What games are you currently playing?


Mr. Keith
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Turns out I'm missing important context and scheduling for my comments about Christine/Victoria. From J. E. Sawyer's blog:

I cannot speak for Chris Avellone (who wrote and directed Dead Money), but I believe we were limited by time/scheduling.  Veronica was written and recorded for the base New Vegas game with (IIRC) only a few hooks for Dead Money.  I think reactions to Dead Money content itself would have required a more comprehensive level of (way) advanced planning, i.e., we would have needed to know exactly what Veronica was reacting to in Dead Money at the time that we recorded her for New Vegas.

Either that or we would have needed to book Felicia Day for more studio time during the development of Dead Money.  That can also be difficult and expensive, especially since voice actors and studio time are generally booked in multiple hour blocks.  It’s difficult to justify if the character is only saying two or three new lines.

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Played two demos last night while the internet was down at my place. 

-Nier: Automata: Never played the original (yeah, I know Dubs, if you can find me a physical edition for under $40 that would be great). Liked the camera angle changes (normal was shiftable, but there were points where it shifts to platformer and bullet hell angles), combat was fairly easy to wrap my head around, and the two characters we were introduced to were fun.

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Picked up Nier Automata. Still very early on (just finished the desert zone boss battle), but the level of detail in this game (all your weapons have a story behind them, the side quests are sweet and devastating - oh thanks for getting me the parts to repair my leg, but I don't know if I'm actually going to do that because that's the last original part of me I have left, and I'm not sure what it's gonna do to me when I replace it lololol) is amazing. It takes you a bit to find the rhythm of the combat if you haven't been playing it for a while, but once you do you figure out what to do pretty quick. And all the customization of the chips is fun to do. There's also a super neat feature where if you enable internet connectivity, you can use the corpses of other players either as battle companions for a short time, or salvage their bodies for new chips and items and money, and when you die, after salvaging your body in game, it can still be uploaded to the network for others to use. 

There's a huge standout moment to me, and this is still pretty early on in just the first route. This cutscene happens and transitions into this music for the boss fight, and I legit got shivers. I haven't been able to play this as much as I want, but I am really looking forward to getting more into this, as I know there's at least two more routes, and something like five to seven major endings (along with all the joke endings - don't eat the mackerel). 

Mass Effect Andromeda: Jim really likes the updated combat, I like how fucking pretty the world is and all the little side pieces (emails, individual squad interaction, some of the side missions, ambient dialogue you pick up on). We pretty much played it starting immediately when he came over on Friday night, and through late Sunday. Play pattern has been do a main story mission, get so frustrated at not being able to manually save for long sections/various happenings therein that we decide to go side missions for a few hours, and then circle back to the main mission. Gonna be marathoning again this weekend. 

That said, there have been times where I'm pretty sure we may have disturbed the downstairs neighbors (thank god they don't have kids or easily excitable pets) with how loudly we were yelling at some of the idiocy of the game's writing (I might need to make them apology cookies). (Most notably: that bullshit First Murderer outcome option, the AI mission on ice hell world, and some of the interactions we have with the Moshae during some of the Angara missions.) Options on some of the main quests seem reductive. 

Also: there are some pretty major bugs, at least on the PS4 version. At last count, we had Drack somehow ascend into the walls of the Tempest after talking to him, a respawn in an area of the game where we technically shouldn't have been able to respawn in, and a mission where Ryder died and a game over should've been triggered, but the game kept running and we couldn't do anything (had to quit out and restart). 

Most notably has been what I've affectionately come to refer to as the Jaal rave bug.  He followed us like this for an hour, through several cutscenes/interactions, and continued through him being as a battle member in our party. I finally had to close out and restart it on the PS4, because it was starting to interfere with combat. 

Edited by Venneh
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Been playing a bit of Overwatch. I found myself playing Reinhart a lot because I would go into a game and there would be no tanks (but three Snipers?). Since the new character is a tank, I've gotten to get some variety. So far, I am an alright Zenyatta and can play Lucio alright along with Soldier 76.

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Rein and Lucio are the best characters to learn early on because they're always useful and you'll almost always find games that need a tank or a support.

