What Are You Playing?

Griffith

My posts are better.
Death Stranding - So, after thinking I'd already beaten the game the other night, I only needed another few hours after work, and then a couple more after the family went to sleep, to finally put this puppy to bed. So, if you were afraid Kojima went soft and wasn't going to put you through a mildly interactive 3 hour cutscene of philosophic bullshit made nonsensically literal to close out the game, don't worry!

Anyway, that aside, as noted before I enjoyed this game overall, cool environments and a unique concept; making deliveries in a post-apocalyptic frontier Blade Runner future or something, with ghosts... ok, weird, cool, can't wait to look up what it all means! The gameplay is fine: fun and potentially addictive but I stayed on point. The fact that your objective is to make deliveries rather than shoot things, though there's eventually plenty of that, or simply reach the goal like in any game isn't as outlandishly brilliant or tedious as you may have heard, though it definitely gets repetitive in portions, especially if you're just trying to get to the final destination and not enjoy the journey. It's actually not a very difficult game either, it just requires some mild strategy to make it easy, but you could get by just forcing your way through most of the time too. You can't even really die (you'll literally come back to life =) and the worst you can do is get an order failed screen, this game's version of game over. I can see why some people genuinely don't like playing this game though, or hate it on principle (but that's largely pretty dumb), so here's another reason why I'll defend its sometimes laughable strangeness despite its shortcomings (from the UK charts the week of its release):
  1. COD: Modern Warfare
  2. Death Stranding
  3. FIFA 20
  4. Luigi's Mansion 3
  5. Need for Speed: Heat
  6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  7. Fortnite: some new skins bundle
  8. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  9. Minecraft
  10. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
Look at all that old, derivative, or plain awful shit, of which "some new skins bundle" has to be my favorite. I can't wait for "Fortnite: a shit we took in your mouth bundle" to compete for #1 with "COD #245: modern black ops zombies something something Nazis?" (they should just match the game number to the latest UFC bout to help their fans stay current with both =). But I digress...

Death Stranding is a good game, the gameplay is good and fun, it has some interesting, unique and original concepts, and it's definitely weird and offbeat and reaching, perhaps grasping, for something higher I'm not sure it ever reaches, or maybe touches briefly before falling ass over tea kettle from the sometimes embarrassing exertion. As you can tell, I wanted to like this game, actually did, and wanted to like it more and recommend it highly when it was over (probably would have if it just ended last night when... the game I was playing basically ended for all intents and purposes =). I don't know if it's my game of the year, and I wish I did since its main competitor is a remake of a game from 1998 with "updated gameplay" borrowed from a 2004 game. Sometimes I feel like I'm just playing the ghosts of gaming's past, unable to move on, stranded on the beach of my nostalgia and adolescence, but not so with Death Stranding, it's like nothing else I've ever played... well, unless you look at it as Metal Gear Solid with ghosts and tactical delivery action. =)

Updated Kojima rankings:
MGS5
MGS3
MGS
Death Stranding
MGS2
MGS4


Up next: MGS: Peace Walker HD
 
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I beat Wild Arms yesterday. What a fun little JRPG. I can definitely see why there’s so much nostalgia for it, especially because it made the wait for Final Fantasy VII a little less unbearable. My only criticisms are the lag that sometimes occurs during battle and the (at times) spotty translation. I still highly recommend it for fans of JRPGs who haven’t played it yet.

P. S. I loved the old-school anime intro by Madhouse.

Up next is Quake Mission Pack No. 1: Scourge of Armagon. I played a few levels this morning. Quake has hooked me once again!
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Death Stranding - If I sounded down after completing Death Stranding, it's because it can be a bit of a downer, prominently featuring dead babies and all. But now I'm in the post-game and it has me regretting how conservatively I played the game, because having multiple large deliveries to make to multiple destinations, some extra fragile or with time limits... what a rush! :ganishka: I think I might do every delivery order available.:daiba:

Speaking of death stranding, that could describe what I almost did to my PS4 shortly after beating it by disconnecting the power cord while it was suspended. The PS4 could not restart, could not recompile the database, could not recognize the reinstall file on a USB. Just as I feared I'd as good as bricked it I was finally able to simply "Initialise PS4" and basically get a factory reset. I was even able to recover my save files because I still had time left on my PS ➕ subscription I got for Red Dead Online with cloud backups of my shit (had no idea I even had this, and half expected I wouldn't have it selected or some shit =). So, long story short, not how I wanted to spend my gaming hours Friday night and, "Wheeeeeew!"

