The Video Game Thread: What are you Playing?

I've been playing Deathloop and Metal Gear Solid V, Both of them are excellent and Metal Gear Solid V is arguably a masterpiece.

Darkest Dungeon 2 was released today and I enjoy it. Don't listen to the weird nerds on the Internet complaining that it isn't a rehash of part 1. After sinking 272 hours into the original, I am relieved that the hardcore grind is gone. Just because that a failed run only costs a few hours instead of dozens doesn't mean the game is suddenly on easy mode.
 
In between games right now.

I had been playing Soul Hackers 2 (PS4). Then I went on a long hiatus from it. I got back to it, and played a while longer. I liked the game at first. When I returned to it after the hiatus, it had some moments of entertainment. But ultimately, I came to realize I wasn't having any fun with it anymore. I lay this mostly at the feet of the game mechanics not being interesting and the combat system never evolving. It was "always fighting orcs" all the way through. But probably the biggest reason I quit was because of the demon system. I found the whole demon system tedious, unfun, and not worth my time. As a final cherry on top, I never felt any sense of advancement or the stakes increasing. The game never felt like it was expanding in scope. Ultimately, I decided at least half of my 65 hour playtime was fun and half wasn't. I still had 3 more dungeons left to go, and I didn't care to see them or any more of the plot. I had gotten what I was going to get out of the game and I decided to move on.

I played Dragon Quest 1 (Switch) again, and that was a good and quick palette cleanser. I was a bit impressed how much more involved and interesting something as grindy and simple as Dragon Quest 1 was compared to Soul Hackers 2. Anyway, it's an old favorite and I seem to have played it quite a bit in the past couple of years because of how accessible it is in it's current Mobile/Switch state.

Then Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster came out. I got the full pack because it was discounted just enough so that effectively Final Fantasy II was free (and seriously, no one should ever play that one) and one of the others was half off (and that manages to make either #3 or #5 more attractive). I know I will not play all of them, but as long as I complete two of them, I'll justify the $75.

I started with Final Fantasy 1 (PS4). I really need to play this one more often. It's an excellent classic console RPG, and it has the replay value due to the different party mixes it can be approached with. The Pixel Remaster is tuned fairly well. Progression was smooth. I didn't play with boosted XP or Gold and I only had to stop and grind twice during my playthrough, and both times were really for gold, not for levels. I was having enough fun with this one that I spent the effort to 100% it for Trophies. It took me 22 hours (2 of that was post game grinding for a rare enemy named Warmech). It was the first time I had played the game through since Final Fantasy Origins back on the PS1. I had a great time.

Then I dove into Final Fantasy 4 (PS4). My partner has loved this game for 30 years, but I've never truly been able to get into it. I've always stalled out while playing it. My last attempt was with the PSP version of the game played on the PS-TV, where I stalled out somewhere in the underworld and dropped the game. But this time I told myself that I was going to stick with it and carry through. I have to say that I found the first half of the game to be extremely irritating. I honestly don't recall any of the other ports being anywhere near as irritating as this version was. Most of the early dungeons in the game were just flat out aggravating bullshit. There was one particular fight against a Dark Elf where I would have just given up had my partner not been there to cheer me on and encourage me. And I've fought that particular boss before and don't recall it EVER being that hard. But there were other things that were much easier than I remembered. Later in the game there were some door/wall enemies which I had difficulty with on my previous attempt on the PSP, but in this version they were complete pushovers. In the second half of the game, things opened up and nearly all the bullshit evaporated and I started having fun. The last few dungeons were actually fairly well tuned and I had a pretty good time with them. Although, to beat the game I did have to grind for a couple of hours near a save point deep down in the final dungeon so I could handle the final boss. It took me just shy of 30 hours to complete, but I didn't 100% the Trophies.

Now that I have finally completed Final Fantasy 4, and I can say... It's alright. I don't share my partner's undying love for it. I can say that it's opposite from many other JRPGs. Most JRPGs have solid first halves or first two acts and then have a final half or last act which is tedious, frustrating bullshit. Final Fantasy 4 front loads it's tedious frustrating bullshit and makes the back half of the game fun for those willing to tolerate it to that point. I can't say much about the story, because it had been spoiled for me for a long time from watching my partner play. Overall, it was fun. I was generally entertained, but I doubt I'll ever play through it again.

And right now I'm in between games.

I've thought about jumping into Chrono Trigger or Final Fantasy 6, but I think I want a break from Squaresoft style games for a bit.

Playing either Phantasy Star 2 or Phantasy Star 4 has some draw. I've never played more than an hour into Phantasy Star 2 and it's been nearly 30 years since I last played through Phantasy Star 4.

