Finished Any Games Lately?

Evan E wrote:

Yes, I've done it before with a good friend. Since I can't play the original Portal via Steam Link and Portal Reloaded won't run on my Macs, right now I'm playing Portal Stories: Mel, a free mod for Portal 2.

It's very impressive in terms of the amount of work it must have taken, but it lacks the polish of the originals. The graphics are more detailed than Portal 2, but it's harder to spot the locations that you can stick a portal. And they try for the same style of writing, but it's a little cringey; it's not as well-written, and the voice acting isn't as good both when they try to imitate Cave Johnson and when they're doing their own character. I feel a little churlish saying that, though, given that it's a free community-made project.

Interesting. I keep meaning to play those free levels. I think there are a few different ones. I always have fight inertia to get myself to play something on Mac rather than Playstation.

In a totally unexpected way... me and my 5 year old son finished Pumpkin jack on the nintendo switch. Very good game... simple but good

Mantid wrote:
Coldstream wrote:
Timespike wrote:
Mantid wrote:
Timespike wrote:

Also finished Loop Hero last weekend - beat the act IV boss the six times you need to get all the content out of the game. A very worthwhile experience in its own right, if a little maltheistic for my taste.

Did you fight the hidden bosses?

Apparently not. Back down the rabbit hole I go!

EDIT: Got both secret bosses done - the one that shows up alone and the multiples. Now I think I'm done.

What about the secret secret bosses?

Do you mean %:1(?

You've got to be kidding me. How many of these things are in the game?

I rolled credits on Bowser's Fury yesterday. It's a delightful, and delightfully-short, Mario game. Each Cat Shine's challenge can be completed in a few minutes, or sometimes less. I started playing it two days ago; yesterday, I had the 50 Cat Shines necessary to have the final fight against Bowser, and right now I have 98 Cat Shines. Only 2 more to go! I imagine I've put in about 6 hours overall.

I absolutely love the open-world nature of this one, as well as using Plessie to travel between the islands. The whole thing has the feel of a playground combined with water-park.

I got all the endings in Nier: Replicant 1.22xxxxxxx, so that means I'm done. It was…..fine.

The story is the main thing to talk about, but it’s difficult to do that without getting into spoiler territory. I will say that anyone who is interested in playing this has probably played Nier Automata, and thus should have a good idea what sort of structure the game has, and what some of the themes are.

I get that it was a remade version of a 10 year old game, and that the gameplay was improved based on the more action-ey style of Automata, but even then, I felt that the gameplay was worse across the board compared to Automata. Movement was slower (with no way to upgrade it), customization was light, and the fast travel systems were shockingly inconvenient to actually getting around. It meant a bunch of mindless rolling around when going from one section of the map to another, especially when doing sidequests scattered all over the place.

The story was good. It starts off with an extremely strong introduction, kind of gets slow burn for about 10 hours after that, before really going again. Some of the reveals and twists and gut punches were very good, but I also think they stretched things out too much as the game went along, which lead to a slow drip of new story in subesequent playthroughs. There’s certainly more repetition in this game than Automata, and I think that was a big complaint some had about Automata. Spoilers for the structure of the game, but I'll leave out any specific story beats.


Specifically, I think Route B could be removed entirely. B was just the second half of A over again, but with the added benefit of the big recontextualization of what was going on and lots of new dialogue. But then Route C is that same half a third time, but with just like 3 new largely uneventful scenes that B didn't have until the very, very end. I think the second and third playthroughs could have been combined, with nothing lost and a much, much tighter narrative gained.

In the end, I still think this was fine, but Automata was my GOTY last year, so I came in with something kind of high to compare it to. I expected the gameplay to be worse, which it was, but I was also expecting an interesting story to pull me along, which it was, but I think the interesting bits got stretched too thin as the game went along. I think it’s still worth playing if you're interested, but if you don't have it already, you can probably wait for a sale.

Dang. How many hours did it take you? It just came out.

