Julius

Your 2020 Gaming Diary

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Due to self isolation, I managed to play and complete Quantum Break on my Xbox this last week.

First off, I loved it. Sometimes I just in the mood for a linear, story driven game and that's exactly what this. Coupled with some great acting performances (especially the always good Lance Reddick) and I found myself going straight back into the game to play the alternate time line and soak up the nuances and differences I would have missed the first time. Although it is linear, you could bash through the main narrative pretty quickly and not know half of the story; Remedy have done an exceptional job of fleshing this sci fi world out and giving you the opportunity to dive as deep into the rabbit hole as you want to. Emails, notes, laptops and diagrams are scattered around the world to pick up and soak up.

The game isn't perfect by any stretch, especially the gun play/fighting. I read a few reviews that said how they enjoyed this more than the story; for me it was the other way around. My heart sank a little every time a section where you had to clear out the bad guys popped up, and I persevered mainly to get to the next story beat. It just felt clunky and a bit of an after thought, if truth be told. Some of it plays like an extended QTE which, although I enjoyed, might frustrate others.

The idea of merging a game and TV show into one always interested, and it personally worker very well for me. Some of the choices or ripples didn't make a massive difference, but the performances from Shawn Ashton, Aidan Gillen and Lance Reddick in the lead roles were all expectional, and in fact the supporting cast were equally believable and strong. They transferred well from the "TV show" bits to the in game as well.

In many respects it reminded me of Ryse: Son of Rome in its linearity and story driven narrative, which bearing in mind this was a 2016(?) Release and how long it must have been in development, makes me think back to Microsoft's initial push for the Xbox One to be a multimedia device and have their own dedicated TV streaming service. Sadly (for me, not everyone else!) That never took off but interesting to see how they were developing a specific type of game to compliment this service.

I've almost got the full achievement set (very close to the end second time around on Hard) but Animal Crossing has slowed my momentum on it somewhat, hopefully I'll get back on it before my enthusiasm completely wains and I forget all about finishing it off.

It always intrigued me when it was first released and now, thanks to Game Pass, I've finally given it a go and I'm glad I did. Although I never really got into the Alan Wake games (though I appreciated the references in this one) once Control becomes a bit cheaper/Game Pass then I'll be excited to pick that up and see where Remedy are taking me next!

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Final boss of Tangledeep has been slain. NG+ and a new dungeon is now available.

What a great roguelike this is. Took 4 characters and 21 hours to get to grips with its many systems but it was oh so satisfying once it clicked. I'll probably take a break from this game for a while because I'm eager to start SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech. But it's very likely I'll return to the world of Tangledeep soon. :peace:

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Penultimate episode of Metroid Prime 2 is up.

 

Finale tomorrow. Forgot theSeeker Missiles gave you 5 missiles...

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Posted (edited)

I'm about 3 hours into SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech and I love it.

There are some RPG elements like equipment and levels. It saddened me to see that the game eventually makes grinding XP a non-option. Once you reach a certain level in a chapter you only get a fraction of experience, making on level-up a matter of aprox. 100 battles. It is, however, necessary given that SWQ: Hand of Gilgamech is a deckbuilding game. Being able to overlevel would make the card-based battle system obsolete. I'm ok with not being able to grind excessively...yeah, I'm surprised, too :D

Speaking of the battle system: It's well thought out. The mechanics, cards and synergies work together brilliantly to make for engaging combat. There's obviously RNG involved but you know me...I'm into it :p

As for the rest: It's a beautiful game. The hand-drawn world and characters are gorgeous, the music is subtle but suits the setting and the writing so far has been funny.

Had to ramp up the difficulty, though, because normal mode was quite easy.

Edited by drahkon
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So I realise that the recap was slightly messed up in the last episode. Whoops. Oh well.

 

I did put a substantial amount of effort into this episode of the Let's Play because...

 

 

...well, it's the last one. Thumbnail says it all. Video is the longest in the series but I thought that was likely to happen considering I was planning to record all of the final boss battles as well as the entire ending uninterrupted, a long video was unavoidable.

 

Well, that's the LP finished, I guess I'm done with LPs for a while. Though... the very end of the video suggests otherwise...

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Reached chapter 11 in SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech. No idea how far I'm in.

Battles have been on the easy side even on the highest difficulty. Now that I've built one of my characters a support deck, my damage output isn't as high but I can survive pretty much any fight easily. I'm enjoying it still, but I could use with some challenging encounters.

 

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11 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Reached chapter 11 in SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech. No idea how far I'm in.

Battles have been on the easy side even on the highest difficulty. Now that I've built one of my characters a support deck, my damage output isn't as high but I can survive pretty much any fight easily. I'm enjoying it still, but I could use with some challenging encounters.

 

It's a gripe a few people had with the game. Personally, it didn't bother me at all but if you are wanting a challenging game to play then this certainly isn't it. I loved the game. Easily my favourite of the SteamWorld series.

