Games That Don’t Have a Thread Catch-All

Couple quick shots.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/7...

Necrobarista has been on my Wishlist forever and it finally dropped this week. It's an animated VN and so far it appears to have been worth the wait.

It's a supernatural game set in a post-death limbo that also happens to be a coffee shop. The recently-departed have 24 hours to come to grips with their situation before moving on to the next plane. But the shop owners are in a bind as they keep building debt (in hours) by granting travelers more time beyond their allotted 24 hrs.

There's several things in play that make the game attractive & interesting. First off the presentation is pretty damn incredible. It's got that whole Giant Bomb "styyyle" think on lockdown. For starters it's pretty unique to have a VN in a fully 3D engine that animates both subtly and not so subtly (there's free-roam interludes between chapters). But the real star of the show is the cinematography. It's just jaw-dropping. I wish I'd been hammering the F12 screenshot button so many times in my opening hours of the game, it's legit inspired. Soundtrack is super strong as well. Fits the hipster by way of somber setting vibe really well.

Backing this up is a story that feels quite smart so far. It's dealing with weighty subjects and feels like there's a sense of confidence with the material. Like it's not dancing around topics of death & loss, nor is it kowtowed with typical surface-level platitudes on the subject. Instead daring to look the subject straight in the eye with surprising directness & wit. Even manages to be funny at times with impressive comedic timing.

Great game so far.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1...

It's Paper Mario for PC. The color saturation in Bug Fables will blow your eyeballs out in the best kind of way. Reminds me of a Newgrounds production, but it doesn't skimp on any of the depth along the way. It has everything you'd expect in the Paper-rpg subgenre. TBC with unique controller inputs to pull off reg./supercharged moves. Badges to collect & equip offering unique buffs in and out of combat. Tons of lore to collect. NPC fetch quests. Unique environmental traversal puzzles that combine unique party member skills like those old Lost Viking games.

Set in an insect kingdom it's a pretty novel & fun environment to roll around in. You're tasked with finding an ancient artifact for your Queen Ant that's supposed to offer eternal youth & strength. It's a MacGuffin hunt that's interesting enough, but the real star is the variety of locals and colorful cast of NPCs you meet along the way. The dialogue is well written & funny, kinda like the Paper Mario games where the "main quest" is whatever, but just tooling around is the meat of the game. Party banter in-group & with NPCs is hilarious.

Presentation is colorful, chuncky & clean. It's reads incredibly clean visually. Music is nice, varying from stop to stop and the combat theme is great. Looks like the campaign is pretty beefy as well with the forums saying it's 30-40 hrs. worth of content depending on your play style.

All and all it's been a super-pleasant balm for our current 2020 hellscape. Great bit of escapism that combines incredible charm with impressive depth to back it up. Feels like the dev is successfully punching above their weight. Good times.

I fully intend to pick up Bug Fables at some point this year. I'm currently playing through Paper Mario: The Origami King right now, and while I'm enjoying it for what it is, it does not scratch the same itch as the classic RPG formula of the first three Mario RPG games. It sounds like Bug Fables might fill that void for me.

I picked up and finished Carrion on the Nintendo Switch this past weekend.

I was expecting something like a Metroidvania mashed up with The Thing, instead I got a puzzle game disguised as a Metroidvania game which was pretty good all things considered! I got through it, start to finish, in about four hours. Perfect for the weekend when I had a dozen other things distracting me. It was a pretty brisk playthrough until the end where I went left when I should've gone right and ended up delaying the final chapter due to getting lost. There's no map in the game which irked me, but it makes sense because you're playing as a terrifying blob monster with massive teeth. Definitely worth your time if you dig the style and like puzzles.

ImAaronJ wrote:

I picked up and finished Carrion on the Nintendo Switch this past weekend.

I got through it, start to finish, in about four hours.

I wasn't super interested, but at 4 hours, I'll give it a go since it is on Game Pass PC.

ccesarano wrote:

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is releasing November 10th in the States, 12th in Japan, and 20th in Europe for PS4, Switch, and Steam.

It looks to be a side-scrolling character action combined with Harvest Moon type game and has usurped Destiny 2: Beyond Light as "most interesting thing releasing on November 10th" for me.

There's the trailer, but Nintendo had 20 minutes of gameplay at last year's E3.

Watched these and instantly added to my wishlist (thanks Deku Deals)

mrtomaytohead wrote:
ImAaronJ wrote:

I picked up and finished Carrion on the Nintendo Switch this past weekend.

I got through it, start to finish, in about four hours.

I wasn't super interested, but at 4 hours, I'll give it a go since it is on Game Pass PC.

"short" and "on game pass" is frequently how I decide to play anything that isn't Rocket League these days

Carrion is fun, good mechanics, a dose of grim humor, and just good atmosphere.

Robear wrote:

Carrion is fun, good mechanics, a dose of grim humor, and just good atmosphere.

This is man is correct. You should subscribe to his newsletter.

Unfortunately, there is no English version of my newsletter.

Robear wrote:

Unfortunately, there is no English version of my newsletter.

Esperanto?

Nimcosi wrote:
Robear wrote:

Unfortunately, there is no English version of my newsletter.

Esperanto?

Simlish?

LInear A. Unfortunately, I've encountered... issues... getting qualified reviewers to write for me. Still trying to break those balls.

