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Which Games Are You Currently Playing?

  1. #1112892017-06-28 10:56:03Kirn said:

    FInished another game while CL was down

    Recently I see more and more popularity for visual narrative genre. You know, stuff like Journey, maybe. Or Last Guardian. Travel through some mysterious place, grow up as a person, this kind of stuff. Often those don't have a lot (or any) fighting, but present some jumping and logical puzzles. And this is one of those games.

    You are a young boy with a tattered red cape. You wake up on a shore of a strange island full of ruins, with huge tower seen in the distance. You don't know how you got here, and you don't know what you must do, but you are led further and further away by a dark figure in red cloak, and by a fox you find and befriend along the way. Eventually you get to the Tower, and get inside of it, but at that point your travels are just starting.

    I honestly didn't think much about this game when I started playing it. But it grows on you quickly. The landscapes are pretty damn good, the journey gets progressively more interesting and intense, and the game, while remaining voiceless (which is not true, you can actually yell, but that's about it), makes you feel for the characters.
    Gameplay is easy. You run around, jump around, push things around - all kind of stuff you would expect from the puzzle like that. The difference is, what exactly is your goal. You may be trying to chase off a giant bird, change time of day or even create a perfect acoustic system. Your ultimate goal is to climb the tower.... which is actually not true... and the tower is actually not a tower at all, so you will experience a lot of world changes along the way. It's complicated.

    Graphic and music are actually pretty good. Graphic is shown well in details - on rainy level it actually feels like the surface of the rocks is flooded. And when you approach some polished doors, you will see pretty believable reflection. Music is nice throughout the game, and at the credits it also shines pretty well.
    Of course, the main thing is the story, and it is very well there, trust me. I actually can't tell much, because spoilers, but the twist at the end... Well, I will say I did not expect it, and it immediately changes the whole game perspective.

    All in all - really good game performing perfectly within the genre.
    And, as always, my playlist of it.

  2. #1114002017-07-08 18:38:20Kirn said:

    Your crew is in luck - you landed a really huge job. Alien Fleet, dormant and drifting in space, became the point of interest of some reptiloid businessmen. They want the Cryptark - the flagship of the fleet. But before they can sink their teeth in it, they want you - a band of expendable outlaws on a crappy ship - to deal with 2 problems:
    1. Alien Fleet is huge, so you will need to scan the data from several smaller crafts in it to pinpoint the Cryptark location and...
    2. While crew is all dead, and fleet is adrift, internal automated cyber-defense systems are still very much online, so you will have to disable all the ship you would try to board.
    But then again, that's why you are given the money. Oh, and ammo. A fuckton of ammo.

    The idea of a game is easy as fuck. You are a guy in a heavily-armed exo-suit. Crew parks the ship next to some huge alien vessel, and you go to work, flying around in zero gravity, shooting everything that tries to shoot you. Your goal on each ship? Destroy the core system - that will shut down everything and allow your crew to loot the vessel for money and info. However, here's where it gets complicated.
    While it's just a 2D twin-stick shooter in its core, the game is rogue-like, with enemy ships generating randomly. And it involves a great deal of planning, because you simply cannot fly up to core and kill it.

    First of all, core is likely to be protected by shield system, so you gotta kill that first. Oh, and there's likely to be an alarm. Kill that or attacking the core will trigger rush from all enemies. Oh, btw, there's repair system, which probably repaired the shield while you killed the alarm. Did you kill it? Tough luck, fucker, cause there's a fail-safe system, that now became repair system. Oh, and do you know why you got swarmed while trying to kill that? Because you didn't destroy drone, sentry and leviathan-making systems, so you had to deal with a lot of enemies.

    And that's just scratching the surface. Every ship-mission has a set of bonus requirements, and by doing those you make more money, also they have tech cashes, which you can and should loot to get access to random gear in hopes for something better.
    Ideally, you destroy all ship systems one by one, grab all the tech and kill the core in time. Usually? Usually you will scramble for the core with almost no health left and most enemy systems still intact, hoping to toughen it up and finish it off before the enemy resistance finishes you. It really is a lot of fun.

    Btw, game does have nice graphic and music. And, incredibly, while there's not a lot of exposition, you really get to feel that outlaw space life. Your crew members make commentaries about something or other, and you do get to know them more. Plus, performing specific artifact bonuses allows you to research the history of the alien fleet itself. So, you get to see very small portion of this galaxy, but you get the feeling, that this galaxy is really interesting.

    Personally, I greatly enjoyed the game. It is fast, action-packed, and when you are done with the campaign, there's still a rogue mode and hunt for more artifacts, so the game does have replayability and a reason to be replayed.

    I did make a playlist of my attempt at the campaign, so you can check it out.

  3. #1115182017-07-23 15:32:28Kirn said:

    At times, even Electronic Arts do okay. By publishing something more thoughtful than the usual products. This game is a mix of a platformer and visual narrative story, it is made by some Swedish people, and it actually bigger than it looks at first.

    We start out simple. You gain control over a weird red yarn-made doll, and you set out to explore photos in the old house, entering the appropriate memories and locations and just going through them. There's no really epic quest here - you just collect memories, making old family photos appear in the album. That's literally it. And along the way you, without all that much explanation, learn the story of a single family. That's about it, really.

