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Videogames: Spooktober Season


Fez
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So I have a giant library with hundreds of games at my fingertips (almost entirely from bundles and freebies) and... I somehow decide to install Stronghold Crusader again. Not Extreme, not HD, just regular old Crusader. Somehow recently I got across a Youtuber who steamrolled through the 50-battle skirmish challenge crusade and I found that skipping through his videos somehow inspiring and wanted to try it out myself. Damn, as a kid I loved this game to bits, but I hampered myself quite a lot by rarely ever using the market and Arab mercenaries and meticulously building a castle instead of just building wherever and using a wall of towers and horse archers as a defense. I guess I just really wanted to be very slow about it... and at the same time I avoided fighting pyromaniac enemies like the caliph because I found it annoying to sacrifice men to trigger their fire traps.

... and now... well, bum-rushing through a skirmish match in 15 minutes, slaughtering some enemies even before they finished building up their walls, has quite a different ring to the game, but still pretty awesome. Let's see how far I come before I get bored again.

Meanwhile I also played a bit more GTA V now that I have it installed. I... I guess I really didn't pay much attention back when I played Vice City at my cousin's place, which was so far my only interaction with the franchise. I always thought Saints Row is the wacky one and GTA tried to be more 'realistic' in its gangster stories. Then I watched Michael knock over the alleged house of his wife's tennis coach he found sleeping with her in a hilariously over-the-top state of short-circuiting. With this level being framed by a level chasing your stolen boat across the highway and a ludicrous fail of a kidnapping of a rival gangbanger who instantly recognizes your ineffective sidekick and also a mission helping out a drugged out tow truck driver and his just as deranged girlfriend and then having a trip killing aliens with a minigun after a weed-legalization-activist offers you a sketchy joint... That's an impressive amount of creativity going in there.

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13 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The Witcher 3 GOTY Edition is £7 in the Steam Sale, which I think is the cheapest I've ever seen it.

Depends. I got it myself on GOG for 25 € in a bundle containing all Witcher games and spin-offs. So while GOG says 15 € of that was for The Witcher 3, I guess the price reduction altogether made it doubly worth it. Then again, of these game I only touched The Witcher 1 yet... -.-

Btw, I read of a nasty Epic Games Sale exploit that would allow you to get Red Dead Redemption 2 for just 4,80 €. Apparently you can with the coupon buy Red Dead Online for 4,99 €, download it, start the game, go to the option to buy story mode, which apparently is currently just that sum, and then after getting RDR2 refund Red Dead Online. Seems quite insane.

Edited by Toth
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1 hour ago, Toth said:

Depends. I got it myself on GOG for 25 € in a bundle containing all Witcher games and spin-offs. So while GOG says 15 € of that was for The Witcher 3, I guess the price reduction altogether made it doubly worth it. Then again, of these game I only touched The Witcher 1 yet... -.-

Btw, I read of a nasty Epic Games Sale exploit that would allow you to get Red Dead Redemption 2 for just 4,80 €. Apparently you can with the coupon buy Red Dead Online for 4,99 €, download it, start the game, go to the option to buy story mode, which apparently is currently just that sum, and then after getting RDR2 refund Red Dead Online. Seems quite insane.

Worthwhile though. RDR2's main draw is its excellent story and characters, not the online mode. The gameplay is good but a bit too clunky for multiplayer for my tastes. GTA5 is at least a better, faster action game to work in online mode.

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I did pick up  The Witcher 3 for the back burner. I have owned The Witcher 2 for years and years but never got into it - I literally never even finished the tutorial battle. Silly, I know, but I guess the combat threw me off just that much. It also ran poorly on my old rig, but could easily run on max settings with my most recent build. Perhaps I'll give the series another go once I tire of my delightful but utterly embarrassing Hades runs. I honestly might never even be able to beat the first damn miniboss. I'm just that bad you guys.

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Watching The Witcher series has got me thinking about doing a 3rd run through TW3. I’m playing nothing now and just waiting for Horizon Forbidden West basically.

Also thinking about getting Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. It always intrigued me, and watched the trailer for the sequel that looks good. Although I think that one is an Xbox exclusive.

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On 12/23/2021 at 4:32 PM, Argonath Diver said:

Finally grabbed Hades after all this time, just 16 bucks. I think there's a great chance I'm too weak a player to be very successful with it, but I damn sure will enjoy it.

