The Video Game Thread: What are you Playing?

JRT

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One nice new game I tried is still in Early Access, but it's from Supergiant games, the gang who gave us Bastion and Transistor. It's a rougelike game called Hades. It was first released as a timed Epic exclusive but is now on Steam.


You are the son of Hades and want to escape that realm. You start it the palace of Hades, and can interact with figures from Greek myth such as Achilles and Nyx and a few others. You escape and try to survive. There are four major realms, each with several rooms (randomly generated akin to how the Diablo games are). The regular rabble are some made-up monsters inspired from myth--but the end realm bosses are NPCs you encounter are all from classic myth. You gain boons from various Greek deities, which empower your abilities. You eventually unlock other weapons.

Death is considered a part of it--when you die, you instantly transfer back to the Throne room and have to start over. If you find it tough, you can use "God Mode", which is not like the old term--each time you die if this mode is enabled, you get an extra percent damage reduction, which caps at 80%. (There's also a Hell Mode). The immediate goal is to get through the realms up to the surface. If you defeat the final boss--well, somehow you always encounter an accident and go back to the Throne Room of Hades. They get humorous about it -- when it's out of Early Access, you may finally have a proper ending (which I believe is meeting your mother, Persephone). Once you make it through you have the ability to make the game harder and add "Punishments", like up the encounter strengths, weaken your own abilities, etc.

It's a pretty fun game.
 

Voros

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One nice new game I tried is still in Early Access, but it's from Supergiant games, the gang who gave us Bastion and Transistor. It's a rougelike game called Hades. It was first released as a timed Epic exclusive but is now on Steam.


You are the son of Hades and want to escape that realm. You start it the palace of Hades, and can interact with figures from Greek myth such as Achilles and Nyx and a few others. You escape and try to survive. There are four major realms, each with several rooms (randomly generated akin to how the Diablo games are). The regular rabble are some made-up monsters inspired from myth--but the end realm bosses are NPCs you encounter are all from classic myth. You gain boons from various Greek deities, which empower your abilities. You eventually unlock other weapons.

Death is considered a part of it--when you die, you instantly transfer back to the Throne room and have to start over. If you find it tough, you can use "God Mode", which is not like the old term--each time you die if this mode is enabled, you get an extra percent damage reduction, which caps at 80%. (There's also a Hell Mode). The immediate goal is to get through the realms up to the surface. If you defeat the final boss--well, somehow you always encounter an accident and go back to the Throne Room of Hades. They get humorous about it -- when it's out of Early Access, you may finally have a proper ending (which I believe is meeting your mother, Persephone). Once you make it through you have the ability to make the game harder and add "Punishments", like up the encounter strengths, weaken your own abilities, etc.

It's a pretty fun game.
Their first two games were so damn pretty but the look of this one isn’t doing anything for me...
 

EmperorNorton

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I played the demo of the FFVII Remake. Immediately preordered it. So looking forward to it.

Also, playing the original starting today while I get over the flu before the release.

(Also also, so confused by how many people online who played the original who seem surprised that Jessie in FFVII was always a woman... I thought it was obvious.)
 

Chris Brady

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Silly little anecdote: Final Fantasy 7 was the reason I bought a PS1 console back in the day, I think about three months before the game came out. Sadly, as I no longer am employable, I'm going to hope this comes out on PC some time soon. Ish.
 

The Mad Hatter

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I played the demo of the FFVII Remake. Immediately preordered it. So looking forward to it.

Also, playing the original starting today while I get over the flu before the release.

(Also also, so confused by how many people online who played the original who seem surprised that Jessie in FFVII was always a woman... I thought it was obvious.)
Thanks for telling about the demo. I have it on my PS4 wishlist, but didn't know a demo had been released.
Won't have time to play it, until after the weekend though.
I wonder how much of the original game, will be in the actual release. Read somewhere that it's episodic or something.
Can't afford to preorder, but hope I have the funds for it once it comes out.
 

