Sliders 'n Socks

Back from the dead. Welcome home, my friend.

You are not logged in.

#126 2021-01-13 19:55:18

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 162
Website

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

Ohhhhh baby, fresh meat for the Danganronpa train.  I AM READY FOR YOUR REACTIONS ;D


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

#127 2021-02-18 15:33:33

Ghosty
Spookmaker
From: Ghost Town
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 45

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

This post's going to be a big one.

So my compy broke down a while ago and I haven't been able to play many games - but shortly before it crapped out I'd gotten myself Petal Crash, a puzzle game. It's in the vein of games like Puyo Puyo, Puzzle League, etc. It's got this distinct GameBoy Color on Super Gameboy-vibe to it. The look and sound and general vibe of this game is just great! The actual gameplay is quite good too, though it's no Puzzle League. It's got a Story mode where you play against increasingly tougher AI opponents, a solo Puzzle Mode with limited moves, an Endless Mode (think Tetris) and a two-player VS Mode. And naturally there are some hidden characters, though you can't use them in Story Mode. It's just a really cute and good puzzler!

--

While my desktop compy was dead I gave Trails of Cold Steel a go. I was forewarned of some awful manga-type stuff shoved into the intro chapter, but I was feeling confident that it was still going to be a good game - I mean... This is Falcom! So while the game had a lot of anime tropes tacked on, it was still plain to see that there's still some solid Falcom writing in there, and the battle system feel much improved from the Trails in the Sky series. So I puttered through the game rather happily. Rean, the new protagonist, I liked a bunch, the new country and the limited though large central cast promised good times ahead.

Then something happened. Not immediately, not some singular event, but rather all the tacking on of bad tropes and shoehorning of Rean into this particular role of player surrogate and specific lines here and there that felt... Heavy-handedly directed in the script that I felt didn't really 100% feel... Entirely natural. It just started to add up. Sometime it the last two-three chapters I just... Stopped buying what it was trying to sell. I stopped caring. I still finished the game but with an empty feeling. I didn't want to dislike this game, but I ultimately arrived at the writing just being ruined for me. I just don't appreciate how far changed the tone away from what it was in Sky, the increasingly anime direction it was no doubt being forced to take. It makes me sad, but I don't think I'll be playing the other Cold Steel games. I still like the Sky games a whole lot though, even if I didn't jive with their combat system.

--

After finally piecing together my new computer and after much trouble finding Windows 10 affordably, I jumped straight into the game I'd been looking forward to - Shadowverse, a TCG by Japanese Cygames!

A little over ten years ago I played another online TCG that I ultimately quit playing after getting through most of the singleplayer content, as at that point you were practically forced to buy cards (with cash $$$) to meaningfully participate in the multiplayer game, as most prebuilt cardpacks were complete garbage and uneditable. Going into this game I was only expecting about the same, but I've had a real craving for a TCG for a some time now. I'd be content if I just burned through the singleplayer and just dropped it, so that was the plan.

But holy carp this game blew me away completely! The singleplayer content alone is way beyond anything I could've imagined with the intricate story and voice acting and generous rewards for the tutorial and first chapter to get your decks going. (The plot is stupid but the characters are done well.) Unlike the game I played way back then, I can just play this and get more than enough cards to make my own decks and dare to take on the multiplayer game all without paying anything! Which makes me think that I might actually put down some cash on this game soon enough, because it deserves it.

Some terminology:
Leader = Your hero card. Keep this alive.
Follower = Your creature cards. Are played onto the play field.
Amulet = Are played onto the play field, cannot attack and have no health but has effects, usually periodic.
Spell = Spell cards are played and discarded immediately upon use.
Class = Cards are of 8 different classes (9 with neutral cards). You can compare them to Magic's colours or to factions. Your deck can only have one class of cards plus neutral cards.
Ward = Follower cards with this ability must be destroyed before any other Follower or Leader cards can be attacked.

In a nutshell, you have your Leader with 20 health (called Defence) which has no abilities and cannot attack. The objective is to kill the enemy leader. (This is a 2-player game.) You mainly rely on creature cards to attack and defend, these are played onto the playfield, one row per player with 5 'slots' each. If you have them all filled with creatures, your Leader can't be attacked (at least I think this is how it works), but most of the time, this isn't doable and Followers quickly die, so Followers with the Ward ability are important to keep you off the flames. You start with 1 play point on your first turn, increasing by one for every turn, limiting you to low-cost cards at the beginning of the game, eventually capping at 10 play points.

The big gimmick of this game are Evolutions - they let you upgrade a card mid-combat giving +2 Attack and +2 Defense (usually) and sometimes gives the Follower extra abilities. The player who goes first gets 2 evolution points to spend and the player who goes second gets 3 and can first evolve one round earlier than the first player. Evolutions only last for the duration of the battle.

