Finished Any Games Lately?

A whole lot more Total Warhammer II.

I will force myself to learn these factions, and not go outside of the comfort zone. And god damn it, I will not try to be aggressive as the dwarves!

...aaaand just finished my Mortal Empires Campaign for Clan Angrund (Dwarves/Dawi) in Total War: Warhammer II. One more to go (Wood Elves), and I'll put the game on hiatus until TWWH3 comes out.

As much as I enjoy playing the Asur/High Elves, Dwarves in Warhammer 2 are more of my gameplay style. Build slowly, defensively, build your economy, and create armies with lots of firepower, artillery, and cannons to just pelt the enemy with as many projectiles as possible before sending in the axes and hammers.

Or you can just watch this video to get what it's like to play as the Dawi

Just finished The Artful Escape and I am blown away. What a game. What an amazing soundtrack! It absolutely sticks the landing. Couldn’t recommend it high enough. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/guitar_1f3b8.png)IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/sparkles_2728.png)IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/sparkles_2728.png)

Criminal Girls: It is a bit trashy with the whole reform girls in hell. But the end game secret stuff is pretty good. It’s not for everyone but it is just mindless enough for work. Going to start the sequel soon.

trueheart78 wrote:

Just finished The Artful Escape and I am blown away. What a game. What an amazing soundtrack! It absolutely sticks the landing. Couldn’t recommend it high enough. IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/guitar_1f3b8.png)IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/sparkles_2728.png)IMAGE(https://emojipedia-us.s3.dualstack.us-west-1.amazonaws.com/thumbs/240/apple/285/sparkles_2728.png)

It’s sooooo good!!! The character designs are incredibly imaginative. I’m getting the urge to play through it a second time.

I finished both Family and Rivals. On Twitter, Lucas Pope (the Papers, Please and Obra Dinn guy) recommended Tim Sheinman's games, which was a good enough reason for me to check them out. I'm glad I did, because I really love the ones I've played.

Both games are fairly similar. In Family, you're tasked with figuring investigating a fictional London music scene from 1985-95. While your task is to match the band members with their instrument and band, which you do by reading interview snippets, listening to radio interviews etc. It really feels like you're unearthing a lost history of music.

Rivals is similar, but instead of figuring out band members, you're piecing together the intertwined history of two alt-country musicians. If you know a bit about the history of Uncle Tupelo/Son Volt/Wilco, or Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm in The Band, or have seen the documentary DIG!, you'll get the idea.

Family can be played in browser, so if you're curious check that one out first. Both are quite short experiences. I think Family was about 30 minutes to an hour, where Rivals was 1-2 hours. They're on itch, maybe Steam too?

I'm gonna declare myself done with Total War: Warhammer after playing off and on for a few years. I've now completed a campaign with each of the 9 major factions. I was originally planning on also leveling up each legendary lord and doing all of their quest battles, but that would take another 12-13 games, so... no. It's time to move on to Warhammer 2.

This is the 4th Total War game I've played, and I enjoyed them all, but I sunk a lot more time into this one. Part of it's probably the fantasy setting, but the main thing I appreciate is how each of the factions have modified campaign mechanics and very distinct unit rosters, giving them an entirely different feel. I really liked Shogun 2 for example, but ultimately stopped after 3 campaigns because it was just too similar. I got through more campaigns with Rome: Total War because the factions felt more varied- but ultimately not as much as Warhammer.

This is also why I "finished" Endless Legend by playing all 13 factions, but never came close to doing that with a Civilization game. Alpha Centauri was somewhere in between.

halfwaywrong wrote:

I finished both Family and Rivals. On Twitter, Lucas Pope (the Papers, Please and Obra Dinn guy) recommended Tim Sheinman's games, which was a good enough reason for me to check them out. I'm glad I did, because I really love the ones I've played.

It's nice to hear other people enjoying Tim's games. He is beta-testing his next game Echo Beach and it will launch hopefully soon. I really liked Family and I have to get around to playing Rivals.

On my part, I ended up 100%'ing Sable. It had been a long time since I put the effort to get all the achievements in a game (beyond the easy narrative ones). I absolutely loved it and the final sequence was really touching. Sable will easily make my top 10 list for this year.

Pink Stripes wrote:
halfwaywrong wrote:

I finished both Family and Rivals. On Twitter, Lucas Pope (the Papers, Please and Obra Dinn guy) recommended Tim Sheinman's games, which was a good enough reason for me to check them out. I'm glad I did, because I really love the ones I've played.

