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Messages - Griffith

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Video Games / Re: Fallout games
« on: December 12, 2018, 07:55:14 PM »
I voted Fallout 2 because, while 1 is the more concise and finished classic, 2 is the big crazy ambitious mess of a follow up that you could lose yourself in for a year, and I did (shades of RDR2). Forget just doing post-apocalyptic Fallout stuff; I worked for the mob, became a porn star, and eventually POTUS (well, I had his ID badge, anyway =). Fallout 2 isn't just the best Fallout game I've ever played, I could make a case it's the best game I've ever played, period. Having said that, unfortunately for those that really didn't get into it or Fallout 1 at the time, I don't know how accessible it is anymore. Like I certainly am not going to replay it today, and I just threw it into the GOAT (G.E.C.K.? =) conversation.

As for the Bethesdas, I don't really count those among the first two Fallout games. They're something else, like a remake or spinoff, even New Vegas though it's a nice compromise and basically the the closest thing we could get to fulfilling the original vision of Fallout 3 by the Black Isle team (I'll always be grateful to Bethesda for letting this game happen). So, I'm not bashing them either, because playing Fallout 2 I dreamed of doing it in first person and at least got somewhere close between 3 and NV. Fallout 3 is a pretty good semi-early example of an effective big budget soft reboot/requel too (before it became the norm in film as well as games). It basically recycles and reworks the major plot points and story beats of Fallout 1 and 2 into a more visually immersive and streamlined package. But it was more smoke and mirrors than the meticulously handcrafted, interactive worlds of the originals. NV brought that craftsmanship back the best it could, but was still limited within Bethesda's framework, then Fallout 4 doubled down on the cinematic experience and combat, which was fun, but that much more dumbed down when it came to immersion through consequential interactivity. At least relative to the originals, I mean I don't hold every or maybe ANY other game to these standards ("You mean I have to follow the story progression? That's like a baby's toy!"), but if it's called Fallout I do because that's what made those original games special.

1. Fallout 2
2. Fallout

3. Fallout: New Vegas
4. Fallout 3
5. Fallout 4
0. The rest

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 10, 2018, 09:08:34 PM »
I haven't gone full renegade yet, but I am definitely treating John more differently than I did Arthur. I know how John turns out eventually, so it's not like it matters.

I did the same thing at first, and I'm still more trigger happy in the end/post game. I feel justified because John's not a bad guy but he will blow you away if you start shit with him. =)

Arthur is the better character. He changed naturally, whereas John had to try to change

I agree with this, or at least agreed with it immediately following the game; I think I need more time and perspective and to maybe replay Red Dead 1 to know for sure. It's pretty biasing when you just spent 60 hours with a character, but I did fall in love with Arthur.It helps John's case that I'm doing a lot of missions with him now and getting re-acquainted with his specific charms, but I do think Arthur has more depth, nuance, and humanity while John's more iconic.

Also, apparently no one has had the same experience with this game. My friends are telling me all this stuff they've had to do with characters that don't even exist in mine. I randomly came across a serial killer and a vampire, as well as a mad scientist, but they haven't on two playthroughs. Just overall kind of crazy how this game has evolved.

Yep, I've seen or heard of all that stuff, and there's all sorts of other weird things out there to find, and even having read about a lot of it I still haven't come across them...

Another comment about this game and how much it stretches the form is that it's still very much a traditional 3rd person action/shooter, it's not reinventing the wheel with its controls or interface at all, the core gameplay (ride and shoot) isn't that much different from RDR1 or any number of games like it, but they just added a shit-ton of extra options and features on top of that very traditional game framework, with an emphasis on "realistic" movement/motion in regards to momentum. It's weird because it has all this hyperrealistic stuff, but it's more cinematic in its presentation, next to like pushing R1 to switch your gun with one on the ground. Or, your hat comes off and you have to go get it and it'll be on the ground later, but you can also just re-select it in your horse's inventory (same with your horse itself if you become separated; it won't just respawn to your whistle, you gotta go back or be in range... unless you go to a stable, THEN it's magically there). It's a weird mix of realism for the sake of presentation, like it's only pretending to be a life simulator, next to pragmatic game mechanics for convenience and play-ability that it circumvents half the time for the sake of a more cumbersome sort of reality. Again, it's a great, weird, game.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 10, 2018, 05:13:53 PM »
I keep getting sucked back in. The more I play, the more I discover just how little I actually did in the game.