Basically, it's a lot like Hearthstone and that other game! (I forget the name.)

The art style is a lot more anime-esque than western TCGs, and I think I prefer it. The music is great and everything feels polished in the extreme.

The only thing lacking so far is more of a better guide as to where everything is in the menus, and that they are, because it can be a little overwhelming. (There are info dialogs that pop up the first time you enter a submenu, but then you don't see them again.)

One gotcha is the the various tickets you get you should go to More > Tickets and then usually there's a 'spend' button or something similar next to them - and make sure you spend them all. Another thing to look at is the Crate button under Home to claim promo items and the like. Also Home > Missions to look at daily missions you can complete for rewards. There are also some rewards from the singleplayer content (Solo > Main Story).

I love it so far! So if you like TCGs, check it out! (It's on Steam) yikes

Last edited by Ghosty (2021-02-19 08:02:33)


The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
The hole is greater than it was a minute ago.
Wait, it's growing! Oh no! Run!!

Offline

#128 2021-02-19 12:52:46

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 162
Website

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

I think Falcom definitely made a conscious decision to make Cold Steel a wider appealing game, so you get those nods like Rean being more of a player surrogate (though he is his own person quite a bit more than a lot of those tend to be.)  and the anime influence being a lot more potent.  It's either gonna work or it's not for some, and for folks like me there are just things about Cold Steel that get under  my skin the more the series goes on, but never made me dislike it.  (I really hate how ALL of Rean's relationships with EVERY WOMAN IN EREBONIA has to have a hint of romance to make the player feel good, for instance.)  It exploded Falcom into the mainstream, and I feel if any company deserves that kind of push, it's them, but I really hope future games pull back on Cold Steel's compromises for mainstream success at least a bit.

I've been fidoodling around with a couple hacking simulator games, myself. 

Uplink, which was released all the way back in 2001'ish for PC, is kind of a hacking sim/roguelike hybrid since you can fuck up big hacking jobs bad enough that you get disavowed by the Uplink group.  You take on various missions, make money, build your rig, buy app upgrades, and it all starts coming together narratively as you go.  The original game's interface is quite a bit dated and I imagine playing it these days, especially for younger folks, might be rough, so thankfully there's a full HD modernization mod that makes the game way more playable in 2021, and I had a blast with it.

I also did a 20 minute'ish video on the original+the OS mod if you're interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VNX2OHySzI

Also played through Hacknet, which is a more story/narrative driven affair than Uplink.  You're not finishing missions to earn mony to build a hot new rig, and to my knowledge there's no permanent Game Over state (though there IS a Game Over state that you can hack your way out of if you can figure it out in about 60 seconds.)  This one's more about creating a certain atmosphere  with its story and your interactions with other hackers as well as the logs you find on other systems and the like. The mission structures in this game are a bit more involved and puzzle boxy, where mission types in Uplink are pretty cut and dry once you know them.  You'll be snooping through filesystems, deciphering file headers, and investigating large .txt files for precious information to get to the bottom of the game's underlying mystery. 

You'll also be expected to learn some very basic UNIX-based terminal commands and how to use them and be able to do that under some amount of time pressure (though the timers are generally pretty generous.)  Not everything can be handled via the game's UI, so you'll need to have some commands memorized to be able to crack every system.  I committed myself entirely to using the terminal the entire time and it was a lot of fun!

This one was a blast, and the climax, which was set to Carpenter Brut's "Roller Mobster" is a fucking sight and moment to behold.  I've never felt so stressed out, heart racing, trying not to fumble my commands over just typing shit into a computer terminal, but this game nailed it, with a narrative ending that was ultimately very satisfying.

Two great hacker games I would recommend for different reasons!


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

#129 2021-02-22 22:22:35

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 87

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

Finished up “Dangonronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc” last night. Obscenely entertaining. Even bought a stuffed Monokuma for my office at work.   You can say the game stuck with me more than I thought it would.  It’s also so happens I was seeking something to read with a manga aesthetic, wanting to watch some anime that was new to me, and play a video game – and Dangonronpa scratches all three itches adequately.

The murder mystery ‘class trials’ of course are fun, but the characters were the real stars.  A special shoutout to Toko (can’t really elaborate due to spoilers), to Byakuya for being the ultimate jerk you love to hate, and to the vocal performance of the Mastermind, which is just a wild spectacle to behold.  However, Monokuma steals the show.  What an insanely delightful villain, one of the best I’ve encountered in a while, and I’m glad the game just indulges in the character.

Another thing that worked for me was the soundtrack.  It doesn’t have very many tracks (for budget reasons I’m sure) but the music we do get felt perfectly utilized for each moment, giving each reoccurring theme of music an episodic TV show feel.  There were some also some genuinely nice ambient tracks too.

