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Videogames: "No E3 for you!" edition.

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3 hours ago, karaddin said:

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.

This makes me want to read that Jemisin book.  SAM is actually my favorite teammate.  I am still at about the middle so if SAM turns evil I am unaware of it as yet.

I always love the benevolent permanent non-human companion/helper characters.  I love SAM.  I love Tranquility particularly but also the ships in the Hamilton stuff.  I love Ship in Hyperion.  I love the daemon's in the Pullman books.  I always had a companion pet out that was attached to each particular WoW character I made. 

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Excellent deals on Epic today. Civilization VI is the day's free game and they're also giving away a £10/$10 voucher which you can use on any game over £15 (I believe), so I got MechWarrior V: Mercenaries, a very new game, for £7.

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9 minutes ago, Inkdaub said:

This makes me want to read that Jemisin book.  SAM is actually my favorite teammate.  I am still at about the middle so if SAM turns evil I am unaware of it as yet.

I always love the benevolent permanent non-human companion/helper characters.  I love SAM.  I love Tranquility particularly but also the ships in the Hamilton stuff.  I love Ship in Hyperion.  I love the daemon's in the Pullman books.  I always had a companion pet out that was attached to each particular WoW character I made. 

I was really apprehensive about a book set before the trip to Andromeda primarily on Cora but it really worked, and as I said - greatly enhanced the themes of the game and the game itself as a result. It also explains some of the decisions in ME:A that are a bit questionable and not adequately answered within the game - specifically addresses why Ryder Snr makes Ryder Jnr the Pathfinder beyond the mystery that you work through in the game.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, karaddin said:

I was really apprehensive about a book set before the trip to Andromeda primarily on Cora but it really worked, and as I said - greatly enhanced the themes of the game and the game itself as a result. It also explains some of the decisions in ME:A that are a bit questionable and not adequately answered within the game - specifically addresses why Ryder Snr makes Ryder Jnr the Pathfinder beyond the mystery that you work through in the game.

But did you know that Cora trained as an Asari Huntress?  :lol: 

The fact that I never got to play the Quarian Ark is still the thing that bugs me the most out of all of it.  (It is amazingly perplexing to me that there is a Mass Effect Facebook group I'm a member of where it seems almost a given amongst them that there was never going to be DLC and that the Quarian Ark was always planned to be a book... WTF people.  Its okay to accept that EA screwed BioWare on the game.)  Thanks for laying out the story structure again, kinda makes me want to replay it.  I know the game was flawed.  I know what they were trying to do with the open world, but those games just don't always work for me and I kinda feel like the game would have worked better as a glorified hallway cover shooter like 2 and 3; but the gameplay itself was just so good.  There was a lot of good foundation there that could have been developed if they were to just continue.

ETA:  And I still want to know who the shadowy funder of the mission was!  (Are they somehow there in Andromeda?)  Who was the murderer?  So many questions that needed to be answered and were just left to rot by corporate incompetence.

Edited by Rhom

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I made myself want to play it again as well lol. And yeah no way that there wasn't DLC planned, it was a flashing neon ad for it and the book isn't even the same incident that's presumably being reported at the end of the game is it?

The book is like halfway through the voyage

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12 hours ago, karaddin said:

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.

How is that book in terms of readability? I love Mass Effect, but I tried reading one of the books by the creator (Karpyshin?) and couldn't finish it.

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5 hours ago, Rhom said:

But did you know that Cora trained as an Asari Huntress?  :lol: 

The fact that I never got to play the Quarian Ark is still the thing that bugs me the most out of all of it.  (It is amazingly perplexing to me that there is a Mass Effect Facebook group I'm a member of where it seems almost a given amongst them that there was never going to be DLC and that the Quarian Ark was always planned to be a book... WTF people.  Its okay to accept that EA screwed BioWare on the game.)  Thanks for laying out the story structure again, kinda makes me want to replay it.  I know the game was flawed.  I know what they were trying to do with the open world, but those games just don't always work for me and I kinda feel like the game would have worked better as a glorified hallway cover shooter like 2 and 3; but the gameplay itself was just so good.  There was a lot of good foundation there that could have been developed if they were to just continue.

