What Are You Playing?

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
That's fine, it IS better and more interesting, but the parameters of this fictional world don't need to conform to that fictional world to make its own sense or avoid being anachronistic somehow.
This is cheating a bit, but I wanted to ground my complaint in a demonstration instead of another hypothetical: The first Last of Us 2 trailer. Just peek at the first 3 minutes, or so. You'll know when to stop watching. :casca:

Once again, the performance capture here is stunning. But ... if you transplanted Ellie and this girl into a modern movie, they would fit seamlessly. One could argue that's a statement in itself: "Humans don't change." I find that unrealistic and lazy. It feels like a half-measure in an otherwise richly detailed world. There is a gap between the fidelity of the performances and the unlikely scenarios they've crafted for their perfect human dolls to portray. Fidelity and medium are the primary culprits, of course. This is only a recognizable problem because they're skirting the uncanny valley. The characters are capable of realistic, nuanced expressions, so the designers have to populate them with ... well, something! Their answer was to use personalities and expressions that are recognizable analogs to our own. Otherwise they would have to emulate the unknown, communicating who knows what with each eyebrow movement.

And yeah, that'd be a legitimate acting challenge. But I think examining the husk that would survive is an examination of humanity itself. It's a subject worthy of establishing a fictional world around to explore (they should make a manga about a struggler). That examination of what humanity is once it has been stripped of modern feathers is the essence of what makes this genre significant. But instead of engaging in that difficult material, they're opting for an easier to swallow emulation of modern teens against the backdrop of collapse. That at least can be effectively conveyed with a few eyebrow movements.

I actually feel like the flaws of this world as constructed are far less subjective; like, what the hell are all these terribly organized raiding factions doing throwing away their lives to go after some guy and a kid like suicide bombers? What's the government doing, how big are they, and why don't they and their soldiers have a bigger presence after the initial quarantine zone? Why is the government's big enemy militia, the Fireflies, like 20 soldiers and 3 doctors that are relatively easily sacked by one person? Why does almost nobody else give a shit Ellie possess immunity and potentially the cure, even those that find out? Given all of the above, shouldn't this be more interesting than alternating fighting monsters and raiders for 85% of the game?
Those feel like a series of writing shortcuts. The Pittsburgh sequence had me laughing at a certain point. Those morons just kept trying to up the ante piecemeal against Joel the Living Human Thresher. Again, it's the counter-stroke of fidelity that does this scenario in -- the realization that it has to be a videogame in the end. Because if they didn't create a scenario around a series of murder hallways, why else would you bother exploring the elaborate, dilapidated environment? As for the government, I can't imagine how anything like it is still standing (what's their tax base look like?). It was smart of them to never really address it, because the answer would probably be another disappointing half-measure :badbone:
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
This is cheating a bit, but I wanted to ground my complaint in a demonstration instead of another hypothetical: The first Last of Us 2 trailer. Just peek at the first 3 minutes, or so. You'll know when to stop watching.

Once again, the performance capture here is stunning. But ... if you transplanted Ellie and this girl into a modern movie, they would fit seamlessly.
I almost referenced this in the little stinger about the sequel I added to my previous post, "Apparently society is going to rebuild around lesbian kisses." Those all-male bandits are ready to sign up. That being said...

One could argue that's a statement in itself: "Humans don't change." I find that unrealistic and lazy.
...I comfortably disagree people will stop fucking. =)

There could actually be a cool puritanical angle to the disease if it wasn't so quick to manifest and the first game wasn't so sexless. The only mention of it I recall in any context is Marlene warning Ellie could be raped and murdered out there, except all those hundreds of all-male bandits never showed interest in sex at all. Go figure, maybe that was the major societal change.

Fidelity and medium are the primary culprits, of course. This is only a recognizable problem because they're skirting the uncanny valley. The characters are capable of realistic, nuanced expressions, so the designers have to populate them with ... well, something! Their answer was to use personalities and expressions that are recognizable analogs to our own. Otherwise they would have to emulate the unknown, communicating who knows what with each eyebrow movement.