On 12/23/2021 at 4:57 PM, Kalsandra said:

I'm a total shit player and did fine with hades. 

I really struggled to get going, but difficulty wise it was manageable after a while although I did have to turn god mode on (it does a lot less than the name implies lol). The biggest problem for me is that my joints are getting too bad and it trashes my fingers and wrist past the point of good health. I might try grabbing it on PS and see if its any better with a controller, although I did get through a lot of it despite the pain.

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1 hour ago, karaddin said:

The biggest problem for me is that my joints are getting too bad and it trashes my fingers and wrist past the point of good health. I might try grabbing it on PS and see if its any better with a controller, although I did get through a lot of it despite the pain.

I play bass and thought my wrists and fingers would be strong enough to handle it. Lol nope, I was getting major aches every time. Definitely think I'm not built for button mashers.

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I will say that playing it on controller is the way to play it. I instantly started doing better when I switched, and basically all the speedrunners use controller as well. It's just a more intuitive and easier way to play it.

@Argonath Diver

Are you favoring certain weapons vs. others? Certain builds? A lot of the strategy of the game is figuring out the boons and how to make them work together right with your play style. 

 

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I also play Hades. I'm currently on my 50th run or so, and still stuck on what I presume is the final boss. There's loads of options I haven't unlocked, though, so I guess there's more to the game once you beat him. I play on my PS4 and also think the game is punishing on fingers and wrists. I can play a couple of runs before they start to hurt and force me to put the game down. 

Minor complaints aside, I do think it's a great game. Well worth the price.

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14 minutes ago, Ran said:

I will say that playing it on controller is the way to play it. I instantly started doing better when I switched, and basically all the speedrunners use controller as well. It's just a more intuitive and easier way to play it.

 

Interesting. I started playing on the controller but didn't have one handy yesterday so played on mouse/keyboard. I thought I was doing better with mouse/keyboard. That being sad, I'm not actually doing that much better so who knows. I'll have to try again with the controller when I get home.

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GOG.com is giving away the very grim adventure game I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, based on Harlan Ellison's very very grim story of the same name. Played it many years ago and it left a mark. Ellison voiced AM, the maniacal supercomputer that controls the world.

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In Hades, I believe God Mode gets more powerful the more you die. Either way, it's certainly worth activating in the menu if you're struggling.

Also, it'll be more of a grind if you're stuck on Meg, but you will still be slowly unlocking permanent upgrades to get more powerful as well. Stuff like having double the starting health and extra lives really makes a difference.

Lastly, if you haven't unlocked all the weapons yet, you may find that there's one waiting for you that better fits your playstyle. E.g., they don't all require the same amount of button mashing. 

Edited by Fez
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I wonder how the hell they came up with the challenges in Stronghold Crusader. So one moment I'm fighting the Wolf with no farm land, only sustaining myself by selling stone and then in the next mission it's just four Rats where the only challenge is that stone and iron is awkwardly placed on an island in the middle of the map, but the Rat is so weak anyway that 15 horse archers were enough to defend it on their own while a couple of Arab swordsmen go knocking at their castles. Next up is an extremely easy looking duel against Saladin, but I like to take a break for the moment.

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I did a couple more Meg failures. As with Path of Exile, Grim Dawn and every other game forever, my issue with gaming is failure to identify cues and react accordingly. So even the simplest rooms in the game I will dash right into a trap if there are more than 2 monsters to dodge. I've failed Meg maybe 10 times and did get her down to half once. I still honestly haven't figured out when she is safe to attack. I won't really ever get better at this, I know my lane. Heck I have several thousand hours in Path of Exile, make an endgame capable character several leagues a year, and I have watched streamers do endgame bosses hundreds of times, but I won't even bother to attempt the hardest couple. I'll never be able to down them. 

I'll give Hades a few more fails against the easiest boss in the entire game then likely turn on God Mode and not look back. Unlike the vast majority of gamers, I am not playing games for the challenge. I'm playing for distraction or immersion. So roguelikes that are based around learning your way through challenges inherently turn me off. I know what my hands should do but I can't do it correctly. Same with every game since Contra III and Dungeons & Dragons.

The style and voice acting are so damn good that I'll keep at it and perhaps I'll figure out enough to try it on normal difficulty again down the road.

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