Julius

Your 2020 Gaming Diary

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So rather than play any of these to any great degree, i instead picked up Civilization 6 for free and bought Batman VR to try out on my Oculus. I also remembered i got the Uncharted Collection for free on the PS4 that I've always wanted to play that will join the rest at the back of the queue

It appears Civilization 6 was a mistake.


I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, but dang is it addictive.

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Civ games have a bit of a learning curve if you're just starting out. But it's fun once you get the hang of it.

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Finally finished Hollow Knight, about 11 months since I got it last year! That took a lot longer than I hoped for, I don't think I would have beaten the game without looking up some things on the internet especially in regards to getting the best ending.

 

After progressing to the final boss a couple of days ago I died, over and over again. I was making some progress however and understanding how to dodge my opponents' attacks and I could see definite improvement in how I was playing... but something seemed like it could be better in terms of charms...

 

...so i took off Quick Slash for Dreamshield and it worked a treat. Still took a few more attempts but the game is finally finished!

 

Spoiler

OK, time to stop being so cryptic for non spoilery reasons. So the reason the Dreamshield worked so well is that the Radiance has so many attacks and you kind of need to focus on dodging them all over hitting the Radiance, so Dreamshield could damage the Radiance if it happened to be nearby while trying to dodge the attacks. Admittedly I did need to use a walkthrough to find out exactly how to dodge the massive beams of light that sweep the field (you use the Shade Cloak, derp) but for the rest I sort of got to grips with all the individual attacks. Eventually after changing my strategy for the fourth phase by staying on one platform and waiting for the Radiance to come to me I was able to start hitting it and then at the point I thought I'd blown it the fight progressed to phase 5 which was pretty easy and I did that phase first try. Ended with 83% completion so there was still more to go but I crossed it off the unfinished games list which while not as long as other games on the list is something of a relief.

 

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I got through a few more games in May than I did in April, the month bookended by two big ones. I finally picked up Death Stranding when it was on sale a couple of months ago and spent the first week or so of May immersing myself in it. It was a bit of slog to begin with, the first couple of chapters were undeniably hard to get invested in and it throws so many meaningless phrases and incomprehensible plot points at you that I wondered if it was all going to be worth it. Thankfully it gradually got better and I started to really enjoy the traversal and the atmosphere, the early BT encounters felt suitably tense and threatening but I couldn't really connect to any of the characters - especially Sam who just seemed like an entirely uninteresting protagonist. From the early over complications in terms of plot and setting I never expected the story to go anywhere, probably painted by my experience with MGSV I just assumed it would all be window dressing to give the gameplay some context so I was pleasantly surprised how well the plot eventually came together. Characters who seemed one dimensional or superfluous to begin with turned out to have emotionally impactful arcs, Sam grew on me as I got further into the game and some of the performances were outstanding (particularly Tommie Earl Jenkins during Die-Hardman's climactic scene). The BT's, which were so unnerving in the beginning, became quite trivial to avoid in the end which took away some of the tension and the combat sequences were more of a chore than anything (especially the interactions with the MULE's out in the open world) but making deliveries was always engaging and despite the initial hurdles bumming me out it was definitely worth pushing through and seeing out the rest of the game. Kojima could certainly do with some reigning in but he and his team should be commended for making such a bold choice with such a big budget game, they could have played it safe but they followed their impulses instead and made something truly unique. I must listen to the title track by Chvrches at least once a day now too, the week or so I spent in the world of Death Stranding will stay with me for years to come - warts and all, Death Stranding is a genuine work of art. 

After the sombre experience of DS I wanted something a bit lighter to take my mind off the pandemic so next I played Unravel Two on the Switch, I played through the first one on PS4 a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it but the apparent transition to co-op in the sequel put me off starting it until now - because I would be playing it by myself I assumed it would be a chore to control two characters at once but any fears were allayed as soon as I started it up. While both yarny's can be separate characters you are able to have one carry the other so basic traversal is the same as it was in the first game, with the characters needing to split up to solve a variety of puzzles. It was a really short experience, probably just shy of 4 hours, but it was everything I wanted it to be - relaxing, charming and a wonderful palate cleanser. Graphically it is definitely a step down from the PS4 version of the original (especially when you run it in performance mode - what a blurry mess) but running it at 30fps in graphics mode was perfectly fine by my standards, it's well worth picking up if you're ever looking for a breezy platformer to play through. 

