What Games Are You Playing?

João Gomes

Thousand Master
It's interesting, it's certainly very sad to watch Simon and Catherine argue as the lights go out but as I wrote in my old post linked above, I was totally at peace with it and in agreement with Catherine. I just wanted Simon to shut the hell up and spend his final moments being happy for Simon 4.0 who he'd essentially just granted immortality in paradise rather than whining about his own fate, which surely, surely he should have seen coming?

He needn't despair anyway, he'll be one with the WAU soon enough. You guys did leave the WAU alone, right? You didn't snuff out the future of life on Earth like bludgeoning the first fish to crawl onto land, surely?

I couldn't help but imagine the simulation hitting space rocks or crashing on a planet and it gave me anxiety every time. It's kinda funny writing it but it's still a pitiful and depressing state of affairs, even if they don't know it, so... Yeah, maybe you're right, maybe it would be paradise. What an amazing ending whew.

I've played through it twice so I'm sure I did it both ways but I remember thinking at least the WAU could eventually adapt and evolve into something resembling real life. It's been a while though, so I don't remember the in-world limitations to that possibility!
 

ayase

State Alchemist
I thought I’d been playing Disco Elysium for about 6 hours. It had been 11. This game is certainly something. I picked it up in a sale a while back and never got around to starting it, but it felt like time for something new and different and on that front it’s certainly delivering. It feels like a cross between a point and click adventure and an old isometric RPG (both of which I am a huge fan of) and it’s fascinating both in terms of gameplay/mechanics and story/world building.

I feel like I’m missing a lot, though this appears to be by design since what you can and can’t do is skill dependent, but I’m glad I went with my own character build rather than a pre-made. I’m not going to be doing anything physical any time soon (it’s day 3 and the dead body is still hanging from the tree, much to everyone’s disgust) but I sure get a lot of internal monologues chiming in and can talk until the cows come home. And there is a lot of talking, about pretty heavy subjects too. It’s frying my brain (which is probably a good thing since it forced me to stop for a bit, otherwise I’d probably have played it without food or sleep for 24+ hours straight) and I dare say I’m a lot more familiar with politics and philosophy than most people. I can’t imagine what effect this experience would have on anyone encountering these concepts for the first time. It might as well bring up a prompt to stop and read Das Kapital.

It’s clear the devs set out to challenge the player though, and not just with puzzles. I think it’s probably the case that this game is best played honestly and going with your own instincts rather than role-playing a character (although I am already looking forward to the second, inevitable, absolute b*stard play through I do with every RPG, even if just to beat up Cuno) since I think that has the greatest potential to make people consider their own beliefs and attitudes, which isn’t going to happen if you’re just playing to win and saying whatever you think other characters want to hear. Although perhaps doing that would say something about you as well. I’ll definitely be reporting back once I’ve finished this one.
 

RadFemHedonist

Death Scythe
It’s clear the devs set out to challenge the player though, and not just with puzzles. I think it’s probably the case that this game is best played honestly and going with your own instincts rather than role-playing a character (although I am already looking forward to the second, inevitable, absolute b*stard play through I do with every RPG, even if just to beat up Cuno) since I think that has the greatest potential to make people consider their own beliefs and attitudes, which isn’t going to happen if you’re just playing to win and saying whatever you think other characters want to hear. Although perhaps doing that would say something about you as well. I’ll definitely be reporting back once I’ve finished this one.

Even though I don't game much this has always been one of the most interesting philosophical aspects of video games where you have options and choices of this type for me so thankyou for articulating some of what I find so fascinating about it :)
 
Well if you have any kind of PC (it's not at all demanding in hardware terms), the entirety of Penumbra is currently £1.69 on GOG. Looks like the Amnesias are going cheap on there as well.
Top tip, will be getting that then. I also notice I have an upcoming penumbra game in my steam wishlist having completely forgotten there even was a new upcoming penumbra one...
I particularly liked that the game gave me two opportunities to fill out the Ark participation questionnaire.
Eh, what now? Ark participation questionnaire?? I don't remember getting that on my PS4 version! Think I've been conned... Or, have just conveniently forgotten that heh.
You didn't .... like bludgeoning the first fish to crawl onto land, surely?
Bludgeon, bludgeon!! Aaaaand, bludgeon, bludgeon, bludgeon some more!!! I'm not frustrated at all, no sir. I jest, this is another bit I can't remember, sooooo methinks a replay is in order then.
Disco Elysium
It feels like a cross between a point and click adventure and an old isometric RPG
Ooooh music to my ears and I've been patiently waiting for the superduperwhachamacallit version to go on sale on the switch to pick up! Good to hear it's as good as I've been hearing.
since I think that has the greatest potential to make people consider their own beliefs and attitudes, which isn’t going to happen if you’re just playing to win and saying whatever you think other characters want to hear.
Heheh reminds me of my jaded self, where I used to pick all the "right & good" choices in such games to now just going with my selfish human instincts the consequences be damned... Though that's probably just a reflection of my changed nature as a grumpy old git.
 