ETA:  And I still want to know who the shadowy funder of the mission was!  (Are they somehow there in Andromeda?)  Who was the murderer?  So many questions that needed to be answered and were just left to rot by corporate incompetence.

I'm replaying ME2 simultaneously with Andromeda right now, and Tali is such a great character. No quarians, and no geth really hurt Andromeda. I've heard how Andromeda ends with the...

Spoiler

Quarian cliffhanger--the arc sending out a message like "don't come here, we're fucked!" Which makes me think the Geth would have been involved.

 

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6 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

How is that book in terms of readability? I love Mass Effect, but I tried reading one of the books by the creator (Karpyshin?) and couldn't finish it.

It's been a couple of years now but I'm pretty sure it was fine on this front as well. Both that one and the one on the Quarian ark by Cat Valente were actually good - much better than your normal tie in books.

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15 hours ago, karaddin said:

It's been a couple of years now but I'm pretty sure it was fine on this front as well. Both that one and the one on the Quarian ark by Cat Valente were actually good - much better than your normal tie in books.

I'll grab one and give it a go. Maybe I ought to try some of those others again, as well. I'm less snobbish nowadays that I'm working on my PhD. I read enough "high brow" (read: terribly written academic articles) that I truly enjoy just fun, good writing.

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

I'm replaying ME2 simultaneously with Andromeda right now, and Tali is such a great character. No quarians, and no geth really hurt Andromeda. I've heard how Andromeda ends with the...

  Hide contents

Quarian cliffhanger--the arc sending out a message like "don't come here, we're fucked!" Which makes me think the Geth would have been involved.

 

I always assumed

Spoiler

the Reapers. Undoubtedly the Geth would have been involved, but didn't the Quarian ark leave later than the others? I thought maybe the Reapers got to them just as they left.

 

Edited by Corvinus85

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I'm a fucking moron. As if I don't have enough to do right now, I'm downloading Assassin's Creed Unity right now. It has been on my (magically forgotten) Uplay account since the whole Notre Dame burning incident where Ubisoft gave it away for free. The sole reason is that I simply want to see whether it works on my laptop... and yes, this would be my first Assassin's Creed... that I will likely abandon fairly soon because as of yet I haven't even managed to finish The Witcher 1 yet...

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2 hours ago, Corvinus85 said:

I always assumed

  Hide contents

the Reapers. Undoubtedly the Geth would have been involved, but didn't the Quarian ark leave later than the others? I thought maybe the Reapers got to them just as they left.

 

I mean that'd be awesome, but I wondered about this too and the seeming desire to just kind of let that part of the story go with Andromeda. 

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2 hours ago, Toth said:

I'm a fucking moron. As if I don't have enough to do right now, I'm downloading Assassin's Creed Unity right now. It has been on my (magically forgotten) Uplay account since the whole Notre Dame burning incident where Ubisoft gave it away for free. The sole reason is that I simply want to see whether it works on my laptop... and yes, this would be my first Assassin's Creed... that I will likely abandon fairly soon because as of yet I haven't even managed to finish The Witcher 1 yet...

You know, Unity gets a lot of shit, but I played that one a year or two ago and found it really good. I can't say if you'll like it or not, but I think it was one of the last great Assassin Creed games in the old model.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

You know, Unity gets a lot of shit, but I played that one a year or two ago and found it really good. I can't say if you'll like it or not, but I think it was one of the last great Assassin Creed games in the old model.

