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drahkon

Your Gaming Diary 2022

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Been quite quiet on these forums revcently and not all of it has been due to Elden Ring.

 

But yes, I'm still playing Elden Ring and I'm still not anywhere near done yet. This game is ridiculous in its scope, to the point that I've found three entirely optional areas that are absolutely huge.

 

In terms of progress I'm on Level 89 now with four Great Runes and currently going for the fifth one. I'm in Leyndell, Royal Capital and the enemies in here are all really strong. My armour options are quickly becoming outdated and I'm craving some decent mid tier armour. The fact you can't upgrade your armour in this game is something I am sorely missing.

 

However I've picked up a few neat goodies that are significantly better than what I had before. I'd been using the Raya Lucaria Soldiers as my main Spirit Ashes but now I'm using the Mimic Tear. For just 660HP I get an exact copy of myself and since I'm using the Nightrider Flail, if we attack the same enemy at the same time that bleed buildup increases rapidly and we do so much damage to bosses in the process. This really helped as for a long time I was stuck on the Godskin Noble. With the Mimic Tear however we absolutely annihilated it. I then went and beat Rykard and... the fight is cool don't get me wrong but in a game where you're given so many options and encouraged to customise, suddenly restrcting those options for just one fight and requiring you to use a specific weapon? Not a fan really. I wouldn't have much of an issue if the options were already limited but this is a game that encourages you to really carve your own path and your own upgrades. This boss fight concept really clashes with that as a whole unfortunately. I did die a few times trying to use my normal setup before finding out that the weapon they want you to use shoots a big gust of wind from long range for that fight only to help you fight the boss.

 

 

 

Leyndell is also a bit of a maze. I've got my Keen Nightrider Flail up to +18 now and my Brass Shield is up to +16. At this point, so many Smithing stones are useless to me now, only ones that are Level 6 or higher are any use and 7 in particular is needed to level up my Flail. I found one in Neskell but haven't found any others just yet.

 

Aside from that? Spent a lot of time in Rivals of Aether but most of it was simply to patch a character several times over after stern criticism and glitches were found. Distracted me from progress in Elden Ring quite a bit but now I'm moving towards making a video on Rivals to show off some extra features. For example, someone made a Pit which has the same Palutena's Guidance as it does in Smash Bros, with the option to be supported by custom Workshop characters so I really want to be able to show some of these, even if they are all fan written.

 

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I'm currently compiling the video footage and making an intro for the video.

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Posted (edited)

Looking into the 3DS VC games I bought recently, one of them drew my attention with its exotic allure...

Defenders of Oasis

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...the Golden Sun? Oh nevermind, those were Djinn.

I don't quite recall how my attention was brought into this game, but I certainly added it into my wishlist at some point. This is a Dragon Quest-style RPG released in 1992 for the Game Gear. If you are unfamiliar with that console as I am, you know that any darling or cult classic barely gets any mention outside of VC releases, so anything here is a potential surprise. This particular surprise was developed by Sega themselves.

So yeah, a handheld Dragon Quest in 1992. Unheard of. And also not literally Dragon Quest, as the name implies, this setting is middle eastern fantasy. I guess Disney's Aladdin really stoked the fires of the 1001 Nights in creators all over the world.

(If I had a nickel for every impressive technical achievement from 1992 that I played in 2022, I'd have two nickels. And if I had one for every adventure/RPG game played in 2022 with "Oasis" in its name and set in fantastic middle east, I'd have two more nickels. It's not much, but it's weird that the games I'm playing this year tick such specific boxes)

Anyway, this is a pleasant RPG. The story is fairly simple, with an evil empire trying to revive an ancient evil Demon by collecting 3 rings, and our protagonist is the Prince from the good nation, who's supposed to stop it. The part that's refreshing is that, despite the simplicity, it avoids typical and tired RPG tropes. For example, imagine your typical RPG party of the era, or even of nowadays: I assure you the party you'll get for this game is different than that.

I'd say the most striking difference is that there's only one party member who can cast magic: the Genie. And also, the Genie cannot gain experience points. He can also only learn new spells by exploring dungeons properly and finding them written somewhere. Oh, and there's no item that restores MP. All I'm saying is, Defenders of the Oasis does things differently instead of following all the same D&D tropes as everybody else, and that's kind of neat.