Robear wrote:

LInear A. Unfortunately, I've encountered... issues... getting qualified reviewers to write for me. Still trying to break those balls.

Hard to find a reliable Cretan, they keep getting lost in their own maze.

And... back to games. Anyone check out Otherside yet? Opinion?

Ugh, I only know Linear B.

Huge improvement over the E3 2019 trailer. This looks pretty dang good.

Picked up "The Feud: Wild West Tactics" after seeing the review on RPS, and they were right! This is Appalachian X-Com. No aliens, of course, but some very tasty tactics. The folks who did it put some thought into it. The AI is aggressive, and you're usually outnumbered. Cautious play will get you killed, seems like, but cover is crucial. Each character has some special skills, and their various abilities can be enhanced over time. I understand there is a sort of "tech tree", and I've already uncovered one character to add to my "posse".

The story is based on the Hatfield - McCoy feud, but after playing both sides, there's a story called "Uneasy Alliance", and then in the main menu there seems to be another campaign entirely, plus a Skirmish mode where you can create battles (dunno if it's random or what). The story itself is just the right degree of overwrought "Don't matter who they are, can't have them runnin' across Hatfield land like feral hogs" exposition, and it's just there to explain the situations you find yourself in. You start with a 12 scenario Hatfield campaign that also functions as a tutorial.

Combat is crunchy. Good options, with only 2 action points per turn. Extraordinary events can trigger momentary "superpowers", where someone gets in the zone somehow and can take advantage of that. Cover is all-important, and flanking is a close second. Fights take place at close range (which is entirely appropriate, I believe) and you can tell pistols from shotguns from rifles by their sound. Visual and sound effects show the benefits of terrain in near misses, or when you're just getting nicked because the rocks protected you. Dynamite and knives will come into play (the game hints suggest winkling enemies from cover "...with a strong knife character...", which I am eager to see in action. And while the game can't avoid a damage point system, it's supplemented by critical hits that affect movement, firing and abilities/stats. One of my guys took a bad arm hit and lost 2/3 of his accuracy immediately. You can also apparently knock people out. Characters heal between fights but I'm not sure if that will change.

Graphics are good, but the camera is a bit stubborn and will sometimes spring back to a position where you don't want it. It has not materially affected the game but it can be a bit annoying. Everything else is intuitive and straightforward for X-Com or other turn-based tactics fans. Ammo management, timers on special skills, partial cover, overwa... No, wait "Lookout" mode... All the good stuff and the game has a knack for telling a spare story and dropping you right in the action. No need to walk in (at least not so far), you're right there and the bullets are flying.

The best part is that the characters are not - quite - caricatures. Their models are a bit over the top, with grimaces and glaring eyes, but their motivations are reasonable and they are sincere badasses, just like in real life. They love their families and want the best for them, or at least to keep them safe. And while they are rough, they are also not stereotypes (so far, anyway). Although it's a fine line with the minimalist story so far, I think they have (so far) handled the cultural aspects decently. The game feels of a time and place, and the people too, but not 1960's sitcom Hatfield stuff. And I respect that. (My grandmother knew some of the Hatfields, as a child, since she lived literally on the other side of the mountain from them, although she was born 20 or so years after things had quieted down. She had heard the stories the books don't tell.)

As RPS noted, this is more fun than it has a right to be. I'm burned out on X-Com-alikes, but this is sparking my interest again, and I am all for that.

I bought Stationflow over the last sale and finally took it for a spin.

The basic premise is that people enter the station through subway entrances and get to the train they need, or they arrive on a train and need to exit the station at a particular exit or hop on another train. So basically you connect the various entrances / exits to the train platforms and mark the intersections with signs so they can find their way.

Now all of these things don’t exist on the same level, so you need to connect the levels with staircases so the people can travel between them. When you service the station well enough you level up and the game throws another wrinkle at you - now the people want a place to buy coffee, and then a place to pee that coffee out, or a board so they can figure out what train they need to catch or exit they need to leave. Then I had to start catering to ‘the elders’ and build elevators because they can’t walk the stairs.

I’m level eight, which probably isn’t very far, and it has been mostly easy to meet the new demands. The player is constrained by money, but it hasn’t been too tight as of yet. The biggest challenge is that sometimes the building tools are awkward to work with. Sometimes it’s pretty smooth - hallways snap together, stairway connect to their destinations. Sometimes there is a conflict and I just can’t get things to line up right and I need to fiddle, or delete something and try again. So, the challenges so far haven’t been mental ones but after leveling up some more and needing to retrofit new train lines and exits I can see the complexity rising.

Some of the other tasks feel like busywork too, like supplying coffee. That just means I need to go throughout my station and plunk down coffee machines. Same with the food. The other busywork is constantly needing to update signs. A new train line pops up, well now I need to go update all of my signs to people know where to go.

It’s an interesting concept, but I think the execution falls short to make me want to put a lot of time into it. Maybe later on more interesting things get added, but for now I find myself spending more time on tedious things than solving interesting problems. Kudos to the devs for trying something a bit different. Aaron D. liked it quite a bit, and it does have favorable reviews, but it just didn't do the trick for me. It sounds like at the time of his review we made about the same amount of progress.

It's chill. A good Zen building/planning game, but I'm rationing it out, as I'm not sure it has a lot of replay value.