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Video Games - Waiting for a New AAA Game (that isn't Elden Ring)


Gorn
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Have started a new job, so it's hard to really find time to game, but I've managed to squeeze in a few hours over the weekend and tonight in The Ascent, which...I still don't really know how I feel about it. It feels like Total Recall as filtered through Snow Crash, but with a wretched UI and map integration system and absolutely stunning soundtrack that makes copious references to 1995's Ghost in the Shell. It's such a mixed, strange, ambitious experience. 

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13 minutes ago, Werthead said:

"Brandon Sanderson and the Subnautica guys team up to make live service turn-based tactics game with morally dubious lootboxes" is not the headline I expected to be seeing today.

Disappointing. I can support their panhandling and microtransactions, but loot boxes are disgusting. Did they at least get a nice pay day when they got acquired and surrendered their values?

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

"Brandon Sanderson and the Subnautica guys team up to make live service turn-based tactics game with morally dubious lootboxes" is not the headline I expected to be seeing today.

 

16 hours ago, Fez said:

Moonbreaker, Atlas Fallen, and Scars Above are the games I've got my eyes on from Gamescom opening night. Nothing else peaked my interest much, except 40k Darktide, which has been long-known.

 

Gross. I guess I can cross Moonbreaker off my list.

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lmao what




Also I've been playing a couple new indies on the Switch: first, Cursed to Golf, a sidescrolling 2-D roguelite in which you have to golf your way through golfing purgatory to bring yourself back to life. It's a lot of fun though the combination of roguelite difficulty with the length of a golf game does make it frustrating.


And also Islets, a little Metroidvania with some lovely Ghibli-esque artwork and a neat hook where your task is to travel between four separate sky islands and reconnect them, thus also reconnecting the maps and giving you more access. It's not Hollow Knight, but what is? The exploring's a little more obviously artificially guided, levels a little more simplistic in their overall structure- but that's a very high standard and I've certainly played very good metroidvanias that have been more obviously 'go here do the thing'.  
What it does have is a great sense of what it was going for with its style and how to tie that in with Medroidvania design principles. Particularly, they've done a great job in making enemies do the thing that enemies in this genre do, with designs that fit the Ghibli tone, and so far it's had some tidy platforming sections with decent invention there. Good bosses too, including some mini bullet-hell stuff in the interconnecting sections where you fly about in your airship. And like I say the art is great. 
Oddly enough, the design of the main character and NPCs isn't up to that standard, mostly being very simple with weird googly eyes stuck on the face almost randomly, but they're so small on the screen it doesn't really matter (and I'd assume also the reason why the eyes are so big). 

Also: a surprisingly dry sense of humour.


I love a Metroidvania, this is a good one so far.

 

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Day  150 of Jaime Lannister in Calradia.

I'm... kind of finished. I don't think I can find much more to do other than stupidly whack castles faster than the AI can retake them. I went on a grand solo campaign against Swadia and finally managed to destroy them, despite the idiocy of my allies. According to my stats I have 980 renown and killed 1400 people doing that. My army however had grown so big I can't really afford to keep it in peace time (2600 per week), so the natural next step would have been to provoke wars with other factions and just keep rolling, but that... somehow sounds tedious.

So I installed the Warsword Warhammer Fantasy Mod and made my Brienne character there. Unfortunately I messed up during the installation process and shot the Data folder of the native game to pieces, so I would have to reinstall it if I wanted to go back playing Jaime. So now I'm kind of dicking around in Bretonnia and after being used to my ridiculously invincible Vaegyr/Swabia army, it's a bit irritating to watch my Bretonnian peasant mobs get slaughtered while I'm busy effortlessly crushing skeletons. Then again, I suppose it's lore accurate...