It's nice to hear other people enjoying Tim's games. He is beta-testing his next game Echo Beach and it will launch hopefully soon. I really liked Family and I have to get around to playing Rivals.

Hopefully he doesn't mind me mentioning it, but Tim was kind enough to gift me an early key for Echo Beach. I haven't got too far yet, but it's similar to his previous games, only with a bit more emphasis on the Papers, Please influence and just a dash of Sam Barlow. Normally that alone would be enough for me to fall in love with the game, but then he wraps it up in beautiful music.

I know I'm sounding like a gushing fanboy or whatever here, but this has been quite a discovery for me. It's almost like he's designing games just for my tastes.

gewy wrote:

I'm gonna declare myself done with Total War: Warhammer after playing off and on for a few years. I've now completed a campaign with each of the 9 major factions. I was originally planning on also leveling up each legendary lord and doing all of their quest battles, but that would take another 12-13 games, so... no. It's time to move on to Warhammer 2.

This is the 4th Total War game I've played, and I enjoyed them all, but I sunk a lot more time into this one. Part of it's probably the fantasy setting, but the main thing I appreciate is how each of the factions have modified campaign mechanics and very distinct unit rosters, giving them an entirely different feel. I really liked Shogun 2 for example, but ultimately stopped after 3 campaigns because it was just too similar. I got through more campaigns with Rome: Total War because the factions felt more varied- but ultimately not as much as Warhammer.

This is also why I "finished" Endless Legend by playing all 13 factions, but never came close to doing that with a Civilization game. Alpha Centauri was somewhere in between.

All faction campaigns is a lot. If you don't mind revealing, how many hours does Steam have you logged at?

Pink Stripes wrote:

On my part, I ended up 100%'ing Sable. It had been a long time since I put the effort to get all the achievements in a game (beyond the easy narrative ones). I absolutely loved it and the final sequence was really touching. Sable will easily make my top 10 list for this year.

I’m assuming you’re playing on PC. I’m playing on Xbox and the low frame rate is ruining the experience. Do you have a high end gaming PC or something more humble?

Vrikk wrote:

All faction campaigns is a lot. If you don't mind revealing, how many hours does Steam have you logged at?

336 hours per Steam. That number's inflated though. This is a game I tend to leave running from time to time. Maybe 250-275 hours? I dunno.

Finished my fourth and final Mortal Empires campaign in Total War: Warhammer II. Wood Elves (Talsyn). Although the high elves are my favorite overall faction, I'm best at playing Wood Elves and Dwarves. The Wood Elves couldn't be more different from Dwarves and High Elves however. The High Elves are all about expansion, exploration, and confederation, while the Wood Elves just want people to stay off their lawn. The Dwarves are also a great defensive army, but while the Dawi are more about sitting in one place and withstanding waves of enemies, the Wood Elves focus on mobility, movement, and deception. If you play the Wood Elves right, you basically make your forests impenetrable, ambush whoever dares tresspass, and put so many arrow holes into enemy units from multiple directions that they all leave the forest as porcupines.

I wouldn't fight these lunatics...

I'm going to finish watching my saved battles, then uninstall Warhammer I and II for a bit (until III comes out). For now, keep moving along with Dishonoured, Wildermyth, and HUMANKINDTM. And a bunch of random MMOs.

Little late writing about it, but on the first of October I finished playing the third horror game from the people who brought us Until Dawn, The Dark Pictures: Little Hope. I, and a lot of other people, really thought Until Dawn was the sleeper hit of...whatever year it came out...and was let down by the follow-up, The Dark Pictues: Man Of Medan. Little Hope improves on some of the problems of Man of Medan, but has its own problems.

Man of Medan was Supermassive's first Unreal engine game, and it had constant technical issues, among them pop-in for textures a few feet away from you, and far worse for a game based on quick-time events it could be a stuttery mess. The writing could also be pretty cringey; I'm not sure it was any worse than Until Dawn's writing, but the kids-being-stalked-at-camp setting of Until Dawn really gave them a pass to lean into B-movie standards.

I went into Little Hope with lowered expectations, both because I'd played Man of Medan and because I remember it not making much of a splash when it came out, and on the plus side I'm delighted to say that Supermassive now has a handle on Unreal and almost all of the technical issues are gone. The only one that really bugged me was a new one, where the visual indicator for a repeated button press is so subtly different from the indicator for a single tap that I'd only realize that I needed to keep tapping by the time it was too late, and I'd fail the prompt. It's a really dumb design flaw that I'm shocked wasn't caught in playtesting.