Sticking with the Switch I played Layers of Fear: Legacy next, another short experience but on the opposite end of the spectrum from Unravel. To be honest it gave me a bit of a headache to begin with, it feels blurry and unstable whenever you move the camera around which made me feel a bit sick just walking through the game world. It never really grabbed me, I'm all for horror games and 'walking simulators' but I never felt immersed or scared at any point. It did some interesting things for sure and I can see that Bloober Team has the potential to make something truly gripping but overall I just wasn't feeling it. 

I set up my Wii for the first time in ages because I wanted to play a Gamecube game next and I forgot what a faff it was to set up - too many fiddly cables and peripherals. When I finally set it up I started Geist and found the controls took some getting used to, it's always weird playing first person games that don't use the traditional dual analogue set up, but it didn't take me too long to get the general hang of it. There are some really cute ideas here, the capture mechanic is a great idea in principle but its implementation is pretty clunky - the game would have been improved a lot if there were more options for scaring targets or completing objectives, would have been far more enjoyable if it was more a sandbox and less restrictive but I suppose it was a product of its time. It was a pretty easy game for the most part until I reached the later boss fights that really tested my patience, the term bullet sponge has never been more apt. A lot of my frustrations arose from the GC controller itself, the shoulder triggers just have way too much travel and resistance that it becomes exhausting pressing them down - not to mention the mandatory button mashing that comes when you become possessed, the GC pad just isn't made for rapid button mashing. I probably enjoyed Geist more than Layers of Fear but still thought it was a middling experience.

Lastly I played Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country. With the remaster of the Wii original on the way I thought it was high time that I sunk my teeth into the standalone expansion before revisiting the world of the first game. I was wary about starting it because of how much an investment it was going to be, even with the much shorter playtime, so it was hardly surprising when I quickly became obsessed with the game. The main story didn't take me too long to finish (hit the howlongtobeat average practically on the nose) but I spent another ten hours or so wrapping up all of the side quests and fighting some of the unique monsters. I loved it just as much as the other Xeno games I've played but even with the shorter playtime there is still some egregious padding - forcing you to level up Community by doing side quests to progress the story (on more than one occasion) is just crazy. One thing that really surprised me was how easy I found the final boss battle, I managed it on my first try - I don't think I even had to revive any of my party - and I wasn't over levelled at all. I barely used the Bonus EXP to level up during the main story, think I used it to bump up a single level on two occasions, and only used it up when I was going after some of the unique monsters, I think being familiar with the battle system definitely helped but it was still a little underwhelming that Malos was such a pushover. 

I've obviously been putting an hour or so into Animal Crossing: New Horizons every day since launch too and I'm loving it (though regretting getting physical after the constant card swapping between that and Torna). I've got some work to do over the next couple of weeks so I think I'll hold off on starting Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition until that's out of the way so my game time will likely be reserved exclusively for Animal Crossing until the middle of June at the earliest but my backlog continues to grow so hopefully I've got a few more checked off the list by the next time I post in this thread. 

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Posted (edited)

On a roll with clearing my backlog now. Added Super Metroid (Wii Virtual Console) to the pile of cleared games as it turns out that there was an Energy Tank near the Save Station I was at and I was able to address my really low health by getting that Energy Tank.

 

That gave me enough health to survive the plated pirates and the room afterwards allowed me to recharge my health and missiles for the big Ridley fight. It took three attempts but I managed to beat Ridley.

 

I then went around the entire map trying to collect all the power-ups, literally went to every room in the game. Naturally I eventually found all the power-ups and then proceeded to beat the game, though the escape sequence took two tries. For the record, I saved the animals.

 

Also playing NES Remix (Wii U) and trying to beat the Remix challenges on there as that's another outstanding game on my backlog. However, the NES Golf challenge in Remix II, number 16, is proving to be quite problematic. Cannot get the ball to go anywhere.

 

EDIT: After figuring that part out I have now beaten NES Remix. That was never going to take very long but that's still another game on the beaten pile. Not sure what I'm going to do next, might do Future Connected on the Xenoblade remake or go back to Dark Souls.

