What are you playing today?

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plasticwingsband
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What are you playing today?

Post by plasticwingsband »

I have seen this on various other forums, and thought maybe it might click here. Basically a thread for talking about whatever game you're currently playing and whatever impressions, etc. you might have about it.

I have been on something on an RPG kick lately after not having played any for quite some time. I ended up picking up the first Xenosaga a few days after Christmas, and quickly snatched up the other two shortly after. I sunk a good 120+ hours into the three games, and overall I'd have to say that the experience was overwhelmingly positive (and cheap, too; can't beat GameStop for used PS2 games right now). I throughly enjoyed all three games, even the much maligned Episode II, which I will forever contend had the best battle system of all three games.

So I started up Xenogears last weekend. I realize I'm a little late to the party, but so far it's awesome. I've really been taking my time, but I have to say that I love that (normal) battle system. It's a lot of fun to unlock new DeathBlows. I'm not to far in plot-wise, but I can already see some themes & motifs that Takahashi further developed in Xenosaga and it's pretty cool. I'm bracing myself for the second disc that everyone says is gonna break my heart, but I'm gonna savor every minute up 'til that point and hopefully the blow will be softened somewhat.

So yeah. What have you been playing lately?

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Segaholic2 »

Somewhat ironically, I've been overwhelmed with new games of interest right after I came out of a short unemployment. SASASR (fun), Heavy Rain last week (loved it), Yakuza 3 this week (going slowly), God of War 3 next week (I can put this one off).

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by CM August »

I just finished Jak 3, after it sat in a box for a few years. I just wish I'd played the previous two first.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Opa-Opa »

Batman Batman Batman Batman Batman.

Oh, and Flashback and Out of this World, for research purposes. Those are amazing, but I can beat them with my hands tied. Out of this World is one of my all time favorite games, too bad it only lasts 15-30 minutes.

My NiGHTS just arrived yesterday. I might give it a try on the emulator later.

But I haven't been playing much later, due to work and my final university project. I'm designing a game.

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Post by Senbei »

Ah, a topic dedicated to the "Now Playing" profile status, you might say.

I've been obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons for the past few months. I managed to find a great group of people to play with, but since no one, including myself, had really played before I had to assume the role of Dungeon Master. I thought it would be difficult, and it is, but it's an incredibly rewarding experience. Basically, you get to create your own RPG, with as many characters and plot twists and monsters as you want. You can design your own levels, with traps, treasures, powerful magics, a historical back-story, etc. Then, you drop your friends into the game and watch how they react to it, like rats in a maze. It's great when you see them approach a situation just as you expected them to, but it's even more awesome when they manage to subvert the system and find a solution that you never even considered!

Meanwhile, the only video games I can afford to play lately with my limited money and time have been Trine, Grandia, and RE5's mercenaries mode. Over and over.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

I've had Sin & Punishment 2 sitting on my shelf since it came out in October - I finally started it a couple of weeks ago. It's solid, I enjoy it while I'm playing, but I never feel the urge to return to it when I'm not. It's such an obvious, insipid use of the Wii controller (if I had my way, incidentally, the phrase "Wiimote" would be banned from all human lexicons) you almost wonder why anyone would even think to build a whole game around it, but there are enough interesting gimmicks from one stage to the next that it sort of carries the uninspired mechanics. One big issue is that it's difficult to follow the action with so much crap happening on the screen at any given time. It's never totally clear what you should shoot, slice, deflect, jump over, or dodge.

I've had DQ9 since it came out last summer. (Even convenience stores stocked the game!) I finally (re)started it not long ago. I'm over 10 hours in but have only just finished the first dungeon, mainly because I'm actually attempting to interpret all the dialogue, which at my level requires extensive use of a Japanese-English dictionary. I think it's probably not as good as the last one, but on the bright side, I am actually understanding most of what's going on! This has been my dream for years. Enemies are finally visible on the map. Based on your level in relation to the monsters, they'll either charge, ignore you, or run away. Which makes going back over old areas less of a hassle.

I started Mass Effect 2 yesterday. I've only done the introductory missions. Combat was a bit cumbersome in the first one, but I think they stripped it down too much. I don't really like it so far, but it's early, so we'll see how it goes. The programming is pretty rickety, which seems to be fairly typical of BioWare, but way it's way worse than in the first one. Nothing fatal, but I've already encountered dozens of minor graphical glitches like fishing swimming through sand, flickering eyelids, and a reversed, wildly careening head. Space travel has some cumbersome and completely unnecessary new mechanics - really, it worked better when all you had to do was select where you wanted to go. I was worried about the integrity of the narrative being sacrificed for the heavily marketed "darker" tone, but so far everything's pretty much like it was in the first one, which is a relief.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Blank »

Bought FFXIII at the store a while ago, mainly because the promotional event came with a nice gift card which I used to finally get me some HDMI cables.