Same here, I was going to say I've found like a second wind but it's more like a third or fourth. Counting online I have like three different saves I'm currently playing and I haven't even restarted with a full-renegade Arthur yet; which is supposed to be significantly different in many ways big and small, yet implemented subtly. Goddamn this game, I keep finding and figuring out these weird details and mechanics while my wife deadpans, "Is that really necessary?" Yesterdays where when I accidentally hit a signpost full on with my horse and disintegrated it, the signs, the post, the rock it set was in, everything; if you just clip one, you may only knock off one sign or an appropriately sized corresponding piece. =) The other was that Arthur and John have different handwriting in their journals and Arthur is a significantly better artist when you've cataloged the same things despite John claiming he's become "something of a draftsman" himself, I compared =). Yet they basically have the same dialogue during Stranger missions, which makes sense because you're fulfilling the same role! It's so weird how the very un-gamey parts of this game make the normal game stuff seem somehow unsophisticated despite being completely reasonable. But yeah, for a game I was kind of tired of a week ago I spent way too much time this weekend just riding around hunting legendary animals, doing stranger quests, and just experiencing the world, maaaaan. It's like I'm finally living the life Arthur wanted to. :carcus:

That sums it up perfectly. I've read a lot about Mega Man, and that seems to be the general consensus for the main series. Mega Man X took things in a better direction (can't wait to play it), and then they did some fun, innovative things with the Legends games (can't wait to play those, either). I enjoyed Mega Man 5, just not as much as the others, and you could tell their hearts just weren't in it anymore.

Oh, just wait until Mega Man VI, even Dr. Wily is phoning it in at that point. =) The X series eventually goes through the same thing too, and then offshoots to the Zero series, etc.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 09, 2018, 08:24:39 PM »
I can relate to zombie nausea at this point in media, but Last of Us is not held back by the faux-zombie setting. They "infected" are mostly used as a vehicle for the plot, and in terms of the dramatic tension and danger element in the game, it's certainly humans, not the infected.

Well, like I said I'll grab it because I'm always looking for those transcendent experiences (in games, not IRL =). It's funny, I thought for a sec I might actually have it for PS3 from the games I got from my brother-in-law, but unfortunately he only played the demo. I do have GTA5, IV, LA Noire, Spec Ops among others to play though... BTW, Wally, I'd highly recommend you try Red Dead 1 on PS Now. You can get a free week long trial subscription and if you have the time or plan accordingly that's plenty of time to complete the game (about 20-25 hours focusing on story missions). You can also get the Japanese version of Demon's Souls on there... but I don't know if the PS Now version of these games is worth the effort of playing it in Japanese, but I know you've done it before.

I finished Mega Man 5 on Friday. It was a lot less difficult than the previous MM games, but I still enjoyed it. It was more MM, after all. :guts:

Next up: Final Fantasy V!

I have fond memories of MM5, lots of silly fun ideas, and it nerfs the Mega Buster so you can't keep it charged through damage, which I think is for the best, but it also marks when they basically ran out of gas on the main series. After that they're pretty mediocre for a while, and even the SNES version, when X really took the mantle. It wasn't until MM9 that the main series got interesting to me again.

Yeah, sadly I'm taking a break from it. I went to all nine graves and it took me the better part of two hours. The remaining trophies I have are all either online, story-based to where I have replay, or completing challenges.

Back to finish Uncharted 3, I suppose.

Well, it sounds like you actually finished it, unless you got caught up visiting the sites instead of finishing the epilogue? But maybe you're talking about something else. I've done the game to death and am still finding out things I had no idea about.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 08, 2018, 08:24:19 AM »
Aw, I should have mentioned Griff, Last of Us Remastered was just $5 in one of the recent PS store sales.

Doh! Well, I'll see if it goes on sale again for Christmas and if not just spring for it anyway. I mean, I paid over twice that for Red Dead Revolver the other day and it's still very much a PS2 game.

Welp, congrats on surviving that zombie apocalypse in any case. May the Good Blood guide you when you tackle the werewolf apocalypse.

Ugh, zombie apocalypse, THAT was why I avoided it! I love Romero's zombie classics, and Resident Evil, and personally zombies scared me more than anything when I was young, but man do I despise that over-saturated genre today to the point it's usually an automatic no. I'll still play The Last of Us on Wally's recommendation that it's transcendent, and I was pleasantly surprised by RDR: Undead Nightmare.

Just finished Nioh. It was pretty good, and nice to see someone else take a stab at a Soulsborne-like game, put it in a new kind of setting, and even experiment with things From Software hasn't done before, even if a lot of those things didn't quite work out. I liked the different stances you could adopt, and I liked how you could learn different special attacks and even make your own custom loadout for them, but both ended up being so situational that they might as well have not even been there at all. I really could have done without the gear system and the way the inventory worked though. It's just not worth sorting through all that crap to see what's really better for your build, but even getting rid of it at the blacksmith is a boring and tedious affair that takes too much damn time. There is no way in hell I'm going to go the Diablo route of trying to grind for better gear in the post-game, I'm not feeling any urge to get the DLC, and even replaying Nioh seems like it could be a daunting task. I really hope Team Ninja addresses this in the sequel (hell, I'd prefer they just copy what From Software did), because if they don't, I might very well skip it.