And yeah, that'd be a legitimate acting challenge. But I think examining the husk that would survive is an examination of humanity itself. It's a subject worthy of establishing a fictional world around to explore (they should make a manga about a struggler). That examination of what humanity is once it has been stripped of modern feathers is the essence of what makes this genre significant. But instead of engaging in that difficult material, they're opting for an easier to swallow emulation of modern teens against the backdrop of collapse. That at least can be effectively conveyed with a few eyebrow movements.
Shit dude, you REALLY want to deeply explore some sort of post-societal human behavior with these tools, and you are correct this level of ambition is not really the series' aim, but it's hard for me to blame them for not reaching for the invention of some new mode of human expression! =)

Those feel like a series of writing shortcuts. The Pittsburgh sequence had me laughing at a certain point. Those morons just kept trying to up the ante piecemeal on Joel the Living Human Thresher. But if they didn't create a scenario around a series of murder hallways, why else would you bother exploring the elaborate, dilapidated environment?
In retrospect the weird thing about this game is in a way you're playing the side story about monsters and bandits and all the important shit is happening off screen between the seasons when they actually get anywhere and presumably strengthen their bond. But we get to play this part, "Hey, remember when we explored that random monster house, risking it all looking for halves of scissors, bottles of alcohol, and duct tape? Anyway, let's spend hours crawling to the edge of town and then flash forward a thousand miles instantly."

As for the government, I can't imagine how anything like it is still standing (what's their tax base look like?). It was smart of them to never really address it, because the answer would probably be another disappointing half-measure :badbone:
Well, it was as is because they're a major presence and factor early on and then disappear completely. There was no other surviving quarantine outposts turned regional military governments? Why'd the Fireflies need to travel so far West? Anyway, I hope they expand on all these factions and the world in the sequel and don't just fall back on, "Now there's a BIG group of bandits rising, and they killed Ellie's girl, and now Joel's gonna help her kill'em all! Oh yeah and nobody cares she's a living cure because they hardly care about the monsters at this point. Because you know who the real monsters are? US!"

Really hoping that impression I got from the trailer is a fake out for the REAL story.
 
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Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Shit dude, you REALLY want to deeply explore some sort of post-societal human behavior with these tools, and you are correct this level of ambition is not really the series' aim, but it's hard for me to blame them for not reaching for the invention of some new mode of human expression! =)
If we just pick on my eyebrow comment I’m going to sound like a lunatic... I was using eyebrows as a half-joke, but the larger point Im attempting to make is that in the absence of explicit writing, the animation tools and their capability end up carrying a lot of weight for the character portrayals. And because the animations lean toward legibility, many interactions end up feeling straight-up modern instead of nuanced, which is my primary objection.

The facial expression: “can ya believe this guy?!” is one we can immediately, wordlessly identify. Does it make sense for it to exist intact as we know it, having been cemented in our minds through 1,000 films and TV shows? Does that sarcastic emotion still have a place? I don’t think these, among bigger ticket items, were considerations.

There’s certainly a utility to having touchstones like that for visual storytelling, but it feels inauthentic in this world. Out of place. I imagine people’s expressions would probably be more enigmatic, guarded, and overall less likely to emote at every opportunity. But that’s not as fun for cinematics driven by an animation team.

Btw did you play the Ellie focused DLC stuff?
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
The larger point Im attempting to make is that in the absence of explicit writing, the animation tools and their capability end up carrying a lot of weight for the character portrayals.
I liked the original, less deadened, guarded and more emotive version of this sentence better (and you changed it again, I can't keep up because I'm working on my own edits =). Though, I concede the point on lack of explicit writing, which kind of shapes my expectations as well. There's nothing they were going to do or not do with the animations to make up for that from a world building standpoint, and frankly they probably should go for broke then to enhance the experience as much as possible otherwise. Better to seem as realistically human as possible, even if slightly out of place realistically (I doubt it's even a consideration, though).

