Finished Any Games Lately?

Guns?

Shooting people?

I've wrapped up a few game in the past couple weeks. A couple weeks ago I finally beat Gears of War 4 in anticipation of playing Gears 5. This weekend I wrapped up Gears 5and Untitled Goose Game. Finally tonight I completed The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening on the Switch. I have enjoyed them all!

It's been a productive few weeks for me! Or unproductive.... depending on your point if view.

Redherring wrote:

I finished Borderlands.

Borderlands is a game about a guy called Roland (at least in my play through). Roland likes to shoot people and take their guns. Sometimes their guns are better than his so he will keep them. Roland only shoots men because that’s all there is on Pandora (the planet where Roland lives). Except when Roland is shooting at monsters.

Frequently, certain people will ask Roland to do things like kill someone or go somewhere or get something. Roland will do this without question because he knows when he gets there he will be able to shoot people and take their guns.

Did I mention that Roland likes guns? He also has a turret that he can use some of the time. Roland also likes to drive cars which he can get free from car vending machines around Pandora. “I’ve got the ride” Roland will exclaim as he leaps into the driver’s seat. I do not know who he is talking to.

Sometimes people will shoot Roland instead of him shooting them first. But that’s OK because while he’s still “mostly dead” he can come back to life if he shoots someone before he’s “all dead”.

Eventually Roland reached the end of the game and shot a very big monster. His reward was a whole lot of guns. He did not take them because he was finished.

I am not certain why I played this game.

slazev wrote:

Guns?

gewy wrote:

Shooting people?

Explosions!!

Copied from the September Pile thread:

Just got 1 out of 4 endings in Hollow Knight. I ended up with 205% and the whole thing took me close to 40 hours. I still have a couple of bits of DLC to play through, like the pantheons - beat the three first ones, haven't tried the other two left. Did complete the Phantom Troupe DLC, as well as the Hidden Dreams DLC.

So, I'll dive back in to get the other endings and polish off any trophies I missed. I'm missing one Mask shard to get the full set, so there's that... oh, and completing the Hunter's Journal.

Really enjoyed this game!

Gears 5. I enjoyed it more than 4 but I felt the open world parts were just padding and I’d much prefer a linear path through all the content. The vehicle in the open world parts was boring.

Graphically they did a great job on Xbox One X. Definitely one of the nicer looking games I’ve played.

I still don’t really care about the characters they introduced in 4 and 5 so some of the things that happen have no weight for me.

I’m still not bored with the Gears formula and I’ll play future ones but it’s not blowing me away with excitement either. I have no interest in replaying the newer ones whereas I’ve played Gears 1 about half a dozen times over the years.

I know some people are into Gears multiplayer but I really didn’t like any of it I’ve tried and this game didn’t change my mind about it. Hard pass.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood. Actually finished the story weeks ago, but unlocking all the upgrades/weapons and weapon mastery kills for those final cheevs took 40+ hours of grinding. I literally would've paid real money for 140,000 silver coins rather than growing to hate the first two segments of the opening zeppelin mission after playing them close to a thousand times, as the fastest way to grind XP/coins/kills.

If you're not an achievement chaser, I highly recommend it. Fun co-op with a decent AI if you're playing single player. Same gunplay as TNO, TOB, and TNC, playing as Billy's twin daughters in Nazi-occupied Paris. The level design is pure Dishonored, which shouldn't be a surprise as Arkane had a hand in it.

Infamous Second Son and First Light.
Seemed shorter than the first 2 games (First Light is a stand alone DLC, so that makes sense), which I'm not against.
They're both a good romp with a good enough story to propel the player forward. Second Son provides a lot of gameplay variation due to the 4 types of powers (a pity the last one only appears with the final boss), but First Light focus on only one of them and deepens what can be done with it.

First Light also has an arena (destroy all enemies, rescue hostages, etc), which is required to evolve the protagonist's power to its maximum, but not for finishing the main campaign. I played a bit in it, but didn't see the point in trying to finish it.

Had a good time with them.

I really liked Control. It's refreshing to see a game where the best bits are in the third act. Many games are front loaded since some players never see the late game content.

The ashtray maze is a lot of fun.

But I've heard it runs poorly on console. I was on my new gaming laptop (mobile 2060) so it ran well for me.

