Finished Any Games Lately?

I love 40K games (well, good 40K games), but I'm in the first stage of Inquisitor and there's no challenge yet as it's heavily scripted. It could be that it's the Diablo clones I have a hard time with. I loved D2, but D3 got very boring after a while. I'll definitely keep going, but I'm surprised that the action is so tepid at the start.

Yeah it is heavily scripted when you start on the Martyr but that regresses in later missions.

Can finally say I'm done with Spider-man. Hate finished it the other day. Mainly due to just being tired of the gameplay after the first DLC. Had maxed out powers with the main game and it was fun using all those powers in that initial DLC. But after that the game was pretty much just more of the same with no advancement. It got boring.

By the time the third DLC came in to play I was just done. But knew if I stopped, I would never complete it. And the DLC is only a few hours so just sat there and played through the rest of it.

While that left a sour taste in my mouth the main game was fantastic. I had a blast throughout the entire thing. The remaster looks great too (PC) and ran really well.

This is one of those games where if I stopped playing after the first DLC I would have been completely content. Normally I just abandon games when I grow tired of them. I probably could have mitigated this by just doing the DLC story missions but felt compelled to 100% everything - which meant a lot of fights and annoying challenges. Probably won't learn my lesson for Miles Morales. But I can't even think of wanting to play that game for quite some time.

Miles is a lot tighter experience. Although it is setup up for you to play NG+ to get 100%. So the main story is shorter and you can't even get all powers until NG+.

Ran through it right after I got PS5 but it's been probably 20 months. Maybe it's time for that second run...

Yeah, when the reviews for Spider-Man's DLC came out I decided to skip them, even though I enjoyed the hell out of the main game; sounds like I made the right call. I also really enjoyed Miles Morales, but I played it two years later; I'm sure if I'd played them back-to-back I would have been burnt out long before finishing.

Natus wrote:

I love 40K games (well, good 40K games), but I'm in the first stage of Inquisitor and there's no challenge yet as it's heavily scripted. It could be that it's the Diablo clones I have a hard time with. I loved D2, but D3 got very boring after a while. I'll definitely keep going, but I'm surprised that the action is so tepid at the start.

The start is the weakest part, as it's heavily scripted as a tutorial, but once you get to your ship's bridge I think six levels in and can take on side missions, investigations and so on things really open up.

Finished Ghostwire: Tokyo recently. Can recommend if you're looking for a tight, compact open-world game that you'll see credits in 15 hours or so. Looks spectacular on a current-gen graphics card with all yer ray tracing tomfoolery on.

davet010 wrote:

As I was reading Budo's piece, a vision was coming into mind.

"Total War: Warhammer 40k."

You're welcome, Creative Assembly.

You are probably the 18,542,433rd person to bring this up to them, and there's good rumors that 40K is their next game since the non-40K Total War trilogy is now concluded (barring the inevitable DLC.)

A lot of people were saying that Lord of the Rings is the next setting for the Total War series, but that can easily be screwed up, and the fan backlash can be quick and reactionary (see, anything fantasy TV series).

There's already a good total conversion mod that does The Third Age well too, so yeah... bring on the Space Marines and the Space Orks.

In the interests of clearing space on the SD card of my 3DS, I've finally just about totally finished with Etrian Odyssey IV. I'd finished the 'main' quest several months ago actually, but in the last few days I decided to make a push into the extra 6th labyrinth and defeat the weird insectoid final-final (no really this time) boss. It took me about five attempts as I learned its attack sequence, and it still came down to the wire with one last shot from my exhausted sniper.

So, pretty fun game overall. It was my first Etrian Odyssey game: I'd bought it 4 (5?) years ago, intending to play through most of the series—but in the end it looks like time's up, what with the closure of the 3DS store and the fact that it took me so long to get around to finishing it in the first place.

Saw credits on Out There: Oceans of Time. The original Out There was a really great little roguelike that I played on the tablet. You manage scarce resources as you pilot your fragile little spacecraft across the galaxy, visiting planets along the way to replenish your stores and advance the story.

