Finished Any Games Lately?

ComfortZone wrote:

I finished Dead Cells for the first time!

pyxistyx wrote:

MO: Astray, just for a change of pace. Delighted to discover it was a hella fun puzzle platformer with a lot of variation and surprises thrown in. Kinda blitzed through it (on easy, because i am terrible at platformers) over the last few days. Really nice little surprise.

I assume both these games were played with a controller, rather than a keyboard & mouse, yes? Thanks!

Moons of Madness has been laid to sleep. Fun game, with some genuine scares and some interesting beats story-wise, but not great puzzle-wise. It was quite alright.

ComfortZone wrote:

I finished Dead Cells for the first time!

I'm quite proud of myself, but really it's a testament to the game that I was driven to keep at it despite not being very good at these kinds of games. Now trying out the "hard" mode, which is certainly... harder.

That is such a good game. Unfortunately it outpaced my skills and my patience after two boss cells, so there's still quite a bit of the game I've never seen.

Mantid wrote:
ComfortZone wrote:

I finished Dead Cells for the first time!

I'm quite proud of myself, but really it's a testament to the game that I was driven to keep at it despite not being very good at these kinds of games. Now trying out the "hard" mode, which is certainly... harder.

That is such a good game. Unfortunately it outpaced my skills and my patience after two boss cells, so there's still quite a bit of the game I've never seen. :?

Good news for you buddy. The most recent patch smoothed out the difficulty some. 0BC is slightly harder, while the other ranks are slightly easier, so you don't hit that wall.

From the July Patch Notes:

The difficulty curve between Boss Cells has been smoothed out, so difficulty spikes should be less of a problem. Yes, 2BC shouldn’t beat you up and take your lunch money anymore, well, not as much anyway.
We’ve also tried to make 0BC more challenging so new players learn more of the combat styles and to let them collect more gear/runes before progressing to the next difficulty level. Basically we want to stop them beating the 'tutorial' too quickly and then just getting smashed.
Stele wrote:

From the July Patch Notes:

The difficulty curve between Boss Cells has been smoothed out, so difficulty spikes should be less of a problem. Yes, 2BC shouldn’t beat you up and take your lunch money anymore, well, not as much anyway.
We’ve also tried to make 0BC more challenging so new players learn more of the combat styles and to let them collect more gear/runes before progressing to the next difficulty level. Basically we want to stop them beating the 'tutorial' too quickly and then just getting smashed.

Well it was actually 3BC (ie after two boss cells) that I hit the wall. But I guess I'll should give it another shot if I can make the time for it. Starting at a lower cell count, of course, since I'll be a bit rusty.

Natus wrote:
ComfortZone wrote:

I finished Dead Cells for the first time!

pyxistyx wrote:

MO: Astray, just for a change of pace. Delighted to discover it was a hella fun puzzle platformer with a lot of variation and surprises thrown in. Kinda blitzed through it (on easy, because i am terrible at platformers) over the last few days. Really nice little surprise.

I assume both these games were played with a controller, rather than a keyboard & mouse, yes? Thanks!

Yes Dead Cells with a controller (on PS4).

And last night after many many hours, I have beaten Sekiro!!!

Bake bread? Read Books? Get in Shape? Nah, i decided my Covid activity would be to beat this thing. I had 15 hours from a previous play through and just hit a wall. This time I started over, hunkered down and did it. Took the better part of 2 months on and off, and at least according to steam, 60+ hours, but mission accomplished. Did it justify The Game Awards GOTY in 2019? Not sure, but what an amazing time. As someone who never got into Souls games, this one just struck a chord with me. The fact that pretty much every fight, whether its against bosses or just normal enemies requires such a level of precision really was fun for me. I know that's not everyone's cup of tea, but for me it was very rewarding every time I made progress, no matter how little. Also it gave me the incredible self satisfaction that my gamer reflexes haven't waned (as much as I feared) at 47.

Weather or not I start a NG+ is up in the air... but I probably want to at least clean up the parts I didn't do before amping up the difficulty.

ComfortZone wrote:
Natus wrote:
ComfortZone wrote:

I finished Dead Cells for the first time!

pyxistyx wrote:

MO: Astray, just for a change of pace. Delighted to discover it was a hella fun puzzle platformer with a lot of variation and surprises thrown in. Kinda blitzed through it (on easy, because i am terrible at platformers) over the last few days. Really nice little surprise.

I assume both these games were played with a controller, rather than a keyboard & mouse, yes? Thanks!

Yes Dead Cells with a controller (on PS4).

Yes, ideally Mo: Astray is played with controller as well, but you could get by on kbd&mouse i think, at a pinch.

