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01 Sep 2015 12:10 #209748 by jeb
Put about two hours into BORDERLANDS PRE-SEQUEL last night. It's actually funny. I am laughing at the writing. That's pretty impressive in this day and age, sadly. Jack is a crack-up in general, but the whole thing is funny, generically. After THE SWAPPER and DESTINY, I am really enjoying this. Probably the best writing since SWORD & SWORCERY, TRANSISTOR, or CLASH OF HEROES.

Also, and this is a small dig at Bungie, there is much lower gravity on the moon surface and I love it. I am bouncing around like a maniac. It bothered me in DESTINY that the moon gravity was somehow the same as Russia, or Venus, or Mars for that matter. Must be my powered armor automat---fuck it, lazy.

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01 Sep 2015 12:17 #209750 by Legomancer
I think the writing in Borderlands is pretty snappy. And there are things put in the games that are much more interesting and moving than they first appear.

And yes, jumping is so much fun. I love jumping. I hate games where I can't jump.

You mentioned Transistor. I bought that the other day and tried to play it but I think I'm just not smart enough. I started out okay but holy cow I don't want to collect special moves and slot them into other moves and program shit and what not. What ever happened to games you just fucking play instead of ones that feel like everything has to be a damn spreadsheet?

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01 Sep 2015 12:23 #209751 by iguanaDitty

jeb wrote: Finished THE SWAPPER.


How was the end? Is it worth finishing or just more of the same? I think I'm halfway to 2/3 through...then I got bored and stuck on a puzzle.

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01 Sep 2015 12:47 #209753 by ChristopherMD
Downloaded Hot Shots Golf World Invitational for PS3. Been playing a round every night before bed.

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01 Sep 2015 13:30 #209757 by jeb
@iguanaDitty: The ending is pretty neat, narratively. You need 124 orbs to get it, so you might be closer than you think. Just Youtube the puzzles. Some of them are about angles and slow-mo and that's a little obnoxious. As indie fare goes, this one is really nice.

I actually agree with you about TRANSISTOR. It's more fun to watch being played than to actually play, but the writing is tight as hell. Is that Supergiant? They have that whole narrator thing down.
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01 Sep 2015 14:08 #209762 by Michael Barnes
If I love MGSV 20, 30, 40 hours in as much as I love it after the first five...it may go down as one of my very favorite games of all time.

I was worried about the open world format, fearing a bunch of filler content, busywork and dumb activities...but this game isn't quite like any other open world game I've ever played. It's hard to describe why, but everything feels more organic, fluid and refined. This is NOTHING like Just Cause, Far Cry, or any of that stuff. It is very much like Peace Walker, and in fact Peace Walker now kind of feels like a beta version of what this game is doing. It has all of the base building, resource management, development and Fulton balloon kidnapping.

The first actual mission you go on has you infiltrating a Soviet camp near Kabul where Kaz Miller is being held prisoner. You ride out on horseback with Ocelot and he pretty much says "it's over there, do your thing". He does offer some guidance, but how you approach it is totally up to you. The game encourages and rewards improvisation in a much ore (here it is again) organic, fluid and refined way.

So here's what I did. There was watch post a little ways outside of the camp. I figured that would be trouble, so I belly-crawled up and tranqed the two dudes milling around there. No worries there. Then I headed up to this rocky bluff overlooking the main camp. Using binoculars, I scoped out the entire place. I knew the building he was in, but I needed to mark all the soldiers there to keep track of them. So I crept in, crawling, dodging and running. Found Miller, threw him over my shoulder, and walked right into a guard around a corner. Historically, I'm great at infiltration but everything goes pear-shaped on the exfiltration. So I actually THREW Miller at this guy, picked him back up, and started running, bullets whizzing all over the place. I whistled for D-Horse (that's his name) and he caught up with us. Put Miller on there and away we rode. I called for the chopper to pick us up some ways out of the camp, but all of this gas started to settle in. The chopper pilot radioed that he couldn't land. Across a bridge, these Skull troopers showed up, they were spewing the gas. So the chopper had to go to a different landing point and we were going to have to rendezvous with it elsewhere. I stupidly rode right down to where the Skull guys were, and it turned into this crazy chase across the desert, with these teleporating/bamfing Skull dudes everywhere spraying gas and me desparately trying to figure out how to get to the landing zone. We out ran them, the helicopter came down, and we ran to get the hell out of there.

