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Videogames: Spooktober Season


Fez
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1 hour ago, Caligula_K3 said:

Yeah, when I first played Mass Effect 1, I got through it in about 20 hours - now when I replay it it's more like 15. I don't do everything, because most of the side content in that game is repetitive and boring, but I do some of the more interesting sidequests.

I just replayed it for the first time in ages, so I basically did everything.  I agree that most of the side content in the first game is trash.  It's just driving around big, empty maps looking for exclamation points and there's rarely any consequential choices.  But since I hadn't played the game in so long, I just went ahead and did it all anyway.

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8 hours ago, Fez said:

Yeah, total runtime across the entire trilogy is about 100 hours. Only way to go much longer is to really take your time with some of the repeatable DLC, like trying to hit all the high scores in the ME3 combat arena.

This is something of a relief to me, because I only have so much time in my day/week and I like games that are focused and not a Wandering Experience. 

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On 11/5/2021 at 4:09 AM, Caligula_K3 said:

Yeah, when I first played Mass Effect 1, I got through it in about 20 hours - now when I replay it it's more like 15. I don't do everything, because most of the side content in that game is repetitive and boring, but I do some of the more interesting sidequests.

As of this morning, I am level 22, and I haven't even met up with Liara yet or gone to Virmire. I've been doing every single side-quest around, to explore what I missed in my first playthrough. I somehow suspect by the time I get to Virmire I'll be pretty close to level 30, if not higher. 

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I'm doing the thing again where I'm playing too many games at once, and it's hard staying invested in any of them. Still (slowly) working at Pathfinder: WoTR, also giving The Outer Worlds another shot after not really getting into it before, and starting a fresh save file of Hades, and working through Bravely Default II, plus I've started trying out Legends of Runeterra after liking the Arcane series so much (I'll never play League of Legends, but I can get down with a card game). And every few days I play another level of Unpacking, plus I started a Total Warhammer II campaign as a lark; which I suspect I won't get back to. But still, it's too much. I don't really want to put any of them down though, because I know I'll never go back to them if I do.

At least Endwalker got delayed 2 weeks, maybe I can finish something before then.

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5 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Can you talk about how this game compares/contrasts with the first game in the series? 

I've posted a lot about it in the past couple videogame threads. But basically, Pathfinder: WoTR is to Baldur's Gate 2, as Pathfinder: Kingmaker is to Baldur's Gate. It's the same kind of enormous jump in the quality and quantity of writing, and also the game is more focused on set story locations rather than endless nature exploration. There is still a large world map, but most locations tie to the main story, major side quests, or party member quests. There's only a tiny handful of the "here's a single battle and/or treasure" small maps that the first game had.

Instead of kingdom management there's crusade management, which is a very simplified "Heroes of Might & Magic" system. It's not very good. 

There's even more classes and sub-classes than the first game. And there's the whole Mythic Path system, which adds additional combat features and can dramatically change the story. The biggest changes are in Act 5, but from Act 3 onwards things start branching out depending on which Path your own.

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21 hours ago, Fez said:

Instead of kingdom management there's crusade management, which is a very simplified "Heroes of Might & Magic" system. It's not very good. 

This is about where I got stuck. I took out the...deer king or whatever it was, the guy with the head dress (it's been a while, my memory of his name has dimmed) and then suddenly I had to build towns and taverns. 

But now I...don't know what to do. I can sit and wait for reps to come back but otherwise the game sort of...stalled itself. I was worried that the sequel would be more like this, and less like, say, Pillars of Eternity (which I would prefer, as far as gaming experiences go). 

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Forgot if there was a thread for this. Got to play the GTA 3 remaster before work a bit. Game looks great. Many things are exactly as they were, such as belligerent drivers running into you and pedestrians running into your car and dying. Same bad pop music and Chatterbox seemed the same. The vehicle handling is perfect.

 

You still have to go into the safehouse to save, which I'm fine with, but may annoy some people.

Edited by Martell Spy
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5 hours ago, IlyaP said:

This is about where I got stuck. I took out the...deer king or whatever it was, the guy with the head dress (it's been a while, my memory of his name has dimmed) and then suddenly I had to build towns and taverns. 

But now I...don't know what to do. I can sit and wait for reps to come back but otherwise the game sort of...stalled itself. I was worried that the sequel would be more like this, and less like, say, Pillars of Eternity (which I would prefer, as far as gaming experiences go). 

