Finished Any Games Lately?

No AC3 PC patch yet. And more DLC is coming on the 15th. ಠ_ಠ

I just finished Assassin's Creed 2, and good grief. Ubisoft Montreal, you fabulous idiots!

So many questions about that game:

  • Why does everyone randomly break into Italian? Is it so they can say cusses and get away with it? Or did they think Ezio would sound cool as he says his little thing over each victim?
  • Really polite of all those guards to stand around for that by the way. Especially on those occasions where it's a ranged kill, letting me waltz over there, and then go back to the position from where I made the kill.
  • The AI is hilariously timid in general. Did no one in testing think of the Benny Hill strategy? All it takes to complete most assassinations is to charge. You might get knocked down, but since they're so keen on staying back, you can get up, strafe past, and continue chasing the target, now with a train of guards on your back.
  • Actually, I'm pretty sure someone did, since the surefire way to tell if you have to be undetected during your approach is whether the AI can run away, not whether there's a logical narrative reason for it.
  • Who's that going around putting wanted posters in all those hard to reach places? And why does tearing them down help my notoriety? No one could possibly see them there anyway.
  • Why is a man with an arrow over his head screaming for the guards, calling me an animal and telling me to stay away? And why is he charging me while doing it? Is he expecting me to run away? Oh, he's a messenger I can rob? Awesome job you introducing that element, game.
  • What's the point of the bards? Is it just to test my patience, and see how long it takes before I snap?

As for the story, well, that was the most hilariously inane thing I've seen in ages.

Spoiler:

If actually I cared, I'd have been infuriated at that ending. You're going to waste this cool period in history filled with epic levels of political machinations and bastardry, and turn it into a silly magic space-alien artifact fueled fight between white hats and black hats? Fine. But then, once you're faced with the blackest of bastards, and you're done punching the pope (choking the preacher, boxing the bishop, etc) Ezio turns away?

That is the most ridiculous, most unearned change of heart I've seen in ages. Even if he didn't have vengeance in his heart anymore, like his silly speech in the previous chapter suddenly announced, killing Borgia would have been a public service.

Yes, he's an actual historical figure, but rewrite it. THERE'S ALREADY MAGIC SPACE ALIENS THAT SEE THROUGH TIME. Killing a pope is a drop in the vast ocean of your craziness.

Just ridiculous.

The scenery porn is absolutely marvelous though, and I loved moving through it.

Alien Love Gardener wrote:

I just finished Assassin's Creed 2, and good grief. Ubisoft Montreal, you fabulous idiots!

The scenery porn is absolutely marvelous though, and I loved moving through it.

Agreed. One of the best things of the AC2 series (incl. Brotherhood and Revelations), was the beauty of Renaissance Rome/Italy. AC3 just doesn't have it when it comes to that.

Well, there goes Nier. It is easily one of the best written games I've ever played. So much pathos to the characters without it going overboard on exposition.

Such a crime that it was so grossly misunderstood as a game.

Well, there goes Nier. It is easily one of the best written games I've ever played. So much pathos to the characters without it going overboard on exposition.

Such a crime that it was so grossly misunderstood as a game.

Asura's Wrath.

So angry. So bombastic. So awesome.

Really surprised this title was completely overlooked here. And before anyone weighs in with the 'but it's not really a game' argument, take a look at the 'game' that won our GOTY voting thread.

brokenclavicle wrote:

Well, there goes Nier. It is easily one of the best written games I've ever played. So much pathos to the characters without it going overboard on exposition.

Such a crime that it was so grossly misunderstood as a game.

Well, now you've played your GOTY for 2013. It actually ended up being my 2nd choice just after Journey for a couple reasons in 2012. Technically, I only did 2 endings, so maybe it can still be on my list for 2013. I'm saving the last 2 for a lazy weekend.

brokenclavicle wrote:

Well, there goes Nier. It is easily one of the best written games I've ever played. So much pathos to the characters without it going overboard on exposition.