It’s a color they’re adding to the world, and expressions that clearly read as: “can ya believe this guy?!” are a color we can immediately recognize, whether it makes sense for that kind of expression to still exist or not. They are manifestations of the simpler, more relatable road they took to conveying humans’ inner worlds. The truth is people would probably be more deadened, more guarded, less likely to emote at every opportunity. But that’s not as fun for cinematics driven by an animation team.
Then Fallout 3 mastered this over a decade ago:


In all seriousness, while it's a compelling idea I'm glad you made me think about, I'm not sure it's a bug that their human animation is so lifelike because the setting could have potentially benefited from it being more wooden with flat affect, and certainly don't think it's a case of ambitious animators compromising what should be the correct artistic vision. Maybe I'm just not equipped to view and engage with the ins-and-outs of game production on this level because it seems like reading a bit into it from where I sit.

As for the theoretical behavioral aspect, I'm not sure what you claim it would be IS the truth either, or that such expressions and body language would cease to exist whether it made sense for them to under horrible circumstances or not, or that it's more naive or cynical to think they would or wouldn't (part of how we allow things to fall apart or remain that way is normalizing the status quo, which would be another technique of survival). It would certainly be to different degrees for everybody. I think I get the big idea though, the characters shouldn't all look like modern day casual people magically transported to a dark time and place without displaying the experience of the devastation and inherent cruelty of that place. But I don't think they'll be that way, and it's not inherently wrong for them to be recognizably human as we know it either, particularly so soon after that the inhabitants of the former world still live to shape the new one (pitting the generations against each other would be a cool idea they won't explore), and moreso because this one seems to be starting in what looks like a relatively secure and prosperous settlement since we're bringing Last of Us II canon into it. To your larger point though, there should be a degree of desensitization that the last game didn't completely deliver on because people like Ellie and Joel shouldn't be shocked by the same things we are either, but then, maybe that's why they act normal.

See, in the post-apocalypse I imagine we'll still be having this conversation via carrier pigeon while other people reenact Netflix and shout tweets about representation... or, you'd be coming at me with a spiked club by now. =)
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
Well, Wally gets the last word and the last laugh by not warning me off of...

The Last of Us: Left Behind, which sucked, and was the kind of sentimental melodrama I was afraid the original game would be. Speaking of which, for contrast, let me praise something else about the base game I liked, which was the balance and fusion of gameplay and storytelling. As Walter said, there were probably too many repetitive gameplay segments by half, but at least most if not all we're supported by engaging plot progression and development during or between. The cinematics weren't too long and were a nice break/reward to break up and keep you interested for the next gameplay sequence and vice versa.

Left Behind, on the other hand, combines a completely plot-unnecessary gameplay sequence with an interminable interactive movie/walking simulator. I did not much enjoy either. What you get is two stories that didn't need to be told, didn't even pay off in the end, and weren't fun to play. The only new wrinkle to the gameplay was the mixing of human enemies and infected, giving you the ability to set them on each other, which was a fun trick but not very challenging, and not very long (there's about half a dozen sequences total).

On a DLC quality scale spanning from costume packs to a mandatory masterpiece like Bloodborne: The Old Hunters or the never-ending riches of Shovel Knight, this was pretty underwhelming for such a heralded game. These segments felt like deleted scenes that should have been cut from the game, and actually made it worse and made me feel worse about it; it stepped on/undercut Ellie's development in her solo arc during the Winter chapter, and didn't even complete or fully pay off her flashback origin story. Riley kind of sucked, and so did all that forced interactive BS; ride a carousel, how trite and jarringly unlike the real thing, watch someone pretend to play a video game in a video game, what a self-parody.

It doesn't help that I think a more interesting story, which could have also continued, built on and payed off the themes of the ending without stepping on future episodes, would have been a flashback to just how bad Joel was immediately post-crisis when he was still with Tommy (show us the nightmare of his love! =). This even has me wary of The Last of Us Part II if this direction is their self-indulgent response to success (it kind of reminded me of the constant jumps and restarts that turned me off Uncharted 4).

Anyway, this game won a billion GOTY awards and they charged money for this as an encore? Did people dislike this as much at the time as I just did, were people so hungry for more this was exactly the type of navel gazing they were looking for, or am I retroactively applying an unfair standard to what was a relatively novel story DLC at the time?

Update: Ugh, of course...

"I'd have given this game of the year too, but couldn't because it's a $15 two hour cutscene!"