Its pretty much been one of the worst "RPG" experiences I've ever had. Its incredibly shallow, monotonous, unfulfilling and formulaic. Before this thread I was really tempted to post a ranting text wall on its multitude of flaws, but I'm pretty sure I might've been one of the few who was actually hoping for it to be a decent game. Honestly I didn't expect it to be great, but it completely turned crap on me. I don't know how anyone can go through the first 10-20 hours of the game and really think it was a good idea.

On the other hand, good stuff with XenoGears. That game might be my favorite RPG of all time. The amount of detail put into it is truly engaging.

As for what else I've been playing, I've pretty much been nerding fighters as always. Hanging out every weekend to gamesfest whatever games we feel like. Arcana Heart 3 has become my newfound obsession, and I've realized that all my favorite fighting games contain lolis. Total PPA crisis there. Recently been investing in adding to my cabinet collection. Besides AH3, the only other fighters I've been willing to spend that much on are Cap vs. SNK2 and the new BlazBlue. Still hunting for that Virtual-On cabinet as well.

Console-wise I dabbled in Tatsu vs. Cap when it came out, and won a few tournaments so far being into it. Also went back and rediscovered Battle Fantasia, because i had to be furry and play Watson. Sad that while the community here still loves Guilty Gear, I've started to become disinterested in it. It was the first game I really wanted to get good at, but with all the new fighters I just can't see it as much more then Arksys' lovable amateur days now.

Fighters aside, I don't foresee myself getting into anymore games for a while. FFXIII pretty much scrapped a big chunk of hours i want back, and now that I'm done with school I pretty much need that time for more priority endeavors.

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Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Senbei wrote:The only video games I can afford to play lately with my limited money and time have been Grandia and RE5's mercenaries mode. Over and over.
^

I bought the two Resident Evil 5 DLC episodes, but so far I've only quickly run through Lost in Nightmares (and on a friend's PS3 at that). Then I saw that I never finished it on Professional (the hardest difficulty) and went through that. I feel like I cheated a bit and put on infinite ammo near the end, but it was still fairly challenging. Then I started to play through it again on normal to get enough gold to fully upgrade the rest of my weapons and look for the rest of the blue medallions (small emblems hidden throughout the levels). I upgraded my last two weapons, but I'm still missing 5 medallions. I started to get tired of replaying through it about half way through. In between all this I've been playing mercenaries mode, which is still addicting as ever.

I was too busy with school the past few weeks to really put time into anything. I have the week off, but I've just been spending it with people I don't see too often so far. I plan on downloading Grandia after they've all shipped off to their various parts of the mid-west tomorrow.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Tsuyoshi-kun »

Green Gibbon! wrote:if I had my way, incidentally, the phrase "Wiimote" would be banned from all human lexicons
THANK YOU. It's nice to find someone other than me who understands how retarded that term sounds.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by K2J »

I think that's why it keeps being used.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by FlashTHD »

Blank wrote:Before this thread I was really tempted to post a ranting text wall on its multitude of flaws
No need, this guy's got you covered.

Sonic Robo Blast 2 multiplayer is crack addictive. I'm doing that and randomly going through the rest of my stuff while the anticipation for Streets of Rage Remake v5 slowly kills me.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Blank »

FlashTHD wrote:
Blank wrote:Before this thread I was really tempted to post a ranting text wall on its multitude of flaws
No need, this guy's got you covered.
Heck I wouldn't even give the game as much merit as that guy did. Then again neither would I spend as much time writing something so long about it.

When does sticking a bunch of gears on mythical creatures and neon lights on oddly-shaped buildings/everything account for good art direction? The lighting is pretty much the only thing that embellishes the graphics at all, because its definitely not good design. Also the battle system is actually fairly strategic and flexible even though it crutches you with its paradigms and AI, but of course it has to be because its all you do the entire game. When you really look at it though, this game pretty much tried to innovate by getting rid of everything Square would normally have to innovate. Want a faster battle system? Now you only control one character! Want a faster story? Now all that boring RPG shit is gone.

I really can't appreciate anything about this game besides its music. Its the only thing that kept me coming back and making any scenes worth remembering. Though at the same time, hearing Hamauzu's other games in this work pretty much just made me nostalgic for FFX.

I wonder if anyone else here has played it. Maybe Zeta's opinion will pop up one of these days. Then I'd chime in my full hatred.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by FlashTHD »

Blank wrote:
FlashTHD wrote:
Blank wrote:Before this thread I was really tempted to post a ranting text wall on its multitude of flaws
No need, this guy's got you covered.
Heck I wouldn't even give the game as much merit as that guy did. Then again neither would I spend as much time writing something so long about it.
He also made a short version, maybe to get less hate mail from people with dangerously short attention spans spazzing out at the length of his articles and going AHHHHHH BURN THE WITCH and such.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

Incidentally, how does Xenosaga ultimately turn out? I played the first one, quit halfway through the second, and never touched the third. I remember reading that the original scenario writer (and also the scenario writer for Xenogears, which is still awesome) left the project after the first or second Xenosaga because she was pissed with the changes Namco made? Do I have my history straight?

