Jump to content
HelenBaby

What game are you currently playing?

Recommended Posts

I've been playing Grand Theft Auto Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic recently. I have a lot of friends that I play with in GTAO. On the other hand, I found out that SWTOR switched to a free-to-play model. I'm giving it a try and the story has me hooked so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just downloaded Dragon Ball FighterZ for Switch because it was on sale for $17 and my girlfriend’s brother in law is always telling me how good he is at the game. This might be the first time I bought a game so I could destroy someone in it. 😆

I’m also still playing Civ 6 on Switch and happy to hear the expansions are coming this year. Now I can become addicted to playing as Mali and Mongolia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

been playing persona 4 golden as of late.

i rarely play RPGs, but i got invested in the story when i was watching my sister play once and eventually decided to play the game myself.

i like it so far. this could be the first RPG i actually finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth (3DS) - People sometimes wonder about the format and platform of these games.  While they're most prominently a Persona crossover, they're also a crossover with the game mechanics of the Etrian Odyssey series - the Japanese title of which is "Sekaiju no Meikyuu", commonly abbreviated "Sekaiju no MeiQ", or "SQ"; from which we get the title, "Persona Q".  I'm more of an Etrian Odyssey fan than a Persona fan, games which I only know second-hand; so how does this stack up as an EO/SQ title, and indeed as a sequel to Persona Q?

Pretty well, as it happens!  One thing I like about the Persona Q games is that they afford opportunities for labyrinth themes and gimmicks which simply wouldn't be possible in the mainline series, and the movie theme is an inspired choice for this title, creating areas which are distinct, instantly recognisable, and culturally universal.  I was particularly impressed by the use of feathered dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park parody (making it ironically more paleontologically accurate than the real thing), and all the labyrinths and their selection of FOEs and bosses were a visual treat - with the possible exception of the sci-fi labyrinth, which falls into the trap of being a little too plain at times.  I also felt the lack of an equivalent to Q's Evil Spirit Club, a puzzle-based horror labyrinth which is one of my favourite Etrian Odyssey dungeons ever; and in fact the developers openly stated that they didn't include such an area because they got complaints about the first one being too confusing and too scary, which strikes me frankly as cowardice.  On the other hand, the fourth labyrinth in Q2 strikes me as a more successful take on the rather tiresome Group Date Café from Q, so it balances out.  One thing which is a little disappointing was the enemy variety; I have no complaint about the FOE and boss designs, but where those are unique and tailored to their labyrinth, it is strange to me that the ordinary enemies are the same bizarre assortment of generic Shadows from Q, not infrequently returning with new colour schemes; but perhaps that's a Persona thing.  The game provided a good selection of icons for the purposes of mapping, granting you custom ones as new obstacles appeared, but I noticed that there was a slight lag in dragging them on the map which sometimes resulted in me accidentally scrawling a line across my labyrinth; and going straight into this from Etrian Odyssey Nexus I also noticed that a number of common functions are mapped to completely different buttons, though Q2's choices arguably make more sense...  One major quality of life change I did appreciate, though, is that there's no need for an "inn" function - the game fully restores you every time you return to the hub; another is that supplying the shop with the right materials needed to craft new items allows you to purchase said item infinitely, rather than only in accordance with how many materials they have in stock as is the case in mainline Etrian.

The game does have a few mechanical issues, though.  The actual dungeon design is not the best and tends towards the samey, however interesting the gimmicks might be; and boss fights have a tendency to be either a slugfest, or heavily dependent on slightly janky gameplay-story integration (and often both).  For a game with a limited character roster rather than the unlimited custom creations of Etrian Odyssey, it strikes me as counter-productive that experience is not shared universally, with characters not brought into battle getting a whopping nothing.  This seems strange, because the presentation treats the full cast as constantly with you, with doors and chests and shortcuts being opened by randomly-selected characters from the entire cast pool, conversations mid-exploration featuring all available personalities, and (which I'll come to later) side-quests which encourage or outright require you to use other cast members.  Given that the game attempts to be a little more accessible than mainline Etrian Odyssey, and especially that the cast runs to over twenty distinct fighters, I really think full experience share could have been afforded.  On a similar note, the game has the gall to (invisibly!) handicap all of your skills if you happen to be using a sub-persona that's too many levels (and it doesn't tell you how many!) beneath that of your main persona, meaning that you could be using the best personas you have available and have all your skills arbitrarily weakened, without even realising it.  Additionally, the similarly whopping number of magic elements - eight, plus one physical, compared to Etrian Odyssey's three magic and three physical - means that random encounters against new enemies are a rather awkward and rote affair of cycling through every single element for every single enemy until you finally hit on the one that's right, assuming you have it on your characters at all.  Some might not complain about random battles starting off harder than once you learn the tricks, but I really think the number of elements is too many; I gather two of those elements were newly-introduced in Persona 5 and thus weren't in the original Persona Q, for that matter.

So the game could stand to be more generous in several regards.  It could probably stand to be less generous, conversely, with money; it absolutely showers you with money and you will never ever run out unless you're doing something insane like trying to keep all two dozen characters fully equipped - but just your five regulars are cheap as anything to outfit.  Additionally, there's also a gathering function at particular points in the labyrinth, as in Etrian Odyssey; but the game sometimes forgets about these for long stretches of time, and later on falls in love with giving you endless numbers of stat-boosting trinkets from them rather than the materials you need to actually craft new equipment, which is framed as a benefit (it stems from Personas increasing your chances of gaining rare items) but is actually a problem.

