This week I have been mostly playing...

Lame Duck

This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Lame Duck » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:34 am

Inspired by the opening segment of the Diecast, here's a place for everyone to talk about what games they are investing their free time in at the moment that don't really justify their own threads.

So, this week I have been mostly playing Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean on the Gamecube. It's one of several bajillion hour long JRPGs that I've played a bunch of, really liked and never actually finished because I got distracted by playing something else after 50 hours (see also: Skies of Arcadia Legends, Final Fantasy X, Infinite Space). It's got a card-based combat system, which is different enough to keep me interested, although if you hate micro-managing inventories, this is definitely not the game for you. Being a card game, it's basically also an extended collection side quest, but the game has numerous, very non-obvious ways of completely screwing yourself out of 100% completion; I'm actually playing with an FAQ constantly open that lists all the permanently miss-able cards. I'd say the game's biggest strengths are it's setting and the fact that it looks absolutely bloody gorgeous; it's got these beautiful pre-rendered environments. The story is...erm...mixed, I guess; it's got at least one really good twist (that I haven't reached yet this time) and most of the writing is fine, but there are some pretty egregious examples of plot-mandated incompetence on the part of the heroes (actually, it's mostly just plot-mandated inaction; everyone just stands around while the bad guys grab the macguffin and escape). Also, the voice acting is mediocre at best and laughably terrible the other 98% of the time. I've played about 25 hours so far; here's hoping I can maintain interest for the other 975.

I also recently finished getting 100% completion in Super Mario 64 DS, but I haven't really got much to say about that. Sure would have been nice if the game didn't kick you out of every level when you died though.
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Charnel Mouse
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Charnel Mouse » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:07 am

I've mostly been playing an old strategy game called Perimeter. It had some new ideas in it and the intention was to reinvent the RTS genre. That... didn't happen. The ideas are interesting, but their execution is not what it could be.

The main difference is that when you build units, they're not fixed as the unit you built: basically you build three types of Basic unit, and these can then be combined in different ratios to make more powerful ones. It's a nice idea in that it means battles are more fluid and you can be more adaptable in how you play, but the odd ratios and the small population mean you can end up spending a lot of time shuffling units around to optimise how many combination units you have. It can be really fiddly, and ordering units about can be very micromanagement-heavy, which is a problem when you can just build Howitzers instead and pound the enemy base without having to pay much attention.

The other main hook is how deformable the terrain is. Battles happen on large hilly maps in the shape of, for example, a giant fish, and you have to send out terraforming drones to flatten the terrain to build on it. Conversely, a lot of units are good at disrupting the terrain underneath buildings so they start to fall apart. Again, it's a nice idea. It means the maps can end up looking weird up close, because the texture on the ground can end up really stretched. I wish they'd gone a bit further with this, because a lot of the terrain-disrupting attacks look pretty tame, but some of the end-game stuff looks pretty decent. One of the factions has a big turret that can create volcanoes under the enemy base, for instance.

It could also have done with being prettier. The colours are all pretty muted, so screenshots usually look drab and grey. The big problem is that it can be very obtuse about what's going on: stat blocks for the units are just a few numbers with no explanation of what they are, and it's very easy to find you're rapidly losing Energy - the sole resource - without knowing why.

Short version: it's an OK game with interesting ideas that are questionably implemented, which I tend to be a sucker for.
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X2Eliah
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by X2Eliah » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:18 am

Lately I've not been keen on games - time spent on studies and reading books (so.. lots and lots of reading). What spare time I have for games, this week goes to some PUG multiplayer shenanigans in NeedForSpeed:MostWanted (last year's edition, by Criterion). Recently that game had an update that *finally* fixed a CTD issue that used to affect nearly all players with high rankings, and now there's a microphone activity label on players so you can tell who is inadvertently leaking noise and such...