Edit: Lol, I seriously wanted Brienne to buddy up with Louen and join Bretonnia, but suddenly I got a message that Karl Franz himself summons her and wants to make her a vassal. I guess I can't exactly say no to that.^^

Though the mod is odd in that it seems both my character and my units are leveling significantly faster than in the main game. I already got a whole bunch of max level archers and infantry and only need to focus on more cavalry. I have also already seen some really fancy, but ridiculously expensive armor and horses in the shop. So I have still some money making to do. Also some of the heroes are a pain. There was a high elven one that I didn't recognize that asks for 15.000 gold as payment. Who the fuck does she think she is? I also met Malus Darkblade who only asks for 7.000. Unfortunately I didn't have enough with me. So far I only hired some bloodthirsty beastman dude. I know, I know... makes an odd couple with Brienne.

Edited by Toth
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7 hours ago, Toth said:

Day  150 of Jaime Lannister in Calradia.

I'm... kind of finished. I don't think I can find much more to do other than stupidly whack castles faster than the AI can retake them. I went on a grand solo campaign against Swadia and finally managed to destroy them, despite the idiocy of my allies. According to my stats I have 980 renown and killed 1400 people doing that. My army however had grown so big I can't really afford to keep it in peace time (2600 per week), so the natural next step would have been to provoke wars with other factions and just keep rolling, but that... somehow sounds tedious.

So I installed the Warsword Warhammer Fantasy Mod and made my Brienne character there. Unfortunately I messed up during the installation process and shot the Data folder of the native game to pieces, so I would have to reinstall it if I wanted to go back playing Jaime. So now I'm kind of dicking around in Bretonnia and after being used to my ridiculously invincible Vaegyr/Swabia army, it's a bit irritating to watch my Bretonnian peasant mobs get slaughtered while I'm busy effortlessly crushing skeletons. Then again, I suppose it's lore accurate...

Edit: Lol, I seriously wanted Brienne to buddy up with Louen and join Bretonnia, but suddenly I got a message that Karl Franz himself summons her and wants to make her a vassal. I guess I can't exactly say no to that.^^

Though the mod is odd in that it seems both my character and my units are leveling significantly faster than in the main game. I already got a whole bunch of max level archers and infantry and only need to focus on more cavalry. I have also already seen some really fancy, but ridiculously expensive armor and horses in the shop. So I have still some money making to do. Also some of the heroes are a pain. There was a high elven one that I didn't recognize that asks for 15.000 gold as payment. Who the fuck does she think she is? I also met Malus Darkblade who only asks for 7.000. Unfortunately I didn't have enough with me. So far I only hired some bloodthirsty beastman dude. I know, I know... makes an odd couple with Brienne.

The mod I played the most for the old M&B game was A Clash of Kings. There is another ASoiaF mod called A Song of Ice and Fire. There is a decent LOTR mod, too. Another mod that is fairly challenging is Prophecy of Pendor, which afaik is not based on any existing fantasy series.

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Been playing Soul Hackers 2, the new game from Atlus. It lands somewhere in-between the Persona and SMT games in terms of story vs. gameplay balance. There is a real story, with cutscenes; you have party members and various other characters; and there are hangout events with your party members. But there is less of it than Persona games have, and there's no calendar/time management aspect.

The game is clearly lower budget than Persona or SMT, with less interesting (and less frequent) art/graphical designs for most things. But the core gameplay feels pretty satisfying, though a bit easy, and the writing is fine.

It also does two things I really love:

1. The main character is a fully defined, fully voiced character in her own right. No blank slate here; which I think might be a first for Atlus?

2. All party members, and so far all characters, are adults; not a single high school student in sight. Characters hang out at bars, it's a plot point who the ex-lover of one of the party members is, and so on. It's glorious. I can't think of any other JRPG that does this, except for Yakuza: Like A Dragon, which uniquely was coming from a non-RPG series.

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On 8/28/2022 at 7:04 PM, Corvinus85 said:

The mod I played the most for the old M&B game was A Clash of Kings. There is another ASoiaF mod called A Song of Ice and Fire. There is a decent LOTR mod, too. Another mod that is fairly challenging is Prophecy of Pendor, which afaik is not based on any existing fantasy series.

