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Everything posted by Wiper

  1. Oxenfree and Heaven's Vault are both brilliant, and justify both bottom and top tiers alone. The Wolf Among Us also happens to be the second-best Telltale adventure (after Tales from the Borderlands), so is a nice extra. Definitely a worthwhile bundle at any level. The other Telltale games are fine, I guess.
  2. There may be a way to force GeForce Experience shadowplay (or whatever it's called now) to identify the window, but failing that you might have better success with OBS. It's free, accepts multiple audio sources, and you can either point it to a specific window or literally draw out the area of the screen you want it to look at, so it should do the job. One downside: unlike the GeForce solution, it isn't a built-in function of your graphics card, and therefore has some CPU overheads. Hopefully that shouldn't be a problem, but depending how hard your machine is working to play Alyx it may not enjoy the extra workload.
  3. Seven years is a long time, so I'm going to split and bookend mine. Standout moment from the start of the generation: Not this particular line, but the whole ending to Gone Home, the payoff for the hour or two of careful, player-tempo-controlled investigation and exploration. Just a sublime exploration of the possibilities of interactive narrative without branching. That so much of the quality of the game lies in the background, in the stories outside the primary narrative, makes narrowing down to this moment incredibly reductive, but it was an incredibly powerful moment for me. Standout moment from the end of the generation: Encountering the running man in Rez Infinite once more, only this time fully immersed in VR, was quite the thing. The cacophany of colours and sound that so amazed on the Dreamcast almost two decades earlier, just as astonishing now by right of the change in presentation.
  4. Honestly, your best bet is probably the RPG itself. Either the sourcebook for Cyberpunk 2020 second edition (avoid 3.0, it's not great and has been retconned out of existence), which is a decent-sized volume of rules and setting, and should give you the flavour and terminology (but be, well, 57 years out of in-game date). Alternatively, you can look at the 'jumpstart' kit for Cyberpunk Red, which should be completely up-to-date with the video game, but is considerably lighter on content (being a starter kit rather than a full sourcebook), and I can't speak to its quality. As you're only interested in the setting, there's no real downside to just picking up a digital release of either rather than paying out for physical copies with character sheets etc. Red jumpstart can be had for $10, second edition source book for $15. As is typical of RPG's, there were lots of supplemental books made covering different aspects of Cyberpunk - including e.g. an entire book about Night City - but given they're all set in 2020 I fear the more specific they get, the less relevant they'll be to the new game. Also, you know, that's probably not a rabbit hole you want to go down. There were also novels made within the setting. I strongly recommend not reading them.
  5. Well, Unknown Armies sounds fascinating! As you say, horror as actual horror in a TTRPG rarely works in a positive way, so I find those that lean into the weird to be generally more appealing, so this is very appealing, conceptually at least. And I do enjoy a good 'improve through failure' mechanic. Definitely one to put on the list. I can see that your series is going to cost me a lot of money on RPG's I'll almost certainly never play; looking forward to having Unknown Armies sit there looking ridiculously oversized next to Blades in the Dark and Romance of the Perilous Land on my 'lockdown dreams' shelf.
  6. Still love stealth gameplay, but it's one of the mechanics I'm fussiest about (and always have been). Pure stealth games designed entirely around keeping a low profile and minimising conflict, with open environments to give you actual choices of approach, are heaven to me. Stuff like Thief, Tenchu, Hitman, Gloomwood - I just can't get enough. They're all planning, exploration, observation and execution: The Game (with an added side of anxiety), and I love them. I do also enjoy games like Deus Ex, Dishonored and Prey (and, very specifically, the two MGS: V games), which expand the flexibility while making stealth less of a requirement, as they keep the core planning/exploration/observation loop. Generally their stealth mechanics feel a little underbaked (less complex routines for dealing with sound, light and/or context than dedicated stealth games are typical), but the increased freedom of choice helps mitigate that. However, bolted on stealth sections I almost never enjoy - they're inevitably mechanically unsatisfying, with limited/no considerations beyond simple line of sight avoidance. I also have no time for linear stealth games (like all the early Splinter Cell games) where you're tasked with taking a single route, waiting for signposted solutions and generally having no creative input, nor for the "violent Pacman" approach of the pre-5 MGS titles and the TLOUs, where stealth action takes place in limited environments and the main mechanics are rudimentary hide and seek and murder (and occasional forced combat section), rather than large-scale planning and execution. So no, as I've gotten older I haven't lost my enjoyment of stealth games, but I have gotten better at identifying what type of stealth I enjoy.
  7. Easy peasie one, this. Screw that TLOU nonsense, the French have been doing tragic AAA games since at least 1991, all the while somehow managing to keep the kill count under 100 Day 30 - Credits music Also, how's that for a credits roll? Mr "a Hideo Kojima game" wishes he had this level of creative input.