João Gomes

Thousand Master
Yeah, Disco Elysium is what, the best written game around? Admittedly, I haven't played Planescape Torment (yet) but it's so expertly written and runs the gamut of emotions so effortlessly, it's astounding.

Getting an emotional beatdown in what is supposed to be just another screen on the way to your objective is something that stays with you. Won't spoil or maybe there are choices involved that won't lead you to that moment? Dunno.

I also want to go through it a second time, role-playing a dickhe.ad copper but it's gonna be hard - I also like to play myself (mostly lol).

 

Dai

Thousand Master
Eh, what now? Ark participation questionnaire?? I don't remember getting that on my PS4 version! Think I've been conned... Or, have just conveniently forgotten that heh.
It's on a couple of the in-game computers: one halfway through the game and the other in the after-credits scene. Easy to miss if you're not scouring every menu option on every computer.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Top tip, will be getting that then. I also notice I have an upcoming penumbra game in my steam wishlist having completely forgotten there even was a new upcoming penumbra one...
Sadly you've missed the sale by a few hours, but it's £6.99 regular price on Steam anyway now that I notice. An upcoming Penumbra game? You've got me stumped there. Even searching doesn't find anything unless you mean this, which unfortunately isn't connected to Frictional's Penumbra games, as far as I know the series has been done with since 2009 unless you know something I don't... It would certainly be a surprise to see a new instalment now.

reminds me of my jaded self, where I used to pick all the "right & good" choices in such games to now just going with my selfish human instincts the consequences be damned... Though that's probably just a reflection of my changed nature as a grumpy old git.
My own cynicism is currently leading me to reject all of the game's ideologies and factions because really, isn't anyone who claims to believe in anything either corrupt, doesn't actually believe in those things and is just exploiting the naïve, or naïve, actually does believe in those things but will be forever exploited by the corrupt? Not sure what stead this world-view will put me in during this game or in real life, for that matter. I think the way I've long felt about religion has now spread to include politics and society in general. "The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must" just seems like an unalterable universal truth at this point, not that I think that means such a system should be participated in, but ultimately we have no choice but to exploit or be exploited if we want to continue to live... But enough of that. Perhaps playing this for 11 hours straight wasn't the best idea, I'm not sure oiling those particular brain cogs was a good thing...

I also want to go through it a second time, role-playing a dickhe.ad copper but it's gonna be hard - I also like to play myself (mostly lol).
I don't think there's anything wrong with role-playing, usually, it can be a lot of fun, but when you're being asked the big questions there doesn't seem a lot of benefit to say, pretending to be a fascist or a communist when you're not. Because you're not going to be confronted with anything that actually makes you consider your own world-view.
 
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Sadly you've missed the sale by a few hours, but it's £6.99 regular price on Steam anyway now that I notice. An upcoming Penumbra game?
Ah bugger, oh well with any luck it'll be on sale again in the future. Ignore me on the other point, it's Penumbra Requiem but the version I'd added to my wishlist has no price next to it and says "coming soon" so probably just a different version or a discontinued one... And on your other ruminations, I've gotten so far in my disappointment with how people, myself included, will choose to exercise the worst of their instincts. But this is nothing new for all the time humanity has existed and just the way of the world, survival of the fittest (read: meanest) of them all and I am way too far into the moany git persona that it's easy to miss the positives, which definitely are there, so am actively trying to be more balanced these days for my sanity!
 

