What Games Are You Playing?

I’ve decided to replay the original Final Fantasy VII on NSW, will likely play Persona 3 Reload afterwards. I also recently finished replaying The Simpsons Hit and Run, which has aged fairly well beyond my nostalgia for it, and finally played the original Metal Gear Solid too.
 
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Elden Ring

I completed my first run of Elden Ring, Malenia was a pain but I had to get some more DPS and change a couple of things around to kill her. Might be a spicy opinion, but I prefer the combat of Sekiro, Elden Ring wins in terms of atmosphere and exploration though, and presumably build diversity, I just enjoyed the fast paced parry combat of the Samurai. I'm considering doing a couple more runs on NG+ mode with different builds.

Granblue Relink

I completed the main campaign on Granblue Relink. For anyone who has yet to play this game, I recommend playing the campaign on hard mode, and picking your 4 characters to focus on for the duration of the campaign. I did the campaign and all of the side missions I could in about 15 hours.

I'd say this was very good, and for me, the main campaign was better than Tales of Arise (which I didn't finish). The game has some really nice locations, the upgrade system is deep and interesting, and the combat was generally pretty fun, if a little flashy (anime style moves going off all over the place). My only real complaint is that I prefer the Jpn audio, and they talk a lot during combat, so can't really read the subs whilst fighting very easily, and the odd move would one shot me, but I think I hadn't boosted my HP by enough.

You can change up your party later but there is some grinding for materials and things needed. Post-campaign game is a bit like Monster Hunter I think, where you have missions to do and you get scores on them, and rewards for completing them. I'm going to do these for a bit until I've had enough, I'm not going to try and get the top rank on them all.

Persona 3 Reload

I've just started this, being familiar with 4 and 5 much of this I'm used to already, but I think the remake of this game has been good so far, and the updated graphics look good to me. I love all the stupid comments you can make in the conversation options, and wish more games gave you more agency with how you react to what people say.

Stellar Blade

This is another thing to add to my watch list, coming in April, this looks like a really interesting and fun game. Kind of like Nier crossed with Bayonetta.

 
I did a second playthrough of Aliens: Dark Descent, this time on easy mode and with New Game +. If normal mode was way too hard, the combination of easy mode and starting with levelled up marines in NG+ skewed it too far the other way. Enemies have a lot less health on easy, taking a the careful positioning out of encounters in early missions. I think either NG+ on normal or a standard new game on easy would have had a better balance. That said, my squad still got wiped out a couple of times; once by a queen and later when I hadn't realised that letting enemy aggressiveness reach max level was still a virtual death sentence. Still, that's two party wipes on easy compared to maybe a hundred on normal. To put it another way, my first playthrough took 41 hours and the second was 22, meaning half my time on normal was spent replaying sections after a party wipe.

One definite positive this time is that the PS5 version has been patched into a far more stable state. There's still the occasional animation glitch, and I ran into a bug that made it impossible to remove a trait from certain marines that makes them steal materials from the inventory at the end of missions, but I didn't run into any serious progress-affecting bugs or crashes this time. It's a much easier game to recommend now.

Marvel's Midnight Suns
I've played about 10 hours so far and have mixed feelings. The tactical battles are good, with the deck-building element adding some challenge to each turn, and the game balance making characters feel powerful without making encounters too easy. I can't get into the other half of the game though: chillaxing with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. I enjoy the social elements of Blue Reflection, Persona and Bioware games, so this surprised me a bit. Maybe it's because there's such a sharp disconnect between this game's two halves that they feel like two games bolted together. Maybe it's because I already know most of these characters back to front. Maybe it's because these iterations are written like the snarky comic relief parts of the MCU are their only personality traits. Or maybe it's because this game pushes the "they're just normal, flawed people" aspect of Marvel characters way too hard, and helping to arrange a surprise birthday party for a superhero isn't what I wanted from this game.
 
Almost a decade after I first played it, I finally got around to finishing Dust an Elysian Tail and it’s pretty good overall, especially considering that a lot of the game was made by one guy, the visuals are fantastic, the soundtrack is pretty good and the gameplay is fun enough, if a bit repetitive, sort of like a 2D Dynasty Warriors but the enemies actually know to hit back so it’s not completely mindless, also I can never say no to a good metroidvania, of which this game is, overall, a very solid game.
 