Vrikk wrote:

Dang. How many hours did it take you? It just came out.

I actually burned through the original Nier in less than a week because it was the first time I worked at a job that gave a week off for Christmas. It's the only game I've ever done that with. I want to say that getting to the "final" ending was around 30 hours.

Finish My Big Sister on the switch. Didn't really care for it or rather I didn't care for the endings.

Vrikk wrote:

Dang. How many hours did it take you? It just came out.

I dropped 38 hours into it, but I had an abnormal amount of free time basically starting the day it dropped, and wound up marathoning it. And I largely avoided a bunch of the side activities like fishing or farming, so that hour count could have been higher.

I am finally up to speed with the Master Chief collection, having now finished Halo 4. I was surprised to see this one rated generally lower than the other Halo games. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Sure the whole storyline is that typical Halo nonsense but I thought the new gameplay elements and weapons were great. Even though the series is ridiculously popular I think we forget just how groundbreaking, refined and top quality their FPS mechanics truly are.

The story ending was bittersweet closure, but still provided some breadcrumbs to the future for the Halo universe. With that said, I'm happy to uninstall the Master Chief collection from my hard drive and explore new FPS horizons.

Up next, finishing up Pillars of Eternity and then time to get my lair up in Evil Genius 2.

I finished Maquette earlier in the week. I loved figuring out the puzzles, and how it would often reflect on the emotional journey the game wanted you to take about the lifecycle of a relationship. The writing didn't quite live up to what else was going on, though? Left me pondering it for a while afterward (I think I do like how the relationship wasn't any one particular person's fault when it started falling apart, though). Was a fairly quick playthrough.

A_Unicycle wrote:

Halo: Combat Evolved (Remaster)

Filling a big void here with one of the pillars of console shooters. I'd been exposed to Halo on-and-off when I was in early high school, but I've never played through the single-player.


Keen to push into Halo 2!

Just finished up Halo 2 (MCC) and adored every second of it. It is incredible how much of an improvement over the base game it is - and to think this was all running on the original Xbox! Every single game mechanic was improved, and so was the level design and music. All of my quibbles with Halo 1 were fixed.

I especially loved the distinction between Covenant and Human weapons/vehicles. Both do similar things in very different ways, and it's loads of fun to mix and match as you play. The story was kiiiinda iffy at the very end, but probably would have bothered me more were I not able to just start the next game in the series seconds after.

Just finished Hitchhiker: A Mystery Game. The elevator pitch is that your character is hitchhiking in a first person in a magical reality, trying to discover what happened to his girlfriend. It feels like a combination of Virginia, and Firewatch, but the writing isn't as strong as either game. Vinny and Alex did a quick look on Giant Bomb if you want to see more of what it is.

It is included with Apple Arcade, and for the experience, that is about what I would be willing to pay. It is $20 elsewhere, and if you are interested, it is a strange but worthwhile experience. I would probably just wait until it becomes free on a service you pay for (this seems ripe to be steeply discounted on Steam, or free on Game Pass or PS+).

I started to watch that Quick Look of Hitchhiker but with how bizarre it got in the first few minutes, I decided it was a game I wanted to play instead. (Though watching Vinny and Alex play it was AMAZING).

Recently finished Doom Eternal, and while it took me a while to warm up to the game, and I didn't enjoy jumping into the mid-point of anew storyline, by the end of the game I was having a great time. Eternal is very different to Doom 2016, to the extent that the Doomguy you play as actually feels like a different Doomcharacter to the Doomprotagonist from the last Doomgame. That being said, I made a point of collecting all the Codex Entries and eventually had enough of them to catch up on what was going on. No spoilers, but I actually found the lore of Doom Eternal to be really interesting, and to extend beyond Eternal and 2016 in a way that I didn't expect.