It was AWESOME.

On the second mission, I got to choose the time of day and loadout. Including horse armor (which I had not researched yet). I guess you can take "buddies".

There's just so much going on, so many systems and mechanics...so much detail. Some other points of interest:
- Made a character avatar at the beginning of the game that was then promptly tossed aside- come on, who DOESN'T want to play as Snake/the Boss.
- I learned all about the Soviet - Afghan conflict and how it figures into the MGS world
- Listened to this extended discussion about the decline of whaling in the 1980s and its impact on Japanese economy and culture
- Saw a giant whale made out of fire
- Took a shower
- Researched how to make a cardboard box
- Smoked a "Phantom Cigar", which has wormwood in it apparently
- Learned about the medicinal uses of tarragon
- Ocelot gave me a 3 minute lecture on the cultural/historic origins of his nickname "Sahsharalka" (or whatever it is)
- Found cassette tapes of "Kids in America" and "She Blinded Me With Science" (it's set in 1984)
- Found a stray puppy out in the wild. Fulton ballooned it back to Mother Base. Guess we have a dog now.
- Wrestled with some wolves that surprised the shit out of me up in the Afghan hills. KOed them, sent them back to base on the balloons. Apparently, an NGO has contracted the Diamond Dogs to extract wildlife out of conflict zones in addition to our other missions.
- Put these two guards at a checkpoint to sleep and left them, only to see a truck pull up at the checkpoint while I watched from cover. I stupidly left them out in the open. The truck slowed down, the driver looked around for a minute, and then drove off.
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01 Sep 2015 16:33 #209771 by OldHippy
If I were to play MGS 5 it would have to be on my 360.. no next gen for me with a new family member and a new house (yeah, we bought a house recently and it wasn't cheap). So as much as I want to play it I'm not sure a 360 is the best console for it.

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02 Sep 2015 11:13 - 02 Sep 2015 11:14 #209813 by Black Barney
Barnes, I'm starting to think I might wait out on MGS V for the moment. First review for the Xbox One version only gives it an 8. Here are some notable quotes from the review and I wanted to hear your impressions (this guy is clearly a MGS and Kojima fan too)

« fantastic stealth action game that offers an insane amount of ways to play. Just don’t expect it to feel like your typical Metal Gear experience”

It has no soul. While it could be the best stealh-action videogame ever made, it’s still in contention to be the worst MGS game to date.

It feels much more like an open-world Splinter Cell game. It feels like the most neutered game Kojima has ever delivered

Last edit: 02 Sep 2015 11:14 by Black Barney.

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02 Sep 2015 14:30 - 02 Sep 2015 14:32 #209835 by Stonecutter

Michael Barnes wrote: Ah, see, pretty much everything you are complaining about in Destiny is changing...I actually quit it because I didn't like that the game apparently expected me to grind 100 hours for random drops to make progress. The whole system is being overhauled.

But it's not Destiny 2...it's the game you are playing now, just refined and revised.


For all intents and purposes it is Destiny 2.

In fact, the game is getting patched on the 8th to "Destiny 2.0" and that patch is making big changes and being applied to everyone whether they get The Taken King or not.

To everyone who says 'why do they put out a new call of duty every year, why not just release a patch?" That's what this is. You get to keep all the old multiplayer maps, plus they're adding like a dozen more. You get to keep all your guns, but they're adding hundreds more (even if your guns might get obsolete in PvE, such is an MMO after all.) This is way more a sequel than it is a standard expansion pack.

I played maybe 4 hours of Destiny when I got my PS4 back in December. It didn't REALLY grab me because I also had Shadows of Mordor and I was way more into that, then it was Dragon Age, then Bloodborne, then...

Finally last month I got back into Destiny and even though Barnes is right about this being the "worst time" I'm still loving it. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea but they're fixing a lot of the grinding and adding more of a story to a game that is one of the most gorgeous out there, and, at it's heart, very similar to Halo in terms of gunplay, which is still one of my all time favorite shooter systems.
Last edit: 02 Sep 2015 14:32 by Stonecutter.
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02 Sep 2015 14:32 #209837 by Michael Barnes
Oh Christ...did the guy used the phrase "dumbed down" anywhere in there? Because when someone uses that phrase in a game review, you can almost always ascertain that the person is resentful of modernization, updating or refinement. And that the writer is, in fact, "dumbed down".

