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Everything posted by SqueakyG

  1. Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is a prequel with Chloe as the main character, telling the story of her friendship with Rachel Amber. It consists of 3 episodes and a bonus episode. Most of the voice actors - including Chloe's actor Ashly Burch - were changed because it was made during the big voice actor's strike a few years ago, though Burch returned for the bonus episode. For the record, I thought Before the Storm started pretty great, then episode 2 was less great, then I think episode 3 fumbled the plot completely. The bonus episode is an excellent bit of fanservice/loveletter to season 1 though. I still haven't played LIS2 because of the mixed reviews.
  2. I don't know whether it's exactly what this thread is going for, but: In the last few years I've been developing a tiredness problem. There's probably a medical cause - I probably need to sort my body out - I'm middle-aged and overweight. GP hasn't told me I'm pre-diabetic... yet... but I'm already working on thyroid issues, kidney issues, things that can make you feel run down. Anyway, the point is that I get super tired and need to take a nap in the evening, even though my day job isn't very physically or mentally taxing. This is starting to really piss me off because that's the chunk of time that I should spend playing videogames. Once I wake from the nap I feel a bit shitty and grumpy and don't want to play anything, I just want to be a zombie until I go to bed for real.
  3. I think it's a bit of a plot hole / storytelling problem that Max doesn't immediately recognise Chloe in the bathroom by her voice. I forgive all plot holes because of how amazing and emotionally powerful the whole thing turns out. But yeah, it's not perfect.
  4. I have had 80-100 hour playthroughs of NMS twice. The first time when it originally released in 2016, then again two years later with the "NEXT" update. It's now another two years later and I'm thinking about having another go. I have a couple of questions: Do you think I should start a new game? I think a lot has changed again mechanically, which might make my last save file half broken and irrelevent. At the same time, I don't imagine much has changed with the Atlas/Artemis stuff which I wouldn't care to bother doing again, and I don't fancy doing all the grind again. Next question, should I stick to PS4 Pro or get the PC version this time? I only have a GTX 1060. Is this a game that runs great on a midrange PC, or would it be no better than PS4 Pro?
  5. I'm trying to decide whether I should replay the first game, for the first time in 5 years. Finishing this incredibly impressive sequel makes me want to replay the first, but I'm not sure if the gameplay would feel like an irritating step backwards.
  6. I must admit that I found combat to be frustrating, but I mostly blame my play style and competence. The trouble I found was: when stealth fails and all hell breaks loose, I just panic and hide behind a couch in a basement (or behind a counter in a shop, etc). So I get pinned there and have a terrible time trying to survive behind the couch, using all my ammo and health packs as enemies gang up on me. Then when I finally kill them all I emerge from behind my couch... and notice a giant open area that was clearly designed as my big playground of options. I also suddenly remember that I have some awesome weapons and bombs I forgot to use. So I blame my panic and how I forget all my options and tactics and let myself get pinned. But I can't help blaming the game too, because I just walked into the area, so how the hell do I know where to go? Or what my environmental tactics options are? I put the game on Easy, but felt bad about it.
  7. Now I'm finished, I have a million things to say about the game. I don't know how to put my thoughts in order, except to say: 8.5/10, technically amazing, falls a little short of masterpiece because it's over-long and over-written, although the writing and performances are excellent by videogame standards. It still doesn't solve Naughty Dog's ludonarrative dissonance problem because gameplay is fun and enemies are still enemies. The horror sections are awesome. Breathtaking art direction and attention to detail. The narrative choices are so bold and challenging that NO WONDER the internet has gone crazy about some things. I personally didn't get upset or angry about anything - I just enjoyed the drama. The Ellie vs Abby fights are an incredibly strange sensation as a player. But instead of talking about that, I want to admit something foolish: I spent the whole game thinking Abby was trans. You see, I was successfully unspoiled - I must be the only person on Earth who didn't know Joel was going to die. However, for my sins, I see some nasty alt-right rubbish on the internet fairly often, and a few days before the game's release I saw them posting videos of the sex scene between Abby and Owen, and it was labelled as a "T-word sex scene" (the bad word for trans) with a great deal of mockery. These posts were vile, but damn them - I took it as a factual spoiler that Abby was a trans character. I should probably also blame my own assumptions about body shape. Even when her flashbacks showed her looking more typically cis female in her youth, it just confused me further and made me wonder exactly what her transition was. Another personal failing I guess - why be distracted? Even Abby's bonding with Lev - that amazing line where she says, "You are my people." - I thought she meant "Because we're both trans." I'm a fool.