The crusade system is much less involved than the kingdom system. Also, as far as I know, there is no actual fail state with it, so you could ignore it entirely or set it on auto-management (although that would cut you off from some good side content that only unlocks through the system). In fact, it would be perfectly fine if the crusade battles in it were any good; the problem is they kinda suck. The management part is much simpler than the kingdom stuff was, and the council decisions have some pretty fun writing.

However, Acts I & IV don't have the system, and Act II only has an even less involved, tutorial version of it. And it's a problem that those acts feel much more engaging and better paced than Acts III & V, which are where the system is in full effect. There's still a lot of really good stuff in those Acts, but its unfortunately broken up by needing to spend time with the crusade.

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59 minutes ago, Martell Spy said:

Forgot if there was a thread for this. Got to play the GTA 3 remaster before work a bit. Game looks great. Many things are exactly as they were, such as belligerent drivers running into you and pedestrians running into your car and dying. Same bad pop music and Chatterbox seemed the same. The vehicle handling is perfect.

You still have to go into the safehouse to save, which I'm fine with, but may annoy some people.

GTA3 is apparently the most improved in the sense of controls and interaction, and also the least changed in other areas: its soundtrack is 100% intact. Vice City loses a few tracks and San Andreas a ton (though its soundtrack is much, much larger). San Andreas is the most improved graphically, reportedly.

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

GTA3 is apparently the most improved in the sense of controls and interaction, and also the least changed in other areas: its soundtrack is 100% intact. Vice City loses a few tracks and San Andreas a ton (though its soundtrack is much, much larger). San Andreas is the most improved graphically, reportedly.

Saw a video of San Andreas last night. (I think Playstation owners got early access somehow) The sound was incredibly crisp in it and Officer Tenpenny was even more intimidating than usual.

Wish I had not played San Andreas just a couple months ago now. That's why I'm starting with the early games, have not played them in a few years.

Edited by Martell Spy
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Battlefield 2042 is out kinda sorta. it's stupidly convoluted but EA PLUS offers a ten hour trial and gamepass includes EA Plus so I can play the game I preordered that comes out next Friday for ten hours until then? 

Anyway the game is pretty fun! The captions seem to sometimes think I'm on the wrong team, telling me the enemy team took C1 when I just took C1, etc.

it seems like very other match has a tornado, I hope there are other natural disasters.  Give me and earthquake or a godzilla attack. I did see one "rainy tornado" aka hurricain I guess. But shit battlefield 4 had that. 

I love helicopters in any game that lets me fly them. These controls are going to take some getting used to, but I love that they're so responsive and easy to fuck up. The last few games (that had helicopters) the controls were ....I don't wanna say idiot proof but it was hard to flip over or even fly with the blades perpendicular to the ground. I suspect people will pull off some crazy maneuvers.

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Got back into Elite Dangerous (ps version) while refreshing power bi dashboards at ‘work’ ie at home.

The long slog back to civilisation continues. 4 years ago I left the Sol system in my brand new Asp Explorer, bound for the Colonia system. Made millions in exploration data when I arrived there, and then headed to Sag-A, the super black hole at the centre of the galaxy. There’s now a space station in an adjacent system so again sold more exploration data.

Currently 350 jumps from Sol, with about 65 million credits (58 million from this voyage).

It’s nice having my name marked against those planets I discovered but exploration can get tedious. 

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Been playing a lot of Path of Exile lately, got my Righteous Fire build working really nicely - though I do wish it was tankier, especially as I start the end-game content.  I've been really unlucky with drops, so been trying to balance my defensive stats with the sockets I need for spells.  Scourge has been super fun once I learned how to approach it with my RF build, but even with that I die in there far more often than I do during the regular content.  

After playing a while I'm pretty convinced that while the game is technically free, it's more like you get a free demo with all the content included, but for ~$20 you get a bunch of QOL improvements.  Still not a bad deal given how much I've played it.

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Yeah, Twitter and r/GTA on Reddit have been mocking Rockstar pretty brutally and calling this a Cyberpunk-level debacle.

Apparently, the vast majority of textures weren't even touched by an actual human artist, and they were just dragged through an AI upscaling algorithm, which messed up a lot of things (such as in-game text).

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I played through the three games just a few months ago with a very modest series of mod tweaks and it looked better than the "Definitive Edition" and had all the original songs intact and the rain didn't look like you having a migraine. The better controls are tempting, but not until they've fixed all the other problems and reduced the price to maybe £10 for the lot.