It's bullshit on every level, it sounds to me like the opinion of a fanboy either trying to show everybody his big ol' fanballs or someone that is disappointed that a 2015 video game made by one of the most forward-thinking and progressive gamemakers today isn't just like a game he made in 2008 (seven years ago) or even further back. There's not a whole lot of fan service and the sloppier, more self-indulgent elements have been scaled back into balance with the gameplay design. For example, you don't watch a 10 minute cut scene...you go make the cut scene and maybe listen to a cassette on the way there that fills you in on the exposition.

"Soulless"..."neutered"...this is Kojima's most ambitious, spirited game to date. This is the work of a master craftsmen and a team working at the absolute peak of their ability. If I were on that team, I would go find this guy and slap his face.

I'm only 12 hours in, mind, but even at this early stage I think this game has a shot at being my favorite game of all time. I'm not exaggerating. I feel like this is the game that a lot of different strands of the video game heritage have led up to, not just in the Metal Gear series but also in the larger diaspora of the medium. Kojima's body of work, peaked by MGSV, has won the "can video games be art" argument. There's your pull quote.

The cinematics in 4 were great...but they were NOTHING like the one that opens V. It is the best horror movie of the year. Yet Kojima is letting the player's actions tell more of the story than ever before- Eurogamer's critic said "it's a massive open world with a director when it needs one"- that says a lot about the format here. The gameplay in all of the games has always been great- complex, detailed and compelling- but things that only kind of worked (like Octocamo and the food thing) have been pared away and things that did work (like Mother Base and CQC) have been honed to perfection.

Anyway, highlight reel from day 2:

- Had to put on the chicken hat. The mission was really giving me trouble- extract a bionics engineer from a Soviet prison. I kept getting caught and then killed in firefights. I took a Phantom Cigar break to move the time up to the wee hours, but that changed up the patrols and I wound up having to come up with an entirely different approach. So I failed a bunch, and I was offered the chicken hat. It has googly eyes and a glow-in-the-dark comb. Wearing it, you cap your score at "A" level but you get three free passes when you are spotted. And of course, when I took on the mantle of shame (it's basically like the "cheating suits" in recent Mario games), I wound up not needing it because I totally aced the mission. I interrogated a guard outside the base for the 20th time and he showed not only where the prisoner was but also some blueprints. I found a different way to get into the compound and that led to a power generator, which I had never seen in other missions before. Called up Ocelot, he told me what it was. So I could either hit the switch or blow it up. I experimented, turning it off first. They sent a guy over to check it out, so I knocked him out. I put a C4 on it and crept around the base. I wound up going over where the prison was and getting up on the roof of this tower. I put another C4 on a comms antennae there. I also found a Billy Idol cassette and a bikini poster, and also overheard some guards talking about how safe Russian nuclear power plants are (in 1984...). I tranquilized the guard outside the cell, grabbed the guy, and took him to the roof to be ballooned away. Mission complete. But then I remembered I had the C4, so I blew both of them and ran to the exfiltration zone.

- Oh, on the way to that mission, I saw a bear. I tried to put it to sleep, but it bulldozed me. Like eight times. I finally hit it with enough darts to put it asleep and away it went. I believe you can build some kind of zoo on Mother Base.

- I totally bungled a Side Ops mission where you have to find this lost sheep in a pretty big area. Just kept failing. Declined the chicken hat and resolved to get back to that one.

- Fulton ballooned a raven, that was pretty funny.

- I didn't think at first that the enemies noticed the balloons. But then I heard one of them say "one of our guys just lifted out of here on a balloon!" Oops!

- Took out all the guards at this checkpoint on a main road around a mountain. This truck pulled up like what happened yesterday, but this time the soldiers got out to investigate. I crept up behind them and stole their truck. That was fun.

- The puppy is growing. I visited Mother Base for a shower ("improves physical and mental wellbeing" it says without further description) and to improve morale. Your soldiers salute you. If you grab one and do CQC, they thank you for training with them. Ha!

- I'm about to start building on to Mother Base...short on materials right now, but I think we have a big enough R&D crew to make some of the improvements.

- I'm in a really tough mission right now, have to find this "Honeybee" weapon that the Mujahedeen needs to fight Soviet HINDs. I don't know if it's a real world thing or not, but knowing MGS it may actually be honeybees. I'm supposed to find this Hamid fighter and he'll take me to it in this massive fortress complex. The problem is that everything is out in the open and there's like 15 guards all over the place in a big courtyard. Not sure how to approach it yet, but I think I might try the distraction method.

