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TOPIC: What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing?

What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 21 Feb 2011 21:34 #88610

Tell us what video you have been playing.

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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 04:10 #204569

Mr. White wrote:
I had a roommate with Symphony of the Night on PS, and I'd watch him play from time to time. It didn't really look difficult. It seemed the game length was padded by having to go to X and pick up Y to unlock area Z. So, though it looked cool, it was really just going through the motions the game asked, no, required you to do.
This is how I see SotN too. A huge portion of the game is spent fighting enemies in corridors, backtracking through empty areas or seeing how the level-up system ends up making battles less interesting and less reliant on the player actions than they should be.

I'm totally with you with your description of older Castlevanias, btw. (Though I don't think reflexes are very important to beat the game)
EDIT: I never played Dracula X on the SNES. Should I get it for the Wii U? Is it better than Super Castlevania (itself, not too hard)?
Dracula X is better than its reputation but it's a step below SCIV and Bloodlines. Not bad, but not great.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 08:55 #204574

Difficulty in video games is overrated. I suck at action/reflex games. Anything that is advertised as "harder than living in the gulag" (see: every modern platformer) makes me instantly look elsewhere.

I do love shmups, I just don't play them to "win".
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 10:05 #204582

Whoa...whoa...whoa...we're talking Castlevania? Fuck yeah. Easily one of my favorite series in videogames.

Here is how my top ten shakes out.

1. Symphony of the Night - This belongs on the top.
2. Castlevania III - Dracula Curse - Hard as balls, but love the character switching and classic gameplay
3. Rondo of Blood / Castlevania: The Dracula Chronicles - Worth owning a PSP for.
4. Castlevania - Still great. I love how you fight most of the classic Universal Movie Monsters!
5. Castlevania: Bloodlines - This is underrated as FUCK. Great game that pushes the Genesis.
6. Super Castlevania - Damn that Gothic music on the SNES kicks ass! Also, whip in any direction? Yes please!
7. Dawn of Sorrow and Aria of Sorrow - Combining them...fuck you it's my list.
8. Portrait of Ruin - Went back and played this last year. It's great.
9. Order of Ecclesia - More Metroidvania goodness on the DS. Sad that these games seem no more.
10. Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - Classic NES style cryptic translation bullshit made you need Nintendo Power to complete it


Started playing NIER last night on my PS3. Barnes talking about it reminded me I picked this up a few months ago. Played for a couple of hours and I'm really digging it. I love how you're actually playing the game within a few mins of booting up. I also love that NPC dialogue is mostly text...thats the way it should be in an RPG. This music is fucking incredible. Overall the game is just really weird and I very much dig it. Looking forward to diving deeper into it.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 10:16 #204584

iguanaDitty wrote:
Difficulty in video games is overrated. I suck at action/reflex games. Anything that is advertised as "harder than living in the gulag" (see: every modern platformer) makes me instantly look elsewhere.

I do love shmups, I just don't play them to "win".

I'll tell you a secret. There are a lot of games I play on easy simply because they aren't good enough to warrant any more time than that. Some games, if they're good enough, I'll play on normal or hard after an initial play through. So with Bayonetta for example I started on Medium because I was sure I'd at least like it... The Last of Us I wasn't so sure so I started on easy and quickly learned that's all it was going to get. Dying more would not have improved the game. I can usually tell almost right away and if I start playing a game and realize it's better than I thought (say Bulletstorm) I'll start back over on medium and play it properly. Some games I think will be good and then they kind of stink so I'll switch to easy to zip through it and see if there's anything good I'm missing. I play a lot of bullet hell shooters and like you I don't much care about winning I'm just into trying to navigate the living maze they create and have some fun. Too many people think you need to play on a super high difficulty to really appreciate the game.. but that's BS, you can usually tell if you'll like it from an easier play through and if it doesn't click, move on.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 10:55 #204587

Wow, that's a great idea, Jacob!

I don't play many videogames on my own anymore, but when I do I tend to favor ones that are short and where I feel l like my skill is going up through repeated plays. So, I tend to stick with your Street Fighters, Mario Karts, shooters, that sort of thing.

Adventure games I generally feel are a slog and a bore. However, playing through on easy may be the way to go. I'd get the story and idea of the game without having to commit all that time. To be honest though, I'm still likely not to play them, but if I ever were to consider it, I'll use your suggestion. Thanks!
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 11:02 #204590

I just noticed something with ELITE: DANGEROUS that rings on something Barnes said about the E3 kickstarter thing.

They released a half-finished version of ELITE: DANGEROUS for 30 bucks. The game isn't finished. They're marketing it like, "get the game now and provide us with feedback so we can make the end version better, which you can get for a discount"

So it's basically a beta version that you pay for? For me it seems like they're trying to get money to finish the game. It's weird to me.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 11:28 #204594

I played my first game of Civilization 5 that included both Gods and Kings and Brave New World expansions. I randomly picked Shaka on a Standard length Continent map, and I played on King difficulty Ironman-style. Trade routes and religion add some new dynamics to the early-mid game, and the addition of tourism, ideologies and world diplomacy made the late to end-game actually interesting to play.