I mostly ignored all the annoying shit in Nioh, gearing etc, just put on the most recent/highest level/most powerful shit and forget it and played it like Dark Souls and that maximized my enjoyment. Speaking of the custom loadouts, there's some spells and ninja skills that can really make the enemies, even bosses, a joke, like where you can knock them down at will. The DLC really is super annoying though, and I'm still a couple bosses short of completing it, but I think I'm going to pull a Wally on this one and leave it incomplete. I want to take that concept to the extreme and lose interest in a game during the final boss fight with like one hit left to win:


On a personal note, I finally finished RDR2. The narrative is awesome, but my god the pacing is atrocious. Going to do the trophy grind for it most likely

It's a weird thing with this game where you love it, it frustrates you, and when it finally gives you satisfaction you end up lingering on the parts that originally frustrated you. =)

In other gaming news: Wow Bloodborne kind of runs like ass on PS4. Particularly after playing the buttery smooth Spider-Man and Last of Us, this is ... whew, like being on an underpowered PC.
Well I'm only in Central Yharnum, haven't tested other areas. But after doing a search, it seems to be a pretty widespread problem. Game is capped at 30, and there are frame pacing issues that drop it below that. It's noticeably chuggy for me, which is a shame, because I want to admire the world they made.

Damn, that's a fuckin' tragedy duder! I don't recall having issues to that extreme and I have the old ass launch model (is it possible they somehow cheaped out on components with later generation slims?). I don't recall it being a distraction, but maybe I just didn't notice because it was the first PS4 game I played and I literally tried no other until it was done, or I could also just be more inclined not to mind it because I've played quite a few games with lower settings on underpowered PCs and laptops. I played ME1 and 2 on like a $400 Toshiba laptop, and I'm pretty sure they and Diablo III killed it prematurely. :guts:

Anyway, I hope there's some way to mitigate it, but by the way, how is Spider-Man in your opinion? Another one I was interested in but haven't pulled the trigger on yet.

Red Dead Online - Now I have a scope on my carbine for some light sniping and a pump-action shotgun for close range... try to grief me at your own peril because I'm dangerous. :badbone:

Also just grabbed Into the Breach and Crypt of the NecroDancer on sale! Considering the new Tomb Raider at half price too, but I'm still a bit burned having paid almost full price for the last one and then not playing it until it was on sale for $5 anyway.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: December 06, 2018, 08:38:49 PM »
See, I do finish games from time to time! So long as they can hold my interest.


It's the near finishes that fascinate me because I usually feel obligated to complete those games and bad when I don't, especially if I'm so close to the end. But you're right that it's up to the game to make that worth your while and one shouldn't feel bad or force themselves to play because it didn't do that. Sometimes I find myself playing things out of opportunity or obligation and thinking, "Why am I doing this? I don't even feel like playing this right now!"

As far as I'm concerned, Last of Us is a modern classic. Any nitpicking I'm about to do simply can't drown out its overall greatness.

Ok, well I guess I'll have to add it to my Christmas List. I've heard a lot about it of course but wasn't naturally drawn to it (and like you couldn't play it anyway when it was new), I think in part because the way it was touted made it seem like it's main appeal was as a melodrama, which isn't necessarily even a bad thing, but it sounds like there's a lot more depth to it than that.

Anyway, I need something to wean me off RDR2 because I've reached that end game malaise where I still want to play the game but there's not really a lot left for me to do that I care for but wander the map looking for random shit. Always better to leave wanting more than that slow death. I think when I'm done with the story parts of Read Dead Online I'll be done for a while, though it has been fun avenging my own death from the other players that interfere with me (my favorite being a guy I saw coming a mile away to mow me down so I quickly stepped behind a boulder and when he flew around blasted him full of lead with my pistol =). Once you turn off the mics it becomes not unlike Dark Souls style multiplayer except you don't know who's out to get you or not, plus there can be so many people on the map it's like the usual random NPCs riding around get replaced with wild card humans.

I totally buy this data driven observation, and I'm not even completely opposed to it, save for sucker bets like this Bebop adaptation, because it's not like it was all pure artistic endeavor previously. The big problem being the worst of human nature and error still tainting the execution, first on the executive level as always, and because while everything has a polished "prestige tv" veneer now, and this gives tremendous opportunity to heretofore underrepresented actors, creators and audiences, there's only so many people with the combination of talent, training and experience out there right now to actually produce a really good show. So, until some of these new creatives and crew people get the reps, there's going to continue to be a dilution of quality (they're going to have to start recruiting career waiters to be actors =) and a lot of otherwise mediocre shit passing through, but at least there's potentially a light at the end of the tunnel (that may or may not be a train).