    What hides behind a simple premise, however, is an extremely well-crafted game. Starting with mechanics. You are made of string, and while you walk, you leave trail if strings behind you. On checkpoints you get more string, however, you might not have enough to directly reach your destination without some thinking first. So you have to be mindful of your own path, which is something you rarely see as game mechanic. In addition, levels offer you nice variety in puzzle types, some of which you solve by skill and quickles, and some by figuring out the physics.

    And also, graphic and music. Music is just extremely damn good. Made specifically for each level, it harmonizes with the intended feeling. And it really creates your mood for the game. And graphic... well, as I said, you control the yarn doll in a game with simply story. How good can graphics be? It's extremely good. Shimmer of the water, snow-covered strings, animals in the background and foreground. Game looks pretty amazing, and there were no cut corners in its making.

    All in all, it's a short enough game, with story that may or may not make you feel involved, but the work made for this game is absolutely incredible and deserves respect. Very nice platforming and visual experience.

    And, of course, you can watch me going at it here.

  4. #1116822017-08-08 06:13:18Kirn said:

    You have fallen all the way down here, washed down the river, and now stuck in some god-forsaken desert. You really got unlucky there. So, as you going to accept your approaching death, you see a blackwagon - a self-driven wagon, powered by drive-imps that make residence in it. And it comes near you, it stops, and 3 creatures, completely wrapped in matching garments, with full-face masks, disembark and look at you. They briefly argue if they should even help you at all, but then you are asked a question that determines everything... can you read? What you must know is that this game is from the creators of Bastion and Transistor. But this time it's not an action game. It is, in a very weird way, a sport game. You see, in the world of Downside - which is like a world under a good proper world - everyone is exile, sentenced there forever as a punishment for crimes. However, by becoming team and participating in the rites, which is a sort of a ball game, you are given a chance of freedom at the end of a 'gaming season'. You play the part of reader - one who can read, which is rare, as literacy is outlawed - who can study the ancient books of rites and help the team with training and mental preparation. But, what starts as path to freedom quickly turns to something else, as you find out more and more facts not only about your situation but about the rules of this world itself.

    Gameplay is 2-fold. First of all there's the rites and all related to it. The goal is always to get star-ball into the enemy pyre, for various amount of points. Along the way you get more team members, each with different skills, and each team you fight is different, so the proceedings are always varied. Everyone can only control 1 character at a time, out of 3 present on the field. And participating in games levels your team up, giving them more skills. You also can buy some artifacts to help you out. And later there are options to make games more difficult, if you into that sort of thing.
    On the other hand, there's the story part, where you travel, interact with your teammates and enemies and generally moving the story forward. And that is the part that matters as much as the games. You see, everything you do matters, and in this game it's serious. Your actions, your choices on who to fight, even your loses (yes, game doesn't even end with any loss, you will get ending at the very end one way or another), all moves the story forward, and I wish to spoil here, but I just can't.

    Okay, some technical details. Game actually looks really damn nice, which you can expect from this studio. Since you are both literally and figuratively in a local purgatory, they got really creative with landscapes and local denizens. And not only game looks well, there are myriads little touches. Your blackwagon interior keeps changing as you move along, weather changes as you progress the story, making all look different... I would say, my one problem was that at times, when I was alt-tabbing from the game, it would crash... maybe like 1 every 10 times. But that's not too bad, as the game saved progress literally after everything.
    Music is... holy fuck, that music. I mean, there is a minstrel traveling with you, so... You can listen to any game music at any time, but when things get really serious and story-related... well, let's just say, the minstrel and his (spoilers!) gatekeeper counterpart sing for you during the most important games. And at the credits of the game, they sing you song that actually changes depending on how you did in the story. Like, holy fuck, who even does that?!

    You know... as I was going through the game, I realized that there's a lot of effort going into the 'perfect' ending. I went to see the forums and I realized quickly, that you have no such thing as absolutely perfect ending. So I went as I went, and in the end, while what I did was not perfect, by any means, I believe, it was at the same time perfect for the game I had. And in the end, the game tells you the story of what happened to the characters. To all characters. To everyone you have ever met in the course of the game. And it all intertwines, and really makes you feel it like your own.

    All in all? God damnit, I haven't seen games that good in a while!

  5. #1118012017-08-25 11:07:55Kirn said:

    Finally got around to playing this one. Now, let's be perfectly clear here - this is the simple story about a boy and his robot. We have seen this hundreds of times. However, that story is triple-A packaged, and there's a fuckton of absolutely beautiful explosions. Which makes all the difference.

    Story is simple. Humanity went to space and, having no enemies to fight, decided to fight each other. Core planets demand stuff from Frontier planets, Frontier planets rebel and organize militia, and Core planets are represented in this war by brutal military corporation. The center role on the battlefield is taken by Pilots - soldiers neurally connected to giant AI-operated robots called Titans. Neural connection to the machine providing the Pilot with enhanced combat vision and tactical capabilities, making him deadly enemy on its own and especially when piloting the Titan itself.
    Game starts with our hero being just a simple riflemen, however, you are groomed by one of the Pilots to eventually get the giant robot of your own. That times comes too quickly, though, as your mentor is killed. However, before his death he transfers the Titan link to you, so now it's up to you to continue the mission and, obviously, save the world.

