What are you playing today?

Speak your mind, or lack thereof. There may occasionally be on-topic discussions.
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Crowbar
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Crowbar »

I'm playing Half-Life 2 now. It's really good! Apart from the awesome set pieces and the way it develops its narrative, I love how tactile the world feels (being able to pick stuff up and move it around in an intuitive way, the way Gordon's crowbar-swing changes to a blunt thrust if he's actually hitting something). The first time a nearby exposion actually caused temporary deafness in the player character was a real treat, too.

These might all be things that have become standard fare for first-person shooters in the 7 years since its release, but I'm having fun!

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MiraiTails
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by MiraiTails »

Best Buy has a thing going on where if you pre-order 5 games from a set list you get $100 in gift certificates. Here are some thoughts on the 5 I got:

Arkham City:
One review I read said this is the kind of sequel that makes the original obsolete, and I agree. The ending was kind of abrupt but at least they didn't fall into the "gamey" final boss trap that reviewers complained about in the first game.

Battlefield 3:
Utterly forgettable seasonal shooter that I didn't bother to finish. One gamer complained about getting hit by enemies you couldn't see. I had the same problem.
I played on Xbox, and didn't do multiplayer, so perhaps I missed the games best qualities. (graphics and mp)

Uncharted 3:
Disappointing!
I had to put the game on the second hardest difficulty to have any real challenge. Before that, I could often run up to guys during a firefight and just punch them into submission. I almost got the impression they dumbed down the difficulty to make it appeal to a larger audience.
I had the most fun playing the ship graveyard, boat, and ocean liner levels.

I can't quite put my finger on why, but the cliffhanging elements just didn't seem to have the same punch as UC2. Perhaps it had something to do with Nate not acting that surprised he survived? Like even he was going through the numbers motions.

I should also note that I finished it in a few marathon sessions over the course of a couple of days. Maybe I wouldn't have been as disappointed if I gave it more time.

Edit: The little bugs also took away from the experience as well. For example, when hands would clip through things while Nate was hanging, or when Nate would constantly interact with walls he wasn't actually touching. I think things like this are more forgivable in a game like Skyrim (see below) because it gives the player so many more hours of gameplay.

Skyrim:
I'm liking this game a lot, even though I'm not normally big on RPG's. I like the real time combat and very non-linear nature of the game. The bugs are there, but isn't that somewhat expected of a game with such grand scope?
(I once was able to kill a fox with my bow because he began running straight up into the air instead of across the ground.)

Skyward Sword:
I ordered the limited edition, but I haven't picked it up yet. There's a good chance I won't open it. Zelda hasn't really interested me since OoT. Some reviewers seem to be saying that it takes the series in new directions, and that it's one of, if not the best, in the series, but I'm not sure how much of that is just hype.

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Crisis
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Crisis »

The Binding of Isaac is a lot of fun. It's a kind of learning process. The entire game can be finished in under an hour, but it's very easy to die and has to be played through multiple times. Unlocking the full game means beating it 10 times (the first ending doesn't count, so closer to 11) and it gets progressively harder the more successful you are. It's made by part of the team who were behind Super Meat Boy so expect crude visual gags, unforgiving difficulty, and surprisingly awesome music.

Skyrim is OK. The last game I played like this was Dragon Age: Origins so it's hard not to make comparisons. Skyrim does have a fairly deep combat system. Unfortunately, not only is it incredibly easy to break, the game just generally hasn't been very challenging even without exploits. Dragon Age had a shallower combat system, but at least enemies put up a fight. And Dragon Age gave me a party of relatable characters. And I never thought I would be praising Dragon Age for its user interface, but dear god Skyrim has possibly the worst one I've ever seen in PC software. Why yes, Bethesda, I would love to break the flow of combat by sitting through half a minute of navigating clumsy menus so I can change weapons.

I'd say the game feels painfully unfinished. If I hadn't bought it off Steam, I'd have probably returned it. It'll be worth a purchase later, when it's cheap and the bugs have been patched and there are mods for a workable user interface.

