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@impynickers I think for now I’ll just go with Underworld. I’ve been on a roll with dungeon crawlers recently and I guess it’ll be nice to play the games that inspired almost every popular first person game on today’s console. I’ve already done System Shock 2, BioShock, and Arx Fatalis. May as well go back further.
I have no idea where to begin with this GOG sale. For starters every damn Ultima game is on sale, but most of the early ones look way too old for my ass. How have the Underworld games aged?
Far Cry 3 in my opinion is kind of an interesting subject when it comes to directed narrative in games. This game I think has convinced me of at least one thing: That an open-world game should have as little directed narrative as possible. After designing Far Cry 2, Clint Hockent went on about how games shouldn’t have storylines at all. While I wouldn’t totally agree with him there, I can definitely see what he’s talking about if he’s making a game based on you being able to go anywhere you want.
By far the best parts of my experience with FC3 so far have been the random shit that happens to me while running around capturing bases, climbing towers, and investigating caves.
Excrept from some other dude on GAF:
“So I was walking along the southeastern shoreline yesterday when out of nowhere a deer in distress ran out in front of me, followed closely by a really pissed off bear. I needed a couple bear pelts for a pouch so I stormed off chasing them both. Both animals were hauling ass, but I kept chugging away and taking a couple shots at the bear in order to anger it enough so it would come towards me. No luck. As the two animals and I are booking down the beach, I end up running past two pirates holding some hostages, but I don’t stop to take them out. I just keep running which clearly agitated them as I could hear them yelling at me followed by a few gunshots. I stop, turn around and see the two pirates start running after me. Meanwhile, I’m trying to focus on this fucking bear who is STILL chasing this deer.
I felt like I needed the Harlem Globetrotters theme song or something as all of us are chasing after each other running down the beach like idiots. A few seconds later, the bear loses the deer and focuses its attention on me. Instead of taking it out, I turn around and start running towards the pirates competely throwing them off guard and hearing the bear growling behind me. I rush past the pirates and slide into a nearby bush. I turn around and watch as these two pirates attempt to take out the bear, but to no avail. The giant beast completely mauled one and then while it was approaching the other, I used the moment to run towards it, Bull shotgun in hand and lay it to waste. Two shots to the head as it was tearing the crap out of the other pirate on the ground.
I sure as hell got my pouch.”
I would be perfectly satisfied if Far Cry 3 has as much storyline as, say, Dark Souls.
@bowlisimo I wouldn’t, as @feenwager states, broadly state that all the mainstream devs aren’t willing to try things out with storytelling. Hell, one of the most mainstream releases this year — Mass Effect 3, is still a solid example of RPG storytelling mechanics (until the ending). I even think Infinity Ward did a decent job with the atmosphere, characters, and moment-to-moment narrative of the earlier Call of Duty games. They kinda nailed that “you are one soldier with your buddies in the middle of a massive ward” feeling without a single cut scenes and with some solid set piece design in the WWII games as well as the American campaigns of the first two Modern Warfare games.
Sure the mainstream games are now stuck within a limited range of archetypes and characters and whatnot, but the medium is still malleable enough that even they’re willing to experiment with the mechanics.
@sinfony Recently, most of the best “stories” I’ve seen in games are really just a bunch of lore that the developers deeply-embedded into the playable game world for you to explore at your leisure: The Shock games, Shadow of the Colossus to a lesser degree, Metroid Prime, etc. In those games it’s like instead of writing a story, the developers just wrote a world with a history and then put you in it.
Like @rocgaude I make exceptions for genres that take the branch narrative to the extreme and really try to own it with good writing like adventure games and RPGs. Hell, the main reason I even enjoyed Mass Effect and Dragon Age was for the character interactions.
What you guys feel though pretty much matches my feelings about JRPGs. Looking back, all of my favorite JRPGs are the ones that focus on the GAME. It’s not that I want no story at all in my JRPG. The reason I sung praises about Dragon Quest IX here before was because it knew how to convey a JRPG storyline without getting in the way of you playing the game. No 15-minute anime cut scene to start you off, just some dialogue and an explorable first area filled with characters who give you information you may or may not need.
I totally forgot the VGAs were even on this year until goddamn DARK SOULS II GOT ANNOUNCED.
On MOBAs, I’ve got a Dota 2 install sitting on my computer, but whenever I boot it up I have no damn idea where to start. Does the game expect me to do the “learn” thingie on every single character?
Fuck mang. FTL.
If we all don’t have it yet, it’s $6.
Well, anyway, I got a shitload of other stuff I’d actually rather finish before the year is out. Might check it out next Steam sale (winter?).