Edited by GenericAperson
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Civ games have a bit of a learning curve if you're just starting out. But it's fun once you get the hang of it.
Oh it's definitely fun. Really enjoying it. I chose Russia, and decided to go for a science victory. I'm about 300 turns into my first game, and I'm currently second overall.

I think i would be having a much harder time if i turned the difficulty up (obviously), since barely anyone has attacked me yet. I might try for a military victory next time since it looks way more fun.

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6 minutes ago, bob said:

Oh it's definitely fun. Really enjoying it. I chose Russia, and decided to go for a science victory. I'm about 300 turns into my first game, and I'm currently second overall.

I think i would be having a much harder time if i turned the difficulty up (obviously), since barely anyone has attacked me yet. I might try for a military victory next time since it looks way more fun.

Yeah luck is also a factor. You don't want to be surrounded by other nations. If you are.. Then you may want to go the military route.

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Posted (edited)

As mentioned in the eShop thread:

Atomicrops

Atomicrops.jpg

I know it's early artwork, but I wanted to use a different picture, ok?

Released just last Thursday, Atomicrops is a creative roguelike about badass farmers, developed by Bird Bath Studios. Click the pic for the full scoop on my opinion of the game.

So, feel free to read it.

...

Did you? The following won't make sense if you didn't.

...

Ok, pro-seed at your own risk.

Spoiler

- I only barely touched this point, but the fact that guns only last one day bothered me at first. I've checked some other reviews that made a big deal of it, so there is a solid chance this might disappoint you at first (especially if you choose to upgrade your weapon). But the truth is, the more you play, the more you realise how powerful these weapons are, as they make everything quicker and more efficient. And once you learn how the game is structured, and how to best maximise your yield, price becomes a non-issue. Learning when and how to purchase/use weapons becomes one more aspect to manage, part of the experience;

- Playing on handheld mode hurt my hands after playing for an hour or so. I figure this is a normal occurrence in the genre, which is why I didn't mention it;

- The game has a Portugal Portuguese language option! Unfortunately, it's incomplete, as some terms weren't translated (like the congratulations screen, which uses a different font), some don't show up properly (after a loading screen, your inventory seeds show up in English until you switch items), and most importantly, most puns weren't translated well. A shame, because the few puns the translators did come up with are absolutely golden ("Horto-Vivo" is fucking amazing, and I refuse to use any other name when referring to that monster). I didn't check other languages yet, as I played it in English for the review.

So yeah, short post this time.

  My 2020 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (2018) Completed (January 13th)

-Mr.Driller: Drill Spirits (2004) Beat (January 30th)

-Dragon Ball Fighterz (2018) Beat (February 22nd)

-Advance Wars: Dark Conflict (2008) Completed (February 25th)

-Capcom Beat'em Up Bundle (2018) No Goal (March 13th)

-Professor Layton and the Curious Village (2008) Completed (March 23rd)

-Kirby's Pinball Land (1993) Completed (March 28th)

-Pikuniku (2019) Beat (March 31st)

-Ori and the Blind Forest (2015) Completed (April 18th)

-Atomicrops (2020) Beat (May 24th)

 

Currently Playing:

-Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019)

-Bravely Default (2013)

 

Edited by Jonnas
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Posted (edited)

Finished Control last night.

I wasn't planning on it to be honest but the end kind of creeps up on you a bit out of the blue. Maybe I'm used to clearly signposted end missions.

Overall I absolutely loved it. I do think the game makes a much stronger impression at the beginning than at the end though. The first few hours are pretty mind-blowing and ridiculously cool, but after that it all gets a bit predictable and repetitive. BUT the gameplay is massively fun so even when the bulk of encounters are the same thing, just fight a room full of baddies, the combat is so enjoyable that I didn't mind at all.

The world-building is top notch, I've never felt compelled to read every bit of collectible lore but I did here. Some of the boss fights were excellent, the Anchor in particular. In fact a lot of the side missions were more fun and weird than the main ones. I felt the ending was a little anticlimactic. I was probably expecting more answers than they gave but it wasn't too bad overall.

Anyway I can see why it won a lot of GOTYs last year (a relatively weak year for games), I just wish they took it up a notch in the latter half. I'll still happily get the 1000/1000 in the next couple of days, I'm nearly there anyway.

 

Edited by Ronnie
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I finished Control last night. 