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Post by Senbei »

One day I'm going to wake up and realize that all I've done with my life is play Mercenaries in RE5. Until then, gotta keep trying to get that fucking SS rank with BSAA Jill in Prison! Argh!

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Neo
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

So Skyward Sword is actually pretty fucking ace after that boring first act. Just cleared the second dungeon and holy shit that boss was the best boss I've ever played and you should buy the game and play it. Erm. If you don't like Zelda, don't bother buying the game -- it's still Zelda. But hot damn if it's the best Zelda I've had in a while.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Crazy Penguin »

I've just reached the sixth dungeon had not had to light a single torch or go fishing. You start to see some nice deviations from the traditional Zelda formula after the third dungeon. I won't spoil what! So far the fifth dungeon has been the most memorable, for much the same reason Snowpeak Ruins was in Twilight Princess.

Being able to switch through your inventory of items and drink potions without pausing the game is a godsend. The motion controls make for a significantly improved combat system where defeating even lowly Bokoblins requires actual effort. Figuring out how to best kill the Skulltulas was hugely satisfying, and required throwing the Ocarina of Time sensibilities straight out the window. This is also the first Zelda since the original where I've consistently been using alternate items, bombs and the like, to defeat common enemies even when not necessary. Most can still be killed with the sword, but it's often more advantageous to pursue an alternate method. And the Beetle! Possibly the most versatile item in the series!

The overworld is the antithesis of Twilight Princess'. There's no Hyrule Field equivalent. No barren fields and deserts with occasional enemies. The landscape is dense. As with the 2D games, there's always something of interest at each turn, always some obstacle or enemy to overcome. Unfortunately it's still fragmented into different areas, rather than the fully explorable and cohesive world map that the original Zelda offered and The Wind Waker sincerely attempted to.
Just cleared the second dungeon and holy shit that boss was the best boss I've ever played and you should buy the game and play it.
Let me know what you think of the fourth dungeon's boss when you get to it!
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If you step on them they die! =O

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Neo
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

And immediately after clearing the second dungeon comes that horrible desert area. Sigh. No, thank you, I don't want to slowly run over quicksand 30 thousand times and then deal with INVISIBLE FLOORS KEEP CHECKING YOUR MAP HURR. I hope there isn't any fucking sand inside the dungeon. (There is, isn't there.)

CP: Will do! At the rate I play the game that probably won't be until the end of the week, though.

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Neo
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

Just barely!
Crazy Penguin wrote:Let me know what you think of the fourth dungeon's boss when you get to it!
Well, I beat it. It's a good boss, though a tad on the easy side. (The Stalmaster miniboss took a lot more hearts off my bar.) It's neat that you get to attack him with his own weapon, but it was too easy to get and once you did the boss was basically defenseless. (Surprisingly enough, the Sheikah Stone video does not show the obvious strategy I used, using the knife to hack away the boss' legs and leave him wide open.)

I think I really liked the second boss the most because of the adrenaline rush it gives you. The second dungeon really explores the new dash mechanic more than anything, since bombs can only go so far, and it culminates in this awesome sequence where this humongous guy is chasing you and you have to overcome him even though you're so puny in comparison. It really got my blood pumping!

Well into the second act now, it's scary how the game keeps giving you item after item. I only have one slot left open in the items wheel and I've only cleared four dungeons. I can only assume that you're basically going to have everything by the time you clear the sixth dungeon, and then either there's going to be some sort of twist where you lose your items and have to get them anew or the last few dungeons are just going to be these mad contraptions that make use everything in your arsenal. Personally, I hope it's both!

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Esrever »

I am also playing Skyward Sword! Just made it to the fourth dungeon, a feat I've achieved in few Zelda titles without getting bored and quitting. It still has a lot of the frequent Zelda offenders -- the slow start, the "charming" overly-long overwritten JRPG dialogue, the occasionally tedious fetch quest -- but the rest of the game has hooked me enough to stick with it. Like Crazy Penguin, I like the denser, more 2D-Zelda-esque overworld. It was always during overworld segments that I used to fall off the wagon.