Thanks for the recommendations! Unfortunately I don't have Warband, so A Clash of Kings doesn't work. Prophecy of Pendor and the LotR mod do seem to work for the base game, so I'll try those out.

Right now I've been a little irritated at the Warhammer mod. Everyone I have agreed to bring a letter to seems to be stuck in endless grinding battles with hundreds of units on both sides. I also went to kneel to Karl Franz and... he's also stuck in a battle against the dwarves. Since I was about to join him anyway, I thought to intervene on his behalf and heroically keep my troops back while letting Karl handle it, only sniping some units with just Brienne...

... except this didn't work out because the mod's battle formation AI overhaul seems have been quite confused. I watched an extremely dense solid block of dwarves and an extremely dense solid block of Imperials crawl towards each other and then halting with just half a meter between them. The top three halberdiers of both sides occasionally lazily struck at each other, but mostly it was just a staring contest. What cavalry Karl brought was either instantly shredded trying to charge the dwarf blob or just watched at the sidelines until they got shot dead by the few stray crossbowmen that came with the dwarven reinforcements after I whittled their main force personally down with half an hour of solo charges. Unfortunately at the third wave of battles Brienne got hit by one crossbow bolt too many and dropped out of the fight, so I'm back to square one of just waiting for Karl Franz to just get the freaking battle done in auto resolve.

Edit: Okay, now I'm getting seriously worked up on Warsword. I waited for Karl Franz to finish this battle, then joined him and have to keep following him around. Battle AI didn't broke like this anymore from there on, but oh my god, they are still so frustratingly hard and take forever. At first we defeated a small dwarf force that seems to have been quite thinned out from a previous battle. The best part of that was that I freed an Inner Circle Knight who had been captured by them. The guy is a beast thrice my level. But we then fought a larger Dwarf force, which caused me quite a number of losses and knocked me out of the battle, so I had to sit it out... and then a Lizardmen force where the same shit happened. Of course this is Dwarves and Lizardmen, so it's expected that they are tanky, but it's ridiculous. It takes forever to kill them, I have to lure them one by one into my blobbed up infantry to have any chance of reliably taking some out and in the Dwarfen case that got everyone killed because it was an ALL GIANT SLAYER army. That's the other thing. In the main game, Lords inflate their numbers with huge amounts of chaff units that you can focus on yourself without taking much risk, while you let your units handle the elites. The AI in this mod however only has the most elite units, which makes it extremely risky as they can easily overwhelm my own still low experienced units. And it doesn't get better when you loose half your numbers each battle. So far the only reliable survivors are my Inner Circle Knight and my single Bretonnian cavalry. I feel like it probably gets better if I gather more elites, but for that I have to refrain from taking personal risks. Whenever I get knocked out because of stray crossbow bolts or unlucky hits in these battles that take forever, the battle still counts as a defeat even when my guys win, so I'm not getting much XP from it. Even though it's boring, right now I can only see myself spawn camping and letting Karl Franz do all the heavy lifting. Or hope to fight enemies that are less stupendously sturdy.

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Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is my new drug of choice. It vastly improves upon the original, and plays much more naturally, feels less clunky, gets right into the thick of things, and knows where and how to lead players. It feels like many of the issues/complaints raised with the first were addressed and implemented, including (thankfully) the ability to actually rotate the camera, which in the original was only possible with a mod. 

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8 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is my new drug of choice. It vastly improves upon the original, and plays much more naturally, feels less clunky, gets right into the thick of things, and knows where and how to lead players. It feels like many of the issues/complaints raised with the first were addressed and implemented, including (thankfully) the ability to actually rotate the camera, which in the original was only possible with a mod. 

If you're a fan of CRPGs, WoTR is incredible. I'm now up to 514 hours played across multiple playthroughs and I've been going through it again. It may be on my top 10 games of all time list. Yes it has flaws, but basically no other game scratches that RPG itch of building up a character (or complete party even) from scratch with such absurd amounts of customization possible. Plus the writing is very solid; and the music is great. 