As I indicated, the levelling problem also feeds into the game's side-quests - which are otherwise delightful and a considerable improvement over Q.  Where Q had fairly generic Etrian Odyssey sidequests, Q2 merges these with Q's "Strolls", side-conversations where the characters hung out; the result being purpose-driven, character-based hang-outs in customised sections of the labyrinth itself.  These feel distinct and rewarding because of the emphasis on character interaction; and to this end, the game gives slight boosts if you bring along any of several pre-determined key characters on that particular "Special Screening".  Of course, because of the level gap, invariably you won't; and a lot of the supposed character stars are actually fairly arbitrary when any number of characters will continue to chip in.  Happily, the only character-mandatory quests are a handful featuring the main protagonist of each game... plus a random one or two others, which is strange and arbitrary.  But the main reward for most of the sidequests are special multi-character Unison Attacks which will trigger at certain times provided you have even one of the right characters in your party, so you'll always have access to a few of those.

This is as good a place as any to segue into plot, characterisation, and localisation.  I honestly don't remember Q that well, but I recall people being generally quite unhappy with the character writing in that title, in which it seemed like some characters were reduced to self-parodies or one-note jokes; but Q2 is to my admittedly untrained eyes much better on capturing the subtleties and multiple facets of the characters on show, which is particularly impressive when there are dozens of them and one of them hasn't appeared in a game for over ten years.  The Velvet Room characters perhaps feel the most unnecessary; Margaret, Marie, Caroline and Justine spend the entire game doing a whole lot of nothing, and frankly it's amazing to me that the series's assistant characters topped out with the thoroughly insane Elizabeth, who is milked for all she's worth.  The three new characters are fairly well-realised, though they do take far too long to come into their own and so are relative non-entities for the first three-fifths of the story; but the roots are there.  There don't appear to be any of the localisation howlers which many people highlighted with Persona 5, either; the character writing to me was very readable and distinct, or at least as distinct as you can get with thirty-odd of them rattling around the hub.  In that respect, it's a shame about the lack of a dub, although this point doesn't bother me so much in itself.  The localisation could have been stepped up when it came to the main plot, however, which - while good! - has all the subtlety of a brick to the face, to the point that the later revelations are barely necessary; the eventual musical elements in particular read very literally, and it's hard not to think that a dub might well have improved those simply by the necessity of having to make them rhyme.  It's also in this respect that the localisation makes what is as far as I'm aware the only actual error: The character Doe, it becomes obvious in the fourth labyrinth, is named after a recurring statement that's important in the game's backstory, a statement which in the Japanese dub begins with a heavily and repeatedly emphasised "doe" syllable (I may not know Japanese, but I know a "doushite" when I hear one).  But the localisation misses this entirely and phrases the English line without this syllable, even though it would have been simplicity itself to do so (or just... change Doe's name, even).

But, as I indicated, the metaplot as a whole is far superior to Persona Q.  It's definitely rather slow in starting; the full cast is delivered to you piecemeal over the course of the first three labyrinths, and while that's absolutely the correct decision in terms of game mechanics, it does mean that the metaplot for most of the game is "Woah, we're in a theater?!" six or seven times over, to the point that even the characters start pointing out the repetition.  The main plot only really kicks into gear in the fourth labyrinth... of five; story-wise the game could really have used another, and it wouldn't have been too difficult to slot in - but at the same time, it's not like the game doesn't feel long enough, as my final game file ran to over eighty hours.  But the actual reasoning for everything happening, and for why the new characters are so important, is much better than it was in Persona Q.  Frankly, I thought Persona Q's "reveal" twist to be idiotic to the point of absurdity, and fatally inferior to the problem it had set up; but the Q2 explanations are both rational and even relatable, drawing a grand point about the human condition with an enemy and a plan which feel deserved and actually something meriting a super crossover to deal with.  If there's a slow start, the presentation comes into its own at the end, which does its level best to leave you with a fantastic final impression, leaving no stone unturned.  Persona Q2 is a game that will reward you if you stick with it.  It's a shame, in that respect, that the odds are against there being a Persona Q3; for Q2 is a game which, as a late 3DS game, indeed the last major 3DS game, cannot have received anything like the attention it deserved.

Coming up next: Etrian Odyssey Nexus (3DS) continues to loom large in my mind, and while I'm now perhaps two-thirds of the way through it, that still means there are as many labyrinths left as in the entirety of Persona Q2 - and after eighty-five hours of that, I don't feel quite like diving immediately back into the Nexus.  My backlog, then, is formally clear; but I have a few options on my watchlist, and September is a hell of favourable releases - and I do need something else to play for a couple of weeks.  To that end, I've obtained the Switch demos for Oninaki, Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble, and Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, and if Oninaki in particular looks favourable, there's a good chance I'll get that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oninaki (Switch) (demo) -  What a shame.  I really wanted this game to be good.  Well, the story might be; but I'm not prepared to wade through the rest.  Combat is primarily a matter of button-mashy hack-and-slash through endless quantities of samey enemies; and the game's exciting two-world system comprises largely killing a bunch of enemies on the map, and then killing a bunch of enemies on the same map, with different lighting.  If they weren't capable of making the two worlds substantially different, they should really have just made them two perspectives on a single world.  Towns suffer from the common 3D RPG flaw of being oversized and utterly devoid of anything to fill them, save a few NPCs who have nothing interesting to contribute (by contrast, see the below).  Does any of this get better later on in the game?  Perhaps it does; but that's not a gamble I'm willing to take on the basis of what's presented here.

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition (Switch) (demo) - This demo annoyed me for a completely counterintuitive reason: It was too good.  I'd honestly, genuinely wanted and intended to play this game in 2D mode; I wanted to play a new 2D RPG.  But the demo has no 2D, only the 3D mode, so I gave it a spin... and it turns out that all those 3D RPGs I'd been jaded by in recent years, from Tales of Vesperia to, uh, Dragon Quest VIII 3D - no, their maps were just bad; while DQXI is legitimately fun to explore.  It's also, frankly, astonishingly good-looking in handheld mode; I'd heard complaints that it was a bit blurry, but these evidently didn't come from people who'd played on nothing more advanced than a 3DS for the past few years.  Other than that - what is there to say?  It's Dragon Quest.  It's a classic heroic epic in a medieval fantasy world, it's playful with its tropes without being subversive, the battle system has just enough going on to keep you engaged, and the localisation is excellent at maintaining its charming demeanour.  I did get one of the reported crashes, but thanks to the game's frequent autosaves, I lost literally nothing, which was a relief.  More notably, it's an extraordinarily generous demo; I'd heard it described as a ten-hour demo, but for me, it took just over eleven hours to reach the cut-off point - which wasn't even one of the numerous cliffhangers preceding.  I suppose they want you to feel as if you can slip right back into the game.  I probably won't - yet; I know this is going to be a massive game, and I have a few other titles I want to prioritise, and perhaps then DQXI will become my next between-games game.  I do know one thing, though: I'm going to have to play in 3D mode after all.  Well played.

Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble (Switch) (demo) - This, on the other hand, really was a disappointment; and I'd quietly had such high hopes for it.  Textures on the level select which took seconds to load in, a flagrantly incomplete localisation with information screens full of literally translated grammar and inconsistent spelling conventions (Dinoldan, or Dinorudan?), dialogue far too unnatural to deserve an English dub - the presentation here didn't feel like a demo, it felt like a beta.  With that said, the actual gameplay itself, when it was done with its endless tutorialising, was pretty functional, barring odd AI decisions that no rational human would ever make, and the graphics are cute if occasionally completely unreadable.  The strength and weakness charts were relatively readable, but suffer from the general Advance Wars problem of being too forgettable, a dozen-handed rock-paper-scissors set-up which could really use abbreviating down to a few more general rules, and of having an HP system that is more or less irrelevant when the unit that strikes second is irremediably crippled until death.  Maybe I should have looked at Wargroove instead - but there's just something about little tanks rolling around...

Coming up next: September is a vortex of titles I'm interested in, and can't possibly play all of; Link's Awakening (Switch), Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (Switch), and Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition (Switch) are all going to have to wait for another day.  So what's actually on the menu, aside from chipping away at Etrian Odyssey Nexus (3DS)Blasphemous (Switch) is on my radar unless the reviews give it a real hammering, because I'm endlessly fond of 2D exploration games and am intrigued by its disturbing religious imagery; and come hell or high water, I'm playing AI: The Somnium Files (Switch) as soon as possible, because I want to get back on Kotaro Uchikoshi's wild ride...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now, I’m playing through Kirby’s Dream Land 2, since it’s one of the few mainline Kirby games I’ve never beaten. I remember not liking it very much when I first played it years ago, but playing it now, I am enjoying it a lot more, although collecting the Rainbow Drops is quite annoying, and I miss the QoL improvements Dream Land 3 introduced.

I was also playing Breath of Fire III a while ago, but I’m taking a break from it, since I died early on and ended up losing a lot of progress. I was not a happy person that day, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Celeste (Farewell) (Switch) - It's hard to say goodbye to a beloved friend, or a beloved game.  That's the metaphor drawn upon in formulating the new, brutal Chapter 9 of Celeste, which manages not to impinge on the game's complete narrative by setting itself up as a sort of coda.  It's a shockingly full chapter, closing out the game by drawing on almost every previously-established gimmick, and indeed a number of entirely new ones; and with the theme more or less disallowing the addition of a B- or C-side, the additional sides are effectively integrated into the chapter itself.  This is a long, long chapter; and a tremendously difficult one, too.  I don't think there are any single rooms quite so difficult as some of those in the later C-sides, but the sheer length of the piece practically guarantees a competing number of deaths; and the final rooms in particular run just about as long as they can get away with.  In a sense, part of the theme is asking you whether you even should keep playing; challenging you to decide when it's finally time to put the game back in the box and call it a day.  But after a whopping 5798 deaths - over a third of my 14999 total for the game - I think I can finally say I've seen everything.  I don't know if it was worth it or not; but despite all evidence to the contrary, I still managed to come away thinking that it wasn't that bad.

Coming up next: I continue to crawl through Etrian Odyssey Nexus (3DS); and after my next chunk of that, my copy of AI: The Somnium Files (Switch) is on the way.  Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Switch) is on the agenda for eventually, but I can't justify even purchasing it until it's been made release-ready with the promised patches; to a much lesser extent, Blasphemous (Switch) is the same, as apparently that could use the odd tweak.  Gunvolt Chronicles: Luminous Avenger iX (Switch) is on the horizon and will probably end up on my console, despite my increasing reservations about IntiCreates's character design preferences, while Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition (Switch) I'm tentatively lining up as my next between-games game.  And Link's Awakening (Switch)?  Link's Awakening was one of the first games I owned and is one of my all-time favourites... but for that very reason, the remake can probably wait until Christmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've fallen into Elder Scrolls Online, on the PS4, with a side of Skyrim VR and Fallout 4 (still working on platinum for those, but NOT for ESO).  Elsweyr and too long with no main series game finally got to me. On Switch I've got Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Link's Awakening, which I had halfway played on the 3DS.

PSA - if you have an expired bonus code for ESO it may still work.  I just got a mount and costume with a code that supposedly expired two years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are some titles I've spent my time on it:

LEGO Batman: The Video Game: Got it for free in this year Batman's anniversary celebration, I remember playing this game when I was only 8 years old. Now I got it for free, I've challenged myself to finish it and consequently, is the game I've spent more time in the past 2 days.

Ion Fury: Released not so much time ago as well a huge candidate for game of the year for me, Ion Fury was built on Build Engine (The same from Duke Nukem 3D) and it has the main concept of bring up that old nostalgia feel of FPS from the likes of Doom and Duke Nukem 3D with a little take of Unreal and Quake. It has a considerable difficulty and its the kind of game to play for a short time but many times during the week.

Tomb Raider Series: Taking Tomb Raider (2013), Tomb Raider Anniversary, Tomb Raider Underworld and Tomb Raider Legend for less than US$10 in last Steam Sale, I think that was the master proof I liked Adventure games. Being a fan of the series for nearly 2 years now, I usually keep playing a bit of each one whenever I have some free time, focusing mainly on 2013 and Anniversary for chronological reasons. If I get bored of Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb and Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine are receiving a time of play.