The gameplay is so much fun from start to finish too. I loved getting into the flow of cycling through different weapons, taking advantages of enemy weaknesses, using grenades, flamethrowers and chainsaws depending on what the moment called for, and, of course, doing all of the glory kills! That sounds complicated, but it all became instinctual over time to the extent that in the final missions I was using every tool I had at my disposal; including my starter weapon. On that note, I can't think of many games I've played that were built in a way that allowed me to still make meaningful use of the weakest weapon in the final boss fight.

I'm aware there's DLC for Eternal, but I played on Switch and I don't know if we're gonna get it. If it does come to Switch I'd be tempted to get it cause there was a very subtle moment in the main campaign that I'd love to understand a little more about.

I also finished Tonight we Riot, which was a very short, but also very fun little retro-looking beat-em-up about, eh, burning capitalism to the ground. I only heard about it because the publishers and developers were advertising the fact that they dropped the price as close to free as they could in honour of 1st May, but I'm glad I picked it up. It is very short. It only took me a couple of hours, and that was with a lot of replaying missions to 'liberate' as many workers as possible and get all the bonuses that come with doing well enough in each level. The game is also a lot of fun though, and it had me chuckling at the writing on a regular enough basis. I guess the main drawback is that if you paid full price for it then you might feel there isn't enough content. I'm really glad I picked it up for €1 though and I feel it would still be worth buying even at a higher price. I guess that if you don't like politics in your games you won't like this either, as it is 100% about politics.

Ok well I guess I was closer to the end of Pillars of Eternity than I expected.

That was a really good experience. Looking at the game independently you absolutely get your money's worth. I put in exactly 100 hours of quality time into a game I spent $10 on for a digital copy during its Kickstarter days. If you enjoy party based RPGs with a good story and characters, you can't go wrong here.

When considering the unavoidable comparisons to BG1 and 2, and admittedly I'm still nostalgic for the Baldur's Gate series, I believe what the developers and writers did with PoE was very good but ultimately comes up short compared to it's BG forerunners. Of course the graphics are improved (they'd better be after ~20+ years), but the characters, music and story (while very good!) just didn't click as closely to me as the BG series did. Some things that PoE did better was the use of Caed Nua as a stronghold, the walking banter was more frequent, and I think


the epilogue (where are they now?) ending was done a little bit better, resembling the Fallout series of showing our consequences, but still figuring out the fate of the Dyrwood doesn't compare to the fate of the Sword Coast at the end of BG2:ToB

. I also like how the ending was bittersweet. Without spoiling anything, it reflects all of your major story and NPC choices, and despite your best intentions it's usually a mixed bag of things going right and wrong. Positive outcomes that require some suffering before stability is achieved.

The new lore and gameplay mechanics were difficult for me to wrap my head around, but admittedly I believe that's due more to my tight connection to D&D 2nd/3rd edition mechanics and the Sword Coast as a setting than any fault of the PoE team. Props out to them for creating something from scratch that is a quality environment with a rich history. Two things that PoE absolutely does better than BG2 by the way is the AI of your NPCs. Just head and shoulders above what the BG2 series was able to accomplish, and the way death is handled in the game (you're knocked out but revive after a fight with injuries if you fall during combat) just helps to keep things moving along.

Overall a very good time. Up next, Evil Genius 2, but I am installing Pillars of Eternity 2 as we speak since I can import my PoE1 save game.

Ys Origins -- Yunica Playthough -- Nightmare Mode

Good god I really need to stop playing these games on Nightmare mode. I don't mind some difficulty, but this is just grueling. Grinding is mandatory before every boss and even with grinding the fights take 10-20 minutes. And that's not counting deaths. I spent an hour grinding just to gain a single level for the final boss. I hate grinding, but I wasn't good enough to beat the final boss without it.

It's an awesome game and I might come back to do the other two characters in the future, but on Hard. Now onto Ys VII, again, also on hard.

Blast Corps (N64)

What a fun, creative game. I can't think of any other game similar to this one. I wish it were longer, but I had a great time with it. I am not going for the platinum medals because I don't care, but all the levels are done.