Spark_Heal

Completely Average High School Student
Finished Soul Hackers 2 this weekend. It feels like a good game that is either the template for an excellent sequel or made from the pieces of a much bigger one. As you get further into the endgame the story brings in elements that are either meant to hint at a bigger universe or are the remains of entire subplots with completed assets that were scrapped but they felt they needed to include in some form. Which is a shame because the story that is there is engaging and all of the core characters are endearing or fantastic. Saizo's entire arc is great, Ringo is a charming lead character with a ton of personality and all the bar events do a great job of rounding out the cast.
Soul Hackers 2_20220910110150.jpg
The gameplay is a big change form the Shin Megami Tensei or Persona formula. The combat was reworked in a lot of small ways that I'm very torn over. It's got a dozens of customisation options for your entire party, on to top of all the demons and skills you can equip. I think making status effects a definitive attack type as a replacement for Light and Dark attacks is interesting. Even if you don't poison an enemy you'll likely still do damage and didn't waste a turn. But that also means your elemental attacks lack status effects and feel completely interchangeable as a result. And you unlock so many bonuses and character abilities that the enemies can't do anything in the face of your overwhelming offence. As for defence, it's insanely easy to make a healer who is completely immune to all damage before entering the final dungeon. So the game's difficulty just collapses into effortless victories until the final boss. Which is a shame because boss fights in general are engaging with unique mechanics or animations. But after a few hours of repetitive dungeons and a complete lack of Challenge I was getting sick of the game.

Which is a shame because Soul Hackers 2 does a lot right and I was really enjoying the first 25 hours. It just hits a point where the repetition, boring dungeon design and complete lack of challenge starts weighing down on the experience. I still want to replay it again some time soon to hear all the optional dialogue and spend more time with the cast. It just looses stream as it goes along. Hopefully the next game this team makes improvements.
 

ayase

State Alchemist
Disco Elysium
25 hours in and while I am incredibly impressed with the depth of this game, I have encountered a particular issue which is really bugging me.

Perhaps I've just been getting terrible rolls, but I'm now at a point in the game where I need to pass several "white" checks I've already failed once in order to advance in several different quests (and I have not been reckless here, the number of 70-90% success chance checks I have failed has been kind of ridiculous) and the only way to get a do-over on those checks is to spend a skill point, but I don't appear to have any tasks left I can do that will grant me XP to unlock new skill points. What almost annoys me more is the fact that even if I do manage to scrape together enough XP to get a skill point, I'm going to have to save scum in order make sure I pass the next check, which I really shouldn't have to do. For all the incredible effort that appears to have gone into making the player experience unique, it seems like a massive oversight to force the player to rely on specific skills which they may not have been investing points in at all in order to advance the main storyline.

Then there's the bug I've encountered which appears to have completely stopped the game's world clock outside of dialogue, but I'm really hoping that will fix itself next time I load the game. If it doesn't that's several hours down the drain.

Edit: Yeah, so I made it to that skill point, quick saved, failed a 92% chance of success skill check. Took two reloads to pass it. Then I played for an hour and failed another that had a 97% chance of success. This luck... Harry really is me, I'm scared.
 
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DragoStark

Student Council President
I finished up the main story and the 1st DLC of DBZ: Kakarot. Still got the trunks DLC to go but gonna take a mini break and play Yakuza 4 in the meantime. Been meaning to play 4 for a while now and I'm also playing Judgement on the PS4 so double the dose of RGG goodness.
 

Spark_Heal

Completely Average High School Student
I finished up the main story and the 1st DLC of DBZ: Kakarot. Still got the trunks DLC to go but gonna take a mini break and play Yakuza 4 in the meantime. Been meaning to play 4 for a while now and I'm also playing Judgement on the PS4 so double the dose of RGG goodness.
Sounds good. I've been meaning to try Judgement but I feel as if I should finish Yakuza Kiwami first.
 

unknownfate

Pokémon Master
Finished with Final Fantasy Explorers recently, didn't really get on with it though- too much of the same repetitive stuff for my liking.

Coming to the end of Dragon Quest Heroes- Decent enough game though the whole Samurai Warrior-esque mob slashing can get a little tedious especially when you're after a rare drop.

Just started Devil Survivor Overclocked- This one's more my speed with the grid based RPG battle setup. Dialogue heavy so far though, might get burdensome but we'll see
 

Dai

Thousand Master
Metal: Hellsinger
This is easily the best FPS I've played since Doom 2016. The rhythm-shooter mechanics click instantly, the soundtrack is one absolute (head)banger after another, and blasting demons to the beat never gets old. If you like shooters, rhythm games or metal, this is essential.

Need for Speed: Heat
This is...okay, I guess, though my interest started fading pretty quickly. It's trying so painfully hard to be Young, Hip and In Touch with the Now Generation, but just comes across as:
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection
Whether this compilation is worth £30+ will depend entirely on how many of these games you have nostalgia for, because some of them have not aged well. That said, the production values of the compilation itself are fantastic, offering all sorts of tweaks, assists, and interesting supplementary materials. On the other hand, if you don't have fond memories of crowding around a 4-player TMNT coin-op in the 90s and just want the best Ninja Turtles game, buy Shredder's Revenge instead.
 
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