Star Wars: Battlefront II (2005, Classic): Chosen by many the best game from the saga and in a time where no DLCs, pay-to-win and micro-transitions were a thing, the game covers pretty much everything from Episodes I-VI. Very addictive and having a simple concept, it quite shows a different perspective and almost a do it yourself Star Wars Saga.

SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition: This pretty much is turning (If not already), the game I've spent more time on it, but on a level that is not about being good, but I'm afraid I'm getting really addicted to it. For this reason I've trying to play other games and change my gaming routine.

Closing up, today I've tried to finish Streets of Rage 2, but I got a game over on what I believe was the last level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the Switch, I've been playing Astral Chain -

- is a fast paced action romp with the unique twist of not only fighting monsters but also taking on traditional police tasks such as helping lost children, saving the injured, gathering evidence, apprehending felons and rescuing.....cats? Their is tons of stuff to do on this game and seeing as the protagonists are technically two protagonists. Twins. You can play as a male or female. With the concept of Legions (A powerful monster chained to your character.) which has different versions that you'll unlock as you progress, you can go back to previous stages with your new team to find things that required the other Legions specific abilities to access.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening -

- I only played the beginning of the original and I was aware of a certain degree of familiar characters in this game. Even Kirby! It's strange to think that this game is from the same series that Breath of the Wild is from. Still, those that didn't like the feel of BotW should be able to enjoy Link's Awakening. The model figurine like visuals have grown on me and the Switch is able to recreate the simple button inputs of the Game Boy. The gameplay is what we all know and love. Granted, I'm not used to Zelda titles that let Link jump. I've been in two dungeons so far and still have much to do.

While on PS4, I've got Code Vein -

- ……………………………..…………………………….Still downloading.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got Borderlands 3 a few weeks ago. As someone who loved Borderlands 2 i was looking forward to checking it out when it was first announced.

Gameplay wise its as addictive as ever. Running around, gunning down bad guys, collecting guns and loot, and exploring the world. Initially, i started the game off as FL4K, but i found myself struggling against bosses as them. So i started a new game as Moze and stuck with her since. Her mech power is a blast to playthrough, and can be pretty overpowered, perfect for a solo playthrough.

So yeah the gameplay is good. The story? Yeah this is where the game kind of falls flat.

Going into the game, I wasnt really expecting the new villains to be as memorable as Handsome Jack. But going further into the game, i gotta say they're realy not clicking with me. Its clear that the writers were trying to go for characters akin to controversal youtubers. The idea itself is not bad, but the execution feels less like a point is being made and more like its only to be relevant.

In addition to this, theres a theme of family that the game makes explicitly clear. Seriously, almost every character in the game in the game has a line of some kind related to family, and it gets a little old after a while.

The characters ive ran into are either likeable or harmless for the most part. Its nice seeing Rhys and Vaughn from Tales from the Borderlands (which i enjoyed very much.) Only character i really dont like is Ava, an apprentice to Maya from the second game. Ava's kind of a cliche rebellious kid type character. in a game like borderlands, i was kind of expecting a deconstruction or parody of this character trait... but nope, its played straight.

I will say I'm happy with, is that Claptrap is treated better in this game. He was pretty annoying in the first game reminding the player of sidequest evey few minutes. The dislike of claptrap was acknowledged in the second game, but ad admittedly it went a little too far at times (the birthday mission was actually pretty damn sad.) Here, while he's still treated with indifference by other characters has his little moments of positivity, and even a few heartwarming moments as well.

Overall the story's been underwhelming, but in the end, the gameplay is as fun and addicting as the previous games and thats all i ask for.

As for one final complaint... this one containing pretty major spoiler

 

A thing that took me by surprise was Maya's sudden death. But unlike Roland's death or Scooter's death in BL2 or TftBL it was more frustrating to me than sad... Maya, a playable character in the second game, was killed off as soon as she was introduced and so far, it doesnt feel as impactful as the aforementioned characters. 

I do feel bad for those who mained Maya in the last game. Such an anti climactic death for a good character.

Overall, the gameplay is as addicting and fun as the previous games... but so far the story's not sticking with me very well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished a run of a Pokémon fan hack recently called "Renegade Platinum." I've wanted to revisit Gen 4 for a long time, and though I had started a run on vanilla Platinum, I didn't get far and just didn't have a chance to really sit through it, so I can't say how the experiences differ completely. I do notice expansions and slight alterations from Diamond and Pearl's story, but that's not too important. There's some interesting visuals in gen 4, and I'm rather fond of Sinnoh as a region because it's how I got back into the series. The biggest surprise, for me, was probably experiencing the stuff with Giratina and the Distortion World for the first time. What I came away with was probably the most satisfying experience I've had with a Pokémon game since... I dunno, White 2? SoulSilver? Not to say I didn't enjoy gens 6 or 7--they have their QoL improvements, interesting new Pokémon, and generally spurred my interest more in learning how to build Pokémon; they're fine games in their own right, but I never felt like I got a full experience with any of them.

The first games of a gen are often arbitrarily missing features that come back with enhanced versions/remakes like move tutors, or have pretty barren postgames that consist of a pretty thin battle facility that all seems to magically get filled out the following year or a legendary Pokémon-catching marathon. As I was playing UltraMoon earlier in the year, I just felt a sense of burnout even trying to get through the game. I didn't care about doing things that I spent hours in Sun doing (in which I logged over 300 hours), I regretted my starter choice but didn't want to lose my Dusk Lycanroc (because haha timed event--fuck off, Pokémon Company), even when I was trying to balance my usage of the Exp. Share I was overleveled and steamrolling anything that wasn't a Totem Pokémon. Trainers all have one or two Pokémon and are too numerous that I stopped caring; I did all this shit in the previous game and ran through the same exact beats.