My download hasn't finished yet, but I now played the prologue. I'm surprised the game runs as fluidly as it does on my laptop, so that's a plus I guess. With my popculture osmosis knowledge of the AC franchise I was caught quite off-guard by how you play a templar in what is essentially a home version of the Animus. They... they really made a divebomb into commercializing their time-travel technology, didn't they? That's... so awesome and... also so logical that they are essentially just a software company squeezing personal information out of their customers, imao. Reminds me of that clip:

Also ever since I read up about the first Assassin's Creed game I wanted to play the templars instead. They seem much cooler!

Can't say much to the gameplay yet. I must admit of comparable games I played the Arkham games and Shadow of Mordor. Right now I feel those had far more fluid controls. When I was chasing the Assassin I had severe trouble going where I wanted to go because sometimes he refused to jump when I ran up to an edge, sometimes climbed onto obstacles that I was just trying to pass, then refuse to jump down and then sometimes refused to climb a wall because apparently you have to sneak-run to do so. It was somewhat annoying how the game wants you to use different keys to do the same action with different surfaces when in Shadow of Mordor for example you could climb all over the place just by moving forward. I can't yet see how that will ruin the playthrough in more intense moments that aren't just the tutorial.

Edited by Toth

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Finally started God of War 2018 this week. This game is a lot better than I was expecting it to be. I played the other 3 God of War games a while ago and they were mostly non stop violence, put into a video game, but this one actually has some real heart and soul in it.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Toth said:

My download hasn't finished yet, but I now played the prologue. I'm surprised the game runs as fluidly as it does on my laptop, so that's a plus I guess. With my popculture osmosis knowledge of the AC franchise I was caught quite off-guard by how you play a templar in what is essentially a home version of the Animus. They... they really made a divebomb into commercializing their time-travel technology, didn't they? That's... so awesome and... also so logical that they are essentially just a software company squeezing personal information out of their customers, imao. Reminds me of that clip:

Also ever since I read up about the first Assassin's Creed game I wanted to play the templars instead. They seem much cooler!

Can't say much to the gameplay yet. I must admit of comparable games I played the Arkham games and Shadow of Mordor. Right now I feel those had far more fluid controls. When I was chasing the Assassin I had severe trouble going where I wanted to go because sometimes he refused to jump when I ran up to an edge, sometimes climbed onto obstacles that I was just trying to pass, then refuse to jump down and then sometimes refused to climb a wall because apparently you have to sneak-run to do so. It was somewhat annoying how the game wants you to use different keys to do the same action with different surfaces when in Shadow of Mordor for example you could climb all over the place just by moving forward. I can't yet see how that will ruin the playthrough in more intense moments that aren't just the tutorial.

Yeah, those older model Assassin Creed games were clunky, and games like Shadows of Mordor really streamlined that kind of game control. Sometimes, in the older AC games, when things were real tense, I felt like I was short a hand necessary to fluidly execute things. You get used to it fairly well, but going backwards I bet is a lot harder after experiencing more fluid gameplay.

Edit: Also, the animus is the dumbest thing ever. I'm glad they've scaled it back from earlier games, but at some point it seems unnecessary, and they ought to just let you play the game without any of that animus stuff.

Edited by Simon Steele

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1 hour ago, Simon Steele said:

Yeah, those older model Assassin Creed games were clunky, and games like Shadows of Mordor really streamlined that kind of game control. Sometimes, in the older AC games, when things were real tense, I felt like I was short a hand necessary to fluidly execute things. You get used to it fairly well, but going backwards I bet is a lot harder after experiencing more fluid gameplay.

I find it rather jarring to consider a game from 2014 to be one of the older ones... And I also would have thought that in the 8th installment they would have the controls figured out (at least before they decided to just make historical The Witchers with the most recent entries).