I started in the north of a hourglass shaped continent and quickly discovered that King Kamehameha of Hawaii was my western neighbour. As Shaka I felt obliged to play a bloodthirsty warmonger, so when I hit catapults I quickly raised an army and conquered his cities. After I consolidated my grip on the northern section of the continent I learned, using the new Spying mechanic, that Dido of Carthage was sending an army to attack me! Carthaginian elephants were literally traveling over the central mountains to invade my lands. Luckily I had built lots of Impi, the Zulu special spearmen, and they countered the elephants quite nicely. I also paid off the two city states in the middle of the continent to become my allies, so when Dido declared war their military started harassing and killing her units. After defeating her army I counterattacked and took her northernmost city. I was about to declare peace when my spy stole the Physics tech from her, which let me upgrade all my catapults into trebuchets. With 4 of those I traveled south and took over the rest of the continent. Thus I reached midgame owning one of the two major continents in the game, but I was very far behind in technologies, economy and world wonders.

I quickly spread across the continent and my economy started to kick into high gear, aided by lots of Mercantile social policies. With the money I was able to ally myself with lots of useful city states and buy lots of expensive buildings. At this point the other continent was crowded with India, Shoshone, Russia, Portugal and Brazil. Using spies I was able to steal lots of technologies to close the science gap, and I made sure to appease the biggest powers (India and Shoshone) with lots of trade deals. I started to build a navy to protect my continent from invasion fleets, but I was too late as Russia came across the ocean and took over my one island colony. I took that as a lesson and rushed to get submarines, which I then built 12 of, along with destroyers and battleships. I joined the Order ideology mostly to keep India and Shoshone happy, but there was also some incredibly powerful policies in the Order tree, such as one that pushed my happiness above 50.

As the end of the game approached I saw Russia gathering all sorts of troops and ships around my former island colony, close to my capital. I gathered all my subs and ships around their territory, and the turn they all moved out and took up positions along my border I declared war and hit them first. I sunk Catherine's single destroyer, which gave my subs free reign to destroy all of the vulnerable troop ships. I quickly mopped up her navy and used my battleships to soften up and take back my former colony, which was some sweet justice right before the end of the game. By this point I was allied with all 15 city states in the game and I was in full control of the world congress. I enacted the policy to make Order the dominant world ideology, which gave every nation that adhered to it +2 delegates. That pushed me up to 40 delegates and I won a diplomatic victory. It was a pretty close thing, as Ghandi had started to build up his space ship and was pumping out crazy amounts of tourism.

Overall I can see why people say that Civ 5 is now 'complete' with the addition of G&K and BNW. They add depth and decisions that were missing in the mid to late game and I enjoyed the end of the game much more than before. Next time I play I'd like to aim for the new tourism victory and dominate the world with my glorious culture.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 11:37 #204597

Difficulty...

The first time I played Gears of War, I started on the hardest difficulty setting because I wanted to really be challenged by it. But then I was headshotting the bad guys like 30 times and they weren't dying. They were still behaving as dumb as rocks and weren't moving any faster. I realized that the only thing that made it harder was that ammo was a little scarcer and the enemies had more hit points. There was no change to the AI to actually make it more difficult.

This is the problem with difficulty in most modern games. They don't get difficulty right. Artificially making a game harder by slowing progression, taking away resources or by just making the enemies take longer to kill is phony challenge.

Where it DOES work is in something like Bayonetta/Bayonetta 2 where the impetus is on skillful play. At the higher difficulty levels, the game becomes more satisfying because it requires you to really learn the mechanics, systems and combos. At the easiest level, you can win just by mashing buttons and it is specifically designed that way. As it gets harder, you won't last two minutes. And then there are skill rankings for each level, so if you want a very seriously difficult challenge you can try to get the S rankings. And you have go to work to earn them.

The best difficulty in games is like in Mario titles, where you can easily beat a level but to get three stars, find everything and so forth it really takes some skill. Or in games like Bloodborne, where developing skills and using knowledge is the only way to overcome insurmountably difficult areas or enemies.

Even in games like the old Castlevania titles, the difficulty came from level design and specific movement/combat mechanics. You had to learn them over time and practice, watching patterns and figuring out what works. But it was never a matter of just upping hit points.

JJ is correct, most AAA games are just not worth playing on higher difficulties...I do the same thing he does, I'll start on easy to see if it's worth the effort first. Most are not.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 11:52 #204599

Michael Barnes wrote:
The Lego thing is EXPENSIVE. I want to see it in action first. We'll probably get either Infinity Star Wars, Superchargers or that one for Christmas this year. B

But Infinity kind of sucks, the game would have to be MARKEDLY better for us to go that route, although so far it looks really good and I love that it has Rebels and Clone Wars characters in the mix. Superchargers is the MOST likely because we are already deep into that line and the Amiibo crossover is cool, but we didn't get Trap Team yet. We'd be more likely to get Trap Team when it's cheap around October..