Technically, this game looks pretty dang good. Colourful world, weird enemies (shame that there's so many recolours, though), catchy tunes... There's no world map, but the game's designed to not be traversed that way. Most impressive of all is the auto-save feature, which is excellent, and ahead of its time. If your Game Gear runs out of batteries, you'll lose no progress (except for battles, as the game doesn't save during those).

So yeah, not much else to say. Very pleasant game that avoids many clichés, and is an absolute treat. Took me roughly 12 hours to beat (or 18 AAA batteries, in 90s currency). To all fans of Dragon Quest, I say give this one a shot before the 3DS eShop closes.

...

Now, every time I feel happy about something that Sega made or did, fate has it that I'm to be disappointed by them shortly after (see: the Sonic Origins thread). With that in mind...

Virtua Fighter 2
(Mega Drive)

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...I figure I'd pick my own poison.

Virtua Fighter 2 was a solid and memorable 3D fighting game for arcades and Sega Saturn back in the 90s. I have fond memories of playing it. But for whatever reason, they decided to port the bloody thing to a console that can't do 3D. And then they kept porting that version more and more! It came in the Mega Drive pack for the Steam (which is why I have it), and I knew from the start it was not going to be good.

But when I played it...

...

It's terrible, couldn't make it past the first couple of fights. Just delete this port from memory, stop including it in Mega Drive packs, and rerelease the proper 3D games from this series instead, Sega! STOP DAMAGING YOUR BRANDS, YOU ALWAYS DO THI-

  My 2022 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Steamworld Dig 2 (2017) Completed (January 6th)

-Bit.Trip Saga (2009-2011) No Goal (January 15th)

-Ever Oasis (2017) Beat (February 25th)

-Guilty Gear (1998) No Goal (March 19th)

-Flashback (1992) Completed (March 19th)

-Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2002-2012) Beat (March 30th)

-Defenders of Oasis (1992) Completed (April 20th)

 

Replays:

-Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995) (March 20th)

-Wario Land 3 (2000) (April 15th)

 

Dropped:

-Dicey Dungeons (2019) (January 3rd)

-The Room (2012) (January 8th)

-This War of Mine (2014) (March 18th)

-Virtua Fighter 2 (Mega Drive) (1996) (April 24th)

 

Edited by Jonnas
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So I've not managed to play much due to work and being on holiday. But what I did do in Assassin's Creed Unity was to max out the amount of income you get from the Cafe missions until I was getting 10k every 20 minutes. Then, while I was working from home, I put the game on and left it, returning every couple of hours to collect my earnings. Cheating? Perhaps. But my bank account with half a million lire in it don't care.

That should be enough to get a few of the legendary items/weapons and enable me to play the rest of the game on easy peasy mode.

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Posted (edited)

Grandia_coverart.jpg

Grandia is a turn-based RPG developed by Game Arts that originally released on the Sega Saturn back in 1997. That version never left Japan though, we'd have to wait until 2000 until the game was ported to the PlayStation. While I have dabbled with that version, it wouldn't be until the HD remaster that released on the Switch in 2019 until I finally played through it just recently.

Before I get started with my usual spiel, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the issues that particular collection has. When it first came out, it was plagued with problems, such as the Japanese voice acting not working halfway through the game, numerous crashes, text not appearing, audio cues being missed. It's a humongous mess. However, a patch did eventually come out that fixed most of those issues, most being the key word. More on that in a bit.

The game follows Justin and his 8-ish year old friend/close enough to adopted sister, Sue. They live in a port town on a remote island, but Justin has his eyes set on becoming an adventurer and exploring the wide world beyond the sea. Fate throws him a bone when he explores some ruins and finds something called a Spirit Stone and meets someone called Liete who tells him about a mythical land called Alent and how it's most definitely real. That's all the incentive he needs to get on a ship and set off to find Alent. Along the way, he meets a professional adventurer called Feena who, after some wacky hijinks, accompanies Justin.

Will Justin find Alent? Does it even exist? Will Feena consider more appropriate clothing when the inevitable snow area comes around? The answers may shock you!

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No-one show this to the Pokémon Company lawyers, OK?

