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Video Games: Mystery Box Character Creation


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11 hours ago, Toth said:

Somehow I feel like I'm downloading more games than I actually get to play them this week. Mostly because I got the bright idea to test the limits of what my puny laptop can run. Also because after all this racing games nonsense has triggered in me that I want to play an open-world racing game with lots of silly car variety. Of course Forza Horizon being the king of that genre I ended up downloading a demo for Forza Horizon 3 despite my initial misgivings. It was utterly unplayable due to its insane system requirements. Then I read that Forza Horizon 4 had actually lower requirements, so I downloaded that. And... it was marginally smoother, as in that I actually got enough frames tied together that I had a bit of a feel for the weight of my car. It was still a dreadful dia show on the lowest settings.

Yesterday I then got the sudden idea to try out The Crew, the main competitor from Ubisoft. So I downloaded the trial... and while I still didn't dare to put the graphics settings too high up and thought the rain effects on the lowest setting to look dreadful, I was honestly stumped how well it ran and how much fun it was in this hour or so I played it. Though I already shoved it off my disk and now for fun download The Crew 2 Trial to see whether that works as well. Strange... Forza's PC optimization seems to be utterly dreadful...

I got Redout for racing. Haven't really played much, but it adds to my irritation of the design of the steam controller. The game uses the right analog stick which is non-existent for the steam controller. I've played a few games and I can't think of a time I've ever used the left or right pad because of its poor design. Its bulky and hard to press.

Anyway, its been a while since I've played a racing game. I'm bad at everything and grind the wall a few times per lap. Hopefully I get better eventually. 

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2 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

I got Redout for racing. Haven't really played much, but it adds to my irritation of the design of the steam controller. The game uses the right analog stick which is non-existent for the steam controller. I've played a few games and I can't think of a time I've ever used the left or right pad because of its poor design. Its bulky and hard to press.

Anyway, its been a while since I've played a racing game. I'm bad at everything and grind the wall a few times per lap. Hopefully I get better eventually. 

I had to look up what Redout even is.^^ This whole sci-fi hover car neon racing stuff reminds of a vague memory of playing something like this as a kid. Can't remember the name of the game however...

Meanwhile I managed to play about half an hour of The Crew 2. While I installed it I read a scathing review that the cars drive like shopping carts. And damn, that guy was right. The game ran on my laptop and even looked quite pretty at it, but I felt like there was always a delay of a second or so in between me pushing a button and the car starting to steer into the right direction. In my very first race after the tutorial I ended up last with a 25 seconds distance to the field. No matter how often I restarted, I couldn't get better than fourth. There were several tight corners with very little track to work with and it was like my car utterly refused to steer whatsoever and I was forced to wallride. And if I likely touched the handbreak to drifts, my car spun around to a ridiculous degree.

That was my first impression... the game is utterly unplayable, but not because of the graphics, but because of the horrenduous driving physics. Which is weird because the physics in The Crew 1 were fine...

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3 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

I got Redout for racing. Haven't really played much, but it adds to my irritation of the design of the steam controller. The game uses the right analog stick which is non-existent for the steam controller.

You should try the gyro control for pitch and strafe. With a bit of practice it gets very intuitive.

3 hours ago, Proudfeet said:

I've played a few games and I can't think of a time I've ever used the left or right pad because of its poor design. Its bulky and hard to press.

You shouldn't really need to press the pads, though, but swiping is another thing that takes getting used to.

40 minutes ago, Toth said:

I had to look up what Redout even is.^^ This whole sci-fi hover car neon racing stuff reminds of a vague memory of playing something like this as a kid. Can't remember the name of the game however...

Probably F-Zero on the Nintendo systems, or WipEout. And both of those owed a nod to Atari's S.T.U.N Runner

 

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26 minutes ago, Ran said:

Probably F-Zero on the Nintendo systems, or WipEout. And both of those owed a nod to Atari's S.T.U.N Runner

I never owned a console and when looking at pictures it's not any of these games. After a bit of digging I figured out that I used to own "Planet of Death" (POD) and while the vehicles do ring a bell, I can't remember the game to be as... brown as what I'm seeing.