Yeah, it's a no win catch 22 scenario, the elements that would need to change to make it work in a live action format are the very ones that make it distinct and iconic as an animation. The best case scenario is basically that they film the scripts, it's well done, but stylistically it's unrecognizable from the cartoon. That's still not going to satisfy fans, and what's the point of that anyway? Otherwise, trying to make it look like the cartoon, or some compromise in-between, is rife for disaster. See every example ever (e.g. Dragon Ball, The Last Airbender) outside of Marvel, which is unfortunately why everything is now considered obtainable even though only they can seemingly pull it off convincingly, which is why I give them a lot of credit despite how formula it can feel.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 28, 2018, 06:20:43 PM »
Oh, sweet. Thanks for the tips! I've gone into the game blind, but in my advanced age of 33 I feel like I need some help.

Yeah, the game has so many little wrinkles like that they don't emphasize or even address, and I don't really blame them because there's so much other core gameplay to cover the whole thing could get really bogged down if they tried to show off every detail. The police one is especially nasty because it goes against all your GTA instincts to actually cooperate. :ganishka:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 28, 2018, 05:38:25 PM »
Chapter 2. I just rescued Micah. Every time I get going in the game I start to get bored because of travel.

Also, my bounty is like $700 in one area so it's a pain in the ass sometimes.

Some tips: You can unlock fast travel from camp by upgrading Dutch's and then your tent for a few hundred dollars, and if you can't afford your bounty in an area... turn yourself in and serve time in jail! It lowers or wipes it out! Then you can utilize stage coaches to cut down on travel outside of camp (this really becomes important as you open up the world to the point that Valentine to Strawberry is nothing =). Similarly, if you commit a small crime or say accidentally run someone down with your horse but are otherwise without bounties, wait for the police and cooperate and they'll probably let you off with a warning and tell you to get lost. This game is so awkwardly nuanced sometimes. :ganishka:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 28, 2018, 03:44:11 PM »
Yeah it's just so replayable. I think once I finished it four times in a row. And I love the lore too, which was outsourced to Brian Fargo. It's not very deep but manages to be very effective anyway.

Brian Fargo of classic FALLOUT fame!? *gets unreasonably excited about game*

Attagirl! :guts:

Yeah, we were actually pretty shocked, my wife immediately asked, "Did SHE do that!?" It was like an old DBZ when Gohan would show flashes of some explosive potential he couldn't yet control! :carcus:

Anyway, she even can even handle a controller properly from watching me and because I let her play with a broken PS3 Dual Shock (she learned to crawl chasing after remotes and my glasses =). She'll actually put her thumbs on the buttons properly too! My wife should probably be more angry about this corruption, but I think it's a lark. Can't wait to buy her a Switch for Christmas! :ganishka:

Griff where is your live-action Cowboy Bebop parody poster? I couldn't find it anywhere  :judo:
I really don't need to see Stephen Dorff as Spike Spiegel.

You're clearly thinking of this, which I recall first seeing on a somethingawful Photoshop Phriday or the like:

But yeah, the seemingly limitless ability of producers to now make anything for the screen has reached true Ian Malcolm territory:

Beaten to the punch...

Anyway, what is going on? I know we can and seemingly need to produce everything in our vortex of endless content demand, but do we really need to try every bad idea even Hollywood was smart enough not to go through with? Live action Akira is all but inevitable now, and seemingly nothing is safe.

I just heard the crappy Simpsons comics I drew as a kid have already been greenlight by Crackle, they acquired the rights from my parents behind my back but are bringing me on as a consultant so I can explain why part is 20 feet tall in this or that scene.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 28, 2018, 02:51:18 AM »
The game is so lovingly made
Avg play through of Super Metroid is about 5h. For Hollow Knight it's about 20h. There's a lot to like
For what it's worth I clocked in at 41h33 in Hollow Knight with full completion. It's a nice game

With critiques like these, who needs praise? :carcus:

Anyway, purported bloatedness or goodness aside, I think we can all agree it's not an all-time great or anything, but that's an unfair comparison to start and not a qualifier even I employ, and I AM looking for epic greatness in my games (which unfortunately keeps me from trying a lot of "smaller" titles like this). It's definitely one of my favorites from last year though, and to Wally's issue, I think he's more appreciative of economy and I'm a "more is more" kind of guy when it comes to games, especially ones I enjoy playing and want to keep playing (my initial take on Bloodborne was it was disappointingly short and then I ended up playing it for like 160+ hours anyway). Also, I think I single-handedly skewed the average time to complete Super Metroid by at least 20 hours with my 210,248.5 hour run. =)

Meanwhile, I'm currently playing Into the Breach on Switch (I've played it about 50 hours on PC already).