I loved (almost) every moment of it. The atmosphere was amazing, I found myself reading every document with excitement, I explored as much as I could before progressing the main story. The setting and story are extremely engaging. I also loved the references to another certain video game. I really liked the other "threats" on top of the Hiss. 

The combat was a ton of fun, even if fights were similar, it's just so much fun throwing things around. My only issue is that sometimes the game can be slightly relentless in respawning enemies - not an issue when doing missions, but when trying to slowly explore and look for stuff it's a bit annoying (especially when another group come around while still in the same room). My other mild annoyance was that some bosses were quire a distance from control points, so you have to travel and fight enemies to try again. Other than that, bosses were good.

Anything dealing with an Object of Power or Altered item was a lot of fun. I like how some are found by just by exploring and aren't part of the main story. I liked the Metroidvania aspect and mentally noting locations to return to once I'd unlocked something.

Despite some framerate issues, I thought the graphics looked great, especially when things start flying. I love little touches like projectors actually projecting when you knock/pick them up.

The ashtray section was absolutely amazing, I loved what they did with the music in it.

I think it may be among my favourite games this generation.

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Finished River City Girls this morning.

Sam has given me the OK for a review, so expect it soon.

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15 minutes ago, Cube said:

I really liked the other "threats" on top of the Hiss. 

Those creeped me the fuck out. HATED them haha.

I found a secret area in Research I believe, picked up the collectibles then wave after wave of them spawned in, died screaming like a little girl shortly after.

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Tried Dishonored 2, I loved the first one, but the second just feels off. The stealth just seems to not work well, with enemies spotting you extremely easily.

I did well at stealth on the first one with no papers, but can't do much at all. Its just not enjoyable at all.

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6 minutes ago, Cube said:

Tried Dishonored 2, I loved the first one, but the second just feels off. The stealth just seems to not work well, with enemies spotting you extremely easily.

I did well at stealth on the first one with no papers, but can't do much at all. Its just not enjoyable at all.

That makes me want to try it, and maybe I should. Never installed it because I didn't think it'd run well enough, but maybe I should just try it.

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Posted (edited)

Hi, all my 2020 Favorite games are:

1: Marvel's Spider-Man.

2: Grand Theft Auto 5.

3: God of War.

4: Red Dead Redemption 2.

5: Call of Duty

Edited by satineeraj

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55 minutes ago, satineeraj said:

Hi, all my 2020 Favorite games are:

1: Marvel's Spider-Man.

2: Grand Theft Auto 5.

3: God of War.

4: Red Dead Redemption 2.

5: Call of Duty

What about Super Mario?? :confused:

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Played Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter. It was quite wonky with some really tedious sections - the game is much better when you're trying to be a detective and not an action star.

Some of the cases are quite interesting but they feel like you're picking a killer rather than solving who is actually the killer. Because of this, a section where you're solving a traffic accident (horse and carriages) is probably the best section.

 

Alright game.

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I can finally play Disney's The Lion King and Aladdin game; after six long months I went to court, represented myself, and got my boys back! 

One of the first things my eldest told me was that he'd dressed up like Mario, and that him and his brother were like Mario and Luigi 😍

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1 minute ago, Kaepora_Gaebora said:

I can finally play Disney's The Lion King and Aladdin game; after six long months I went to court, represented myself, and got my boys back! 

One of the first things my eldest told me was that he'd dressed up like Mario, and that him and his brother were like Mario and Luigi 😍

Congratulations. Well done!

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16 hours ago, Kaepora_Gaebora said:

I can finally play Disney's The Lion King and Aladdin game; after six long months I went to court, represented myself, and got my boys back! 

One of the first things my eldest told me was that he'd dressed up like Mario, and that him and his brother were like Mario and Luigi 😍

That's amazing! Congrats mate! :peace:

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And now I have finally played it and completed both games this afternoon...

Bloody hell, how did we ever complete these games back in the day?! There's a rewind button you can use at any point in this and, because I wanted to keep the momentum going, I used it at any given opportunity. Too many times. Far, far to many 😂 the patience I must have had as a kid! And the final battle with Scar is still just as difficult to get the right timing on the "throw" in! 

Still, a great nostalgia trip and brought back some amazing child hood memories, which I had wanted to avoid while it felt like a raw nerve due to my situation. I reckon I'll try and get all the achievements, a shame they don't have one for a "no rewind button" run as that would add a bit of spice to it.

