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Video Games- At least 2023 looks like a banger


Fez
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Cont'd.

Still waiting on an AAA game to draw me in since Elden Ring. I tried out the demo for Square's The DioField Chronicle, which is $60 but sure isn't AAA. The gameplay is surprisingly easy-to-follow for me, considering its basically an RTS and I'm rubbish at those. But that's probably because it's so simplified that it might as well be a mobile game. At least in the demo each battle consisting of fighting multiple waves of small groups of enemies, rushing them with your troops, activating abilities on cooldown, and very rarely avoiding a telegraphed AOE attack. It's not awful, but nothing special either, at least in the demo. And unfortunately the writing is extremely 'meh', with a very generic backdrop and characters with almost no personality.

The graphics are entirely forgettable, except the character portraits which are really neat-looking paintings. Voice acting is solid, except that outside of the main story quests there are dialog "barks" instead of the full lines being recorded. That's not uncommon in lower budget games, but usually those "barks" are the first line of the dialog. Here they are entirely unrelated to what the text boxes are actually saying and its just distracting. Music is generically fine.

Overall this a $20 game masquerading at a $60 price point with nothing to justify it beyond corporate greed. Even for people who really like the genre I would highly recommend waiting for a sale.

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Started Return to Monkey Island.

Many, so much nostalgia feels, but the resolution to the Monkey Island 2 cliffhanger is surprisingly solid:

Spoiler

When Guybrush "killed" LeChuck, apparently that was real, and all the stuff afterwards with the two kids was a flashforwards to the future when Guybrush is telling the story of his adventures to his son and his friends.

Of course, LeChuck returned to life almost immediately.

Waited 30 years to find that one out!

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3 hours ago, Fez said:

Cont'd.

Still waiting on an AAA game to draw me in since Elden Ring. I tried out the demo for Square's The DioField Chronicle, which is $60 but sure isn't AAA.

 

While I initially scoff at a game price of $60, its probably been decades since I actually paid that much for one.  Double checking my memory against Google, I paid $65 for Ultima Online with a $10/month sub fee in 1997 (thats worth nearly double today).  Its amazing just how price resistant PC games in particular have been.  I wonder how much of the price back then was for physical product production and store front sales vs consumers just having a mental block? When it comes to entertainment hours/price, Its hard to think of a better deal besides doing something unimaginable like playing outside. 

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2 hours ago, horangi said:

While I initially scoff at a game price of $60, its probably been decades since I actually paid that much for one.  Double checking my memory against Google, I paid $65 for Ultima Online with a $10/month sub fee in 1997 (thats worth nearly double today).  Its amazing just how price resistant PC games in particular have been.  I wonder how much of the price back then was for physical product production and store front sales vs consumers just having a mental block? When it comes to entertainment hours/price, Its hard to think of a better deal besides doing something unimaginable like playing outside. 

Probably a bit of both, I think. Also, a lot of publishers went with micro-transactions as a way to get revenue while keeping the $60 price point. It is starting to change though, with a growing number of publishers starting to push $70.

Personally, I'm fine with $60 or $70 for actual AAA games with high production values across the board, including the writing. Sadly, there's very few of those anymore, and a bunch of the ones that do exist are the PS games that I just don't care much about (e.g. Spiderman, though I fully acknowledge that's a me thing, not a problem with the game).

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4 minutes ago, Rhom said:

What's it cost to make a AAA game these days for a major studio?  How does that compare to similar games?

The most expensive spend on a video game ever previously was the combined ~$300 million development and marketing for Red Dead Redemption 2. So this is almost twice as much just in development.

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20 minutes ago, Werthead said:

The most expensive spend on a video game ever previously was the combined ~$300 million development and marketing for Red Dead Redemption 2. So this is almost twice as much just in development.

With no end in sight...

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I think the dev team for Star Citizen is pretty large (over 500 for Cloud Imperium as a whole). I've got to assume that even with that ridiculous amount of cash, there is some breaking point where the costs are growing year over end, while the donations surely must be diminishing over the same time frame.  Given that a huge set of the 'fan' base (including my $20 buy-in years ago) will be getting the game for free, I wonder how long into the future we see a point where they either have to release or pull the rug out from everyone.

