What Are You Playing?

I think people had unrealistic expectations when it comes to this open world of Cyberpunk itself, it's not and wasn't supposed to be RDR2 or GTA V open world like game, but more like TES/Fallout and The Witcher 3. City feels extremely dense, it's very atmospheric and you can lose yourself in it however it is still a stage for quests, leveling up, looting, trying to look for stuff to hack and looking for a fight - yes you need to look for a fight here, it doesn't come to you easily, there are no monsters or wild animals attacking you. It's a great game honestly, just failed launch with old gen and they've admitted that today. Only good thing is that everyone who bought it on previous generation will get proper next gen update.
It has nothing to do with expectations, if you give the game an honest look you will see that it's nothing but a pretty shell that is hollow. Sure the city is big and looks good (when the damn textures decide to load), but there is NOTHING to do, you can't talk to most random npcs or interact with them, sit down in a shop and buy something or enter most buildings ( just the vending machines ). This isn't a bad launch, there are fundamental problems with the game. Oh and by the way, in my opinion them admitting that they "Didn't show the game in last gen consoles enough to make a more informed decision" is nothing but dishonest, nothing changed in a couple of days they just had to release it in time for the holidays
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
It has nothing to do with expectations, if you give the game an honest look you will see that it's nothing but a pretty shell that is hollow. Sure the city is big and looks good (when the damn textures decide to load), but there is NOTHING to do, you can't talk to most random npcs or interact with them, sit down in a shop and buy something or enter most buildings ( just the vending machines ). This isn't a bad launch, there are fundamental problems with the game.

Well, this isn't making me optimistic for the in-game experience improving! I agree with you in that my problems with the game thus far are all matters of creative choice and design, not technical issues, but we'll see if that helps me discover more depth.

Oh and by the way, in my opinion them admitting that they "Didn't show the game in last gen consoles enough to make a more informed decision" is nothing but dishonest, nothing changed in a couple of days they just had to release it in time for the holidays

Yeah, "sorry" doesn't mitigate things at all, and just tells you the problems ain't going away, and the idea of getting another copy for an expensive new system you don't own and possibly can't afford isn't a great offer either. It's like, buy my $59 vaporware now, it'll work on a future platform you don't have! Not good.

What are you playing it on Griffith?

A PC I got last year to play VR and specifically in preparation for running Half-Life: Alyx. Nothing too fancy these days but it still gets the job done, apparently: AMD Ryzen 7 2700 Eight-Core Processor, 16GB of memory, and a good old AMD RX 580 4GB (so not quite the minimum for Alyx, but it worked =). It has a regular and solid state drive, which I use to run more demanding games from (previously Alyx and then MK11 for competitive reasons, but it made little difference with the latter). I'm running CP77 on that at medium to high settings and not only is it running fine but loads up surprisingly fast to me (going in I figured it'd have more issues for me but so far, so good). I actually haven't tried pushing it to see if it chokes at ultra because it's been fine as is, but I'll see tonight. I'm even hoping for a performance boost once they patch it to take advantage of the multiple AMD cores, which I guess they fucked up coding. There's a DIY fix for the code but it's working well enough I don't want to go editing my exe on a reputedly unstable game that currently ain't broke. Anyway, like I said, my issues with the game have all been conceptual and game design elements I don't like, such as some crowded controls for the MANY mechanics you have to keep straight, and picking up, equipping and using items and weapons isn't as intuitive as it should be (I'm using mouse and keys, like a real PC RPG should be played, but it's probably optimized for controllers).
 
I mean, entering most buildings in such world would be pretty unrealistic (too demanding), there's already plenty to enter, but I agree with you in general on this, there should be more side activities beside side quests, like ... arcade game machines should be playable, at least some of them, sitting down should be available, I can't find way to change hair of characters which was a thing even in The Witcher 3 ... basically more interactivity and activities that would help player to immerse himself in this world and not just do quests like a robot, which I'm loving so far btw, but yeah, there's room for improvement. If not here, then maybe in next Cyberpunk lol
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Cyberpunk 2077 - The contrarian in me is actually enjoying this game more now that it's such an infamous boondoggle and everyone is jumping on the hate bandwagon. It's like hype and high expectations put into reverse. Another reversal I like is a purported GOTY-candidate AAA game being broken on consoles and optimized for PC. Nice change from the norm (though probably not the usual way for good reason; like you can't just fuck with your PS4 settings until it limps along =)!