But mainly, it's just "something to do" while I listen to podcasts/music and want to not think for a while. And I rather like the driving mechanics in it (though I would dearly wish for more impressive damage modelling, something more similar to FlatOut 2 visually and mechanically; the cars in NFS:MW have too narrow gap between 'slightly dented' and 'cinematic crash and car reset').
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Ygor
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Ygor » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:43 am

Currently, I am playing DOTA (the first one), Hotline Miami and I've started Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines for the 4th time.
I must say I am pretty impressed how good HM actually is, despite all that violence and gore in it. Intriguing story- liking it so far.
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Thu Apr 11, 2013 4:23 pm

KotoR 2! Playing a strength/dexterity/constitution based Jedi consular. Originally the idea was he (I really do dislike the way you pretty much have to be male in KotoR 2 because the disciple is so darn boring) had no great wisdom or intelligence, but had a very natural innate understanding of the force that pushed him into a consular path despite his physical strength. He leant a lot more on the force even than most Jedi for his guidance, so when it was taken away from him he was left stranded and helpless. So he's desperate to regain that connection but lashes out at anyone or anything that reminds him of what he once had and struggles to argue with Kreia even thought he feels that she's wrong

....but I got caught up into trying to get as many of the party into Jedi as quickly as possible (and I find it hard to do anything darkside in the KotoR's). I got Visas immediately after Telos, converted Atton immediately on landing on my first planet and Bao-Dur almost immediately after. Handmaiden after completing the first planet and I messed up with Mira and took two planets to get her finished.


So much fun though. They seem to have re-removed the genohardan storyline from the Restored Content Mod which is good(was it ever in there? Maybe I just read about it) and I don't remember them being so blatant about who Mandalore was before, but it was fun to see.
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krellen
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by krellen » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:14 pm

@Thomas: Male Exile, Female Revan is the way the canon should be anyway.

I've been playing "have a job" this week. It's pretty exhausting.
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:19 pm

As in should be, but isn't, right?
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krellen
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by krellen » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:45 pm

Thomas wrote:As in should be, but isn't, right?

Yeah, because the "fans" really wanted a Bastila romance to be canon because they're dumb.
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:55 pm

Carth romance isn't much better :(
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krellen
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by krellen » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:08 pm

They cut an ending where a Dark Side Revan is "redeemed" by Carth last-minute and they die on the Star Forge together (watch it here). I like that ending.

My personal canon is a romance-less KOTOR, though (with maybe a flirtation with Juhani), and instead a love triangle of Malak-Revan-Exile.
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McNutcase
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by McNutcase » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:22 pm

Dragging it back on topic, Borderlands 2, Blood Bowl (for a league) and Euro Truck Simulator 2. The Kerbal Space Program is on hold for a bit; I haven't gotten around to compatability-checking MechJeb yet.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:12 pm

Not much.Im scheduling a massive computer maintenance,so I dont want to start anything in case something gets borked(it usually does).So I was just messing around in deus ex and civ4 here and there.
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:21 pm

krellen wrote:They cut an ending where a Dark Side Revan is "redeemed" by Carth last-minute and they die on the Star Forge together (watch it here). I like that ending.

My personal canon is a romance-less KOTOR, though (with maybe a flirtation with Juhani), and instead a love triangle of Malak-Revan-Exile.


It sort of makes sense (well not really/ish), but framing it as 'you have one chance. Strike Bastila down!' is a little...odd. It's sort of mirroring Star Wars VI a bit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woFkIziqbw4
'Strike her down with all of your love(?) and your journey to the lightside will be complete!'
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Zukhramm
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Zukhramm » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:26 pm

krellen wrote:They cut an ending where a Dark Side Revan is "redeemed" by Carth last-minute and they die on the Star Forge together (watch it here). I like that ending.

I just can't imagine why they'd cut that. I always thought first KotOR had really boring endings.

Thomas wrote:(I really do dislike the way you pretty much have to be male in KotoR 2 because the disciple is so darn boring)

But Atton! Just stick him on the ship and never talk to him? Is the other one really more interesting? I only played the game once, so I can't compare.