Such a crime that it was so grossly misunderstood as a game.

Converting the world, one person at a time.

Finished up Corpse Party (PSP/V downloadable) tonight. More people should play Corpse Party. It's awfully Japanese and somewhat light on gameplay but what's there works well and the premise is really intriguing. It touches on some disturbing and/or personal subjects most games shy from, too.

Next up: Still working on Sleeping Dogs. In terms of portables... I dunno. I've bought a bunch of PSP games to give my vita purpose, but I need to get through Pokemon Black 2.

nel e nel wrote:

Asura's Wrath.

So angry. So bombastic. So awesome.

Really surprised this title was completely overlooked here. And before anyone weighs in with the 'but it's not really a game' argument, take a look at the 'game' that won our GOTY voting thread.

Hey now...I had it on my GOTY list! It was an awesome game for sure. I guess the "true" ending is on paid DLC though, so that's another knock against it.

(Cross-posted from the 3DS thread.)

I finished Spirit Camera: The Cursed Memoir. It's a really brilliant concept that simply wasn't well-executed, for the most part. There are moments in the game that are unique and inspired, but technical issues and some questionable design decisions keep the experience from being what it could have been.

The premise is that you've come across a cursed diary and a camera obscura. By taking photos of the diary with your camera obscura, you interact with spirits who have become trapped inside it, learning about their lives, their deaths, and the history of the diary itself.

The spirit you interact with most is a girl named Maya whose past intertwines with that of the diary in Mysterious Ways™. The story is fairly rote Japanese horror. There isn't anything in there that will surprise you if you're paying attention, but it's decent enough if you're a fan of that style of horror. Being a T-rated game, you won't see Dead Space-style fountains of gore, but you likely wouldn't have seen that in this kind of storyline anyway.

I said you "interact" with the spirits, and that happens in two ways: first, by solving some puzzles related to the diary; and second, by defeating escaped spirits in an AR battle mode.

The puzzle solving aspects of the game were actually quite interesting. At various times you'll be asked to find specific pages in the diary. You photograph them using the 3DS's camera, and then the game will layer different visual effects on top of the pages. Vines will cover protected pages, spirits will rise up out of old photographs, and the pictures themselves will move and change. You're also asked to solve puzzles in some clever, more interactive ways, as when you're asked to turn the diary to shake down parts of a picture, or when you need to cover a bloody handprint with your own hand.

The biggest problem with the diary puzzles, however, is that the 3DS is really finicky about spotting the pages. They need to be lined up just right, tilted at the right angle, and well-lit, or else the camera just doesn't spot them. There were times when all my momentum ground to a halt while I tilted the diary every which way, trying to get it just so. As near as I can tell, this is a technical problem not necessarily with the 3DS itself so much as with the diary. The pages of the diary are done up as detailed collages of spooky photographs and artwork. They're really quite beautiful in a creepy way, but they lack the kind of distinct shapes and blocks of color that the 3DS needs for its AR camera.

As for the AR combat mode, the less said about it, the better. Spirits from the diary appear in the real world, and you have to look around and take pictures of them with good timing in order to defeat them. Despite making use of the 3D camera, however, the spirits don't really interact with the real world. They hover around, floating between you and anything else, moving around in such a way that's meant to make them look like they're approaching and retreating but really makes them look like they're shrinking to the size of a small dog. It's an effect that aims for illusion but actually completely breaks immersion.

The AR combat is all the more disappointing because the game itself takes a different, better approach for a single combat encounter. At a handful of points in the storyline, you're actually pulled into the diary, and your 3DS becomes a first-person window into another space. As you move the 3DS around in any direction, you look around a room inside a haunted house, and it's brilliantly immersive. Instead of spinning around, say, your living room blasting hovering ghosts, you're peering into the corners of a space that seems to exist around you but cannot be seen. If the combat encounters had taken place in that kind of space, with the player pulled into a new space rather than the spirit pulled into the player's space, then they could have had the sense of depth and presence that would have made them work. One of the game's battles is handled in just that way, and it's very effective.