Most people out here playing the brand new releases and here I am completing 14 year old Assassins Creed II 😂
I needed a break from Elden Ring and I had a good time with ACII (apart from the absolute dogshit controls. I nearly rage quit in that second to last dungeon with the timed puzzle. Please jump off the cross and onto the beam Ezio. PLEASE) I have Brotherhood and I will boot that up soon as well but in the meantime, I decided to clean up some games I've left on hold. I never intended to stop Elden Ring for long, I just needed a change of pace so I've already started that back up again today and I've also jumped back into the original FFVII too. About time I finish that game as well.
I've also been playing Disco Elysium on the deck. I've heard many great things about this game but idk it's not really hitting for me at the moment. I do want to get at least one playthrough done though so I'll see whether I end up liking it more or not.
 
Almost finished Cassette Beasts (Ended up really liking it. That last Cassette beast keeps elusing my grasp.) and am playing Across the Obelisk and Stardew valley with friends.
 
Most people out here playing the brand new releases and here I am completing 14 year old Assassins Creed II 😂

I've been playing games on and off for years, problem is a lot of the older titles I was interested in I have usually played by now. So much stuff gets made that I try and be a little selective on what I put my time/money into.

I generally prefer newer games because I like how good the graphics can get, but gameplay does matter so my ideal combination is awesome graphics and awesome gameplay. Some older titles still play well though, ultimately it boils down to what you enjoy playing!

It's looking like a solid release schedule for new things coming out, so for now I'll mostly be playing newer titles as they come along :)

I'm continuing my Elden Ring stuff in the background, and I'm playing some co-op Vermintide 2 with a few friends which is fun, I'll carry on with these whilst awaiting FF7 Rebirth. Want to finish Persona 3 Reload before then as well, should be doable.

I have completed Granblue Relink as far I want to go, I unlocked the hardest difficulty, but I think I've taken my AI team as far as I can, feels like this will need a team of humans to compete in. Controversial opinion perhaps but I think this wound up being a better ARPG game than FF16 even with just the main story stuff alone.
 
I generally prefer newer games because I like how good the graphics can get, but gameplay does matter so my ideal combination is awesome graphics and awesome gameplay. Some older titles still play well though, ultimately it boils down to what you enjoy playing!
I tend to prefer older titles myself usually as many more older titles were made with passion for the project as opposed to just making money, though newer titles have better quality of life improvements so in the rare case where we see a modern classic, it can be fantastic but that doesn’t happen much.

With all that said, the game industry fares better than the others in this regard thanks to indie games which can sometimes put AAA games to shame, because the game industry is one where we don’t have to have the best graphics at all times, people can create their passion projects more freely than in other industries which creates competition for the AAA games as well; honestly I believe that without indie games, the industry would be like the modern film industry which is pretty dire right now.
 
I've been playing games on and off for years, problem is a lot of the older titles I was interested in I have usually played by now. So much stuff gets made that I try and be a little selective on what I put my time/money into.

I generally prefer newer games because I like how good the graphics can get, but gameplay does matter so my ideal combination is awesome graphics and awesome gameplay. Some older titles still play well though, ultimately it boils down to what you enjoy playing!
That's absolutely fair. I wasn't making a jab at anyone! I just find it amusing that I'm always playing these decade old games while everyone else is playing with the shiny new release (that I'll eventually get around to in a few years time myself). I didn't get into gaming until I was in my mid 20s so I have a lot of older games I never got round to experiencing, especially on the PS2 and PS3 (which I never owned as a kid growing up). All I had was a Gameboy. I adore all these old games though, even if the graphics don't hold up. It's all part of the charm. The one thing that does suffer are the controls but it's to be expected.
I also find it difficult to bring myself to spend £70+ on a game too. I think the most I've paid is £50 on release and I only did that for Persona 5 Royal and Cyberpunk 2077. I have to really really want to play the game when it drops to spend that kind of money and while there are titles that I would like to play (Like Granblue and FFVII remakes), I'm happy to wait. I don't need to play them immediately. I think the only game that could come out that would make me drop money instantly would be Mass Effect 4 (will the game even exist. It aint looking good...)
I also love indie games. There are some absolute bangers out there. My backlog is insane but I am enjoying myself. It certainly does just boil down to play what you enjoy!
 