When it comes to the gameplay of Grandia, the one thing that jumps out at me is the IP system. During battles, everyone moves rightward in real time on that bar on the bottom right of the screen. When someone reaches the "Com" section, time freezes and you'll be able to select a command. That's not quite the end of a turn though. After selecting a command, that character will continue moving toward the far end of the IP bar, toward "Act", where they will perform their command.
Now this is important, if someone gets hit by a powerful attack while they're in between "Com" and "Act", their action will get cancelled and they'll have to wait until their next turn to try again. This works both ways, you can cancel enemies and they can cancel you. So battles hinge on taking into account stuff like attack animations, magic casting time, and so on.
The first thing that jumped out at me was that Child of Light pretty much has the same battle system, which is quite fitting, seeing as Ubisoft published the PlayStation version over here in the EU. (Man, I would love a sequel to Child of Light)

Getting stronger is done with your standard experience point gathering, but alongside this, a character's skill with weapons and magic can increase through repeated usage, allowing more abilities to use. If you've played Secret of Mana, you'll understand what I'm talking about.

The battle system is absolutely solid, but I do have some issues with the structure of the overworld. The game has a really annoying habit of blocking off areas as you progress through the plot, it's so ridiculous that by the end of the game, you can't go anywhere except 3 different areas, and none of them even have a shop! Because of this, loads of items are permanently missable, and I hate that in RPG's. This isn't helped by the very confusing, mazelike, dungeons. The camera can be freely rotated, but there's no kind of map to help keep your bearings, so it's very easy to get lost. And that's before I mention the habit the game has of hiding objects behind scenery. The game makes consulting a guide very appealing.

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This screenshot would've been nice, if it wasn't for one issue...

The visuals utilise 3D models for its areas, and 2D spritework for the characters. The 3D aspect is fine, but it's the sprites that I have problems with. Now, don't get me wrong, the spritework is amazing. Fluid animation with lots of charm to each character. It's very, very good. Which makes it such a humongous shame that the HD remaster puts this ugly smoothing filter over all of them. I'm sure some of you know what I mean, that thing that some remasters do that blur sprites together in an attempt to hide the apparently heinous crime of having visible pixels. There's no option to turn this filter off here, and it ruins the great spritework of the original game.

The audio is also solid, there's partial voice acting here, and for it's time, it's pretty decent. (Temper your expectations, it is a 90's game) The soundtrack is great though, really unconventional for the genre, but it's catchy enough, I certainly enjoyed it.

For all my misgivings with it, this is a very good RPG. It has a real sense of adventure, and the storyboarding is top notch for the limited technology it's on. The downsides are not enough to dampen my liking for this game. It's worth dealing with the ugly filter, because this might be one of my favourite PS1 RPG's, just make sure you patch it first...
Shut up, I know it's a Sega Saturn game, but not over here.

Spoiler

I am Setsuna
Metroid Dread, minus the Dread
Banjo-Kazooie (One hundred and Tooie %)
Banjo-Kazooie (100%, but faster)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
EarthBound Beginnings
EarthBound
Hades
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Ys Origin
Triangle Strategy (All Endings)
Grandia HD

 

Edited by Glen-i
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I mentioned it in another thread, but it deserves a more full fledged entry here:

Katamari Damacy

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*gasp* So was I !

I mean... the game doesn't need introduction, does it? I knew about it for a long time, and it always intrigued me, but I hadn't properly played it until now, on my Switch.

It's wonderful, absolutely delightful. It's just a very good, relaxing time. I'm always happy when I play it.

The music is great. It can be jazzy, funky, soothing...

The cow and bear levels are frustrating, I admit, but the variety is nice. I also wish I could simply restart levels, instead of leaving then entering, but not everything has to be QoL.

And now I'm just looking to find all the remaining optional presents. It's a nice time. Maybe I'll aim for the comets at some point, too?

I know my impressions are usually more detailed than these scattered thoughts, but this game definitely makes me feel more than think, if that makes sense.

That's how it makes me roll.

It's a five-star game. Maybe nine. Those who played it know what I mean.

 

  My 2022 log (Hide contents)

Played/Beat/Completed:

-Steamworld Dig 2 (2017) Completed (January 6th)

-Bit.Trip Saga (2009-2011) No Goal (January 15th)

-Ever Oasis (2017) Beat (February 25th)

-Guilty Gear (1998) No Goal (March 19th)

-Flashback (1992) Completed (March 19th)

-Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R (2002-2012) Beat (March 30th)

-Defenders of Oasis (1992) Completed (April 20th)

-Katamari Damacy (2004) Beat (April 27th)

-Donkey Kong Land (1995) Beat (April 29th)

 

Replays:

-Kirby's Dream Land 2 (1995) (March 20th)

-Wario Land 3 (2000) (April 15th)

 

Dropped:

-Dicey Dungeons (2019) (January 3rd)

-The Room (2012) (January 8th)

-This War of Mine (2014) (March 18th)

-Virtua Fighter 2 (Mega Drive) (1996) (April 24th)

 

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Posted (edited)

I once saw a very brilliant one-sentence description for Katamari Damacy. I think it went something like:

"A prince must pick up litter to make up for his father's alcoholism."

