What did you play this weekend?

A spin on the other thread, we plan to do XYZ but often end up doing very different things. This is a place for micro-reviews on what you actually spent your time playing. Was it worth the time? Will you go back? Any unexpectedly pleasant surprises?

My brother is in town and he's a big gamer so we're trying a ton of different things

Heroes of Hammerwatch - My brother, sister and I have been playing this for over a year, a run at a time, various characters. Its still a ton of fun. We just got into Mercenaries, a one-life hero who can take skills from any of your high level characters, giving you quite a palette to play with.

Hardspace: Shipbreakers - Just a great game. Its not based on violence in any way, it has a message about corporate wrongdoings and social structures and debt, all baked into a game about the intricate and dangerous job of dismantling space ships

Sleeping Gods (board game) - My brother, wife, and I are playing through this. Explore a strange archipelago with WAY more content than you can find in a single run, and try and find a bunch of artifacts. Really interesting mechanics, like a not-broken 7th Continent (disclaimer, I never played 7th continent, I just hear it's not great at times.) Fully cooperative and not in a 'cooperative solitaire' way, or a way that encourages 'alpha players'. Its basically a 20 hour replayable video game RPG as a board game.

Star Wars Galaxies - Restoration III - A resurrection of the old MMO which launched last week. This game has stuck in my brain for a long time for the crafting and gathering components of it. Jumping in and playing with these features again has reminded me of the best parts of it, which is what I wanted

X4 - Foundations - Playing SWG inspired me to play a game with similar crafting/gathering but without relying on humans to buy my stuff. I still mostly play this by hiding in some engineer's quiet office somewhere and playing 'spreadsheet empire', managing my ships and station remotely. Gives me most of what I want out of EVE Online without making me play EVE.

Ragnarock - an entertaining VR rhythm game about encouraging your vikings to row as fast as possible by hitting the drum beats on some pretty metal songs. It can get you sweating but you're really just moving your arms on this game.

I like the idea. A lot of times I'm going to play X game but end up playing Y game(Rocket League usually) too long and never start/finish X

I went into the weekend not sure I had anything I wanted to play. I'd tried some indie demos earlier in the week but didn't come back to any.

The Last Spell was frustrating but still fun. Its a tactical city-defense game with an 'unfair roguelike' design, meaning you are meant to die, a lot, and use points to improve so that you can get further next time. I'm not sure how far I'll get with it. I dont think I would recommend this yet beyond the style and the novel mix of genres. I dont think you can win the first city's defense in less than 10 tries, which is a lot of repeating the same stuff, though my characters are starting to get into night 4 and 5 out of 10(?).

Heroes of Hammerwatch I play this often coop with my distant brother and sister. Its the only game we've found that interests all 3 of us long term. Its a top down 2d action RPG with an extremely strong meta-game. You improve your city and your heroes with each run. By level 20 (2-3 runs) you've beaten the game and can try NG+, then NG++ all the way to... I dont think there's a limit. Each victory gives all of your characters different bonuses. Its a lot of fun and really well done

Skyrim VR This was the unexpected time killer. I hadnt tried it in a few years. This time Wabbajack, automation software that takes 90% of the work out of setting up a pre-made mod-list, made setting up a 600 mod, VR and performance focused mod list called Narsil really easy. I did pay $5 for a month of Nexus premium to fully automate the process. Otherwise you have to click each download button (600+ times) but Wabbajack even automates that to an extent.

Im playing on the Quest 2 with a Link cable to my PC. So far its running great and I'm learning how to be a mage again.

I played lots of Rocket League.

I did try the new Final Fantasy Origins demo. It was kind of fun. Thoughts in the Final Fantasy thread.

Finished Into The Breach achievements. GWJ Strategy Club is playing that right now and I joined in to finally 100% the game.

Mass Effect 2. Doing loyalty missions, levelling up my Vanguard and not being nearly as obsessive about planet scanning / mining as I was 10 years ago. You don't need 250K Palladium sitting around just in case.

I checked out the wiki to find out how much of everything I needed to get all the upgrades. Once I hit those numbers, no more scanning for me.

The boy (well his mum) bought me Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 for dad day. It's hooked me just as it did all those years ago.

Fun thread... I don't think I've ever posted in the other because I have no clue what I feel like playing.

Xplane 11 / Microsoft Flight Simulator PC I'll put these on the same line. This is most of my weekends nowadays. I use Xplane 11 if I actually want to "fly" and participate in VATSIM events. I use Microsoft Flight Simulator for VFR flying and FSEconomy where I don't have to go above 10,000 feet. This weekend I did a VATSIM event flying from Budapest to Istanbul (not Cons.... stop!), and I did a number of FSEconomy VFR flights in Scandanavia, and one in Arkansas.

Wasteland PC. Iso-RPG is one of those genres I don't play enough of, but giving this one a go and so far enjoying.