Finished an oldie, Halo Wars. Found it on Game Pass, and its a very competant RTS game. I played in on PC, but it defintely has a console feel. There is a low population count and its tailored to either select all troops or the ones currently on screen. Starting Halo wars 2 now.

Redherring wrote:

I finished Borderlands.

Borderlands is a game about a guy called Roland (at least in my play through). Roland likes to shoot people and take their guns. Sometimes their guns are better than his so he will keep them. Roland only shoots men because that’s all there is on Pandora (the planet where Roland lives). Except when Roland is shooting at monsters.

Frequently, certain people will ask Roland to do things like kill someone or go somewhere or get something. Roland will do this without question because he knows when he gets there he will be able to shoot people and take their guns.

Did I mention that Roland likes guns? He also has a turret that he can use some of the time. Roland also likes to drive cars which he can get free from car vending machines around Pandora. “I’ve got the ride” Roland will exclaim as he leaps into the driver’s seat. I do not know who he is talking to.

Sometimes people will shoot Roland instead of him shooting them first. But that’s OK because while he’s still “mostly dead” he can come back to life if he shoots someone before he’s “all dead”.

Eventually Roland reached the end of the game and shot a very big monster. His reward was a whole lot of guns. He did not take them because he was finished.

I am not certain why I played this game.

I'm playing this on the side and yeah...this is accurate.

I finished DOOM (2016) this weekend. Looking forward to DOOM: Eternal now.

Today I finished Gato Roboto, a black and white Metroid style game where you control a cat in a mech exploring a planet. A major mechanic is that the cat can leave the suit to explore on its own, which is often needed throughout the game. There was more of an emphasis on combat, rather than exploration, and the boss fights tended to be frustrating until you learned the patterns. It lasted about 5 hours, and it was pretty fun.

Just for fun, I looked up a speed run for the game. 21 minutes. After getting really familiar with the game, it was fun to watch.

I said "fun" too many times, but I am too tired to wordsmith.

In finally finished Supraland. I say 'finally', not because it's a very long game (I think 10-15 hours is standard), but because I played it in pretty small chunks at a time, while also being distracted by other games along the way. It's almost definitely the most unique game I've played this year and deserves way more attention than it's received. I mean, just the fact that it's a first-person Metroidvania makes it unique enough given that there's the Metroid: Prime series and not much else in that space. But add in ever-increasingly clever physics puzzles and a charming, literal sandbox setting and it's a real one-of-a-kind. And somehow, aside from 3D modelling & skinning and non-English localisations, it was made by just one person.

There's a lot more to say about it, including a few issues I had with it, but I'll save that for my GOTY post in a few months - this well certainly be on that list.

I only have played the Supraland demo and it is really good. I will pick it up at some point.

Remedy seem to have a hit on their hands with their latest game, Control. A month after its release, critical consensus is positive and our own community is abuzz. Phrases like “game of the year contender,” “Remedy’s magnum opus” and “action masterpiece” are being thrown out hither and yon.

And it certainly sounds interesting. Control is a third person shooter, but with a twist. It weaves gameplay, in-engine cutscenes and live action FMV into a compelling narrative. In a world filled with military shoot-‘em-ups, Remedy boldly comes to the table with a fresh sci-fi premise.

Aaaaaaaaand having just finished Quantum Break, a 2016 title by the same studio, all of this sounds too familiar and makes me wary. Much of the above applies to Quantum Break. And yeah, I gotta say, I went into Quantum Break with high expectations... and unfortunately, those expectations were not met.

For context, here’s my view on Remedy’s gaming pedigree. I played and loved Max Payne and Max Payne 2. For the time, the gameplay was incredible. Bullet time was a revelation. And while the story wasn’t award winning, it was compelling and novel. The hard boiled detective wasn’t a motif I had seen in games before and it just clicked with me.

Years later, I was excited for and enjoyed many aspects of Alan Wake — the setting, the atmosphere, the graphics, the music; but I never felt the most important element of that game, the narrative, came together. If Remedy was hoping to do for horror with Alan Wake what they had done for noir with Max Payne, they didn’t stick the landing. I started the game absolutely hooked. I finished the first chapter hungry for more. But by the end of my time with Alan Wake, I was frustrated by the incomprehensible story and the stay-tuned-for-DLC-to-get-the-real-ending ending. Don’t get me wrong; I didn’t dislike Alan Wake. Ultimately, I just felt that it was a game I wanted to like more than I could.