Chris Brady

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Thanks for telling about the demo. I have it on my PS4 wishlist, but didn't know a demo had been released.
Won't have time to play it, until after the weekend though.
I wonder how much of the original game, will be in the actual release. Read somewhere that it's episodic or something.
Can't afford to preorder, but hope I have the funds for it once it comes out.
From what I remember, I believe that SE are expanding the game. Making the Midgard area bigger and with more content, for one. So it'll be broken up in sections. Supposedly.
 

EmperorNorton

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Basically its going to be comparable playtime to the original game, but is going to be very expanded. First game is going to only cover the section up until you leave Midgar. They are already fleshing out the Avalanche team members out more from what I can tell and just adding more depth to the story. I imagine they won't expand all the sections that much though or we'd be looking at like 10 games and 600 hours or something like that.

Also @Chris Brady, Sony paid the money to get exclusivity until I think March 2021, so expect it to be on PC not long after that.
 

EmperorNorton

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You know, I'm amazed by how much we put up with really annoying menu noises back in the day. Sound design in video games is SO MUCH BETTER. (thoughts from replaying the original FFVII).
 

3rik

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My wife's currently playing Risk of Rain 2.

 

The Mad Hatter

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Played the FFVll Remake Demo today.

All I can say is just WOW. It is absolutely awesome. Now I really hope I have the funds for it, when it comes out.

I still can't help but worry, that we won't ever get the full game here though. Considering how long this part of the remake has taken them to make.
 

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On a bit of an old/remastered binge. Finished all the major Sonic games, the N. Sane trilogy remaster of Crash Bandicoot and the remake of Resident Evil 2.

Crash Bandicoot 1 is still the hardest of the trilogy, due to not being as well designed. Crash 3 is still the easiest, but the most fun. Very addictive I had to get all the gems and relics. The restored level "Stormy Ascent" in CB1 is without a doubt the hardest thing in the whole trilogy.

The RE2 remake is great, preserves and improves what made the original scary and combined the whole A and B game business into a single play through for Claire and Leon. Sherry's section is expanded a good deal with new content that goes with a very different kind of horror. Of course RE2 isn't Tolstoy but overall the story is now coherent.

Lots of little things like seeing why Umbrella sent their crack team to seize the G-virus (Birkin was selling out), the orphanage where Umbrella tested the viruses. The Police Chief being shown to be a serial killer where in the original he was just corrupt. Again it fleshes out the world nicely. Being in the Chief's private "preparation room" for his victims as Sherry was a much weirder psychological type of horror.

Also finished the new Call of Cthulhu game from Chaosium. Hard to say much without spoilers since it is very plot heavy. Overall I would say don't buy it unless it is on a good sale. Elements of the plot would make for a good CoC session though.

Positives are it does hit a 1930s New England vibe, the puzzles are quite good I felt and the directly Mythos stuff is genuinely chilling. Has a fitting "bad" ending and the first half is a subtle cosmic horror story.

Negatives are that dialogue and animation are very out of wack at times. Not just out of sync, but often a character will say something calmly, but the model is gesticulating wildly. As the game goes on the feel of the island you're on becomes a bit incoherent and the plot becomes more "epic". The protaganist often makes deductive leaps that don't make any sense that serve to simply move him closer to the truth. NPC models repeat in ways I'd associate with a game from the mid-2000s. Had it remained as it was in its first half I would have definitely recommended it.

Dialogue is quite good overall, but can be a bit unrealistic at times.

It uses the roll under percentile mechanics of the Pen and Paper game with a simplified skill list: 1 characteristic and 6 skills.

The detective you play often shows clear signs of heading where the writers want the game to go or they forget what he would know in character. For example he sees a painting called "The Shambler" and later meets the creature depicted on it. In the next scene he refers to the creature without learning anything more as a "Dimensional Shambler". There are many minor variants on this throughout the game such as just knowing people's motivations with little evidence.

The dialogue is overall good but is a bit unrealistic at times for a remote whaling community in the 1930s. The patron in the rundown "salt of the Earth" sailors bar is fully conversant in artistic criticism for example, giving a foreboding analysis of a painting.