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1 minute ago, Hero-of-Time said:

It's a gripe a few people had with the game. Personally, it didn't bother me at all but if you are wanting a challenging game to play then this certainly isn't it.

Indeed. The mechanics, writing and audiovisual presentation are keeping me engaged, though.

2 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Easily my favourite of the SteamWorld series.

Pretty sure I'll say the same once I'm done. Haven't played Heist, though.

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11 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Pretty sure I'll say the same once I'm done. Haven't played Heist, though.

I could never get into Heist. I tried a couple of times but it just didn't resonate with me for whatever reason.

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Posted (edited)

I sat and played through Untitled Goose Game today. I picked it up as I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with it.

Image

Hands down one of the most overrated games I have played in a while. This thing had stupid amounts of praise, won various awards and was constantly being hailed as some kind of indie darling and I fail to see why. Honestly, I think half of the praise comes down to the marketing of the game rather than the actual game itself. The game is short, easy and the charm of it wears off after about 5 minutes. The only saving grace was the post game challenges where you had to complete every stage in under 6 minutes. Other than that, not a fan at all.

Edited by Hero-of-Time
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1 hour ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The game is short, easy and the charm of it wears off after about 5 minutes.

This is exactly why I will never play it. After watching videogamedunkey's video (which was hilarious) I didn't need to experience this game myself. I had enough after the 5 minute long video.

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3 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Hands down one of the most overrated games I have played in a while. This thing had stupid amounts of praise, won various awards and was constantly being hailed as some kind of indie darling and I fail to see why.

That was me with Journey, a game I always reference as still managing to put me off similar looking games all these years later!

In fact, it's probably one of the reasons I haven't yet went for Untitled Goose Game.. and you're definitely not helping :heh:

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1 hour ago, nekunando said:

That was me with Journey, a game I always reference as still managing to put me off similar looking games all these years later!

In fact, it's probably one of the reasons I haven't yet went for Untitled Goose Game.. and you're definitely not helping :heh:

I really enjoyed Journey but I can see it's not for everyone. It's a very artsy game and I think you have to either like that sort of stuff (generally I don't) or you have to be in the right frame of mind to play those kinds of games. As for the goose game, there's nothing appealing about it. You have to play as an annoying prick which I didn't find amusing at all. I was rooting for the humans to catch me and snap my neck. :laughing:

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Posted (edited)

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech complete!

A short and sweet deck-building RPG.
Two things stopped it from being awesome in my opinion:

  1. It's too easy.
  2. Most of the final 3 chapters' bosses are uninspired, to say the least.

Enjoyed my time with it, though :)

That makes 20 games finished in 2020 so far. Not bad. I completed 8 of them in the last 4 weeks. I wonder if the pandemic has anything to do with this higher than usual number. :p What to play next...

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is now my "in between game".
Thinking about getting The Messenger. I could get the Switch version for 7€. Seems like a great deal.
But then there's One Step From Eden. I've been following this game for quite a while and it seems right up my alley.

Decisions, decisions...

Edit: What the hell? Mods/admins, feel free to delete 2 of those 3 posts :blank:
Edit²: I hid them. Not sure if that actually deleted them.

Edited by drahkon

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12 hours ago, drahkon said:

Thinking about getting The Messenger.

Bought it this morning. Played it for about an hour.

I love it. Spot on platforming action. Tight controls, sweet retro graphics and the music...oooohhhh that music.

The writing is bloody hilarious. :D And this happened:

:(

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On 04/04/2020 at 11:47 PM, drahkon said:

I'm about 3 hours into SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech and I love it.

There are some RPG elements like equipment and levels. It saddened me to see that the game eventually makes grinding XP a non-option. Once you reach a certain level in a chapter you only get a fraction of experience, making on level-up a matter of aprox. 100 battles. It is, however, necessary given that SWQ: Hand of Gilgamech is a roguelite-deckbuilding game. Being able to overlevel would make the card-based battle system obsolete. I'm ok with not being able to grind excessively...yeah, I'm surprised, too :D

Speaking of the battle system: It's well thought out. The mechanics, cards and synergies work together brilliantly to make for engaging combat. There's obviously RNG involved but you know me...I'm into it :p

As for the rest: It's a beautiful game. The hand-drawn world and characters are gorgeous, the music is subtle but suits the setting and the writing so far has been funny.

Had to ramp up the difficulty, though, because normal mode was quite easy.

High praise. I may have to buy it.

I absolutely love the developers. I hope their next game is an Ice Climbers reboot, where you climb UP but with gameplay and world design similar to SteamWorld.

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Yeah, it's pretty great.

Noticed an error on my part. It's not a roguelite. It's just a deckbuilding RPG. Guess Slay the Spire slipped into my mind. For whatever reason. :p

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4 hours ago, drahkon said:

Bought it this morning. Played it for about an hour.

