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Unified Vidya Games thread

Started by Cain, November 21, 2013, 05:10:58 PM

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altered

I've been homeless again. Right now I have no internet (on my phone here) and so so so much free time in an unfurnished basement (my joints are death and if I had 500 dollars I'd be buying some of that ultra light camping equipment to get a chair, table and cot because lord I'm desperate rn) so I've been playing Tyranny finally.

I actually REALLY like the worldbuilding. Like... it's obviously a pretty crap CRPG in gameplay terms, but the worldbuilding is really well done. Of course, the worldbuilding is also sort of a blatant pastiche of BioWare and Bethesda properties, so it sort of was inevitable that it would be good.

The plot isn't too bad either: incompetence, selfishness and egotistical bullshit is the order of the day, just like real life.

Most interesting of all to me, I actually... don't really hate Kyros? There's a lot of weird shit about that. I don't really know how to feel about it.




I've also been playing more Phoenix Point, which is really worthwhile for anyone who likes Firaxis XCOM type gameplay, but wishes it was a bit more detailed and nuanced. No XCOM classic level, but still, not insignificant amounts of added control.

I find the smaller maps and shorter mission structure greatly benefits it as well compared to the XCOM formula. It's at its slowest in the story missions, but the most tedious Phoenix Point mission is an order of magnitude more sensible than the snappiest XCOM 2 mission.

An example: Clearing the Phoenix base in the tutorial (the most mindnumbingly tedious mission I've played so far) compares favorably to XCOM 2s Operation Gatecrasher — the NON tutorial one. Yes, really.

There's also some really good sorta zone defense type missions and while there are definitely rough edges and it's obvious the developers were not able to include everything they wanted, it STILL stands out as an impressive game to me. And there's more DLC to come besides.

If it included the XCOM 2 character pool and allow for full visual modification of your troops like in XCOM 2, I think it would handily beat that game.
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

Cain

I have heard good things about Tyranny. I picked it up for free from the Epic store, but I've not yet committed myself to sitting down and giving it a playthrough

chaotic neutral observer

I've been playing some Frostpunk, lately.  It's a survival city-simulator with a steampunk aesthetic, where some sort of cataclysm has caused the global climate to cool drastically.  The temperature starts at -20 C...and then drops from there.

The ostensible object of the game is to keep your people warm, fed and healthy, while meeting certain objectives that are thrown at you.  In reality, though, the game is about managing hope and discontent.  It doesn't matter if everyone is alive, and you're producing enough raw materials to keep everything going; if your people are angry about extended hours, cold workplaces, and being fed nothing but thin soup, there's a real possibility you'll find yourself kicked out into the frozen wasteland.  Sure, you could shorten working hours...and risk a coal shortfall which causes the generator to shut off in the middle of the night...and then everything freezes, people start getting sick, your medical posts are overwhelmed, and production drops even further.

It's a fun game, and a pretty decent challenge on the higher difficulty settings.  There's not a tremendous amount of replay value once you've finished the main scenarios, though.
Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.

Junkenstein

Quote from: Cain on March 12, 2021, 07:25:02 PM
I have heard good things about Tyranny. I picked it up for free from the Epic store, but I've not yet committed myself to sitting down and giving it a playthrough

Have you given this a fair try yet? I quite liked it, and there are a few nice "betrayal! moments. Which only happen if you really look for them, but that's actually quite nicely done too.
Nine naked Men just walking down the road will cause a heap of trouble for all concerned.

Cain

No, my computer died for a bit, so I'm trying to finish my Mass Effect trilogy vanguard playthrough (which isn't too far off) and grinding hard in ESO when I'm not (Elsweyr celebration = double drops on dragons = get rich quick scheme). But once Mass Effect is finished I'll either sit down and play that or Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

Cain

Might upload me soloing some ESO dungeons here. Just did the Undaunted event (extra loot drops on dungeons) and I soloed a lot of them on normal on my Templar, just because.

Soloing normal dungeons isn't any great feat for a mildly optimised character, but it might be fun for someone to watch. And Templar is good for soloing because you have great sustain, a powerful spammable ability, a lot of resistances and can easily purge negative effects, all while outputting decent damage.

rong

i used to play Shadowgate but I've kinda gotten out of games since then
"a real smart feller, he felt smart"

Cramulus

I LOVED shadowgate. I can still hear the music.

