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There's some upscaling mods for Curse which look pretty good.

I just replayed Secret this afternoon. I forgot you could just blitz through it in under 3 hours. It's bizarre how many of the puzzle solutions to the game are still firmly emblazoned in my brain 32 years after playing it for the first time.

The special edition is still a bit of a mess though. You can't mix and match the graphics and audio options like you can in Monkey Island 2, and the interface is still awful compared to the original SCUMM system, which I really wish they'd left intact.

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4 minutes ago, Werthead said:

There's some upscaling mods for Curse which look pretty good.

I just replayed Secret this afternoon. I forgot you could just blitz through it in under 3 hours. It's bizarre how many of the puzzle solutions to the game are still firmly emblazoned in my brain 32 years after playing it for the first time.

"A rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle?  What possible use could this have?"

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Oh wow. The Wheel of Time video game is available again via GoG.

An odd game, but a bit of an underrated gem from the time. Also the first game to use Unreal Engine apart from Unreal itself, and apparently sparked the idea of them licencing the engine to everybody under the sun.

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Whelp. In Triangle Strategy I just made the choice to sell out refugees under my protection into slavery so I could gain an army of religious zealots. Which I needed to reclaim my homeland from the "bad guys".

It's legitimately one of the darkest JRPGs I've ever played.

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Oh wow. The Wheel of Time video game is available again via GoG.

An odd game, but a bit of an underrated gem from the time. Also the first game to use Unreal Engine apart from Unreal itself, and apparently sparked the idea of them licencing the engine to everybody under the sun.

It's such a fun game. The art, Robert Berry's music, the architecture, the lighting, the sound design, it all just works so well together. It is a feast for the senses and an undeniably fun single player romp, with memorable levels, some occasionally buggy monster AI (compared to now, but not bad for its time), and a plot that WoT fans have questioned (the game is set in a parallel timeline, and not those of the books).

The multiplayer options are also a unique offering, and fun even now. The mod community is small, but still active, and one or two total conversions/user-made DLCs are still in progress, last I checked.

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3 hours ago, Fez said:

Whelp. In Triangle Strategy I just made the choice to sell out refugees under my protection into slavery so I could gain an army of religious zealots. Which I needed to reclaim my homeland from the "bad guys".

It's legitimately one of the darkest JRPGs I've ever played.

Do you think it would be an okay game for kids (11-12 years old)?

Also wondering if you've played Fire Emblem: Three Houses and how it compares.

I've played through FE3H three times with my kids - one for each path except the Black Eagles, because

Spoiler

We all agreed we couldn't go down the betrayal route.

And they love that game.  Would be cool to find something similar.  But while FE3H has some dark parts, I don't think it ever goes too far.  

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4 minutes ago, Whiskeyjack said:

I've played through FE3H three times with my kids - one for each path except the Black Eagles, because

  Hide contents

We all agreed we couldn't go down the betrayal route.

Spoiler

I picked Black Eagles my first run through and I remember being so mad at the game for glossing over the fact that you're working for the people who murdered your dad. 

Has anyone played three houses' DLC? I'm torn between that, Triangle, or just playing the PSP remaster of Tactics Ogre again. 

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16 minutes ago, RumHam said:
  Reveal hidden contents

I picked Black Eagles my first run through and I remember being so mad at the game for glossing over the fact that you're working for the people who murdered your dad. 

Has anyone played three houses' DLC? I'm torn between that, Triangle, or just playing the PSP remaster of Tactics Ogre again. 

Spoiler

Playing Black Eagles first is probably the best way to experience the twist.  But yeah, the fact that Edelgard was (at least for a lot of the game) allied with the people who killed Jeralt makes it difficult to stomach.  

For us, wasn't even a consideration.  Our first playthrough was Blue Lions.  And after that, there was just no way we could betray Dimitri, Dedue, Rhea, the other monastery characters, etc.

I've played the DLC.  It's a fun addition, adds a bit to the story, and has a very difficult battle in it that I enjoyed a lot.  Also, once you play it, you can replay the main game and use the 4 Ashen Wolves characters if you want.  A couple of them have okay stories and interactions with the original characters.  And Constance in particular has a very useful spell at higher levels that I liked (Bolting). 

All that said, wouldn't say the DLC is amazing or a must have.  I liked it, but if I remember right, the new levels are relatively short and separate from the main game (i.e. not integrated as part of the main game, and progress doesn't carry over between the two).  It was worth it for me because I wanted to play more of the game with my girls, and also because we had only done one playthrough at that point, so we still had two left during which we could use the new characters to some degree.