  8. Yeah, it is a bit worrying - particularly given it did get pretty high-profile coverage pre-release. Best hope is that it's because it's an Apple Arcade release, which may have led to it getting overlooked by the specialist press (particularly the typically PC-centric point & click side).
  9. So, when I said my final choices were never in doubt, that was based on a mistaken understanding that this category was 'Final stage music'. Seems a bit daft for the list to have both best Boss battle music and Final boss music, but there we go. Day 29 - Final boss music Gitaroo Man - Resurrection (COIL) As with so many things, it's the context that makes this. It's a solid bit of guitar, to be sure, but what elevates it is the stress of playing it as the final climax of the game (also, it will almost never sound this good, certainly not on first tries as you squeak and squeal your way through in the desparate attempt to beat Zowie). It's a glorious, frustrating collection of interminable solos to stagger through, and beating it is a real moment of catharsis. Love it. If my original understanding of the category had been correct, my choice for Final Stage was naturally this: Alternate Day 29 - Final stage music Rez - Fear (Rez Edit) (Adam Freeland) Though obviously for full effect you also need to the in-game sounds, building up and filling out the soundspace. Combined with the visuals it remains just about the most 'immersive' musical game experience of my life. Especially when played in VR. God.
  10. *shakes fist at Apple Arcade* I'm surprised it's out so soon - and actually a tiny bit worried, as it felt like a game with a fair amount of ambition, so I hope it had enough resources to do it justice. Either way, sounds like I'll be finding out in July!
  11. Ah, into the final 3, huh? None of these were ever in doubt, so let's begin : Day 28 - Music that makes you feel nostalgic Deus Ex (PC) - UNATCO headquarters (Michiel van den Bos) This is actually moderately tricky to find online, as the primary track that tends to come up as the UNATCO theme is slightly different (read: wrong). I've never been sure if it's the PS2 version, or if there's a soundtrack CD version that differs from the original. Either way, when I think of the UNATCO theme, it's this version which runs through my head. Plenty of Deus Ex songs could have made this list; the (again, PC original specific) title theme by Alexander Brandon I love dearly, for example. Equally, many songs from this list could have been this entry: many have the power to pull me back to the point in time I associate with their game. Hell, this song could easily have topped a different category - it's a great hub area song, for example. But, in the end, it's the perfect choice for this category, for two reasons. One, it does quite simply pull me back to playing Deus Ex, the game which most fundamentally affected me as a teenager, in terms of my expectations of games narratives and freedom of choice, in terms of themes and aesthetics. Two: even at the time its melancholic synths gave me a sense of nostalgia. Partially this is stylistic - the soft, ambient synths felt like they could have come from a machine five, ten years older than my PC at the time. Partially it's narrative - the UNATCO sections of the game represent JC's, and the player's, few moments of peace and, well, "innocence", until it too corrupts. But for the early sections, wandering through the clean, calm corridors of HQ with this music playing gives a strong sense of what 'was', of JC's expectations of his role in the world. Either way it gave me a strong sense of nostalgia even when I first played the game - a neat trick to pull, particularly on a then thirteen year old. Also, you know, it's a great track. That's somewhat important too.
  12. Yeah, Andrew Sega's one of those composers I always feel goes underappreciated. See also the Crusader: No Remorse soundtrack for more of his mid-90s goodness: Like Kenny Chou, he's another example of a demoscene musician getting into video game soundtracking in the mid-90s with great results.
  13. Day 27 - Music from a handheld game Ghost Trick - Ghost Trick (Masakazu Sugimori) I have a lot of time for this odd little track (and endless time for the game it's attached to). Lovely stuff.
  14. I mean, I have a fondness for Cyberpunk [the RPG], but the reason Cyberpunk [the video game] feels derivative isn't simply because Cyberpunk [the RPG] was foundational, but because Cyberpunk [the RPG] was itself highly derivative of the major cyberpunk [the genre] settings that came of the early, pulp cyberpunk [the genre] fiction and films. I.e., the neon-soaked, orient-fetishising, corp-run, ridiculous-naming aesthetic was very much established as the stereotype before the 1989 release of Cyberpunk [the RPG]. Also, if there was ever an example of why you shouldn't name your game after its genre, it's the above paragraph.
  15. Day 26 - Music you like from a game you haven't played Death Stranding - Death Stranding (CHVRCHES) Keeping to the apparent tradition of this round of picking a nice vocal piece. It's the second-best CHVRCHES video game song (the best is obviously Warning Call from Mirror's Edge Catalyst)! It's quite good!
  16. Day 25 - Music that gets you pumped Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Pursuit ~ Cornered (Masakazu Sugimori) When this kicks in you know someone is about to go down (in an extremely legal sense), and your trial is coming close to a fist-pumping conclusion. This could easily have been one of the equivalent tracks from later games, I've just opted for the first as, well, it's the original.