And due to my girlfriend getting an Xbox One AND Switch version for me at Christmas and not returning the Xbox version, I've played on that and we'll give my eldest the Switch version as a 4th Birthday present next week, he'll probably never get past the first level but he loves the film's ☺️

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I played Prey (the newer one). It started off great, escaping the start and all the stuff to do with mimics. I loved being surprised with them, chasing them and all that. Exploration felt rewarding and spooky at the same time. The atmosphere early on feels amazing.

Then you encounter more and more difficult creatures. The first time fighting each one is actually quite fun. But then it just becomes a slog. These much stronger enemies also take over sections you've explored, which for me completely killed the exploration aspect - it just seemed like you spent more resources fighting then you found, if you found anything other than pointless emails. This ultimately made me not want to bother with any but the more vital sounding side quests, and ended up just running from objective to objective. 

You also seem to get the final quest at the start, and the whole game is just detours that happen while trying to do it. There's only so much of that you can take before it becomes a chore.

The very ending of the game was certainly interesting, though.

 

Its a shame that the second half of the game just didn't work for me, it started off amazing. I'd love a game more like the start.

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Having pre-ordered F1 2020 yesterday, I decided to go back and sweep up some missing achievements in F1 2019 (steam). I managed to get pretty much everything outside the career mode. By far the hardest was to win a 25% distance or longer race against AI on the hardest difficulty. That took a few goes. 

I think this is the first F1 game I've played since 2010 / 11 on the PS3. It's genuinely amazing how far the series has come. The handling is a pure joy with the Xbox One pad. It took me a very, very long time to get used to it, but now I can hold my own against tough AI and online. The assists do a great job of easing you into the deep controls and over the first 30 hours I went from using the majority of assists to just a couple. Still can't get used to braking without low assist switched on. I guess the next logical step would be a wheel for the new game :laughing:

The amount of depth in the options and settings means this is arguably the most realistic F1 game since the Grand Prix series in the 90s. I certainly don't remember having this much control in previous iterations, so Codemasters have really done a great job. Even tweaking the wing and the suspension a tiny amount translates really well into how you can feel the circuit through the gamepad. Can't say I've ever noticed such subtle differences before. 

The wheel to wheel racing is as good as ever, mistakes are punished, calculated risk is rewarded. As a huge F1 fan, this is the closest we've ever been to the sport in simulation terms. The AI is much improved, though not perfect. Strategy in terms of fuel, ERS and tyres is critical and it all comes together in such a fantastic package with superb graphics and wealth of both online and offline options. 

I've spent most of my time offline, doing mini championships and custom races with dynamic weather. Online, it's often a mixed bag. Far too many loading screen, and sadly, far too many idiots who just want to piss about and spoil the fun for everyone else. I did manage to get a gold class ranking online though (I guess platinum is the highest, but I have no chance of that) and I got an A-ranking for "safety". I guess that means I don't just wipe people out for no reason :blank: A safety rank of A was actually less common than a gold rank in class. Any races with more than 6 people usually end up in chaos within the first few corners, so I'm hoping to find a community for the next game and simply skip over the time wasters. 

I flirted with the career mode back in March, but with the new game coming out in a few weeks, I decided to just bin it off and start again with the new game. It's fantastic. Just like the main game, a wealth of options, upgrades to manage, rivalries to win. Hundreds of cut-scenes, story-lines and interview questions which really add depth to the mode as opposed to just racing round in circles.

Easily the best F1 game I've ever played, can't wait for the new one. 

 

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After finishing F1 2019 I've been putting a bit of time into Project Cars 2 (again on Steam). 
Tackling the career mode and have managed to move up to the 5th tier (of 6) after winning the Karting Championship. This game is pretty technical in comparison to the former. Struggling to get to grips with much heavier handling and the variety in the cars. I've only put around 11 hours in so far, but it's an amazing package. I think the tracklist might be up there with some of the best in gaming. Such a wide variety and manner of circuits from street, to hill climb, to rallycross. Prefer it to Grid Autosport, which is much more arcadey in how it plays. I can see the career mode in this game spanning hundreds of hours, so I'm happy to take it one step at a time. While it's no Assetto Corsa in terms of graphics, it still looks wonderful. Been playing around in photo mode and came up with these. Definitely a game to chip away at slowly over the next year. 

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