Sounds like it's holding up well. It's on my wishlist but I didn't take the plunge during the Steam autumn sale because I didn't think I'd have time for it now anyway, but maybe next month...

Oh yeah, I should mention, not only did I beat the lovely though sparse Mega Man 11 solo and with a friend... but my seven month old daughter got her first Mega kill at the start of Blast Man's stage, switching to Torch Man's power up and lighting an MFer up... so proud of my little prodigy. :judo:

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 27, 2018, 06:15:47 PM »
There's not a lot of motivation to finish, either. I got to the room before the last boss and just lost interest. The game is so lovingly made, and yet has horrendous pacing problems.

Dumping a game right before the final boss is a Wally pacing problem that never ceases to amaze me. =)

You are not a man to fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy. Meanwhile, I'm still playing Dark Souls II.

Unfortunately it keeps pulling me in

Oh geez, it's pulling you in because it's a good game; you guys are talking about it like an affliction, as if every one of these Super Metroid clones, including their granddaddy, don't suffer from this mid-game confusion/drag unless they hold your hand (sometimes it can last decades I hear; talk about a slow pace =). Speaking of which, try talking to the old man in town, he usually has some helpful hints on where you could go next.

I think I might shelve it for a bit so I can finish Red Dead 2.

And speaking of pacing issues... uhhh, Hollow Knight is bewildering ON PURPOSE to create an authentic, truly lived experience as a bone bug in bugland! You'll feel like you're a real cowboy bug knight watching extended animations by pushing random buttons just like in the old west... er, Hollownest. :carcus:

Where you at in RDR2, Johnstantine? If you're concerned about spoilers you can just tell me which chapter.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 26, 2018, 08:38:10 PM »
I'd put it on my personal Top 10

Can you give us the ten? I mostly want to see how many are actually in your top 10 since there's probably dozens of games I'd consider "top 10." I think you're more practical though. =)

With all the sales, I picked up for PS4: God of War, Spider-man (Came with my system), Last of Us, Horizon, Last Guardian, Uncharted 1-3 + Lost Legacy (no 4 yet). Still would like to get Shadow of the Colossus and Bloodborne in short order, but no sales and no time even to play the aforementioned games so far  :badbone:

You got the $200 Spidey bundle, NICE! I still need to get Spidey and God of War, but didn't think to check on sales for them (I'm kind of still living that RDR2 life and even considering a PS Plus subscription for RD Online). SotC was a nice trip down memory lane, and I will of course vouch heavily for Last Guardian and especially Bloodborne (the legitimate heir to Dark Souls if the pretenders haven't turned you off forever). Horizon was very cool, like a more grown up, generic BotW, but didn't leave much of a lasting impact once I was finished with it (also kind of like BotW).

Still playing Red Dead II... lots of thoughts, crazy huge game in more ways than one, pretty slow in the middle if you're plot driven (it actively wants to funnel you to "the side stuff," but then you feel like you're sinking time... but now that I'm done with the plot I'm just sinking even more time =). I think RDR1 is a simpler, more finished creation, like a modern classic Western film in video game form, but RDR2 is insanely ambitious, like it's trying to be the Great American Novel in game form. It's hard for me to penalize it for its inherent faults in that regard when the game really does get into your system, at least mine (I do think it's funny to see reviews rationalize the slowness itself as a good thing, like we can't acknowledge parts of it drag and still love the game =). I think it's pretty brilliant that despite switching to a wholly new heretofore unknown main character, which helps solve a lot of inherent prequel problems, by the end I think I actually liked Arthur better than John Marston. He's not as distinctive or iconic, but he's a more fleshed out character and a better, and more real, person (well, depending how you play him I suppose =). Also, the way they handled the "epilogue" and end game stuff was kind of great and a little awkward as well (there's a lot to say about it, but I'll save the spoilerific stuff for later). I'm really curious where they'll go with the DLC, but there's at least two ideas I'd like to see (one being a follow up to Undead Nightmare). In the meantime I'm kind of making my own DLC by taking advantage of a glitch that lets you explore a huge part of the map and content you wouldn't normally have access to until the epilogue or end-game. It's really kind of an ideal scenario if you're familiar with the particulars.

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: November 03, 2018, 07:06:45 PM »
My imported copy of Okami HD for Switch came in today (along with volume 40). I could have just downloaded it but I have a strong preference for physical games.

