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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Finished another one tonight...

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11. Dear Esther: Landmark Edition | PC | Adventure | 2017 | 3hrs | 9/10

I've been meaning to check this one out since I'm really digging the genre. I saw you mention Firewatch and I loved that one. For the horror side of things, I really enjoyed Layers of Fear and Outlast (has a few more gameplay elements, but it's still not Condemned and doesn't have combat). Amnesia Machine for Pigs was great too. I couldn't get into the first one.

However if it loosely fits this kind of genre, SOMA destroys everything and just a reminder that I found it to be a profound Silent Hill 2 level kind of experience. Just straight up one of the best stories I've ever seen told in anything. Check it out. And go in blind, don't read into anything about it. But listen to this, I don't even know if it was in the game anywhere haha... It's awesome though: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdABlBDXCC0
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Exhuminator
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Exhuminator Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:47 am

Xeogred wrote:I saw you mention Firewatch and I loved that one.

Yeah I tried Firewatch tonight and it ran like crap on my laptop. Then I tried The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and it ran like a slideshow. Then I tried Miasmata and thankfully it runs just fine. So yeah, I need to get myself a proper gaming laptop sometime this year. (The idea of building desktops no longer appeals to me.)
Xeogred wrote:I really enjoyed Layers of Fear and Outlast (has a few more gameplay elements, but it's still not Condemned and doesn't have combat). Amnesia Machine for Pigs was great too. I couldn't get into the first one.

I think the Amnesia games would run fine on this laptop, I'll have to check them out. Don't know about Layers of Fear and Outlast. I seriously doubt I can run SOMA. :|
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Raz
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Raz Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:38 am

1. Dragon Quest Builders (PS4)
2. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)
3. Wild Guns: Reloaded (PS4)
4. World Heroes (SNES)
5. Arkanoid: Doh It Again (SNES)
6. Strider (PS4)
7. Super Bust-A-Move (PS2)
8. Mr. Driller Drill Spirits (DS)
9. Mickey to Donald: Magical Adventure 3 (SFC)
10. Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition (Steam)
11. Shantae and the Pirate's Curse (Wii U)
12. Chibi-Robo! (GameCube)

Chibi-Robo! is the first game in the Chibi-Robo series by skip about a tiny robot named Chibi-Robo, who is programmed to spread happiness. Its a very charming adventure game, but most of the other games in the series don't relate much to the original (except for the one DS game that never left Japan). I bought it years ago, loved it, but put it down right before the end of the game for whatever reason. I started a new save, and I played it nonstop. I tried to complete as much as I could before causing the ending of the game, so I'm only a few stickers from 100% completion at this point.
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alienjesus
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by alienjesus Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:34 am

pierrot wrote:I agree completely. The battle speeds can be grueling. Especially for the more meaningless battles. My point was really just that there's not such a huge disparity in terms of the maximum number of units on a single battlefield, between the versions. I know there's at least one battle that had 11 enemy units, with the player being able to deploy ten units, in the SNES/etc versions. I'm sure the maximum number of enemy units in the PSP version is, relatively, proportional to the small increase in maximum player units.


The guide I was using that made me think that was for the last dungeon. Although I followed the routes using the guide, the battles they said I would encounter had much less enemies than the ones I actually did.
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by PartridgeSenpai Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:18 am

Partridge Senpai's 2017 Beaten Games:

1. Tales of Hearts R (Vita)
2. UPPERS (Vita)
3. Volume (Vita)
4. Overlord: Minions (DS)
5. Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)
6. Overlord II (PS3)
7. Overlord: Dark Legend (Wii)
8. La-Mulana (Remake) (PC)
9. Infamous: Second Son (PS4)
10. htol#NiQ: The Firefly Diary (Vita)
11. Blood Bowl (360)
12. Dead to Rights: Retribution (360)
13. Bioshock Infinite (360)
14. Bioshock Infinite: Burial At Sea Part 1 (360)
15. Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Part 2 (360)

16. Singularity (360)

It took a little while to grow on me, but I ended up rather enjoying this game. It kinda doesn't know if it wants to be a kinda silly Sci-fi FPS or a horror-ish game, but that doesn't stop it from being a fun romp. I'll mention here that the game took me like 8 or 9 hours and I got every achievement on my first runthrough, sans the one for beating it on hard (or the multiplayer ones, which I assume are impossible to get now).