All this is to say I was tired of playing Pokémon games after getting back into the series twelve years ago. I still like the series, but the games just aren't doing it for me now.

So I got some hints to check out ROM hacks and that has definitely opened things up for me. The first one was a FireRed hack called "Ultra Violet." I got to catch my own starter (a Larvitar, in my case) and build a team with no barriers like needing trades or anything that I felt limited my ability to really test out and try new Pokémon. I stopped short of the Elite Four because I felt I ran out of options to properly level my team and couldn't quite stand up to the E4 no matter how many attempts I made. I could cheat, but I didn't want to go out like that. Dumb, sure, but I was having a lot of fun up until that point, and who knows maybe I'll get back to it, I had a team I really loved.

After that I got the gen 4 itch again after putting off vanilla Platinum, so I checked out Drayano's "Renegade Platinum" mod/hack, and I was really impressed with just how much it offers. Like "Ultra Violet," all Pokémon up to that gen are obtainable and there have been adjustments made to their evolution requirements to just make things easier to obtain. Half my team were trade evolutions, so cutting out the middle-man and getting Pokémon I rarely get to use with just some simple leveling or giving them an appropriate item was freeing and I found myself having a lot of fun looking for different Pokémon to try out.

Where I think this hack improves is having a feeling of challenge. Most trainers and rivals have had their teams adjusted or added to; hell, Dawn comes complete with a full team of six by the time you head out to the Sinnoh League. Every single Gym Leader battles you with a full team of six as well, and while I lost quite a few times, it encouraged me to adjust my team and their movepools to better prepare for those challenges. The hack even gives you the ability to easily re-spec your Pokémon by talking one NPC who sells you sets of berries that lower the EVs/raise happiness and another who gives you the EV-enhancing items and lets you (essentially) super train your Pokémon. By the last few gyms I rarely lost a match... well, until the Elite Four, who would have their teams randomized every time you challenged them but with a little better preparation (and reading Drayano's documentation on the potential teams...) I managed to get through and clear the League.

It could be a bit tough at times, and gen 4 (or at least the Sinnoh games) can be a bit slow and clunky with its menu navigation, and the hack doesn't do away completely with stupid shit like Rock Climb walls (though getting rid of the fog, cut trees, and strength rocks was massively helpful), but that aside it's just the most fun I've had playing Pokémon and I'd recommend it if you're interested in revisiting some older games with a bit of a twist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had just gotten off of playing some Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls.  Since I can wager that this may be the first time that this game has been mentioned on the site, think of it as being Harmony of Despair, but with an actual story.

The long and short of it is that Alucard, under his Genya Arikado alias, is contacted by am order of mages known as the Elgos Order, who have been studying the Grimoire and noticing that the pages have started to become corrupt, with an ominous message saying that Dracula will be revived. Alucard teams up with one of the members of Elgos, Lucy Westenra (yes like the character from the Stoker novel) and her superior [Jack] Seward. After a brush with Death, who easily overpowers the young dhampir, Lucy summons a hero from Castlevania's past: Simon Belmont, the most famous member of the clan. As the story progresses, Alucard and Simon are accompanied by Charlotte Aulin (one of the heroes from Portrait of Ruin), Maria Renard (her young self from Rondo of Blood), and Shanoa (the heroine of Order of Ecclesia), with the ability to call up a support character in the form of Richter Belmont, Jonathan Morris (the main protagonist of PoR), and Maria's adult self (will be added when the game goes public). From what I have read on the Wiki, Trevor "fucking" Belmont (as he appears in Curse of Darkness and the Pachislot titles, rather than the Netflix series) and Albus can be summoned as assists, and Soma can also be played as.

As for why it's "when the game goes public", this is because the game has yet to get an official launch. Currently the game is playable through Canada, although I was able to play it through a workaround app. It seems as though Canada is currently the testing grounds for the mobile market in North America, despite the fact that Castlevania is more popular in the States (in a way, America created the monsters that inspired many of the monsters in Castlevania through the classic horror films)

As for gameplay, it's touchscreen based, with the left side of the screen being for left and right movement, plus dodging, ducking, and dropping through platforms. The right side is for attacks and jumping, with directional flicks for the subweapons and weapon skills. Alucard uses a sword as well as holy water and dagger subweapons. Simon uses a variety of whips, in addition to using daggers, hatchets, and chakrams. Charlotte uses spell books as well as crosses and holy water. Maria uses a variety of birds as her weapon, shares her cross subweapons with Charlotte, as well as the use of cats (which make the Metal Gear "!" sound when they trigger). Shanoa uses the Falcis glyph, manifesting as scythes or lances, shares her cat subweapon with Maria (most likely because she saved some cats in OoE for the Wygol villagers) and makes use of guns as a subweapon (probably to respect Albus and his use of Agathe/Agartha).