My mom is not a gamer, but back in the early 90s, she loved Tetris... and Shadowgate.

She was obsessed with Shadowgate for a little while. I remember her beating it while the rest of the family clawed their faces off.

rong

#878
Quote from: Cramulus on December 01, 2021, 09:01:40 PM
I LOVED shadowgate. I can still hear the music.

My mom is not a gamer, but back in the early 90s, she loved Tetris... and Shadowgate.

She was obsessed with Shadowgate for a little while. I remember her beating it while the rest of the family clawed their faces off.

As I've gotten older I've come to realize that my favorite thing about my favorite video games was the music. 

Edit- man, you ain't kidding.  I confess, Cain's poat reminded me of the game, but it took a little googling to figure out what it was called.  I couldn't recall the music, so I decided to listen to it on my way home from work.  I found a youtube video of the game play.  It's a little off putting at first but it really does get pretty cool after awhile.  I hope I'm not just exploiting some sort of long form neurological feedback loop that just makes me think it's good music because it's a nearly forgotten childhood memory.  Either way, A+ enjoyable time.  Will def listen again
"a real smart feller, he felt smart"

Cain

Soloing time

Fungal Grotto I
Banished Cells I
Spindleclutch I
Darkshade Caverns I
Wayrest Sewers I
Elden Hollow I
Crypt of Hearts I
Elden Hollow II
Tempest Island
Blessed Crucible

So the build here is an Imperial stamina templar. Imperials get no significantly crazy bonuses, but they do get extra health, extra stamina and cost reduction for all abilities.

This stacks very well with the Templar, who also gets cost reduction for all abilities, in addition from good sustain from the rune (that returns stamina). This allows me to use the New Moon's Acolyte set, that gives a significant 400+ weapon damage bonus, but increases the cost of all abilities by 5%. I can then stack damage bonuses Briarheart and from Fighters Guild passives on top of that to build a fairly hard-hitting class. The Templar's healing ability also purges negative effects in addition to scaling healing according to your max damage stat, whether it's physical or magical, making it very well suited to defense. Finally the Templar spears are unique in that they're the only area of effect class spammable ability in the game, allowing the Templar to do to groups of enemies what most stamina classes can only do to a single one at a time.

Cain

#880
So I did finally get around to some hardcore Wrath of the Righteous gaming over Christmas, and I am here to report that the Siege of Drezen music is fucking awesome.

.

altered

#881
I've been playing this year's two wannabe-Fromsoft entries: Lords of the Fallen 2023, and Lies of P.

My experience is EXACTLY the opposite of the response to those games.

Lies of P has been a slog of an experience outside of bossfights, and bossfights are often so uninteresting that they end up being facetank-and-heal-through-it affairs. Andreus had masterful visual design, but almost no health and an entire military's worth of attacks that will just autowhiff, so it was over in an eyeblink and I hardly fucking noticed. When they aren't, they suck so fucking bad. Puppet of the Future is "what if we made DS2's Last Giant less interesting and put it in a poison poop pool". If you drained the pool beforehand, I'm sorry, you had the worse experience with this fight, because there's almost no positioning, everything has year-long telegraphs and it has little mobility and less reach. Combat in general has the consistency of gravel: rocky and slow with unexpected bursts of hyperspeed that feel totally out of character. You never feel like you need to use anything you don't want to use, which could be a good thing except that the game DESPERATELY wants you to be using Fable Arts and Legion Arms and thrown consumables. I say no. Fuck you.

Lords of the Fallen has been a delight to explore, and the bossfights have been, if too easy, at least very refreshing. They don't just have phases, they have MECHANICS! Knocking the Hushed Saint from his horse. Making sure to stay in the clear lane for Pieta's second phase. Hiding from the Spurned Progeny's nuke. Reinhold's knockdown mechanics. They even spice up the fucking minibosses that end up becoming normal enemies later with mechanics of their own. It's a wonder and a joy, it feels like a step toward a modernized Soul Reaver. The combat mechanics are janky, but overall fluid and consistent, and you really feel like using your whole toolkit when you get to understanding things like using the Lamp to create breathing room, or to stun a heavy hitter so you can mop up the trash in a room. It's designed like a puzzlebox, every encounter becomes manageable once you learn the way to approach it, and they give you a steady evolution of those encounters to teach you HOW to approach it.