I just finished another (mostly) enjoyable entry in the Uncharted franchise, with Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The shooting & combat is totally not fun, but I love everything else about them: the story and writing, the level design, exploration & traversal -- heck, I'll even take the QTEs and scripted combat/escape sequences. I was also delighted that

Spoiler:

there was NOT a new, supernatural enemy type introduced in the last 10% of the game -- it remained a completely plausible real-world story all the way until the end. You know, except for the fact that there's no way that all of the pirate towns and ships scattered all over that island would possibly have been missed from even the most cursory of surveys after all these years.

Next up in my quest to finish off the major PS4 hits will either be a return to Bloodborne (I stopped right at the Blood-starved Beast), or Horizon: Zero Dawn. I'm leaning towards the latter.

It is finished.

After over 10 years waiting to replay the series, and then reinstalling the game before anyone knew what a COVID was, I started my hero in Candlekeep in Baldur's Gate. Then I decided to start a second hero and play 2 campaigns at the same time. One would be the traditional "canon" story and NPCs that I traditionally played, and the other would be all new characters and choices.

And so after playing through Baldur's Gate, Tales of the Sword Coast, Siege of Dragonspear, Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, and Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, I finally completed both campaigns today and can put the series to rest once more.

...at least until Baldur's Gate III is released and I find out if there's any info or even cameos on these heroes and NPCs.

This series is old now. I prefer referring to it as "classic", but yes the wrinkles and cracks in the graphics and gameplay are undeniable. The look is dated. When you put it up against Dragon Age or even Pillars of Eternity or Divinity, Original Sin 2, the game could even be called "homely". The inventory system and the potion hoarding takes up an insane amount of time. Also, the series is exactly as difficult as I remember - if you don't study the 2nd edition rules, you are not just going to cruise through the series, and I say without embarassment that there are times I relied on easy mode, with the justification that I beat this game on normal and difficult in an earlier age. If you're new to the series, I expect you will like the series, but will appreciate it the way grandchildren appreciate their grandpa's tall stories of yesteryear.

And yet...even playing it now literally decades after its release, it's still my all time favorite series. More than Mass Effect. More than The Witcher. More than Dragon Age. Baldur's Gate was the series of my childhood and young adulthood. It got me through the tough times of grad school and whenever I turned off my laptop I would still think about it, the friends I made along the way, the music, the art, the sounds, the heroes and villains and even the side quests. I still think back fondly on the romances and friendships and stories my party and I shared together. Some games you like, some you love, and some...go beyond that. They become a part of your life, your experience, your personal zeitgeist. The BG series lands right there for me, warts and all. And every RPG that was developed after the release of BG1 and 2 owes a debt of gratitude to this iconic series.

I was a little concerned that Siege of Dragonspear and the Enhanced Edition content would dilute the experience and sour my memory, but quite the opposite. With Dragonspear, a very necessary chapter in the saga was added that served to provide a transition between BG and BG2 that I never knew was needed. That game struck a remarkable balance between telling its own independent story while making sure it honored the time between the established end of Baldur's Gate and the beginning of BG2. The Enhanced Edition content also served to do just as it said - it enhanced the experience without replacing the established content. A few new NPCs were added as well. I particularly enjoyed Hexxat's story arc and Neera's quirky personality.

I'll return to the Sword Coast in the future. I certainly won't wait the 10+ years I did last time, though. There's still character combos to play, classes unexplored, content to be experienced. It is indeed the series that keeps on giving, and even though the coming sequel will likely have little in common with its predecessors, I feel as if I will now appreciate and enjoy Baldur's Gate III on a new level that I would not have been able to had I not invested my time and attention once more into this series. As of now, though, BG1 and 2 are my early entries for game of the year. Again.

Up next, I guess I'll play something much different. Halo? Euro Truck Simulator 2? Perhaps an...MMO? Only Elminster knows.

Splinter Cell: Conviction.

That was neat. Why don’t they make these any more? No collectibles, no open world, no side quests. Just sneak around, shoot people in the head, save the world and rescue the president.

A Short Hike.

That was neat, in a completely different way. A delightful way to spend two hours on a rainy afternoon. My daughter played most of it and we passed the controller back and forth. Definitely worth a spin if you have it lying around.

Symphonia
I highly recommend checking this out given that a) it's only about 30 minutes long and b) it's completely free on itch.io.
It has some ridiculously good artwork coupled with some very solid platforming action, although the last platforming challenge started to test my patience a little. And all made by a group of students!