The writing...well, it hasn't really improved; I'd really love it if they could hire some of the talent that scattered to the winds when Telltale imploded. In addition to continuing to be a little awkward and often putting through the characters through emotional whiplash when they're angry one moment and then instantly calm the next, it suffers from the problem that Mass Effect-style dialog choices usually have - you'll pick a choice labeled something like "Conciliatory" and it will be way different from what you expected, leading you to think "WTF? I'd definitely never have picked that if I knew that was what she was going to say."

Which all makes it sound way worse than the experience I had right up until the end; I'm a sucker for these storytelling games, and I love trying to guess what choices I can make to keep everyone alive. I'll unashamedly admit that I did a little bit of the tiny amount of save-scumming the Supermassive game structure allows - while the game auto-saves, you can restart from the beginning of any chapter you've gotten to, so if the outcome of a particular scene really annoyed you you can rewind to the start of the chapter and try it again. It can be really tedious to do so, since you'll have to play all the way from the beginning of the chapter up to the scene in question, but two hours worth of my time and pure cussed orneriness did save one character from a horrifying death.

So I was still enjoying the game, and interested in the story it was telling, until right at the end it turned out there was a mechanic I was completely unaware of controlling my characters' fates, and suddenly the only two female characters were summarily executed without any input from me. The game just up and killed them and there was nothing I could do; apparently I was supposed to be maximizing "character traits", which I don't think the game ever explained and I also don't think was a mechanic that determined the outcomes of characters in the previous games. But apparently by making choices that made sense to me rather than whatever the designers thought I should do, I had killed off people without ever knowing it. Very unsatisfying.

So...would I recommend the game? If you like story- and dialogue-driven horror, I guess I'd still recommend it if a deal pops up, or if it shows up on something like GamePass. Like I said, I still was enjoying it right until the end; there's some great moments of tension, and an interesting plot driving the at-times-inconsistently-behaving characters. But I keep hoping Supermassive can recapture the magic of Until Dawn, which is probably unlikely; I think they kind of got lucky that first time.

Oh, I could even give more of a recommendation if eye candy is a positive factor for you; because they're largely controlling what you see and everything's pretty close to you, they can put a lot of resources into making what you see look really good. Some great creature designs, too (although the humans definitely have an Uncanny Vally mannequin look to them - in addition to writers from Telltale, I'd love it if an animator from Naughty Dog or some similar studio helped them out).

Finished up Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on XSX in Ray Tracing mode. What a great experience. I’m stunned by how well they executed and quite enjoyed the story. The visuals were amazing, as well. Completely stuck the landing, too.

The Hellblade sequel and the still-very-far-off Elder Scrolls 6 are why someday down the line I'll eventually be getting my first Xbox. Well, those two for sure, and if there's ever a third Dishonored game I'll need to play that, too.

Today I finished Far Cry 2. Geezus christmas what an ending.

Veloxi wrote:

Today I finished Far Cry 2. Geezus christmas what an ending.

Which ending did you opt for?

Spoiler:

I realized I was an expendable merc and decided to stay behind and do the deed.

Spoiler:

I took the car battery and set off the dynamite.

Finished paying The Technomancer, a game I've restarted 3 or 4 times. Got through to the ridiculous boss at the end but hate how they are thrown in so couldn't be bothered killing it. I liked it overall although could see why it isn't highly rated. The fights were clunky and there was far too much running through biggish maps going from a to b fighting respawning baddies for my liking.
Decent story though and I liked the levelling options.

I just finished Final Fantasy XIII. I recall the talk back in the day being that it 'opened up' after 20 hours. I would say that's only partially true. The game gives you an open field and access to 60-some 'mission' sidequests for one chapter where you do those while mostly forgetting about the main story, and then it goes right back to the narrow path. There was enough promise to keep me going, but it never really delivered. I didn't feel for any of the loses. Glad I gave it a try and know that if I hadn't seen it to the end I would have wondered about it, but would not recommend to anyone that avoided it because of the on rails early game as that is really the whole game except that one spot of sidequest grinding. Ready for something else for sure.

mrtomaytohead wrote:

I just finished Final Fantasy XIII. I recall the talk back in the day being that it 'opened up' after 20 hours. I would say that's only partially true. The game gives you an open field and access to 60-some 'mission' sidequests for one chapter where you do those while mostly forgetting about the main story, and then it goes right back to the narrow path. There was enough promise to keep me going, but it never really delivered. I didn't feel for any of the loses. Glad I gave it a try and know that if I hadn't seen it to the end I would have wondered about it, but would not recommend to anyone that avoided it because of the on rails early game as that is really the whole game except that one spot of sidequest grinding. Ready for something else for sure.