Anyway, RPS have done their annual Top 100 PC Games list (Part 1, Part 2) and it's reasonably solid, aside from the inherent lunacy of putting these things in any kind of order (I live for the day someone just creates a list and puts everything in alphabetical order or something). Though it is very much a list of contemporary games and a couple of classics (they seem a bit confused over whether it's a list of "BEST GAMES EVER," which clearly it's not).

  1. Outer Wilds
  2. Return of the Obra Dinn
  3. Stardew Valley
  4. Dark Souls Remastered
  5. Dishonored 2
  6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  7. Hades
  8. Portal 2
  9. Minecraft
  10. Yakuza 0
  11. 80 Days
  12. Overwatch
  13. Disco Elysium
  14. Hitman 3
  15. Kentucky Route Zero
  16. Mass Effect 2
  17. Half-Life 2
  18. Kerbal Space Program
  19. Psychonauts 2
  20. Apex Legends
  21. Hotline Miami
  22. Subnautica
  23. Slay the Spire
  24. Undertale
  25. Divinity: Original Sin 2 Definitive Edition
  26. BioShock
  27. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  28. The Sims 4
  29. Team Fortress 2
  30. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  31. Dwarf Fortress
  32. Half-Life: Alyx
  33. Factorio
  34. Planescape: Torment
  35. Spelunky 2
  36. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
  37. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  38. Total War: Shogun 2
  39. Crusader Kings 3
  40. A Short Hike
  41. Rocket League
  42. Company of Heroes
  43. Eliza
  44. Thief 2: The Metal Age
  45. Alien: Isolation
  46. Wildermyth
  47. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
  48. Soma
  49. Extreme Meatpunks Forever
  50. Fallout: New Vegas
  51. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
  52. Terraria
  53. Cities: Skylines
  54. The Last Express
  55. NEO Scavenger
  56. Destiny 2
  57. Night in the Woods
  58. Call of Duty: Warzone
  59. Doom II
  60. System Shock 2
  61. Bernband
  62. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
  63. Into the Breach
  64. Civilization VI
  65. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
  66. Pyre
  67. Star Traders: Frontiers
  68. Opus Magnum
  69. Butterfly Soup
  70. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  71. XCOM 2
  72. Heaven's Vault
  73. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood
  74. Post Void
  75. Invisible, Inc.
  76. Nidhogg
  77. Six Ages: Ride Like the Wind
  78. BattleTech
  79. Sunless Sea
  80. Red Dead Redemption 2
  81. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  82. Celeste
  83. Dragon Age 2
  84. FTL: Faster Than Light
  85. Diablo II: Resurrected
  86. Grand Theft Auto V
  87. Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun
  88. RimWorld
  89. Dead Cells
  90. Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  91. With Those We Love Alive
  92. Devil Daggers
  93. GeoGuessr
  94. NieR: Automata
  95. Forza Horizon 4
  96. Viscera Cleanup Detail
  97. Resident Evil 2 Remake
  98. Final Fantasy XIV
  99. Hollow Knight
  100. Microsoft Flight Simulator

Very strong recency bias there (no Dungeon KeeperStarCraftHomeworld or Baldur's Gate II), and a couple of decidedly iffy curveballs: Dragon Age 2 was conceptually bold and interesting, but its ambitions were let down by the painfully repetitive gameplay. Although I also consider it overrated, I think Dragon Age: Origins was comfortably the superior game. Also Desperados 3 is probably the stronger game over Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun (as superb as Shadow Tactics is, Desperados is just a bit better in every department).

I also suspect the recency bias is responsible for Shogun 2 getting the nod over Medieval II, with the former's tighter focus and better graphics winning out over the latter's immense sprawl and absolutely amazing array of mods.

Mind you, that gets thrown out by Doom II being present whilst the Nu-Dooms are not, and it feels like The Witness should be at least nodded at, so fuck knows. And I believe this is the first list RPS has ever done where there is no Deus Ex title present.

Edited by Werthead
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Yikes. What a convoluted opening paragraph. Just call it a current popularity ranking and be done with it.

Rankings aside, is there a rule against multiple titles in the same series? Doesn't seem to have any repeats at first glance. Also, haven't played Civ VI myself, but the consensus amongst my friends was that V is still better even after the DLCs/expansions.

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