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by plasticwingsband »

Green Gibbon! wrote:Incidentally, how does Xenosaga ultimately turn out? I played the first one, quit halfway through the second, and never touched the third. I remember reading that the original scenario writer (and also the scenario writer for Xenogears, which is still awesome) left the project after the first or second Xenosaga because she was pissed with the changes Namco made? Do I have my history straight?
It turns out awesome. I dunno if they had the story mostly outlined even back in the beginning, or they just developed the plot really well, but after I was done with the third I thought back on all of the moments from the previous two games, and how well they all came together in the end. It's really impressive to see an epic story carried out over several games like they did. There's only maybe one or two minor plot holes that I can even think of.

Tetsuya Takahaski and his wife Soraya Saga are both credited as the scenario writers and co-creators for Xenogears. He is listeds as the scenario writer (and Director) and she the assistant scenario writer for the first episode of Xenosaga. From what I understand, the second game (which was originally intended to be the second half of the first game) had an almost entirely different working script from what ended up in the final product. I guess Namco fired Saga or something, but either way she is credited as "assistant author" and her husband as "Original Author."

For the third game, it seems like Takahashi had a little more control over the proceedings. For that game he is credited as Author, Music Coordinator, and Supervisor of Scenario and Database. I would have thought that he directed it too, but I guess not. Soraya Saga is not credited at all in the third game.

Ah, here we go. According to wikipedia--
Saga was never an official Monolith Soft employee, and her contributions were made on a freelance basis. At some point during the production of Xenosaga Episode II, Saga was informed that her services would no longer be needed in the production of the remaining installments of the series.
So yeah, it's a little confusing. There's a new Monolith Soft RPG coming out for the Wii (tentatively named "Xenoblade," natch) and I believe Takahashi & Saga are once again collaborating on the story.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Shadow Hog »

Y'know, I've been wondering. Xenogears was made by Square. Xenosaga was made by Namco. Apparently they're related, despite the company gap there? I've never played either title (well, series, in the case of -saga), but even then, I've been wondering what the relation was. Same developer or something?

Anyway, I've been playing Oracle of Ages. I have all I need to take on Veran (and by extension Twinrova/Ganon, seeing as it's a linked game), but those two random heart pieces from Seasons are also in Ages, and it really friggin' pisses me off. I really like having important rewards like heart pieces to be given as credit for pulling off a difficult task, and not as an extremely rare outcome from what amounts to a game of chance.

To relieve the little bit of stress that brings about, I went even earlier into the series and revisited Link's Awakening DX for like the sixth time or something. Goddammit, do I love this game. I'm really not sure what aspect of it it is that makes it stand out to me - nostalgia, maybe, given it was my first Zelda ever - but the only other entry in the series that's captivated me about as much is Ocarina of Time, and even then I might have to say LA edges it out by a smidgen. That being said, having played both Oracles so much over the past three months, and from experience with Link's Awakening in general, the game is pretty damn easy. Not like I'm complaining, it gets harder later on anyway - Turtle Rock is still a pain, even after having played it so many times.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Opa-Opa »

Tetsuya Takahashi directed both. Lots of other people were involved in both as well. Apparently a bunch of people left Square to create Monolith Soft. I believe it's more of a spiritual prequel than anything else.

Have to play it one day.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by plasticwingsband »

Shadow Hog wrote:To relieve the little bit of stress that brings about, I went even earlier into the series and revisited Link's Awakening DX for like the sixth time or something. Goddammit, do I love this game. I'm really not sure what aspect of it it is that makes it stand out to me - nostalgia, maybe, given it was my first Zelda ever - but the only other entry in the series that's captivated me about as much is Ocarina of Time, and even then I might have to say LA edges it out by a smidgen. That being said, having played both Oracles so much over the past three months, and from experience with Link's Awakening in general, the game is pretty damn easy. Not like I'm complaining, it gets harder later on anyway - Turtle Rock is still a pain, even after having played it so many times.
It was my first, too, but Link's Awakening is far and away my favorite Zelda, and a strong contender for my favorite Nintendo title, period.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Brazillian Cara »

I recently finished Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin; the animesque (of the generic kind) art for the characters irks me a bit, and it has its fair share of good and bad glitches. But it was still the first time in a while I got kind of addicted to a game - it helps that it was the first Castlevania I ever played (one stage and a half of Bloodlines notwithstanding).