As far as levels go, they are (currently) divided into three sets of five levels, with a boss fight at the end, each one based on a different part of Castlevanian history.  Chapter 1 is set around the castle itself, basing itself off of the Castlevania 1 version, using the musical tracks of Beginning (Arcade), Vampire Killer (Judgement), and Simon's Theme (Arcade). The first five are set in the woods, the second five are in the courtyard, and the third set are in the main halls. The boss is the Giant Bat (as it appears in Aria of Sorrow before Balore crushed it), with the BGM being "Nothing to Lose" (Arcade). Each section ends with a miniboss fight against a set ammount of enemies, some of them being new, and primarily set to any of the three "Followers of Darkness" or Crucifix Held Close (Arcade). Chapter 2 is set in the City of Haze, with the first set being on the streets with Victorian Fear, the shops with Operation VK, and the subway with Iron Blue Intention, ending with a fight with the Dullahan set to Piercing Silence.  Chapter 3 is set in Aljiba during Dracula's attack in Rondo of Blood, with the first set of levels using a new piece of music called "White Noise" set in the woods where Richter fights Death at the beginning of the game, the second set of levels are on the outskirts of town set to Bloody Tears (DXC), and the third set are in the town itself set to Divine Bloodlines (HD), ending with a fight against the Wyvern set against Hellish Hallucinations (or Dancing in Phantasmic Hell/Dark Desires/whatever you wanna call it). Chapter 4, currently the last chapter available, is in the catacombs beneath the castle seen in SotN, using Crystal Teardrops, Abandoned Pit, and Rainbow Cemetery, ending with a fight against Legion, set to Ballad of Death (HD). Upon first defeating Legion, the story throws in a second boss fight against a posessed Soma using the Red Minotaur and Fire Demon souls and set to Dance of Illusions (Judgement). After a short fight, another woman appears named "Hermina" who is revealed to have been a member of Elgos as well, but got too obsessed with the Grimoire, stealing a number of tomes, one of which containing the Dawn of Sorrow bad ending where Soma becomes Dracula reincarnate. Once the game goes public, I can see that the next set of levels are set in the library as seen in OoE, the Chapel as seen in SotN, the lost village from Dawn of Sorrow, and the Clocktower, with a fight against Death set to Dark Holy Man.

The game also has a multiplayer mode called "Bounty Hunt" where you and three other players fight a number of monsters in a confined area, accumulating points until one is declared the winner. If you have made friends in the game, you can team up with them in a Co-Op mode through the main levels.

Thankfully, Konami is learning from the mistakes that EA has contantly made, as there aren't any "Surprise Mechanics", but there is a gacha-like aspect with the "Summon" function. This lets you have a chance at getting new weapons, subweapons, or armor for the characters. If you manage to summon a copy of one such weapon/sub.armor you already have, you can use the parchments that make it up to upgrade the original copy through a "Limit Break," raising its level cap substatially. There is also a trial mode where you can train your characters to get stronger, earn upgrade materials, or earn gold coins to earn either these same materials, stickers (for chatting in Bounty Hunt), or attires (alternate skins). Bounty Coins work in a similar way, but can be earned by playing Bounty Hunt, allowing you to obtain new Konami-themed weapons (Goemon's Gold Pipe (Mystical Ninja), Pentaro (Antarctic Adventure), Salamader Whip, Anubis Rod (Zone of Enders), and the Book of Nemesis (which resembles Vic Viper)

Now I would suggest that you download the app through QooApp if you live outside of Canada, or Google Play/App Store if you live in Canada, as the game is available for both Android and iOS, but only in specified regions. Once it goes public, download the game through your mobile app store of choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

rayman legends - finished the game but there's still more to do for platinum. a lot more. definitely one of the best 2D platformers i've played in a while. controls amazingly and has some really inventive levels.

shovel knight: specter of torment - picked it back up again to get the rest of the feats in preparation for king of cards' release.

persona 4 golden - actually nearing the end of the game. this will be the first RPG i've ever finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (Demo)

Yeah its a demo but I really wanna talk about it. The reason why this is pretty note worthy is because this is the next game by Vanillaware of Odin Sphere and Dragon's Crown fame. Vanillaware is actually my favorite developer of all time because they're the best at doing beautiful 2D sprites and it shows. This game is no exception to rule as usual. However there's a few flaws that I'll be addressing. 13 Sentinels is part RTS, part visual novel in a sense; Its a story about 13 characters and their individual stories which means the story will be told from a different viewpoint at times. However it seems to happen at random points in the story so I can't gauge when it happens unlike Odin Sphere where all the characters' stories are unlocked when you finished one to continue. However I still like this storytelling because its interesting to see how characters would act when you're not controlling them. As for the actual plot, from my limited amount of Japanese, the general idea is going through the daily lives of 13 characters but they're also pilots of giant robots which makes it stand out among Vanillaware's other titles. From what I've seen there's nothing too out of the ordinary just yet; Guys hang out, girls are late for school, etc. Just they have to protect the city at points of the game.

The gameplay is a little different from what you'd expect. The "visual novel" portions are not really like visual novels; Its the best way I can describe it. You play as one of the 13 characters but you can control them unlike a typical VN where everything is text based. However most of these sections focus more on advancing the story. Its mostly for a character to talk to other characters to advance the plot by thinking about a subject or just talking to them about things. However this is where the visuals at least shine as you can tell Vanillaware put a lot of work into the art of the characters and backgrounds for these sections. It isn't bad, I actually quite like what they did here. Its just when you get to the next part well...

There's sections of the RTS here and there from what I can tell from so far. Vanillaware is more known for their adventure-y hack and slash games like Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade but this isn't their first outing with the RTS genre with their first game, GrimGrimoire, being that. However there's a lot of issues with these sections. I suppose the game itself isn't too bad because it works. Its just that it really lacks the visual flare Vanillaware usually puts out on the table. The whole thing is just a giant map with icons representing the characters (in their mecha) and the enemies. Its a shame because there's actually good mech design for the main characters but you don't see them at all unless you look in the preview of the actions menu. Heck the whole thing gets confusing due to how little visual cues show, leading me to use AOT attacks to do whatever. I mean yeah you can tell who's your characters due to a portrait that represents them but it feels like a waste of good visual design. Even when GrimGrimoire recycled its backgrounds for literally every map, you can at least see the units and how pretty they look. Maybe I'm complaining about nothing but this doesn't feel like Vanillaware's signature style.

Well its so far a first impression. Maybe its not the best one but its nice to see a new Vanillaware game coming out soon. 13 Sentinels had a rough development history as is considering how quiet things have been but its at least finally coming out. I'm hoping for a localization since every game has came out to the West, barring Princess Crown but that's a different story. This game could be interesting and I do wanna see where this game goes at least.