Anyway, all that fun drama aside, I can play for a couple of hours at the end of the day, and it's usually compelling and I feel like I'm making progress every session instead of it being interminable. I'm going straight story missions, so I don't know what I'm missing or not on the side, but I prefer more linear, narrative games these days and it's delivering in that regard better than I thought. Everyone is still sort of an caustic asshole, even Keanu Reeves (gasp), but it's getting better or I'm just getting used to it. I'm sure it'll be said a million times that the developers benefitted greatly from the wealth of source material in the Witcher series. But those games, at least the third one, were also impressive by the depth of mundane, yet fun, shit you could do (think, BotW, but more traditional). This game has a lot of mechanics too, but I don't really feel like I need them, and the ones I use, basically weapons and scanning/hacking, don't feel very well optimizatized and I have to do too much through the menu that should just be more simple. This game is kind of like a GTA game or an FPS, but if it was also pretending to be this deep RPG, so the weapon swapping and abilities aren't as streamlined as those games, but it's not really deeper either. Just optimize the core gameplay so it's more natural to equip and switch weapons, etc.

In a nutshell, once I got over this clearly not being the best game ever, I started enjoying it for what it is, and there's a bunch of cool stuff and maybe more for me to discover, BUT... it's ultimately going to suffer from the same legacy as The Last of Us 2, which is that it's being sold as the cutting edge, transcendent gaming experience of this year when it can't even live up to its predecessor, or in this case, work.
 
If only this was released only on PS5/XSX there would be much less hate. I think now even PC reviews are getting heat from overall backlash that was created. I'm 50 hours into the game, it's really solid and quests are fun. I've got implant allowing me to double jump and game became much more fun. Variety of approaches is pretty good, like I would expect from Deus Ex like game.
 
I'm way behind on updating this thread with my list progress, so here it goes...

System Shock 2
I can't say enough good things about this game. The original game was so, ahem, original, but this is one of those rare sequels that takes everything great about the first game and makes it even better. I enjoyed the "twist," even though I knew it was coming. I can't wait to revisit this one and try a different play style. The first time through, instead of playing the "warrior" like I always do in these kinds of games, I went with the "hacker" model and it made things a lot easier.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Too short! I loved the first game in the series, and I knew things would be different going into this one with the change in story direction brought about by the publisher taking over. I still enjoyed the story and change in game play, but I wish it had been a longer game. Just as I was really getting into it, Kain jumps through a time portal and I'm left with "Too be continued." I've heard the rest of the series never reaches the heights of the first two games, but I'm still interested in playing through them.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Again, too short! However, it seemed about as long as Resident Evil 2, so I can't complain too much. I had a great time with this one. Even though there weren't multiple playthroughs with different characters, it still felt as fun and rewarding as RE2. I loved the addition of the Nemesis throughout. I was skeptical at how much tension it would actually add to the game, but it did its job well. I really liked how Raccoon City became the mansion and police station this time around, and I honestly wasn't expecting that ending.

Banjo-Kazooie
An old favorite from when I was a kid. I went back and forth on whether or not to replay it, since Banjo-Tooie is on my list, but I eventually decided to give it a go again. While the graphics don't look nearly as beautiful today as they did on my 40" CRT television in 1998, they still hold up. I love the cartoony goodness of the polygonal characters. While it isn't that challenging, the game play is still fun and rewarding. I even died a couple of times fighting the final boss, which was a little embarrassing, haha.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
I was finally able to get the PC version from GOG working with my gamepad. I rented this one back in the day, but was never able to beat it. This time around it took me less than a day to breeze through the levels. It was a fun, Star Wars-style arcade shooter, short and to the point. I'm looking forward to going back one day to get all the gold medals and extra ships.