Edited by Whiskeyjack
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9 hours ago, Whiskeyjack said:

Do you think it would be an okay game for kids (11-12 years old)?

Also wondering if you've played Fire Emblem: Three Houses and how it compares.

I've played through FE3H three times with my kids - one for each path except the Black Eagles, because

  Reveal hidden contents

We all agreed we couldn't go down the betrayal route.

And they love that game.  Would be cool to find something similar.  But while FE3H has some dark parts, I don't think it ever goes too far.  

Maybe. Hard for me to be sure since I don't have kids. Here's the big things to know:

  • There's no sex. Two of the character portraits (which are only in the menu) are somewhat sexualized, but nothing that crosses any lines I think (one woman has very form-fitting leather armor, another has a rather short dress). There are a couple arranged marriages as plot points to cement peace between two kingdoms, but that's it as far as relationships go. There's no dating sim aspect to the game at all.
  • There's almost no gore. The one exception is that a blood pool sweeps out from under characters to indicate they've been killed. But it's all pixel art, so it doesn't look scary.
  • A lot of named characters get killed, a few of them being sympathetic ones. If they were fine with FE3H classmates dying in the second half of each route though, they'd probably be fine here. Also, no kids have died (yet), and there's only one named, animal character (who, for gameplay mechanics reasons, I strongly suspect will not die either).
  • The game has an extremely slow start, even for a JRPG. The first four hours have two short battles and the rest is all cutscenes. Definitely a chance of boredom. You can skip those scenes, but then you'd be lost plot-wise once things pick up.
  • There are a few character cutscenes, which can trigger when hidden stat values get hit (like the support scenes in FE3H). However, they aren't the focus of the game and most of the characters are pretty shallow. Most cutscenes (and there are a lot, even after things pick up) are about advancing the main plot; which are the wheelings and dealings of nations and noble houses. And the plot can be rather dense at times. Really important things are said multiple times, but there's a lot of context and motivation that's mentioned only once. And if you miss it, it can be hard to keep track of why things are happening.
  • There's two aspects to the difficulty of the game. The first is combat. I'm playing on Hard and the game is truly hard. But there are three easier difficulty settings than that, so I assume one of the four options is a good fit for kids. Maybe it even is Hard if they have enough experience with tactics games. The second is dialog trees. At certain points in the game you have to make choices, which seem to have a pretty big impact on what happens in the plot. However, you don't get to make them unilaterally. Instead a vote is held with the 7 main party members (there's dozens of other members, but they basically never show up in cutscenes outside of ones specific to them; whereas the core 7 are in all the plot scenes) and you need to make dialog choices to convince a majority of those 7 to vote whichever way you want to go. Making the right choices (though it's no game over if you fail, you just might do something you didn't want to do) requires a certain amount of critical thinking.
  • There some pretty heavy themes/plot points at times, though the game doesn't linger on them too long. No idea how well kids might handle them. The biggest one so far has been:
  • Spoiler

    A princess witnesses her elder brother killed and her father beheaded and then is forced to marry the man who ordered their deaths. 

     

 

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Remedy Entertainment remaking Max Payne and Max Payne 2 in their Northlight Engine (used for Quantum Break and Control), to be published by Rockstar.

Very exciting news. Max Payne 1 and 2 are still two of the best shooters ever made (Max Payne 3, not so much, but that was made by totally different people). I hope they keep the completely batty tonal variation, especially in the first game.

 

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5 hours ago, Fez said:

Maybe. Hard for me to be sure since I don't have kids. Here's the big things to know:

  • There's no sex. Two of the character portraits (which are only in the menu) are somewhat sexualized, but nothing that crosses any lines I think (one woman has very form-fitting leather armor, another has a rather short dress). There are a couple arranged marriages as plot points to cement peace between two kingdoms, but that's it as far as relationships go. There's no dating sim aspect to the game at all.
  • There's almost no gore. The one exception is that a blood pool sweeps out from under characters to indicate they've been killed. But it's all pixel art, so it doesn't look scary.
  • A lot of named characters get killed, a few of them being sympathetic ones. If they were fine with FE3H classmates dying in the second half of each route though, they'd probably be fine here. Also, no kids have died (yet), and there's only one named, animal character (who, for gameplay mechanics reasons, I strongly suspect will not die either).
  • The game has an extremely slow start, even for a JRPG. The first four hours have two short battles and the rest is all cutscenes. Definitely a chance of boredom. You can skip those scenes, but then you'd be lost plot-wise once things pick up.
  • There are a few character cutscenes, which can trigger when hidden stat values get hit (like the support scenes in FE3H). However, they aren't the focus of the game and most of the characters are pretty shallow. Most cutscenes (and there are a lot, even after things pick up) are about advancing the main plot; which are the wheelings and dealings of nations and noble houses. And the plot can be rather dense at times. Really important things are said multiple times, but there's a lot of context and motivation that's mentioned only once. And if you miss it, it can be hard to keep track of why things are happening.
  • There's two aspects to the difficulty of the game. The first is combat. I'm playing on Hard and the game is truly hard. But there are three easier difficulty settings than that, so I assume one of the four options is a good fit for kids. Maybe it even is Hard if they have enough experience with tactics games. The second is dialog trees. At certain points in the game you have to make choices, which seem to have a pretty big impact on what happens in the plot. However, you don't get to make them unilaterally. Instead a vote is held with the 7 main party members (there's dozens of other members, but they basically never show up in cutscenes outside of ones specific to them; whereas the core 7 are in all the plot scenes) and you need to make dialog choices to convince a majority of those 7 to vote whichever way you want to go. Making the right choices (though it's no game over if you fail, you just might do something you didn't want to do) requires a certain amount of critical thinking.
  • There some pretty heavy themes/plot points at times, though the game doesn't linger on them too long. No idea how well kids might handle them. The biggest one so far has been:
  •   Reveal hidden contents

    A princess witnesses her elder brother killed and her father beheaded and then is forced to marry the man who ordered their deaths. 

     

 

Thanks for this rundown, I appreciate it. 

I feel like most of those things sound okay.  My biggest concern is actually the four hours of cutscenes to start the game.  But everything I'm reading is that its worth it to get through that part.

Leaning toward probably getting the game at some point.

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39 minutes ago, Whiskeyjack said:

Thanks for this rundown, I appreciate it. 

I feel like most of those things sound okay.  My biggest concern is actually the four hours of cutscenes to start the game.  But everything I'm reading is that its worth it to get through that part.

Leaning toward probably getting the game at some point.

I should also note, the reason its four hours is because it's all fully voiced. But if you read the text boxes faster than the voiced dialog, you can certainly click through to the next line faster. Although with multiple people reading that might be harder to do.

Also, I've done that sometimes and while it does save some time there's no denying that there is truly a lot of plot to get through. Especially early on while the worldbuilding and character introductions are taking place.

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Beat Horizon Forbidden West a few days ago. Not gona lie, I found the story for this game rather boring. Don't get me wrong, the combat was insanley fun and the game looks stunning, but the amount of exposition some cutscenes had just bored me beyond belief. I wish at the very least they'd allow some choices you made during cutscenes to effect the narrative in some way, like with The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect.

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13 hours ago, sifth said:

Beat Horizon Forbidden West a few days ago. Not gona lie, I found the story for this game rather boring. Don't get me wrong, the combat was insanley fun and the game looks stunning, but the amount of exposition some cutscenes had just bored me beyond belief. I wish at the very least they'd allow some choices you made during cutscenes to effect the narrative in some way, like with The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect.

Well, at least you can use this clip now without shame:

 

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Yup, my biggest fear about Horizon Forbidden West was the story not living up to the first one, and that was the case. Obviously the mystery of how the world ended was gone so it was gonna be a tough act to follow, but what they decided to go with was pretty silly and just not very interesting. The gameplay, graphics and everything else was pretty strong though.

A couple complaints. I thought map was  too congested. Way too many hills everywhere. I actually liked how the first one seemed way more wide open. A lot of the puzzles were just tedious to do also. They got annoying.

And in the beginning it seemed much harder than the first one because you have basically no good weapons, but I very quickly hit a point where I then felt indestructible. Especially when I realized that holding up on the directional pad re-ups your medicinal plants. So basically you can go into a big fight with 42 of those, with potions on top of that. I found out about the plant thing on reddit and wish I never read it.

Overall it was fun and the graphics and combat were great, but I definitely felt like I had a much better experience with the first one. The story was just so lackluster that I was never very invested into it. I’d give it a 7.5, where the first I’d say is near perfect.