  8. I haven't played this for the last 3 days because it has been too hot. I reeeally want to make more progress, but not in a 30 degree room. Hopefully the weekend will be cool enough. I'm past the half-way point so I see what the reviews couldn't show... But I must admit that I feel a bit less motivated to play the second half than the first half. I instantly "got" the clever point the game is making, but I have a feeling that it wants me to keep getting this point for another 15 hours of gameplay. The idea wearies me.
  9. Games that don't trouble the PS4's fan too much in gameplay, but when you go to a pause screen or back to the PS4 dashboard the hairdryer starts up.
  10. I fondly remember 42 All-Time Classics on DS -- so I knew the good and bad of what you get here: lots of totally functional games, but don't expect great CPU AI, and don't expect any single game to be as good as a dedicated paid app would be. I only just started dabbling with this for an hour or two so far. It's going to sound like all my impressions are negative... not really, I'm looking forward to getting stuck in... but first impressions: - Texas Hold 'Em is too simple and doesn't feel anything like a casino game. 5 or 10 rounds, low-stakes betting without the ability to choose a bet size or go all-in. AI is obviously not going to feel human either. I wish they'd patch in a "casino" variant. - Billiards is too simple. I didn't expect a 3D view, but no spin? - Instructions are a lot simpler than I expected. I remember 42 All-Time Classics had such detailed instructions that you felt educated about each game, but here the instructions are so light and casual. For example: Solitaire Mahjong doesn't tell you anything about how to understand the tile suits (winds, seasons, dragons, etc). - Websites say you can unlock the Nintendo card variants by playing 3 card games... I've played 6 of the card games, but "Ricardo" has not offered me the Nintendo cards yet. - They need to patch in an options screen with volume sliders to turn the music down, because I want to hear the wonderful clicks and clacks of the sound effects but the music is a bit too loud and obnoxious. It also needs a "Skip intro" option -- you don't need to watch those more than once (or even once, since they haven't even been very instructional or informative). Feels like the intros add a few seconds to the load time, and you must always hear the first couple of seconds of smug annoying voice acting as you click "skip". Ultimately I was hoping that 51 Worldwide Games would replace Yakuza as a way to play all the various casino, bar and traditional japanese games in Kamurocho. Unfortunately so far, I'll still have to go to Kamurocho.
  11. I can play all these games without running around Kamurocho and getting into fights...
  12. I kept my preorder for the UK version. I'd like to clarify: Can I use my Raspberry Pi power supply (5V 3A) for this, or would that destroy it? It's easy enough to dig out another phone charger, but these mini consoles get put in a spot where the Retropie usually sits and it's convenient to plug them into the 5V 3A.
  13. Going from 0 to Kiwami is most natural, and the order you should do it. But it's also going from the best game in the series to the worst. Or at least, Yakuza 0 was made as a celebration of a long series by developers going balls-out, whereas Kiwami is a remake of the smallest and simplest first game. Only one playable character, only one city, no major managment minigame, and the comedy just isn't there in the substories yet. They added a bunch of comedy with Majima Everywhere, but that becomes a huge pain after a while. And yes, that first boss is notorious. You can only do chip damage to his many health bars, and then he regenerates his health, and you might not have bought the "kiwami" move that stops it. Thankfully the other bosses are fine... except the end-game boss. I had just as much trouble with the very end-game boss, for the same reason as the first boss. Combined with everything else that was "lesser" about Yakuza Kiwami, I finished it feeling a bit sour. I think the main story is pretty good though.
