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Cronozilla
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Cronozilla Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:46 pm

I loved Sleeping Dogs very much. On a second playthrough it didn't hold as well, but was still enjoyable. I think it's also important to keep in mind the size of the team whom made it.

We're used to really dense open world games by Rockstar and Bethesda, but if you don't have that kind of huge team or extensively long cycle, you just can't do that the same way. And, Sleeping Dogs was United Front's first original game (And only because the True Crime license fell through).

There's a lot of instances where a studio whom is decent at working licensed projects (with a low staff) tries to make something of their own, through various circumstances, and they don't have the support that's required to make it a one to one competitor to similar experiences out there. (Radical Entertainment comes to mind).
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:54 pm

Sleeping Dogs was the first open world big city game I've actually completed. Not that I've played that many in the genre. As far as GTA goes, I put time into GTA2, GTA3, Vice City, Vice City Stories, and Chinatown PSP. Not one of those was able to hold my attention long enough to get very far. Those particular GTA games for me became incredibly repetitive, incredibly quickly. Sleeping Dogs however did not. I still plan to give GTA4 and GTA5 a try sometime though.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Thu Jan 21, 2016 10:42 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Sleeping Dogs was the first open world big city game I've actually completed. Not that I've played that many in the genre. As far as GTA goes, I put time into GTA2, GTA3, Vice City, Vice City Stories, and Chinatown PSP. Not one of those was able to hold my attention long enough to get very far. Those particular GTA games for me became incredibly repetitive, incredibly quickly. Sleeping Dogs however did not. I still plan to give GTA4 and GTA5 a try sometime though.

Don't. Everything they do, many games do faaaaaaaaaar better. That was my awkward experience with GTA5. It felt so aimless, but was one of those filler games so I just kept playing it and eventually finished it, but was left pretty empty feeling. There are missions where you have to use a giant magnet crane to line up cargo... why? WHY is the question I asked myself more than anything else while playing it. I dunno. Was a huge fan of Vice City and San Andreas, enjoyed GTA4, but I'm done with this series.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sarge Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:06 pm

I have intentionally avoided all of the GTA games. I just don't like Rockstar's oeuvre in this case. Not that they haven't made a few others that seem fine, but the series is not for me. If I were to play anything along those lines, I'd probably go for Saints Row. Raunchy, sure, but so over the top, especially in later entries, to be ridiculous enough to enjoy. Kinda like Bayonetta, I suppose.

I mean, seriously, the last game had you hopping all around much like Crackdown. Kinda hard to go wrong with that, I'd think. Oh, right, and it had a dubstep gun.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by nullPointer Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:19 pm

I think Bully is one of the best games Rockstar has made (Red Dead Redemption notwithstanding). In some ways R* has been at their best when they were in experimental mode and subverting the tropes of the open world sandbox genre.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Xeogred Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:26 pm

Sarge wrote:I have intentionally avoided all of the GTA games. I just don't like Rockstar's oeuvre in this case. Not that they haven't made a few others that seem fine, but the series is not for me. If I were to play anything along those lines, I'd probably go for Saints Row. Raunchy, sure, but so over the top, especially in later entries, to be ridiculous enough to enjoy. Kinda like Bayonetta, I suppose.

I mean, seriously, the last game had you hopping all around much like Crackdown. Kinda hard to go wrong with that, I'd think. Oh, right, and it had a dubstep gun.

Saints Row 2 was very legit and probably better than all the GTA's. I can't say enough good about this one.

Saints Row 3 was probably where my open world city sandbox fatigue started settling in. It was decent aimless fun, but I don't think I finished it and didn't really care to check out 4.

Crackdown I really enjoyed actually, simply for collecting orbs and scaling buildings like nothing haha.

I've played Infamous 1 and 2 more recently and did enjoy those, it helps that they actually have cool stories and a darker comic book styled kind of world. It still tested my patience with some of the fetch quests or collectibles, but they were definitely solid and ones I could recommend. I'll check out the PS4 one sometime.

Basically yeah... Saints Row 2, Crackdown, Infamous 1-2, [etc games], are all better than GTA. :P :lol:
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by MrPopo Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:46 am

None of those listed games have the awesome 80's soundtrack of Vice City, so your opinions are invalid.
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Cronozilla
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Cronozilla Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:49 am

Exhuminator wrote:Sleeping Dogs was the first open world big city game I've actually completed. Not that I've played that many in the genre. As far as GTA goes, I put time into GTA2, GTA3, Vice City, Vice City Stories, and Chinatown PSP. Not one of those was able to hold my attention long enough to get very far. Those particular GTA games for me became incredibly repetitive, incredibly quickly. Sleeping Dogs however did not. I still plan to give GTA4 and GTA5 a try sometime though.


I feel like GTA4 and 5 have better stories than the previous games. 5 is especially well polished in the story area.

The entire game feels like the events could have been transplanted into some 80s movie.

I would say, after replaying 4, the game does get repetitive, if the story doesn't hold you, it can get tiring.