I tend to prefer older titles myself usually as many more older titles were made with passion for the project as opposed to just making money, though newer titles have better quality of life improvements so in the rare case where we see a modern classic, it can be fantastic but that doesn’t happen much.

With all that said, the game industry fares better than the others in this regard thanks to indie games which can sometimes put AAA games to shame, because the game industry is one where we don’t have to have the best graphics at all times, people can create their passion projects more freely than in other industries which creates competition for the AAA games as well; honestly I believe that without indie games, the industry would be like the modern film industry which is pretty dire right now.

Oh 100%, the movie industry loves a good cash grab, or remaking perfectly good old movies rather than coming up with new ideas. Games do it as well, but the difference is that largely the game remakes are successful, because they keep the core game and improve the art/graphics (few exceptions here of course).

That's absolutely fair. I wasn't making a jab at anyone! I just find it amusing that I'm always playing these decade old games while everyone else is playing with the shiny new release (that I'll eventually get around to in a few years time myself). I didn't get into gaming until I was in my mid 20s so I have a lot of older games I never got round to experiencing, especially on the PS2 and PS3 (which I never owned as a kid growing up). All I had was a Gameboy. I adore all these old games though, even if the graphics don't hold up. It's all part of the charm. The one thing that does suffer are the controls but it's to be expected.

Please don't worry on that account, I didn't take it that you were, this is more of a me preference thing. It's the same with anime and other medium to be honest, I prefer more modern/updated styles/art/graphics etc that new tech brings, but I don't want to totally lose the heart that goes into these productions as well. Looking pretty whilst being soulless is a bad look, I'd rather have a better story and worse art than a visual treat that is empty otherwise, I think it's possible to mesh the two together though.

I think there are still games being made where it's not just about making money, and in my view at least, you can make games that are both good whilst also being successful financially, in fact it's a benefit to everyone if they are, as it means more games can be made or more sequels can follow them.

Regarding playing older games, things do tend to get cheaper over time, so I'd say if you can do it, then your way is the most cost effective method as well!
 
Silent Hill: The Short Message
In case you missed the announcement, this free game was stealth-dropped last week. It's a horror walking simulator that occasionally turns into a running away simulator. It's loosely in the vein of PT in that it's a relatively short stand-alone experience that points to what the future of Silent Hill might look like. Like PT it makes use of repeating environments, but this is a more recognisably Silent Hill experience with its heavy fog, bottomless pits and rusty chainlink fences. It also has a more fleshed out and complete narrative. Of particular interest is that this is the first entry in the franchise since SH2 to fully embrace the idea of Silent Hill's otherworld as shaping itself into a personal hell for the occupant. This element had faded from SH3 onwards, and was practically dropped altogether when the first movie codified a standardised design language for everything until the franchise first petered out.

The story is decent, though it suffers from some wonky voice acting that doesn't lip sync to English, especially noticeable in the jarring live-action cutscenes that it switches to in places (between Alan Wake 2 and this, I really hope those aren't becoming a trend again). It's not particularly scary, thanks to frequent checkpoints and the lone monster being limited to short chase sequences that lack any options for stealth or hiding. The last of those chases is somewhat irritating, due to the larger maze and confusing layout that had me running around in circles a lot.

Performance is surprisingly inconsistent despite the cramped environments. According to Digital Foundry this is an Unreal Engine 5 game that makes the odd choice to run at a locked 4K resolution with an uncapped framerate. I don't have a VRR display, so it was a pretty jerky experience most of the time as it generally didn't hit 60fps unless I was staring at a blank wall. If this was intended as a tech demo for Silent Hill f, I hope they switch to dynamic resolution for that one to bring up the framerate.

Despite some flaws, you can't argue with free, since this is a self-contained 2-hour game rather than the microtransaction-filled nonsense we've come to associate with 'free'. If you have any interest in Silent Hill, it's a worthy stopgap while we wait for the Silent Hill 2 remake and the other projects on the slate, and the best indication yet that Konami might be starting to crawl out of the quagmire they made for themselves.
 
Moved onto Persona 3 Reload and have just done my first Tartarus grind. New music is taking some getting used to but everything else is looking promising so far.
 