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Post by plasticwingsband »

Man, I love Bloodlines! Great game, that. The visuals are kinda lacking for a Konami title but the gameplay is solid and the level design is great. I think it's cool that you travel all over Europe instead of just room to room in a massive Castle for once. Tunes are also great, too. Definitely one of my recommended Genesis games.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

So, I've been playing a shitload of Bonk lately. It's kind of slow, but it's fun and full of stupid humor. Kind of anti-Sonic, I guess. Brink of Extinction looks butt, though.

Too bad Red couldn't recapture the same playability with the Tempo. But I'd still love to play the Saturn one someday; it has some mighty fine character animation.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by G.Silver »

What version(s) of Bonk are you playing? I eventually bought a TG16 to play it (this was before Virtual Console, obviously).

The speed of Bonk more than anything turned me off (besides waiting nearly 10 years after its release to finally play it), the way he loses all momentum when he lands from a jump was really bad. "Anti-Sonic" isn't even the half of it, when Mario is really the "standard" and it's faster and smoother than Bonk is. The first game also seemed to be really repetitive in the level design. I picked up the GameCube remake, which has some 3D graphics but generally preserves the look of it (nothing like Brink of Extinction) and it plays much faster, you don't stop after a jump, and I think they stripped out a lot of the repetitive chunks. I remember Bonk's Revenge was the more interesting game, in terms of levels and enemies and things, but it was still not something I ever wanted to go back to. I played a bit of the Super Nintendo Bonk but that's about the extent of my experience.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Of Bonk's Adventure? The NES one. It's trimmed of a lot of content from what I hear, which probably alleviates some of the repetition. I was thinking of playing the Amiga version (which is distributed legally by Factor 5, but Amiga Emulators apparently require other ROMs to function that I don't feel like hunting down), but I guess I wasn't missing out.

Mostly I've been playing Super Genjin 2 (which never saw an English release). It has more variety than Super Bonk, along with better power-ups. It has a bullshit penultimate boss though.

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Post by j-man »

Jumping on the 'lack of money' bandwagon (as long as I don't have to buy a ticket), I'm spending my free time ploughing through my collection as it stands.

- Oblivion: Took me an age to get into this, mostly because I listened to my mate's retarded advice to start out as a custom class on a first run. Packed that in and chose all the knight/warrior stuff and now I'm actually enjoying the thing. When faced with a 'sandbox' title, where you can do almost anything, I have a tendency to fold like a card table and do absolutely nothing. Having too many options terrifies me. Oblivion is slowly bringing me round, though. Exploring the world is a remarkable experience; the sheer variety and freedom of questing is incredible; raiding dungeons is atmospheric as all hell, if a little samey; but best of all, if I've had a particularly annoying day (or just feel like being an arsehole, which is usually the case) I can bludgeon the nearest NPC to death, wear his clothes and run around kicking lettuces off tables. Let this one go cold for a bit, but I might pick it up again today.

- Castlevania Rebirth: Okay, so this is a new one. Never got into the series as a kid, mostly because finding a Nintendo console in the 90's in South East England was like finding the lost fucking city of Atlantis. That, and my brother had a Mega Drive and I had no money, so. Having only really tried the first game on the VC, I was still pretty excited for Rebirth. It's a ton better than the new Contra, and basically everything I like about 16-bit platformers; gameplay is smooth and intuitive, music's funky fresh, art style is brilliant. I went nuts at the clocktower bit with all the robots. The bosses take the piss a bit, but I'm starting to get into the whole 'Nintendo Hard' thing. Speaking of which...

- Mega Man 9: You've all heard me whine about this game countless times. I think I even made a thread about it. Anyway, I grew some testicles this week and I've been dragging myself through the thing, peppering the air with navy-talk as I go (I invented a few new swear words, or combinations thereof). I'm still knocking at the door of Wily's Castle, but shit, I might has well have completed the fucking game after getting through Tornado Man's stage. I probably won't feel that elated again until my wedding day, and even then it'll be touch and go.

- Sonic Advance/ChuChu Rocket: Brilliant. Only cost me a fiver, and it beats the crap out of staring at the scenery when you're on a five-hour train journey.

Other than those, there's the occasional, ubiquitous trip through one of the Mega Drive Sonic titles. For example, when writing my dissertation last week I took a 'break' only to pick up the controller and complete Sonic the Hedgehog with all the Emeralds. (I think I got a greater sense of achievement from that than I did from handing in the paperwork, man, but I guess that says something about me). There's some other games on the pile that I can't quite face yet; Bumpy Trot being one (control scheme argh bitch whine etc), FFXII being another (is it me, or does the whole fucking game take place in one big desert?), and DQVIII (walking to Baccarat is BULLSHIT). Tell you this, though; Cursed Mountain is a shitload of fun when you're high.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Green Gibbon! »

Ah, my fish died! :( Is that supposed to happen or did I do something wrong?

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