Ah, it doesn't matter too much anyway.^^

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2 hours ago, Werthead said:

Horizon: Zero Dawn has its PC release date set: 7 August.

Happy to see this as I feel bad for those who haven't had a chance to play it because they don't have a PS4. HZD is incredible.

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1 hour ago, Mexal said:

Happy to see this as I feel bad for those who haven't had a chance to play it because they don't have a PS4. HZD is incredible.

Always happy to wait to see a game at its very best (granted, the 16 years it took for FF9 to make the transition may have been taking it to new extremes), although it occurs that one of the reasons for doing the PC port is also so they have a seriously upgraded version of the game ready to roll for the PS5 as well.

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Picked up Jedi Fallen Order on Steam. Turns out you're still forced to link to your Origin account. Good thing I didn't give into the temptation to buy the Mass Effect games on Steam.

Anyway, Fallen Order seems like a really well made game. I love the atmosphere and the visuals. The combat is a bit clunky, it's got a bit of a steep learning curve.

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15 hours ago, Werthead said:

Horizon: Zero Dawn has its PC release date set: 7 August.

I wonder, will that get some people to buy a PS5 for the second game, or will people feel like a PC release for the second game will be inevitable and they will hold off?

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After the conversation about Shadow Tactics a little bit ago, I decided to go back to it for the first time since my game had gotten corrupted. Did a fresh install and started over. It turns out I had been on the second-to-last mission, not the last one. And, it's a really good game, no doubt; but after finally playing through the last mission, it actually made me like the game a bit less. The last mission is so incredibly good that it makes the rest of the game a bit disappointing; the developers were capable of creating that, which means they were holding themselves back the rest of the time.

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16 hours ago, Mexal said:

Happy to see this as I feel bad for those who haven't had a chance to play it because they don't have a PS4. HZD is incredible.

I'm very excited to play it (and hopefully my computer can handle it - let's hope it allows for very low graphics settings). I would love if Sony got into the habit of releasing their older games on PC - there are so many games I've wanted to play but can't, from Bloodborne to the original Last of Us. But I know they may be wary of setting that precedent too often in case it stops people from buying Playstations.

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6 hours ago, Fez said:

After the conversation about Shadow Tactics a little bit ago, I decided to go back to it for the first time since my game had gotten corrupted. Did a fresh install and started over. It turns out I had been on the second-to-last mission, not the last one. And, it's a really good game, no doubt; but after finally playing through the last mission, it actually made me like the game a bit less. The last mission is so incredibly good that it makes the rest of the game a bit disappointing; the developers were capable of creating that, which means they were holding themselves back the rest of the time.

Desperados III takes everything was good in Shadow Tactics to another level (probably helped by having more time and more budget). There's at least two missions in the first ten that are as good as the final Shadow Tactics one.

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6 hours ago, Werthead said:

Desperados III takes everything was good in Shadow Tactics to another level (probably helped by having more time and more budget). There's at least two missions in the first ten that are as good as the final Shadow Tactics one.

Well that's encouraging to hear. How's the writing and story though? I'd heard it was quite a step down from Shadow Tactics. Which, if true, would be a shame. I quite liked the writing in Shadow Tactics, despite how minimalist it was; helped no doubt by the voice acting quality.

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1 hour ago, Fez said:

Well that's encouraging to hear. How's the writing and story though? I'd heard it was quite a step down from Shadow Tactics. Which, if true, would be a shame. I quite liked the writing in Shadow Tactics, despite how minimalist it was; helped no doubt by the voice acting quality.

Granted I'm only on mission five or six, but the voice acting is pretty spot on for a Western.  The story...less so.  The first level is a flashback that tells you next to nothing aside from gameplay mechanics and I'm still waiting to figure out exactly where it's all going.  The main character appears to be hunting someone but the why is still a mystery, and the other characters are introduced pretty randomly.  

That being said, if you like Shadow Tactics, it's more of that, and I am definitely enjoying it.