This sequel is basically the same game mechanically, but with the addition of a crew roster and the ability to explore the surface of different planets on little away missions. Unfortunately the story is a real disappointment compared to the original. The first game really captured the spooky ambience of being completely alone and adrift in an uncaring, alien universe. In contrast, the new game has you playing as a Badass Space Commando on a mission to Save The Universe, and all the ambience is gone.

It seems like a misguided ploy at making something with more mainstream appeal which is a shame. The developers were really on to something special with the original game.

I finished Lost Words: Beyond the Page. It was leaving Game Pass, so I tried to wrap it up before it left! It was surprisingly better than I was expecting, and only 5-7 hours. The story and tone were a lot deeper than I expected... and the acting of the main character easily made the game. The journal sections are the highlight, but these are interspersed with "story" sections of a story the main character is writing and you play out. These were pretty weak and forgettable, and I kinda wish you could just skip them to get to more of the journal and wrap it up in like 1-2 hours. The "story" sections do tie into the main story, so you'd miss a lot of her working out her feelings while writing the story. Still, I enjoyed it and it impacted me a lot more than I thought it would. I'd recommend it with the caveat that it does have a much darker story than expected, basic topic spoilered:


medical tragedies, grief


Finished Deliver Us the Moon. It was free on Playstation Plus and seemed interesting. It was interesting enough to finish, but I don't think I'd recommend it. The puzzles weren't exactly challenging, the story was mediocre at best (as were the graphics), and the ending was kinda meh. I found myself playing it mostly just to pass the time, not because I found it all that engaging, sadly

I beat Bugsnax! It was a pretty fun little jaunt teeming with character and fun interactions. It's the perfect thing to play between heavier games.

Trachalio wrote:

Finished Deliver Us the Moon. It was free on Playstation Plus and seemed interesting. It was interesting enough to finish, but I don't think I'd recommend it. The puzzles weren't exactly challenging, the story was mediocre at best (as were the graphics), and the ending was kinda meh. I found myself playing it mostly just to pass the time, not because I found it all that engaging, sadly

I agree with most of what you say, but I quite liked it for those qualities! To me it was an easy going adventure, a decent mix of puzzling, platforming and exploration, nothing too taxing, in a cool setting with just enough intrigue to string you along.

Have you tried Observation, also free on PS Plus? Similar setting but with a few twists.

True. There was enough there to keep me going to want to finish it. And I did need a nice chill game after putting way to many late hours into Control.

Observation is downloading to my console now. Thanks for the tip!

I finished Xenoblade Chronicles 3 at just under 75 hours. And I’ve somehow played and finished all of the lengthy games in the series (1, X, 2, 3).

First, the good. In a series that boasts big areas to explore and dense and sometimes mind bending plots, the stuff on the sides has suffered at times. This game figured out how to improve all of them; the characters are on the whole much better than most of the series, the animations are better, the engine seems more stable, the writing (particularly the dialogue and side quests) is leaps beyond what was done before, and there is just generally more polish throughout.

But for a series that boasts worlds to explore, the adventure in this one just felt…..kind of flat. Maybe the world wasn’t as fantastical as the others (although walking on the shoulders of giants is a pretty cool setting that is hard to top), or maybe the areas just felt too grounded. Maybe there wasn’t enough enemy or level diversity to make it feel more alive. I really can’t put my finger on exactly what was underwhelming here, but it’s something. And considering it is one of the calling cards of the series, it’s noticeable.

Also, the story just felt badly paced. Lots of good stuff at the beginning and near the end, but a big middle that felt like things were kind of thin. The highs were REALLY high, but they were too spread out. And (with just a couple of notable exceptions) the villains were all flat cartoon characters and were not compelling or interesting at all. As such, it felt like it fell short of the stories that XC 1 and 2 had.

So in summary, it gets right a bunch of stuff that the prior games were weak in, but seems to stumble in the things that make the series great (exploration and story), so it’s hard to see it as anything but a bit of a let down. But even with that note, it still sort of fits neatly in with the other games in the series. It is a big scope, open world JRPG that few companies seem to make these days. It has a compelling story and a lot of interesting ideas and systems, and threatens to reach the heights of greatness, but a few stumbles here and there hold it back, which in my experience is exactly what happened with all the other games in the series as well. They all have come so close to being all-time greats but didn't quite get there.