No, that's why you shouldn't consider it in the first place, because that's bad. Last of Us II is officially downgraded from the must-play list to wait-and-see, specifically for if there's going to be heavy appeal for angry, middle-aged beardos, or more pseudo-artsy exploration of typical teenage angst. Why do they act so contemporary and carefree, anyway!? =)
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
Sounds like you're just homophobic, bro! :iva: Just trolling, although I personally did like that DLC despite the price-to-value ratio. I thought the story was touching, but yeah, it is unnecessary. And I'm definitely wary of the next game, but mostly because I think they'll push everything to the extreme (more violence, more suffering, more drama) and make it grotesque as a result. The first trailers had a "hurt porn" quality to it that I found distasteful.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Sounds like you're just homophobic, bro! :iva:
You misjudge me, sir! It could have been about Joel's time as essentially one of The Sisters from Shawshank and I'd have still been all in on him. I'm a SEXIST!

Anyway, it was a pretty tame and meek gay love story by today's standards (or maybe not since it's still beyond the MCU or Star Wars =); they didn't even do anything interesting when I selected "love" in the photobooth! But I guess it was and is a big deal for AAA gaming in a meathead genre? By the same token, I worry they're going to get too proud of themselves and forget to bring the meat... uh, so to speak!

Just trolling, although I personally did like that DLC despite the price-to-value ratio. I thought the story was touching, but yeah, it is unnecessary.
The idea was fine, but the buildup, or should I say delay, where I had to participate in half a dozen tepid mini-games drove me crazy. I hated it, and felt like it only got away with that crap because it's this purportedly deep, games-as-art storytelling with significant social themes, "a very special episode," when it was really on the level of a teen soap with some lousy gameplay. I was immediately annoyed once I realized you had no inventory and therefore there wasn't going to be any danger or challenge to that portion, and it's not like it was Gone Home in the interactive story exploration and discovery department. More like a forced march, "Look how clever we are with all these 'inter-activities.'" It all struck me as undercooked and some of that gimmicky stuff really was like a self-parody.

Otherwise I was mostly disappointed it lost the game's cynical, if not nihilistic, edge in favor of full this-is-important sentimentality. I didn't feel like it was stimulating or that I had to think or have an opinion on anything, unless Riley was supposed to seem like a crappy friend/love interest intentionally and maybe Ellie is co-dependent or a lousy judge of character.

And I'm definitely wary of the next game, but mostly because I think they'll push everything to the extreme (more violence, more suffering, more drama) and make it grotesque as a result. The first trailers had a "hurt porn" quality to it that I found distasteful.
I've only seen the most recent story trailer, so I didn't get that sense yet (how about more on those pesky infected, anything more there, guys?), but have gleaned from that and the cover art that this is some big DARK turn for Ellie, even though she's already wasted dozens of people. The real monster is... US!? :schnoz:

The co-director of the game just said they were redefining AAA gaming, I hope that means the gaming part and not some heretofore unknown levels of either hardcoreness or pseudo-Oscar baiting. I see some parallels to Red Dead Redemption II actually, given the lofty stature of their predecessors and their hype and purported transcendence over them, with Joel potentially being analog to John Marston in a couple possible ways, and these sequels being so much more than their predecessors not necessarily meaning they're so much better.

Eh, if they just let Ellie explore being an asshole with Joel in tow, I'll probably be fine. =)


BTW, did you play Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
You misjudge me, sir! It could have been about Joel's time as essentially one of The Sisters from Shawshank and I'd have still been all in on him. I'm a SEXIST!

Anyway, it was a pretty tame and meek gay love story by today's standards (or maybe not since it's still beyond the MCU or Star Wars =); they didn't even do anything interesting when I selected "love" in the photobooth! But I guess it was and is a big deal for AAA gaming in a meathead genre? By the same token, I worry they're going to get too proud of themselves and forget to bring the meat... uh, so to speak!
Haha, yeah the reason I said that is because I remember at the time people made a big deal out of it. It was considered a ballsy move, and maybe it was honestly, I admit I don't really remember what the "discourse" was 6 years ago.