I also quite like the motion mechanics for the sword, because they do something that really couldn't work with regular controls. Most of the other motion-controlled elements, on the other hand, could absolutely just as easily have been done with regular controls. It's fine for me, because I like them, and I'm pretty good with motion controls. (Certainly better than I am with, say, dual joystick FPS controls.). But when you are forcing people to do things with motion that could be (and have been) controlled just as effectively with the joystick (like aiming weapons, swimming, or steering your bird), people who prefer the old way are rightly going to get annoyed.

My wife -- who was a huge Zelda fan for everything up-to-and-including Majora's mask, but has slowly been falling off the wagon ever since -- hated the motion controls so much that she quit playing the game before even reaching the first dungeon. There were a lot of cries of "Why can't I just use the fucking joystick?!" during the early bird and skydiving challenges. And it's a good question. Why not? Outside of the combat, they don't add anything... no extra control or finesse or axis of data. It's just mapping the fuction of the joystick to the gyros or the pointer. There is no reason to force people to do it with motion. Like the stylus controls, I think it's going to turn a lot of people off.

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Neo
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

Indeed, I could live without the motion control during flying and swimming, but when you think about the game in general it kind of makes sense in context. What is incredibly confusing is that swimming uses both the control stick and the gyroscope for movement, but not both at the same time! I'm sure you know what I mean.

All the other items feel great with motion control, though. I know deep inside that swinging the whip could just as easily be mapped to a button, but it just feels so awesome to actually do the motion that I'm not complaining. Aiming the slingshot, etc by pointing at the screen is also pretty essential, so I'm not sure what you or your wife are on about. Being able to immediately point at where I want to shoot rather than having to scroll horizontally and vertically until I'm aligned with my target makes the game flow a whole lot better, and is definitely less jarring than temporarily changing the control scheme just to shoot down a stupid spider.

One thing that bugs me is how you can't use your sword while walking like in Twilight Princess. It's ironic, seeing as you can now use everything else while walking, including the musical item du jour.

The other thing that bugs me is the musical item du jour. I liked actually being able to play songs! It's ironic that with the most advanced controls ever in a Zelda title comes a musical instrument that is as deep as Wii fucking Music.

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Esrever
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Esrever »

I miss the running sword slash, too! It made it so much quicker to chop up grass patches.

I also really like the aiming for things like the slingshot. The pointer is my favourite part of the Wii package, and I generally loves games centered around them. (When they are good, anyway.) I also have pretty poor coordination with joysticks, so given the choice, it's always my preferred method of aiming.

BUT... I know some people who just flippin hate that pointer. And after years of training at aiming quickly with a joystick, they want to keep doing that. I get that, for the same reason I get why some people prefer mouses over controllers or vice versa... people like what they are used to, and good at, and it's annoying when you have to rely on a different form of coordination. (That you may not have.)

Also, I do kind of miss the quickness of the old z-target-and-fire-without-actually-having-to-aim sometimes.

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Neo
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

Esrever wrote:Also, I do kind of miss the quickness of the old z-target-and-fire-without-actually-having-to-aim sometimes.
You can still do that, you just have to be in range. It comes into play much more frequently with the items you get from the fourth dungeon forward.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by FlashTHD »

In the midst of playing Fire Emblem games at random, on account of being stupidly addicted to this series now, i've made it up to chapter 5 of Thracia 776, which all accounts I read claim is the most ruthlessly difficult game in the series just to beat. I suppose I must be pretty good at these things now. (Yet, I gave up on Roy's game due it being horrendously unpolished, frustrating, and not fun)

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Ritz »

Nitronic Rush is unquestionably the best game about driving ever made. I haven't had this much fun with a game in ages. This came out of DigiPen?