Whew! That about does it for now. Next up is Rayman 2: The Great Escape!
 
System Shock 2
I can't say enough good things about this game. The original game was so, ahem, original, but this is one of those rare sequels that takes everything great about the first game and makes it even better. I enjoyed the "twist," even though I knew it was coming. I can't wait to revisit this one and try a different play style. The first time through, instead of playing the "warrior" like I always do in these kinds of games, I went with the "hacker" model and it made things a lot easier.
I bought it today, and I'm really eager to play it but do you think I should play no. 1 first?
Or is it fine as a standalone game?

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Too short! I loved the first game in the series, and I knew things would be different going into this one with the change in story direction brought about by the publisher taking over. I still enjoyed the story and change in game play, but I wish it had been a longer game. Just as I was really getting into it, Kain jumps through a time portal and I'm left with "Too be continued." I've heard the rest of the series never reaches the heights of the first two games, but I'm still interested in playing through them.

I had a demo cd from the PS magazine when I was a kid (I was born in '94) and I thought Kain tearing Raziel's wings in the trailer would scar me for life :ganishka:
 

Oburi

All praise Grail
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Too short! I loved the first game in the series, and I knew things would be different going into this one with the change in story direction brought about by the publisher taking over. I still enjoyed the story and change in game play, but I wish it had been a longer game. Just as I was really getting into it, Kain jumps through a time portal and I'm left with "Too be continued." I've heard the rest of the series never reaches the heights of the first two games, but I'm still interested in playing through them.
Well, if I may, I can speak with some authority on this since this series is one of my all time favorites (the cover art for Soul Reaver II makes up the majority of my sleeve tattoo). First of all, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's a great game and in my opinion the series actually gets better! Soul Reaver II is much bigger. Probably 10 times the scale and scope, play time, world map etc. It continues right where the first leaves off and the relationship between Raziel and Kain only becomes more complicated as the story deepens and the world becomes richer. It's such an amazing game. The first Soul Reaver is just a small prequel of sorts, like The Hobbit is to LOTR's, and what comes after is just great. The dialog scenes and voice acting are top notch. Truly cinematic and brilliantly written. The story gets a bit confusing as there is some time travel elements introduced (I'm honestly still not sure how it all works, but I get the impression that the writers did and that's good enough for me).

Then there's the final act, Legacy of Kain: Defiance. I guess at the time Defiance was written off as being lesser than what came before, but again I disagree. It at least matches the quality of the previous titles. Reminds me of the Mass Effect 3 debacle. If you're truly invested in the story, understand the games and don't have some unreasonable expectations, this series, like Mass Effect, is very satisfying to the end. And unlike Mass Effect, the game mechanics never really change. It's a fighting / puzzle solving game with a great story and memorable characters that were written, developed and voice acted by talented people (Amy Henning lead writer). Defiance was everything I wanted in the conclusion to this series.

I can't wait for you to get to them. I think you'll enjoy it if you really loved the first. When I played it a few years ago for the first time since it originally came out I couldn't believe how small and straightforward it was compared to what comes after. Things do get VERY complicated lol.
 
I bought it today, and I'm really eager to play it but do you think I should play no. 1 first?
Or is it fine as a standalone game?
It’s fine as a stand-alone game, but you should definitely play the first one at some point. It’s a classic.

Well, if I may, I can speak with some authority on this since this series is one of my all time favorites (the cover art for Soul Reaver II makes up the majority of my sleeve tattoo). First of all, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's a great game and in my opinion the series actually gets better! Soul Reaver II is much bigger. Probably 10 times the scale and scope, play time, world map etc. It continues right where the first leaves off and the relationship between Raziel and Kain only becomes more complicated as the story deepens and the world becomes richer. It's such an amazing game. The first Soul Reaver is just a small prequel of sorts, like The Hobbit is to LOTR's, and what comes after is just great. The dialog scenes and voice acting are top notch. Truly cinematic and brilliantly written. The story gets a bit confusing as there is some time travel elements introduced (I'm honestly still not sure how it all works, but I get the impression that the writers did and that's good enough for me).