That said, whenever the next Xeno game comes out, I’ll be on board for that one too. The next one may be the one that pulls it all together.

Finished Steelrising. I wasn't sold on the automaton conceit going in, but they make it work, and it gives you fun little tweaks to mechanics like an active stamina reload at the cost of frost buildup.

It was interesting to see the spin it took on the historical figures - that's not the Louis I remember from Mike Duncan's series on the French revolution (which I have now started re-listening to). It also gives you some minor rpg-like choices when it comes to favoring certain characters or not, and knowing the history made me make some choices I otherwise wouldn't have.

It could've maybe done with folding in the metroidvania abilities a bit quicker and a bit more enemy variety, but it's a very solid AA soulslike.

I also finished Tomb Raider: Underworld It's the capper on the original Crystal Dynamics run, and I'll stand by what I said after Legend: I like this take on Tomb Raider much better. And I think this one still looks pretty good. A more stylized look just ages better, and since this was a 360 game we get some nice, expansive environments, with pretty involved puzzling.

It should be my favourite of the bunch, but unfortunately - it's *real* janky, with malfunctioning physics occasionally launching things into the stratosphere, camera freakouts in close spaces, and Lara getting stuck in animations. I still had decently good time with it, but having those intermittent irritations was a bummer. (Also, there were no evening dress gunfights.)

I wrapped up A Plague Tale: Innocence. Overall, I loved it. Highly recommended.

I originally played on Xbox because it was leaving Game Pass. Then after 2.5 hours, realized I already owned it on PS5 (through PS+) and I’d prefer to complete it at my own pace instead of rushing to finish it a week ago. So I blasted through the first levels a second time and completed it on PS5. Final played was around 13 hours on PS5, so overall it was probably 15ish hours to complete the game and platinum trophy.

The atmosphere, graphics, performances, music, story were all excellent. I particularly loved how well it sold dramatic moments and made the characters mostly believable (if you can suspend disbelief enough for the central conceit). My favorite moments were


the entire Penance chapter (that organ music finale was absolutely awesome), the escalating horror moments (the slow reveal of the inquisition then the plague then the personal violence then the rats then the large scale war then the large scale rats), the swapping of perspectives frequently and the power gain with more abilities


I do have some criticisms though.
1. There were about 2-3 sections that were unnecessarily tedious. If you failed at the end (when they would typically throw one last bonus challenge) then you had to repeat the whole thing. This seemed to always happen at a checkpoint that also required me to go back and finish up something because it hadn’t saved that I had finished that task (gathering resources or revealing a secret side story moment). It almost always was caused by gameplay inadequacy where I struggled with shooting at a required pace while enemies ran at me. Overall, they really nailed the stealth mechanics, but these gauntlet sections were rough.
2. I wish they had cut all resource scavenging and crafting. This had two major negative consequences for me:
(A) I was hesitant to use many of my resources and especially my powerful abilities because I knew if I used them then I would be unable to craft my upgrades by the end of the game. I only used the two expensive abilities a total of three times (when not required by the story) and it would have been much more fun to throw them around more frequently.
(B) It ruined the atmosphere and immersion because I felt I had to constantly hunt through every environment for materials instead of reacting more appropriately to the situation. Ie, “come quick we need you!” oh hold on while I slowly and meticulously look around every corner… I enjoyed the first third of the game more than the rest because there was so little scavenging to worry about. It began to feel like a game instead of an experience. I would have strongly preferred a cheat for “infinite ammo and resources” so I could focus on enjoying the game instead.

Still, the good parts made this a must-experience game. The rats are amazingly well done and the way they made music underlay every tense moment or emotional peak was perfect. The sequel is coming out soon, but I may need a little break before diving into that mood more. I’d at least recommend trying this one out first if you can.

After hiding in the background on my hard drive for quite some time, I decided to take a diversion from the more serious and lengthy AAA titles out there and play through Punch Club.