Funny you should mention that...

Image

I ended up picking this up yesterday evening. I've been after it for a while and it was on sale for £7.99 on PSN. It's also on sale on the eShop but its £1 extra, i'd have to use a shoddy d-pad and there's no trophy support. It was a no brainer which version I was getting. :p  I played some of it last night and then have been on it pretty much all day. 

Absolutely brilliant game. After the disaster that was Untitled Goose Game it was good to play an indie game that actually lives up to it's reputation. The platforming is soooooo tight in this game. It handles perfectly and everything is so fast and fluid. It starts off pretty easy but the difficulty soon ramps up and before long you are having to combo runs, jumps, hookshots and air jumps all at once. It feels so satisfying to pull off. Drahkon, I know you no longer go for platinum/100% in your games but I would encourage you to track down all of the collectables in this. Some of the best platforming sections are hidden away and are found when searching for the items. 

The back and forth between both the 8 and 16 bit styles is a marvel to behold. It happens so seamlessly and I was very impressed by the whole thing. What's even crazier is how the music also changes along with the graphics. You start off with having portals appear only here and there but eventually you will see them as part of little fairies/butterflies that move around the stage. This new time travel mechanic makes for some great platforming sections, where things will disappear in the past but show up in the future. 

Totally agree with drahkon with what he said about the writing. The banter with the shopkeeper is hilarious. There was a conversation about how he likes your hat. Later on you enter the shop and find he is now wearing the same hat and then accuses you of copying his style. The whole conversation had me in stitches. :laughing:

I love how the game starts off as a simple hack and slash platformer and then eventually evolves into a Metroidvania type game. It works stupidly well because it eases you into most of the games mechanics whilst you are playing through the linear part of the game. Once it opens up to you and you are free to explore, you should be accustomed to the moves at this point and traversing through the various stages should come naturally. Also, I love how you can buy upgrades for your map. One of my biggest peeves with Metroidvania games is when they hide everything. I much prefer to get an idea when certain items are then try and find whereabouts they are hidden in that area. It's much better than the needle in a haystack approach, IMO.

For me, this is one of the best indie games i've played in a while. It's a game that has been expertly crafted and it plays like a dream. For those wanting some tight platforming, along with some Metroidvania exploration, I can highly recommend picking this up. As I said at the start, it's on sale on both PSN and the eShop. Well worth a look. :peace:

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Drahkon, I know you no longer go for platinum/100% in your games but I would encourage you to track down all of the collectables in this.

Oh, I will still go for 100% if a game is worth it. The Messenger definitely fits the bill. The collectibles so far were a joy to get. The platforming is incredible.

Reached the twist and it turned into a Metroidvania game. Pretty nifty :D

6 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The banter with the shopkeeper is hilarious.

Whenever I reached a door to the shop I entered just to see if there was new banter to read through. I burst out laughing quite a few times :laughing:

Will get back to it later tonight :peace:

Edited by drahkon

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Posted (edited)

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I finished Assassin's Creed: Revelations (not so Special Edition) today. It's a game I've had on my backlog for a while. Looking at my trophy list, I actually started the Ezio Collection last April, finishing II and Brotherhood in that month. It's a nice coincidence that I picked the game back up a year later and finally finished off the collection. Feels good to finally have it on the completed games shelf.

The game was fine but nothing special, especially when it followed Brotherhood, the peak of the Ezio series, IMO. The game is a lot shorter than the other two games on the collection and the city you get to explore in is a lot smaller as well. This wasn't much of an issue for me though. I do prefer smaller landscapes to mess around in and I think this felt just right. The story was okay but nothing special. Still, it was great to see Altair again and being able to play as him, even if it was just for a little while, was great.

Playing through the game I can see why this was the game that made Ubisoft take a step back and take a break from the series. It does feel a little tired and rushed, which isn't surprising when you consider they were knocking these games out stupidly fast during that period.

With the game done and dusted, I think that is me completely caught up with all of the main Creed. I think the only console Creed games I haven't played are the 2.5D spin-off games that were set in China, India and Russia. This was one that I missed and even though the game wasn't anything special, I'm happy I've filled in this gap in my Creed experiences.

Edited by Hero-of-Time
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2 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The game was fine but nothing special

2 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The story was okay but nothing special

2 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

even though the game wasn't anything special

So...was the game something special? :p

 

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1 minute ago, drahkon said:

So...was the game something special? :p

Not at all. How are you not getting that? :p 

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Posted (edited)
1 minute ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Not at all. How are you not getting that? :p 

It's the isolation. Quite a special situation that ruins my thinking thingies in my brainium.

Edited by drahkon

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Just now, drahkon said:

It's the isolation. Quite a special situation...

I've highlighted my main points in order to help you understand what I was trying to get across. :D 

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13 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I've highlighted my main points in order to help you understand what I was trying to get across. :D 

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