Luigi's Mansion 3

So I did pick this up on a whim and debated whether or not to get this or Atelier Ryza but it looks like Luigi wins because I didn't felt like waiting for the latter's physical release. Anyways the game itself has been fun. I actually did miss Dark Moon but it doesn't feel like I missed much between this and the first game other than Luigi's new ghost dog. I do like the setup here where Luigi has to go through a hotel this time around and I really like exploring it. I dunno why but I'm being reminded of Metroidvanias with the amount of exploring the can be done. I also really like the new gameplay updates too, namely the fact you can use a plunger to grab things and throw them. I just wish I wasn't hindered by my joycons being very twitchy which makes it hard to control but that's a personal thing. As much as I like exploring the hotel, it feel doesn't feel too haunted since I haven't noticed too many ghosts around. Maybe its the early game but I'm used to having ghosts come out of anywhere. I also just got Gooigi which is pretty interesting concept. I do feel like I have play more before I make my final verdict on it. I really am having fun with it, especially with how Luigi is animated throughout the entire game so far. But yeah good stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Link's Awakening - I played it often for a month and half, it's really really fun, the Zelda type of game I've been waiting to play for a while, besides BotW which I bought again for Switch, I also plan to finish that for the second time. Anyway, I'm kinda bored right now because I haven't been playing anything else but, I loved the game in general, I just want to finish the last dungeon at this point though, it's getting longer as there is that SPOILER thing required to not get lost inside of it. This is also a special game to me, because I bought it with the Amazon gift cupcake my friends gave me for my birthday!

CTR:NF - After snobbing it for a couple of months, I decided to try the newest track and it's pretty cool… I even almost completed the first step of the GP in just over an hour, so… I'm definitely playing that again today along with Link.

Then, since SwSh is approaching, I really want to finish Let's Go Pikachu, I know it's been a year, it's just that this incredibly annoying game forces me to have a lot of Pokemon with the Go app, so I asked a friend if she could lend me her own account, she does have basically the Whole pokedex, so maybe that could help me finish the game.

Honestly I can't wait to play Pokemon Sword, I'm more excited for it than Luigi's Mansion 3 which I'm getting for Christmas, I also pre-ordered Mario & Sonic Tokyo but not really excited for that, it's more like a tradition, I'm more hyped for SwSh. But yeah, I'm having a great time these days with my Switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMG_20191103_075026.thumb.jpg.a64fb9039daa523c14641fd875316ca4.jpg

So I finished the Last Guardian the other night and it's been on my mind ever since. It's one of those games I'm not sure that I could recommend to everyone since it buckles so much under the weight of its own ambitions, but I'm really glad I took the plunge and played it. 

You spend the entire game with this giant SO creature Trico, as you already know. It doesn't take long for it to click why this game had 8 years in development and needed a hardware upgrade to come out. The collision detection between you and him and the environment can be...awkward, at times. The framerate chugs every time he stumbles in an out of the unwieldy camera's view. At least once during my play through he bugged out entirely and wouldn't move.

But I feel like these problems are minor compared to what the game actually manages to achieve. Trico is a remarkably smart creature, pointing out the solutions to puzzles to the player with his eyes or gestures. If a player is lost or confused on where to go next, sometimes you can even hop on his back and let you walk him to the next objective. Very rarely did he misunderstand a command I issued with the only hesitation coming from natural impulses like judging the distance of a jump before he makes the leap. Sometimes he stops because he's hungry or he's a little worked up after the last combat encounter with the player required to find him food or console him. This could have been tedius but it happens just often enough to reinforce Trico's humanity and the player's bond with him without going overboard. They tow the line of making him responsive without just turning him into a vehicle very well. Even better than the animal companion in Ueda's previous game. 

Breaking things up are sections where the two are seperate, and if you find the bird annoying for one reason or another they do a good job reinforcing how vulnerable you are without him. Your actions alone are incredibly basic as you struggle to move a barrel from one room to the next or avoid capture by enemies. Good level design keeps the segments based in exploration interesting for the most part with a few exceptions. The combat boils down to avoiding capture,getting Trico in the position to fight enemies and nursing him rather than doing any of the fighting yourself. It's an interesting set up that reverses the traditional video game role, but probably the weakest part of the game just due to how repetitive it can be. 

The strongest part of the whole game is how all of It's parts come together to form a whole narrative experience. Trico's "arc" feels like one of the best executed ones I've witnessed in a game. When you find him he's gravely injured at the hands of manmade weapons.  The boy is able to see past the legends and myths about the creature and see a hurt animal that needs help, but Trico isn't as quick to trust. As the game progresses he gets stronger and more trusting. The game meanders in the middle, but the finale felt worthwhile. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fallout 76 is free for the moment and I decided what the heck, I'll go in having really no expectations. And I mean so far I like it, I'm eager to explore and see what I'm capable of. It's kind of what I've been craving lately, I can't remember the last time I played and MMO a was genuinely wanting to grind/enjoy it. I hope it will be released a mobile version on apknite. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AI: The Somnium Files (Switch) - How exactly to classify the genre of Kotaro Uchikoshi's work except as "a Kotaro Uchikoshi game"?  But this game eschews Uchikoshi's usual visual novel roots for adventure gameplay that perhaps expands on the escape sequences in Zero Escape (plus a few crazy action sequences which almost read as parodies).  Scenes are stuffed with props to be exhaustively examined (sometimes with different responses on revisits, so one gets a little obsessive about it), dialogue with characters is conducted via choices but with very few lines truly optional.  The production values on show are obviously higher than those at work in Zero Time Dilemma, which the style evolves from, and it's more of a success here.  Character design, too, is more exciting, with bolder colours and almost sci-fi fashion designs in places, fitting the game's five-minutes-into-the-future aesthetic.