When the game goes full Mythos plenty of the characters start talking about planes and dimensions and gods as if they were everyday topics. Yes they are knowledgable in the occult, but it's more that nobody (especially the policeman character who really has no knowledge of these things) passes any remarks on it.

I feel the first half is much better. The Shambler creature and its connections to a young woman with artistic insight is proper low key horror. It fits the feel of the island and its close knit community very well and the Shambler looks horrible. The whole Shambler plot would make a good session.

After the Shambler is dealt with though the game goes off the rails and amps up to "Chosen One" protagonist stuff and the sudden introduction of two progressively more powerful Mythos creatures. A minor god and then Cthulhu itself. In fact the Sambler plot seems mostly unrelated to the later "Save the World" stuff with one small overlap. I wonder was it felt the Shambler alone wouldn't be enough.
 
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The Mad Hatter

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The RE2 remake is great, preserves and improves what made the original scary and combined the whole A and B game business into a single play through for Claire and Leon. Sherry's section is expanded a good deal with new content that goes with a very different kind of horror. Of course RE2 isn't Tolstoy but overall the story is now coherent.
Yeah RE2 remake is very good. In fact I would say it's better than the original.
I bought it a couple of months after it came out. I played it immediately which is rare for me to do these days.
 

EmperorNorton

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RE2 Remake might be the best remake of all time.

I got into this discussion with my coworkers at PAX East (and as we work in the video game field, I like to think we are somewhat knowledgeable on the subject) and we couldn't come up with any remake that compares.
 

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And... got Langrisser I/II for the PS4 the other day. I'm a few missions in and enjoying it.

The only sad thing is, I could have been enjoying this game for years on my Genesis. I have Warsong as well as a fan translation of Langrisser I on my flashcart, and I just never sat down and played them. I'd just boot them up, not really put any effort into figuring them out, then give up.

Oh well... I'm playing it now. I'm not averse to 8 and 16-bit era graphics, but the remastered graphics on this one help a lot.
 

Smith

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Bannerlord is dropping end of March (early access). It's predecessor, Warband, is one of my all-time most played games so safe to say my wife is prepared to lose me (she's gonna be lost with Animal Crossing: New Horizones next week anyway).
 

EmperorNorton

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So with the FFVII remake coming soon, I decided to replay the original. It turns out my 18 year old son somehow managed to avoid literally all spoilers other than "Aeris dies" about the entire game. So he knew nothing about any part of it.

He has been watching me play through it, and between us joking about the graphics (let's be honest, early 3d graphics are REALLY bad) and the questionable difficulty of the game (seriously the game is stupidly easy), he's really been enjoying the story (the best part of the game by far).

We just got to the part where
we reached the Northern Crater, Cloud gave the black materia to Sephiroth (again) and he fell into the life stream. So we finally revealed the whole bit about how Cloud wasn't in SOLDIER, that Zack was the SOLDIER 1st Class that was at Nibelhiem, and that Cloud is maybe not who he thinks he is etc etc.
which was all really neat to see someone get to see for the first time without any prior knowledge.
 

Chris Brady

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That scene blew my mind.

So let me get this straight. So Cloud whines about how weak he is, but when he, non-supersoldier follows super soldier Zack into the reactor while Sephiroth goes insane. Who KILLS the super soldier in one blow. Cloud admittedly backstabs the bugger. OK, yeah, a sneak attack is the act of a weak man. But...

While Cloud, carrying his girl, sees Sephie wander out. OK, fine, Zack tells him to go and kill Sephie. So after putting his girl down, unarmed and unarmoured, was about to deal with Sephie. GETS STABBED IN THE CHEST! Now, if he fell over, yeah, and watched Sephie bleed out, fine, yeah. But no, Cloud in a move that screams "I AM A FUCKING BADASS BECAUSE YOU HURT MY GIRL!" grabs the Masamune, a sword that ONLY Sephy can lift, BY THE BLADE! And slams back down, LIFTS the bigger man BY THE MASAMUNE BLADE and THROWS the bigger man across the ROOM, like he's a paper ball, to his doom.

