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What are you Playing Now? - Back to the Grind


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Still working through the Palace of Ice DLC of Solasta. I'm enjoying it so far. The factions questlines are not mutually exclusive the way they were in the previous DLC, and I'm actually liking that. And they have been interesting so far. Just now reached level 15 with my party.

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Chinese New Year event in D4 is a joke. You click on shrines for a Feat of Strength and kill enemies for an hour. Such awesome.

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No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

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It seems like they're going to have most, if not all, of the building pieces in the entire game available on Dondoko Island. There are already people trying to recreate Kamurocho on the island. It's impossible to make an exact replica because the layout of the island(s) is different and there isn't a big enough rectangle for the entirety of Kamurocho anywhere, but you can probably remake sections of it fairly faithfully. The end goal is to get your resort up to 5 stars and there's probably some manner of boss battle at the end. I'm currently at 2 stars and I'm not particularly concerned with layout yet because I don't have access to all the building pieces right now. I plan to reach 3 stars then go back to Honolulu and play some more of the main game because there are building plans to pick up in the main game. Once I get to around chapter 11 or 12 I'll go back to Dondoko Island and finish it out and when I'm near the end I'll redesign the whole island to have some manner of theme and coherence.

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When you download a bunch of demos but by the time you're done looking/dl-ing, it's late and it's time for bed.

But there was a new cat game! And Pacific Drive had a demo. And some other randoms. Demos are cool, I like demos.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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21 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Still working through the Palace of Ice DLC of Solasta. I'm enjoying it so far. The factions questlines are not mutually exclusive the way they were in the previous DLC, and I'm actually liking that. And they have been interesting so far. Just now reached level 15 with my party.

Yes, I've finished most of that campaign now. It's pretty decent, about on a par with the other Solasta campaigns. I'm not sure how much I want to finished the final slog though. The best part is the new add-on tilesets and other features that are sure to start showing up in user modules. It might even be possible to build an Icewind Dale-like campaign now.

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Copycat, demo:
----well, it's sorta cute. Controls are pretty clunky, camera view control is pretty clunky. I do like the cats 1st furperson purspective, like staring at legs from under a shelf. It's no Stray, but maybe.

Pacific Drive, demo:
---visually looks decent if you can keep certain settings High/Ultra. Driving the car is fine/didn't feel too hinky etc.
---demanding game performance wise. Shadows and lighting is visually/atmospherically important, so one may not want to turn such down a lot, and middling/older PC's may find themselves playing it at 30fps. If you're the type who wants 85+fps at all times/higher resolutions, likely to be disappointed. YMMV.
---not a very intuitive tutorial phase re: what to do next and the UI in general is a little annoying but I can see getting used to it enough.
---THERE IS NO AUTOSAVE. Save triggers are far between and in most "zones" it will not save until you've finished a bunch of tasks or something. It's done this way on purpose. I get it, gameplay tension design and save-scum prevention. Some may enjoy it. For myself, I like being able to stop and go to bed  vs. feeling forced to continue because I haven't figured out/done what will trigger a save to happen. Still, for the type of gameloop, it might be marginally tolerable if you love everything else. Undecided.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Finally finished up Marvel Midnight Suns. It was a fantastic game from a combat perspective. I enjoyed the mix of Xcom style combat with card usage. The story and exploring the Abbey was good, for the most part. It got pretty tiring talking to all of these people about life. It felt kind of repetitive, I guess. Like, there were a lot of them wanting to talk to me about my mommy issues. I didn't even get the DLC characters, and I'm positive I don't need 4 more people to chew the fat with. I feel like the hero roster could be 6 and it would have been a more focused game.

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2 hours ago, Hurlshort said:

Finally finished up Marvel Midnight Suns. It was a fantastic game from a combat perspective. I enjoyed the mix of Xcom style combat with card usage. The story and exploring the Abbey was good, for the most part. It got pretty tiring talking to all of these people about life. It felt kind of repetitive, I guess. Like, there were a lot of them wanting to talk to me about my mommy issues. I didn't even get the DLC characters, and I'm positive I don't need 4 more people to chew the fat with. I feel like the hero roster could be 6 and it would have been a more focused game.

Venom is interesting, as his story obviously ties in Peter as well and overall works in creating a likeable npc who isn't all bad but has issues.

The others you didn't miss anything storywise. Deadpool and Storm were forced into it. Neither really has anything to offer in their discussions either - you already have Captain America and Wolverine to talk to for the experienced old people, you don't need to rechew it with Storm.

Morbius works well for the DLC story arc and makes absolute sense there.

So for me the DLC was a 50/50 success with the additions.

It doesn't help that I didn't like Deadpool's mechanics either and by the time Storm was added, was too indifferent to care about her mechanic, which on paper isn't bad.

 

I could have done with a smaller roster as well. I felt Wolverine was just random fanservice.