Then there's the final act, Legacy of Kain: Defiance. I guess at the time Defiance was written off as being lesser than what came before, but again I disagree. It at least matches the quality of the previous titles. Reminds me of the Mass Effect 3 debacle. If you're truly invested in the story, understand the games and don't have some unreasonable expectations, this series, like Mass Effect, is very satisfying to the end. And unlike Mass Effect, the game mechanics never really change. It's a fighting / puzzle solving game with a great story and memorable characters that were written, developed and voice acted by talented people (Amy Henning lead writer). Defiance was everything I wanted in the conclusion to this series.

I can't wait for you to get to them. I think you'll enjoy it if you really loved the first. When I played it a few years ago for the first time since it originally came out I couldn't believe how small and straightforward it was compared to what comes after. Things do get VERY complicated lol.
I’m glad to hear that. I fully intend on playing the rest of the games in the series. I’m looking forward to doing so even more, now that I’ve read your praise.
 

Aazealh

Administrator
Staff member
Well, if I may, I can speak with some authority on this since this series is one of my all time favorites (the cover art for Soul Reaver II makes up the majority of my sleeve tattoo). First of all, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's a great game and in my opinion the series actually gets better! Soul Reaver II is much bigger. Probably 10 times the scale and scope, play time, world map etc. It continues right where the first leaves off and the relationship between Raziel and Kain only becomes more complicated as the story deepens and the world becomes richer. It's such an amazing game. The first Soul Reaver is just a small prequel of sorts, like The Hobbit is to LOTR's, and what comes after is just great. The dialog scenes and voice acting are top notch. Truly cinematic and brilliantly written. The story gets a bit confusing as there is some time travel elements introduced (I'm honestly still not sure how it all works, but I get the impression that the writers did and that's good enough for me).

Then there's the final act, Legacy of Kain: Defiance. I guess at the time Defiance was written off as being lesser than what came before, but again I disagree. It at least matches the quality of the previous titles. Reminds me of the Mass Effect 3 debacle. If you're truly invested in the story, understand the games and don't have some unreasonable expectations, this series, like Mass Effect, is very satisfying to the end. And unlike Mass Effect, the game mechanics never really change. It's a fighting / puzzle solving game with a great story and memorable characters that were written, developed and voice acted by talented people (Amy Henning lead writer). Defiance was everything I wanted in the conclusion to this series.

Well, to be fair the quality of the narrative in the Mass Effect series went down with each successive title. The first game's story is just perfect, whereas with the second and third ones you can tell they didn't quite know what to do. It's different for the Kain series but also not a clear cut deal I believe. I definitely enjoyed the Raziel games back in the day, but I can't really forgive the fact they took over the Legacy of Kain story and bolted it on an unrelated game/narrative they already had half-developed. It sort of worked out in the end but I would say that Blood Omen 2 and Defiance are the weakest in the series. I haven't replayed those games since they came out, and as far as I'm concerned only the original LOK holds a special spot.
 

Oburi

All praise Grail
Blood Omen 2 is definitely a weak spot. That I know for sure. Of course it would have been nice if instead of hijacking the narrative from the original LOK, both games series had quality games concurrently. In a perfect world...
 

Fancypantaloons

Trapped in time. Surrounded by evil. Low on gas.
I recently got into Wurm Unlimited again. I only have like 90 hours (that's not a lot for a game like this) so I'm still learning the basics. Cool game, although many people prefer Wurm Online.
 
Finally finished Earthbound recently and decided to give Mother on the NES a try. Despite having to play on an emulator for the time being, I'm really enjoying it. I like how open the map is compared to Earthbound, however the random encounters can be a bit annoying. Apparently there's a romhack that adjusts the encounter rates (amongst other things), but I think I'd prefer the original experience. I'm not too far in at the moment, just grinding Lloyd up bit first before I try to tackle Duncan's Factory.