And also, no matter what SWTOR, or some stupid novel or comic says, there's no such things as canon!
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:57 pm

The thing is Atton is still great even if he's not romancing the PC because his backstories really good. The handmaiden is many-fold better than the disciple. She ties in well to Atris and there's this hugely subtle hint about her backstory which has a really profound implication on another crew member relationship too.

On top of that she has some special events to gain influence whereas the disciple gains it all from basically blathering on about the republic. Also a lot less goody-two-shoes than the disciple
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krellen
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by krellen » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:58 pm

Zukhramm wrote:Is the other one really more interesting?

Brianna the Handmaiden is probably KOTOR2's second most interesting companion (after Kreia.)
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:05 am

I feel like I haven't adequately bitched about the Disciple enough. The next most boring character to him is what Mandalore? GoTO?(EDIT:Maybe Mira, her hair is annoying) And both have huge incredibly cool and significant backstories. The Disciple does nothing and is at no point worth having on the ship, he's like distilling the essence of everything that was wrong about Carth and then losing the interesting relationship with the PC for good measure.

You know whose better than the Disciple? The mad padawan who gets a ten second scene as his replacement on Dantooine.
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newdarkcloud

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by newdarkcloud » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:18 am

Just now, I beat Bioshock: Infinite on 1999 Mode. It was harder and easier (in different spots) than I anticipated.
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by rrgg » Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:59 am

Finally got Don't Starve the other day and so far it seems like it might be a game with some problems. I'll have to play more though.
Steve C

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Steve C » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:21 am

It's been Warframe for me. Space ninjas are just fun. Play for 15mins, do something else, play for 15, do something else. Good times.
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JadedDM

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by JadedDM » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:33 am

Currently, I'm playing:

Shining Force 2 - I'm nearly done with it, too. It's a shame the big companies don't make turn-based strategy games anymore, because I love them so. But at least I always have the classics to fall back on.

Curse of the Azure Bond - Same as above, but I really just started this one, having just about finished up the Fire Knives' hideout level (but I keep getting stomped in the final battle).

The Sims 3 - True story, I've been playing this game just about every week since it's release. I love it as much as I hate it, and that's a lot. It's buggy, it crashes all of the time (I've long since got into the habit of saving constantly), and I've never had a family make it past generation 5 before the game became so glitchy it was unplayable and I was forced to start over--but I really enjoy it, when it works.

Eschalon: Book I - Perhaps my favorite indie game ever? It was certainly my first. Since Book III is due to come out in the summer, I thought I'd go ahead and start replaying Book I and II in preparation. I went with a straight warrior (no magic) and straight mage (elemental magic only) playthroughs in the past, so this time I'm going with a cleric (divine magic, bludgeoning weapons, light armor). Having fun, so far.
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Thomas

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Thomas » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:45 am

Ouch at the constant saving on Sims, it takes so long to do :( Btw are you having problems with pauses/freezes as far as glitches go? (It's the one bug I know how to solve :P)
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Zukhramm
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Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Zukhramm » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:23 pm

I just don't get the pricing for The Sims 3. Sure, it has its fans who buy everything, but I'd be glad to jump in too if the price was not insane, and I'm sure I'm not alone.

Me, I've not been playing anything. I've been thinking about pulling out my PS2 and play either Shin Megami Tensei 3 or Digital Devil Saga, but dealing with old consoles is such a project. Discs, cables, memory cards. Eugh.

Might just go for restored KotOR 2 myself instead.
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Sudanna

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Sudanna » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:08 pm

Oh god, Eschalon. I could not stand that game even a little bit. :I
Someone

Re: This week I have been mostly playing...

Post by Someone » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Haven't had the chance to do much gaming this week, except some Deus Ex. The first one, with melee weapons and terrible graphics. Decided to try a melee weapons and grenades only playthrough, on Realistic difficulty. So far it has been tough but fun, it has that Predator appeal of hiding in the shadows and distracting your enemies by throwing pans and potted plants before rushing in for the kill. Can't wait to finally get the sword and the nano-blade, I imagine the gameplay would change quite significantly.
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