The co-director of the game just said they were redefining AAA gaming, I hope that means the gaming part and not some heretofore unknown levels of either hardcoreness or pseudo-Oscar baiting. I see some parallels to Red Dead Redemption II actually, given the lofty stature of their predecessors and their hype and purported transcendence over them, with Joel potentially being analog to John Marston in a couple possible ways, and these sequels being so much more than their predecessors not necessarily meaning they're so much better.

Eh, if they just let Ellie explore being an asshole with Joel in tow, I'll probably be fine. =)
We'll see. I don't have any particular expectations. I didn't think a sequel was necessary and I'm not really interested in where they take those characters, but if it's good I'll play it. :shrug:

BTW, did you play Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
Not yet! I seem to remember people being somewhat harsh because it's "more of the same", but I'm fine with that. Personally it's more the endings that I found underwhelming for the two previous titles. I thought the first game was similar to TLoU in how it presented Lara's suffering as entertainment, but it quickly gets a lot more cartoonish/actiony and that fades away.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Haha, yeah the reason I said that is because I remember at the time people made a big deal out of it. It was considered a ballsy move, and maybe it was honestly, I admit I don't really remember what the "discourse" was 6 years ago.
Probably, though it definitely puts potential detractors in the uncomfortable position of poo-pooing a milestone, "Shit, our DLC to the unanimous GOTY has only got some amusement park min-games? Uhh... MAKE THEM KISS!"

*Most critically acclaimed game IP ever!*

We'll see. I don't have any particular expectations. I didn't think a sequel was necessary and I'm not really interested in where they take those characters, but if it's good I'll play it. :shrug:
I thought there was still meat on the bone of what was a pretty simple and straightforward story, I mean the basis is still all there with Ellie, Joel and the Fireflies, but I'm worried they're not making a sequel to that game so much as one trying to live up to the reputation of that game. I don't need them to recreate the wheel, but hey, if it's bigger and better I won't complain (ok, I'll find something to complain about =).

As I've made clear, I'm not that interested in playing as Ellie, I much more naturally relate to the grumpy middle-aged dad obviously, or exploring her as some killing machine when I thought it was pretty clear she was a genuinely nicer class of person than most in this world. I guess that's where the potential lies though if they pull off a complex and compelling character study and the developers aren't just smelling their own farts. I'll go nuts though if this is all about human nature and tribalism and we just completely ignore that our main character possesses the cure to the monster plague that ostensibly destroyed civilization, "But what's really important... is how you feel." :mozgus:

Not yet! I seem to remember people being somewhat harsh because it's "more of the same", but I'm fine with that. Personally it's more the endings that I found underwhelming for the two previous titles. I thought the first game was similar to TLoU in how it presented Lara's suffering as entertainment, but it quickly gets a lot more cartoonish/actiony and that fades away.
I didn't mind because I thought the horrific deaths kind of gave a psychological impact to failure that most games today, or typical game over screens, don't. Worst death screens since the original RE2. =) I think they definitely responded to that criticism because her deaths were pretty underwhelming here if I recall, like generic polygons going limp action (though maybe it's because I had my settings so low on my old PC).

It was definitely the most redundant and third best game, but still fun and had at least one stand-out moment/sequence. It's kind of mealy-mouthed and muddled about Lara's place as a net positive in all this though, but I just liked the action of the original so much I played two more even though the plots were passable, or forgettable, at best.
 
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Aazealh

そうはいかぬ
Staff member
I'll go nuts though if this is all about human nature and tribalism and we just completely ignore that our main character possesses the cure to the monster plague that ostensibly destroyed civilization, "But what's really important... is how you feel." :mozgus:
Haha, well I didn't watch the recent trailers but I haven't got the feeling the cure is going to be the focus of the game. It's got to come up at some point of course, but I feel like the game will definitely revolve around revenge and Ellie having to contend with who she's becoming.