But you won't know unless you give them a go. I'd say if you find yourself curious, check out 5 sometime.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Sload Soap Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:56 am

MrPopo wrote:None of those listed games have the awesome 80's soundtrack of Vice City, so your opinions are invalid.


This is what they call an absolute truth.

Broforce (PC)
Great way to start the year. I played Broforce in 2014 when it was still in the demo stages and loved it. Safe to say the full game doesn't disappoint.

The main gimmick of Broforce is that you control a platoon (or, erm, force) comprised of 80's and 90's action heroes, with Bro cunningly placed in their names so as to avoid copyright infringement. So Rambro, Brobocop and, my absolute favourite, Bronan the Brobarian. Each Bro has his or her own main attack and a unique special attacks. you get Rambro's straight forward guns and grenades set-up to more off the wall stuff like Cherry Broling effectively being able to fly by firing her gun-leg to McBrover just chucking TNT and exploding pot-roasts at everything.

In an interesting twist you don't get to choose your Bro. Instead you find others locked in cages throughout the game's many levels. Rescuing them essentially serves two functions: it gives you another life in that stage and the more Bros you rescue, the closer you get to unlocking newer and more interesting characters to add to your arsenal.

Like the characters, levels are also similarly themed around action movie tropes. This is a game where fighting in central american against Aliens before taking a trip to Hell to kill the actual Devil serves as both setting and the thinnest veil of plot. It's OTT, it's stupid and it's kind of great.

The levels themselves are all really destructible, similar to old PC classics like Worms and Leiro. This is both a boon and a hazard since you can use the environments to kill your enemies or blast paths around them, but you can also get to the point where so much stuff has been destroyed you cannot progress. Personally this happened on very few occasions but that it did happen at all shows a lack of foresight on the developers part. Thankfully levels are relatively short so you won't lose too much progress should you find yourself bottlenecked.

Yeah, I think Broforce is pretty cool. It's appropriately silly, it's got some really great jumping and shooting (I played with the keyboard on my laptop and it still felt silky smooth) and the central gimmick serves to keep the player interested. Who will you unlock next? I think it also has couch co-op which unfortunately I couldn't test due to me being a Billy no mates.



Hard Reset: Extended Edition (PC)
Last year I was pleasantly surprised by two FPS games, both ostensibly reboots, that were really much better than they had any right to be. One was the thunderous Wolfenstein: The New Order. The other was the smaller budgeted by equally crazed Shadow Warrior.

Before turning their attentions to rebooting the semi-successful but by then already dated Shadow Warrior, Flying Wild Hog made Hard Reset which serves as kind of a template for their later work.

Hard Reset is set in a rain drenched, cyber-punk noir future where the few remaining humans who haven't uploaded themselves into VR are barricaded inside a giant European city to shelter from murderous robots. The story, as light and nonsensical as it is, is told via short comic strips very similar to those in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. They aren't as stylish or as good as PW's but it's nice touch all the same.

Anyway, the game is basically an odd combination of linear objective based gameplay as per your usual modern FPS and arena shooters like Painkiller or Serious Sam. Most of the enemies are melee based and they come in your standard forms, small fast ones, large heavy hitters and irritating flying ones. There are some enemies that have the sense to carry firearms and generally the game is about quickly identifying and eliminating the greatest threat, while circle strafing out of the way of oncoming fire. Typical arena shooter type stuff, though as I say, in more contained areas than say a Serious Sam.

The real novelty of Hard Reset comes with the weapon loadout. You start with just two gun slots and that's also how you end. You have one gun that fire traditional ballistic projectiles and one that fires energy. In what I think is an attempt by the developer to streamline the process of changing weapons and minimizing ammo picks up, each of the two starter guns can morph to adopt other weapon types. So for example, the ballistic weapon starts off as a basic assault rifle but can be upgraded at special terminals (and with the right amount of nano, HR's form of cash) to fire shot gun shells, rockets, grenades etc. Each weapon form also has a secondary fire functions so what at first seems like a rather limiting set up actually ends up being quite deep.

Your character can also purchase upgrades to extend life or gain access to a radar. It's a nice system and the interface for it is very slick and unobtrusive. I would say that, like Shadow Warrior, there are perhaps some dud power-ups to waste points on but you're never so starved for cash you can't at least explore other paths.

The shooting itself is very satisfying. Guns have real heft and there are a lot of destructible items in the environments to help quell your robotic foes. There are times when you can feel overwhelmed, especially later on in the Exile expansion pack where you go up against basically every enemy type at once. But you know the saying: always outnumbered, never outgunned.

I very much enjoyed Hard Reset. I enjoyed even more that it ran on my off the shelf laptop with pretty high settings. For Flying Wild Hog it was a good test run to better things with Shadow Warrior but it still holds up very favourably on its own. You can get it with its DLC for about £2 at the moment on Steam and it's more than worth that.