I have now played a bit more, but not much. Only until I had to sneak into Arno's designated girlfriend's party (and grew frustrated at the targeted hiding spot switch tutorial because I have no idea where I am supposed to go in that room and get spotted by the guard after walking circles for a bit). The parcour parts I somewhat managed except failing an optional tutorial mission because Arno stubbornly refused to slide under an obstacle and instead always jumped over it. On the other hand my parcour tactic has devolved into just pressing all the buttons at all times, which... I really don't think is the idea. XD

1 hour ago, Simon Steele said:

Edit: Also, the animus is the dumbest thing ever. I'm glad they've scaled it back from earlier games, but at some point it seems unnecessary, and they ought to just let you play the game without any of that animus stuff.

Huh? Admittedly, I personally think the basic premise is totally sound from a narrative POV, even if they are shooting themselves into the foot by having no plan whatsover for the main story after axing Desmond except keeping Asbergo perpetually in control to milk the franchise forever. But I suppose you are talking about present day moments that involve actual gameplay? There I just think that them listening to the fan reactions by gutting instead of improving it by giving you an actual character and environment to play in might be a mistake that makes your negative perception a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. But then again, I'm just sitting here on the sidelines, commenting on what I am picking up upon. My ideas could cause just as well cause something like what happened to the Splinter Cell games, where the game-changing story events literally made the core game mechanics unrecognizable.

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30 minutes ago, Toth said:

I find it rather jarring to consider a game from 2014 to be one of the older ones... And I also would have thought that in the 8th installment they would have the controls figured out (at least before they decided to just make historical The Witchers with the most recent entries).

I have now played a bit more, but not much. Only until I had to sneak into Arno's designated girlfriend's party (and grew frustrated at the targeted hiding spot switch tutorial because I have no idea where I am supposed to go in that room and get spotted by the guard after walking circles for a bit). The parcour parts I somewhat managed except failing an optional tutorial mission because Arno stubbornly refused to slide under an obstacle and instead always jumped over it. On the other hand my parcour tactic has devolved into just pressing all the buttons at all times, which... I really don't think is the idea. XD

Huh? Admittedly, I personally think the basic premise is totally sound from a narrative POV, even if they are shooting themselves into the foot by having no plan whatsover for the main story after axing Desmond except keeping Asbergo perpetually in control to milk the franchise forever. But I suppose you are talking about present day moments that involve actual gameplay? There I just think that them listening to the fan reactions by gutting instead of improving it by giving you an actual character and environment to play in might be a mistake that makes your negative perception a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. But then again, I'm just sitting here on the sidelines, commenting on what I am picking up upon. My ideas could cause just as well cause something like what happened to the Splinter Cell games, where the game-changing story events literally made the core game mechanics unrecognizable.

I think AC (in 2014) had really settled on, "our controls are perfect for this series." They weren't working hard to revolutionize much in the genre. The other games you mentioned are what forced the genre to move forward in terms of controlling. The new AC games (Origins and Odyssey) play far different than any of the older ones.

As to my second point, I think a lot of us felt the present day scenes pulled you out of the narrative. I get there is this big overarching menace that goes through time, but that could be relayed within the period you're playing in. I never understood why, especially those earliest AC games, didn't just start you in the old world, and leave you there, instead of pulling you out for this disjointed narrative. It would have been cool though if AC 3 had been Desmond in present day. That'd have made the animus stuff pay off, I suppose.

As it is, I guess it's okay. You can step out of the animus in the newest games and explore the lore, kind of like a codex. So there are definitely benefits. But once it became optional, I never left the in-animus game world. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Simon Steele said:

It would have been cool though if AC 3 had been Desmond in present day. That'd have made the animus stuff pay off, I suppose.

That's actually somewhat what I had in mind. Though would an AC with Desmond not just be Watch Dogs then? I had a slightly different take. Could you per chance have played Driver Parallel Lines? It's a GTA clone where you can freely switch between the current day and the 70s. Similarly I can imagine an Assassins Creed taking place in just one city in the modern day and in the past where you have to solve missions in both locations, with the passing of time heavily affecting the city while there are still some recognizable bits here and there. Of course in order to still keep roughly the same layout it might be advisable to have the past world a rather recent one like Syndicate.

Edited by Toth

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