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Urgh, Spider-Man Remastered does feel like it outstayed its welcome a bit. Clocked up 46 hours to get to the last DLC, so it'll probably come in at around 50 hours all done and that's probably 20 hours too much. The webslinging through oddly-deformed New York never gets old but the very, very, very repetitive side-activities and fights definitely do. Also, Screwball can go and die in a fucking fire.

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On 9/2/2022 at 4:19 AM, Fez said:

If you're a fan of CRPGs, WoTR is incredible. I'm now up to 514 hours played across multiple playthroughs and I've been going through it again. It may be on my top 10 games of all time list. Yes it has flaws, but basically no other game scratches that RPG itch of building up a character (or complete party even) from scratch with such absurd amounts of customization possible. Plus the writing is very solid; and the music is great. 

I am surprised how much I enjoy it, given that I actively did not like Pathfinder: Kingmaker. The movement speed of the rag dolls is still a little...strange feeling when compared to what I am accustomed to seeing in (say) Baldur's Gate or Pillars of Eternity, but the music is fantastic, the writing is far better than in the first game, and characters like Lenn make it far more enjoyable. I am honestly surprised that I'm enjoying it as much as I am. 

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Managed to defeat some smaller armies which were already thinned out by other battles beforehand, but with Brienne's warband still at 40 people and still no top level unit except my Inner Circle Knight, I'm still forced to roam around and fight random beastmen hordes rather than helping the Empire... which is constantly loosing castles to Chaos and Dwarves and Lizardmen (and then having made peace with the Lizardmen at least, giving us at least one safer front). Unfortunately the castle my own fief belongs to fell to the Dwarves, so... yeah, I continue to be on my own.

Amusingly it feels like despite going for a full honor run again, Brienne's party has gotten a little... odd in her company. So my heroes now include a Beastman, a Skaven, a Lizardman and... well, the Dwarf Josef Bugman. Oddly enough, they work quite well together. Only the Lizardman chewed me out after a battle against the Dwarves lead to the slaughter of half my party. In that battle I also lost all my Bretonnians from the beginning of the game and most of my Skaven that I recruited after helping out a Skaven village against bandits. Right now I have only one Storm Vermin still kicking around.

To top off the evil aligned ridiculousness, I noticed that the most cost effective armor pieces are... Chaos Chosen armor. Especially the Khorne one rivals Grail Knight equipment, but costs a fraction of it. I'm now wondering whether it would be too silly to kit a poor Empire aligned Brienne out with it because of my budget limitations. Like, Brienne of Tarth, Lady Knight and vassal of Karl Franz, at your service: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c4/93/c6/c493c69d3f24006821f87f378df5f1c2.jpg

Edited by Toth
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  • 2 weeks later...

Slowly playing through Gloomhaven with friends. It's a bit unstable and I experience game crashes most play sessions. It's the only thing that is crashing my computer right now, so I have to assume it's the game being temperamental. Enjoying it a lot though.

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2 minutes ago, polishgenius said:



Sweet


We also got announcements for Octopath Traveller 2, and Pikmin 4 (although no trailer for that) which I assume is going to sell a billion copies given how well Nintendo have been doing at getting their franchises onto Switch.

I am so, so, so, so, so hyped. It looks like I'm going to have to take all of my sick days and vacation time in May.

I've never played any of the Pikmin games before (I tried the demo of Pikmin 3 Deluxe, but it didn't grab me) - but I know Pikmin fans have been waiting a long time for this. I'm glad for them.

Otherwise, not too much in the Direct grabbed me. A lot of farming games. A lot of anime games. It's a pretty stacked fall lineup for Nintendo, but I hope they have something coming out between October and May that looks more interesting.

(Though Goldeneye coming to the N64 app with online play will keep me busy for a while, I'm sure...)

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