It was definitely the most redundant and third best game, but still fun and had at least one stand-out moment/sequence. It's kind of mealy-mouthed and muddled about Lara's place as a net positive in all this though, but I just liked the action of the original so much I played two more even though the plots were passable, or forgettable, at best.
I see... Well I guess I'll get to it... at some point.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Haha, well I didn't watch the recent trailers but I haven't got the feeling the cure is going to be the focus of the game. It's got to come up at some point of course, but I feel like the game will definitely revolve around revenge and Ellie having to contend with who she's becoming.
Exactly what I'm afraid of, basically. Imagine coming up with a character that had the cure for cancer, let alone a world crumbling global pandemic, and that's all just background for an unrelated story about their feels. It's inane. I wouldn't mind Ellie's personal struggle being part of some grander epic, but I want the fabric of that epic to ultimately come down to the disease and its evolution and Ellie being unique in her ability to resist and oppose it. I'm afraid that's all just going to amount to basically lore and some monster fights though while she learns hate is bad.

I see... Well I guess I'll get to it... at some point.
I couldn't make a better case... like, literally, that was the best I could say. Well, it IS the direct sequel to the 18th best game ever according to TIME Magazine:


:magni:
 
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I finished Quake II and Klonoa: Door to Phantomile last week. Quake II was awesome, even though I missed the Lovecraftian elements from the first game. I’m looking forward to playing its expansions.

Klonoa was so-so. It was a really well-designed game, and beautiful to look at, but it was too easy and too short. I hear the sequel is pretty great, though, so I’m excited to play that when I get to it.

Next up: Grandia!
 

Victor

"Don't forget your poison arrows"
Not looking forward to that, but I've heard the game itself is pretty great. We'll see. :ganishka:
Grandia has become one of my favourite JRPGs since I first played it around two years ago, even with the abysmal voice acting. If you get the HD remastered version on Steam I believe it includes the original Japanese audio; just a heads up.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I'm continuing my quest to play the "best games of all time" (still no new entry since BotW in 2017...) while I wait for this year's remakes and bullshit to come out. =)

Uncharted 2 HD - Since I've already played, and quite enjoyed, all the new Tomb Raider games that purportedly aped this franchise, at first this just felt like an older, less refined version of that (the climbing mechanics are still relatively impressive, the cover/combat system is wonky though), but by the time I reached the end of the hotel set piece I saw what sets this one apart. I'm not a big fan of the story or tone though, which is in no man's land for how serious/humorous it's trying to be, reminiscent of light action blockbusters ala the Fast & Furious franchise, while the new Tomb Raiders we're strictly going for earnestness and protagonist torture with some Indy supernatural elements for better or worse. I think the action would have more gravity if they weren't constantly reminding me not to take this crap too seriously, bro.

Witcher 3 - I gotta play something when the wife and kid have taken over the living room! And this one may have finally grabbed me. In addition to a few easy-to-fall-into side quests (I'm trying to play loose and casually), I'm done hunting down clues and bait for the Griffin, so next I just need to spring the trap and kill the bastard. I can't help but feel like I'm playing Elder Scrolls with an actual protagonist, and I also think I see some inspiration for later games, namely RDR2. I'm genuinely glad the HUD is constantly telling me what to do because fuck if I'd know otherwise.
 
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Oburi

All praise Grail
I'm continuing my quest to play the "best games of all time" (still no new entry since BotW in 2017...) while I wait for this year's remakes and bullshit to come out. =)

Uncharted 2 HD - Since I've already played, and quite enjoyed, all the new Tomb Raider games that purportedly aped this franchise, at first this just felt like an older, less refined version of that (the climbing mechanics are still relatively impressive, the cover/combat system is wonky though), but by the time I reached the end of the hotel set piece I saw what sets this one apart. I'm not a big fan of the story or tone though, which is in no man's land for how serious/humorous it's trying to be, reminiscent of light action blockbusters ala the Fast & Furious franchise, while the new Tomb Raiders we're strictly going for earnestness and protagonist torture with some Indy supernatural elements for better or worse. I think the action would have more gravity if they weren't constantly reminding me not to take this crap too seriously, bro.
I recently played through the entire series remastered edition and I must say it still holds up really well, with the only exception being the first one, which is understandable. I had never played the newest one either, knowing that Amy Henning (one of my favorite game writers of all time) had left before production on that. I'm glad I finally played it though, pretty seamless transition.