But I'm thinking maybe I need to play a bit more actiony for a while. I've been meaning to get to playing Sonic Mania or Assault Suit Leynos. Ranger X also seems appealing. But maybe I'll pick up Anno Mutantionem because I definitely feel the call of something Cyberpunky.
 
Darkest Dungeon 2 has sucked me in. I find the learning curve is a little steeper on this one and a couple buddies I've spoken to seem to feel the same. Right now I am less concerned with beating bosses (I am currently on boss #2) than figuring out how to make effective teams and earning skills for my favorite characters. Maybe I am dumb but some of the classes don't seem to work at peak efficiency until you unlock all the skills and combine them in the right way with a solid path. For example, I was banging my head against the wall trying to make the Hellion class work but it was so rewarding when I figured it out (I needed to unlock all her skills to make it work).

The Hellion's Ravager Path is an offensive off-tank who does increasingly more damage as her hit points decrease. Equip Wicked Hack, Iron Swan, Howling End, Toe to Toe, and Adrenaline Rush (or Raucous Revelry, depending on whether the Hellion need heals or stress relief for the fight). Put her in Rank 1, smash with Wicked Hack and Iron Swan. Use Howling End for burst damage or coup de grace then follow up with Toe to Toe to remove winded and generate Taunt tokens; Taunt tokens ensure she takes hits and does more damage. I find the Hellion synergizes well with characters who can generate Combo tokens such as the Runaway with Smokescreen.
 
Darkest Dungeon 2 has sucked me in. I find the learning curve is a little steeper on this one and a couple buddies I've spoken to seem to feel the same. Right now I am less concerned with beating bosses (I am currently on boss #2) than figuring out how to make effective teams and earning skills for my favorite characters. Maybe I am dumb but some of the classes don't seem to work at peak efficiency until you unlock all the skills and combine them in the right way with a solid path. For example, I was banging my head against the wall trying to make the Hellion class work but it was so rewarding when I figured it out (I needed to unlock all her skills to make it work).

The Hellion's Ravager Path is an offensive off-tank who does increasingly more damage as her hit points decrease. Equip Wicked Hack, Iron Swan, Howling End, Toe to Toe, and Adrenaline Rush (or Raucous Revelry, depending on whether the Hellion need heals or stress relief for the fight). Put her in Rank 1, smash with Wicked Hack and Iron Swan. Use Howling End for burst damage or coup de grace then follow up with Toe to Toe to remove winded and generate Taunt tokens; Taunt tokens ensure she takes hits and does more damage. I find the Hellion synergizes well with characters who can generate Combo tokens such as the Runaway with Smokescreen.
That's different than what I've been reading - people have been saying it's been 'dumbed down'. Still on my radar to get it no matter what.
 
That's different than what I've been reading - people have been saying it's been 'dumbed down'. Still on my radar to get it no matter what.
Huh that's weird. I have 272 hours of play time on the original and suspect people are conflating "less grindy" and "less punishing" with "dumbed down". In the OG Darkest Dungeon, a party wipe could be absolutely brutal in terms of hours lost; in DD2 I might lose 2-4 hours on a failed run and have meaningful progression to show for it. Tactically speaking, DD1 feels more focused on party build and optimization whereas in DD2 there's more focus on choices and micromanagement during the actual run.
 
Huh that's weird. I have 272 hours of play time on the original and suspect people are conflating "less grindy" and "less punishing" with "dumbed down". In the OG Darkest Dungeon, a party wipe could be absolutely brutal in terms of hours lost; in DD2 I might lose 2-4 hours on a failed run and have meaningful progression to show for it. Tactically speaking, DD1 feels more focused on party build and optimization whereas in DD2 there's more focus on choices and micromanagement during the actual run.
My experience with rogue-like fans is that the are obsessed with games being stupidly brutally punishing, and any game that isn't is "baby".
 
That style of game is no fun for me, but if others enjoy it that's fine by me. Just wish they'd show others the same courtesy.
 
Huh that's weird. I have 272 hours of play time on the original and suspect people are conflating "less grindy" and "less punishing" with "dumbed down". In the OG Darkest Dungeon, a party wipe could be absolutely brutal in terms of hours lost; in DD2 I might lose 2-4 hours on a failed run and have meaningful progression to show for it. Tactically speaking, DD1 feels more focused on party build and optimization whereas in DD2 there's more focus on choices and micromanagement during the actual run.
“I might lose 2-4 hours” sounds horrifying to me, ngl.
 
My wife is playing Diablo IV. It looks pretty cool.