So when Quantum Break was announced, on the whole, I was still a Remedy fan, albeit a more cautious one. But as the hype train started, I got on board, fast. Why?

Well, for those unfamiliar, Remedy has been a pioneer in mixing media into their games. Max Payne’s story unfurled through the use of comic-book panels, a decision forced primarily out of budget constraints I would later learn. But that innovation driven by necessity was one that worked and worked well. The mixing of media in that instance complemented well Max Payne’s noir story and motivated me as a player. Similarly, sprinkled throughout Alan Wake’s landscape were televisions that showed six episodes of Night Springs, an homage to the Twilight Zone. These mini-episodes were independent of the plot of the game. But it worked nonetheless. It added to the overall spooky atmosphere of the Alan Wake universe.

When they announced Quantum Break, Remedy made clear they were doubling down on this approach. They described their new game as a mixture of gameplay and a live-action television series. In the former, you would play as the hero. In the latter, you controlled the villain. And the choices you made in one would be reflected in the other, giving you, the player, a unique narrative experience for each play through. A replay-able, narrative action game? About time traveling and time-control powers to boot? And legitimate actors from Game of Thrones, X-Men, the Wire and Lost? Sign me up, I thought.

Well, here are the three things I would say if you are considering going back in time to 2016 and giving Remedy’s Quantum Break a go:

Do Not Expect the Show and Gameplay to be Seamlessly Integrated
If Max Payne’s mixture of gameplay and comics was akin to peanut butter meeting jelly, Quantum Break’s joining of a TV series and gameplay is more like eating lunch in the afternoon and then going to the gym later in the day, which is to say, vastly separate and different experiences where you’d have to stretch to see the connective tissue between the two that, sure, is kind of there, but not really.

The problem here is pacing, length and focus. After playing through a level, you expect a cut scene, something to contextualize what you just did or soon will do. In Quantum Break, you get about 22 minutes of video, which trust me, feels very long, especially since each episode is preceded by about a four minute in-game engine cut scene as a wind up. Oh, but you are Metal Gear Solid fan and like long cut scenes? Well these are different; these are tertiary to the story you have been playing. In fairness, Remedy said as much in their reveal — gameplay is about the heroes and the TV series is about the villains (though they don’t adhere to that later, but I’ll just let that go). But because these are stories running in parallel, in practice, this ends up feeling like you’re playing one story and watching another. Sure, they eventually dovetail but not in a way that pays off.

Will you like it? If ever you thought, you know, I like playing the Witcher but I wish this were broken up by live-action TV episodes filled with characters that further contextualize the world but are doing stuff mostly unrelated to my adventure… then yeah, you’ll like this.

Expect Gameplay Inconsistencies from Level to Level
I don’t know how the sausage was made for Quantum Break… but I have my suspicions. And I suspect that different teams were tasked to work on different levels — and there was no governance in place as to what you can and can’t consistently do.

So, in some levels, you can climb atop a truck but you can’t in others. In some, you can jump down from a moderately high level; elsewhere you can’t. In one case you use your powers to open a closed door (by rewinding to a time when it was open) but you never do that again, despite repeatedly coming across closed doors that you do eventually go through. Also, sometimes you can move things around that are frozen in time simply by brushing past them. It’s a cool effect. But there are levels where you can do that and levels you can’t.

Related to this is puzzle solving; it is also inconsistent. Because the levels were designed, I presume, by different teams, you will find yourself facing obstacles later in the game that you’ve already faced… and know how to pass. Except, you don’t. Because now the game requires you to use a different approach. Why? Because again, presumably, a different team thought it should be overcome in a different way.

The expression “tight gameplay” conjures a feeling of a frictionless exchange between your intent as a player and the actions of your on-screen avatar. Unfortunately, the result of Remedy’s sometimes-you-can-but-sometimes-you-can’t approach to gameplay is that I don’t think it’s possible to get that feeling in Quantum Break. Don’t get me wrong. You might master the power set in Quantum Break (more on that below), and how those are used in fights is consistent. But all of the above is also part of the game and it left me as a player confused as to what I can and can’t do in Quantum Break.

Lower Your Expectations for the Powers and Storyline
The narrative innovation not paying off and consistency issues aside, let’s turn to the heart of any story-driven game: the gameplay and the story.