Whew. This game was a grindy, repetitive series of training montages and brief moments of glory sandwiched between massive setbacks, monotony, suffering and periods where I questioned whether the goal was worth the process.

...and that's why Punch Club is a fascinating window into the world of amateur fighters striving to make it big as professionals.

I don't think this is intentional by the developers. In fact, on both Reddit and Steam, the developers admit there are issues with their gameplay design, particularly around the grind and skill decay that they could have done better to make the game less punishing. But having completed the game and its extremely cheesy homages to 80's style storytelling & characters, I kind of appreciate what an indirectly accurate job Punch Club does with demonstrating the amount of sacrifice, mind-numbingly repetitive discipline and hard work that a professional fighter has to go through. Having competed in amateur Karate tournaments myself back in the day and being around a bunch of amateur boxers, kickboxers and MMA folks through the years, It's interesting to see how their experiences mimic what your character in Punch Club goes through with such disturbing accuracy.

Gameplay wise, this is a straightforward time management game where you develop multiple skills and balance them with earning money and limiting decay in skills over time. The entire gameplay breaks down to making your character's status bars go up while making your opponent's status bars drop during a match. In other words, Punch Club is The Sims: Pixelated Professional Puncher.

Am I glad I played it? Yes. But I'm also glad the entire game experience takes about 15 hours max. There's only so much repetition one can take, intentional or not. If you're interested, I'd say buy it on sale, Google a guide or 2 to help you manage the skill trees and minimize the repetition to a certain extent, and for the love of God you are going to want to turn the music off. The game has one...repetitive...track...

Up next, Kislev needs to protect everyone in Total War: Warhammer III. I'm also working through the visual novel disguised as a game called Necrobarista. Expeditions: Rome and Dishonoured 2: Death of the Outsider are also at the top of my pile. And thanks to that awesome anime series on Netflix, I'm feeling the urge for another run through Cyberpunk.

I beat Cult of the Lamb over a 3-day span. Very fun game that is a mix of roguelike and cult/farm simulation. It was a little too weak in both departments, but this is a small indie game that hit big. I cannot expect that it would be as deep as what an obsessive person like me would want, but nevertheless I ding it a little bit because the fun wrapped up quicker than I wanted.

4/5 stars. Not a GOTY contender for me, but enjoyable and worth it for its smaller price point.

Had already finished Ass Creed Valhalla but played through the 2 DLC for another 35 hours or so, very enjoyable DLC with different stories although the Druid campaign felt more like an additional county on the main game. The Paris one had more gameplay differences included and an interesting story line.

What I also noticed was the huge amount of extra content added since I last played. There are all sorts of additional challenges now included with what seems like unlimited play time on things like fights, river raids, side quests etc. I prefer story driven game time though so unlikely to take advantage but good to see.

Finished Return of Monkey Island and it was just what I needed as a series finale. The game starts very slow but then it picks up the pace and becomes a proper Monkey Island game. To me, it manages the right amount of fan service and homages to the prior games while still being fun on its own. But you do need to play the previous games to really enjoy it. The ending is going to be controversial but I'm ok with it and there's a little surprise at the end that tied the whole thing together for me.

Finally finished Spider-Man Remastered DLC after tinkering away on this for over a year. Completed 100% of achievements except for NG+, including the optional all secret photos. I liked the story of the DLC and how it expanded on characters and the grand story. It was clearly not as well paced or told as the main story (heavy story moments didn't land as hard for example), but overall turned out well.

My only real complaint is the new enemies they introduced got super tedious and by the end I just wanted to rush through enemies and got frustrated with longer challenges. The Screwball challenges were ALWAYS ANNOYING, including the final mission. It was rough taking a break for several months, then having to re-learn how to play to do the tough combat or aerial maneuver challenges. I dropped the combat difficulty to baby mode by the end (after finishing the story and 100% the first two DLC) and I probably should have done that months earlier to make it less tedious.

Still, it was very fun playing Spider-man again, and the overall game is excellent. I'll probably get to Miles Morales at some point, but I need a Spider-break for a bit.

Live A Live

Absolutely love this game.