I do have a couple criticisms, but no biggies.  First off, the various ‘gamey’ parts of the class trials themselves were fun, but at the beginning I wish they allowed just a little more practice with each of them instead just throwing me in.  I don’t get to play video games every day, so as they kept adding additional mechanics, I found myself not fully feeling like I mastered the previous ones, and at times a little ‘Uh, what do I do here?’ And what I am really referencing is the absorb bullet mechanic –which had me stuck a few times because I had forgotten about it.  Secondly, while I am content with the ending, I do have a lingering feeling that maybe they cut some corners on some of the ending plots finer details.  Of course, there are two more games to play, so I am hoping further light is shed upon certain events as I continue to play through the series.

Which I will get to Dangonronpa 2 soon enough, however, in light of the recent Resident Evil VIII trailer, presentation, and demo – which looks soooo goooood and sooooo my thing – I realized I need to play Resident Evil VII. Sooooo, that will be my next big video game endeavor.

Offline

#130 2021-02-23 08:06:47

Polly
Moon Pie Advocate
From: Pollyland
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 162
Website

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

You're entirely spot on about the minigame portions of Danganronpa.  They throw you in with kinda bad explanations and it's something that only gets worse with the series going forward (the minigames also just dive in quality game-to-game xD)  Thankfully they're not the bulk of any class trial, but lord almighty do I instinctively wretch every time "(IMPROVED) Hangman's Gambit" pops up....  The story and characters are the stars here and they go delightfully buck wild with them, so I think you're gonna like where things go from here .

And same on RE7.  I REALLY need to get on that, but the right mood has just never quite grabbed me.


You got a 25% at best at beat me.

Offline

#131 2021-03-24 08:45:23

Psychic_Heist
Member
Registered: 2019-09-19
Posts: 87

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

Finished “Resident Evil VII” about two weeks ago ...

I never played “Resident Evil 6”, or 5 for that matter, but apparently those games took the ‘Survival Horror-Action’ of “Resident Evil 4” and switched them around to ‘Action-Horror’ with the scope of “Resident Evil 6” pushing those boundaries to a level of such ridiculousness that it crumbled from all the weight and turned out a mess that fell flat across the board.  That is what I hear, but I don’t know (I do hope to eventually check those out for series completion sake). And so after a game that fumbled the identity of the series, it was the goal of “Resident Evil VII” to reboot the series into something that would be more in touch with it’s survival horror roots while also downsizing the games scope to focus on a more immediate atmosphere to scare the hell out of you.  For the most part, I feel like they succeeded.       

I was a bit worried in the first couple of hours or so of playing “Resident Evil VII” that I wasn’t going to like it.  I attribute a lot of those feelings to the controls themselves.  I can’t recall the last time I played a proper first person game on a console (and no, I don’t think Danganronpa really counts) so playing one on a controller and not a mouse/keyboard took a little time (and adjustments in options) before I could feel comfortable with it.  The other thing that worried me was that the game -- in a bid to be more grounded, gritty, and gruesome -- would take itself a little too seriously.  Thankfully I breathed sighs of relief when an early boss fight ends with the boss jumping on the roof of a car in a dramatic fashion, as well as when solving an early very much a Resident Evil puzzle and the main character exclaimed “Who designed this place?” I shouldn’t have feared, a good dose of self-awareness and b-movie schlock are speckled throughout the journey.

I’d guess it was about 25% through the game that I felt myself having a genuinely good and spoopy (to borrow a term learned from Ghosty) time, and that momentum just builds and builds until about 70% of the playtime, which I will elaborate more on later. Right now I just want to focus on the strengths of this part of the game's progression.  Maybe I am too fresh from playing the game, but sections of “Resident Evil VII” offers some of the most unnerving, stressful, and frightening experiences I have ever played in this series.  The game made me afraid of my own goddamn shadow for chrissakes. Opening doors are scary again.  Moments of wanting not to progress are abundant.  It is easy to say now, looking back, that this is the fun of the game, the best thing about it -- but damn if some of those moments at the time were nerve-racking and suffocating. 

Another thing, and I love “Resident Evil 4” just as much as anybody, but it is nice to play a survival-horror game that's a bit more traditional in feeling like I need to manage inventory and conserve ammo and healing items. The developers smartly give you just enough to survive, while making you believe you’re going to run out.  To recall back to what I mentioned earlier, VII feels off at the start due to it’s first-person perspective and control, but as elements such as this are added, VII turns out to harken back to classic Resident Evil games.

Being a fan of horror movies, I was also happy to see the game wear it’s horror movie influences on its sleeve.  The most obvious being “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Blair Witch Project” for sure, and a section of the game that’s very much “Saw.”  I also picked up on Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes,” and David Cronenberg’s “The Fly.” This also might be a little bit of a stretch (though Texas Chainsaw and Hills both have something to owe to it) but I can also see a touch of James Whales “The Old Dark House.”