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“I might lose 2-4 hours” sounds horrifying to me, ngl.
I incorrectly assumed anyone in a video game thread knows how roguelites work so replace that quote with "I might spend 2-4 hours on a doomed run that earns meta-progression that makes future runs easier"
 
I incorrectly assumed anyone in a video game thread knows how roguelites work so replace that quote with "I might spend 2-4 hours on a doomed run that earns meta-progression that makes future runs easier"
The terms roguelike and roguelite are confusing to me. They seem to be synonyms.
 
Understood. In Roguelikes, all progression is lost on defeat. In Roguelites, there is progression remaining after character death that typically makes later attempts easier, more varied, more interesting etc.

And here, I thought they both meant that, sooner or later, you're going to punch the monitor...
 
Playing Death Stranding, the setting is quite fascinating (I just hope it gets somewhere) and playing the game is quite relaxing (for now, I'm mid-game).
Whenever my wife watches me play, she goes "oh, that's your pretty game where you play the Uber Eats guy?" :tongue: (if you don't know the game, you, indeed, play a delivery guy in a post-apocalyptic world). Turning one of the least favorite activities in rpgs, fetch quests, and build a game around it is definitely a bold move and it works for me (so far).
 
Playing Death Stranding, the setting is quite fascinating (I just hope it gets somewhere) and playing the game is quite relaxing (for now, I'm mid-game).
Whenever my wife watches me play, she goes "oh, that's your pretty game where you play the Uber Eats guy?" :tongue: (if you don't know the game, you, indeed, play a delivery guy in a post-apocalyptic world). Turning one of the least favorite activities in rpgs, fetch quests, and build a game around it is definitely a bold move and it works for me (so far).
I just want to know what that weird baby thing in the trailers was all about.
 
I just want to know what that weird baby thing in the trailers was all about.

NO SPOILERS So far (and I give the quick and dirty version, not the Hideo Kojima 2GB of text information that you have to browse and interpret in-game):
_that baby you have on you reacts when monsters are nearby. It looks that they're mass produced and dumped when they stop being useful.
_each time you connect to him you have visions of some guy (Mads Mikkelsen) who seems to be related to you and has gone through some trouble to get that baby out.

The game's pacing is kinda slow but it goes with the story it tries to tell. You try to reconnect the U.S together by making deliveries. They are ghosts, looters and terrorists on the way... And did I mention the rain that accelerates growth? And forget about killing people, bad things can happen if you do that (on a scale of 1 to 10 it goes to nuclear explosion).

As always with Hideo Kojima it's all over the place, it's sometimes ridiculous (ah, those anime terrorists are so over the top)... But it is refreshing, it's basically an AAA title with an indie mindset. I'm just happy to built roads using 3D printers then ride on them with my bike to deliver action figures to a recluse collector... The journey is indeed as important as the destination. I just hope the destination is not a clusterfuck of "Oh I have good ideas but I'm bad at writing endings, whoops". ( a video I like about the game from a channel I like very much).
 
I want to know what the fuck this could possibly be, but I feel like googling it could lead to bad results.
Nothing that exciting. Players of The Sims often set challenges for themselves, such as setting up a game where they have 8 toddlers and have to raise them without going mad or any of the toddlers dying. I just pulled the number 8 out of the air, but I know some variation of this exists.
 
Nothing that exciting. Players of The Sims often set challenges for themselves, such as setting up a game where they have 8 toddlers and have to raise them without going mad or any of the toddlers dying. I just pulled the number 8 out of the air, but I know some variation of this exists.
Oh I was sure it wasn't exciting, but there's no combination of phrases from that that would make googling it less dangerous. :tongue:

And clearly it would've been fruitless anyway, if the name was arbitrary!
 
And here, I thought they both meant that, sooner or later, you're going to punch the monitor...

Or throw your controller at your very expensive tv.

In my opinion, many modern roguelikes/roguelites are much easier and forgiving than many old games pre. 2000.

Kobayashi Kobayashi nice to find someone else who likes ThorHighHeels a lot. One of his more recent videos, covering Eternal Sonata exactly matches my opinion on the game. It also has a start that many on the internet should take to heart.

 
Kobayashi Kobayashi nice to find someone else who likes ThorHighHeels a lot.

Yeah, it's cool to have someone that doesn't waste my time talking about frame rates, FOV and other shit I don't care about just to finish with a "yup this is a game you'll like if you like this kinda game" which sums up 95% of video game reviews. He keep things simple while going quite deep in his analysis.

His review of Left Alive is really good as it shows, imo, how a game should be reviewed.
 
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Call me a cynic, but I suspect the dialogue was Photoshoped, though one can always hope it was genuine.
 
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