I could NOT get into this game. It's been like a decade of false starts, including a faulty Blockbuster video rental disc, and when I finally got it for my PC the annoying talking sounds in a dialogue heavy game was just too much. Maybe I'll go back someday, but I think Okami might always be one that got away for me.

Got off my lazy ass to get back on my lazy ass to start playing Nioh for the past week. I've been enjoying it so far. Had to unlearn everything Bloodborne taught me, though, 'cause that was tripping me up a lot. Like the fact that blocking is NOT for chumps, that I DON'T need a shield to block, attacking will NOT heal me, and that in many cases, sprinting is MUCH more preferable to dodging, especially since you can "strafe-sprint." Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, and that I now have to use the face buttons for everything, rather than the shoulder buttons.

You don't HAVE to use the face buttons. :carcus: I basically went out of my way to make Nioh play like Dark Souls, and then Bloodborne, at the expense of what the game was trying to do and it paid major dividends for my instincts and overall enjoyment. Sure, switching stances is a little unintuitive when one is a directional arrow and another is a shoulder button, and the only item you have is healing assigned to the top button, and you have to press a face button to go up in a menu and the confirm and back buttons are reversed, but... worth it! :guts:

Don't really care for the way equipment works, though. The game throws gear at you like it's on clearance, sifting through the dozens upon dozens of items you collect to to see what's better for you is tedious as hell and ends up slowing things down a lot when you want to get back to hunting Youkai, and frankly, the effects are so marginal on your performance that I really don't notice them. Doubt I'll replay this game as religiously as I did for the Soulsborne games (and Salt and Sanctuary), though I hope Team Ninja will fix this in the sequel.

Don't waste time on the items, just set the item display to highest level or most recent and equip whichever gives you the best stats and movement. Eventually it's useless anyway once you reach the item level cap (I liked it for the Diablo-esque novelty). Anyway, played it for at least 100 hours and there's still more to do with all the high level end game boss rush shit, but I doubt I'll be going back. It was basically a game I was playing because I couldn't play Bloodborne, and I hadn't even really considered the sequel but I'll probably play it for the same reason once I'm done with Sekiro. I'll give it this though, it's got something going for it beyond being a Souls clone, because I couldn't get with Lords of the Fallen or The Surge like I could this game.

I played Nioh for 49 hours over the summer. I enjoyed it for a while despite its flaws, but I ended up dropping it at some point because it had just gotten boring. I feel like it's a very "grindy" type of game and that it doesn't have much substance behind the veneer of Japanese lore.

The authentic Japanese monster lore is the best fucking part, by far, but it's somewhat tempered by the bizarro world history and bog standard, but ridiculous, plot. And yeah, it's pretty grindy both in the leveling and repetition required for certain bosses. Despite all the extra stances and other features the fighting isn't as loose, free-wheeling or improvisational as Dark Souls. There's a "right way" through many boss encounters to the exclusion of most other possibilities... until later when you respec to spam spells and ninja moves. =)

It's interesting to see you liked Salt and Sanctuary more than Nioh. The art style is original and the combat is smooth but the level design feels inadequate to me. It attempts the Dark Souls interconnected world which so many people praise, but because it's a 2D game, it's fundamentally linear and this combination becomes confusing. If I took a break from it and came back after a couple of days I'd have no idea where I am and where I'm supposed to go. Maybe that's just my faulty orientation, but that never happened to me in any souls game, because once I had gone through an area I knew exactly where it was, what was around it and the general direction of things in a 3 dimensional space. In Salt and Sanctuary your field of vision is limited, and because of the 2D side scrolling camera I couldn't get a grasp of the world's dimension and location. I found myself spending more time back tracking and fixing my in game compass than actually progressing. Maybe that's how it was intended and you're supposed to go through the game many times in order to become familiar with the world, which is true in the case of the Souls games as well, but not nearly to this extent. To me it was just confusing and frustrating. I should go back and at least finish it, because it's not a bad game, and I enjoyed the combat aspects, but I don't see myself replaying it religiously.

I couldn't get into Salt & Sanctuary either, 2D Souls isn't Souls and I wasn't a fan of the art style or getting around either. Speaking of which though...

In Red Dead Redemption II I've gone completely native and turned off all HUD and onscreen displays. I'm in it now! :ganishka:

It's great for inhabiting the world because you really learn the lay of the land instead of just following the tiny GPS or directions (and it turns off all on screen directions too). I have to know where I'm going or check my map, which can make the simplest errands an adventure, but that's kind of the point of this game so I'm embracing it. I mean, when you just follow that GPS it's like you're playing that and you don't even know the town you're riding through for the half dozenth time, so this is better (or I've gone crazy alone out on the plains =). The only drawback is sometimes you can't tell where a chance encounter is coming from (someone yelling for help, etc) or when you're about to walk into a bushwhacking horde of enemies. It's a pretty small price to pay though for the added immersion and beauty.