The avengers kinda work to create this Avengers vs Midnight Suns dynamic, but overall for me they diluted the midnight theme.

I would have liked the game to have been more bold and not just throw everyone in who they hoped would get one more fanboy to play the game.

Edited by melkathi
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I'm a big fan of Wolverine. I named my child Logan, after all. But yeah, he played very similar to Spider-Man in terms of chain attacks, and we already had Blade to fill the brooding anti-hero role. 

This game just occupies such a strange spot in the Firaxis lineup. I don't finish a lot of games, but I do finish every Firaxis one, so it was weird that it took me so long to commit to playing this one. Once I did, I enjoyed it quite a bit, but I'm left hoping they leave this Marvel silliness behind and go back to Xcom. :p 

edit: Correction - I never played Haunted Hollow by Firaxis :) 

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Question re: this demo week on Steam:

If you've downloaded a demo, are they still playable after the week is up? Or do they become deactivated. I mean, I like demo's but there's only so many hours in a day.

“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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22 hours ago, rjshae said:

Yes, I've finished most of that campaign now. It's pretty decent, about on a par with the other Solasta campaigns. I'm not sure how much I want to finished the final slog though. The best part is the new add-on tilesets and other features that are sure to start showing up in user modules. It might even be possible to build an Icewind Dale-like campaign now.

Yeah I'm looking forward to trying out some of the user created modules next. I've read in places that some of those modules are really very good.

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15 minutes ago, LadyCrimson said:

Question re: this demo week on Steam:

If you've downloaded a demo, are they still playable after the week is up? Or do they become deactivated. I mean, I like demo's but there's only so many hours in a day.

From previous Next Fests the demos had remained in my account and playable so long as I didn't uninstall them. Once I uninstalled they were gone and no longer available if Next Fest was already over. So if there is a demo you want to play again later just don't uninstall it.

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"Any organization created out of fear must create fear to survive." - Bill Hicks

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Outcast 2, demo:

---This one put time limits on the two non-endless-combat gamemodes (explore, story) available - 20 minutes (kicks you out) and two replays. Annoying. Could've been just two replays, no time limit. Or at least give an hour.
---Visually decent (not "next gen", just looks nice), felt like most might be able to get a decent working performance with setting tweaks and/or DLSS.
---horizontal jet-pack flying/gliding, as well as "jump" being vertical high jet bounces (edit: which will be used in quests or reaching items). In explore demo you could do it endlessly, don't know if there will be fuel limits to range/time in full game, I would guess yes.
---no UI scale in demo and the elements are all huge and often pretty visually disruptive.
---I played "explore" for the 20 minutes and ran into one enemy glitched into the ground so I couldn't shoot it, meaning I couldn't get the quest complete. I was however able to melee punch it when it popped half out of the ground once.

I was a fan of the original Outcast game's attempt at doing something different, but wasn't an actual big fan of the gameplay itself.
Outcast 2 feels a bit more generic pseudo openworld exploration/rpg, at least in the demo starts. The demo did, however, sort of immediately trigger the curiosity  "want to know/explore more" response, vs. wanting to almost immediately turn it off, which I would count as a positive.

Edited by LadyCrimson
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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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2 hours ago, kanisatha said:

Yeah I'm looking forward to trying out some of the user created modules next. I've read in places that some of those modules are really very good.

Yes, I've tried some of them; a few are quite good. They can suffer a bit from balance issues though. Perhaps from a lack of play testing?

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Picked up Enshrouded, another one of these new survival games that just hit early access. So far it seems pretty decent. Exploring the early parts of the world is enjoyable and it is a good looking game. It was only $30, so I'll probably stick with it.

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On 2/6/2024 at 5:29 PM, majestic said:

Chinese New Year event in D4 is a joke. You click on shrines for a Feat of Strength and kill enemies for an hour. Such awesome.

Should have just brought Lunar Tides or something for the zones.

Citizen Sleeper is fun, is Disco Elysium lite, but nothing wrong with that.

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I played like ten minutes of Citizen Sleeper and then was like "this seems cool, it's definitely gotten past my 'should i immediately chuck this into the garbage' test - not going to play it for real right this second, but I'll get back to this".

It currently sits directly above Disco Elysium in my games directory, which I also did the exact same thing with. Whoops.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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27 minutes ago, Bartimaeus said:

I played like ten minutes of Citizen Sleeper and then was like "this seems cool, it's definitely gotten past my 'should i immediately chuck this into the garbage' test - not going to play it for real right this second, but I'll get back to this".

It currently sits directly above Disco Elysium in my games directory, which I also did the exact same thing with. Whoops.

You need to get HARDCORE TO THE MEGA

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cof_UPvcc0mWz0.png?rlkey=u1bn4y8sgyz49tz

Just what the doctor ordered.