    Now the story is pretty standard, but it is filled with memorable characters. There are a lot of cliches there, mine female rebellion leader and bunch of enemy mercenaries, but the center piece of the game is your robot - BT-7274 - and he will be your best friend for the next several hours, providing help, fire support and conversation.
    Eventually the story will expand, and you will predictably end it all by stopping a doomsday-type weapon, which is not really even a spoiler. Game feels like an action movie, and that's what always happens in action movies with giant robots anyways. It's not a bad thing, though. I mean, you do not watch action movies for deep story, do you? You watch it for kick-ass characters, great action and memorable scenes. And there is that here.

    Okay, gameplay. Gameplay is actually pure love for the FPS game. A lot of time you act on your own as a soldier, and the game provides you with a jump-pack, allowing for double-jumps and wall-runs, and as you grow more accustomed to it, you perform more and more difficult jumping tricks by the end of the game.
    But movement is one thing. You are also given guns. Big variety of guns. You can carry only 2 guns at a time, and at time you get additional story-line gadgets, so you always must decide if what you have now is good for current tactical situation, or is it time to switch. There are handguns, SMGs, assault rifles, energy-based machine-guns, rocket-launchers, grenades (oh, yeah, you can carry 1 grenade type at a time), or you can just run up to people and punch the shit out of them.
    And of course, you have your trusty robot. Story makes you travel by yourself a lot, but it rewards you with sequences where you fights from the cabin of your Titan. And as the game progresses, you find more weapon loadouts for BT, that you can switch out at will, each with its own main weapon and skills.
    All in all, game provides you with huge amount of instruments to kill stuff, and the combat is fast-paced and challenging. I did this game on regular difficulty, and even on that one you really can die at any time if you not careful.

    Really, as I wrote at the start - this is simple game at its core, about a guy and his robot, with simple story, simple characters and simple gameplay. But all those parts are done really really well, providing maximum entertainment and adrenaline. So if you enjoy FPS games, giant robots and epic battles - do try this out.

  6. #1119012017-09-07 11:11:26samara said:

    Now i play racing games. Mostly, I prefer to play online games on my PC, which I do not need install. For example, I like to play Mario and Pokemon here Sometimes it is convy to hang out there after job.

  7. #1119042017-09-07 14:34:00DarkChaplain said:

    Just 100%ed Hollow Knight so I've been on break from serious gaming this week, but along came Rise of the Tomb Raider in Humble Monthly and there I am, starting on a complete story run.

    On top of that, Tokyo Dark just dropped today, at last, so that's going to be my jam for the rest of the week.

  8. #1119072017-09-08 22:06:18Inia said:

    The game I've been playing more and more of recently is one that needs no introduction. I'm not going to try since there are a dozen of online reviews, videos, and so on. Go to the Googles, read the things.

    The Game: World of Warcraft.

    I never thought I'd ever poke this game with a stick. However, I mentioned wanting to try it out for a bit, my boyfriend used the referral program and bought me the basic game. Four months later, I finally have the Legion expansion, and I'm having fun playing around as a Death Knight.

    I'd been skeptical about trying out WoW for over a decade, mostly because I had friends talk about how elitist people were toward them about what color/tier their gear was. I always heard nothing but bad things about the community. But so far the few times I did run into people, I actually had some good interactions. My only complaint has been with people in raids, and those playing the Hunter class who sadly live up to their stereotypes, usually trying to be a hero instead of let the Tank to their thing.

  9. #1119112017-09-09 18:25:21Toku said:

    Four games are currently top of my list:

    -Battlefield 1:

    Honestly not what I was expecting but enjoyable. I've always been a fan of historical FPS games and, although the grind is a pain for getting any good weapons, it surpasses my second game in term of enjoyment.

    -Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

    All in all a solid game overall, though not my favorite in the series (though that in itself says little as I've played limited amounts of CoD though that changes with game number 3). Multiplayer, being a CoD game, is as cutthroat and aggravating as always with teams being unbalanced and no one doing anything but trying to rack up a good k/d ratio (not to mention the prepubescent names adding to the flavor of douche).

    -Call of Duty: Modern Warfare:

    This game came bundled with the previous one in some 'Legacy Pack' (it was cheaper thanks to Amazon and I need games I am familiar with thanks to not playing an Xbox for years and barely any XBOne ever) and is more enjoyable than Infinite Warfare, so far.

    -(Heavily Modded) Fallout 4:

    Long story short: Game is garbage without settlement mods added and it is a much better game with them. I added a dozen or more mods improving settlement management, resources, and settler mechanics and the game went from a solid 5 (thanks to a key mechanic of the game being total shit) to a 8 or 9 (I bounce around a lot on ratings).

  10. #1120122017-09-18 18:22:41Kirn said:

    So, this is an indie game. This is kinda pixel-style graphics game. This is kind of a strategy game. And people who made it were probably using very serious drugs.
    Basically, here's the deal. The game is real time strategy, which feels a bit like action type game at times. Your goal is to overpower enemy or, if that is not possible, to wait him out and see him exhaust his resources. But all this is wrapped in absolutely crazy setting. Do you know the premise of Animal Farm? Basically, this is it, but on grander scale. And with cannibalism.