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Sometimes I truly wonder if Star Citizen is an elaborate money laundering scheme.

ETA:

17 minutes ago, horangi said:

I think the dev team for Star Citizen is pretty large (over 500 for Cloud Imperium as a whole). I've got to assume that even with that ridiculous amount of cash, there is some breaking point where the costs are growing year over end, while the donations surely must be diminishing over the same time frame.  Given that a huge set of the 'fan' base (including my $20 buy-in years ago) will be getting the game for free, I wonder how long into the future we see a point where they either have to release or pull the rug out from everyone.

If anything it's picking up steam. It was only last November that it hit the $400 million milestone. A fifth of all it's funding was only in the past year.

Edited by Fez
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53 minutes ago, Fez said:

Sometimes I truly wonder if Star Citizen is an elaborate money laundering scheme.

ETA:

If anything it's picking up steam. It was only last November that it hit the $400 million milestone. A fifth of all it's funding was only in the past year.

I stand corrected- where are they finding $100 million in donations at this point? I agree, it might be good for the IRS to take a look at their books.  I'm sure there are a few folks with little common sense and too much money buying those luxury ships, but hard to believe there are ~2-5 million new donors out there are there? :dunno:

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4 hours ago, Werthead said:

Star Citizen just crossed $500 million in funding, almost at the 10-year anniversary of its announcement and its original crowdfunding campaign.

Wow.

HALF A BILLION DOLLARS?!

Fuck me like a virgin goat! What the hell are they spending all this money making? What kind of game necessitates this kind of insane budget?

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12 hours ago, IlyaP said:

HALF A BILLION DOLLARS?!

Fuck me like a virgin goat! What the hell are they spending all this money making? What kind of game necessitates this kind of insane budget?

A game with no tutorial, apparently.

 

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After all these years of playing Rimworld I finally beat it. Not cause it was too hard, I just never bothered building the ship and getting off the planet before. 

I was really skeptical that it would be comfortable to play on the steam deck because it's such a mouse heave game, but once you get used to it the controls are great. 

Speaking of the steam deck the wait times have improved dramatically.  My buddy ordered his a couple months ago and just got his email that he could complete the purchase. If anyone's on the fence I can't recommend it enough. It's become my main computer, and for $400 it's probably the cheapest and best computer I've ever purchased. 

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4 minutes ago, RumHam said:

After all these years of playing Rimworld I finally beat it. Not cause it was too hard, I just never bothered building the ship and getting off the planet before. 

I was really skeptical that it would be comfortable to play on the steam deck because it's such a mouse heave game, but once you get used to it the controls are great. 

Speaking of the steam deck the wait times have improved dramatically.  My buddy ordered his a couple months ago and just got his email that he could complete the purchase. If anyone's on the fence I can't recommend it enough. It's become my main computer, and for $400 it's probably the cheapest and best computer I've ever purchased. 

I love mine for sure.  Just the convenience of having it to hand in the living room instead of having to be down in the basement.  I can at least be in the same room as my wife.  I'd say my odds of divorce have dropped by at least 6 or 7 percent!  :lol: 

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Anyone have any ps5 buying advice? I've been slowly trying to check in to buy one -- thinking that they'd be more available by now. Now I'm starting to get a bit impatient... Been on the Amazon and Sony lists for restocks for a couple months and trawl through target/best buy/etc every now and then. No such luck.

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1 hour ago, Week said:

Anyone have any ps5 buying advice? I've been slowly trying to check in to buy one -- thinking that they'd be more available by now. Now I'm starting to get a bit impatient... Been on the Amazon and Sony lists for restocks for a couple months and trawl through target/best buy/etc every now and then. No such luck.

I had someone in my office just the other day tell me they walked into Gamestop and bought one off the shelf.  So while that may be a unicorn... it does exist.  He said he had to buy a bundle with an extra controller and Madden 23, but he did get the disc edition of the PS5.

For my own experience, I got one in January of 21.  I followed a couple of skeezy restocking Twitter accts and was logging into Target and Best Buy's websites at ungodly hours.  Eventually I just got luck with a Best Buy restock.

Best of luck to you!

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