Agreed completely. I did a couple of those side quests, realized that they were pretty meaningless and didn't do anything for me, and just beelined to the end.

Consider giving XIII-2 a shot; I enjoyed that one much more than XIII, and while it's still telling a fairly linear story, it doesn't feel like being stuck on a rail.

It seems like a small thing, but the more responsive character movement in XIII-2 does a ton to improve the overall experience. It's peak bonkers JRPG storytelling, but I enjoyed it.

Finished 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim.

I was already a big fan of Vanillaware's house style and this game has only added to that. It was an absolute pleasure to spend 35 hours submerged in VW visual art and the soundtrack is perfectly matched. Odin Sphere was my GOTY a few years ago and while this game is not as visually lush, it's instantly identifiable as a VW joint and they are not messing around.

Most of the game plays out as a visual novel. I won't spoil the plot except to say that it is anime sci-fi and if you think of any trope from anime and/or sci-fi chances are you will find it here. It is revealed gradually through the interlocking tales of the 13 sentinels (yes, high school students who pilot mechs), each of which is divided into bite sized chapters. Personally, I thought the story was a bit too ornate for its own good, but always entertaining in the moment. Would it have been better as 7 sentinels though? Probably.

I do think they made a lot of smart choices in how they deliver the story and implement player choice. While the final destination is fixed, you are (mostly) free to jump between protagonists, allowing you to follow plot threads or character arcs as your interest dictates. You aren't making decisions that influence character or plot overall, but still feel like an active participant in the drama. This is supported by an exhaustive codex containing background and refreshers on the many, many character and plot points that come up during the game. For me, this relieved the stress associated with interactive fiction where I worry about making the "wrong" choice, missing out on details, or just forgetting important points. Vanillaware obviously knows games and leans into their strengths as a story telling medium.

Before playing the game, I heard it was "mindblowing", "incredible", and featured as many people's GOTY last year. I loved my time with it, and would recommend to others, but not in that way. Is it doing something unprecedented in story telling or games? I don't think so, although it is pretty unusual at this level of polish and scale. But anyway, more power to the evangelists, I hope it sold well, because I'm always down for an entertaining sci-fi anime romp and it was a treat to have one created for me with such skill and care.

So am I am most certainly not done with Wildermyth, but after a few very enjoyable campaigns completed I couldn't wait to tell you how much I am thoroughly enjoying this title.

If I had to describe Wildermyth in a single phrase, it would be "semi-procedural RPG campaign story generator with XCOM2 game mechanics." From a gameplay perspective, it's simple: you wander across the land, exploring and freeing various territories by defeating enemies in XCOM2-style turn-based combat, dealing with occasional raids, and ultimately defeating the main boss and ending your adventure, all while leveling up your party members. The concept is simple enough, but this title is so much more.

Essentially, what Wildermyth really reveals itself to be is an intentionally half-written storybook that is completed by your decisions and activities in the game. Your initial set of characters start as young 20-somethings but over the ensuing decades (yes decades) they gain XP, have their personal stories develop and reach closure, fall in love (or develop rivalries) with their fellow party members, have kids who can also join your party, retire (and become Legacy characters that can join new campaigns with some starting perks), and ultimately become the stuff of legend. The genius of this title is that it keeps the story simple with a skeleton of chapters to complete and doesn't fill in the blanks from A to Z. That's up to you and how you play the game. Eventually, you realize that the real story is the intermissions where each vignette, adventure, chapter, and ultimately campaign story and character evolves. If you play this game correctly, you will not make decisions to min/max the complex (yet very intuitive and easy to comprehend) combat mechanics and RPG system. Rather, you will make decisions to tell the best possible story for your character, party, and campaign, even if it leads to a glorious sacrifice of their life to complete the quest.