The Deed (PC)
The Deed is a very short but quite interesting game that takes the basic premise of Cluedo and flips it on its head. Made in RPGmaker (don't worry it has its own distinct look) the game has you play the role of a man who plots to kill his mad sister to inherit the family fortune.

There are various items and potential murder weapons scattered throughout the house and you can basically plot the murder how you see fit. Do your frame your cantankerous father by offing her with his hunting gun, or do you attempt to fake a suicide with the rat poison? Be careful though, as after the deed is committed you will face some stern questioning from the local detective that can sink everything.

The Deed is as I say very short. If you want you can probably get at least one of the many possible ending in less than 15 mins. That isn't to say though the experience isn't worthy and replay value is had by trying different combinations of items to stage the perfect murder.

The game is about a dollar so it's also a very reasonably priced curio as well. Short but sweet, or more accurately, bittersweet.



Killer Instinct (Xbox One)
Killer Instinct as a series is one that passed me by way back when. I remember seeing a KI2 machine in some seaside arcade and being impressed by the relative graphical prowess it showed when compared to the still popular Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, but the home console ports never seemed essential, even as a kid who predominately played N64.

So it was with a little hesitation, that hesitation compounded by the games eyebrow raising free-to-play scheme and a developer best know for licensed guff, that I downloaded the KI reboot. And then it was about four hours later when I put the controller down that I realised that I needn't have worried.

I think KI might be the best fighter I've played in a long time. It's certainly the most noob friendly. It knocks stuff like Marvel Vs Capcom 3 on its ass in terms of teaching a player the complexities of the game through thoroughly explained gameplay tutorials and training sessions. KI is kind of like Soul Calibur or Guilty Gear X2 in that you can have a lot of fun picking a character and mashing away but there is certainly enough depth in the core fighting system to keep you learning.

One aspect Killer Instinct isn't so tight at is this cast. Now don't get me wrong, I love me some ninjas and werewolves and cyborgs. But in the same game? I guess in that aspect the Rareware shines through; throwing together a bunch of stuff that some nerds thought was cool in the mid-nineties. Strange then that the new custodians of the series Double Helix decided against focusing the cast into a more cohesive lot and instead made it weirder by chucking in a mummy, a Ring like ghost and a 10 foot stone golem. Oh yeah and some more cyborgs and aliens. Killer Instinct is so full of horror and action tropes it's close to being a reboot of Darkstalkers as well. If only...

That said, as disparate as the cast is stylistically, what matters is how they play and each one plays wonderfully with their own distinctive style. Kan-Ra for example has to work hard to do big damage but he is excellent at zoning and setting traps. Sabrewulf meanwhile is for more aggressive players, rushing the opponent with a barrage of fast attacks and high/low mix-ups. It's actually one of the more balanced rosters I've seen in a while, at least it seems that way to me. No character seems obviously duff in the way you sometimes get in your average fighting game, or like more than half the roster in any Marvel Vs game.

KI has always been a series based around pulling off stupidly long combos and things have been dialed up to eleven here. Even a total novice like myself can easily string together impressive looking combos and more experienced players will find plenty to work with in the games deep system of combo linkers, cancels, finishers and so on. It's incredibly satisfying on a basic level and becomes even more so when you start to understand how certain special moves link together to form extended chains of attacks.

Everything flows really well and the game looks gorgeous as well, definitely one of the more impressive Xbone exclusives. The character models themselves all animate beautifully (especially impressive considering the incredible speed the game plays at) and powerful attacks showcase a lovely inky outline around the player as well as showering the stage with seemingly billions of tiny glowing particles.

If I had one issue it'd be less to do with the game and more the hardware. The Xbone D-Pad is infinitely better the the 360's lump of nonsense, although it is also sharper to the touch. As you really do mash the fuck out of it while playing, it can get a bit painful. I also have never been able to get to grips with six-button fighters on pads with four face buttons having heavy attacks mapped to the shoulder buttons. It's awkward and makes doing all punch/kick inputs really difficult. I don't own a fight stick (the only fight stick I do own is for the Saturn, the only system that arguably doesn't warrant one) so I had to make do. It's still a metric tonne of fun though and the first season is currently free for Gold users, with the second season reduced to just £8! So that's basically the whole game as it is currently, plus KI classic arcade game for under a tenner. Nice.

One of the few genuinely essential next-gen games I feel. Combos for days.
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Re: Games Beaten 2016

by Exhuminator Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:01 am

Sarge wrote:I just don't like Rockstar's oeuvre in this case.

Avoid Red Dead Redemption and you do so at your own detriment bud. For me that was a 10/10 game. Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of westerns.

I also really enjoyed the original Manhunt (PC version). Once you get past the "it's a gruesome murder simulator" hype, what's really going on is a menacing survival horror game with an above average story and outstanding atmosphere. Also a freaking great soundtrack.
Cronozilla wrote:But you won't know unless you give them a go. I'd say if you find yourself curious, check out 5 sometime.

Oh I fully plan to give 4 and 5 a go. I own the 360 versions of both. Even if I don't finish them, I want to at least admire their respective technological achievements.
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