extreme cold" stuff. But he is rough. I miss EDI so much.

Drack is great, honestly. I love Krogans in general (though the female Krogan voices in this game were ill-chosen). Drack and Jaal are pretty much the only ones I use because I don't much like the rest of the squad. I can tolerate Vetra and Cora. I also have a mod that makes squad mates actually useful in how they fight. Sometimes I'm getting wrecked, and Drack finishes fights up for me. It's such a welcome change having competent squad mates. I have to be careful too, because if I'm not supporting them (I like sniping), then they will die. I also finished pretty much all the story arcs for companions and enjoyed Drack's and Jaal's quite a bit. 

I remember reading about the writers' intent with Ryder being the opposite of Shepard. But I think they didn't pull it off. You can have an optimistic, excited newb without them being cringe, I think. I'll never get over that part where you first get to the Jaal home city (aya?), and Ryder, as she's walking out of the ship, says something like, "Guys, it's cool, I'll be totally fine." Pause. "But if I die horribly, don't post it on YouTubes, LOLZ." Or whatever. The humor in this game is one giant cringe fest. And it's all over the game. I feel like they're trying to be cute or something. It's hard to take things seriously. It's like in Friday the 13th Part Ten (Jason X) when Jason goes to space, and one character is about to be sucked into space through a tiny hole in the wall and she yells, "THIS SUCKS ON SO MANY LEVELS!" Yeah? How many levels? Like two? And why are you being "hilarious" when you're about to horribly die? This kind of stuff really hurts the narrative, I think, and it's just a sign of the lack of experience of the writing team.

But, the gameplay, you know? I love shooting around the battle field and fighting. It's super fun.

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23 minutes ago, Rhom said:

PeeBee was problematic for me... but she was the source of one of my favorite Nomad interactions.  Driving around with Jaal enough, he tries to ignore her to the point that he pretends to be asleep.  PeeBee figures this out and starts making noises like she and Ryder are having sex and Jaal wakes up and basically says "Let me out!"  :lol: 

Hm, I haven't seen that one yet. Poor Jaal!

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Just found out that PSO2 is going live on PC next week.  It’s been a long time since my days on the DreamCast with a dial up modem... but it’s free to play, so I’m gonna need to fire up a RAcast and go to town!

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I tried out Crucible, one of the first games to be put out by Amazon. And, it's not very good. It's a worse version of games like Battleborn and Gigantic, which both failed as well. It's also riddled with bugs, bad server connections (really Amazon?), and a terrible UI. Not a great start for Amazon's move into the game space, and it doesn't bode well for New Worlds later this year (which is different studio, tbf, but has had some public development drama).

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And the leaks about the Epic Games giveaway turn out true: The "mystery" game they are giving out from now onwards is Civilization 6. The version I got also has a "1 DLC" marker, but I can't see anywhere what kind of DLC is handed out alongside it.

With the leak having been more or less confirmed with that, the next freebies will be the Borderlands Handsome Collection and "Ark: Survival Evolved". I think I already got the Handsome Collection from some Humble Bundle and I can't say anything about Ark because I couldn't care less about this craze of multiplayer crafting stuff that had been everywhere a while back.

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I started a new Madden 20 franchise yesterday, and basically simmed the first season and downloaded one of the 2020 draft classes from Madden share so I could try to simulate the Broncos 2020 draft. I got Jeudy, but I was shocked that only about two other players they drafted were in those 2020 draft classes (I downloaded several just to check). But either way, I started actually playing in season 2, and I was just dominating. Phillip Lindsay was breaking off 50+ yard runs and touchdowns. I threw no interceptions which was new for me. I got some picks. I had like 8 sacks. It was an amazing game. Then I realized I hadn't changed the difficulty from "rookie." I thought I was playing on All Pro. Ugh.

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On 5/17/2020 at 11:53 AM, Rhom said:

We are definitely on a wave length in gaming... totally random.  I have trumpeted Andromeda as the best gameplay in the series for years now.  It’s why I want a sequel desperately.  Keep the game assets and give a team of writers a real opportunity and you have something that could really excel.

The biggest thing for me was that it was a set up game, we got all the set up for the most interesting parts of the game (to me) and because BioWare were scared of backlash they just dropped it instead of putting the work in. I want the part of the game where the people in Andromeda realise the Milky Way was invaded by Reapers, that whatever happened they aren't in contact anymore and that they are not colonists - they're refugees. And possibly the last of their species.

