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Videogames: Spooktober Season


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35 minutes ago, karaddin said:

I've seen much more positive reactions to the playability of Andromeda from people that gave it another chance after the LE rekindled interest. I always liked it and never got the bad bugs so can't really comment on the changes, but I take the comments from others as a sign the worst bugs were fixed.

This has been my observation! I haven't experienced any bugs, have found the more exploratory nature of the game to be quite delightful, and have generally found it to be far more personally engaging than the first three Mass Effect games. 

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1 minute ago, IlyaP said:

This has been my observation! I haven't experienced any bugs, have found the more exploratory nature of the game to be quite delightful, and have generally found it to be far more personally engaging than the first three Mass Effect games. 

I think the biggest thing (once the bugs are out of the picture) is whether you find Ryder engaging as a protagonist after so long as Shep. Personally I liked dropping back to someone much less competent, much less sure of themselves, and much less rigidly militaristic in thinking. Others just found them annoying.

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2 hours ago, karaddin said:

I think the biggest thing (once the bugs are out of the picture) is whether you find Ryder engaging as a protagonist after so long as Shep. Personally I liked dropping back to someone much less competent, much less sure of themselves, and much less rigidly militaristic in thinking. Others just found them annoying.

I legitimately found him more engaging than Shepherd, partly because he's *not* military, and there is something that speaks to me about his explorer nature, his concern for his sister (or her brother, depending on how you play it), and the....I want to say almost "adventure game" like nature of the game, in terms of the explorative and discovery-oriented approach to the game. 

I always struggled to connect with Shepherd - and a friend suggested I try playing as female Shep, as that apparently can improve things, as the stoic face, the monotone voice acting, it all just...didn't do it for me. 

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16 hours ago, Gorn said:

It does? Huh, I would say the exact opposite. To me, that trailer screams "minimum effort nostalgia money grab", where they upscaled the resolution, touched up the lighting and called it a day. It's not even faithful to the originals - they weren't cartoony, they were as photorealistic as it was possible to be with the hardware of the time.

Also, I am troubled by their complete silence about restoring the original soundtrack.

They've definitely redone every single texture in all three games, which is not a small amount of work, and probably done a lot of remodelling. It's definitely not a full remake of all three games, which would be impossible without it being a six-year project costing hundreds of millions of dollars, but it does more than the minimum effort.

As for being cartoony versus realism, whilst I think GTA3 tried to go for a realistic aesthetic, they definitely made the choice in Vice City and San Andreas to go for a more cartoony vibe. Those games were underwhelming graphically on release (contemporaries Mafia and Max Payne completely destroyed them graphically at the time) so they could have gone more realistic in terms of the models, but their use of an off-the-shelf engine and the iffy streaming tech they used (which they didn't really get working properly until San Andreas) seemed to limit that. I also think that the sheer amount of disturbing shit that goes down in those games in only really alleviated by the cartoony feel of things. I still remember the controversy over GTA5's torture sequence which people felt was far too disturbing with more realistic graphics and the trilogy has more disturbing stuff than that going on.

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I get the feeling that I could skip 2 entirely and miss absolutely nothing, and that ME3 serves as a better direct sequel to ME1 and its main Reaver storyline than ME2. 

True, but Mass Effect 2 is probably the most cohesive and overall best of the three games (especially with its DLC, which connect it more definitively to the main storyline). It's basically a side-story, but it's a very good side-story.

Edited by Werthead
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I still remember the controversy over GTA5's torture sequence which people felt was far too disturbing with more realistic graphics and the trilogy has more disturbing stuff than that going on.

Yeah, I do wonder if they will change some actual content given how it may land differently in 2021. Definitely concerned they will alter the radio stations which are an integral part of the trilogy. If they just add more stations or content, that's fine and might even be a bonus. But if they were to say remove Lazlo's talk radio segments they'd be basically defacing a work of art.

Definitely will pick this up day one. I wish I hadn't played San Andreas recently though. I did a full playthrough just 2 months ago, so that cuts into the excitement. Also, I wonder if they're going to do some of the off shoot games, such as GTA: Vice City Stories, where you play the older brother of Lance Vance.