And yet, the actual game is far weirder then that. It would make for an amazing Assist Trophy for Smash Bros.

Edited by Glen-i
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Continuing to play Assassin's Creed Unity

One part of the game I am very much enjoying, that I didn't think I would, is the Nostradamus puzzles. They're kind of like a cryptic treasure hunt, set across the whole of Paris. You find a clue, which describes somewhere else on the map, and then go there to find the next clue etc. Some of the puzzles are quite easy (a nearby statue is described, which is pointing towards a church which holds the next clue), while others you need to look through the Encyclopaedia of places that you've discovered, to find a place that matches the clue. The only issue with this, is that there's no link between the places in the Encyclopaedia and the map, so once you find the place you think might be the answer, you've either got to remember where that place is from when you discovered it, or spend a few minutes scrolling across the map looking at all the place markers until you find it. A bit annoying, but the rest of the puzzling is really good fun. 

Anyway, i've got the best sword and armour in the game now, so i can wreck most 3-star enemies in one shot now, which is nice. 

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I didn't have anything to post last month as March was entirely dominated by Elden Ring (on PS5). In fact I didn't finish it until deep into April so I only managed to fit in one more game before the end of the month, I will have to play a few short ones to make up for it. Despite having played all of the Souls games in the past my first few hours with Elden Ring were utterly overwhelming, I was petrified of even basic enemies but I was loving exploring the world, I felt like I did when I first played Dark Souls back in 2016, only instead of being restricted to grinding the Undead Burg over and over again I had this wide open space to explore. The closest analogue I can think of were those first few hours in BOTW, only in a wholly unwelcoming world where everything is determined to attack you. Despite the excitement and awe I felt exploring every nook and cranny of Limgrave, I feel like the more open nature of the world design actually worked in my detriment initially, rather than focusing on conquering one area like I had done in previous From Soft games, once I came up against a roadblock I would simply go off and explore in another direction - I was still having a blast, of course, but it felt like I didn't really get to grips with the game until I was nearly 10 hours in. It was at that point that I finally started to tackle Stormveil Castle where the game started to feel more like the familiar Souls experience, battling my way through the environment to reach the next Site of Grace, systematically working my way through every inch of the castle until I reached Godrick. It took me a while to overcome the challenge and defeat the first Shardbearer and again, the open world design worked to my detriment, rather than focusing on the bosses attack patterns I would duck out after just a couple of attempts and head out to explore the world. I happened upon Caelid pretty early on, which frightened the living daylights out of me at first, but thanks to Torrent I was able to run through the overwhelming areas until I found a Site of Grace to rest at. I discovered a rather fruitful Rune-farming spot around Fort Gael which allowed me to level up enough to be able to overcome Godrick and his many grafts. The pattern would repeat to a certain extent as I headed into each subsequent area, feeling completely overwhelmed initially while I found my bearings and worked out where I needed to go next and, for better or worse, it felt like it was never going to end - each area was enormous, packed with secrets to find and new horrors to encounter, the magic of those first few hours kept being refreshed in new and interesting ways, the world managing to be consistently awe inspiring wherever I found myself within it. 