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8 hours ago, Fez said:

Well that's encouraging to hear. How's the writing and story though? I'd heard it was quite a step down from Shadow Tactics. Which, if true, would be a shame. I quite liked the writing in Shadow Tactics, despite how minimalist it was; helped no doubt by the voice acting quality.

The story and writing is at least on a par with Shadow Tactics, if not better because there's a bit more of it.

There is a free demo available on Steam.

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So... in my crazy listless gaming odyssey I had the brilliant idea to try out Pharaoh that I got on GoG during a sale. Since it's lauded as one of the best city builders of all time I was curious to see why and especially curious to compare it with its predecessor Caesar 3 and successor Zeus, which I had both played when I was a child.

First of all, having played both, I felt right at home. The walking system and gameplay mechanics are nearly exactly the same, though supplemented by the very awesome Nile flooding mechanism that has all your farmland and connecting roads submerged for a time of the year, forcing you to take enormous care to make the most of the space and to handle the time in between harvests well by searching for alternative food sources, especially since you also need to use some soil for beer. The difficulty I would also judge somewhere betwen Caesar and Zeus. I remember Caesar being frustratingly hard with buildings imploding the second you place them because they weren't immediately visited by an architect while Zeus was at some point a very casual and relaxing game. Pharaoh doesn't punish you as harshly when it comes to city building, but its random events are however pretty scary.

There are several downsides however. First: Bugs. I can't remember ever having had any problems with bugs in either Caesar or Zeus, but in my small playthrough I already stumbled into several gamebreaking ones. One of the tutorial missions is impossible to win because an addon changed how the culture rating works and because of that you aren't able to reach the target number with the building you have. Then at Memphis the construction of my Mastabar suddenly halted because my bricklayer guild suddenly refused to hire people despite an unemployment rate of 35% in the surrounding city. I had to destroy it and build it at another place because if I rebuilt it where it was, the bug oddly persisted.

I am also very disappointed by the religion, but I guess that's because it sticks closer to Caesar than Zeus, despite the gods taking an active hand in your city. But unlike Zeus where you can hire heroes to fight monsters and protect your cities and building monumental temples made the gods grant you resources that are unavailable on your map and grant you additional protectors, the gods in Pharaoh just punish you for not building enough temples for them or give you bonuses of varying usefulness. In fact so far only Seths bonus of smiting enemy armies was one I actually used, Bastets happiness bonus and Osiris' increased flooding fertility are barely noticiable. However... there are some mission where the gods are stupidly vicious and even though I built a dozen temples and was throwing lavish feasts in their honor every months, they kept destroying my farms and stockpiles. I wonder whether that is a bug, because it was just utterly frustrating and threw me into debt for quite some time.

I also still have to figure out what the hell you gain from building pyramids and such. Many mission have that as a final victory condition and apparently there is a monument score that also sometimes comes up as a victory conition, but when I finished building that Mastarbar it did nothing. That's quite disappointing given the gamechanging influence of temples in Zeus (looking at you, best boy Hades). Also I feel the UI in Pharaoh is quite primitive compared to Zeus. I never once used any of the overlays to check what is going on, which on one hand is pretty telling in regards to how well the game tells you the effects of what you are doing straight away, but it's also because the overlays are clunky and incomprehensible...

So all in all... I feel at this point Zeus is the notably superior game.

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I'm about halfway through Last of Us 2. 

Spoiler

I haven't read any of the spoilers but I suspect a lot of hate is being thrown the game's way for introducing the Abby POV. I'm only through Seattle Day 1 for her but so far, I'm pretty interested in it. Big departure from the original game but one that's not diminishing the game for me yet. I suspect the way they bring these two story arcs together will cement how I feel but so far, I'm pretty neutral.

 

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19 minutes ago, Werthead said:

Watch_Dogs 2 will be free on UPlay on 12 July for the whole day, which is reasonably good of them for a new-ish game.

In a 45 minute time window. Wanna take bets whether their server comes down?

Then again, it's probably not quite as well marketed as Epics GTA5 giveaway.

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