At what point is that the act of a WEAK MAN??? Cloud, you were more Badass than ANY SOLDIER that LIVED!
:hehe:
 

EmperorNorton

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Technically Cloud's weakness was all mental. Like he didn't have a strong willpower. that was why he couldn't make it into SOLDIER (basically the process for SOLDIER and the process for Sephiroth clones were identical, Mako showers + Jenova Cell injections, the main difference was that people in SOLDIER were intentionally screened for people who were psychologically able to beat the call of the Jenova Cells, Cloud failed those tests).

That was basically how he was "weak". Which is one of the things I liked about the game. He started as someone with a weak will that got controlled by Sephiroth through Jenova. After he falls into the lifestream, and Tifa helps him re-find his real self, he grows, accepts himself, and gains the will necessary to carry on as himself rather than as a broken shell/puppet.
 

Chris Brady

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Technically Cloud's weakness was all mental. Like he didn't have a strong willpower. that was why he couldn't make it into SOLDIER (basically the process for SOLDIER and the process for Sephiroth clones were identical, Mako showers + Jenova Cell injections, the main difference was that people in SOLDIER were intentionally screened for people who were psychologically able to beat the call of the Jenova Cells, Cloud failed those tests).

That was basically how he was "weak". Which is one of the things I liked about the game. He started as someone with a weak will that got controlled by Sephiroth through Jenova. After he falls into the lifestream, and Tifa helps him re-find his real self, he grows, accepts himself, and gains the will necessary to carry on as himself rather than as a broken shell/puppet.
Again, I call BS on that because a weak willed man would not have taken action, not stabbed Sephy in the back, NOR would he have been able to fight through the pain of a sucking chest wound to lift and throw a much heavier man across a room. Also, he probably wouldn't have survived to be PUT INTO the tubes. He had a lot stronger will than he believed.

But that's just me, what do I know? Oh, and I love FF7 too. I hope it comes to PC, cuz I will be getting it then. :hehe:
 

EmperorNorton

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I think that moment was more about his potential than what he was most of the time though. Kind of a pushed to the edge, pure adrenaline type moment.

Also, most of the stuff I write about it is from the translations of the Japanese Ultimania Guide, which lays out a lot of the information that is kind of vague in the game (like what the process for SOLDIER/Sephiroth Clones is, and what it actually did to Cloud and such) and is written by the original writers/designers. So that is the official explanation :tongue:.
 

3rik

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My wife braved public transport to Utrecht yesterday to pick up her pre-ordered copy of Nioh 2 and a thermometer. She got the game, but they were all out of thermometers.
 

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Since I'm spending the week at home to see if I am infecteous (so far it seems probably not - I have the still headache that I had on Monday, but it hasn't gotten worse or been joined by anything else, so it's probably nothing), I am trying to play through The Witcher II yet again. It's getting a bit easier as I go along and figure out all the subsystems and such, but it's still a bit of a slog. I've gotten to the first fight against Letho, and I think I understand how I'm supposed to deal with him, but I swear I lose 50% of my health every time he hits me and he loses like 1% of his every time I hit him. :tongue:

Screw it. I finished Dark Souls, I can finish this one. But I still think it's doing rather too good a job at putting you in the mindset of a universal punching bag who has to think and plan and prepare every step of the way, and then still gets beaten to a pulp in every fight and only survives by the skin of his teeth. :tongue: I mean, I've read the first book, I've got a general idea that that's precisely what Geralt's life is like, but I'm still missing the part where I'm supposed to enjoy playing that out.
 

Ladybird

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Their first two games were so damn pretty but the look of this one isn’t doing anything for me...
The combat's really good. It feels a lot like Bastion but... even more so. The cast of supporting characters are a lot of fun to meet, even when they're complete dicks, and the Prince continues the Supergiant narrator trend. And the in-run decisions are deep enough to feel like they matter but not so deep as to feel like a run's span is dictated by the RNG.

But it's a roguelite, and if you don't enjoy the zero - hero - a little less zero core loop, that's going to be a big problem for you.
 