    So, at the time of the game, things are already as fucked up as they can be. Animal state is having food problems, as crops are all-time low, for many years now. So as act of desperate survival, all animals turn to eating meat. Yes, fucking all of them. And what meat? Well, animal meat - all animals are eating each other. Oh, and the pigs - everyone eats pigs, can everyone knows pigs are fucking dumb.
    System called 'harvest' is in place, run by faction called 'Civilized', who somehow decide who gets eaten. But when they cull a son of a wealthy and influential land-owner, he gathers discontent animals and starts a rebellion against the current system, which quickly grows into 4-sided war.

    The gameplay is actually simple. You got the gristmills - places around which you can build farms. You can capture more with food you produce, and you can buy animal burrows, which spawn your units. The trick is that you only control your leader unit - you can rally the troops to your position, you can rally specific type of troops, you can build, you can explore territory... and that's about it.
    The idea is simple, but it actually makes for very fast-paced games with split-on-the-moment decisions. Do you build farms first or try to get at least one animal burrow going? Will your enemy find you before you finish fortifications? Can you afford to try and explore? Maps are randomized - with storyline maps retaining some specific story elements - so you can never be sure how exactly things are positioned. Plus, maps may have special rules, which change the game balance completely. Throw 4 enemies into that, and you will have a bloody battle. And the winner will feast.

    I guess, I think, big fun part of the game are units. Your farms are tended by the pigs. Yes, upright-walking pigs. They farm. And when enemy approaches, pig will take out a gun and will shoot. It's a sight to see. And that's just a start. Drunken squirrels, tribal lizards, owl, puking zombie-looking mice, machine-gun pigeons, crazed inmate badgers, fox sniper, chameleon thugs and, of course, skunks as masters of chemical warfare. In storyline mode you will first associate some units with specific faction, but that's a mistake - in this world of treachery, even little cute drunk squirrels change sides, so you might see what you considered faction's unique unit switching sides and joining the enemy.

    But in the end, what gets you is the story. Between missions you get to explore your faction 'rest area', where you can talk to other animals and check out some items, and honestly... Conversations are actually funny. There's a lot of humor there, in this game. But the whole premise, the whole story of animals eating each other so casually and desperately that they hope their own leaders to die to eat them, the whole spiral of darkness just taking you deeper and deeper into this bone-pit... Honestly, by the end it's get incredibly dark and depressing.

    All in all? Extremely atmospheric game, with unique style, which also has some nice gameplay to show for it all. This game is not easy - both in moral terms and in terms of pure gaming difficulty. It does its own twist on real-time strategy genre, and it's being pretty well balanced.

    Recommended for all hardcore strategies fans and those who like cute animals committing war crimes.

  11. #1121832017-10-08 13:13:15Kirn said:

    So yeah, I do enjoy platformers a lot. And it is a very interesting genre, catering to nostalgic feeling of games style and games difficulty. If you know the feeling of finally making that one jump, that you tried for 20 times before, perfectly... No matter what game it is, you know that feeling of satisfaction. But here is the game that went one step further. It not only gives us fast-paced but nostalgic gameplay and old-school difficulty, but it also presents art-style tapping into old animation nostalgia.

    So, what's the premise? Not that it matters, but 2 boys with cups instead of heads - Cuphead and Mugman - went to a casino, rolled the dice and totally accidentally lost their souls to the Devil. You know, usual stuff. Now they have to go and beat other people who god devil contract on them, to escape their own punishment. So, with some tips from an old grandpa Kettle, buys set off to their adventure.

    And that's pretty much it. Gameplay is very straightforward - you get 3 islands (plus 4th, final area), each full of stages with boss fights on them. Also, all 3 islands have 2 run and gun areas where you perform a sort of an obstacle course while killing smaller enemies. You can get money in the run and gun zones, that you may spend in the shop to buy new passives and more types of shots. Plus there are 3 bonus stages, rewarding you with supers - powers you can unleash when fully charged.
    Of course, boss fights are the main treat here, and they are separated in the normal bosses and the ones you beat while flying a plane, in a side-scrolling shooter sequence. Each boss has at least 3 stages, with tactics changing drastically, so you go through this doing the old art of trying the bosses. You die quickly at first, you do boss till you are so familiar with first few stages, you can pass them easily, and then you eventually luck out and beat the final stage.

    I have to hand it to the game - controls, which are super important in game like that, are working well and do exactly what you want. Sure, in the heat of battle I would press wrong buttons, but it's on me. All the jumps are smooth, and you never feel you are being punished by bad controls - only by the game's difficulty itself.
    Among the passives the most useful one is the one making you invincible during dodge - that is a real life-saver. Weapon types are pretty good in variety. You can beat the game using just the basic weapon - it's simple and deals good damage, but on some bosses you can appreciate specifics of other weapon types.