My favorite game is TESV: Skyrim. I completed it 7 times fully, each time for 100 hours 😅

But besides this, I played many games, for example, God of War (2018), Stalker, Metro. But in the last couple of years I haven’t had much time to play games, so now I watch walkthroughs of games more often than play them myself.
 
I just find it amusing that I'm always playing these decade old games while everyone else is playing with the shiny new release (that I'll eventually get around to in a few years time myself)
Likewise, I am still trying to catch up! Haven't been able to continue assassin's creed part the third one and keep on buying games I don't get the time to play😔. Still looking to get around to persona 5 (one of these days!!) but have to get back to FF XVI which distracted me and then I haven't gone back to in months🤦‍♂️.

By the way, speaking of indie games, what did you all think of Night in the Woods on the switch? Best indie game I've played I think and one I'd happily recommend to anyone and everyone.

while we wait for the Silent Hill 2
I was looking forward to this, for what it's worth with my backlog, but have recently been genuinely concerned for the remake with the shots of sexy Leon James surfacing. Whether they change that or not, the precedent set makes me worry it will completely miss the point. At this stage I'm more inclined to dig up my original copy and my PS2 to play it on...
 
I've just completed Persona 3 Reload today, it was good, I'm glad I got to play it on Game Pass as it was effectively no cost. Helps when I have other games I want to play as it means I don't need to buy all of them.

I'd say it felt like Persona 4.5, if Persona 4 Golden was kind of basic, and Persona 5 is the king, this felt like it was in the middle of the two in terms of quality.

Persona 5 remains the best one really, the dungeon design on 5 is by far the best, with 3R and 4G both leaning heavily on randomised layouts, but 5 is also about twice as long as 3R to actually play. If you're looking for a big game to get stuck into, 5 is definitely the one to play.

Stuff I did in 3R below (spoiler tags to hide for anyone who hasn't played):

  • Persuaded a child to run away from home without any plan.
  • Left the old man at the bookstore in Tartarus. In fact I pretty much left everyone there who wandered in. Elizabeth would call me and say someone had wandered in, and I'd just have this dead-pan expression on my face as I ended the call and carried on with business 🤣
  • Romanced Mitsuru and then cheated on her with Aigis near the end.
  • Didn't interact with the child that joins the team at all.
  • Ignored the social link and all messages from Kenji as much as possible. I was forced to eat noodles with him once I think, but his character annoyed me and I skipped him for the rest of the game.

Not sure what to play next, may try and carry on AC Valhalla, but it's not grabbed me like Odyssey did really. I need something to tide me over until FF7 Rebirth but also need to be done by then.
 
Ah man, I wish I could get through games so quickly... Would mean I could play more and keep up with more. I'm inspired to get back to and finish FF XVI so I can finally start Persona 5. FF VII remake I plan to probably start once the final game in the series is nearing completion/release so I can binge them all! Actually also wanted to play the original again before that🤔. Had also bought drakengard 1 & 3 off the back of playing the Nier games and really wanted to play those! Should probably stop dreaming right about now...
 
Ah man, I wish I could get through games so quickly... Would mean I could play more and keep up with more. I'm inspired to get back to and finish FF XVI so I can finally start Persona 5. FF VII remake I plan to probably start once the final game in the series is nearing completion/release so I can binge them all! Actually also wanted to play the original again before that🤔. Had also bought drakengard 1 & 3 off the back of playing the Nier games and really wanted to play those! Should probably stop dreaming right about now...

Trick I find is to focus on just 1-2 games at a time, at most. If I start trying to play more than that I start forgetting how the game works, what buttons do what, what part of the story I was on etc. 2 can work as you can sort of take a break from 1 using the other :p

FFXVI wasn't that long if you just focus on the main plot/story parts, it was probably shorter even than Persona 3 Reload was. For FF7 remake I hear you for sure, doing it near the release of the final game would make more sense, but I'm impatient to get stuck back in.

I don't know if it's just me as well, but if I don't find myself really wanting to go back to playing a game, then I think the game ultimately wasn't that good, or I was trying to force myself to play it. You ever get that? I usually sort of use this for a barometer as to whether I even like the game to begin with.

Luckily I am pretty good at telling if I'll like something just from a quick video or two of how it plays.
 
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