The Butcher

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Been away from Borderlands 3 and came back for the Circle of Slaughter missions and fuuuuck, got my ass kicked. (Mayhem 1)
 

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Wife and I have been diving into ANIMAL CROSSING! Don't let the cutesy graphics deceive you, this is a brutal simulation of capitalist corpo-institutionalism and a grave reflection on the American influence over the Japanese economy during their occupation. Tom Nook is an allegory for Uncle Sam, always providing the player (representing Japan) the ability to pay off the construction costs for the idyllic lifestyle that ol' Sammy enforces upon the player.

I kid, it's a fun game to relax with. Questionable design choices that unfortunately align with Nintendo's approach to the Switch being a personal console, not a family console, means the second player (me) doesn't have as much options available.
 

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Finished playing Ghostbusters remaster and Doom Eternal.

The Ghostbusters game is a fairly typical 2000s third person action game: types of enemies and your available weapons and skills scale up in sync with each other with the later levels becoming more difficult due to being overwhelmed. It's a fairly easy game. Plotwise it follows the first film and to be honest isn't very good. It pretty much just copies it with the same locations (Library and Sedgewick Hotel). It does capture the feel of the films very well and has all the sound effects and voices of the original cast. Overall pick it up at a discount if you like Ghostbusters.

It's just Sandor comes back from the dead to bring back Gozor again. Gozor fails in Stay Puft form again, so Sandor tries to become a god, succeeds and then you beat him. That's it really.

I will say Bill Murray gets irritating in the game. Streams of quips, silly bit where the one of the leads falls for him suddenly at the end. But by god the New York quips. When a 80 foot demon appears "Wow that's going to slow down the Manhattan sub more than usual". Him and Ray:
"It'll turn Manhattan into a Hell dimension"
"That'll leave Brooklyn the only nice part of town"

I know it's part of the humour, but when he never stops!

Doom Eternal was shooting an endless stream of demons. A good challenge on the upper difficulty levels. I really enjoyed it, but you have to enjoy FPS games to a strong degree in my opinion. They actually made a "plot" that tied all the games together which was funny.
 

The Butcher

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Still Borderlands 3. Getting repetitively murdered at the Maliwan Blacksite raid. I have never been this excited for Borderlands endgame content but I gotta say this game's killing it. And I really have so. Many. Legendaries.
 

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@Smith I'm a second player too, but whenever my wife has to make a decision I come help make it which is nice (and I helped contribute materials for each of the steps, but it meant dropping stuff for her to take and actually do it). It is definitely a questionable decision on how they designed it.

Our island is shaping up nice. Animal Crossing is definitely the nice relaxing atmosphere game I needed right now.
 

Smith

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@Smith I'm a second player too, but whenever my wife has to make a decision I come help make it which is nice (and I helped contribute materials for each of the steps, but it meant dropping stuff for her to take and actually do it). It is definitely a questionable decision on how they designed it.

Our island is shaping up nice. Animal Crossing is definitely the nice relaxing atmosphere game I needed right now.
Yeah that's been our work around, too. That's basically my only complaint, I am really enjoying it otherwise!
 

Picaroon Jack

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Not played Outward, how would you rate it?
Graphics-wise it seems a bit dated, but the game does well in what it is was designed for, being a fantasy survivor game. It reminds me of when they added the mod to Skyrim that factored in hunger/disease/cold/sleep.

When we play, most of the time is planning and gear management and then off to adventure.
 

The Mad Hatter

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Finally finished Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. Must admit I skipped a lot of the side content stuff at the end.
The added rpg elements was good. Yes I know they already did some of this in Origins, but i skipped that one.
But as always in Ubisoft open world games, there is just far too much stuff to do.
Overall I really liked it though.

I completely agree with @Séadna about Ghostbusters. I would go a bit further and say, that if you have the original game there really isn't any reason to buy this graphical upgraded one.
 

Séadna

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I completely agree with @Séadna about Ghostbusters. I would go a bit further and say, that if you have the original game there really isn't any reason to buy this graphical upgraded one.
Oh I forgot to even mention the remastered part. Yeah it's just a resolution upgrade, textures lighting etc weren't touched. I agree it would be a pointless purchase for somebody who still owns the original version from 2009.
 
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