The general rule on PC is that there will be a least one Widowmaker per game, usually per team.  People LOVE the idea of being an awesome sniper but 99% of them are horrible with her.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finished the main campaign in Mass Effect: Andromeda. By almost every standard, it's a step down from the first trilogy, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The combat is much simpler and as a result I found it to be somewhat more fun, even as the story itself was kind of meh. The first couple of planets you land on are quite dull, and the main story takes a looooooong time to really get moving, but the side quests and loyalty missions are fairly entertaining, enough so that I was still on board once the main storyline got going. The game has a lighter touch as well; there's a fair amount of humor amongst the squadmates, who really do seem to like each other, and Ryder is much more personable and, frankly, likable than Shepherd ever was; she (I played as a female) has a personality, and is fairly funny and even kind of dorky. There are a lot of "I have this copy of Chopping Mall on VHS that needs to go back to the video store, can you swing it by the Blockbuster on Havarl for me?" type of side missions, probably too many (although not quite as pronounced as Dragon Age: Inquisition), but overall the balance was pretty well done. I enjoyed.

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Still playing Overwatch and, I can honestly say, having so much fun. Most games, I end up playing Lucio which, hey, I love doing. I want to say I am semi-decent with him, still have some times I screw up but ehh.

Outside of Lucio, I've been getting in some time with Reinhardt, Bastion, and Pharah. I want to get better at Roadhog but rarely get the chance. Same goes for Mei and D.Va.

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Finished the main campaign in Mass Effect: Andromeda. By almost every standard, it's a step down from the first trilogy, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The combat is much simpler and as a result I found it to be somewhat more fun, even as the story itself was kind of meh. The first couple of planets you land on are quite dull, and the main story takes a looooooong time to really get moving, but the side quests and loyalty missions are fairly entertaining, enough so that I was still on board once the main storyline got going. The game has a lighter touch as well; there's a fair amount of humor amongst the squadmates, who really do seem to like each other, and Ryder is much more personable and, frankly, likable than Shepherd ever was; she (I played as a female) has a personality, and is fairly funny and even kind of dorky. There are a lot of "I have this copy of Chopping Mall on VHS that needs to go back to the video store, can you swing it by the Blockbuster on Havarl for me?" type of side missions, probably too many (although not quite as pronounced as Dragon Age: Inquisition), but overall the balance was pretty well done. I enjoyed.

Mass Effect Andromeda: We were way more into the side missions than we were the main missions too, tbh. Like, I loved the loyalty missions (MOVIE NIGHT), and the little pieces of the world (emails, bulletin boards, KROGAN LARPING). The main story was.... a thing? That ending mission was clearly what they wanted to do originally with ME3 but got overridden. I'd be up for seeing these characters again, and maybe doing another run through to romance someone else (but honestly, I might just look up our other options on YouTube), but as is? I'm alright. 

Two other major bugs that we ran into, even after the patch that was supposed to fix a lot - our Ryder didn't load in during the final movie night cut scene, which made it look super eerie, and during the final fight sequence, none of the enemies loaded in. 

Persona 5 on the other hand, we have already agreed that we're gonna purchase this on the PS3 too, and will probably spend a week around Christmas just not going outside and playing the shit out of it again, and we're only about at midgame. The story is absolutely insane, and I have no idea how this is going to turn out, which I really like, tbh. Except for Ryuji, I love our crew. We've got several guides that we're attempting to follow now, but for the most part we're also going in a bit blind for maxing out skills, social links, etc (that's what round 2 will be for in the winter). Persona fusion is pretty much the platonic ideal of what we've been hoping for. The UI is goddamn gorgeous in its flow and sheer stylishness, and the game really commits to the prison/French theme/aesthetic in almost all aspects. The battle system basically is a further evolution of P4, and now adds some fun new magic twists. Dungeon crawling has multiple save points, and isn't nearly so unforgiving (you can restart boss/midboss battles if you lose, and dungeon deaths bounce you to your last save point), and has some pretty solid mechanics this time around (attempts at stealth, puzzle solving).

I mean, the camera is still godawful, and the "older gay men are predators" bullshit is still there, but everything can't be perfect.

Have picked Overwatch back up a bit with the new event; the PvE mode they have for it is perfect, and I honestly hope it sticks around. 

Edited by Venneh
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Mass Effect: Andromeda. Allegedly, this is the work of the multiplayer team from ME3, and it shows. The combat's improved by an order of magnitude and no longer feels like a chore. There's some hilarious bugs in the game (shooting an enemy that spawned floating on air dropped two corpses, a critical path boss spawned in the ceiling forcing a 20 minute restart of a section, and the game spawning a seperate copy of Jaal that floated in zero g tripping balls, which even appeared in Important Cutscenes). There's some really goddamned stupid choices (do you want the red idiot ball or the blue idiot ball) but the writing's solid where it counts, in the loyalty missions and romance options. It's the first Mass Effect game I've played that's good and not great.