I want to know what's going on with the Quarian ark. I want to know more about the scourge and the ones who made it, vs the ones we find the remnants of. I want more with Ryder as she developed from a newb goofball to a more competent and responsible goofball.

On 5/20/2020 at 11:57 PM, Ferrum Aeternum said:

I like that Ryder is a cocky smartass most of the time. The devs were purposely going for the anti-Shepard and I think for the most part they got it right. It makes sense to me that people willing to take a 600-year journey into the near-complete unknown of another galaxy would be a bit...different than the usual. I guess the humor and overall lighter tone mostly work for me. 

I really liked the change from Shepard, and I liked most of the characters and agree that them being weirdos that aren't necessarily representative of their species is intended. They left because they couldn't find a place to fit in.

I'm not saying it was perfect, the criticisms of the writing are probably fair for the most part, but there was still a ton in there I liked. And the mobility of the game play with the jet pack is really hard to go back from, and the smoothness of the movement is a huge plus mark for it over DA: I when you're talking about whether you can handle the open world stuff or not. Also setting up outposts makes way more sense as an open world mechanic than setting up tents in DA:I did.

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Have never played Andromeda.  Curious though, are there hints of Reaper analogues in that galaxy too? 

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2 hours ago, mcbigski said:

Have never played Andromeda.  Curious though, are there hints of Reaper analogues in that galaxy too? 

No, but there’s clearly something big sectioning off sections of this galaxy.

Like @karaddin said though, the game really sets up a lot for future sequels that nothing will be done with now.  Almost like the dark energy thing or whatever was hinted at in ME2 that got totally dropped in 3.

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Yeah, they attempted (and failed) to sidestep the issue of colonialism by having no species actually native to the cluster of Andromeda it's set in. There's many ruins from a now departed alien species which are referred to as remnant tech, this species had tech on a level that's way beyond the Reapers. At least in certain areas, the Reapers might have had better weapons and shielding, but this species built truly gigantic underground complexes (city size/larger) which were capable of terraforming basically all suitable planets they constructed it on basically with the flick of a switch from the space station that was their command hub. Including things like scrubbing radiation from the atmosphere all with the generated energy fields. It was powered by dark energy.

There's also a cosmic phenomenon, called the scourge, that's basically a weird semi solidified dark energy structure that is drawn to/reacts explosively in contact with tech and biological matter but can exist in contact with planetary surfaces. Spoiler tagging things you only learn further in the story

Spoiler

After observing that it's REALLY drawn to remnant tech we eventually learn that the scourge is a weapon deployed against the remnant species by an otherwise unknown other alien species. This conflict is the reason they've abandoned the area or been killed off.

There's primary antagonist aliens are the Kett, who are clearly not locals right from the start as they're also instigating remnant and are hostile without opportunity for diplomacy.

Spoiler

They turn out to be a parasitic species that is spreading through Andromeda, they kidnap members of species with desirable traits and infect them with a generic virus that turns then into Kett and let's the Kett acquire traits. Them "uplifting" Krogan does not end in good things.

Finally you have the Angara. They initially seem to be locals to the area, although you learn pretty quickly they've only been around for less than a thousand years so clearly doesn't evolve in the area. They've got some unusual electrical abilities, and are peaceful - the MW species start settling alongside them in some cases but it is agreed upon rather than hostile colonialism.

Spoiler

They turn out to have been created entirely by the remnant which is why they have such a short history

None of which gives away that one of the main themes is actually still AI, but a different perspective from the original trilogy looking for ways it's compatible with organic life rather than antagonistic. The other beats that were clearly meant to build into the main themes for the series in DLC and sequels was the whole refugee thing. They don't know at the time of leaving about what is coming, they think they're embarking on an adventure, but the financial backers for the project did know. They're essentially a backup lifepod for the Milky way species and the main character starts to piece this together as you're unable to contact the MW at all during the game.

The local conflict with the Kett is wrapped up and the game ends basically with a cliff hanger about the Quarian ship (which was a year or so behind them) being in trouble and the realisation of their situation about to hit them. Hence being really pissed that BW just dropped it instead of putting the work in to fix the problems and improve with what followed.

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Oh and this is definitely a criticism of the execution in ME:A - the AI theme doesn't really pop just from the game, it took reading NK Jemisin's prequel book for it to actually realise exactly what they were going for. Apparently when you get really talented writers to write for you, you wind up with better written material - who knew? The game is considerably stronger if you're reading that theme into what's going on, but the game doesn't do a good job of showing that its meant to be there itself.

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