I would say, they are… okay.

I do want to praise what Remedy did with the powers. They feel absolutely unique. In other superhero games, think Infamous, your powers are basically a proxy for weapons like guns, grenades, sniper rifles and melee. That’s not the case here. You can use your powers in ways I’ve not seen in other games. You can stop someone in their tracks with a time bubble, spray that with gun fire and when time resumes, they basically get shredded by the bullets that have piled up in trapped time. If you need a break, you can throw up a time bubble shield that will stop all incoming bullets or time dodge away from the fight, slowing you into bullet time once you upgrade the power later.

Unfortunately, as exciting as that sounds, it simply doesn’t play in an exciting way. Part of the problem is that you can only use these powers very briefly. By design, Remedy wants you moving around the map, throwing up shields, shifting away, bubbling enemies and more in a frenetic game of cat and time-powered mouse.

Simply put, time control is an awesome power in theory but in this game, you have such small snippets of that power that it never feels awesome. Instead of an awe-inspiring, time-controlling superhero, you feel more like a frenzied guy who is constantly under fire and must move, move, move if he wants to survive. I would have preferred if at the start of the game you had ample time to deploy these powers but that lessened as you got closer and closer to the end of time.

As for the story, given the game is three years from release, I won’t not spoil anything. But I will say that I kept hoping for more, for a narrative twist, for a surprise to make you feel that the setup itself is a red herring and what’s really going on is something other than what you were initially led to believe. But Quantum Break’s story is fairly straightforward.

In Conclusion
If I could turn back time, I would not play Quantum Break. Or, I would have read more of the reviews that said, it's good, not great. I do recommend it if you come to the game with your expectations in check and generally like the studio. I certainly still like Remedy as a studio. And yup, that means I look forward to giving Control a try.

After some RL health issues etc... I finally finished Xenoblade Chronicles 2 TORNA.
Very very good game... I still have alot of quetsions.. but a very enjoyable overall story on both games. I HOPE THERE IS A 3

Finished Ori & The Blind Forest, great little game that oozes beauty at every turn. Very platform focused with all the usual assortment of upgrades that feel great as you are more capable to explore as you progress.

The one ability that felt wholly unique was bash, a really good twist on boosting yourself through the air via ememies or their projectiles. There was many a circumstance were you needed to use it & once mastered it has you flying both vertically & horizontally through spaces you could never have imagined getting through.

The sequences in which you retrieve the different elements are really well done, with quite the ramp up in challenge. They are a bit like Zelda dungeons, puzzles to solve, doors to open & each has unique mechanics that are really smart.

Overall it still sits behind Hollow Knight & Steamworld Dig 2 but its got quality in spades, in all areas. I eagerly await to see if Moon Studios can hit the level of improvement that Image & Form did from Steamworld Dig 1 to 2.

Really glad I bought this. This should comfortably place in my top 10 this year.

Looks like I wasn't the only one with this idea. With all the hype surrounding Borderlands 3, I decided to just go back and do Borderlands GOTY instead. I played through it back in the day, but this was the first time I did all the expansions.

The gunplay was decent enough and it satisfied my obsessive need to clear zones and check off quests. Same thing that kept me in World of Warcraft for way longer than it was fun. At least here I didn't have the frustration of having to scrounge up a group for dungeon quests though. But yeah, I can see where people are coming from by saying "Why did I play this again?"

I'm sure it would've been better with a core group of people to play with, but that's not compatible with my level of adult responsibilities these days and my longstanding introverted nature.

One thing I do really appreciate with this game though, maybe a minor thing: I enjoyed the world of Pandora. I mean, yeah, mostly it's just trash heaps, but there's little details like how the skags have three holes on each side of their bodies, implying a different respiratory path than earth vertebrates. Or how the rakk nest suggests some kind of long, complicated life cycle for the rakks. Or a queen-led social hierarchy like bees and ants and xenomorphs. Or is it a symbiotic relationship with a 2nd species? Don't know, but it's cool to think about. Then there's a mix of flowering earth grasses and weird alien cactus-looking plants suggesting a half-assed terraforming effort by an uncaring megacorp. With the giant barnacles clinging to the rocks and the skeletons of long dead leviathans, it's easy to imagine this is a world with a rich ecological history. Short of a game like Subnautica, where that's the main focus, I can't think of any games offhand that evoke a similar feeling. Certainly not the Mass Effect series- talk about a lost opportunity there.