  17. Picking this game was easy, but finding the theme from the specific version that's stuck in my mind is apparently impossible, so I've had to grab a gameplay video for it: Day 24 - Music you have constantly stuck in your head Bubble Bobble (Atari ST) - Main theme (Tadashi Kimijima) I mean, what else is there to say? What a banger.
  18. Judging if something is underrated is tricky. Should I pick a less lauded song from a popular soundtrack? Or a great song from a less popular game? As I said, tricky. So, in the end, I've gone for an iconic song from a less-popular version of a moderately successful game: Day 23 - Underrated music Columns (Game Gear) - Gameplay Theme A (Tokuhiko Uwabo) So simple, but an effective, evocative use of the Game Gear's limited sound palette. I spent far too long listening to this as a child, but it never grated.
  19. Day 22 - Town/village music Persona 4 - Heartbeat, Heartbreak (Shoji Meguro, sung by Shihoko Hirata) There are more iconic tracks from P4, but honestly the most enduring, endearing memories I have of the game come from hanging out in the welcoming streets of Inaba, Heartbeat, Heartbreak playing warmly in the background. A perfect match for the game's ambiance. That reminds me of my choice for worst contender, which makes the crucial error of not being laid back (and also of being terrible), which it turns out is unbearable when you're being subjected to it for hours on end while trying to complete fetch quests:
  20. Just to make sure, if you do decide to upgrade to a 3000-series CPU at some point, make sure you update the BIOS to the latest version first; if you're on an old, pre-3000-supporting version when you switch out the CPUs you won't get very far! As for the original topic, well, everything's largely been said already - i.e. future-proofing is more or less meaningless, particularly at this precise moment in the hardware cycle, but even at the best time (generally about halfway through a console generation) you're still generally paying over the odds for the sake of avoiding upgrading for a year or two extra.* That said, if you need a fancy PC right now for other reasons (e.g. you need a machine for work/your old machine has died), and don't want to have to go through a dramatic upgrade in the short-term, you'd probably want to: grab a motherboard with PCIe 4 support, so you've got a pathway for graphics card/SSD upgrades further into the future. I think this means any X570 board on the AMD side, not sure what the Intel situation is. stick in a high-end processor; of all the components, that's the most likely to not need upgrading for a looong time if you get something powerful now. Again, more familiar with AMD here, but a 3700X would be nice if you have the money. ideally transplant an old graphics card into your system until the next gen cards come out in a few months, then see how the land lies. If that's not possible, and you really want something that will last a few years until PCIe 4 graphics cards really kick in, well, I'd suggest nothing fancier than an RTX 2070 Super / RX 5700 XT (Raytracing / non-raytracing, respectively). Buying top-end immediately before a new card generation? Not something I'd recommend. stick in at least 16gb RAM. That should leave you with a very powerful machine at the moment, that can be upgraded a few years down the line with a fancy new graphics card (and maybe some extra RAM) and remain competitive. Of course, this all assumes that the move to PCIe 5 doesn't come sooner than anticipated. That'll completely screw you if it becomes a thing in a few years. Future-proofing! The fool's game! *and even then are likely to trap yourself in a cycle of wanting the very best, and so upgrading just as often, only now you're spending even more money while doing so
  21. Easy one, this. Day 21 - Music you associate with frustration Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! - Ready Steady Go (L'Arc en Ciel, covered by Tetsushi Kimura) I feel a bit bad picking a song not written for the game it's in, but trying to beat this on hard, then later insane, with the unskippable intro, the punishing lack of ability to take any misses... My god. And despite that, the song still gets me pumped. What a game. The spinners can fuck right off, though.
  22. I mean, there's a good few elements of a game that I find off-putting, but most have exceptions. Like, I dislike crafting mechanics generally, but some games focussed on them (e.g. Minecraft) I have a lot of time for. One element that doesn't ever sit well, though, is shitty working conditions, and/or crunch. If I know you put your staff through hell to make a game, I'm out. Even if that means avoiding a game I was very keen on playing (yes, Cyberpunk, I'm looking at you), or a game I'd previously enjoyed (oh, Read Only Memories ).
  23. VR could be a very good fit for the first two Panzer Dragoon titles (much as it was for Rez), but I do find it slightly amusing that after so much clamour over the years for a port of Panzer Dragoon Saga, what we'll actually be getting is some VR shooter snippets abstracted from it. Plus, of course, nothing from the best of the shooters in the series. Ho-hum.
  24. I've had to look it up, and it seems that the original Messij is in both versions of Wipeout (which presumably is what you recognise), but Messij Xtnd is only the PC/Saturn version of 2097: https://wipeout.fandom.com/wiki/Wipeout_2097
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