    So okay... let's talk art. I mean, you probably noticed it on the screens. Art is FUCKING INSANE here. It's like you really are experiencing a seamless cartoon sequences animated by one of the olde cartoon creators. Shit, some of the throwbacks are so obvious, I just hope game creators won't get sued by anyone. And with this art style comes the world that lives by cartoon laws, with total lack of boundaries. Let me explain using 1 fight as an example. Your enemy is a giant birdhouse with a vulture in it - it is so bit, it can't get out, just its head and wings are sticking out. After beating that, birdhouse breaks, vulture falls down, and your next enemy is suddenly a small baby vulture, with oversized head, sitting on a bird nest like an alien on some UFO, and when you beat that, suddenly you get 2 sparrows hauling a stretcher with previous giant vulture - who lost all feathers but still itching for a fight - and when you finally beat that, fight ends, sparrows put on chef hats and start salting the vulture. It is fucking insane, and that's just 1 fight, with me leaving out a lot of weird details.
    Music pretty much matches that same olde style, and provides jazzy feeling to the whole fighting, getting you in that fast-paced mood. I'd say it stands out on its own too, but here it serves just as support to the art style which is the king of this game.

    So, if you like challenging platformers, boss fights and craziness of 30-ties animation - this is the game for you.

  12. #1132332018-01-30 18:21:14 *Kirn said:

    The Red Strings Club. This is a cyberpunk bartending simulation game. And yes, immediately you can have throwbacks to this game. However, which those words can describe both games, both are very distinctly different in style. And at the same time - so similar... Goddamnit, this is gonna be hard. In any case, I haven't finished it yet, but I already got hit with a strong impression.

    The story of a game is, of course, a story of The Red Strings Club - an old-style melancholy bar. The bar is run by Donovan, who is a real magician of a bartending world. His thing is, apparently, mixing drinks based on emotions. And, seeing how that gives him certain control over his clients, it's no wonder that he also works as information broker. Game centers on him, but he is not the only playable character. Other two main heroes are hacker Brandeis, overzealous with anti-corporation activism, and android Akara, who is already one huge spoiler and is probably the best artificial intelligence in existence. This group gets mixed up in event, that makes them pursue a very specific and dangerous information.

    So, what is the gameplay here? Well, basically, it's a chain of minigames, out of which the bartending game seems to be most prevalent. Your goal is to move the marker over one of your client's emotions, and you literally do it with drinks. Mechanics get added with allowing to mix drinks in a shaker before pouring them, and with drinks that allow to rotate the marker. Of course, you aren't doing it just for fun. After putting your client into the certain mood, you start asking questions. And who knows, maybe they will slip up and give you some info when they are paranoid, or when they are ecstatic.
    Another mini-game I saw was the implant-crafting game, which is akin to making clay pots. You click mouse repeatedly to get the wheel spinning, you select a tool, and you carve. Easy as that, and you can roll-back the changes. Interestingly enough, mini-games never rush you. You are allowed to properly craft, whatever craft you are performing, and it gives a nice feeling.
    And, saying all that - there's no saving in this game. Checkpoints allow you to leave the game and continue, but you can't change your choice unless you go for another playthrough.

    Speaking of playthrough, game definitely plays with multiple choices. And it even gives you visual representation in a form of - yes - red string that you can view and see all the important turns of events. At the same time, the string is still linear - it's like a road with several nodes every once in a while, and you may pass by a specific node, but you are still moving forward anyways. So I am not sure how important my choices would be.
    The unfolding story, though... Yes, it is good. It's damn good. It's melancholy like cyberpunk story must be, and at the same time it got just a little hint of supernatural to make you wonder about this world more. Also, it feels like there is actually not much idle talk - you have a feeling that your every client directly progresses the story, so the whole feeling is quite determined.

    Art is, as you can see, the good old pixel style, which works nice, and it's a good style for what is going on. Music is also very nice, giving you the slow, a little bit melancholy mood. You cannot select the soundtrack, but I never really felt like doing that anyways.

    All in all? I love this game style, and it's a great game to relax and think about things. All while mixing drinks to maybe save the world. Or something.

  13. #1141882018-06-16 11:16:33 *Kirn said:

    As always, this thread goes to shit without me. Well, here's another quality title.

    You might or might not be familiar with "Stories: The Path of Destinies" game. That one is about going through story, again and again, picking up key information on some routes, that would help you on other routes, eventually getting to the true ending of the whole thing. That, and it's set in a world of human-like animals. Well, Omensight is a game from the same company, and it is a sort of a spiritual successor to the Stories game.

    And I am being literal, when I say 'spiritual', because you play as a spirit in this one. But let's start the story from where it starts - from the end. In the middle of bloody war between Pygarian Empire (ruled by birds, with cats and dogs being middle to low class citizens) and Rodentia clans (mice and bears mostly, but also raccoons and other woodland rabble), the world suddenly ends. Just like that - purple flames of death erupt and giant world-eating wyrm emerges. And that's it, everyone dies. The assumption is, that the cause of this is the recent death of the Priestess Vera, whose soul was safeguarding the world. However, world has more safeguards, and that where you come in - as a protector spirit, the Harbinger. It is your task to repeat the last day of the world, following different characters, gathering more and more insight about what exactly led to these events, and how to stop it.

    The game is basically 3rd person action with roleplaying and quest elements. At the start of the day, you can select one of the main characters, to follow them and see what they did and what was happening. Of course, you being with them changes their course of the day - and even more so when you start gathering solid evidence and - in form of truesight visions of what happened - and start using it not just to follow, but to lead the characters into paths you want to see them take. Eventually, over several iterations, you gather clues, keys and understanding of that whole day, and events before it.