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD - Basically a canonical MGS entry without the number, picks up after MGS3 and the plot, and lots of gameplay, of MGS5 follows directly from here with several elements carrying over, so you could make the case this is an MGS4 do-over/alternative, or the middle entry of a concurrently running trilogy within the series (so, MGS1, 2 & 4 vs MGS3, PW & 5). It's MGS crammed into an originally handheld package, so it's lacking the home console polish of its big brothers, but brings it's own simplified charm and more complicated innovations with base/weapon/item development. The comic book style cutscenes are also a cool wrinkle and more interactive than typical MGS FMVs, and it's Hayter's farewell performance, appropriately at his most graveliest. I'm only past the first boss fight, a tank, but actually played about a quarter of this game on my phone one time, which was torture. I finally gave up trying to fight one of the mechs because it was just too much to BS using emulated touch screen controls. Playing it with a PS4 controller is a breeze by comparison, but naturallyy feels a bit inelegant and clunky compared to MGS5 or Death Stranding. Anyway, enjoying it and looking forward to wrapping up Big Boss' story properly.

Blasphemous - Beat the third boss required to advance, but now have another gatekeeper in my way, and he's bringing a friend. Pretty sure I could take him if I really tried, but I kind of want to make sure I'm at full strength first, so I'm checking to see that I've activated my available upgrades.
 
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Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD - Basically a canonical MGS entry without the number, picks up after MGS3 and the plot, and lots of gameplay, of MGS5 follows directly from here with several elements carrying over, so you could make the case this is an MGS4 do-over/alternative, or the middle entry of concurrently running trilogy within the series (so, MGS1, 2 & 4 vs MGS3, PW & 5).
There's also metal gear portable ops which takes place between mgs3 and peace walker.

It introduces recruiting and I believe its also cannon. There doesn't exist any port or hd update, there's only the psp version.

Really hated that game. If you're interested I'd recommend a youtube movie version or something.
 
I beat Scourge of Armagon over the weekend. Man, I’m loving these Quake games. I was so bummed when I reached the last level.

Next up is one I’ve been looking forward to for a long time: Symphony of the Night!
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
There's also metal gear portable ops which takes place between mgs3 and peace walker.

It introduces recruiting and I believe its also cannon. There doesn't exist any port or hd update, there's only the psp version.
I'm aware of it but its canon status and necessity was retconned out with Peace Walker because it wasn't written or directed by Kojima, so PW is the direct sequel to MGS3. Basically, I think PO acted as a proof of concept that led to Kojima being interested in doing a portable entry in earnest with Peace Walker, but its plot was more a contrivance for a portable game than a genuine and essential extension of the story like Peace Walker's, which is surprisingly vital to the foundation of MGS5, moreso than MGS3 or 4 it seems to me. Surprising because if you didn't play that PSP game you won't know what the hell is going on in Ground Zeroes and why it's significant (they really should have bundled those two).

Really hated that game. If you're interested I'd recommend a youtube movie version or something.
That doesn't help either! I'm not crazy about even PW's gameplay limitations frankly, though it's probably awesome for a PSP game. PO is probably the one I should have tried half-assing on my phone. Great name and iconography if not a great game, "Portable Ops." :guts:
 
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Oburi

All praise Grail
  1. COD: Modern Warfare
  2. Death Stranding
  3. FIFA 20
  4. Luigi's Mansion 3
  5. Need for Speed: Heat
  6. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  7. Fortnite: some new skins bundle
  8. Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
  9. Minecraft
  10. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
Man that's depressing.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Man that's depressing.
Yeah, especially when the knock on Death Stranding is it's basically not like everything else on the list, and somehow much worse for it (yet if everything else in the game was the same except you were delivering bombs to enemy encampments as Sound Serpent, it'd be so exciting =). The article I got that from was inferring underperformance for not beating Days Gone as the #1 PS4 exclusive this year, but that only exposes a consumer issue as far as I'm concerned.

It also doesn't help that it got review bombed by outlets that finally felt emboldened to actually criticize a major release because it was different, "OMG teh bad guyz iz allredy ded howz u kill dem to has fun? You uh robot mailman or sum shit, dats borong, i to coo fer dat!" The thing is, the gameplay is fine, it's not particularly exciting, but it's thoughtful and a different kind of stimulating and not bad or poorly designed, let alone the worst; those attacks seem purely ideological based on how purposefully offbeat or purportedly artsy and indulgent it is.

It goes to show there's no room for a weirdo like Kojima when he doesn't have the cover of a major millions-selling franchise behind him, and even then we just wanted him to rein it in and not fuck things up with goofy shit. I actually liked Kojima freed from the confines of MGS here because he didn't have to twist an established story into a pretzel introducing crazy new shit and it also meant I was free to just enjoy and embrace the weirdness instead of feeling like I was overcoming it.

Anyway, I'm still puttering around making the most deliveries possible, regretting I didn't play it this way throughout since it's strangely rewarding to plan your route for maximum dropoff efficiency; I could have been delivering SO MUCH MORE on those story missions. Boring!? People don't know what real fun is! =)
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD - Great little game, with old school vibes and new school tricks, particularly as a handheld title because it really takes advantage of the medium with its mission system and base management mechanics. If it was available for 3DS or Switch I couldn't recommend it enough. It packs a lot of game in a small package, so as a console title, I'm playing on PS3, its portable design is kind of wasted, but it's a great game regardless, just not made for the big screen (the battles with the mechs are pretty rad though, and can be challenging).