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5 hours ago, Ramsay B. said:

A couple complaints. I thought map was  too congested. Way too many hills everywhere. I actually liked how the first one seemed way more wide open.


I haven't played either Horizon yet, but playing Breath of the Wild and then the blatantly-inspired-by-it-but-didn't-learn-all-the-lessons Immortals: Fenyx Rising made me realise how important the placement of high places is in open world games, particularly wander-oriented ones. BotW is so well designed in that respect - there are lots of hills, but they're spaced out around big low spaces, there's always a clear view across the map, and the shape of them and the paths between and around them guides you to interesting spots and places to get lost if you want to just freely mooch about for a bit - whereas in Fenyx if you go randomly wandering I found myself invariably pushed to the same spot of the map eventually.    

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9 hours ago, Ramsay B. said:

Yup, my biggest fear about Horizon Forbidden West was the story not living up to the first one, and that was the case. Obviously the mystery of how the world ended was gone so it was gonna be a tough act to follow, but what they decided to go with was pretty silly and just not very interesting. The gameplay, graphics and everything else was pretty strong though.

 

If I'm going to be honest.

Spoiler

Far Zenith showing up was sort of the point where the story jumped the shark for me. It would have been one thing if these guys were the decedents of the humans that went into space a thousand years ago, but for them to be the actual humans themselves, who just somehow gained immortality................yea that was a little much for me. They even looked stupid as well, almost like they belonged in a completely different game. I wonder if even the developers realized this as well, because after their first appearance, they only show up 5 more times in the story and one of those times is only a brief appearance where a member gets killed. They honestly made me feel like I was playing a completely different game at times.

 

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I am, as always, several years behind the times, which is honestly how I like it. So, I am discovering the wonderful world of 3DS gaming on my trusty 2DS. Almost finished with the Etrian Odyssey Untold 1 post-game, and going for 100% completion, to my own surprise. But it really sucked me in. It is a a first-person turn-based RPG blobber focussed on dungeon exploration and mapping. Looking back to the earlier conversation that we had here about turn-based being too slow/samey, etc., I think that EO works quite well re: mixing things up, so that you don't fall into the rut of doing the same things all the time. The dungeon  levels have their own gimmicks, the powerful enemies that are visible on them ditto, as well as having their particular moving patterns and levels of aggression, so that when you first reach a level avoiding them is a an entertaining puzzle. There are also conditional kills, which force you to use stuff which you otherwise wouldn't and the grimoire system keeps throwing enemy skills into the mix or lets you transfer skills between the party members. Though that last one could have been implemented better. There are also a few fun text events per level. Finally, trash encounters can be fought automatically. I am definitely going to pick up more games from EO series. Luckily, my library also has EO4, so that's next.  Hopefully, Atlus has a sale for us EU peons before the 3DS eshop closes and I can snag EOU 2 and a couple of other things. There is one for the US/Canada? going right now.

I also borrowed Lego City Undercover for 3DS for my niece, decided to try it out on a whim... and ended up blowing through the story part of it. It was stupidly fun and stylish, though very easy and hand-holdy. I have never played any previous Lego games, only watched others for a bit, but it seems to me that Lego Star Wars 3, say, had more challenging puzzles. A nice palate cleanser between the more involved games, though.

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On 4/10/2022 at 11:34 AM, polishgenius said:


I haven't played either Horizon yet, but playing Breath of the Wild and then the blatantly-inspired-by-it-but-didn't-learn-all-the-lessons Immortals: Fenyx Rising made me realise how important the placement of high places is in open world games, particularly wander-oriented ones. BotW is so well designed in that respect - there are lots of hills, but they're spaced out around big low spaces, there's always a clear view across the map, and the shape of them and the paths between and around them guides you to interesting spots and places to get lost if you want to just freely mooch about for a bit - whereas in Fenyx if you go randomly wandering I found myself invariably pushed to the same spot of the map eventually.    

I think Horizon has a problem in that its map is supposed to be the real United States (well, four states of it), so standing on a mountain in Wyoming and looking at Denver across the map would be mad, so they divide the map into several areas with mountains interrupting sight lines, so each area is vaguely realistic (if you squint a bit) but the hundreds of miles between each area are completely missing.

I think the area supposedly being represented in Forbidden West is much more compact than in Zero Dawn, though, being more restricted to California (might be wrong about that).

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