I finally got around to playing and finishing Evil Within 2. Albeit with the menu cheats switched on (i have a low patience for stealth horror games with low ammo right now but i really wanted to see all the cool visuals / story). Obviously this is not the recommended way to play the game, but *I* enjoyed myself at least. And it knocked another one off of the pile, super quicky!

pyxistyx wrote:

I finally got around to playing and finishing Evil Within 2. Albeit with the menu cheats switched on (i have a low patience for stealth horror games with low ammo right now but i really wanted to see all the cool visuals / story). Obviously this is not the recommended way to play the game, but *I* enjoyed myself at least. And it knocked another one off of the pile, super quicky!

I played it earlier this year, and absolutely loved it.

I remember spending about an hour or so with The Evil Within (the first one). I got frustrated with the controls and combat. I remember thinking it was like Silent Hill, except less fun. Would you say the sequel is a marked improvement?

Garth wrote:

I remember spending about an hour or so with The Evil Within (the first one). I got frustrated with the controls and combat. I remember thinking it was like Silent Hill, except less fun. Would you say the sequel is a marked improvement?

Well, I loved the first one as well, so I'm the wrong person to answer this. As far as I can remember, I think the controls and the combat are pretty much the same. That said, the game does give you two control schemes to choose from at the beginning. I think they labeled them something like "for people who played The Evil Within," and "for people who didn't," but I don't know what the difference is, honestly.

Mario_Alba wrote:
Garth wrote:

I remember spending about an hour or so with The Evil Within (the first one). I got frustrated with the controls and combat. I remember thinking it was like Silent Hill, except less fun. Would you say the sequel is a marked improvement?

Well, I loved the first one as well, so I'm the wrong person to answer this. As far as I can remember, I think the controls and the combat are pretty much the same. That said, the game does give you two control schemes to choose from at the beginning. I think they labeled them something like "for people who played The Evil Within," and "for people who didn't," but I don't know what the difference is, honestly.

Got it. Cool. Thanks. I may have just been in the wrong mood that day to play it, who knows.

I finished Sol 705, a game that I backed on KS a while ago. It's a nice classic point-and-click adventure by an Argentinian dev. The game has some really nice art, especially in the backgrounds and the voice acting.

The puzzles are pretty good and logical, and mostly rely on the classic mechanic of combining things in your inventory and using them to interact with the environment. Sometimes the signposting could have been better so I got really stuck a couple of times.

The story gets a bit too chaotic for its own good towards the end, but it is still pretty funny and enjoyable. There are also a ton of cultural references to things that were part of daily life in Argentina back in the 80s and 90s. I'm not sure everyone will pick those up, but I really enjoyed them.

I finished Jedi: Fallen Order last night. Pretty solid Star Wars game. Brought me back to the days of playing Dark Forces and its Jedi-oriented sequels.

I really enjoyed the different planets. They were beautiful, felt decently fleshed-out, and sufficiently alien. I liked the focus on exploration, with a few puzzles here and there and picking up little tidbits of lore.

The plot was OK. The main trio of characters were decent enough. Some of the secondary characters made a stronger impression though: Nightsister Merrin, Taron Malicos and Second Sister in particular. And of course BD-1.

The only thing I wasn't fully sold on was the combat and Souls-like elements. I stubbornly completed the game on Jedi Master, but probably would have enjoyed it more if I had powered through it on the next lower difficulty. Also, too many melee troopers.

I think a sequel is pretty much confirmed? I'd like to play as a new protagonist who joins the crew instead of Cal again. Maybe a Boba Fett knockoff with a bunch of gadgets instead of another Jedi.

Also finished Ticket to Earth on my iPhone a week or so ago. It's a combination tactical combat RPG/puzzle game, which was ideal for playing in small chunks on a small screen. Attractive art style and a compelling enough plot and characters to keep me interested throughout. Also cheap for how long it is.

This morning, I finished Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. I wrapped this after a really long hiatus: last year, I got up to Celica's battle at the foot of Duma Tower -- so, a few story missions from the final dungeon -- and then stopped. I don't remember if I got distracted by something else shiny, or just burned out. I suspect it was some of both. But this was a really nice place to pick up from, and some of the final battles were really interesting. I especially liked Alm's battle at the fort with a murderer's row of horse archers, and then the final confrontation itself.

Some of the changes were really solid. I enjoyed having weapons that can be forged, and learning techniques from weapons, and thought these were a good tradeoff for weapons that break (which I don't miss). The main story was pretty good -- and pretty "Fire Emblem standard" -- but I thought the side conversations weren't on par with most of the rest of the series. I enjoyed the map, but didn't really like the monsters that respawned at certain checkpoints, which felt like needlessly grindy. The dungeon battles sometimes felt the same. I would have liked this more, and probably played it without a long break, if those monsters didn't respawn.