Video Games / Red Dead Redemption II
« on: October 31, 2018, 02:59:05 PM »
Figured this was worthy of its own thread even though the original Red Dead Redemption doesn't have one (I would have just continued that). Probably has to do with the relative exclusivity of these titles since we're a PC crowd, obviously.

So, after about a week the game is pretty crazy ambitious, and basically in no hurry to run you through some interactive Western film narrative. More like it wants you to truly inhabit and live in some alternate western reality; like some kind of west... world. :carcus: My running joke is that Red Dead Redemption III will just tell you to go outside because it's basically what they're trying to recreate. I'm starting to get dangerously addicted to it as I've realized the story missions aren't the point, the place is, so now I'm playing accordingly and starting to get lost in it. The only limit on this game's immersion is the dated GTA style user interface, as advanced as they've made it, it's still building off an almost 20 year old idea. Imagine if Capcom made a Resident Evil game where you could interact with everything, clean your guns, eat, sleep, drive, build barricades, etc but you were still using the tank controls from Resident Evil 2. On the other hand, it basically comes down to it still being a video game ("you have to use your hands?") and needing to do video gamey things like utilize limited control schemes to do a ton of shit and load or remove characters you're no longer interacting with, etc. It's like it's reached some uncanny valley of interactivity; it's trying so hard to be more than a game, and succeeding well enough, that it's clashing with the reality it's still a game and not real more than you'd bother to notice or care in most games, like GTAIII or RDR1 for example. It's like you're disappointed you're not REALLY covered in mud, or when you put skinned animals on your horse they just appear tied on instead of Arthur actually getting out and tying the ropes around (because sometimes things WILL be that detailed). I actually think I've only scratched the surface and there's going to be plenty more surprises, or... unnecessary details depending on your perspective. =)

Oh yeah, funny aside, it wouldn't let me name my horse Stardust, the name of a real live horse I've actually ridden on a trail, because of "profanity" (I'm assuming for the drug slang). C'mon, Rockstar, the fact that a profanity check exists at all in one of your games, let alone that it flagged something so innocuous, is ridiculously silly and mildly disappointing. :daiba:

The last time I ran into this was on Diablo III when it would let me use the Latin suffix -anus (not the body part, Blizzard :schierke:).

Anyway, if you really want to read a review that goes in depth on some of the things I'm just touching on here, this one covers a lot with a minimum of spoilers (if you've played RDR1), especially the first half where it sticks to the game and its themes rather than the meta implications:

Video Games / Re: Games to look forward to!
« on: October 31, 2018, 02:35:19 PM »
I have the Nintendo ones too, even though I haven't unboxed either of them (for lack of free time).

Sad that even if you did have the time this one's not enticing enough in any case.

I agree with you in principle, although I think these make sense as cheap and convenient entertainment devices for people in their 30s or 40s who want to re-experience games they fondly remember from their youth. People who wouldn't necessary buy a Switch for example.

True... until they sell out and cost as much as a Switch! :ganishka: I guess that's not such a problem anymore, and I even see the fun of the pretend system, especially if I was trying to approximate the experience for my kid or something (though it works more like a modern one than blowing dust out of cartridges =). I'm probably in for a rude awakening though...

Video Games / Re: Games to look forward to!
« on: October 30, 2018, 07:17:27 PM »
It's not a bad list, there are just some curious standouts missing, along with a few stinkers that no one in their right mind would spend more than 30 seconds playing (Toshinden I can at least rationalize because while shitty, it was the quintessential early PlayStation game — but the original Rayman, really?).

Yeah, it's not that most are bad games, just many aren't the best or ones that would be considered quintessential Playstation games like FFVII. And Rayman is like the quintessential multi-plaformer; I think it has been released for every system in existence since 1995! Haven't finished it on one.

A lot of the obvious omissions here are probably due to licensing problems and/or Sony not wanting to step on the toes of recent remasters (Parappa and Crash in particular). That being said, it is really hard to squeeze in all the top-notch games on the platform in a list of 20, so why are they wasting time with Jumping Flash?

Anyway, here I've "fixed" the list, bolding the new ones:

Nice list! That wasn't so hard, but again, they're probably following a path of least licensing resistance as they are trying to pick the 20 best or most renowned PS1 games. Yet it's still crazy to me they don't have Crash or Tomb Raider represented (are people really not going to buy the new Crash trilogy because they could play one of the old ones on a PS1? They could still do that! =). It's like releasing a Nintendo classic without a Mario or Zelda game included. :???:

Mmmyeah I'm gonna have to pass on that one.