    The game, right at the start, tells you that controller is strongly recommended, and it is true. I play with keyboard and mouse, and it's not the most convenient experience. Especially since the game got quite a lot of action. At first you meet simple enemies that can be clicked to death, but later on you will need to use everything from dodge and magical abilities (including your companion abilities), to environments to survive. Days usually end in a boss battle, which are also pretty difficult, even on normal level.
    To help you go through all that, you gather experience and shards while you travel. Experience levels you up, opening up more abilities, or improving old ones. Shards allow you to buy your own preferred bonuses - it may be more health, more magic power, better sword or even upgrade to companion powers.

    After playing for several hours, I can tell you that I have seen absolutely all locations game has to offer. And also that all locations still hold secrets. And those are some bloody secrets. Much like the game itself - it may be a fantasy about cute anthro animals, but they slaughter and betray each other like there's no tomorrow. Which is literally true. And you add a solid portion of violence to that.
    Characters you follow are on different sides of the conflict and often, joining them, you will have to fight against someone you might have followed previously. And kill them in search of truth. Not only that, after uncovering more clues, you can set allies to go against each other. And since all 4 characters are likeable in their own way, it is bloody brutal to see them kill their friends only to die in the inevitable end of the world.

    I wish I could go in greater details about story, but the story is what it's all about, and I myself am yet to get to its conclusion. I will tell you that it escalates. Even though it's kinda hard to escalate from the end of the world threat. But the story gets the usual detective twists, and switch of the suspects, and it gets darker and more sinister. I honestly hope for happy ending, but at the same time I don't expect it to be all that happy. Not for everyone. Definitely not for everyone...

    Aesthetically game is alright. Graphics are nothing special, and music isn't that memorable, but the setting is pleasing, cute animals and all that, and it feels to me that creators of the game took a lot of Russian cultural inspirations for this title - it really can be seen in some names, clothing and even architecture. Which was really weird to me, but entertaining.

    Definitely recommending this for everyone who loves fast action games and good story.

  14. #1144062018-08-01 21:24:53Kirn said:

    So, this is a Visual Novel. Innovative visual novel. Chinese, I believe, originally. Recently it got translated and put on Steam, where I took notice of it, watched video, got interested in gameplay and, well, tried the game. I did not expect what exactly I was getting into.

    So. Gameplay. In this game, you are Myth - a young girl, who is also a god. She lives in a house among the cite under a red sky, with her dog Will. Who is also a god. Their function, as gods, is to receive requests from people - prayers - and try to fulfill those prayers by changing around events in the letter. And yes, you receive prayers by mail, in this day and age. Oh, by the way, some of the letters will be from a cat. Do not even try to figure this out.
    Now, changing letter around to get the correct, best, ending is not the only thing you do. There are many possibilities, so you can get many endings. Heck, you can make things worse, silly, absolutely improbable... you are god, after all. Each ending you get gives you more text and a rank - from S - being the best, super, rank - to X usually being very horrible outcome. Of and there's also... actually, nah, that would be a huge spoiler.
    As you 'solve' these requests, you receive more of them, from more people, eventually opening stories of the main characters and how they overlap with each other, eventually making a single picture.

    Now, the story is, obviously, the key part here. I mean, this is visual novel after all. And I want to say right here, that the story of this made me feel extremely bad. And not because it's a bad story. No, it's interesting and engaging. Different characters got different outlook even events, so you are going to see wide range of action there - from high-school romance to Korean kung-fu fighting stories. Also there's a cat. Some of the main characters are in close relation, forming sort of a groups that may intersect only in the most insignificant ways.
    However, game very quickly turns into something you don't expect. I mean, you saw the title screen? There's a cute girl with cute dog. And she solves people's troubles. Sounds cute, right? Well, it's not. As soon as you save someone from one thing, they go into another bad event, which turn to more and more horrifying as you go along. Themes explored in there game? Murder, rape, domestic violence, bullying, slavery, torture, pedophilia, prostitution and going batshit crazy. At times stuff they were going for there made even me uncomfortable. And as you go along, trying to solve it all, everything just gets worse and worse. Not to mention, even circumstances of you being a god and helping others become somewhat more and more creepy...

    To be honest, fate-altering interface was nothing special. Most of the time it was easier to just try all pieces combinations, one by one, than to actually think about how events should really go. Plus, going through variants, you would get all the possible endings faster. Single-character events were simple, 2-character events were harder. There is one 3-character event in the game, which was kind of a hell to get through, and that took me the longest. At time it felt very tedious, but in the end, altering letters is not the biggest part of the gameplay - bigger part is reading through the results of that altering.
    And results are rewarding. It starts simple. Simple stories, simple troubles, no images even. And as it all progresses, you get good art, memorable characters and story made of stories. I spent a while on this, and I feel that my time was well spent, and in some ways I might have been bettered by it all. Well, maybe not, but still, it was a story worth reading.

    Would recommend to anyone who likes visual novels with rich story and doesn't mind additional gameplay elements.

  15. #1144082018-08-02 10:09:48DarkChaplain said:

    During the first days of E3 this year, I had been telling a friend who is mainly a console/PS4 gamer, that I wish Yakuza would end up on PC, and if it did, I'd be buying it straight up. A few hours later, during the PC show at E3, SEGA announced Yakuza 0 and Yakuza Kiwami (the remake of the first title) for PC, with 0 having its preorder up right there and then. So I preordered on the spot, and later told her about it when she got back from her nap, ready for the Sony presentation. That was about a month and a half ago, and the game finally unlocked and released yesterday. Over 3 hours in, I'm having a blast.