I finished up two Link to the Past inspired games.

First is Anodyne - a game I tried some years ago, but didn't get far. It was on sale for $1 on the Switch, so I tried it again, and had a good time. I really enjoyed the exploration and the light puzzle solving. One annoyance was that the final boss was pretty tough. Once I finally beat it, I accidentally pressed the wrong button and I skipped over making a post game save. There is an end game item that allows you to explore and collect more stuff after the game is over. Oh well, it was fun but I didn't feel the need to go back to it.

I started Anodyne to take a break from Link's Awakening, which I finished tonight. Overall I enjoyed the game, and it really is amazing the creativity from a Game Boy game. However, the dated design decisions had me going to a walkthrough too many times.

I finished Code Vein, so now I get to play it all over again for NG+

I've been hearing good things about Code Vein, but I'm still perturbed by the AI partner mechanic. The AI/Co-Op in Dark Souls always made bosses feel too easy or cheesy. Does Code Vein do anything to shake that up?

A_Unicycle wrote:

I've been hearing good things about Code Vein, but I'm still perturbed by the AI partner mechanic. The AI/Co-Op in Dark Souls always made bosses feel too easy or cheesy. Does Code Vein do anything to shake that up?

Well firstly, the AI companion is optional, you can leave them behind if you want. Tbh one reason I do like the AI system is that it does make the game more accessible, there are a range of companions and some are stronger than others. So you can pick a strong companion if you're struggling, or use a weaker (or no) companion if you prefer. Some fights are clearly tuned with companions in mind, so going solo raises the difficulty considerably. Lost Invasions, where you get ganked my waves of tricky mobs can be as challenging as the boss fights. Bosses range from easier than Dark Souls, to pretty tough. Combat feels faster.

The other thing is that leveling up raises all your attributes automatically, and then you fine-tune your stats through which gifts, weapons, and armour you choose. This means you can swap builds on the fly with little penalty and pick a strategy for a specific fight - some bosses are much easier to face with DEX builds and others with heavy armour. The build system and character customisation are highlights.

All that put together means you have lots of options for beating bosses and so I rarely felt like I was banging my head against the same wall for too long - compared to DS and DS2 where some fights took hours of attempts.

I'm not a veteran of all the Soulsborne-like games though, so YMMV.

Dishonoured 2 finished, got a bit brutal on it but enjoyed the story, mechanics and atmosphere of the game. Also thought the first one was very good.

One big niggle was that I couldn't add more than 2 powers to the quick slots of which there were 10, and only 2 powers were offered. Very annoying as the powers are a good way of playing different ways in this games and seems like plenty others had similar problems.

I just finished Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice. Definitely enjoyed it, but this is one of those games that I enjoyed more for the experience rather than the gameplay, if that makes sense. So, I'm glad it wasn't a long game.

I finished Darksiders 3 last night. It's a gem of a AA game, the kind we don't get that much any more. Obviously budget constrained, straining at the seams on my PS4, but a good time from start to end. There's enough challenge in the combat and exploration to be satisfying, but it's never overwhelming. The same applies to the progression and upgrade systems - I never felt the need to consult a guide because it was all very chunky and clear. I was a fan of the previous 2 games too, and while this isn't as large in scale as those, it has that same feeling of "flow". One of those games that from the moment I started, I knew this was my kind of ride, and sure enough no other game got a look in until I'd finished.

I vaguely remember it wasn't too well received when it came out but I'm glad Gunfire Games has gone on to have success with other games too.

I just finished Insomniac's Spider-Man, and it was unbelievably awesome. Probably my favorite game so far this year!

Mario_Alba wrote:

I just finished Insomniac's Spider-Man, and it was unbelievably awesome. Probably my favorite game so far this year!

That's next on my list, looking forward to it!

ComfortZone wrote:
Mario_Alba wrote:

I just finished Insomniac's Spider-Man, and it was unbelievably awesome. Probably my favorite game so far this year!

That's next on my list, looking forward to it!

Not to oversell it, but it is soooo good! And interestingly, I'll probably start Darksiders III in a day or two .

Finished Link's Awakening last night. For the most part it was a fun, short experience, though the last two dungeons felt a bit tedious to me.