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What game are you playing right now? #3

Discussion in 'Playground' started by Splunge, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    I just got this game for Christmas, but I haven't played Origins or Awakening yet. I don't own them.

    Should I still try it, or wait until I can play Origins first?

    If it means anything, it was from the same relative who bought me Curse of the Azure Bonds for Christmas about 25 years ago even though I'd never played Pool of Radiance or had anything to do with Dungeons and Dragons prior to that.
     
  2. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Playing some Jagged Alliance 2, quite fun as always. I'm playing with the unofficial v1.13 patch, which changes some things, like allowing you to create multiple mercs yourself (normally you can only create a single one and the rest you have to hire) and even pick their traits directly.

    Being rather OCD about maximising my characters, I of course spent a good few hours in the starting village maxing out the WIS on my mercs, since higher WIS will let you learn faster so your skills increase faster. And the way to increase WIS is through arming and then disarming explosives many, many times.

    After that I went on to take Drassen, the next village that the game sort of expects you to go for (not that you really have to if you don't want to). After taking the first city, you'll get a cutscene with the main villain exclaiming that they need to send every available man to take it back.

    It seems to be a feature of the unofficial patch that when they say every man, they really do mean every man. In the vanilla game they'll send over a group of elites, possibly with some normal red shirts thrown into the mix. In this game, though, they threw 94(!) guys at me. For reference, a group of 25 or so enemies would be what I would consider a fairly big group. Also for reference, the game doesn't allow more than 32 guys from one team in one sector at once, so after the initial 32 entered the sector, more could only enter after I killed a few.

    After about 3 weeks of real time (playing off and on, admittedly), I finally managed to take care of all 94 of them. The AI is not very aggressive, apparently, and they have a tendency to group together in the middle of the sector, so in order to not get killed I'd have to lure a few of them over at a time into a defensible position so that I would not get overrun.

    Next up, SAM site and maybe take over the military base in Alma.
     
  3. Tassadar Gems: 23/31
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    Playing Darkest Dungeon early access!

    Also +1 to Henkie for playing JA2, what a legendary game that is.
     
  4. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'm quite enjoying Age of Wonders III at the moment.
     
  5. damedog Gems: 15/31
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    I bought Dragon Age: Inquisition and Star Ocean: The Last Hope at the same time. I was half expecting Dragon Age to be another disappointment and move right on to the better action RPG, but I would say it is on par with or succeeds DA:O.
     
  6. dmc

    dmc Speak softly and carry a big briefcase Staff Member Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Seeing the posts about Pool of Radiance remastered in the NWN2 forum drove me into my "closet of storage" where I unearthed the "Wizworks" CD I bought a couple of decades ago that has all of the gold box games (my originals were for the Apple II, which is no more).

    Install DosBox, copy docs from the CD into a folder, and, voila, instant old fashioned, slow, turn based RPG with hideous graphics, scratchy buzz-like sounds, and chock full of memories.

    If I can stomach it, I might run all the way through them.
     
  7. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Been trying to play some more games in my game library.

    First played Trine. Quite a fun platform puzzler, though not much of puzzling and indeed not much platforming either. A little thin in the gameplay department, then, but at least the art style and the music is quite good.

    Then played a bit of Psychonauts. It's by Double Fine, and as such reminded me a lot of one of their other games I played, Brütal Legend. Similar cartoonish style, which is consistent with the plot and the game world and makes the game seem more like a whole.

    They both also have a somewhat open world in which you play linear missions, though it seems that in Psychonauts the game world is only open in the beginning and then becomes more linear.

    The gameplay of Psychonauts is more like a puzzle platformer, though a lot more puzzly and somewhat less platforming than Trine, for instance. You explore other peoples minds through some sort of mind power to help them solve their issues with the help of your other mind powers so that they will help you in the real world. This leads to a very varied gameworld, with strong characters. Quirky and fun.

    To a point, at least. It also seems to share the quirky controls and jumpy camera controls that makes me grateful that the platforming is mostly on rails and not too much in quantity. Because it can get pretty annoying.

    I'm getting the impression that Double Fine knows how to make a consistent style, plot and game world, but that they're not too clear on what makes gameplay fun. Currently I have at least five minds to explore without much actual real world progress and it just gets to be a drag. Each mind is completely different in setting, but it just seems like filler to pad out the game, because there is no progress.

    And not that fun after a while. The controls end up being kind of frustrating and the puzzles occasionally just don't make a lot of sense. Also, I intensly dislike the boss fights, where you have to struggle with the controls and have to find the right approach to actually win.
     
  8. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Played through Deus Ex: Invisible War again. If I judge it as a stand-alone game, it's not that bad, actually.

    Sure, the environments are claustrophobic, the animation is extremely wooden, but the storyline is pretty good, the characters and their characterisation are pretty well done and the biomods gives some different options to try or even to replay the game with a completely different spec.

    And I do like the story, it develops quite naturally and the conspiracies just seem to deepen and deepen. It also seems like a logical development of the storyline of the original Deus Ex. There are many factions all trying to get you to do their bidding, but you can still do as you like, follow their orders or not. There is quite some choice and there is some reaction to these choices as well, though not with much game impact.

    But when you start to compare to the original Deus Ex, it all seems to have gone downhill. The environments in the original were huge (courtesy of the Unreal engine), which make the already claustrophobic areas seem all that worse. When you revisit the liberty island from the first game, this becomes extremely apparent when it was a single area in the original, but is now split up into three different areas with some walls around it that seem rather out of place.