3 - I gotta play something when the wife and kid have taken over the living room! And this one may have finally grabbed me. In addition to a few easy-to-fall-into side quests (I'm trying to play loose and casually), I'm done hunting down clues and bait for the Griffin, so next I just need to spring the trap and kill the bastard. I can't help but feel like I'm playing Elder Scrolls with an actual protagonist, and I also think I see some inspiration for later games, namely RDR2. I'm genuinely glad the HUD is constantly telling me what to do because fuck if I'd know otherwise.
I tired playing this on my console a while back and didn't get far before I gave up. While I loved some aspects to it, mainly the world building and whole aesthetic of the Witcher universe, I think a big problem for me was not originally playing it on the pc because it reaaallly looks like it's meant to be played on a pc. It was very frustrating using a controller when clearly so much of the combat relied on the speed and convenience that a mouse and keyboard can offer. I also didn't like the timed responses during conversations. In theory I thought it was a good idea that made sense and could add a layer of realism to dialog parts. In practice, I quickly got annoyed with it and after a few reloaded saves, I finally just said fuck it and tried to roll with it. But after a while I had accept that I was stuck in storyline where I wasn't happy about any of the decisions I had made. Also, while graphically some of it is great, there's a hell of a lot of fog in those forests. Just wasn't anywhere near as impressed as I wanted to be.

Edit - Oops. Apparently I'm thinking of Witcher 2 here. I guess I never played Witcher 3, which came out in 2015. Tempus fugit!
 
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Griffith

My posts are better.
I recently played through the entire series remastered edition and I must say it still holds up really well, with the only exception being the first one, which is understandable. I had never played the newest one either, knowing that Amy Henning (one of my favorite game writers of all time) had left before production on that. I'm glad I finally played it though, pretty seamless transition.
I tried playing the 4th one first, which I gave up on because the plot jumped around too much in the beginning and I figured I'm missing something, based on the idea the latest iteration in a game series, barring a major overhaul, should be the most up-to-date, refined, and therefore best representation. But of course that's not really the case, at least not within such a short window.

Edit - Oops. Apparently I'm thinking of Witcher 2 here. I guess I never played Witcher 3, which came out in 2015. Tempus fugit!
Ha, well I couldn't tell save maybe the fog line. I will adjust my responses accordingly.

I tired playing this on my console a while back and didn't get far before I gave up. While I loved some aspects to it, mainly the world building and whole aesthetic of the Witcher universe, I think a big problem for me was not originally playing it on the pc because it reaaallly looks like it's meant to be played on a pc. It was very frustrating using a controller when clearly so much of the combat relied on the speed and convenience that a mouse and keyboard can offer.
I'm currently trying 3 with a controller to see if I like it better, but yeah there's so many commands and the combat feels clunky and imprecise, so I think you're right.

I also didn't like the timed responses during conversations. In theory I thought it was a good idea that made sense and could add a layer of realism to dialog parts. In practice, I quickly got annoyed with it and after a few reloaded saves, I finally just said fuck it and tried to roll with it. But after a while I had accept that I was stuck in storyline where I wasn't happy about any of the decisions I had made.
Hmmm, that does sound interesting and more natural (you don't get forever to effectively respond in conversation), either I haven't reached one of those or maybe they dumped that mechanic, but I already regret all my decisions here and I wasn't even timed. That's why I'm just going with the flow; if someone's nice I'll be nice, but if they're a dick they're getting cut off.

Also, while graphically some of it is great, there's a hell of a lot of fog in those forests. Just wasn't anywhere near as impressed as I wanted to be.
3 is supposed to be one of the best, most beautiful open world games ever and I'm surprisingly unimpressed with the visual design; but, there's a lot going on, so maybe the big picture will really tie it all together. It doesn't help that I kind of despise big, questy, open world games at this point, thus why I'm trying not to think too much and just roll with it. =)
 
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I have played W3 on the PS4, but the more you play the more you will realise that its meant for the PC, especially with the inventory management. Having to tab through individual icons searching for the right item is such a pain. The loading times are also much longer.
 