From about 20% in to about 70% through, I am really loving the game, and I feel like it builds itself up really well.  But then there is a change of scenery, and a section of the game that while looks impressive on a technical level, fell mostly flat for me.  The intense atmosphere the game had established suddenly evaporated, and the game stopped being scary.  I know what scares us is subjective, so this section will depend on the individual player, but I found this part of the game tremendously boring and dull, and when you remove this game's mask of a formidable environment, this game’s flaws are glaringly out and open. 

VII’s game design repeats itself an awful lot.  Throughout you will find video cassettes that as your character watches, you actually will *go into the past event* and play it. Those cassettes will reveal some sort of puzzle or path that will reveal itself that you will need to take in order to progress in the present.  So when the cassette section is over, guess what, you get to do it all over again! I admit that this redundancy isn’t so bad because since you know what to do you can usually expedite through it, and you still feel the ominous influence of the game's atmosphere.  However, the sections happen just enough that I began to wonder if the developers just ran out of ideas, and so when it happens yet again in the later third of the game, I was pretty done with it, waiting for the game to end.

There are also the puzzles themselves, which too will end up repeating themselves.  There are a handful of RE style puzzles of looking for the right item in order to progress, but I felt like a chunk of these are rather uninspired and empty.  One section of the game has a very good set of puzzles that was very satisfying to think your way through.  It’s a part so good I wished they riffed and varied up that style of design in more sections of the game -- but not really no, you’ll just end up repeating it mostly step by step.

Finally, the last leg of the game starts throwing enemies at you in hordes as you, more or less, linearly progress to the end.  It feels very “Resident Evil 4” except the action isn’t nearly as satisfying. The enemies, these symbiote Venom looking things, have been used so much by this point in the game, I was feeling pretty brain-dead when taking them out, no matter how much I liked this game’s shotgun.  (I should add here that this part of the game and gameplay is expanded upon in the games free DLC epilogue “Not A Hero.” But I don’t like the shotgun you get in that as much, and stopped playing it about midway through because I just couldn’t bring up any incentive to care anymore.)

Those are my critiques, but I don’t want them to overshadow what the game does well, or paint the wrong picture of my experience with the game.  I should point out that I didn’t pay anything for this game (and you can get it at a good price these days) as one of the upgrades of Playstation 5 ownership is your Playstation Plus can now download more than just monthly titles, you have access to freely download ‘Playstation 4 Greatest Hits’ as well  -- so what I didn’t like is softened by that.  If I had shelled out $60 for it, I think I’d be a bit more bitter.

Other thing I kept in mind is that *I believe* that this game was the debut of the all new ‘RE Engine,’ so I can give the developers a pass for most of the repetitive and lull-inducing game design decisions because you get the sense that they were keeping things simple because they were still figuring that new game engine out (it was also developed with VR in mind so that had to be apart of the decisions of the games simplicity).  This might seem dismissive, and I don’t mean it to be,  but “Resident Evil VII” is like a really really good tech demo for something greater. And “Resident Evil VIII”, or ‘Village’, already looks like it has more confidence about it.  Give me better puzzles, enemies, and more cohesive and fuller level design, and I think it will be stellar.

Offline

#132 2021-03-29 09:31:38

Beepner
Phil Collins Appreciator
Registered: 2019-08-26
Posts: 69

Re: HEY YOU! PART TWO! WHATCHA PLAYIN'?

Oh hey, this forum is still here. :sweatdropemoji:

Psychic_Heist, I've never been huge into the Resident Evil franchise, I did play 4 on the PS2 back in the day and Revelations on the 3DS. So I mostly experienced Resident Evil in its "over-the-top-stupid" phase. Kind of like Metal Gear Solid in that regard, whereas I think the Playstation games were playing it straight while skirting the edges of b-movie schlock, although where MGS actually jumped the shark into complete insanity territory is up for debate. Anyway. Being an RE outsider as it were, I get that sense that there are two RE franchises, not that pseudo-reboots to get a series "back to its roots" are a new thing.

As for me, I've been playing Doom-n-Quake, Quake-n-Doom. Doom 2 and Final Doom, Quake 2 and Quake I mods and mission packs. And Heretic, but I don't want to talk about that as much. What can I say, these oldschool FPS are my pandemic comfort food, although the burnout comes a lot quicker now when I sit down for a session, so I've been trying to emulate PS2 games on my now 11-year-old rig. Persona 3 works fairly well, Ridge Racer V works but has some graphical glitches that make eyestrain a real problem (and that game never looked the best to begin with. Silpheed: The Lost Planet runs rather well too, it being my first PS2 game (that wasn't a PS1 game), it's an interesting little nostalgia trip. I've never finished it, the stages are long and you go back to the beginning of a stage when you game over, and it starts throwing some "how the heck was I supposed to dodge that" moments at you in the later stages.

Offline

Board footer