  14. Yakuza 5: So far I've done Kiryu's section in Fukuoka, and Saejima's section in Sapporo. Now starting Haruka's idol training in Sotenbori. I think it helps that each character has a different location. They feel like almost totally seperate short games, and also feel like departures for the series. Kiryu can spend a lot of time as a taxi driver. Saejima can spend a lot of time as a mountain hunter. Haruka's part is very different than a usual Yakuza game. Of course I can't tell how batshit the plot is going to get yet. Some things are annoying though. The pacing of cutscenes is glacial -- they take 10 minutes to say stuff that could be said in seconds. And this is coming from someone who didn't mind the pacing of previous games. Set your controller to stay awake for as long as it can so that it doesn't disconnect during the longer scenes. (On the plus side, this is now Zero and Kiwami's game engine - you can now pause or skip cutscenes!) Saejima's section is also oddly paced: you spend half the time in prison again which is pretty boring, and only get to the lovely winter snow festival city towards the end. Do you like the street fight encounter rates? Oooh boy. Yakuza 5 is interesting. You know how in Yakuza 3 and 4 you'll see someone standing suspiciously at an intersection and if they spot you it starts a fight -- but you can slip around them. In Yakuza 5 they are everywhere, and they spot you from much further away. You can literally finish one fight and step right into the next. You can sometimes hear three fight-trigger-people spot you at once. Also, the random fights are longer and harder from the outset, with sometimes 6 or 7 guys with long health bars right from the start. Funnily enough Kiryu gets the Beads of Good Fortune very early as a substory reward, so you can spend most of Kiryu's section blissfully free of street encounters... but this is a blessing and a curse, because it doesn't prepare you for Saejima's city travels, and he has no such Beads of Good Fortune. His city has lots of tricky invisible walls between the roads, and it's almost impossible to avoid encounters.
  15. I have found that quite a few Triple-A games from the current generation are just too big and complicated for what I want a videogame to be. Learning the controls and the gameplay systems feels like learning how to perform a second job. Red Dead Redemption 2 is a big example. I played the first 4 or 5 hours then never went back. There are around 16 different inputs on a game controller these days (not counting analog movement), and RDR2 requires you to use all of them, in many combinations. I found myself staring at the bottom corner of the screen for most of the time, because that's where the prompt popped up to "Hold this and tap this to do this." I recall there were different button combinations for picking up a gun and for picking up a hat. I realised I wasn't going to enjoy the game. I think God Of War (current gen game) could have been just as great without RPG stat systems. Don't need levels and statistics. Don't need to spend hours staring at numbers in the menus to decide whether my weapon would kill things better or worse if the rune with +2 to frost damage comes with a -1 to fire damage. It would have been exactly the same action game without stats. Also games that confuse and complicate things because of all their "Game as a service" / lootbox / in-game currencies / pay-to-win / DLC nonsense. When you boot up the game the title screen is basically a market stall saying: "Look at all the extra bits you haven't bought yet!" Then the single-player experience is cluttered with collectables and currencies for a dozen different multiplayer modes. I'd say this is a "barrier for entry" because you have to become accustomed to the entire complicated business model of Triple-A games in order to find the actual game behind the layers of up-sell.
  16. Jeff Gerstmann playing every game made in the last 10 years: "This looks bad. It just looks... bad. The controls are bad. Just, the way it controls, the controls are bad. This just doesn't look good. It looks kinda bad. Just the way this game looks and plays... I dunno... it's kinda shitty. This is just not good. The controls feel bad."
  17. I had exactly the same opinion when I finished Yakuza 4 a week ago. I thought each individual character section was some of the best character work the series had done -- all three of the new players had an intriguing and distinctive background and story. Some people don't get on with Saejima, but I enjoyed everything about his story and even his fighting style.The overall arc looked like it was coming together nicely, and I was looking forward to Kiryu's section tying everything together. Then it went mental, in a bad way. I've already laughed and rolled my eyes at some of the absurd extremes in the Yakuza series, but usually it enhances the enjoyment. This time unfortunately the shit is just stupid. Almost every character gets shot by a sniper while explaining The Entire Conspiracy. Almost everyone betrays everyone else. Almost everyone gets shot and presumed dead at least once. There are at least two cases of bulletproof vest trope, "object in the pocket stopping the bullet" trope, "gun loaded with blanks" trope, and of course... Then they don't really know how to end the story, so Akiyama says, I know it's not wise to launch right into Yakuza 5, but I have a sense of momentum and also a sense of "Let's finish this", so now I'm half way through 5.