Eventually I did settle into more of a typical Souls-like experience, the time I spent out exploring new areas gradually shrank as I levelled up and became more skilful in dispatching hordes of enemies, I started finding the 'critical path' much faster and entered that familiar Souls-dungeon pattern of reaching a fog gate and continually butting up against various boss shaped roadblocks until I'd overcome the challenge - it became more systematic, working on felling each Shardbearer to gradually creep towards the Erdtree. It was still enjoyable in its own way, rewarding to fell a tough boss and move onto the next area, but a little of the sheen had rubbed off in the process. There were still awe inspiring moments to come, some truly wonderful environments and memorable boss encounters, but nothing that quite matched the magic of those first few hours exploring and feeling completely out of my depth. Despite some truly outstanding boss fights, I did feel like the challenge was a little cheap and artificial at times - some of the bosses movesets are utterly outrageous, the speed and agility they possess when compared to the player is laughable in some of the later bosses, making it feel like more of a case of luck than skill in some cases. Conversely, I felt the Ashes Summons became too much of a crutch for me, that I would resort to summoning them almost by default rather than trying to properly learn the attack patterns and master them like I would have done in past From Soft games. For all the criticisms I might have though, it's still one of the very best games I've played in a long time, a truly stunning achievement that managed to enthral me for the majority of the more than 100 hours I spent with it, taking the Souls formula and transplanting it into a masterfully designed open world is a winning combination and it'll take something truly astonishing to dethrone it as Game of the Year.

Once I'd had my fill of Elden Ring, I was finally able to start playing another GOTY contender, and the perfect palate cleanser, Kirby and the Forgotten Land. I have been working my way through the Kirby series, little by little, over the last few years so I wasn't sure about picking this up at launch, I have been playing the mainline games chronologically from the beginning and have only made it up to the GBA era, but it looked so good in the trailers that I couldn't help myself. From the off it's an absolute joy to behold, the Mouthful Mode abilities offering a unique hook from very early on, but it was the level design and aesthetics that really sold it for me. Taking place in a dystopian environment, with Kirby and the usual cast of baddies transported there from Planet Popstar, it offers an interesting spin on the Kirby formula as it is adapted into 'true' 3D for the first time in the series 30 year history. The game is packed with charm and the visuals can be stunning at times, even if the resolution and textures tend to drop in quality occasionally, but the real stroke of genius is tying progression to the number of Waddle Dee's you rescue - if I missed any I felt guilty, I just had to go back and save them all! The level design really made the most of each new area, the aesthetic of each new world providing new twists and surprises all the way to the end, with varied and rewarding boss fights peppered in. The addition of being able to upgrade the copy abilities helped to mix things up too, in the past the Cutter ability was probably my least favourite but once I upgraded it to the Chakram Cutter it became my go to, making light work of enemies and bosses alike. It's hard to find anything to be truly critical of, the repeated boss fights being the only thing I can really think of (but from my experience that's pretty much a staple of the series) and I had a blast saving all the Waddle Dee's and in the brief post-game, if it wasn't for Elden Ring then Kirby and the Forgotten Land would be a genuine contender for my GOTY.

I've yet to play Aztech Forgotten Gods because I was too busy immersing myself in Elden Ring so I'll definitely be tackling that soon but I think I'll play a couple of shorter games first, probably something on one of the Switch online retro services - either way, I'll hopefully have a plethora of games to report on next time.

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Horizon: Forbidden West

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While I loved Horizon: Zero Dawn, I was dubious about the sequel. A big part of the first game was discovering what went wrong with the old world, why society collapsed and how things exist as they do, with robot dinosaurs roaming around. It was amazing watching them treat such a silly-sounding topic seriously, but also create a compelling reason for it all as you get more and more invested in the story. But where does the story go once the biggest mystery is out of the way?

Thankfully, Forbidden West manages to make you much more invested with the game’s current events and challenges, while still having more to reveal about the past. In Forbidden West, Aloy is attempting to fix the world by finding lost parts of an AI system, and is joined by new and old companions, giving other characters a much bigger role. I really enjoyed Aloy’s interactions with everyone, as well as the new groups of people you encounter throughout the game. 

The side quests also feel much more meaningful, the world feels much more alive and you can see Aloy’s impact on it much more, making the open world feel much more alive. Traversing also feels much less restrictive, as there was only one “correct” climbing route in the first game, while you have less restrictions and more tools. Some things return form the first, such as Cauldrons and Tallnecks, but the developers have found a way to make each one feel unique and a wonder to explore. 

Combat remains a lot of fun, too, although I found that overriding machines was less effective than the first (which does stop it from being overpowered) and there are a lot of “Apex” machines that can’t be overridden. This encourages you to use the other weapons more, although hitting off parts of machines with a bow and arrow is still the most satisfying way to me. Melee combat has been overhauled significantly with combos you can unlock, too.