Yeah, the Lego game is the most expensive one, something like $700 for an all-in.

SW Disney Infinity is correcting a few hangups people had and apparently characters from any SW era will be usable in all three playsets (Clone, OT and newest). You still won't be able to play in a SW world with Marvel or classic Disney characters though.
Also power discs not blind buy anymore.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 12:17 #204604

When I started NIER last night I paused for a few moments to debate whether or not to play on Easy or Normal. I eventually went with Normal.

I almost never drop a game down to Easy, unless I'm just planning on plowing through it to consume it. Also, I figure that normal is the way the developers assume most people will experience the game...and things should be just about right. Most modern games aren't difficult though. With checkpoint respawns, unlimited health and other bullshit it's merely a matter of putting in the time, rather than skill.

When playing there needs to be some challenge or moments that raise your pulse. Otherwise...why bother? This isn't a commentary on dropping a game down to Easy...rather how most modern games simply lack a good challenge. The games aren't designed to be hard to finish. Offering those that have the skills a badge of honor upon completion. Rather they're designed so that the player experiences a story.

The reason the Demons' Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne games have been so successful is that they bring that challenge. They bring that FEAR. Back in the days of arcade gaming when you played for high score you were driven by the challenge and the fear. That fear that comes when you're trying to top your all time high score and one slip up with your last life, on your last quarter means Game Over. Your palms sweat as they grip the joystick. Friends start to gather and watch. You get into a do or die situation and it's incredibly hard, but really fucking satisfying.

Moments like that are what made me fall in love with videogames. It's rare to find something that gives a similar sensation on these modern consoles. Everything is so homogenized that games are practically sterile. You just sit there like a pulse-less zombie, mindlessly plowing through it until the end credits roll and the shitty story is complete. Go back to Castlevania on the NES. It's incredibly hard and requires you to learn enemy patterns...memorize levels...quicken reflexes. Finishing the game requires a commitment and gives you a sense of accomplishment. I really miss that and it's a big reason why I mostly stick to retro games instead of newer games.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 13:25 #204610

I think games can provide incentives to play at higher difficulties to overcome the limitations you see on the artifice of just making enemies harder to kill. This is exactly the difficulty progression that DIABLO takes. You don't see any new exotic dudes in higher difficulties; just the same enemies with more attack strength and toughness. Actually, you might see some more abilities tacked on to "elite gangs" but it's still an aspect of attack/toughness. Why would you ever, right? Because incrementing the difficulty provides more currency drops and better loot chances. Some items don't drop at all unless you are at level 4 or higher (there are nine levels of difficulty). There are other items that don't drop unless you are playing Hardcore mode (i.e., character death is permanent). No one plays DIABLO for the story. They play for that obsessive loot collecting minimax dynamic on all the gear. As such, you are constantly trying to push the envelope on the difficulty to maximize your chances at that sweet lucre.

I'll contrast this with HELLDIVERS, where a different dynamic is at play. In this isometric action game the difficulty is independent of the player--you can't pick a difficulty level at all. You can do missions that are labeled with different difficulties, but the enemies are the same in each of them (Objectives might be harder to get to, or there may be more enemies). But the more difficult levels are designed with an assumption that you'll need more than one player to beat them. It's a co-op game, where up to four folks can play a mission. So you could try to do a Challenging mission on your own, but you'll likely get fucked. Everyone's successes contribute to the global effort to bring liberty to the galaxy (via guns). Even the Easy missions still help progress the overarching game; but if you want to play the tough stuff, you need to have some friends pop in or jump in and help others on their open games.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 14:49 #204619

I guess I don't play video games to feel like I've accomplished something. I'm happy to just experience it. Every time I try to start an action game at normal instead of easy I am acknowledging that I will not complete the game because at some point it will get too hard for me to continue. Witcher II I couldn't even get past the opening fights which boggles the mind...yet there it is.

I'm also just fine not completing games, really. I play until I feel like I've seen enough or I just can't get past something. Sometimes I get so frustrated with an aspect of gameplay (a lot of times this is the camera) that I up and quit.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 14:52 #204620

Egg Shen wrote:
When I started NIER last night

Do yourself a favor and don't do the sidequests. They are some of the worst examples of fetch quests I have ever seen. My enjoyment of the game (overall high, with some issues) would have been severely degraded if I had gone after even a small percentage of them.
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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing? 19 Jun 2015 14:57 #204621

iguanaDitty wrote:
Egg Shen wrote:
When I started NIER last night

Do yourself a favor and don't do the sidequests. They are some of the worst examples of fetch quests I have ever seen. My enjoyment of the game (overall high, with some issues) would have been severely degraded if I had gone after even a small percentage of them.

Thanks for the tip! Usually side quests are my undoing in a RPG. I tend to focus on them (for fear of missing something) and if they suck I lose interest in the game. Somtimes I can ignore them and get back on track with the main quest...but if I don't I'll give up on the game. I'll be sure to be careful with these.
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