Also played through Silent Hill for the first time the other day. I can't believe I never played this back in the day considering how into Resident Evil I used to be. Really great game and I can't wait to start 2. The only part I really had any trouble with was the boss fight with Cybil. It seemed pretty strange that I was getting hard walled by a boss on Normal mode while the rest of the game had been cake up til that point. Not impossible by any means, just super frustrating at first.
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
Star Wars: Squadrons - With my new flight stick and VR setup I think I finally got the hang of how to launch and play this in VR for the best experience. Basically, make sure compatibility with other controllers are forced off to garuntee it recognizes the stick, and launch the program from SteamVR, not regular steam, to ensure it launches properly in your headset.

Anyway, because of this, and other little setup things like using a TV tray to set my flight stick on and put my feet up like in an X-Wing, it was the first time I was able to relax and experience any sort of "presence" while flying (meaning my brain felt like it was actually there). Now THIS has potential! Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well last night, so only flew a couple of missions before bed, but for the first time I can definitely see myself coming back to this regularly and even replaying it on harder difficulties if I really get the hang of and enjoy the flying. It's a pretty awesome feeling when you start taking out Tie Interceptors like flies.

Hades - I haven't been as addicted since I reached and beat the first form of Hades, the runs have just felt a bit more repetitive since then, but I'm sure I'll finish it. One thing I don't like is leaving a run mid-way because I'll often forget specifics of the build and how to best utilize it and therefore squander its benefits when I come back. Worst example was I had the life regen power, restarted at the 2nd to last bosses, and didn't play defensively to keep my life up until I'd already wasted my last revive. Now I'm left wondering, "will I ever get that again?" :judo:

Cyberpunk 2077 - So, I intentionally took the easy way out "bad" ending on this one, fully intending to reload and the do the final mission(s) and end the game properly, but that was over a week ago and I still haven't bothered. Not a great sign! :ganishka:

I am often very linearly goal oriented in my gaming, so no matter how obsessed I am with a game and how much I play it, once that final boss is downed or I otherwise reach an endpoint, I'm often DONE. I just lose any motivation to keep playing. I count this as a good thing because it allows me to move on or just detach and decompress a while.

Finally finished Earthbound recently and decided to give Mother on the NES a try. Despite having to play on an emulator for the time being, I'm really enjoying it. I like how open the map is compared to Earthbound, however the random encounters can be a bit annoying. Apparently there's a romhack that adjusts the encounter rates (amongst other things), but I think I'd prefer the original experience.

After that I would also recommend Mother 3, which has an excellent fan translation where two teams independently working to translate it joined forces to get that shit done in style. Great moment in Internet history (during simpler times =).
 
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About a week before Christmas my PS5 arrived so since then I played a lot in my free time.