The game looks absolutely amazing, too. And I played this on a base PS4. Guerrilla have done a phenomenal job getting this running smoothly on such old hardware, especially looking as wonderful as it does. There are some issues - fast travel loading screens are much longer, plus you will occasionally hit a short loading screen as the game world catches up to you, but they’re worth it just for how great the game looks, and how life-like things like plants and trees are, both in looks and movement. 

Horizon: Forbidden West is an absolutely phenomenal game, and has become one of my favourites.
 

 

Lost in Random

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A very whimsical game set in a world where dice have immense power, and imbue cards with power to help people fight. Except that dice are now banned and only the evil queen has one, and uses it to divide people into six cities. You play as Even, whose sister Odd gets chosen to be in the Queen’s region, setting off on a journey to help save her, encountering a dice companion along the way.

While the synopsis is a lot like a typical young adult novel, the uniqueness of the dice aspect and how each regions are divided into numbers and have traits based on it, mixed with the style reminiscent of Henry Selick films, makes the story a wonderful one, with a creative array of characters and strange situations.

The combat is a lot of fun, too. At the start of each combat, you are only equipped with a harmless slingshot. This is used to knock crystals off enemies to power up your Dice, drawing cards for you to use. Once you’ve drawn the cards you need (or reach your max), you can roll Dicey and spend the pips to buy cards. These can be weapons, traps, new abilities, health and other modifiers. Outside of combat, you can adjust your deck and buy new cards. It’s a really nice system, although I do wish that there was more variety. 

My main criticism is that walking to and fro each section can be a bit dull in terms of the gameplay, especially when you’re looking for something. I do think that there could have been some platforming/puzzling alongside the story sections. Lost in Random is still a really fun game, though.

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Bugsnax

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I wasn’t expecting that much from Bugsnax, but ended up loving it. It’s a game where you collect cute creatures made out of food. There are 8 regions to explore, each with its own set of Bugsnax. You’ll need to learn their behavioural patterns and catch them using various traps and equipment. Working out how to capture each Bugsnax is a lot of fun, and you can combine your equipment in a manner of ways, like launching your trap towards Bugsnax. 

A lot of the game is focused on the small village of Snaxburg, where you’ll find the muppet-like Grumpuses that reside in this world. They all have fun designs and personalities, along with their own troubles to help them with. A lot of this involves feeding them live Bugsnax, which transforms their body. Some of their issues are surprisingly deep, too. It may look like a kid’s game, but what Bugsnax does is quite surprising. 

Bugsnax is incredibly entertaining. If it were a Pokémon game, it would easily be my favourite Pokémon game.
 

Life is Strange: True Colo(u)rs

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A visual novel game about a girl called Alex, who finally reconnects with her brother in a small mining town after going through a dreadful foster care system. She can delve into people’s minds and understand their emotions, so tries to help those around her.

A lot of the game is story-related, so I’ll keep it short, but overall I enjoyed the story, even if the main mystery is fairly simple. I enjoyed the slow paced nature of the game and just wandering around the town, although I wish there were a few more locations you could enter. 
 

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Started playing Bioshock a while ago and...when does the story kick in?
According to a "mission" list, I'm halfway through and so far - aside from a little world building (which exclusively happens through audio logs) - nothing really happened. 

AjarNervousChafer-size_restricted.gif

I know there will come a twist and it will (hopefully) be glorious but as it stands right now...the game is a little boring.
You fight the same enemies over and over again, the Big Daddy/Little Sister encounters all play out the same way, the setting got old pretty quickly. The latter also goes for the atmosphere. Yes, it's eerie and creepy, but nothing changes. No higher stakes, no increased danger and once you've figured out the enemy placement (i.e. after 30 minutes of playtime) nothing surprises you anymore.

Come on, Bioshock, DO SOMETHING INTERESTING.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, drahkon said:

Started playing Bioshock a while ago and...when does the story kick in?
According to a "mission" list, I'm halfway through and so far - aside from a little world building (which exclusively happens through audio logs) - nothing really happened. 

AjarNervousChafer-size_restricted.gif

I know there will come a twist and it will (hopefully) be glorious but as it stands right now...the game is a little boring.
You fight the same enemies over and over again, the Big Daddy/Little Sister encounters all play out the same way, the setting got old pretty quickly. The latter also goes for the atmosphere. Yes, it's eerie and creepy, but nothing changes. No higher stakes, no increased danger and once you've figured out the enemy placement (i.e. after 30 minutes of playtime) nothing surprises you anymore.