I've just finished The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark, which is the 'second season' of the original Darkside Detective. A short and quite easy point-and-click pixel-art adventure game which managed to be consistently amusing and entertainingly weird. Recommended if you want want something light and quick—generally the cases are more substantive than most of the cases in the original (which could be very short), though you could still easily finish all six in under ten hours if your brain is in the right headspace for the puzzles.

On Friday, I rolled credits on Pixmin 3 Deluxe. This morning, I finished the last of the post-game Olimar missions. This was a delightful puzzler. I hadn't played a Pikmin game since the original, and the ability to split off into groups of two, or three, makes interesting logistical puzzles out of some pretty simple mechanics. It took a little bit of time to get the hang of splitting my attention between these parties, but once I did, the game was challenging enough to require some thought and planning, but was pretty chill otherwise. I also love how you can play it in short chunks, with each day or each mission spanning about 10 or 15 minutes. I definitely played it in little bits here and there, until I made a big push near the end. Would definitely recommend to anyone.

I watched credits roll on Concrete Genie and Asemblance. The former was absolutely gorgeous to look at, but some of the mechanics were pretty frustrating. It is still a remarkable achievement though. The latter was a real waste, in my opinion.

I swooshed through Abzu in a couple of sittings. It was just what I needed, a perfect way to relax for a few hours. Zero frustration, beautiful score and scenery. Makes me wish I was physically able to scuba dive.

ComfortZone wrote:

I swooshed through Abzu in a couple of sittings. It was just what I needed, a perfect way to relax for a few hours. Zero frustration, beautiful score and scenery. Makes me wish I was physically able to scuba dive.

Totally. I absolutely adored that thing. I played it a week or so ago and just loved it.

Love Abzu.

I played through Hard West and its Scars of Freedom expansion over the weekend and the last couple of evenings. It's very much one of those 7/10 games, but I enjoyed my time with it. The whole "weird west meets xcom" thing is fun, I just wish they didn't insist on making you play the bad guys so much.

I got all upgrades on PacMan 256 on Android. All I need to do is unlock the rest of the themes. So, technically done.

While I have played Mafia 2 and 3, I had never played the original. I picked up the first one Mafia Definitive Edition a while ago and finally got around to playing it. It was a pretty solid experience, mostly for the story and character. The gameplay was OK. Wayyy too much driving for me. On one hand I appreciate the city they put together and would have enjoyed some shorter driving stints to take in the sights - but it felt like half the game I was just driving to my mission.

Spoiler: I appreciated the ending.

While during the game I kinda justify what I’m doing because at least my boss isn’t as bad as the other, all these guys are thugs and killers. When Tommy met his fate in the epilogue I figured it was much deserved, even though I tend to prefer ‘everything works out in the end’ endings.

I finished Children of Morta the other night. Was okay? I enjoy the roguelike nature mixed with the story of a family growing closer together and progressing through hardships, though when I actually tried to play multiplayer with the boyfriend next to me, actually found it more difficult than playing solo (typically not the case when we play together). The beginning feels fairly rough, though once you gain some levels and upgrades, it really starts to shine, and the characters start feeling like powerhouses. Getting there felt a bit like a chore, however.

Overall enjoyed it, however. Would definitely look forward to something more from this team given some refinement of their ideas.

robc wrote:

I appreciated the ending.

How well do you remember the later missions of Mafia 2?

I actually really dug the driving to and fro in Mafia 1 back in the day, but that was when open world games were fairly novel to me and before I had kids... One of my favorite memories of the game was getting on the elevated tram and just watching the city go by, being a person in that time and place.

I was between big games, so I downloaded Maneater, which I had on PS +. It is a silly little game where you play an eventually overpowered shark. I finished it up with all the trophies in about 10 hours, so it was also nice that it was short. The opening is a little slow until you feel like you are getting really powerful. A good "B" level game.

I finished Deus Ex Mandkind Divided. I loved it. I am looking forward to replaying it one day with a different build. I played the entire game without killing anyone. The flexibility in playstyles is great.