The sense one is left with of the game, from the combat to the puzzles to the storyline, is of a real lack of polish and effort. There's a feeling that the developers had some very good ideas but didn't have the time, resources, or will to refine them into a cohesive whole that really worked. The diary clearly didn't work well with the 3D camera, and the augmented reality combat just didn't work, and the solutions were obvious and even, in some cases, implemented in part. It's frustrating to have a game with so much potential let most of it go to waste.

There's a moment near the end of the game that really captures what Spirit Camera could have been like. You've just taken a photograph of a page in a diary and watched as a young girl is killed by a vengeful spirit. The murder left a hole in the page where there wasn't one before, and the game tells you to lean into it. Darkness fills the screen, and when you look up again, you're seeing another place through the camera lens. You look around at the room you just saw in the diary from the outside, but now you're in it. And as you lean back, literally looking up and physically tilting the console upward, you find yourself staring into the face of the killer. It's chilling, memorable, personal.

But it's just one moment in an otherwise forgettable experience.

Finished Episode 1 of Kentucky Route Zero - first adventure game of 2013 and it's a corker. Very like the Walking Dead in the way it plays (more about the story adapting to choices made through dialogue than any actual puzzle solving). Well worth a look.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

(Cross-posted from the 3DS thread.)

There's a moment near the end of the game that really captures what Spirit Camera could have been like. You've just taken a photograph of a page in a diary and watched as a young girl is killed by a vengeful spirit. The murder left a hole in the page where there wasn't one before, and the game tells you to lean into it. Darkness fills the screen, and when you look up again, you're seeing another place through the camera lens. You look around at the room you just saw in the diary from the outside, but now you're in it. And as you lean back, literally looking up and physically tilting the console upward, you find yourself staring into the face of the killer. It's chilling, memorable, personal.

Damn that certainly sounds cool. *sigh* Maybe when the technology gets a bit better....something like this tied into some wearable tech like those Google glasses things would be pretty nifty...

Just finished up Dead Space for the umpteenth time, in anticipation of DS3 coming out soon. Now to go back through DS2 again

Finished Spec Ops: The Line.

Was pretty amazed at how easily I got sucked into the story. Fine work, I think.

Spoiler:

The White Phosphorus mission, holy crap.

I finished Dishonored last year. Only game with that distinction that I remember.

Honest question: I see some folks with games like Civ 5 on their "done" list - how do you finish a game like that? Once through? A thousand times? Just wondering.

tboon wrote:

I finished Dishonored last year. Only game with that distinction that I remember.

Honest question: I see some folks with games like Civ 5 on their "done" list - how do you finish a game like that? Once through? A thousand times? Just wondering.

That's why Paradox games usually on get retired once I move on to their successor

tboon wrote:

I finished Dishonored last year. Only game with that distinction that I remember.

Honest question: I see some folks with games like Civ 5 on their "done" list - how do you finish a game like that? Once through? A thousand times? Just wondering.

Depends, for me, done is completing the campaign. Completed is finishing every civ and all victory conditions. I'm done, but I don't think I'll ever fully complete it. That being said, I've won with every victory condition and at least 10 of the civilizations. I'll happily keep playing until I get bored. But the recent G&K pack has really brought this back to life for me. Just finished up a match as Pascal (the Maya) and now playing as Harold Bluetooth (Vikings!). Both games have played out so vastly different, and I think that's what keeps me coming back for more.

tboon wrote:

I finished Dishonored last year. Only game with that distinction that I remember.

Honest question: I see some folks with games like Civ 5 on their "done" list - how do you finish a game like that? Once through? A thousand times? Just wondering.

I agree, you can never truly finish Civ 5. But I've marked it as "done", because it's actually "I am done with it". I've played as a variety of civs, achieved every type of victory, played every size and "shape" of map, I've had my "fill" of it. But I'll go back to it, eventually (still haven't fired up Gods & Kings yet).