What’s really surprised me so far is that Hotline Miami is probably my favorite action game of the year.
What is it about Spec Ops anyway? I abstained because I played the demo on Xbox and it did absolutely nothing to convince me that it wasn’t third person military shooter #571. Even after reading up on the references to Heart of Darkness I’m still not convinced it’s anything more than a token adaptation of those themes through the shooter gameplay tropes we’ve all gotten bored of. If the game was indeed a more unique tactical shooter I’d be interested.
@cgrajko The Haul:
Persona 4 Arena
Hotline Miami (action game of the year?)
To the Moon
Mark of the Ninja
The Walking Dead
Max Payne 3
Modern Warfare 3 Collections 3 and 4
I’ll admit that pretty much every Wii game worth owning employs literally no internet features at all, but I’d at least want the Netflix streaming and Virtual Console games.
Sit, VC is probably the main reason I still own a Wii.
Holy shit @ these Microsoft Store deals. Just grabbed Max Payne 3 (PC, physical) for $10.
I think Spec Ops might be $10 too if I can get to it.
God Damn the Microsoft Store just put some shit down: http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.XboxGames?ESICaching=off&ClickID=dsb22nmtnzxoybxbxkyxnct0rbmhyx22xhhx
Assassin’s Creed 3 – $25
Dishonored – $25
Need for Speed Most Wanted – $25
Borderlands 2 – $25
Forza Horizon – $15
Resident Evil 6 – $25
All Xbox 360 versions.
If I’m gonna mess around with mechs, it’s either gonna be Zone of the Enders or a game where I spend half my time obsessing over my mech’s hydraulics, fuel efficiency, what have you, along with the feel of the cockpit. Most importantly, I want that sense of scale to be there. I’m waiting for that all-in-one shooter where I can be a regular dude on the ground playing a fully-formed FPS, then hop into a customized mech towering over everything while also fighting other mechs, helicopters, tanks, whatever. That’s what makes mechs in Halo 4 feel so cool.
I’ll admit that Hawken’s art direction is superb, but the only thing that tells me I’m in a 30ft mech is the fact that I’m standing face-to-face with 20-story buildings. I dunno. Maybe I want some kind of futuristic ArmA with mechs or something. Whatever.
Everything in my head right now is basically coming from this:
@angryjedi @unmanneddrone I’d say Hawken is at least worth a try since the open beta just started. I’ve been in since the second alpha, and from my experience it’s basically Call of Duty in a mech suit. Well, in terms of structure anyway. There aren’t killstreaks or perks or anything like that, but the game structure felt kind of limited to me. Maybe there are more than two modes in the full game, I dunno.
The whole thing is pretty much exactly what I expected it to be: use points to buy attachments and such for your mech, augmenting its abilities. I haven’t played Armored Core or Mech Warrior so I can’t talk about similarities. I’m just saying that it felt surprisingly similar to regular on-foot shooters, just you’re a mech instead of a person.
@mjpilon PC/Mac version has 360 pad support.
I have a new rule regarding Steam sales: Before buying I ask myself how long it will be before I can actually install the game, and how many Steam sales will occur before that time. Darksiders 2 is definitely one game that I will have several more opportunities to get on the low-low before I’m actually ready to play it. Ain’t even installed the first game yet.
I’ll finally try to at least look at a demo of The Walking Dead.
My current suggestions:
Unity of Command – $10 (there is a demo)
Limbo – $2.50 (also a demo)
PAYDAY – $5
Edge – $3
Sworcery – $3
As for Planetside 2, that’s the first game in the last five years that I’ve looked at and finally decided “yeah that probably won’t run well on my current computer.” If I can get a new one this year then I’m definitely down.
Oh, and apparently Far Cry 3 is getting marked pretty high by people I trust, Rock Paper Shotgun in particular. I was one person who loved Far Cry 2 despite its flaws and am just hoping they kept what was good about that game.
Huh. I didn’t know the Gemini Rue guys had cooked up another game:
Oh, and the main character is the dude who narrated Bastion. They’re trying to get the game greenlit and say that anyone who buys the game from their website will get a Steam key in the event it does get greenlit.
@shingro I’m just sayin’, game critics spend a lot of time paying attention to the games, not the inner workings of the hardware they run on. Eventually after they’ve analyzed enough games they get a feeling of what the average game on that platform looks like, but I haven’t seen very many wax poetic about WHY one console is more powerful than another.
Even everything they know about Microsoft’s and Sony’s policies with downloadable games comes from the news stories they write, not any “inside experience” with them, at least not to the extent of the developers actually trying to release digital games. The most a game critic can really give you on a “hardware review” is the feel of the controller and the OS. Those people in the past have been very wrong on more than one occasion when it comes to the future of a platform’s game library.