Look. Look how good this game is.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by j-man »

So I finally got around to playing Fallout 3! It's bloody good. I played the hell out of Oblivion so I'm lapping this up. My style of play in Oblivion (steal everything, hoard everything, kill anyone who looks at me funny) really works in the context of a post-apocalyptic scenario; you would just be rummaging around in bins, taking food from wherever you can get it, and living the anarchistic dream like an utter madman in a corrugated iron hut. The encounters and dungeons and stuff feel much better designed than Oblivion's cut-at-paste forts and caves, with a real sense of strategy with the bigger fights. Really though, I just love roaming the Wastes, feeling the atmos and taking my time with it all. Leveling up wayyyy to fast, though! I hit max level after about 40 hours, and I've uncovered maybe 1/4 of the map. There's obviously still a shitload of gameplay left, but I like that illusion of linear progress to keep me on the straight and narrow. I've got the addon packs but I didn't want to install them 'til I got bored of the 'main' game; I don't really like running around the vanilla quests with ridiculous endgame weaponry, it feels too much like cheating.

Anyway, tl;dr: Fallout 3 is lots of fun.

Still got a few games on the pile that I got for cheap. Dead Space and Mass Effect are still begging to be played. Apparently I put over 30 hours into Monster Hunter Tri, but I don't remember much of it. I wanted to tri (lol) the online play, but I haven't killed the Lagiacrus yet and I was worried everyone would call me a noob. Oh yeah! And I got Sonic Generations. I'm sure you guys are sick of hearing about that, though.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Delphine »

RE: Fallout 3, one of the add-ons raises the level cap. But you'll reach the new cap pretty quickly, so up to you if you want to save it for later.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by j-man »

I probably will leave it for a while, as long as there's enough stuff to do in the addons to get me up 10 levels! I guess I could just roam about killing radscorpions if I fall short.

Also I noticed
j-man wrote:Oblivion's cut-at-paste forts and caves
I have dishonoured my family.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Crazy Penguin »

So I wasn't just misremembering being able to run and use your sword at the same time in Twilight Princess! I don't know why they reverted to the old method for Skyward Sword. It's the only step backwards in terms of controlling Link.

Anyway, watch out for a progress halting glitch in the latter part of the game: http://wii.nintendolife.com/news/2011/1 ... ing_glitch

Also, it's a good idea to copy your save file before the end boss as well.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by gr4yJ4Y »

Esrever wrote:that pointer.
Skyward Sword doesn't seem to use the sensor bar from what I saw in a couple minutes of playing. Instead it uses the Motion Plus to guess at where you're aiming. On the one hand it makes it so you can have something blocking the path between the sensor bar and the controller, but on the other you have less control than before. (It might've just been the menu screens, but I could completely cover up the sensor bar and pointing still worked.)

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

gr4yJ4Y wrote:(It might've just been the menu screens, but I could completely cover up the sensor bar and pointing still worked.)
It does. The game only uses the pointer to set the centerpoint in the MotionPlus calibration (when it tells you to point at the center of the screen). This is why you can press down to center the cursor on the screen: whichever orientation the Wii Remote is in when you enter pointing mode (or when you press down) is set as the new centerpoint. The one you set at boot-up seems to be persistently used for the sword/bug net angle, though.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

Okay, I have to ask: who here fell for the non-standard Game Over in level 6? It's probably good that I did, otherwise I'd never actually see the damn thing.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Crazy Penguin »

I must have missed it. Details?

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Neo
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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Neo »

Crazy Penguin wrote:I must have missed it. Details?
In the part where you need to burrow into a hole, break a rock and then race back out before lava floods the room, if you're too slow, the sheet of magma swallows Link whole and it's an instant Game Over, regardless of how many hearts/fairies you have.

It wasn't particularly dramatic, but damn if it wasn't out of left field.