Persona 5. I've played enough Persona to see the formula but I still feel compelled to play this iteration. The way the camera interacts with the stealth mechanics is garbage and makes combat harder not because of enemy strength or weakness but because you need to rely on the minimap not what's on the screen to figure out where the enemies are. With that out of the way, it's everything a Persona game's been thus far, but tweaked and improved. If you haven't played a Persona game, start here. Predatory older gay men make a reappearance here, I believe their names are Gay and Panic. Persona's back and it's good to play another one of these.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Persona 5: We finished this up last night, and I kind of already want to dive into a new game plus run (which lets us carry over money, social skills, all the Personas we made, special items) and see if I can't max out the social links we just barely missed.  We hit 90 hours for this playthrough (we went for the True ending), and we still have stuff I want to try to complete. The story goes epic on a scale I haven't seen since P3

(turns out that Igor not sounding like Igor was a major plot point, and the final boss is basically the expression of humanity's desire for control)

, and while it goes a bit off the rails towards the last five hours on the True run, it's still great. The Persona formula is still there, but it's basically been refined to the point that it goes off almost perfectly - and while this run of games (3, 4, 5) has been great, I'm interested to see what a new team will do with Persona (GIVE US A FEMALE PROTAGONIST AND QUEER ROMANCE OPTIONS FOR THE LOVE OF FUCK).

The camera is still your first, last, and worst enemy in this. Especially when you're trying to figure out some of the puzzles towards the end of the run. 

(Also Atlus please let up on the stupid fucking restriction on using the PS4 Share feature, I just want screencaps of Sojiro's skeptical face and to be able to take photos without having to rely on my phone.)

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So after 50-something hours, I finished Horizon Zero Dawn. I don't think I've ever Platinum'd a game before, but I did it with this (and still have so many unlockables and map icons left). This is one of the few times I felt a game's plot was just as engrossing as the characters and the gameplay, as I often feel they have two of those three but not all. But I love the dense world holding, the characters that had just enough depth for a first game, and the combat that constantly had me figuring out new tactics. 

Aloy is a great character, I'm looking forward to seeing her grow over how many games they're planning to do. Everything with Rost just pulled on my heartstrings, especially when you visit his house later on. I don't like that, aside from Sylens, there's hardly any constant characters alongside you for most of the game but I get it. The side characters are wonderful though. Talanah, Petra and Vanasha are my absolute favorites. They're all so much fun.

Whatever they have in this game's future, I'm here for it.

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I'm playing The Walking Dead: Season 3. And now for my rant. Maybe spoilers, so hidden.

Clementine is 13 years old here. When the first game started, she was 8 and had a birthday somewhere in that season.

So let's say she's barely 13, and the first game started when she was just a couple weeks shy of being 9.

So it has been 4 years and a couple months since the zombie apocalypse started. (I am being generous.) How in the world are they still getting gas for their cars?

Granted, this is a bigger problem in the TV show, where 6 years have passed in the show's timeline because of Coral's age. But this is still a pretty big problem in the game.

I don't think this is a nitpick!

Really it's probably been 5 years since the start of Season One. Maybe closer to 6.

But even at 4 years, this is a major plot hole. Ain't nobody drilling for oil, and ain't nobody refining it and getting it to the gas station.

At some point all of the gas is gone. That would happen well before 4 years. I mean, I remember reading about the gas lines in the 1970's. That was just an OPEC embargo, nothing like a global zombie apocalypse.

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It took five months due to life and other games getting in the way, but I finally finished the Mass Effect Trilogy. I don't really have any complaints, aside from 1's gameplay being very frustrating. It was an amazing experience to me, and I just loved seeing my FemShep, Liara, Garrus and Tali grow over the course of the story. I don't know how likely I am to replay this any time soon, I'm a little too attached with how it went this time to do so. 

I got into this series because Andromeda got me interested but considering how all that's worked out, I might just wait until they've worked out everything first.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Got Prey by Arkane Studios and Bethesda (Bethany Esda), since horror sci-fi is my jam. A couple hours into it, and I'm digging the game. There's some neat twists and turns story-wise, and I'm enjoying how Morgan Yu's character keeps shifting the more you find out about him. The worldbuilding in the game is great, with a great balance of darkness and humor (loved finding that one dude's D&D character sheet). There's so much thought put into where everything fits, it's amazing.