@shingro Tech critics. @angryjedi said it best when he said that tech heads are more suited to review cameras than photographers. Well actually, a photographer reviewing a camera is probably more akin to a developer reviewing a game console, which actually sounds like something I’d want to read. I guess the equivalent of what we’re seeing here is like a photo art critic reviewing a camera. He should only review the art made with that hardware, not the hardware itself.
@bluesforbuddha It is indeed. I had to explain this to my brother after E3 two years ago. It’s kind amazing how little Nintendo has been able to hype up their new console 18 months after first revealing it. I for one think it was a mistake to hold back the TV ad campaign until the month of launch. Maybe Nintendo was waiting for the Wii U to pick up the word-of-mouth leading up to launch that the Wii did. Despite the Wii U not being as much of a marketing hit right off the bat, I think we can still pretty comfortably say that they’er gonna sell all their units for this fall. Anyone else who would theoretically buy one probably wouldn’t be able to until spring, giving Nintendo’s marketing department a little time. Maybe Nintendo getting the system out just prior to Thanksgiving will turn out to be a smart move when people share it with visiting family. I hear NintendoLand is actually turning out to be an excellent family game.
@angryjedi Well that definitely depends a lot on what you already own. I already own a PSP (still rocking a PSP-1000 in fact) on which to play those awesome games, but if someone I knew was looking to buy a PSP now, I’d probably suggest they get a Vita. But I myself can’t justify the upgrade just for improved backwards compatibility and a couple good exclusive games.
I also don’t know why people are so up in arms about ports. I own Persona 4 on the PS2 and won’t buy it again AND make the platform jump just for more content. The same goes for much of the Vita’s library, which I could simply buy on the PS3. I just don’t think Sony’s formula of trying to provide the console experience on a handheld is going to work. It didn’t work on the PSP and the only thing that pulled them out of the fire on that one was Monster Hunter… in Japan.
This is all just my opinion though. I’m sure a lot of people want to play Sly 4 or LBP on the go, and that’s fine. I’d just rather play games well-designed for the handheld space, and I just think Nintendo knows better how to do that. I waited on the 3DS first and was eventually sold when I played a kiosk demo of Super Mario 3D Land. If you look back, Nintendo is one of the few big companies actually willing to put their A teams to work on a portable game. By comparison, I wasn’t excited for Uncharted Golden Abyss at all because I knew it wasn’t the same team that gave us Uncharted 2. I also think that’s a major difference between Japanese and western developers. Hell, the main reason the PSP got so good in the first place was because so much of Japan’s game industry turned its tier-1 effort towards the platform. I haven’t seen very many developers do so for the Vita yet.
@angryjedi The problem with hardware reviews from my perspective (by the way, tech heads probably do review cameras) is that there’s no metric to which to compare it. What is a 9/10 or 10/10 piece of hardware? Do we even remember what people gave the 360 and PS3 seven and six years ago respectively? From my experience people were also quite negative on those two launches, even from a software standpoint.
Not to be down on the Vita, but I kind of agree on the main criticism of its software library lacking unique games. I think it’s a great piece of hardware, but I can only think of maybe two games that I’d want to own on it. I already own quite a bit of unique 3DS software in comparison. That’s another discussion though. I think the Vita has great potential for certain kinds of games that just aren’t appearing.
I tried out the Wii U controller at a GameStop and personally I like it a lot from a tactility standpoint. The screen is somewhere between the 3DS touch screen and an iPhone screen, which makes sense given the whole console costs less than an unsubsidized iPhone. I especially love the D pad and face buttons, which remind me a lot of the DS Lite pad and buttons.
And on the whole artistic side, yeah it is the games that still matter. I’ve heard that several of the third party ports run worse than on 360. If I bought one now it would be for Mario, NintendoLand, and to check out ZombiU. That said, Rayman, 101, and Pikmin are gonna be looking pretty good in a few months.
@mjpilon In terms of the next Xbox and PlayStation, I wouldn’t be surprised if people ended up being disappointed that the graphics weren’t “HD enough.” We really don’t know a damn thing, but some speculations are saying they won’t be much better than a current mid-range PC, and that a lot of the games will still be 720p and 30 frames per second in order to get more horsepower out of the hardware. Seven years ago a lot of people were unimpressed that the leap from PS2 to Xbox 360 wasn’t as amazing as the leap from PS1 to PS2. It’s very possible we could see that happen again next year. Personally, I’d be satisfied with graphics similar to what I’ve seen in PC gameplay videos of Crysis 3 and Medal of Honor Warfighter (seriously, the latter game looks insane on PC).