    The game also seems relatively short (took me about 12 hours, doing everything and going everywhere while being sneaky), which to me also makes the story seem relatively short and the characters not as well fleshed out as in the original.

    The biomods / augmentations also seem a bit of a step down, a bit simplified, though it didn't bother me that much. The fact that you can only use keycodes as you find them and not just try the code by yourself (or look them up in a guide) also seems like a simplification.
     
  9. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    Played through Scribblenauts last night. Incredibly easy if you just want to beat the game, but if you allow your imagination to run wild, you can have a huge amount of fun.

    I started KickBeat tonight and I'm quite impressed with the game. Mechanically, it's a pretty simple rhythm game, but it makes up for it with great visuals, music, and overall quality.
     
  10. SlickRCBD Gems: 24/31
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    Is it me, or are the EGA graphics on the PC ports of those early Gold Box games actually WORSE than the Apple II hi-res graphics?
    I know the later games didn't get ported to the Apple II and they actually used some slightly better graphics, but the early ones look worse than I remember on my Apple IIGS (there were only IIe versions).

    While the Apple II port was almost always superior to a CGA version of a game, usually the EGA version had equal or better graphics, especially if the Apple II used double-high res graphics like the Sierra adventures.
     
  11. Munchkin Blender Gems: 22/31
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    Besides my ongoing playing of DC Universe Online I recently completed Dragon Age Inquistion; fantastic. Reminds me of the best of DAO and DAII. Really great game.

    I just bought ESO and plan to play that soon.
     
  12. The Magpie

    The Magpie Balance, in all things Veteran

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    Been working through my Steam backlog recently, have seen off Tomb Raider (the 2013 reboot) and was attempting Divinity 2. However, I got massively sidetracked by Brutal Doom, which is fricking AWESOME. Updates the Doom engine with mouselook and so many other features it makes it playable again, and easily better than most modern FPS games. I'd forgotten how good this genre can be when you're not just running down corridors being yelled at by someone with chronic laryngitis.
     
  13. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Ich dien ★ SPS Account Holder Veteran

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    EGA is ugly! I tried to play e.g. Pool of Radiance (the original) on the PC but it seemed to be uglier than when I played PoR back then on my C-64.
    My solution was to get Pool or Radiance for the Amiga and use an Amiga simulator which looks much prettier than the EGA version to me.
     
  14. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    One Finger Death Punch. It's oddly addictive...
     
  15. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I know Five Finger Death Punch, a heavy metal band, but not One Finger Death Punch.
     
  16. Keneth Gems: 28/31
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    5FDP is considered a heavy metal band? That's just weird...
     
  17. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    I don't know, that what it says on their Wikipedia page. Also mentioned were groove metal and alternative metal. But I'm not very good with music genres, so whatever name anyone thinks of, it doesn't mean much to me.
     
  18. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Bookworm Adventures 2. And enjoying it immensely.
     
  19. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Just finished Bastion - quite enjoyable. Now splitting my gaming between Defense Grid and Dead Space 2
     
  20. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    Currently playing Two Worlds. A pretty old game, I suppose, and all that I remember about it from that time, is that it was supposed to be buggy. Turns out that was mostly patched within a year and now it's a fairly bugfree experience. Definitely more stable and less buggy than, say, a Morrowind or Oblivion ever were, even with the community patches.

    I'm finding it to be quite a fun game. In terms of gameplay, it feels like the better sequel to Morrowind. Kind of like what I was hoping Oblivion would have been. Though I suppose the game world feels a bit emptier by comparison. Less lore and less random dungeons, for instance.

    I like that if you find multiples of the same item, you can stack them, as it were, and get a stronger weapon or armor piece from it. It makes looting still have a use after a certain point. There's also an alchemy mechanic, which allows you to even increase your stats permanently. I wish I'd known earlier that combining multiple items in a potion would increase the effectiveness of that potion (e.g. if you combine 9 ingredients that give +1 STR, you'll get a potion that gives +12 STR, depending on your alchemy skill level).

    There's various skills that you can put points in that you get with level ups and for doing certain things (every x quests completed, every x amount of monsters killed, etc.), so you can specialize in becoming a ranged, melee, or magic specialist. You can have a bit of both, but not too much as there aren't that many skill points.

    By now, my character is completely overpowered (not unlike how it would be in Morrowind, for instance), but in the beginning it's very easy to die. I walked outside after the beginning, ran into a couple of wolves and died. Turns out it's better to be more careful. At level eight, the wolves and bandits weren't that much of a problem anymore, but running across some orcs, I discovered that hitting them with those early game weapons was about as effective as using a fly swatter on an elephant. They could kill me in one or two hits, though.

    Skip forward to level 20 and some serious armor and weapon upgrades and it was no problem to just walk into a group of orcs and swing around. Ogres, trachids (some bug like things) and quite a few other enemies could still kill me quite quickly.

    By the time I got to level 28, I discovered a place with a lot of these trachids, who always drop an ingredient that gives +3 vitality (i.e. CON, which translates to more hitpoints). Before fighting many of them, I had about 4000 hitpoints, and they could kill me in about 3-4 hits. Lots of running, dodging and a little bit of hitting later, I had more than 20k hitpoints and suddenly life was pretty easy.

    Mind you, running into a pair of golems will still kill me quick, even now at level 47.

    So overall, quite an enjoyable game, though it's a shame that nothing ever seems to respawn. After a while, everything is just empty. I suppose that's just the game's way of telling me to stop faffing about and actually go do the main quest.
     
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