A few days before the PS5 arrived, I started playing Cyberpunk 2077, though. I hadn't had much time that day and only created my character. The praise of how fully customizable your character is created hopes that I could design my character after myself. Didn't take long before I realised that isn't possible, both due to not enough options and me being bad at creating faces how I imagine them but you'll see more of that down below. I then went for a woman which somehow ended up looking a little bit like a cyberpunk Jennifer Lawrence but it's been over a month since I saw my V so I might be misremembering her. I decided on the Corpo life path and want to play as a little asshole, just to make things more interesting. In Witcher 3 I always wanted to choose an option that'd hopefully give me the best possible outcome but I want to mix things up.
Since the internet was full of all of its bugs and my PS5 arrived, I decided to postpone playing the game until they either release their big patches in January/February or even the next-gen patch.
First game I played on the PS5 was Astro's Playroom. For those who don't know - it's basically a controller feature demo, packaged as a 3D platformer. It only took me 5 hours to complete and platinum the game but it was fun anyway. The game was very creative on how to show you what the controller is capable of and I can't wait for more games to implement those features in their games.
In this demo the haptics may have sometimes felt a bit too over the top - you feel every step you make with the little robot - but it was perfect for selling gamers on the idea of the haptic feedback. You feel a difference whether you walk on metal, wood or sand. When there's a breeze of wind coming from your left you feel that going through your controller. I'm not surprised Microsoft has recently made a poll whether people want to have this feature on XBOX, too.
Currently, I'm playing the Demon's Souls remake. It's my first FromSoftware/souls-like game and beforehand I wasn't sure whether I'd like that kind of gaming or not. I remember Aaz telling me in a different thread he enjoyed the game on PS3 and since it's the first "real" next-gen game I thought: why not, let's buy it. I love it! I've died a lot but it's great. The moment when you finally beat that one passage in a level or a boss where you kept on dying is very rewarding. The 5 different worlds all feel very atmospheric and very much alive - there's detail everywhere. I like how much freedom the game gives you as you can do the levels in (almost) any order so when I tried a new level and didn't like it I was free to go somewhere else first. World (and Character) Tendendy is something I had to read up online about. I love the idea behind it but I probably would've preferred some NPC dialogue that hints at what it does.
My favourite world so far is probably the Tower of Latria. I like the prison, the Cthulu guards, the little swamp where you meet those thousand-faces-centipedes and, if I understood correctly, that it was once a very nice place, bright, ivory coloured, that turned into this dark, muddy, nasty place. My least favourite world is definitely the Valley of Defilement. God did I hate going through it. I beat two bosses in Boletaria, all three bosses in Stonefang Mine and the first boss in both Latria and Shrine of Storms before I decided I had to at least attempt the first part of it again. It's way too dark, you're constantly in danger of falling down those narrow wooden paths and bridges and I haven't found "the" weakness to easily kill some of the enemies you find there. I beat the boss in 5-1 on my first try, though. Could've been that I was over-levelled, not sure, but its attacks were easy to avoid and the only problem was dealing more damage than the amount of hp it was healing.
The bosses in general feel very different in their difficulty. The Leechmonger (the 5-1 boss, decided to look it up) took one attempt and the Adjudicator took two and only because I was too greedy with my healing items when I realized how easy that one is when you deal damage from above. The Flamelurker and Dragon God in 2-2 and 2-3 took quite a few attempts before I finally beat them. I also had problems with the Maneaters (I first thought it was a bug when a second health bar showed up but a few seconds later I saw the second one flying towards me, was a "fun" moment :ganishka:)and decided to go through some other levels first.
Gameplay in general feels very good and there's a noticable difference between different weapons, the type of damage they deal and so on. I first went for a balanced character build to test out many things and eventually decided to mainly go for strength and magic. Although I've spoken about the controller in the Astro's Playroom part, I want to highlight that it's pretty well implemented here, too! You especially notice the big heart in Latria 3-2 pumping or the rattling when you take one of the lifts in Stonefang Mine but it's also there when you block an enemies sword or you crush an enemies head. It's a lot more subtle than in Astro's Playroom but I feel like the world comes a bit more alive through it. This is enhanced by the great audio the game delivers, their sound design is really something else: the demon's noises, the sound when magic is cast or when you riposte an enemy - awesome.
What I don't like so far is the camera: most of the time it's good but especially when there's not a lot room, either in narrow aisles or e.g. when the Flamelurker pushes you against one of the skeletons lying around, you basically immediately lose orientation. Another thing that might be the fault of some of the 2009 code is that your sword sometimes clips through enemies when you riposte them for example. This was already shown in the first gameplay trailer but they haven't fixed it with any of the patches released so far and I somehow doubt they will.
Yesterday I went through the big swamp in 5-2 and died after clearing quite a few fog walls without finding a shortcut or anything similar. I'm already excited to go back through all of it :rakshas:
Btw, I tried to create Guts as my character (didn't want to go random and he was the first I thought of after I decided to start as a knight) but, as mentioned above, I suck at this :iva: I went for thick eyebrows, cut on the nose, big jaw, spiky black hair and the pointiest ears I could choose. I wonder if more talented people on the internet made a better version of it, if somebody finds one I'd like to see!
 