Come on, Bioshock, DO SOMETHING INTERESTING.

The big twist only happens about 2/3 of the way through... and it is a really great twist.  That being said though? The game really should've ended right when that twist happens, as what happens afterwards just cheapens the rest of the experience.

But yes, it's pretty typical western/American developed video game design for the most part.

Edited by Dcubed
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4 hours ago, drahkon said:

it will (hopefully) be glorious

Well...that was disappointing.

Spoiler

So what exactly is the twist?
It was pretty clear to me that Jack is a puppet. Sure, the "Would you kindly" phrase was kinda surprising but it wasn't really necessary.

Is this all about the illusion of choice in video games? If so...meh.

 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Well...that was disappointing.

  HUGE Bioshock spoilers (Hide contents)

So what exactly is the twist?
It was pretty clear to me that Jack is a puppet. Sure, the "Would you kindly" phrase was kinda surprising but it wasn't really necessary.

Is this all about the illusion of choice in video games? If so...meh.

 

That's exactly what the twist is about.  It was one of the first examples of real meta-commentary regarding video game design (remember that the game originally launched in 2007; 5-6 years before The Stanley Parable), so it was really shocking and groundbreaking at the time.  Doubly so considering that it was a traditional "AAA" video game and not a small indie title.

Funnily enough, it launched just a few months after Super Paper Mario, which was also notable (and controversial) for its own metacommentary on game design (It's basically a big manifesto against RPG game design and how RPGs & social games are intentionally designed to waste your time in order to provide a false perception of "value" for money).

Edited by Dcubed
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Bioshock has been completed:

20220512090035.jpg

19 hours ago, drahkon said:
  HUGE Bioshock spoilers (Reveal hidden contents)

So what exactly is the twist?
It was pretty clear to me that Jack is a puppet. Sure, the "Would you kindly" phrase was kinda surprising but it wasn't really necessary.

Is this all about the illusion of choice in video games? If so...meh.

 

I looked it up and it seems it is about what I've written in the spoilers. Given the game was released way back, I can see how it made some waves during that time. But it doesn't really hold up these days, in my opinion.

A game I'd rate somewhere near solid, yet average. The gameplay/combat gets repetitive and the world/setting is pretty boring after the first few areas.

For me, Bioshock Infinte is much better.

I doubt I'll play Bioshock 2 as I didn't enjoy the first one enough to warrant a playthrough of the sequel.

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Sorry to hear the game didn't live up to the hype for you, drahkon. It's always interesting to read people's opinions on highly rated games who first play the game years later after the hyped has died down. The story beats were a huge thing back when it was released but I can imagine it's impact would have lessened since it's release, especially how many other developers since then have also explored the same story elements.

 

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I'm still plugging away at Assassin's Creed Unity. As I mentioned before, I'm really enjoying the Nostrodamus puzzles, and have been mainly ignoring the rest of the storyline and missions to roam around Paris looking for statues. The Order must be really disappointed in their newest recruit. It made me wish there was an entire game of puzzle solving across various cities. Kind of like Dan Brown: The Game.

One thing that Ass Creed: Unity doesn't have, that I kind of took for granted in this console generation until now, is that you can't put the PS4 in rest mode with it? I assumed it was a console feature, but apparently it's something the developers have to add to each game to utilise, and they didn't bother with this. It's really irritating, because i've used it so extensively with other games (I don't think I've actually turned my PS4 off properly for years), that it's like taking a huge step back when playing Unity. I have to plan ahead and decide if I have enough time to complete a mission, because you can't pause and save the game in the middle of a mission, and if you turn the PS4 off, you lose all your progress.

I hope that for the PS5, they've made it a feature regardless of game. On the Switch, you can put the console to sleep and pick up right where you left off, and so far it has worked with every game i've tried.

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34 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

 It's always interesting to read people's opinions on highly rated games who first play the game years later after the hyped has died down.

I was worried that Spec Ops: The Line wouldn't have as big of an impact on me as it did because I was very late to the party. Its theme is much more contemporary, obviously, so it worked perfectly.

49 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

The story beats were a huge thing back when it was released

I appreciate Bioshock for what it does/did. For me, it just didn't work at all.

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Been a while since I posted an update in this thread. Here's what I've finished since April that I didn't post else where.