 

 

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23 hours ago, polishgenius said:

 

Yeah I mean I died a lot more coz I'm dyspraxic but I don't think they're unfair- but I don't think that's really the complaint. I do prefer it this way, but I think ultimately because in Super Metroid and others the bosses were so straightforward and almost an afterthought game design-wise, the series has some OG fans who aren't really into boss battles as a puzzle-reflex challenge at all, and they've been left a bit disappointed by having a gameplay aspect they don't really enjoy enough to have fun toughing through it. I do get it, for an established series, even though for me it's a good improvement. And it's also probably fair to say it's possible to have well-designed bosses that aren't quite as much of a challenge, which these still can be even knowing the patterns (Iconoclasts is a perfect example there, you've still gotta learn the patterns and weakspots, and you still gotta work for it, but they're not quite as punishing as here). 

 

I'd have happily have taken more bosses, mind. 

It probably would have been best (as always) if there was an easy mode for players like this. Maybe it's because my main Metroid experience is the Prime Trilogy, which has some very hard bosses (also along the puzzle reflex design), but these sorts of boss fights seem as much part of Metroid to me as anything else. I'm sure my take would be different if I grew up with Metroid 1 and Super Metroid.

And so far none of the bosses have even approached the difficulty of some of the hardest (and sometimes bullshit) bosses in the Prime trilogy, especially Prime 2: I'm thinking of the spiderball guardian in particular.

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I've never played a Prime, and I'd probably find that much more frustrating coz, probably due to the dyspraxia, 3D toughness is much more of a problem for me than 2D toughness. Still hope we get the trilogy ported over eventually, though. 

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8 hours ago, Werthead said:

They've definitely redone every single texture in all three games, which is not a small amount of work, and probably done a lot of remodelling. It's definitely not a full remake of all three games, which would be impossible without it being a six-year project costing hundreds of millions of dollars, but it does more than the minimum effort.

Maybe I was too harsh in my original post, but if I can't immediately tell if a screenshot comes from a 2021 remaster or 2001 original, it's not much of a remaster.

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On 10/23/2021 at 1:24 AM, IlyaP said:

I get the feeling that I could skip 2 entirely and miss absolutely nothing, and that ME3 serves as a better direct sequel to ME1 and its main Reaver storyline than ME2. 

 

 

Don't do that! ME2 is the best out of the the three games, and it introduces characters who are important in ME3.

Edited by Darryk
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59 minutes ago, Darryk said:

Don't do that! ME2 is the best out of the the three games, and it introduces characters who are important in ME3.

Darryk Has Spoken. 

After I finish Anthem though. I'm about 80% through at this point and staring down the barrel of the endgame. 

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Age of Empires IV picking up very strong reviews, though also a criticism that it's basically Age of Empires II in 3D, with more differentiation of factions, and if you already have AoE2 Definitive Edition, it's questionable if 4 gives you a solid enough reason to play it instead at full price.

However, it does sound like it has a ton of content. More than 40 single-player campaign missions is more than almost any RTS before it (only Total Annihilation and Total Annihilation Kingdoms, with around 50 missions split between multiple campaigns, two in the former case and four in the latter) at launch.

Seeing some good reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy as well.

Edited by Werthead
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@Darryk is there a mod that increases the field of view so that the camera isn't hanging over Shepphard's right shoulder all the time? Due to the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, lots of mods have changed/moved around/been updated. All I want is something that lets the camera pan out a bit so I can see more of the world and not just Shep's shoulder. 

Who was responsible for this approach and why did they do this?

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38 minutes ago, IlyaP said:

@Darryk is there a mod that increases the field of view so that the camera isn't hanging over Shepphard's right shoulder all the time? Due to the release of Mass Effect Legendary Edition, lots of mods have changed/moved around/been updated. All I want is something that lets the camera pan out a bit so I can see more of the world and not just Shep's shoulder. 

Who was responsible for this approach and why did they do this?

Sorry I'm not the guy to ask about mods :dunno: Does anyone else here know?

I remember being frustrated with the controls at the beginning of ME2 but I got used to it, that's all I can offer.

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On 10/22/2021 at 11:30 AM, Derfel Cadarn said:

Completed Resident Evil 2 Remake as Claire! Now to play the alternate run-through as Leon.