God damn Grimrock. I just cleared level 3 and I’m honestly deciding whether or not I’ve had my fill. Mind you, this is the first “80′s style” first person dungeon crawler I’ve ever tried. Great game that feels very playable compared to most “AAA” games, and looks almost as good because of its sparse and efficient graphics. But shit man. I will comfortably say that I feel less safe in this game than I ever did in Demon’s Souls.
And did you know someone is trying to remake Eye of the Beholder using the Dungeon Editor? I tried what they had so far for about 180 seconds and said “hell no.”
Let’s wee where I am when that Torchlight II Thanksgiving sale rolls around next week.
Livestream showing the OS looked good. I’d think about buying one if I wasn’t trying to build a computer. I could see why dedicated PC people wouldn’t care though. Does @bowlisimo care about any upcoming console hardware?
After next spring the Wii U will probably be a good investment from my point of view. NSMBU, Rayman, NintendoLand, Wonderful 101, Mighty Switch Force HD, and Pikmin make for several exclusives I actually give a shit about.
Heard some good things about Nintendo’s policy with developers on eShop.
Did anybody ever find a good Mann vs Machine server? I never got to try that mode out.
I’m going to have to agree with @sinfony. I’ve found every single GTA game to be just about unplayable. They have the worst shooting controls ever, and the checkpoint/save system as of GTAIV is still broken as fuck. If I find myself manually restating the game every time I die, there’s a problem.
@angryjedi Hernandez did basically what I do in my blogs when I talk about those games – gloss over the shit you know is there because it’s Call of Duty and spend most of the article talking about what actually sets the game apart – in this case its subject matter. It wasn’t really a review, more of a critique.
Personally, I stopped caring about Call of Duty storylines when they went from “regular dude surviving a war” to “G.I. Joes tracking down super villains.” I just want to know two things about Black Ops II: 1) Does the PC version not run like crap (like the first BO did). 2) Did Treyarch actually learn how to craft campaign level design yet? Something about their campaigns has always felt very bland compared to what we get from Infinity Ward.
@angryjedi Well damn I was just about to walk in here with that talk after trying out a little bit of the demo.
What you just described is pretty much something I’ve at least been interested in trying out for a while – something that isolates narrative and character interaction parts of RPGs and builds a whole game out of that. A drama or sitcom in video game form if you will.
Of course the reason these mechanics work so well in Persona or even BioWare games is because they have well-written characters and dialogue, plus good localization in the case of Persona. So far the characters I’ve met in CTHCC are at least likable.
Just one problem – playing the game in this low-ass resolution on a big computer monitor. I seriously hope you aren’t trying to play that on your HTPC with that 1080p TV. Why the hell didn’t they just make this a DSiWare game or something, its appeal is already basically niche.
Will further investigate, possibly picking it up when the Steam sales come down.
Man, I just realized how many “indoe” games have come out this year that have gotten a ton of attention that I haven’t played:
Mark of the Ninja
Retro City Rampage
…and all of these games are probably gonna be low as shit come Steam sale. I got some demos to play. If any of these games had demos that is.
@angryjedi Sorry man, still can’t do stuff for free right now.
You guys sure you ain’t down for Most Wanted. $25 on Black Friday. The main reason I got Hot Pursuit two years ago(?) was autologging with you guys.
The rest of Wal-Mart’s ads in case any of you guys feel like venturing out with crazies at five in the morning in -3 Celsius weather: http://bfads.net/Ad/Walmart-2012/Page2
Forza Horizon – $15
Dishonored – $25
XCOM – 25
Max Payne 3 – 15
Borderlands 2 – $25
Of course all these deals are still console-only.
Guys, Best Buy Black Friday deals just marched in, and Diablo III is gonna be $35. I checked out the trial back in the summer and decided I couldn’t justify $60 with the always-online DRM (I was having internet problems to boot then). Now, to be honest the Torchlight II demo drew me in much more effectively and now I’m more interested in that game than in DIII.
@unmanneddrone See, I still haven’t gotten anybody to actually tell me what the fuck Armored Core is or how to enter the franchise. I tried to rent ACV but only had like five minutes to play it and had no idea what the hell was going on.
@cgrajko Get started on 3D Dot. It’s basically the first top-down console Zelda game since A Link to the Past. I personally hate people calling other games “Zelda,” but since 3D Dot is a deliberate parody it kinda fits. The funny part is that despite being a parody, it actually manages to be a very good clone of what it’s making fun of. its comedic nature may not carry the sense of adventure and atmosphere that the classic Zelda games had, but that mechanical gamepalay tightness in the combat, exploration, and challenges is all there and fits excellently. The difficulty is somewhere between ALTTP and the original Zelda.