The plot, though, is classic Uchikoshi, covering more conceptual ground than half a dozen of your average games.  Augmented reality vision, entering people's dreams, net idols, serial killers - and far more that I can't cover without spoiling the story.  It maybe doesn't go in quite as deep as some Uchikoshi stories, but like all of his work, he prepares his ground by introducing a series of seemingly disconnected characters and then gradually revealing how they are all linked together by a buried truth.  Twists of one kind or another are abundant.  There are branching pathways, though not so many as in Uchikoshi's past couple of games; but they diverge perhaps more.  They are also selected unintuitively, almost blindly, by means of arbitrary choices in the dream sequences; something I actually quite like, as it means I can't predict what the outcome will be.  The plot itself may not be as wholly insane as some might expect - but the average level of the writing is utterly mad, with the characters zanier and bouncier than ever.  It makes for a more fun read, less weighty and portentous but rather filled with greater heart that helps drive the ultimate ending home.  I can't recommend it enough.  It's a wild ride, and while you can't know what to expect, it's everything I wanted.

Raging Loop (Switch) - So what did I go and do?  Play another branching-paths visual novel straight afterwards!  This is a more basic visual novel, though, where interaction is limited to advancing the text and, occasionally, to making choices.  What distinguishes this game's "gameplay" is that choices are in continuity; deaths and bad ends, by and large, unlock "keys" which represent new information to the protagonist, which he can then recall at a previous route split to select a previously unavailable choice.  What this means is that most "choices" are nothing of the kind and the game is actually very linear, with the major exception of a few infodump branches towards the end; but the keys and locks element contextualises the protagonist's ability to make different decisions by making those decisions informed and reasonable.  It's not a bad idea, but it does mean you're likely to go into the game expecting more freedom than you'll ultimately get.  Visually, the game is perhaps a step down from top-notch; it has a vaguely muted, lumpy sort of style that isn't especially appealing on its own merits, but it's appropriate to the subject matter and the occasional CGs are sometimes much more invigorating.

The meat of the plot is a sort of Higurashi-Umineko-Werewolf mashup, a Shinto interpretation of a Werewolf (or Mafia) game transformed into myth and played out as deadly serious among the characters trapped in a lonely and impoverished mountain village.  The characters are a better spread than they first appear; the customary visual novel standard of gradually exploring all the characters so they prove to transcend their apparently simple presentation is fully in play here.  Much of the game's story, then, is taken up with battles of logic and deduction as the characters try to deceive and expose one another through careful ratiocination - or its opposite.  This works brilliantly, and it's genuinely fascinating following the string of logic and trying to figure out everyone's true roles and motives.  It's just towards the end that I feel the game is let down a little; the wrap-up, while clever, doesn't really follow quite the same logical or generic strand as the rest of the story, and makes some dubious decisions in terms of what it ultimately attributes to the natural and the supernatural (which is then complicated yet more by the game's bonus material).  The game itself is aware of this problem, and I sympathise, but I think all or nothing would have been vastly preferable and self-consistent.

Additionally, the game is stuffed with bonus material and extras.  After completing the game, there are five bonus stories, special messages from every single voice actor, hidden endings - and even an innovative sort of visual novel New Game+, where an additional mode can be activated to unlock extra scenes showing the characters' inner thoughts and events where the protagonist was not present.  There's actually enough of this that I haven't yet played it; from the looks of things, it's basically the size of an entire additional playthrough, so you might view it almost as a very extensive postgame.  In other words, what you're getting with Raging Loop is a generous package; flawed, but giving its all.

Coming up next: Innumerable; my back log has returned, more powerful than ever.  But one game heads the list, and it's the one everyone's talking about right now.  Bring it on, Pokémon Sword (Switch).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/29/2019 at 1:09 AM, Zaysho said:

As I was playing UltraMoon earlier in the year, I just felt a sense of burnout even trying to get through the game. I didn't care about doing things that I spent hours in Sun doing (in which I logged over 300 hours), I regretted my starter choice but didn't want to lose my Dusk Lycanroc (because haha timed event--fuck off, Pokémon Company), even when I was trying to balance my usage of the Exp. Share I was overleveled and steamrolling anything that wasn't a Totem Pokémon. Trainers all have one or two Pokémon and are too numerous that I stopped caring; I did all this shit in the previous game and ran through the same exact beats.

Figured I'd update this because I decided to force myself to pick the game back up. Around when I wrote my thoughts on playing the Platinum fan hack, I had left off at the beginning of the Poni Island trial, so I know I didn't have much left of the game until I eventually faced the Elite Four. By that point, finishing the game just felt like an obligation. UltraMoon only underscored issues that I acknowledge were also present in the original 2016 versions of Sun and Moon, but issues that I was willing to ignore or forgive because I was actually having fun the first time around and built a team I really loved using.

Without railing on about what I didn't like about Gen VII as a single-player experience (which is primarily how I experience Pokémon), I'll just say it was too much of a slog and not at all fun the way I tried playing the game: I usually have a few restrictions in place with newer games these days, and among them is using newer Pokémon I hadn't before for the story. This can have mixed results, as I often do find Pokémon I gain a new appreciation for by doing this (my Sun team had a lot of new-to-me mons but they were all so much fun to use), but I was so overwhelmed by the available choices in UM and had trouble actually composing a team I was satisfied with. I decided to toss this restriction aside and from there I got ideas on how to actually form a team I would like, what types and looking at what was available, and even went to start breeding a few new additions to swap out with my currently used Pokémon. When I realized I could farm BP early with the new Mantine Surfing and get move tutor moves before even the postgame I started working toward that too. It's all definitely very extra and not the most optimal way of playing a Pokémon game's story, but I did all this before. If I'm going to steamroll through most of the game anyway, I might as well have some fun with the tools the game provides instead of dreading playing it and constantly falling asleep.

UltraMoon is still, overall, a pretty average if underwhelming experience as far as Pokémon games go, but it feels so much better when you finally have a team you like and everything clicks. RPGs are about player choice, so find what you like, but don't be afraid to experiment either; I did find some keepers I hadn't thought of before, and they're being mixed in with more familiar Pokémon to make a team I'm much more satisfied with. It's just not worth forcing yourself to play them a certain way because you need to keep some imaginary score of how you play that no one cares about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.