For example, in the campaigns I played, the following happened:
One character, Lualla, took a cursed dagger to protect her friends but over the decades slowly turned her into an undead hero. At the end of the campaign, she walked away as a glowing skeleton never to be seen again.
Willem who was not the most well liked party member eventually became the mayor of a town and spent his spare time rebuilding old ruins
Another character, Vorn, who met a mysterious crow lady woke up with wings and was able to fly around the map in combat
A mystic named Vorbor freed a farmboy who had been cursed as a statue 30 years ago. Vorbor had a choice to gain greater power or free the farmboy, Ellis, which he did. Ellis became an apprentice (and eventual mystic) to Vorbor. Unfortunately that decision robbed Vorbor of some of his lifeforce. Although his spells became more powerful over time, his health gradually failed and he eventually died mid-campaign. Ellis continued on in his name..
Cora, who had interacted with a mystical fire idol, became a monk with flaming arms who somehow had a daughter (that must have been an interesting night). The daughter became a warrior named Rei who during the final campaign battle died. Or she would have died if Cora did not jump in front of her to sacrifice herself to save her daughter.
Brandon and Cobla, who initally were rivals, eventually fell in love married and never had kids, but passed on their knowledge to the children of their fellow party members, all while helping to stop a Gorgon from flooding the realm.

The stories go on and on, and that's the best part. The stories, adventures, and events in this game are well written but not content-dense. You're not reading paragraph after paragraph of text. Rather, the story...your story, is told in short comic-book vignettes to either develop the characters, advance the story, or both. The cool thing is the power in that simplicity - it compels you to use your imagination to fill in the blanks. The writers didn't leave stuff out because they are lazy or indifferent to it's players. Quite the opposite. They are giving you some RPG Legos to play with. You get a story with a simple skeleton for stability and procedural flesh for variation, then the rest is up to you and whatever you decide. It's a decision that empowers rather than limits the gameplayer.

Another great aspect of Wildermyth is the foundation that it provides to tell better stories over time. This is a game that was designed to be a storytelling platform that can be updated and expanded upon easily. Already there are a bunch of mods that insert new mechanics, looks, and most importantly new story and campaign scenarios. No two games of Wildermyth will ever be alike, and no two people who play Wildermyth will ever have the same experience, other than that they both enjoyed it deeply and uniquely. This is without a doubt a game that will keep giving and giving and giving in the years to come.

As much as I obviously love Wildermyth, I am even more thrilled with what Wildermyth represents: a whole new platform, a whole new approach to RPG design. Here the focus of RPG development shifts from creating a game with a story attached, to creating a story with a game attached. This approach should be the template that all RPGs in the future should at least consider or borrow from if not outright copy. For me, the only thing that stops this game from being a perfect RPG is the fact that it is not set in the Forgotten Realms.

...but I'm sure someone will develop a mod for that too.

If you love RPGs, the stories they tell and the characters that grow out of them, please please please pick up Wildermyth, even at full price. It will be money well spent and it will live on your hard drive for years to come. I know it will on mine.

Up next, wrapping up some WoW before walking away for a while, Dishonoured 2, HUMANKINDTM, and some random titles or two.

So am I am most certainly not done with Wildermyth, but after a few very enjoyable campaigns completed I couldn't wait to tell you how much I am thoroughly enjoying this title.

I so hope this comes to console in the future. If I played PC games, I'd already be enjoying it.

Wildermyth has been on my radar since before early access, and the only things that really held me back were 1) the backlog, and 2) the artstyle, which grates on me a bit, at least from the still shots. Does it look better in action?

Sundown wrote:

Wildermyth has been on my radar since before early access, and the only things that really held me back were 1) the backlog, and 2) the artstyle, which grates on me a bit, at least from the still shots. Does it look better in action?

The art style grows on you. It has this simple paper doll mechanic that you get over in the first five minutes. You become more concerned with the story, and eventually I realized that the art style intentionally has that storybook approach to look as if it was printed in the pages of a novel. In practice, the animation plays as if a group of D&D gamers were sitting across a table with miniatures while the DM lays the story out. Also the graphics and art approach keeps the file size much leaner.

trueheart78 wrote:
So am I am most certainly not done with Wildermyth, but after a few very enjoyable campaigns completed I couldn't wait to tell you how much I am thoroughly enjoying this title.

I so hope this comes to console in the future. If I played PC games, I'd already be enjoying it.

I'm actually surprised it's not on consoles. It's such a simple gameplay design that would lend itself easily to console mechanics.

Finally, after 10 years and numerous restarts, I have rolled the credits on Red Dead Redemption 1.

Goonch wrote:

Finally, after 10 years and numerous restarts, I have rolled the credits on Red Dead Redemption 1.

Nice. I feel off it once years ago when I started playing poker and never got back to the main game