The world design is pretty interesting, having a central location that links back to every other place you need is something I haven't personally encountered much. That leads into my only complaint so far, that loading times are pretty bad for how much the game relies on you going from area to area. It's more than a little annoying that a lengthy loading screen (with interesting art to look at, to be fair) has to be followed by another loading screen.

But yeah, I'm really digging the game, it feels like a natural (and better) extension of games like Bioshock and Alien: Isolation. 

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  • 1 month later...

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age: Man, if there was ever a game that deserved the HD remake, it was this. And it isn't just a high res remake - they took the International edition (basically, FF development cycle typically goes Japan release, US release with extra content, then port that back to Japan with even more content as International edition) and added more improvements - the background music has been rerecorded and sounds amazing, the license board actually makes you choose jobs now and eventually allows you the choice of a second job (and the strategy of it is pretty fun), map overlay is available if you want it (because these areas are huge).

But biggest of all is speed mode - you can speed up movement/battle speed in the overworld up to 2x or 4x speed, which makes a HUGE difference in the ability to be properly levelled and even just when you have to haul ass to various places. I'm going with 2x speed for now because while 4x is a bit too fast for my taste.  It makes them look like they had a bunch of Adderall in terms of movement, but we got through the Sandseas and the Westersand in way less time than I remember doing in high school/early college, and we are borderline overlevelled for most of these boss fights because we go out of our way to find every possible enemy to get that dank XP. Grinding is insanely easy - point them in the direction of a bunch of enemies, let the gambits take over, and watch everything play out in high speed and the XP/LP rack up. We beat Ghis and Belias in about two to three minutes with Mist chains and just beating the shit out of them, most recently. Licenses can still be frustrating when trying to figure out what the fuck everyone can actually use when you're getting equipment, but the amount of XP/LP that we're getting as a result of speed mode means it's not as difficult as it once was. I'm probably going to drop a bunch of money on gambits again soon to start refining that more and more, but even now just the basic party leader beats up nearest visible target, rest of the party follows them, someone with Cure spells throws a Cura when someone goes below 40% does wonders for battle. Basch might already be at something like 1600 HP too. That's a thing. 

The last time I played this was the end of my senior year in high school/the beginning of my freshman year of college. I remember most of the plot points and major boss battles, but there are some areas even now that I've just straight up forgotten were a thing (accidentally wandering into the Zertanian Caverns, whoops, forgot that the Nam Yensa Sandsea was a thing before Raithwall's tomb).  The medieval Star Wars vibe of this is still wonderful, and we're still in the early parts of the story (just hit the Raithwall's Tomb fetch quest and the Belias boss), but it's great to see this all unfolding again. Getting a weird vibe off the Archadian part of the storyline, given current politics stuff, too. Normally when there's an option I'll switch over to the Japanese vocal track, but the work that the translation team did on this (iambic tetrameter and pentameter speaking sytles y'all!!) means that I'm staying on the English track this time around. 

Basically: they fixed some of the worst things about this game, gave it a touch up besides, and is getting people to look at one of the best FFs of the PS2 gen again. Come back for another round, it's worth your time and then some.

Vaan is still the worst, though. Only now he doesn't look like he has painted on abs. 

Persona 5: On our second runthrough of this. New Game+ carries over all your money, equipment, social stats, Personas, and skill cards. It kinda feels like cheating to be able to basically tear through some of those earlier dungeons with say, Trumpeter using Megidola on everything in sight, but it definitely speeds the dungeon grind up and lets you finish dungeons in only, say, one run instead of several days of runs. On track to finish a shitton of social links (I've maxed out everyone in the playable characters except for Futaba and Haru, both of whom only just showed up in terms of the story, and seven of the ten NPC links) in a very short amount of time, and even if some stuff was gated by stat rank before, some of them are now gated by story stuff (ie, you might be able to get Sojiro to level 7 pretty quick, but you can't advance until Futaba shows up) instead. Trying to fuse as many Personas as humanly possible, too, and now that I have the ability that lets higher leveled personas just join you, it helps a ton. Starting to approach endgame again, and I'm interested to see what all I can get out of it (there's at least a fight with Caroline and Justine that I need to hit before the end of it which is apparently intense). 