It starts out slow because it takes like an hour or two to get your super powers. That whole time, more or less, you're also stuck with a really annoying NPC who won't shut up his face. But after that bit, you get more fun guns and your super powers and the game gets a lot more enjoyable.

There are a couple other little annoying things about the presentation which aren't game breaking, but are very noticeable. On the 360 when you load in a new map (like when you start a new game), textures take a very noticeably long time to load in. This game came out 3 years after Bioshock (which it clearly took at least a little inspiration from), but it doesn't have audio logs you can pick up and listen to while you walk: You need to stand still on top of them to listen to them, not that they're ever necessary or that interesting as any in Bioshock though. NPC's also don't look at you while they tell you scripted events. You're uncommonly locked in place during cutscenes, so you can Gordan Freeman your way around a room while the NPC just stares at the air where you're supposed to be and talks to no one. Nothing game breaking or damaging, just little weird or ugly things that harm the overall presentation.

You need to look around maps for money (or at least what is effectively money) and med-packs and upgrade blueprints and the like, and while they're never hidden really cruelly or outlandishly, they can be quite out of sight sometimes. This is only a problem because the NPC's love shouting at you to hurry up when you can actually take as long as you damn well please in all but two parts of the game, and even then the checkpoints are fairly generous. There are even a couple easter eggs which there are achievements for finding spiced throughout the game which of course I HAD to find. One is very clearly a Metroid reference (Mother, my Brain Hurts!), and the other one I had to look up, but it's apparently a LOST reference (some kinda big wheel thingy). There's even a Borat reference in a note, which there's no achievement for finding (Great Success!).

The gunplay of course is very fun. It's very much like FEAR in that you can absolutely blow enemies apart with your guns. On normal mode, especially once you max out the damage on a gun (which ain't hard), human enemies literally fall to pieces in front of you. Or you can use your power-glove thingy to turn them to dust or morph them into monsters which attack their friends (or you, if they run out of friends). The pistol is absolute wank, but every other gun is great fun to use.

Verdict: Recommended. If you're looking for a fun, sci-fi shooter to pick up and romp through, this is a great choice! It ain't hard to find, and it's $5 or less, so it won't break the bank. It's not the best game ever made, but it didn't have to be to be fun.
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:14 am

1. DKC Returns (3DS)
2. √ Letter (PS4)
3. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (PC)
4. Spec Ops: The Line (PC)
5. Fire Emblem Heroes (Android)
6. Gears of War Ultimate Edition (Xbox One)
7. Onechanbara Z2 Chaos (PS4)
8. Horizon: Zero Dawn (PS4)
9. Nioh (PS4)

Played main missions and most/all of the individual side missions that popped up (but not the alternate objective ones that appeared, or any Twilight missions) over the course of 52 hours and change. I'd started on Nioh and gotten a good way into it prior to the deluge of other releases, so that playtime certainly wasn't all in days since I finished Horizon :lol:

Further thoughts spoiled for length:

Nioh follows the fictionalized adventures of William Adams through the end of the Sengoku period. It's about as historically accurate as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and far from the only dramatically reimagined game based on the time period (Senguku Basara possibly skewing closest). Still, it's got a lot of actual names, places, and events incorporated into the plot.

In this version, William Adams, or Anjin ("pilot") as he comes to be called, was saved as a young man by a selkie-ish spirit named Saoirse, who bound his life to hers. This serves to both make him immortal in a kind of Dragonheart way, and means he can see spirits unaided - something most people in the game can't do. Within the world of Nioh, the substance known as amrita grants power, thus making it desirable for those in the know...and as it happens, Saoirse is really good at finding it.
The prologue sees William escaping the Tower of London, only to get Saoirse captured by Edward Kelley and whisked away to Japan, which is host to a veritable crap-ton of amrita, and a lot more spirits than other places (apparently).

William follows, and thus we have a game. One of the highly anticipated aspects of Nioh is that it adapts a fair number of elements from the Souls games. However, it does quite a lot different from them as well.
The basic game loop is very similar - work your way through an interconnected environment, opening up routes to checkpoints (shrines here, rather than bonfires or lamps), to eventually reach a boss. Resting at a checkpoint replenishes supplies but resets enemies, and if you die, you have one shot to make it back to your grave to reclaim your amrita/souls or they're lost.