Spoiler

Sadly, it didn't pass my "should i immediately chuck this game into the garbage" test.

 

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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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19 hours ago, Hurlshort said:

Picked up Enshrouded, another one of these new survival games that just hit early access. So far it seems pretty decent. Exploring the early parts of the world is enjoyable and it is a good looking game. It was only $30, so I'll probably stick with it.

Oh good. I added it to my wishlist (won't consider buying until not EA), and am looking for useful feedback, specifically about playing it solo offline. The devs really emphasize the game was made for co-op, so I want to know how decent of an experience it will be played solo (including if combat will be too difficult), as that's the only way I would play it. Hope you will share. :)

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Finished Itorah. It is a reasonably well-made Metroidvania. The story follows the last human (who is also a child) named Itorah and a talking axe named Koda (neither name appears too often) who are trying to find out what happened to the humanity and fight against the plague which is threatening the present not-humans (anthropomorphic animals, like Mickie Mouse, and living masks with limbs).

The level design is functional - there are very few optional secrets and most of the maps must be explored in order to proceed. The movement controls are tight, rebindable (but limited to the keyboard only), responsive, and comfortable. All actions were executed perfectly. The character development system consists of health, stamina (required for some, but not all, attacks and actions, such as sprinting), the number and the potency of the healing items. In order to upgrade, some XP and material components (very few, fixed position on the map) are required, while the upgrades themselves can be done only in the main hub. Most areas loop back, and it is reasonably easy to reach the town on the way to the next objective. Since there is no fast travel, it is as convenient as it gets. From what I can tell, there is only one ending.

The combat can be described as functional as well. There is 1 ground combo, singular directional and aerial attacks, and dodging (consumes stamina). The bosses are diverse and some of the encounters consist of running, instead of combat. However, they do not have visible health bars and there is only one difficulty. On the other hand, it is usually clear when the battle progresses and phases change. The saving system is checkpoint-based and there is usually one right before bosses.

The graphics and visual design are beautiful - painted 2D images and backgrounds, though seeing the interactive objects occasionally was challenging. The soundtrack is rather good as well, the voice acting is limited to some noises to indicate who is talking.

No bugs were encountered during the playthrough (Steam says 10 hours).

Overall, it was a positive experience.

---

Sands of Aura. After I've upgraded the swords, the game started to remind Diablo-likes, rather than Dark Souls.

---

Saints Row. Created the main character. The range of settings (character creation, controls, accessibility) is amazing, though the DRM is not. I will probably get it on Steam on sale (would prefer GOG, but not available there). I am also pleased that it runs on my main PC, which I had doubts about.

Edited by Hawke64
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I played about 2 minutes of Dredge before I uninstalled it because gameplay in video games is bo-o-oring and I don't really want to spend a bunch of time fishing, Lovecraftian horrors or no. Just one of those games that you try and it instantly jumps out as a "no" for you.

So I started another game called Homebody, except I've already had this game installed for a while and so I do not remember even the littlest bit of what this game is about. O.K., I'm a young woman that is apparently struggling with her mental health, seems to have some kind of guilt and obsessive compulsive complexes right off the bat that's making doing basic things painful/difficult, and I'm on my way to spend a night with my old high school friends at a remote-ish Airbnb. Lots of dialogue as I try to catch up with these friends of mine that I haven't seen in a while, but that's fine, they seem nice enough, except for the jerk who has some kind of problem with me because he's mysteriously pretending that I don't exist. The house has only one apparent exit, the front door, and there's some kind of weird powered lock on it that nobody else seems to be very concerned about at the moment. It's all kind of strange, but whatever. The house rules put down by the host say don't go into a few rooms that have been locked up, so of course after talking to everyone in the house, I immediately go looking to solve some of the puzzles to open them up. One thing leads to another, I'm collecting little bits of information and putting them into my character's notebook, and then pretty soon I'm in the basement examining this weird liquid canister stuff. So I'm sitting there trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with it and not really paying attention to what's going on around me - I think I heard some sounds coming from upstairs, but nothing distinctive enough that I really paid much notice because I kind of just figured it was environmental noise. But then a little bit later, I suddenly hear my character start to breathe loudly and just kind of freak out, so I stop looking at the canisters and turn around right in time for me to scream in real life because I got stabbed right in the face by a knife-wielding maniac, game over. Well, guess I should've paid attention to the weird sounds upstairs after all - though I didn't lose all the information I put into my character's notebook, so that's nice.

Now if I had actually looked at the banner art of the game on the Steam store page, I probably would've noticed the knife and blood and generally murder-y look of the game, but since I didn't do that, I honestly thought this was gonna be a very chill and laid back dialogue/puzzle kind of game. Whoops. But hey, moments like that are what you live for in video games, so I won't complain. Now I just have to actually play the rest of the game.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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