    The game is utterly Japanese, and I'd be hard-pressed to find anything on the western market that really compares. Yes, it is an open world action game, but unlike GTA or even Sleeping Dogs, you don't drive cars (or rather, car rides are for fast travel or cutscenes, without active driving), you don't actually shoot guns. You punch a lot of things, but in a very different way from how Sleeping Dogs did it.

    On top of that, the game constantly straddles the line between being a serious crime thriller and a celebration of campiness. It has no trouble going from gutwrenching moments, serious bonding time or kick-ass action to.... Karaoke, arcade games, hanging out with hostesses or throwing strange hobo characters at you.

    The strangest thing about it is, without a doubt, that it works. There's a lot of stuff to do here, from punching money out of thugs to just entertaining yourself or buying ramen and Mountain Dew (yep) from grocery stores.

    But then, at least so far, in chapter two, of supposedly 17, I'm actually really engaged with the story, rather than fucking off to do what I want in the world open to me right now. Even in Rise of the Tomb Raider, which I basically 100%ed in July, I went off to do side stuff and collecting while leaving the story on ice whenever I could. Here it draws you in right away, with many cutscenes that actually feel almost movie-like, although many of them have minimal animation and no lip movements for the characters (the main cutscenes do have them, don't worry). They're getting to you with solid character development from the first cutscene on, and every new character interaction builds the setting further. Kiryu, even just a few hours in, is a well-defined protagonist with both flaws and strengths, and despite his superhuman punching capabilities, the game sells it in a way that doesn't take you out of the experience. It is hilariously fun.

    The PC port is nothing short of excellent as well. The only issues I have up to this point are occasional audio stuttering during cutscenes, related to the basically uncapped framerate, which is an easy *.ini fix, and the lack of separate audio sliders in the settings (which, again, is achievable through the *.ini, making me wonder why they didn't implement them to the proper ingame UI). They're nitpicks that do not detract from the experience, especially since it runs basically flawlessly otherwise, even on mid-tier graphics cards.

    Overall I am really fucking satisfied with this release so far. And at 20 bucks full price, it's a real no-brainer and worth every cent. I'm hoping to finish it by the time Kiwami releases, so I can carry on right away. Seeing how well it is selling (currently on #5 of the Global Topsellers on Steam, and that's despite being on preorder for 6 or so weeks and having better preorder deals on other sites the entire time, right behind Monster Hunter, Monster Hunter and PUBG), I doubt SEGA would stop with Kiwami. Chances are, we'll have the entire series on Steam before long.

  16. #1144892018-08-16 18:42:34Kirn said:

    Alright. This is a quest from Wadjet Eye games, and if you haven't heard of them by now - you don't play quest games. They made Blackwell Chronicles, which I praised around here greatly, and a bunch of other pixel-style quests. With some nice voice-action and developer commentaries, usually. And this one is their latest work.

    So. This one is a supernatural investigation kind of game. The premise is simple enough. You - a nameable protagonist (you can also pick gender this time around) - have been possessed by a blood-thirsty demon about a year ago. Since then you have been on a murderous rampage all over the city, until you were found by New-York branch of Unavowed - a supernatural organization, that protects the mundane world from paranormal buggery. They exorcise demon out of you and, since you are technically innocent, but very wanted by the police, let you join them.

    That is the premise, so let's talk gameplay. Over the course of the game, you will be visiting several distinct places. And when I say distinct - I mean it. There's almost no puzzles in this game that carry over several locations, so every part of New-York you investigate is kind of a separate quest in itself. This actually makes the game easier than you would expect quest to be, because you know that your investigation area is limited. Additionally during the game you won't actually pick up many items. I don't think I ever carried around more than five at a time, towards the end of a game.
    Now, all this makes the game pretty easy. Maybe even too easy at times. Sure, there are places where you might be stuck for a little bit, but overall - you are progressing very fast. It's a neutral point for me, cause there's still some puzzle-solving, but hardcore quest-lovers would probably be disappointed.

    One veryt curious mechanic is companions selection. At the start of the game, you meet two companions - a warrior and a mage, let's say. So your first few areas will be explored with them. But during the game, you will pick up two more, so, when going to the next investigation, you will have to select 2 to take with you. And I believe, at any time one of the original two should be present. This gives some variation during puzzle-solving, because there are things that you cannot do, and then you need your companion skills to help you, and selecting different people will give you different approaches to some stuff. Also, while you walk around, your companions strike up conversations with each other, which is pretty damn endearing. All in all, i wish I could take them all with me at once, cause all main characters you meet there are pretty awesome in their ways. But that's the usual thing for games from Wadjet Eye.