A different element for Nioh is that you've got a Guardian Spirit (technically, what Saoirse is, but she's kidnaped and all). It provides you with bonuses, and charges up as you gain amrita or stagger enemies to be unleashed as a Living Weapon, during which time it replaces your HP, and can do some special attacks. Often useful for, say, going into beast mode to zerg down the last chunk of a boss. Die once, and it can be reclaimed with your amrita, at whatever "charge" it was at. Die a second time (or elect to recall it to the shrine) and it gets reset.

Most characters of importance have their own Guardian Spirit, which you'll often get a copy of after a mission. You'll wind up with a nice list of ones to pick from (freely swappable at shrines), like so many glowing Pokemon.

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What, you didn't think this was a serious game, did you?

A sort-of downside is that most of them past the initial three you're given require raising up your Spirit stat to fully take advantage of. They'll have base stats, but then a couple tiers of additional benefits. Nioh has a similar system for armor, where getting more than the basic defenses from it requires having a certain amount of stats leveled.
Loot is actually very comparable to Diablo or similar - you get a lot of it, just like, so, so much...most of which is garbage. The up side is that you can very easily end up having very decent examples of every weapon type, encouraging you to try them, which was cool. The downside is that inventory space is not unlimited, though at least you can trade things in at shrines. 500 spaces seems like a lot, but it gets filled up fairly fast.

Still, equipment was something that started to illustrate a trend in Nioh that I wasn't particularly fond of. It's almost like Team Ninja looked at the Souls games, narrowed in on an element, and tried to figure out how to make it more convoluted. It's a more complicated game at nearly every turn, which some folks may dig, but I didn't.

Stamina (or Ki here) is also more complicated. Fully exhausting it leaves you winded and completely defenseless...the upside being, the same goes for enemies, and you can see their ki meters as well. You can also do a Ki burst to increase the regeneration rate, though that's kind of like hitting dash and not going anywhere - in the heat of combat, there's a good chance you'll get smacked, unless you're using it to extend a combo chain.
More sadistically, non-human enemies tend to create areas where Ki regeneration is slowed.

Then there are skill points to put into each weapon type to expand your move sets, quests to unlock more tiers of them or extra-special moves, and on, and on...

Again, it takes a basic concept that works fine, and builds more on top of it. In and of itself it's fine, but coupled with basically doing that for everything, and I found it to be a bit excessive.

The structure of the game is mission-based instead of free roaming. It takes away the feeling of exploration or discovery, and limits your options with regard to buying supplies or whatnot. For example, ranged weapons are actually very effective here, but ammo is very limited. So, if you're attempting a boss or part of a level repeatedly (which, to be fair, most people probably will), it's hard to keep using a strategy that relies on having ammo, or some other consumable.

Actual level design is generally quite solid, at least in terms of working in shortcuts and all that. Most runs back to a boss are short. The downside is that it ends up feeling very same-y, usually dark and/or foggy, often a bit cramped (as it presents a tactical challenge) and so on. Levels are also reused a fair bit - side missions all seem to use the same few levels, with different parts blocked off. They also reuse enemies quite a lot.

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Dimly lit temple? Weird boss thing? Yep, that's Nioh.

Really, the game often looks almost 7th gen, though this is kind of a good thing. Reason being that you actually get a toggle for graphics, the default (and only real option) being to prioritize 60fps. On a regular PS4, this means the game is usually running closer to 720p. So while it might look kinda poopy for a PS4 game, if you stop and look...it always plays very well.

Though they are dark, most levels do have a lot of bright colors in the lighting, which can lend them a dream-like quality that suits a lot of the enemy design (repetitive as it gets to be). Nioh, as expected, draws heavily on Japanese folklore, with its own takes on a variety of different spirits and creatures. In-game notes explain the legends behind them, and some are pretty creative inclusions. I liked how it handled mimics and fake walls, for example, which have non-violent ways to get past them - mimics are Mujina, and presented more playfully. Find one, and it'll mimic you, and do an emote. If you respond with the same one, it'll leave the treasure for you.