It has a cool plot and story mechanics too, you're basically continuing the story after Snake Eater, and fighting multiple AI Metal Gears, one modeled after the mind of The Boss, while building your own MG as you create Outer Heaven. Big Boss really comes into his own by the end... though, that's also when the game's story goes off the rails a bit with peace and love and the power of song stopping all-out nuclear annihilation, blah blah blah (A Hideo Kojima Game). Otherwise, the story is pretty tight, and even the cheese at the end is relegated to only a few minutes as opposed to... hours.

In any case, it kind if perfectly explains the turn Big Boss eventually makes, and it's like the one case where the post-credits conversation actually involves the main character and is truly significant rather than just weirdly changing your perception of everything retroactively. Big Boss' portrayal in MGS5 makes a lot more sense following this, or at least explains a lot more than his portrayal in that game.
 
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I finished Symphony of the Night on Wednesday. Wow, what a game! It lived up to all of the hype and more. It was definitely worth the wait, as far as I'm concerned. Probably my favorite Castlevania game so far.

Right now, I'm playing Duke Nukem 3D. It was on sale on Steam the other day, so I snagged it before it reverted to its original cost of $19.99. Way too much for a 20-year-old game, in my opinion.
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
Symphony of the Knight
:badbone: sup?

Wow, what a game! It lived up to all of the hype and more. It was definitely worth the wait, as far as I'm concerned. Probably my favorite Castlevania game so far.
Yeah, it's still up there with most games in general. The 2nd castle after an epic game's worth of content; holy shit. Hard to top that type of quantity on top of already top quality; that's why it's tops in my book.:carcus:

Right now, I'm playing Duke Nukem 3D. It was on sale on Stam the other day, so I snagged it before it reverted to its original cost of $19.99. Way too much for a 20-year-old game, in my opinion.
I think they released some BS anniversary edition to supplant the $5-10 original. Bad form, but I see a lot of overpriced classics and "classics" (this mediocre game you've heard of is old now!) out there. Speaking of which...


Metal Gear: If you have a PS3 and want to try these on a bargain right now you can get the MGS HD Collection for $9.99 on PSN, which comes with MG, MG2, MGS2, MGS3, and Peace Walker (I wish I knew this discount was coming before I paid almost full price a few weeks back =).

Anyway, finally got around to playing this bit of MGS3 bonus content, an official port of the original MSX Metal Gear! Very impressive and surprisingly fun for an overly complex 8-bit game. Difficulty was fair, combat and gameplay overall was obsessive-compulsively nuanced, and I really enjoyed the progression, though, par for the classic gaming course, there were a few things I'd have never figured out without looking them up, like the old codec number in the instruction manual trick. Actually, it also had a version of the tank fight and the hind; it's basically an 8-bit MGS with a barebones plot, but all the elements are here (after you escape capture and get your gear back, you can find and dispose of a tracking device in your inventory =).

The game is also surprisingly similar to a modern Metroidvania with the emphasis on exploration, essential items, and backtracking to progress (or like the NES version was regarded, like Zelda with guns). It had some pretty funny meta stuff in it like Big Boss frantically telling you to abort the mission and turn off the PS3 immediately as you approach the boss room with Metal Gear, but this is after his advice already started leading you into some nasty traps and ambushes.

All in all, very cool game, and MG2 looks even more impressive; the fucking opening credits sequence, on a 1990 game, is like out of a goddamn 8-bit movie, so I'm betting this is the one where the MG plot insanity/inanity really begins! :guts:


Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker - I'm going to have to downgrade this one because I'm still working towards completing the post-game chapter and it's quite repetitive and long since fun (not a good sign when I'm more drawn to playing a frustrating retro game from 1987 =). I get that this is supposed to be when you're building/maximizing your army and doing all the side ops while this shit takes care of itself as like a bonus... but then don't tie absolutely crucial plot points to it and make the requirements so specific and difficult to achieve (some of this shit is more esoteric than MG1)! It's also not like these bonus story missions are treated like a worthwhile continuation of the main game; they're literally a joke that you keep having to go find the same guy that keeps escaping. So, nobody knew what the fuck was going on at the start of MGSV because the lead-up is the post-script to a PSP game nobody finished!
 
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Ha! Can't believe I did that. I remember being tired when I posted. It looked right to me at the time.

Yeah, it's still up there with most games in general. The 2nd castle after an epic game's worth of content; holy shit. Hard to top that type of quantity on top of already top quality; that's why it's tops in my book.:carcus:
Agreed! I was so glad there was more after Richter. What a game!

I think they released some BS anniversary edition to supplant the $5-10 original. Bad form, but I see a lot of overpriced classics and "classics" (this mediocre game you've heard of is old now!) out there. Speaking of which...
They did. Thankfully, I caught it on sale during Thanksgiving, so I only paid $3.99 for it, which seemed appropriate. I'm already on Episode 4: The Birth. It's a lot of fun, but certain elements haven't aged well ("Shake it, baby!"). I knew that going in, though. It's definitely of its time.
 
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