- Was in the middle of another side op mission, crouched down with no firm plan of approach and a couple of guards just parked 10m away when a sandstorm suddenly hit out of nowhere. I took the advantage and just ran. They neither heard nor saw me go past them.
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02 Sep 2015 15:39 #209848 by airmarkus
In a different thread I was talking about watching the Spartacus show and someone replied describing the show as gonzo. Barnes, I never use the word gonzo, but MSG5 sounds gonzo, in a good way. Unfortunatley, I'll have to wait as I have no PS4 or XBONE and I'm not buying that game for an older system. Sounds like one I will definitely put on the try list for down the road though. I've played 1, 2, and 4 and they were crazy but fun. I could honestly care less about the story, but the gameplay is awesome at various points in each game.

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02 Sep 2015 16:24 #209850 by Legomancer

Michael Barnes wrote: Oh Christ...did the guy used the phrase "dumbed down" anywhere in there? Because when someone uses that phrase in a game review, you can almost always ascertain that the person is resentful of modernization, updating or refinement. And that the writer is, in fact, "dumbed down".


God, I wish more things were "dumbed down". I'm nearing 50 and I play videogames because I want to relax. I don't want to memorize bullshit statistics and slightly tweak builds and discover intricate combinations or some shit. I want to run around, shoot stuff, and jump. I love jumping.

I am jonesing for a Ratchet and Clank game, which I loved, on the PS4. But every platform game I see is this "next generation" shit that wants to add like five levels of OCD nonsense onto the formula. It's not enough to just run around and kill shit anymore, you have to have some kind of arcane novelty wrapped around it or else people who will happily spend hours discovering new combat moves sequence will bitch that it's "dumbed down". FFS, give me dumbed down. I want it. This assumption that everyone in the world has already played the shit out of "easy" Metroidvania games and only wants toothgrindingly tough ones with a million things to figure out is killing me.

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02 Sep 2015 16:27 #209852 by Michael Barnes
I'd say more "absurdist" than "gonzo", really...there's a willful split between this meticulous attention to detail (look at some of the gun models in these games...they are RIDICULOUSLY detailed) and real-world elements and then these completely off-the-wall, bizarre elements like the chicken hat, ballooning animals away and a grown-ass man hiding in a cardboard box. You get a full-on discussion of Afghan tribalism along with flaming whales. You get these old fashioned video game tropes (like the "!") over an alerted soldier's head and that iconic sound effect paired up with complicated camouflage mechanics and sophisticated AI programming.

All of these oppositions are part of what makes Metal Gear what it it, what makes it so "gonzo" or "absurdist" (take your pick).

I remember playing the first game and there was all of this talk of SALT II, serious discussion about nuclear proliferation, ethical debates about war and technology and so forth...and as late as when that game came out (1998), games were still not really speaking at that kind of an adult level yet. And they still aren't, really. But then there was Psycho Mantis and being able to eat a ration to heal yourself.

One thing that is really neat about all of the games is that they kind of play up that whole "science indistinguishable from magic" thing...nanotechnology drives a lot of the futurism and there are lots of elements that are almost supernatural...but they tie back into some kind of biological or technological superscience in some way. So Vamp really is a vampire. Sure, why not...in a world with the kinds of technology depicted in these games.

I would definitely say hold out to play it on PS4 or Xbone...it is a beautiful game that runs smoothly on those systems, not sure how it would perform on older ones.

I think this one, more than the others, is more accessible if you don't know all of the story elements.

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02 Sep 2015 16:29 #209854 by Michael Barnes
am jonesing for a Ratchet and Clank game, which I loved, on the PS4.

Believe it or not, Skylanders is what you are looking for.
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02 Sep 2015 21:01 - 02 Sep 2015 21:02 #209865 by Josh Look
How in the HELL is no one talking about Mad Max? I picked up today for PC for $18.99. No shit. Here's the link, I assure you, it's legit.

Mad Max, under $20, I shit you not.

I paid no attention to the game's development as I'm very much over the post-apoc thing (as you all will be in time, I guarantee it), but I read some positive review on it and though why the hell not. It's a got that Arkham/Shadow of Mordor combat, which I have yet to tire of, so good on it.

I'm not very far in, but so far it's pretty awesome.
Last edit: 02 Sep 2015 21:02 by Josh Look.
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