Spoiler

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  1. Inkenfell
  2. Spongebob Square Pants
  3. Record of Lodoss War
  4. Mega Man X5
  5. Mega Man X6
  6. Sonic Spinball
  7. Super Mario Land
  8. Super Mario World

With the exception of Inkenfell, I have enjoyed playing through each of these games. Spongebob was a nice throwback to the PS2 era of platforming games. Record of Lodoss is a fantastic Metroidvania style game. MM X5 and X6 are part of the Mega Man X Legacy Collection 2. I need to play through the other 2 games before the platinum unlocks. The other 3 were nice blasts from the past. Yes, even Sonic Spinball.

As for my latest game...

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I was initially going to pick this up for the Switch. I figured the joy-con would make a half decent sub for a lightgun but the reviews weren't great for the game, with many saying the performance was very rough. A few weeks later and the game was released for the other consoles and PC, with much better performance all round. The game still has some niggles but nothing as bad as what was seen on the Switch.

It felt great playing through this again. When in my teens, I played the hell out of the Saturn version and I was surprised just how many different paths and enemy placements that I remembered. It must be around 20 years since I last played the game. Crazy.

The PS4 controls worked fine and a patch is on the way to enable Move support. I played a bit of it using the gyro controls, before switching to using the control sticks. I found I was able to hit both the fire and reload buttons at the same time on the controller and this meant I never had to reload. :D 

The game has some great replay value thanks to the trophies. There require you to rescue all of the scientists in a single run, complete the game without taking a hit, find every path throughout the game, find every collectible in a single run....fun stuff. The short length of the game is extended quite a bit thanks to these unlockables and they also feature in the Switch version of the game as well. You see, unlocking these trophies/achievements also unlocks cheats to use in the game. The more trophies you unlock, the more cheats you get. Having things like infinite ammo without needing to reload can make some of the tougher runs much more manageable, especially when coupled with the grenade launcher weapon.

Even though the game is short, I do miss this genre of game and wish there were more of them. I'd love to play the Virtua Cop games on a modern console. I'm hoping they get the opportunity to remake HOTD2 next.

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23 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

Spongebob was a nice throwback to the PS2 era of platforming games.

Playing this occasionally these days. It really is a great throwback.

How long did it take you to get the Platinum?

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6 minutes ago, drahkon said:

Playing this occasionally these days. It really is a great throwback.

How long did it take you to get the Platinum?

Not long. Think I got it over a weekend.

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

Not long. Think I got it over a weekend.

Nice. Looks like I'll juggle this and Sly 2 for a while :peace: 

Speaking of Sly 2: After a 3 month hiatus I decided to start up my PSVita again and play the second installment of the Sly Trilogy. Deleted my save as I wasn't far into it anyways and went ahead.
So far, so good. Still in Episode 1 but it's already a much better game than the first. The only annoying thing: You always gotta walk back to the safe-house to switch characters. :hmm: 

Also dabbled a bit more with some homebrew apps and found this pretty cool game launcher:

2022-05-13-004750.png

Thanks to a plugin, the launcher automatically starts when I power up the PSVita.

Once I've started (and closed) a game, I have to reopen the app via one touch so launching a different game is taking one more step (as opposed to simply using the system's "bubbles"), but hey...it looks nice :p 

Edited by drahkon
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Finished the achievements for First Class Escape in time for a play of the sequel with my mates. It's an escape room type game (my current fave kind of game). Pawnbarian recently updated and made some characters easier to play with, so gave that a dabble and upped my chain level. Vampire Survivors also had another update, so it was fun to run through and grab the new achievements. Very seretonin-inducing game!

As for big games - still staring at RE: Village and working up the guts to play it. Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is something I IRL have played extensively (I own all 4 parts). The computer game version takes just one case each but you can still work it as a team - mostly fun but not as good as the tabletop version.

 

Lastly, Enoctosis is a game that requires 2-player, and I highly recommend it. It's a fairly short jaunt but unique and memorable! Next me and my buds will be giving Escape Room Simulator a shot. It has community-made content and has been rated well, so should be good.

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10 hours ago, jayseven said:

Vampire Survivors also had another update, so it was fun to run through and grab the new achievements. Very seretonin-inducing game!

YES!
Whenever a new update is released, I start the game up and play it until I get all the new achievements :D 

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lol 100% the same. I'm sad they've dismissed the idea of having a story mode and instead are sticking to purely arcade content -- but I love booting the game up once a month for a few hours!

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