Griffith

My posts are better.
I got a Quest for Christmas so figured I'd fire up some of their cordless exclusives...

Star Wars: Tales From the Galaxy's Edge - This would be more impressive if I weren't comparing it to Alyx, but it's ok so far (and I'm learning how to move more freely not worrying about a cable underfoot or overhead).

Until You Fall - Wally recommended, and the best melee combat I've experienced in VR yet. It has a lot of potential but will take some time and practice to see how much I truly enjoy it. It's quite a bit more impressive when played tethered to a PC too.

In Death: Unchained - This version of In Death is so much easier to play and more fun on Quest. I realize half the battle was fighting the controls and other technical difficulties in the, I've heard abandoned, Steam VR version, whereas this one is just good to go. This and its Steam counterpart are probably the VR game I've played most outside of Alyx, and it's not surprising given it's common traits with Souls games.


I've also been putting this headset through its paces tethered to my PC to replay:

Half-Life: Alyx Campaign+ - This is a very well-made and impressively polished user created add-on for Alyx that adjusts difficulty, gameplay, enemy types and placement. Basically, from what I can tell so far, it converts Alyx into more of a traditional action-shooter: you don't need to look around for resources because all guns are fully upgraded from the time you get them, ammo is plentiful, and once you run into the Combine so are enemies.

They've added several varieties of heavily armored, and sometimes grenade-rigged, Combine Headcrab Zombies as well as several new forcefield armored and offensively enhanced Combine soldiers, some of which are far more aggressive and will literally run up on your ass with shotguns!

Most changes had been conservative, a new enemy or two here or there, though this was enough to turn the first multi-soldier firefight from a basic combat tutorial to a lesson in pincer tactics as I was attacked from behind while I fired from cover, I thought safely. And last night I got bushwhacked by a whole squad of these guys in a completely new battle sequence in what was previously a safe zone, so all bets are apparently off. These guys kicked my ass, so I'm going to have to adjust my tactics and aggression because they fight more like enemies in Half-Life 2 or even Doom Eternal than Alyx's usually more methodical foes.

I'm also playing with developer commentary on, which makes for a funny contrast as the Valve team discusses their thoughtful approach to combat as fan-made waves of enemies swarm me. :guts:


Quest Impressions:

Now that I've got Quest Link working I've got a lot more on my plate as I just picked up Lone Echo, Stormland and the huge, at least in file size, Asgard's Wrath. I'm looking for something to replace Alyx as a AAA VR experience, and these are Aaz' longstanding recommendations that I finally have an Oculus device to reliably play on (I was able to load Rift games on my old headset through third party software, but it's not an optimized nor ideal setup).

As for the Quest versus my Dell Visor and more generally WMR, it's an obvious upgrade just for the quality of life improvements of wireless, no headphones, better tracking, controls and software, but it actually makes me appreciate my Visor, how to better take advantage of it and its continued viability, more because Quest's straightforward design showed me some things I was doing wrong with the Visor.

The only criticism I have of Quest is all the potential snags that come with tethering it; finding a working cable, avoiding hardware and software incompatibilities with USB ports or AMD drivers, etc (all of which I encountered =). This was one aspect where the Visor worked at least as well or better, but then that's what it was designed solely for, and with its own setup headaches baked in. I'm looking forward to the future with Quest, and hopefully an official wireless tethered solution that will make the Quest as powerful as any PC without a cable.
 
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I finished Spyro 2 the other day and I’ve been playing Chrono Cross since then. Spyro 2 was just as much fun as the original, if not more so. I’m not sure why, but collecting gems in those games is very addicting.

Chrono Cross is great so far. I seem to remember it getting some flack back in the day for not being a true sequel to Chrono Trigger, but I like it a lot.
 
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