However, I was unsure for the first 10-or-so hours. I enjoy the feeling of growth and strategy involved in developing a JRPG party. With the short chapters, Live A Live wasn't giving me time to experience either of those things. However, this lets the game experiment with so many fun ideas that wouldn't be viable in a 30+ hour game. Releasing at a time when JRPGs were really hitting their stride, along with myriad other massive developments in the gaming scene, Live A Live pulls on a lot of familiar tropes and dances around what could be if the genre pushed itself outside of the confines of a typical JRPG.

There are some shockingly good ideas in this game, and the short chapters let the designers go all-out with their unique approach JRPG mechanics. These chapters can be a little inconsistent in terms of "fun", but they each present something worth experiencing. In fact, I think that summarises how I mostly felt throughout the last 20 hours with this game. While not always the most fun I've had playing a JRPG, it was an enriching, interesting, and worthwhile experience. Even if a particular chapter bored me a little, it was over within 2-3 hours, and I could start fresh on a new one. This kept me coming back day after day. There's something to be said about a game with a lot of micro goals like this!

Very minor structure spoilers: I will not spoil any story, dialogue etc. I'm simply talking about how the chapters in the late game are structured after you beat 7 of them. I'm just being particularly careful because my spoiler threshold may differ from others here.


After finishing the 7 initial chapters, 2 final chapters are revealed. The first of which is structured much closer to a typical JRPG. It is about 3-4 hours in length and has a more standard fantasy/medieval setting. In many ways, I felt it was mimicking Dragon Quest, and I started to really enjoy myself! The battle system started to really come together and the difficulty ramped up nicely. I had to spend some time leveling up and managing equipment, which wasn't really needed in prior chapters. The game really "clicked" for me here.!

Following this chapter, the true final chapter is revealed where you get to recruit/play with the entire roster. It is so amazingly satisfying to see them all come together, and to have control over who you bring into the final fight. Discovering each character, delving into their unique dungeons and putting all of their different abilities together is such an incredible experience. I've settled on a fun team that has a mix of positional abilities, AOEs, and solid range that use every aspect of the tactical battle system. It's just an amazing finale to an already great game.

...Which leads me to question why I haven't seen this battle system implemented in more JRPGs. I can't quite think of any right now that have the mix of active battle system (i.e Final Fantasy ATB) and light grid-based tactical movement. It's a pleasant mix that allows for a good level of strategy without being overwhelming when it comes to random/frequent battles.

Highly suggest you pick up this game if you're at all interested in JRPGs. While the chapter-to-chapter gameplay may feel uneven, it's all so worth experiencing if you are interested in cool game design and JRPG history. Honestly, I kept forgetting this is a 20+ year old game, it feels that fresh!

Not spoilers, but this is getting too wordy. Here are my updated chapter rankings (some of which I've posted earlier in the JRPG thread)


Near Future 2/5

I love mecha anime, but this one felt pretty flat. Lots of talking, not much interesting dialogue. Some very cool scenes and a nice finale. Something about it didn't feel good mechanically though. Loved the music and graphics though!

Pre-History 4/5

I wouldn't want a 30 hour RPG with no dialogue, but 2 hours? It worked really well! Super charming having to figure out what to do based on icons and vague grunts. Laughed out loud a few times, and found it decently challenging until I figured out crafting. I wouldn't say I'm always having a tonne of fun, but it's a rewarding and interesting experience that is a must for those curious about JRPG history.

Wild West 2.5/5

Cool dialogue and atmosphere. Centered on a single town, so not much exploration. The central mechanic was very vague and it was over before it started. Not terrible, but it was far more moody than it was enjoyable mechanically.

I enjoyed the main character a lot, and his combat abilities were really satisfying to use! Unfortunately, there's not a lot of combat to be had.

Present Day 3/5

A very cool nod to Street Fighter 2. Very short, but the central mechanic didn't really allow for much gametime anyway. A little vague and required some trial and error, but finished on a nice boss fight and fun little finale.

Twilight of Edo Japan 7/5, this one steals the show.