Operation Tango PS5 June PS+ game. I really liked this one. It does crash more often than you want it to, but its a lot of fun. If you and a friend have a PS5, you should get it while its free. Its more "Keep talking and Nobody Explodes" than a coop action game.

It Takes Two PS5 Continuing the theme, after finishing Tango, I got It Takes Two. Yes its super highly rated, and its good... honest take though.. Tango is the better co-op game (I've only had a few hours with IT2, so opinion may change).

Carlbear95 wrote:

Operation Tango PS5 June PS+ game. I really liked this one. It does crash more often than you want it to, but its a lot of fun. If you and a friend have a PS5, you should get it while its free. Its more "Keep talking and Nobody Explodes" than a coop action game.

I have it installed. Why aren't we playing together? Keep Talking... is one of my favorites!

I can play it with you. There is some level of discovery to play with someone who hasn't played before, but like Keep Talking the puzzles themselves change every time.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Xplane 11 / Microsoft Flight Simulator PC I'll put these on the same line. This is most of my weekends nowadays. I use Xplane 11 if I actually want to "fly" and participate in VATSIM events. I use Microsoft Flight Simulator for VFR flying and FSEconomy where I don't have to go above 10,000 feet. This weekend I did a VATSIM event flying from Budapest to Istanbul (not Cons.... stop!), and I did a number of FSEconomy VFR flights in Scandanavia, and one in Arkansas.

So... many... initialisms! I think some of these are mods or like agreed-upon conditions, others are general simulation concepts?

polypusher wrote:
Carlbear95 wrote:

Xplane 11 / Microsoft Flight Simulator PC I'll put these on the same line. This is most of my weekends nowadays. I use Xplane 11 if I actually want to "fly" and participate in VATSIM events. I use Microsoft Flight Simulator for VFR flying and FSEconomy where I don't have to go above 10,000 feet. This weekend I did a VATSIM event flying from Budapest to Istanbul (not Cons.... stop!), and I did a number of FSEconomy VFR flights in Scandanavia, and one in Arkansas.

So... many... initialisms! I think some of these are mods or like agreed-upon conditions, others are general simulation concepts?

Lol sorry. I forgot I wasn't in the Flightsim thread.

VATSIM is a live online Air Traffic Control service that interfaces with all of the flight simulators. Basically there are people simming air traffic controllers that will act provide ATC services from Takeoff to landing. You as the pilot also go through the standard ATC communications with them. It adds an incredible amount of realism, and because its platform agnostic, it actually turns into a living world that all flight simulators can join and actually see each other. You can hear other sim pilots talking, see them landing parallel to you, etc.

FSEconomy is another layer you can wrap around any flight simulator that adds missions to fly cargo/passengers from one location to the other. One of the things you quickly realize as you get into simming is once you've flown around your home town, you start thinking "where do I want to fly to next" All major sims basically have every airport/airstrip in the world, but no quest or mission system, as its just pure sandbox. FSEconomy adds that, all for free.

VFR is an aviation term for Visual Flight Rules versus IFR or Instrument Flight Rules. It generally means you are only allowed to fly when there is a specified minimum amount of visibility, away from clouds, and you can fly effectively by looking out the window, maintaining separation from other aircraft on your own. At least in the US, becoming a pilot always starts with learning VFR flying. In a sim though, unless you have VR or some sort of head tracking, its not easy to actually look out the window and control your aircraft at the same time. Also, as good as the other sims were, most of the time you can't make out landmarks or recognize the freeways like you can in MSFS. Its actually a joy to fly VFR in MSFS. The reason I limit it to VFR is that I don't trust the automation and systems in MSFS to do what I want. If its a rainy day in Seattle, in Xplane I know the automation will help get me down to the minimums to land, even through thick clouds. No way would I try that in MSFS.

That flight sim stuff is fascinating. I can't think of an example of another community project that crosses multiple games.

Played SO MUCH Skyrim VR - I'm a kajitt magic user (and bow user, because who can resist shooting a bow in VR?) The Spell Research mod that's part of Narsil VR makes every spell you earn an uphill battle. I'm level 9 but Im stuck on Novice spells, mostly due to a lack of dedication to research. While exploring a dungeon, something in the Wintersun religion mod triggered and a Daedra offered me power in exchange for worship. Now I pray to him daily and I find these ethereal pages sometimes on defeated foes. If I collect enough I can craft them into a tome that will give me huge buffs.

This morning I installed a SteamVR override (OpenComposite), basically saves all the resources that hog uses. In my first 20 minutes of play I noticed a marked framerate improvement. Very happy to have found that tweak. It'll work for any Steam VR game

I also played a bit of FAR: Lone Sails an older indie game I dug up in my brother's steam library. Its one of those indie games with the minimalist presentation and control scheme. The world is desolate and I'm managing my huge rolling sail-tank-thing to get across it. I'm sure it's fairly short so I want to resume and hopefully finish it soon.

I mostly played Oxygen Not Included (ONI) and Railroad Ink

This is a good thing to do Monday morning instead of working!