I played the PSX version as Leon when it first came out, and when I got the RE2 remake, I played as Claire. I know the game has changed a lot since the old days, but I just like Claire so much better. Definitely a cool game. Mr. X was a lot of fun. I was super bummed when I got the RE3 remake to find out Nemesis didn't stalk you like Mr. X (which Nemesis did do in the original RE3). I lots steam pretty quick on that one. I'm really hoping 4's remake will be back to the quality of 2.

On 10/22/2021 at 10:27 PM, karaddin said:

A less serious complaint but one of the main things putting me off jumping straight into a NG+ - the weather and setting for the main game is so fucking dreadful lol. Velen is a swamp, Skellige are inhospitable islands and while Novigrad is ok countryside it still has awful weather. The constant storms really wore me down lol. Then Toussaint is a breath of fresh beautiful air and it's hard to go back to the mud.

I loved the dreary dreck of the main areas in the Witcher 3! I found it really pretty. I remember riding Roach up a hill once and the sunrise revealed itself slowly cutting partly through the rain and mud--I just don't have those moments in games a lot anymore, and I found it beautiful. Though Toussaint is way prettier. I also like that Blood and Wine begins essentially as a Beast of Gevaudan retelling.

On 10/23/2021 at 7:04 AM, Werthead said:

True, but Mass Effect 2 is probably the most cohesive and overall best of the three games (especially with its DLC, which connect it more definitively to the main storyline). It's basically a side-story, but it's a very good side-story.

I got the remaster, and I couldn't finish the first 1, played the 2nd one entirely (must be my 10th time playing it through as I loved it when it came out on Xbox), and played a few hours in 3. I think 3 is just so bad story wise, and I'll always maintain that the worst choice Bioware made was not allowing you to get back your awesome squad from ME2. At the time, they tried explaining it as, "Well, you could end up playing the game with no squad if you did that!" And I just thought that was pretty lazy. Who the hell would import that save in the first place? You could end up playing the game with only three squad members anyway as Tali and Garrus could be dead.

The ending is what it is. For me, the ending didn't ruin the game--the game leading up to the ending ruined it, and the ending was just the inevitable conclusion to a game full of bad writing. It's like someone made me a sundae made out of garbage, and when I didn't like it, they tried to claim I just didn't like the cherry pit on top. No...you didn't give me fresh bananas (Legion), or whip cream (Thane), or ice cream (Miranda, Moradin, Jack) or HOT FUDGE (seriously, no Krogan in your squadmate and you try to tell me that you don't need one because of James Vega?? This excuse shows that when Drew Karpyshyn was moved off the games between 2 and 3, they were left with people who didn't understand we liked "characters" not "builds).

Edited by Centrist Simon Steele
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Finished Path of Exile and am now doing the end-game stuff.  Holy shit is there a lot of end-game stuff.  I tried playing a few other games, but I'm just enjoying this one so much that I had to come back (while still trying to finish up the Witcher 3 on switch when not on the PS5).  Tomorrow starts a new league and I honestly have no real idea what that means since I don't really participate in a lot of the online stuff like trading or PvP.  I think it means there's a new mechanic and likely some more end-game content, but IDK.  I did end up buying some more real money stuff and upgraded my stash and got a few minor visual things, but tomorrow I'm rolling a new character build.  Trying out a righteous fire build to see how that goes.  I hear it's a bit tougher to start, but the end-game is a walk-in-the-park.
 

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I do NOT like the Age of Empires IV campaign. The documentary-style framing is just so dry and disconnected; I vastly preferred the AoE II style of having a "historical" character narrate what was going on. Actual gameplay seems fine, not exactly that different from AoE II. Since I'm not much of an RTS player anymore I doubt I'll play too much more.

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AoE IV is fine. To the point made here a few times, it feels largely the same as it did 15 years ago. I'll give it a few runs and see how I feel but for my first foray into it was more or less "I'd rather play Total War".

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Bought Pillars of Eternity II on a whim on Steam Halloween sale. So far, I have no opinion on the writing and the gameplay since I just started playing, but it looks gorgeous. Probably the best-looking isometric game I ever played, every scene so far has been a feast for the eyes.

Also, I'm grateful for the option of turn-based combat instead of real-time-with-pause. Maybe I'll actually finish this one, unlike the first part.

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