Bloody amazing. The stealthy gameplay is one thing, but the massive castle to explore with branching pathways, little puzzles, and hidden secrets is an absolute joy. I've recruited an extra character that I could have easily missed, and it's making me wonder how many other things I've completely ignored through my attempts at being stealthy! Multiple ways to approach things, my favourite battle skills in the game, and it is GORGEOUS. Just SO. PRETTY.

I also love that you get a vague hand-drawn map to help you navigate. It's a nice touch.

Imperial China: The Successor 4/5

This one was just so touching. I was surprised how emotional I got listening to the main character talk about passing on his martial arts skills before he passed away. The core mechanic is a bit so-so, but the characters are great, the battles tie into the story well, and the abilities were satisfying to use.

Mechanically, I was impressed how, after training my student over a few days, I started to struggle in my bouts against them. They were getting stronger (EXP, stats) from our training sessions and it was reflected nicely whenever we were in combat. A great touch that blended storytelling and gameplay.

The Distant Future: The Mechanical Heart 4/5

I see a lot of people ranking this one quite low. Yes, there is almost zero combat and it is quite long. However, I found it a refreshing change of pace with a particularly cool story. Some light survival horror, a neat concept, overall just a solid chapter.

Finished The Suffering: Ties That Bind. This was a bit of a bummer. I really liked the first Suffering, but they upped the action and bombast, and switched to Halo's two weapon system. They also introduced enemies that can only be killed in insanity mode. The result's a game that feels so much more prescriptive in its combat encounters. And to boot, the story repeats itself in a way that's nonsense.

And while playing naff Quake 2 engine shooters, I thought why stop at Daikatana? Let's continue with Sin. does its opening promise things it can't live up to. Starting off with a helicopter assault on a bank robbery in progress, you continue into the bank where the level is open with multiple ways to proceed, sub objectives to rescue hostages, duke 3D like interactivity, with usable computers! Cool sh*t.

And then the rest of the game is a slog through dull warehouses, research labs, oil rigs and water treatment plants. It occasionally sputters to life - there's a dam level that's pretty neat. And the less said about the story the better. It's sub-Gi Joe written by a horny 14-year old that's also simultaneously terrified of women. Its a way more functional game than Daikatana, but it's also more boring, so I think...I think I liked it less.

The expansion pack Wages of Sin was included, and I almost passed on it but decided to at least give it a try. And it's a lot better, at least until an atrocious final boss fight. It doubles down on the interactivity and has a lot more fun locations, and no Elexis Sinclaire to make you cringe with every appearance.

Wrapped up 100 shines in Bowser’s Fury. I think it was 5ish hours total, but I kinda played a bit here or there over the last year so I’m not sure. I enjoyed it a lot. It’s certainly not a main full Mario game, but I had more fun and joy from this tight experience than I have from several longer Mario games.

I loved the new format of a large world and you just keep exploring new stuff. I loved the bright colors and sharp environmental shifts with the stormy Bowser time and the beautiful island adventures. I loved the saving up of different power ups. I enjoyed the story as well, even with how limited it was. Having a second player controlling Bowser Jr actually worked a little better than previous 2nd player helpers, especially for getting my young boys playing.

Only criticism is a couple levels I found a little tedious. And I wish you couldn’t use some power ups to cheese certain challenges (tanooki suit especially made several goals trivially easy). Overall there’s so little to fault in this short beautiful gem.

I’d love the next Mario mainline game to be a mix of design choices from Odyssey and Bowser’s Fury. Or just more short adventures like this. Loved it.

Whelp I guess I finished all my games because my laptop just bricked...

ANYWAY just ordered a new one and will continue on with Dishonoured 2: Death of the Outsider...

Budo wrote:

Whelp I guess I finished all my games because my laptop just bricked...

ANYWAY just ordered a new one and will continue on with Dishonoured 2: Death of the Outsider...

Gahhh that sucks, sorry man.

Meh, I was close to getting a new one anyway. The annoying part is the cash I have to drop for data recovery on the hard drive.

Budo wrote:

Meh, I was close to getting a new one anyway. The annoying part is the cash I have to drop for data recovery on the hard drive.

You're really selling that $50 I give to Backblaze annually.