I tore through XCOM and Spec Ops: The Line in a couple of marathon sessions, about two days each. It's kind of a weird transition; The Line is all about what war and killing can do to you, and XCOM is all about "Aliens? Shoot 'em!"

I find it kind of funny, when starting a new XCOM game - the doctor's speech about "We're seeing something that's never been seen before...alien life on Earth!" is drowned out by the reaction fire of my soldiers on Overwatch opening up on the alien.

Tangent from that: there's a single-player board game I've played, Last Frontier: The Vesuvius Incident. It has a minor mechanic where, the first time your marines see the aliens, they have a huge penalty to hit and a much higher chance to panic. After that first encounter, they understand that they're facing an alien infestation, and they don't take the "WTF?" penalty anymore.

Eleima wrote:

(still haven't fired up Gods & Kings yet).

Well, don't do that or the game will be un-done! (G&K really kicks Civ 5 up a notch or ten.)

tboon wrote:
Eleima wrote:

(still haven't fired up Gods & Kings yet).

Well, don't do that or the game will be un-done! (G&K really kicks Civ 5 up a notch or ten.)

Indeed. I've lost about 40 hours to it since I installed it. Seriously, it sucks your time away.

I guess I'm finished with Deus Ex: HR: The Missing Link DLC? Got about two hours in, hackin comps, sneakin past cameras, and generally breakin necks. I enjoyed some of the outdoor scenes, but the corridor crawls put me right back into the now-feeling-tired military-future-shininess.

Then I ran into a bug (I think it's a bug...) that disabled all weapons and interactions with enemies. I tried restarting, etc, and loaded a much earlier save, but the same inability to interact with the world remained. Twas weird! I took my general apathy towards the story/systems and decided that it was a great time to be forced to stop playing.

Only 4 achievements out of 32. But I have finished Trine now.

Aaaaaand Gravity Bone becomes my first game to complete in 2013. I wonder why? It was pretty good, although, it wasn't as good as 30 Flights of Loving.

Finished single player Medal of Honor Tier 1 and Mafia 2. MoH was ok, bit too short but no surprise.. Mafia 2 was a lot of fun and had a good story. Loved the cars, atmosphere and gun fights.

I just "beat" Fez with about 93%, then started a NG+... And I have 3 words to say: What The F*ck?!

Edit: without getting any hints or reading anything about the game... Though I suspect I'll be doing so soon.

Finished up the campaign on AC3. 57 hours according to Raptr, much of which was sidequests. I'll probably go back for another 20 or so to get 100% on this, but the pile beckons.

I finished The Walking Dead. I think the writing was pretty great, but it really suffered from classic adventure game mechanics. Some episodes were better than others with that. Episode 5 wasn't so bad. I enjoyed the TV show more. If I had completed it in 2012, I don't think it would have made my list. For reference, here is what I voted for 2012:

1. Journey
2. Nier
3. Papa & Yo
4. Persona 3 Portable
5. Stacking
6. Botanicula
7. Gravity Rush
8. Uncharted: Golden Abyss
9. Persona 4 Golden
10. Sound Shapes

Primordia finished. Had to use a walkthrough for a few parts though - it was maybe a little TOO retro an adventure game (there's a reason most modern adventure games come with a "highlight all interactive objects" button) so there was a lot of missing obvious solutions to things just because I didn't spot an object in the scenery I needed to take.

From a story standpoint though - FANTASTIC STUFF. Had a real "Beneath A Steel Sky" vibe to it and it has an impressive number of ways the story can play out in the end, and in the way there are multiple solutions to various problems throughout the game. Very interested to see what Wormwood come up with next.

Finished my playthrough on Torchlight 2. Have not finished a game in quite a while and was committed to see that one through. Good game although gets repetitive. I think it would probably be better in multiplayer. It was on par with Diablo 3, just a very different style. I probably liked the dark mood of D3 better.

Think I'm going to play through Walking Dead next and see what all the hype is about.