And a few weeks ago, I finished Wintermoor Tactics Club! This is a really special indie SRPG that easily could make my GOTY list. You play as a group of misfits at a boarding school in 1981, who all belong to the Tactics Club, where they play (essentially) D&D together. Around wintertime, the principal starts a snowball tournament between all the different student groups, with each club forced to disband if they lose. The combat is fun, and quick, but the writing and art really elevates this game and makes the whole much more than the sum of its parts. The cast of characters is quite diverse and well-developed, too.

LastSurprise wrote:

And a few weeks ago, I finished Wintermoor Tactics Club! This is a really special indie SRPG that easily could make my GOTY list. You play as a group of misfits at a boarding school in 1981, who all belong to the Tactics Club, where they play (essentially) D&D together. Around wintertime, the principal starts a snowball tournament between all the different student groups, with each club forced to disband if they lose. The combat is fun, and quick, but the writing and art really elevates this game and makes the whole much more than the sum of its parts. The cast of characters is quite diverse and well-developed, too.

This is a pretty awesome game. I think I posted about it in this thread when I played it. It's really enjoyable as long as you don't expect a super deep and challenging tactics game and you are interested in the narrative part of it.

Im really happy to hear folks enjoyed Wintermoor Tactics Club! The devs are Seattle locals. They took their time and released a solid, polished, quality indie game. I hope they did well enough to start something new!

Assassins Creed: Rogue.

50% sync it tells me, but I saw the end credits so I’m calling it finished. This was so much like Black Flag again but it had just barely enough new things to differentiate itself.

The story was quite different from all the others but it still boiled down to the basics - hunt down the “bad guys” and stab them to stop them doing the bad thing.

I was half expecting some sort of twist - they were right all along and you were actually the bad guy doing the bad thing. No not really.

Anyway the ship combat was excellent, it was a bit less buggy than Black Flag, although a few people disappeared every now and then. The sneaking and stabbing bits were all fine.

This concludes my catch up of all the older style AC games and next time I get to some assassin-ing it will be with Origins and Odyssey.

polypusher wrote:

Im really happy to hear folks enjoyed Wintermoor Tactics Club! The devs are Seattle locals. They took their time and released a solid, polished, quality indie game. I hope they did well enough to start something new!

Sounds right up my street and It looks like it will get a PS4 release next month so I will definitely play it then.

polypusher wrote:

Im really happy to hear folks enjoyed Wintermoor Tactics Club! The devs are Seattle locals. They took their time and released a solid, polished, quality indie game. I hope they did well enough to start something new!

I would definitely play another game from these devs!

Wintermoor Tactics Club is also on my to-do list, just keep distracted by other games.

Dark Souls. I bounced off this last year after not enjoying how non-responsive I felt my character was. Also, dying repeatedly in that first section feeds nicely into the game's this game is really hard marketing. I don't know why I picked it back up, but learning about how weight impacts how responsive the character feels + finding a weapon that fit with how I wanted to play (Balder Side Sword, which along with the Tower Kite Shield carried me through the entire game) got me to the point where I felt like I was making slow but steady progress every time I played. Shortly thereafter it was the only thing that I was playing, up until late last week when I finished with ~50 hours played.

The key thing to know, for anyone who is maybe on the fence about the game like I was, is that it actually isn't hard. The combat in the game has very strict rules that you'll pick up over time, and once you're comfortable with it the game really opens up. Honestly, the hardest boss fights in the game are the ones where the camera fights you as much as the boss does. And even in those cases I was able to defeat the bosses prior to the point at which I decided I would summon a phantom to help out.

Anyway, I loved it. It's a shame that the game's marketing and most vocal fans put me off trying it for so long.

I watched the credits roll on The Last of Us 2. Wow. (I liked it, just to be clear, but boy, that was a trip)

Earlier today, I "finished" Islanders. Which is to say, in a game like this that doesn't have an ending, I've gotten all the achievements (except one -- explore 30 islands) and taken the game as far as I want to take it. It was a fun and distinct puzzler, good for a few hours, but I don't have any interest in continuing to try beating my high score.

Over the weekend I finished A Plague Tale: Innocence. Overall I really enjoyed it! I'm not much of a survival-horror player, but I liked the atypical protagonists, the slow addition of varying game mechanisms, and I appreciated the importance of stealth, caution, and taking your time. There was one particular boss fight where I got really frustrated, but I think it's because I felt like I was required to react quicker than ever before, so everything felt sluggish.
After you beat the final boss they roll credits, so I started looking at my phone and got frustrated at any lack of resolution (especially considering the myriad quiet moments which I really appreciate in any game), however I'm glad I didn't shut the game off because thankfully there was an epilogue.