I am basically killing time until Starbase comes out later this week and wanted to do it without spending any money, so I jumped back into ONI with the Spaced Out DLC which is in early access. I've played a few hundred hours of this game before the DLC. The new content feels like it basically doubles or more the realistic length of the game. They push your ability to go to space a bit earlier and completely revamped the space stuff. Your home has missing resources depending on your starting choice, like mine has no oil, or Wheezeworts, and limited types of metal, but neighboring planetoids have these things and tons of new stuff. So now its up to me to send rockets over for study, sample return, even making new bases.

Its a lot. I've probably put 100 more hours into the game and havent even launched a rocket yet (I did build one though!)

Railroad Ink is a board game, roll and write style, that's just lovely. They put out 2 new major versions and SEVEN tiny boxes, each with 1-4 game expansions. At $7 each I just grabbed all the ones Miniature Market had in stock. Each expansion does little tweaks to the game's formula, like the Eldritch 'investigation' expansion which adds a die with clues and rails and stations on it. Draw the clue token somewhere on your map, draw a little stick figure on the board on turn 1, then use the footsteps on the clue die to move around your map while you draw it to collect all the clues. Simple tweak but it gets you actually using the map you made which is really satisfying.

I finished Ratchet and Clank 2016 that I've been working on here and there for two weeks. Lots of fun! Might even do challenge run for achievements.

Started and finished Gris. Man that was weird. Enjoyed the ride but still not sure what the story was.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Fun thread... I don't think I've ever posted in the other because I have no clue what I feel like playing.

No kidding. I rarely post in the other thread because weekend plans are usually pretty fluid, except the standard games I play every day.

This weekend saw me finishing up the main campaign of Control and starting in on the A.W.E. expansion.

For some reason I also felt like starting my umpteenth play-through of 1991's Final Fantasy Adventure.

Ended up playing more Prodeus which is a fun “shut off my brain and shoot things while listening to pounding music” type of game. Modern take on classic Doom/Quake. Exactly what I needed after a long work week. Definitely going to play more but only in small doses.

I also played some more while True: learn(). Was hoping my daughter would like it but it's too difficult for her. It's a massive oversimplification of ML to make it a fun puzzle game but was hoping it would show her enough "cool" to get her interested and it doesn’t. It’s a fun enough puzzle game if you want that but I prefer Human Resource Machine and 7 Billion Humans over it. I’ll likely play more but it feels like a game I’ll gradually just stop playing and forget about.

Even though I completed the main story line in Days Gone, I continued clearing the map of zombie hordes and other secondary objectives. The game world map is open to explore and plunder as you wish. I have never had so much fun exploring a map post completion. This is definitely my game of the year...so far.

Also played some Marvel Spider-Man on my PS4.

I worked my way through some nominally souls-like steam sale purchases - finished Blasphemous, and worked most of the way through Remnant: From the Ashes (The rest of which I polished off today.)

Blasphemous was definitely more of my speed of those - it's heavy on the Castlevania part of the souls lineage. While I had my issues with it (There's so much obscure and secret stuff, and Christ on a bike the platforming in that Bloodstained crossover DLC) it's hugely impressive aesthetically, and when it's frustrating - and isn't about how unreliable prolonging airtime feels in the Bloodstained DLC - it's usually a duel-style boss that you haven't learned the patterns for yet and can work your way towards learning to beat with close to taking no hits.

Remnant on the other hand has checkpoints and fog walls from Souls, and not much else. Still, it held up for the ~10 hour first run at the campaign. Unfortunately I then continued with the pretty meaty follow-up DLC campaign, and poking at the the adventure mode to see some of the events and bosses I missed due to the randomly generated worlds. The combat comes down to managing attention to avoiding getting swarmed with an extremely limited arsenal while being pretty slow on your feet - healing means having to desperately trying to gain some breathing room to trigger the excruciatingly slow heal. You can dodge an attack with ease, but it won't give you the room to heal without getting hit and/or staggered out of that heal. Standard levels are just juggling ranged and rush enemies. Bosses are divided between those that spawn adds, and those that endlessly spawn adds. Sometimes they vary it up by instead of a boss behind the fog wall, it's an arena they swarming you from all directions and haha we set the floor on fire so dodging can kill you. Basically, without a co-op partner to cover your flanks, it's usually doable but occasionally extremely exhausting and by the end I was pretty thoroughly burnt out on it.

I can see myself going back to Blasphemous some day to poke at more secrets or a NG+ run, but not Remnant.

Yeah I gave up on Blasphemous somewhere in the middle of the 3rd obscure sidequest to get this from here and go there and I was like... why?

I like the game but good grief, you need a walkthrough, a map, and a wiki at your side just to get through all the madness.

I was fully intending to go back to Mass Effect 2 but ended up blowing the dust off of my PS3 and starting a new character in Fallout: New Vegas. I haven’t played it 7 years and it held up well.