Lies of P has the most sickeningly linear level design I've seen in a game claiming to be a "Souls-like". We are talking straight out of the school of Call of Duty. Bethesda does better levels, in the garbage side content they don't care about. If there are shortcuts they're rarely more than perfunctory nods at Fromsoft's use of shortcuts, and quite often there are none. It's like if you turned the progression pathing of Elden Ring's most linear caves into a whole game. Deathtouched Catacombs has more meaningful interconnection of the various parts of it, and I'm not joking. Disgusting.

Lords of the Fallen has a veritable warren of paths that turn its two more or less linear main paths (Pilgrim's Perch->Empyrean, Pilgrim's Perch->Calrath) into a complete maze. Even some completionist players will miss an entire miniboss just hanging out and chilling in the Fen. Paths often diverge and intertwine in ways even Fromsoft can't quite manage. The game is nearly ropy in its level complexity, a million fibers twisting together. Shortcuts are everywhere and make backtracking and dealing with the honestly stellar encounter design into a joyous ride, because you'll find ways to loop around you didn't know were possible your first ten times through. Honestly, the best level design in games right now. People should take notes.

Lies of P has a miserable story that cribs its core conceits from Isaac Asimov, its writing conventions from Ken Levine, and most of its weirder ideas from Nier Automata, all wrapped up in ...fucking Pinocchio. It's shameless in how it rips off better writers, and yet it doesn't even manage to make the results interesting. Yoko Taro and Ken Levine collabing sounds like a recipe for a game whose twists and turns give you violent nausea in the best way, but here they're stealing the existing works and just mashing them together without regard for how well they work together or apart. It feels like plagiarism in the cheapness of it all.

Lords of the Fallen has a main plot ripped straight out of Lord of the Rings and still manages to not only make the characters around that and the evolution of the main plot interesting, but has a dozen or so fascinating sideplots to uncover, deep and rich lore, and it takes time out to try and do right by the original game. It's a 7/10 story but it's the best possible version of a 7/10 story, hiding 10/10 flash fiction in its depths. Truly more than the sum of its parts.

Lies of P has a lackluster art direction that cribs in equal parts from Dishonored, Sir You Are Being Hunted, and either Grim Dawn or Remnant (it's hard to say which because it's the boring parts!) while bringing only dew drops of its own concepts to the table. In the process of mashing these three things together, it sucks the character out of them leaving you with a sparse collection of memorable images that lack any emotional resonance and all inexplicably remind you of better games you could be playing.

Lords of the Fallen has art direction that has noticeable core themes, strong color theory, a cohesiveness, and which borrows from a small handful of aesthetic forebears without actively making me wonder if its legally actionable at any point. It's not the best art direction you've ever seen (call it an 8.5/10) but its very solid and I'm hard pressed to think on approaches for improvement to it.

I do not understand why Lies of P is the critical darling and the fan favorite.
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

Faust

I think people are just really desperate for more bloodborne/dark souls that they are willing to overlook flaws of the imitators. For me it's the uncanny Valley effect of it being familiar in a lot of ways but in the ways they differ it doesn't innovate, just feels... off, wrong, not quite right, and that feeling just doesn't shake
Sleepless nights at the chateau

altered

I think that can kind of explain Lies of P getting such a strong reception, but I don't think it explains Lords of the Fallen becoming the one to mock and make fun of. One of these games is distinctly better than the other, and it's not the puppet game.
"I am that worst of all type of criminal...I cannot bring myself to do what you tell me, because you told me."

There's over 100 of us in this meat-suit. You'd think it runs like a ship, but it's more like a hundred and ten angry ghosts having an old-school QuakeWorld tournament, three people desperately trying to make sure the gamers don't go hungry or soil themselves, and the Facilities manager weeping in the corner as the garbage piles high.

Faust

I dont know, the reviews for both were high praise while acknowledging both are flawed, beyond that I think there was more discussion of lies of p but it would invariably devolve into comparing it to bloodborne. I tried it based on that comparison and hated it, I havent tried lords of the fallen but what you are describing is superior to that so I might try it when I eventually finish baldurs gate
Sleepless nights at the chateau