Yakuza 5: I might maybe be interested in this series now. We got this for free on the PS3 through PS+, and it's honestly pretty great. I've been hearing lots of good things about it, but to switch between being a taxi driver, racing a bunch of dangerous street gangs on the highway, grinding randos' faces into the pavement/beating them up with bicycles, and somehow being caught up in yakuza drama and still have it be a coherent game is a hell of a thing. We finished Kiryu's story, we're now on dude two whose name I forget at the moment but just had a thing where some prison fuckos poked around in his open wound and we noped out for a bit around then. 

Overwatch continues to be fun, I usually play it once or twice a week now for a few hours, with a crew that I bought a headset for. Horizon is a great map, and I'm interested to see what Doomfist does once he shows up on Tuesday. Total Mayhem mode is the best, though; I've gotten 96k healing done as Lucio in that mode, which is insane and has left my wrists numb. 

(I need to get back to Nier Automata, but I figure once I finish the second playthrough of P5 I'll get back to it. We've also got Wolfenstein: New Order and Bayonetta on the PS3 at Jim's.)

 

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Yakuza 5. The first section's got a weird kinda WWE vibe hamming up a double crossing gangster plot. The second section we tapped out of after it went full Oz on us. Fun game, and some of the special attacks look super painful (see: The Essence Of Face Grinding) sit next to minigames about being a no joke safe taxi driver. We're full weebs.

Darkest Dungeon: XCOM as a dungeon crawl. There's four dungeon difficulties and the first two are okay. The third is doable, if you're lucky and the fourth I haven't even tried yet. Superlative voice acting. At this point, I just look up how to beat bosses on Reddit because getting my team to a boss is a gamble and even they get there, they're bruised and softened up for a terrifically hard enemy. If I beat this game I'll record a prayer to RNGESUS.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bayonetta: Devil May Cry with a female lead is a reductive (and accurate) description. What isn't in that description is how well executed the character of Bayonetta is. It's a Platinum game (Nier: Auto, Metal Gear Solid: Revengence) so it's no surprise that it's flawless control wise and hella responsive to play. Hannah and I may have more to say on a podcast, and perhaps with our first guest.

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Hey, so I don't ask this, but I've run into a couple folks upset that I'm playing a gay dating sim on my channel and they're dislike bombing it already.  It's not a ton, but it's enough that it'll hurt my views pretty much from the start.

So if you can do me and favor and up-thumb this to counter-act that a bit, I'd appreciate it.  Don't even have to watch the video.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age: Hell yeah. I missed a proper bombastic Final Fantasy ass Final Fantasy. It's a very specific itch to scratch. Also, a friend of mine remarks that they liked Fran because no one ever questions the fact that she's competent, and they didn't recall a time when any of the in game characters ogle her. The settings are sumptuous, in this case it seems like they mined Middle Eastern architecture and design to incredible effect. It's worth checking in on what happens when the imperial weight of Final Fantasy touches down.

Also, we begin playing Destiny 1 soon. Expect us being snarky about Bungie's storytelling choices and in awe of their art direction in the near to medium term.

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FFXII: Zodiac Age: We've got Reddas, my favorite guest character now, and I've been trying to hold off on the plot for as long as possible so I can a) use him as a wonderful fourth character to make the Hunts easier (we're down to 1 mil plus dragon fucker and Gilgamesh) and b) put off losing him from the party. We're probably about forty to fifty hours in gameplay wise I wanna say, in speed mode, and we're already at Pharos. This really benefitted from the HD remake (we're into the really pretty shit like Giruvegan and the Pharos). (Also love that the female characters for the most part get to have their own stories not tied to the dudes.) Also: some of our characters are now to 1341 LP, and nothing left to use it on. We might be going hunting for additional Espers before we finish out Pharos. 

Mass Effect 2 (again): Two things learned from this playthrough: there are still small missions from scanning that we didn't get the last time; and that we really have to commit to either Paragon or Renegade, because otherwise decisions can happen that negate characters' loyalty. 

At endgame again for P5, should probably finish that off soon. Should see if I can do the secret battle with the Twins. 

Overwatch: Please nerf Doomfist. Please. The new loot boxes are working out well; I finally got to the point where I have the vast majority of the stuff in the normal loot boxes, so I've now maybe racked up over 9k currency, which will come in handy for the Halloween event. Still haven't done Deathmatch. Looking forward to the new Junkertown map. Again, not playing this near as much as I used to, except around event times, but I'm pretty okay with that. 

Upcoming: Pyre, Wolfenstein: New Order, restarting Bayonetta at some point, more Yakuza 5, Nier Automata, Dishonored 2 (yes we still haven't played it), Dest1ny. 

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