I know Walter has the Nintendo ones for quick and easy plug n play access to their classic catalog, which makes some sense in that case, but in general I don't really get the idea of these classic boxes, or at least think there's better alternatives. Either beam it directly to my TV/phone/computer screen or I might as well play the original game system or emulate it, which is basically what this is. I feel like I'm paying for the plastic shell and the pretend experience of the system as much as the content and purported convenience. I mean, I get why Sega et all sells them at CVS and Staples for $60-80, but I don't get why you'd buy them when you can get all those games and more on Steam for cheaper and "forever." All these "classic system" bundles from current gen manufacturers should be available digitally on their latest hardware, at a discount minus the box. Maybe they are? =)

Video Games / Re: What Are You Playing?
« on: October 29, 2018, 03:33:42 PM »
I am in the mood to getting back into Buffy: Chaos Bleeds (PS2 / XBOX) now that Halloween is just around the corner.

I couldn't get into that one, but the original Buffy game on XBOX was a pretty decent game and excellent adaptation of the show.

So, after a few days of Red Dead Redemption II I'm finally starting to get sucked in. Part of the slow start for me was there's just so much to learn/do that it feels like you're kind of stuck for a while (literally and figuratively in this case). It sure doesn't have the simple, instantly absorbing classic western action that begins RDR1. There's a lot of early tutorial missions and with good reason because there's so many contextual controls I still don't know what I'm doing half the time and need to rely on prompts from the game (it's basically been playing me =). This is frustrating because you literally can't move or run sometimes when you want, and they've crammed a keyboard's worth of control options into gaming's oldest living game pad design (this thing makes the control menus in MGS5 and BotW seem simple by comparison).

Now that I'm starting to get past that I'm beginning to enjoy the game much more. The standout mission so far was actually one where not much happens but you getting drunk with a buddy, but it's so immersive and unique it really shows you the narrative potential in this game despite still following the tired GTA mission framework (at least you can save without going to bed). It's very impressive all that they've crammed in here and how much depth there is to the interactions with the characters, animals, environments, etc. This game is designed for you to get lost and absorbed in over the long haul, but it's got such a steep learning curve I'm not sure that immersion will be fully successful (it doesn't help that I'm just sort of stuck doing community organizing stuff for the gang; it's a much more passive start than the forces driving Marston's mission). Right now I see incredible potential, but also the potential for diminishing returns on such meaty gameplay being put on a pretty old and relatively thin skeleton. We'll see how it goes; it's either going to be the best game ever or 10 pounds of shit in a 5 pound bag. :ganishka:

I have a feeling this will be a good year for New Englanders (in sports).  :guts:

Well, that's been the case for almost the last 20 years (Pats are always there but it's still a crapshoot, super Celts still probably won't beat the Warriors, etc). I remember rooting for the "underdog" '04 Red Sox, which I saw in person, like everyone else. That seems like 200 years ago (which is also seemingly how many bad losses worth of time the Dodgers have managed to fit into the last decade). This year wasn't even so bad, at least we got beat by a team that pretty soundly scored on us every game; last year we managed to lose a series where we arguably could/should have won 6 of 7 games but always found a way to lose.

Video Games / Re: Games to look forward to!
« on: October 29, 2018, 02:57:47 PM »
Battle Arena Toshinden
Cool Boarders 2
Destruction Derby
Final Fantasy VII
Grand Theft Auto
Intelligent Qube
Jumping Flash
Metal Gear Solid
Mr Driller
Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
Resident Evil Director’s Cut
Revelations: Persona
Ridge Racer Type 4
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Syphon Filter
Tekken 3
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
Twisted Metal
Wild Arms

As inexplicable as I expected, maybe worse actually considering what's missing.

Go Sox!  :ubik:

On behalf of everyone not from the New England area: eww, gross, you're the worst, but congrats on your successful brand of frontrunning, I guess.

Anyway, go not picking up Dave Roberts' contract! Hated all his moves, and this isn't hindsight because I hated them all in real time too. Everyone was going nuts after Puig's homer yesterday, then Madson's up in the pen for some reason and they're pulling Hill for him, and after that goes predictably awful Jansen is back up for another shaky six out save after blowing one the day before, and that goes the same too, of course. This was all AFTER benching our best power hitters the first two games for some bullshit matchup reason.

Dave Roberts:

Not that it matters, the Sox proved they're the way better team and the players made Roberts look bad, but the Dodgers could have at least made it interesting by not being terrible and blowing every chance they get. Oh well. Go cleaning house on a two time WS loser; get dem bums outta here!

I've been watching the Dodger game since yesterday. :???:

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