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At their best, bosses are a fun challenge. Many, however, are really pretty cheap. Very fast and/or long reach, and often liable to one-shot. Maybe not initially, but so much in this game will effectively leave you open for follow-up attacks. Plenty of bosses will give Capra Demon a run for his money with regard to ruining your day literally as soon as you set foot in the arena as well.

The minor upside here is that you do get some pretty cheap tools to (potentially) use as well. I abused the Sloth talisman a lot for example (makes the enemies move in slow motion), human enemies can often be kited and subjected to pokes from a spear, etc. I've seen some lament how effective enfeebles and stuff can be here, but to me, it's a tool, that's the point :twisted:

Plus, I suck, and needed all the advantages I could find.

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I only saw this screen about 630 times...

Overall, I think Nioh is a quality offering from Team Ninja...but ultimately not one I really loved. It's well made for what it is, but it's missing the kind of nebulous exploration of the Souls games that made chipping my way through them feel worth it. Once you get past the basic combat gameplay loop, Nioh really seems more like Diablo III's Adventure Mode. For me, fun enough for a bit, but I tend to get motivated more by story and lore, so I was more than happy to see the end (like, the real end, I did do the epilogue mission).

Definitely one to try if you like more hardcore games though. It's certainly got a -lot- of potential content to play through and a fairly unique vibe.

Also, since it came up earlier in the thread...
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:02 pm

Did you play the Onimusha series isiolia? I was way into them before I got around to Ninja Gaiden (Xbox) and Devil May Cry. Everyone is drawing those Souls comparison, which are spot on in areas (I played the last Nioh beta and loved it). But it honestly feels more like a PS2 era styled game and like a loose successor to Onimusha, in all the greatest ways. I think I'm going to absolutely love it, even if it doesn't have the sprawling and gorgeous level design and backdrops of Souls, Nioh sounds mechanically extremely satisfying.
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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by isiolia Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:55 pm

I played some of the first Onimusha way back when it came out, but I didn't beat it or play the sequels (I do have them for PS2 though).
I never got fully in the habit of swapping stances or doing Ki pulse (since I usually immediately dashed away), so you may well like it more if you do. Against regular enemies combat felt rewarding (well, except Tengu, screw those guys). Bosses just tend to be on the cheap side :lol:

I don't mean to imply Nioh is bad. It's a quality product, I just didn't take to it as much as I'd hoped I might. I think some folks will really find mastering the combat and grinding gear/etc to be a blast, and for them, it'll offer hundreds of hours of satisfying play. There's a lot to dig into if you're inclined to, I just wasn't, and would have preferred it be a bit more focused, if nothing else.
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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by MrPopo Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:16 am

1. Pokémon Moon - 3DS
2. Tony Hawk's Underground - GCN
3. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising - PC
4. Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II: Retribution - PC
5. Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness - PSP
6. X-Wing: Imperial Pursuit - PC
7. Star Wars Republic Commando - PC
8. X-Wing: B-Wing - PC
9. Blazing Lazers - TG-16
10. Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3
11. Shining Force CD: Shining Force Gaiden - Sega CD
12. MUSHA - Genesis
13. Sonic CD - Sega CD
14. Final Fantasy Legend III - GB
15. Tales of Zestiria - PS3
16. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - Switch
17. Horizon Zero Dawn - PS4

So Horizon Zero Dawn was a game I purchased on the promise of shooting robot dinosaurs in the face with a bow and arrow. And it delivered on that. But it's not just a "cool vs. awesome" one note trick; this is a well crafted open world that has one of my favorite post apocalyptic stories I've encountered.

In terms of game DNA the game is about 70% Witcher 3 and 30% Tomb Raider reboot. On the Tomb Raider side you get the strong female protagonist, the emphasis on bow skills, and the climbing sequences. Though in this game the climbing tends to be a bit more automated; most of the time you can just push the stick in the direction and you'll hop from various hand and footholds. There's no equivalent to the climbing axe. The climbing adds a bit of traversal tech, but it doesn't have nearly the focus it does in Tomb Raider. On the Witcher 3 end you have the general protagonist attitude, an enhanced senses feature that is frequently used to investigate areas and follow trails, a similar feel to the open world portions with lots of troubleshooting sidequests to try and help out the little people, and the tactical approach to combat.