SaiyajinNoOuji

I'm still better than you
Bought and enjoying Wolcen on steam. It's pretty fun and borrows a lot from Path of Exile and Diablo. That along with other games like private Emu servers of Star Wars Galaxies and Custom Maid 3D 2 :carcus:
 
Grandia has become one of my favourite JRPGs since I first played it around two years ago, even with the abysmal voice acting. If you get the HD remastered version on Steam I believe it includes the original Japanese audio; just a heads up.
Thanks for the tip! I opted for the PS1 port before I read your post. Honestly, being someone who grew up watching Streamline’s anime dubs, I’m not that horrified yet. Of course, I haven’t met all the characters...
 

Walter

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks for the tip! I opted for the PS1 port before I read your post. Honestly, being someone who grew up watching Streamline’s anime dubs, I’m not that horrified yet. Of course, I haven’t met all the characters...
Sue's special attack... :stop:
 

Victor

"Don't forget your poison arrows"
Thanks for the tip! I opted for the PS1 port before I read your post. Honestly, being someone who grew up watching Streamline’s anime dubs, I’m not that horrified yet. Of course, I haven’t met all the characters...
Personally, I found the story and characters likeable enough to not be taken out of it by the shitty dub too much overall, but there are some painful stand outs...Walter knows.

I'm currently trying 3 with a controller to see if I like it better, but yeah there's so many commands and the combat feels clunky and imprecise, so I think you're right.
The combat has never been satisfyingly good in any of the games. It got slightly better with each iteration, depending on who you ask, but it's still a spastic mess. I've played with both a controller and mouse & keyboard and didn't notice much of a difference. I've found that the most fun way to play is by making each encounter feel cool yourself with a bit of deliberate role-playing, rather than relying solely on the game's mechanics to achieve this effect, if that makes sense to anyone but me.


3 is supposed to be one of the best, most beautiful open world games ever and I'm surprisingly unimpressed with the visual design;
The popular perception must've been different back in 2015 when the game came out, but I agree it's nothing too crazy. If somehow you make it to the Blood and Wine DLC, that's when the atmospheric scenery really kicks in.

Sue's special attack... :stop:
:serpico:
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
The combat has never been satisfyingly good in any of the games. It got slightly better with each iteration, depending on who you ask, but it's still a spastic mess. I've played with both a controller and mouse & keyboard and didn't notice much of a difference. I've found that the most fun way to play is by making each encounter feel cool yourself with a bit of deliberate role-playing, rather than relying solely on the game's mechanics to achieve this effect, if that makes sense to anyone but me.
Yeah, that all became very clear when I fought the Griffin, which I'm glad I didn't waste time prepping for because it wasn't necessary. I switched from keyboard back to controller halfway through because at least I knew how to heal (from accidently wasting several food items before =) and it just felt more... video gamey that way. After years of Souls or more curated boss experiences this felt very much like an oldschool "whatever, just hack, slash and button mash and if you're at level you'll win" fantasy RPG type fight.

The popular perception must've been different back in 2015 when the game came out, but I agree it's nothing too crazy. If somehow you make it to the Blood and Wine DLC, that's when the atmospheric scenery really kicks in.
So far I'm overall less inclined to believe this is the best game ever and thinking more, "Are we sure CD Project Red is that good?" This just seems like another Elder Scrolls but with an adapted plot. I remember this was compared favorably to BotW when that came out, like this was the ultimate grown up open world fantasy, but it just feels like the latest iteration of every fantasy RPG I've played since the 90s.

Speaking of, it has some outdated interface wrinkles I really don't like too, the controls/combat we mentioned, but also little shit like I can't pause during lengthy cutscenes, like if I want to check on the fam in case I'm needed (to cover for the fact I'm actively neglecting them =). I don't know when this became the norm, but PS4 has spoiled me in that I can basically stop a game at any time by putting it to sleep, and most will pause anytime anyway. It's not like a Souls game where no pausing is part of the experience, and I can always pause otherwise, except when I technically need to most (in game I could just save and plop Geralt in an empty field or corner where he won't likely be bothered).

Anyway, I'm still assuming that there's going to be so much game ahead it'll became a matter of the totality of the sum of its parts; the most game total if not the best at its peak, or it really will start blowing me away. If that's reliant on side-quests and exploration though, the main quest better make me want to do it because I'm not going looking on my own.
 
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