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by P.P.A. »

 Since a German friend (Oerg866, if anyone knows him from Retro) built me a kickass new computer a few weeks ago, I dug up an Europa Universalis III: Divine Wind campaign I had started long ago but then abandoned since my laptop runs the game at a pace of several seconds per day even on the highest speed setting, and since I would need to wait 50 more years until I would gain cores on some regions I had conquered from my neighbours via complicated schemes of dragging them into impossible wars so as to give me a casus belli on them when they declined my call to arms and was being A Formal Request‐bombed for by the Holy Roman Emperor, the prospect just seemed too boring back then.
 Now that I can run the game at full speed however, decades seem to pass in the blink of an eye, and I finally resumed my old campaign, whose save I had copied over. This was roughly the extent of my realm at that point:
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... EE6229066/ (I originally started out as a 2‐province‐minor with just Köln and Westfalen)
 A few centuries of expanding deep into France, colonising North America, swallowing neighbouring German minors, conquering parts of South‐East Asia, and trying to stay out of major conflicts by ensuring that there were enough small buffer states between me and any other power, and by only expanding in the HRE if the Emperor elected came from a weaker country (i.e. Savoy and not Bohemia), it now looks like this:
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... 3EED9E140/
(Plus overseas possessions:
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... F751B541C/
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... 537ADF3EF/
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... F46645696/
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... 22284B65E/)

 Most recently, I manned up and finally confronted Bohemia, the only country in Europe I considered to be a serious threat to me. Having seized a bit of land in the Caucasus to be able to attack from both size, for the Czech lands extended, frighteningly, all the way from the Baltic Sea to the edge of Anatolia, I declared war on one of its vassals, and thus launched the offensive. However, though mighty in size, I won most battles with ease, and my armies soon had overrun almost the entire realm, and those of Bohemia's allies—I did not bother to summon mine.
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... BC50F7F77/
 In the peace treaty, I demanded a handful of provinces for myself, I shattered its empire into bits, demanding the release of several nations, robbing it of a good third of its territory and cutting the rest into two. I now proudly consider myself the sole hegemon of Europe; the only other larger (but militarily vastly inferior) country that could pose some threat is Castille, but they are allied with me so I have nothing to fear from them. Especially not if they already demand my aid if they are merely waging war against the single‐province leftover of the Cherokee nation in their colonies.
http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/59695 ... 6F0EADF7D/
 I now plan to spend the rest of my campaign rounding the edges of my empire and cleaning up a few of the smaller states on my borders, most of which I had left alone in order to have a buffer against Bohemia, which is now no longer necessary, although, just to be sure, I will start another war against them once the armistice has expired so as to completely scatter its remains.
 I won't form the German nation though, as I did in my previous session. (Not that I could, since it's already 1791 and there's not enough time left any more to gain cores on the few regions not in my possession already.) When I did this the last time, my care for my empire diminished. Playing as my anachronistic homeland the Electorate & Archbishopric of Cologne is something probably only I always do, and I am emotionally invested in my little realm. Germany, however, can be formed by any German nation in the game; it is, if you will, generic, it's no longer something I can relate to, it no longer felt like it was my very own empire. Furthermore, most of the regions you need to own as a requirement for forming Germany lie in Central Germany (or, after WW2, Eastern Germany). Still thinking that the reunification 1990 was a mistake, I am somewhat offended by this. For me, the heart of Germany is in the West, on the banks of the Rhine. But if this motherland of mine is, by the game's definition, irrelevant to Germany, what point is there in submitting my Rhenish empire to such a Berlin‐centric, east‐leaning construct? (Yeah, I understand that this is probably the way it is to give Brandenburg an advantage when it comes to forming Germany, but I still consider it a bit insulting.)

 For a detailed visual history on the growth of my Cologne, see the screenshot gallery here: http://steamcommunity.com/id/ppachao/sc ... =app_25800

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Re: What are you playing today?

Post by Delphine »

So, Infamous 2. Well. The graphics are better than the first one.

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