The combat is one of the game's strongest features. Enemies have a series of interesting points on them; canisters of fuel, weapons, scanners, etc. By targeting these areas you can strike weakpoints, cause explosions, and remove offensive capabilities. Your ability to exploit these features is what gives you the edge you need to take down a robot T-Rex. Additionally, the game is quite good about giving you more options as the game goes on, both through some really impactful skills in the skill tree and unlocking additional ammo types as you upgrade your weaponry.

The latter does recall a point that I feel really mixed on. The majority of your combat strength increases comes from enhancing your arsenal. So when you upgrade your starting bow you first get access to fire arrows, and after that to special high damage arrows. The elemental bow starts with just shock arrows, but upgrading it gives you ice arrows and then corruption arrows (confuse). These are extremely tangible upgrades. However, these all come from merchants, requiring a bit of currency and a drop off a particular enemy. These drops are not hard to get. And you get access to the top tier of all the weapons 1/3 of the way into the game. At this point you quickly become quite powerful and the curve really flattens out (depending on how many combat skills you still have to unlock). On the one hand, it's nice to be able to work towards that upgrade and go after it. On the flip side, this causes all the loot in the game to be utterly terrible. It's all random collections of resources and the best ones contain random weapon/armor mods. It makes quests really just a source of exp and story. So like I said, I'm mixed on the general mechanic.

The game does feature a useful stealth system. I say useful, but I mean utterly broken in the player's favor as soon as you put points in the stealth attack skill and the whistle. See, the way it works is if you are crouched in specific tall grass you are invisible to enemies. This invisibility extends to attack animations, as long as you get back into the grass by the end of the animation. So one tactic that is frighteningly effective is to whistle for an enemy unit (which causes them to investigate the noise), then when they get close you activate the stealth attack and one hit KO them (if they're not a high-tier robot). This does not break your stealth. Then you can whistle for the next enemy, or more likely an enemy will notice the corpse that suddenly showed up and investigate. Their lack of awareness is actually comical. In a late mission I snuck up on two guards talking, stabbed the first one, then the second one went into his "what's this dead body?" routine and I chained immediately into the second stealth kill while I was in the grace period before detection. I've had multiple enemies approach my field of grass and I'll chain stealth kills on them in full view of the others, but since I'm still following the rules they don't notice that suddenly this chick stabbed Bob in the chest. However, on the large robots this doesn't work; you can get in a good first shot but they don't lose to just that one hit.

Storywise I think the game has a unique tale to tell. It is presented extremely well, and several story missions are just exploring a ruin and picking up story bits with no combat whatsoever. Those were some of my favorites, as it showed the devs felt good enough about their story to make it a focus at times. There is a very tantalizing world in game, and it reminds me a bit of Numenera, with the idea of a new society building on the bones of the old and only vaguely understanding some of these magical works of those who came before.

This is 100% worthwhile if you have a PS4.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2017

by Xeogred Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:23 pm

isiolia wrote:I played some of the first Onimusha way back when it came out, but I didn't beat it or play the sequels (I do have them for PS2 though).
I never got fully in the habit of swapping stances or doing Ki pulse (since I usually immediately dashed away), so you may well like it more if you do. Against regular enemies combat felt rewarding (well, except Tengu, screw those guys). Bosses just tend to be on the cheap side :lol:

I don't mean to imply Nioh is bad. It's a quality product, I just didn't take to it as much as I'd hoped I might. I think some folks will really find mastering the combat and grinding gear/etc to be a blast, and for them, it'll offer hundreds of hours of satisfying play. There's a lot to dig into if you're inclined to, I just wasn't, and would have preferred it be a bit more focused, if nothing else.

Onimusha, having started development on the PSX, is extremely rough. Though 2 is still frustrating as well but has some of the best pre-rendered backdrops ever. 3 went fully 3D and holds up a lot better and is fantastic, along with Jean Reno. So yeah, don't let the weirdness of 1 turn you off on the sequels.

Sadly the 4th game feels like some weird arcade spinoff from a different team or something. I tried to get through it twice but don't like it.
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