I think I can speak for a lot of us when I say I’m really starting to like From Software this generation.
@bowlisimo Looks like I’ll be waiting for a lower price like I did for the last couple AC games. The AC games are really good, but they aren’t in that upper tier “I’ll go ahead and pay $60 for it” of game.
Okay so Yahtzee just gave XCOM probably the most positive review I’ve seen from Zero Punctuation in a while. You guys are all saying it’s great too. I’m definitely feeling the peer pressure to at least download the demo.
Here’s the problem: I still have the entire original series sitting uninstalled on my Steam game list. I just… I don’t wanna feel like I wasted those five US dollars on those five games, but they’re so far down on my backlog man.
Just tell me this: How similar is the new one to the likes of Valkyria Chronicles or Final Fantasy Tactics?
@bowlisimo Dude don’t even worry about it. Try to compare it to, I dunno, Predator. Where you’re at the Schwarzenegger-esque one-liners should start dropping in any minute now.
@angryjedi So I guess we’re gettin’ our punch on…
@unmanneddrone And the thing is, I get into this a while after having read the Antony Beevor book on Stalingrad, so I understand when I read that a squad has NKVD dudes in it restricting its ability to retreat but causing higher casualties.
I think @unmanneddrone may have mentioned the game once, but Unity of Command is a pretty cool thing and just ended its Steam debut sale. The game came out last fall but only just now showed up on Steam (and thus I only just now became aware of the game).
It’s pretty much the most accessible classic-style wargame I’ve encountered. The closest thing to an operation-level wargame I’ve ever touched is Advanced Wars, and my experience with that actually helped me slide into Unity. There are huge differences of course but the basement movement and turn interface works the same way, and the game manages to be addictive in the same fashion. Even with Borderlands 2, Dishonored, and now Zerro Escape Virtue’s Last Reward on my plate, Unity still manages to cut an hour away from my time.
On the accessibility angle, the game will also run on pretty damn much anything. If you have a 2GHz processor and a couple gigs of RAM you’re good to go, even on integrated graphics, and the game manages to look great due to pretty slick art direction. PC or Mac.
At the very least keep an eye on this one for the fall Steam Sale.
@cgrajko I heard RE4 just went on sale for $10 on XBL.
@cgrajko As far as I’m aware both HD versions play the same, but in my opinion the game feels slightly better on a 360 pad.
I think @impynickers nailed it. RE4 basically began the current crop of third person shooters we see today, even if only indirectly by way of inspiring Gears.
However, even if other games have improved the controls and base mechanics, I think RE4 remains unsurpassed in the areas of game balance and level design. The game still manages to have some of the most intense set pieces I’ve ever been through. When I say “set piece” I don’t mean cinematic QTEs that a game basically steers you through, but actual level design setups perfectly planned to stress your resources and strategic reasoning. That whole thing became a masterpiece on professional mode. The game does have a lot of QTEs though, but I think almost none of them actually cut you away from gameplay.
Also, don’t even really expect a legitimately creepy horror storyline or any of that shit. It’s the only RE game that knows how ridiculous the franchise is and plays that up like a motherfucker, complete with Schwarzenegger-esque quips. To compare it to Evil Dead would be an overstatement. For now let’s put it somewhere between Evil Dead and a self-aware version of The Rock.
@bowlisimo Uhhh, yeah. Maybe today RE4′s controls feel ancient, but compared to the old tank controls, back in 2005 the game felt like a revelation.
But even today, every part of RE4 is meticulously designed around its control scheme. You really do have to learn to move in tune with the enemy AI. There is also almost zero creepiness in RE4. The whole “horror” element is more the feeling of “holy shit there are 20 people with maces and clubs chasing me and I’ve got half a clip of sub machine gun ammo left.”
Try to take out enemies efficiently. Use choke points. When possible go for the kneecaps and then finish enemies off with melee (contextual attacks not the knife). Know when to dodge an attack and use that opening to get good shots in. Use your environment.
@angryjedi Starting tomorrow Corpse Party on PSP will be $10 for a couple weeks on PSN. Sony also just announced localization for the sequel.
@impynickers I’ve only fought the strider dudes once, but one thing I can say is that in games where you have super powers, the most interesting fights are usually battles with enemies who have the same powers you do.
@impynickers You do realize both Dishonored and HL2 have the same art director right? Dunwall basically IS City 17 150 years ago.