  18. I'd heard negative things about Saejima's fighting style in 4, but I'm not having any problems - in fact his moves are pretty interesting. What's frustrating me a bit right now - at the part I'm at - is that he can't just walk the streets of Kamurocho because of all the police, and must use the underground sections. But I'm so confused and forgetful about how all the little bits of sewer and underground connect to each other. It's quite a challenge to work out how to get to certain streets, when usually I could just jog there in 10 seconds. Tried the Fighter Maker for a few minutes... but nope, not a minigame I'll invest time in. It looks like hours of menu selection guesswork. It's going to get ignored just like Hostess Maker.
  19. When playing Super Worlds I think it would be useful to see an indicator of each course's difficulty, maybe next to the course title before it starts. Perhaps the entire Super World could also be given a difficulty based on an average of all its courses. Most previous play modes have been about choosing a difficulty, so it seems odd that you have no way of knowing what a Super World is like. Played GokouD's world... it was good to see some courses that I remember from last year! Don't think I'll get past the first course of the second world - that bony shell jumping is too complicated for me. Perhaps I'm especially rusty right now. To begin with I think everyone is just going to put together a "greatest hits" selection of the courses they made last year, which is fair enough. But eventually people might start making worlds with a purposeful sense of progression and design -- such as teaching the player a technique in 1-1, then elaborating on that technique in 1-2. I think most people are still too busy playing Animal Crossing to care about SMM2 though.
  20. I started Yakuza 4, and it feels amazing to be able to go down into those subway entrances, after playing about 6 of these games with invisible walls there! I was equally amazed to be able to walk into the Volcanic Volcano for the first time... but then pachinko totally mystified me. No clue.
  21. I must have moaned in this thread before, but -- yes, SMM has always required you to do all the leg-work yourself on forums and social media to get anyone to play your courses. If you're lucky your course could take off in the algorithm afterwards -- but even then you're only likely to get a couple of hundred plays. I would spend AGES making a course because I wanted to get it just perfect, without any softlocks, with a level-design that would guide and manipulate and sometimes trick the player (but hopefully in a way that amuses them). I would also make sure the course was speed-runnable, since some of my friends liked speed-running every course they were given. But what's the point of all that effort if the course never takes off? I briefly played with the idea of "quickie courses": set myself a challenge of throwing something together in 2 hours max. That's okay I guess. I made a few decent little courses, but it doesn't scratch the itch if you have bigger "concept" ideas.
  22. Re: Star Trek transporters, spoilered for off-topicness: Anyway, Devs: I really liked it, but I thought it was going to be more sci-fi and trippy. At the end of episode 1 (my copy at least) there was a trailer for the rest of the season, and it used clips to suggest that I think the series worked quite well as a thriller anyway. This wasn't the first time I've seen a story about a computer than can do what Devs does, so the concepts didn't seem completely new or mindblowing to me. I'm sure it's been done a few times in fiction -- the one I happen to know is Koji Suzuki's "Loop", the third book in the Ring series. It's been a long time since I read it... refreshing my mind with a synopsis just now makes me think it was really hokey and crap. Probably not as clever as Alex Garland's ideas. Let me give a half-remembered synopsis with full spoilers:
  23. This is probably the main explanation for why so much voice acting was terrible in PS1/PS2 era videogames. I remember an interview with the voice actors from Resident Evil 1 and they explained that the director of the voice recording sessions was Japanese and couldn't understand English, so he would ask for line readings that sounded emotionally right to him, with no regard for how crazy it sounded in English.
  24. If I'm thinking of the same scene - yeah, that was the most melodramatic scenes of all time. It STARTS in heightened bromance melodrama mode, and then just... keeps... escalating. "Andre Richardson" in Yakuza 3 made me question the quality of the voice acting! I've always believed the Japanese voice acting was excellent. However (without spoiling too much), when the American character starts talking in cutscenes near the end of Yakuza 3, his voice acting is hilariously bad. It's straight from the early-2000s Resident Evil style. It made me wonder if the Japanese voice acting has always been of similar cheesy quality, and we just can't tell.
  25. As I said, I was waiting for the Picross S series to go on sale - it may only be 20% off, but it was the excuse needed. They seem absolutely decent and well-made. I've got puzzles to last for ages now! Perhaps the only slight disappointment - compared to the benchmark Picross DS - is that I can never tell what the picture is going to be. I have to watch the finished puzzle resolve into colour, and then it slightly resembles the thing it's meant to be. Maybe that will improve as I get onto the 15x15 puzzles. Also it's a shame the pictures don't animate, and that they aren't put into theme categories.
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