    Story is... well, it's obviously interesting. You live the life of paranormal investigator! And it's high peak of activity in good on NY! So expect to see a lot of weird stuff. The story fits the genre really well, and goes in mostly expected, but enjoyable way.
    Now, the whole cast is voiced except for... your character. Which is actually not true. Yous select things to say, but only other characters are voiced, which changes after a certain plot twist. Which is also not true, at it's not really changes. And yes, I am not making much sense, but I can't go into more detail without spoilers.
    Also, game actually has several endings. Along the way, you will be presented with choices, so you will definitely see the pattern of where it is going, eventually. Your choices will matter in the final location, and then... well, let's say, I am pretty sure I did everything right, and in the end I had a choice of four ending - fucking horrible, really bad, okay and good. I assume, if you don't finish game as successfully, you may get less options. Or maybe not, I am not sure, actually.

    In any case, what the game gives you is satisfying story, which, while being supernatural, is logical, and has a decent twist. Game is simple, but gameplay is present, so it's more quest than, let's say, recent Telltale games. And, of course, if you like pixel-style quests (with actual good art), and/ Wedjet Eye games and their voice-casting - this is definitely for you.

  17. #1144912018-08-17 09:41:52DarkChaplain said:

    I hadn't planned on this one at all, but it's put Yakuza 0 on hold for me. Tales of Berseria was revealed as one of the headliners for the next Humble Monthly, back on August 3rd, and I had been passing up on various discounts for months now.
    Back when the previous Tales game, Zestiria, went up for Preorder on Steam, I jumped at it - I wanted that franchise on PC for sure, and it got me Symphonia as a bonus. Berseria launched on PC, and at E3, they announced the Vesperia remaster for PC as well. So yay.

    The problem? Zestiria didn't engage me as well as it should have. The combat and equipment systems felt needlessly convoluted for somebody new to the series, and the on-rails gameplay was... disappointing. I barely made it a dozen hours in, unlocking the form changes and what not, but frankly, while I liked the characters, something just didn't click with me. I think it might have been a perceived lack of urgency - the protagonist Sorey goes off on an adventure to the capital with his spirit bro, and they end up with him becoming the savior of the world for some reason and set out to fight the Lord of Calamity to stop people from turning miserable and transforming into demons... but the way it was delivered those first hours was pretty slow and honestly didn't do enough to hold my attention and get me invested, so by the time it got going, I was already kinda bored.

    So I was hesitant to buy Berseria, seeing how it was a prequel around 1000 years in the past, with a similar gameplay system overall and partially recycled areas (geography only changes so much, eh?). But oh boy I'm glad I started it by now!

    Enter Velvet Crowe, a good-natured teenage girl turned cynical, wrathful avenger. From the intro cutscene on, things are a lot darker than Zestiria ever got during my playtime. Even the prologue, which initially kicks off with a happy mood, turns bad quickly. I hadn't even intended to play that night and was merely testing the options and all, but then blasted through the prologue anyway. Since then, I've played around 30 hours and might have barely reached the midpoint of the story, if even that.

    The revenge plot, taking down the supposed savior of this era, is massively more engaging than the savior complex of Zestiria, no matter how it may develop later in the game. By the ten hour mark, I had already seen death and destruction, escaped a prison complex, devoured a character, beaten a couple of bosses and infiltrated a city that I'd end up burning down.
    The party dynamic, even early on, was top-notch, both in terms of comedy as serious themes. Character motivations are well-represented, There appears to be so much more emotion in the entire core storyline, it pulled me in.

    On top of that, I like the gameplay a lot more here. The equipment skill system isn't overly convoluted anymore and instead you learn equipment skills by, well, equipping them throughout battles. You know, like things used to be done. No tetris needed. The combat is still pretty on rails, but feels much more open and involving than Zestiria's. It feels faster from the get-go, and the changes/additions to the soul system and the lack of transformation nonsense score well for me. The sliding difficulty system is also pretty nifty, with me currently playing on Hard after raising it up from Normal to Moderate, and I'm likely going to raise it to Intense soon, to increase my battle rewards.

    Funnily enough, Berseria is encouraging me to go back and start Zestiria over after I'm done, since in many ways, both games present sides of the same coin. I'm likely already benefiting from having played the beginning acts of Zestiria and learning about the core plot concept, and as a result can appreciate how Berseria flips it on its head and gives a wholly different view on things.It's really cool to see how history has twisted certain things in this duology. And yes, you can go in and start with either game, on their own they are closed stories, but they add further context to one another if you're familiar with them.

    I didn't expect to be this invested in another JRPG, after struggling for the past year to even just bring up the time for the appropriately lengthy sessions needed to get anywhere with them. I had recently made up my mind to pick a game every month and finish it properly, rather than putting it aside for undetermined amounts of time. I might have overdone it a bit with Berseria this early, especially seeing how at my pace I'm probably in for another 60 hours, but hells to that. I'm having a good time!

    .....and Magilou is golden.

  18. #1145012018-08-18 15:57:21shafnat said:

    te to te teeee to te te te to teee te to teeee tooo to te tee te to teee tooo tooooo (mh main theme)

    It's very fun for me, eventhough it never runs more than 30 fps in me. yknow, playing in the craptop i use for uni. Feeling nostalgic a little bit because other than the graphic, everything else is still feels as "monster hunter" as the previous series. The combos, monster's movements pattern, and everything else. The bad thing is, it's often randomly disconnected from the online sessions. I thought it was just me but i found all my friends who play says the same. But whatever haters may say about the game, the fact it could make me sleep less than 5 hours a day i really enjoying it other than any games i'm playing lately.