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What VIDEO GAME(s) have you been playing?

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09 Jun 2019 12:36 #298165 by hotseatgames
On a whim I loaded up the old Xbox game Mercenaries. I played it when it came out, but never finished it.

The control scheme is no longer intuitive, having been made obsolete many years ago.

This is a great game that really could use a modern remake, using the Just Cause 4 engine, for example. They are practically the same game anyway.

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09 Jun 2019 13:26 - 09 Jun 2019 13:28 #298166 by lj1983
I did the same thing recently, and yup that control scheme just doesn’t feel right. Too bad, I have good memories of that one from back in the barracks.


Stellaris is free to play this weekend on Xbox. And absolutely addicting. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the time and “realized” it’s after midnight. Speaking of control schemes, I was very impressed with this one, one of the better ones for a strategy game on Xbox.
Last edit: 09 Jun 2019 13:28 by lj1983.

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10 Jun 2019 00:58 #298179 by Sevej
I finally finished Hotline Miami 2. Bought it on release, played it until 1 stage prior the penultimate stage, then stopped for a long while. Yesterday I beat the game. And hell... it was an awesome journey. Then go online, to get clearer story, and my mind was blown. Superb game. As a game HM1 is much, much tighter & better, but the 2 games end up being an excellent piece of entertainment.

Also, back to my regular schedule of Warlock - Masters of the Arcane, my favorite of the 4x bunch. Streamlined city building, fun exploration... but I that random events are super annoying.
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10 Jun 2019 08:22 #298187 by hotseatgames
Hotline Miami is in my all time Top 10. I loved every bit of it. The sequel was also good, but not as good; levels were too large with off-screen death that felt cheap. I do think the soundtrack actually edges out the incredible soundtrack of the original.

I played through the entire first game twice. I almost never do that. I did start a second play of the 2nd game but fell off of it.

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10 Jun 2019 08:47 #298192 by Vysetron
Hotline Miami was my GOTY of whenever it came out. What a phenomenal game. I 100%ed that and ended up playing it through a couple more times just because. HM2 didn't hit that for me, mostly for the reasons listed. Still a great story and plenty enjoyable, but level design was a good bit worse.

Speaking of, Devolver's new "Devolver Bootleg" collection has Hotline Milwaukee. That might be good for a laugh.

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10 Jun 2019 20:52 #298213 by Sevej
I totally agree 2 was nowhere as good as 1. But it expanded the universe greatly, and I love it for that.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
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16 Jun 2019 14:22 #298469 by Jexik
Based on responses here and from Facebook friends, I too have been playing Slay the Spire.

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]

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17 Jun 2019 14:01 #298512 by BillyBobThwarton

Sevej wrote: I finally finished Hotline Miami 2. Bought it on release, played it until 1 stage prior the penultimate stage, then stopped for a long while. Yesterday I beat the game. And hell... it was an awesome journey. Then go online, to get clearer story, and my mind was blown. Superb game. As a game HM1 is much, much tighter & better, but the 2 games end up being an excellent piece of entertainment.

Also, back to my regular schedule of Warlock - Masters of the Arcane, my favorite of the 4x bunch. Streamlined city building, fun exploration... but I that random events are super annoying.




Surprised to know someone still playing Warlock. I recall hoping for something that gave me the feeling of 90’s Master of Magic but instead getting a rethemed civ 4. I later picked up Warlock 2 on sale and have yet to boot it up.
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17 Jun 2019 15:39 - 17 Jun 2019 17:08 #298516 by Frohike
I've been getting back into video gaming, beyond the occasional bout of Overwatch (and the salty rage it induces, causing me to reduce the dosage over time) when my son isn't hogging the PC.

I haven't played Metal Gear Solid since the '98 game on PSX, so I felt a strange combination of nostalgia and alienation when I first began to play MGSV: The Phantom Pain and set foot in the "The Story So Far" section. The Russian doll effect of double-double-secret-agents and an infinite recess of intelligence agencies, each more meta-nefarious than the last, some with mirror-image acronyms, just made me think of a Tom Clancy novel written by the Final Fantasy 7 or Kingdom Hearts team.

Fortunately, after getting through the extremely slow cutscene-fest that launches the game, I was given an amazing stealth sandbox that felt like something Hideo Kojima made after finally pushing his way through the looking glass, fully aware of the batshit insanity of his narrative and throwing whatever cartoony conceit he felt necessary into the gameplay to allow it to function in a way that was satisfying and fun, at the risk of some ridiculous gaminess. "Oh, I get to harvest flowers for potions, yaaay" I muttered to myself in the throes of a Horizon Zero Dawn flashback, just a few minutes before I was introduced to the "Fulton extraction" mechanism, which allowed me to harvest... KO'd soldiers as skill "resources" for my base, which itself had become an RPG-style entity with stats to level up? The hell? Instead of giving me environment-specific "camo" that would magically give me invisibility, the game instead gave me an array of cardboard boxes with different motifs slapped on them, allowing me skulk around low-cover areas like some kid & pop out like a jack-in-the-box and sleep dart someone in the face in Matrix bullet time. What is this I don't even?

I know I've been living under a rock when it comes to video games. It's just nice to crawl out once in awhile and find that crazy shit like this is still available, though increasingly buried, it seems, in the AAA "games as live service" gold rush that's currently plaguing design studios.
Last edit: 17 Jun 2019 17:08 by Frohike. Reason: Some missing prepositions
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17 Jun 2019 16:32 #298517 by jeb

Frohike wrote: I've been getting back into video gaming, beyond the occasional bout of Overwatch (and the salty rage it induces, causing me to reduce the dosage over time) when my son isn't hogging the PC.

I stopped playing Comp. It was too stressful, and I was getting nothing from it. Contrast with HEARTHSTONE, where I play a lot of Ladder, but I was just not ever going to be good enough at OVERWATCH to feel like I wasn't dragging a team down. Instead, I drag a team down in Mystery Heroes mode, and occasionally Capture the Flag modes. Lower stakes, less in my control, means less stress. The game is still too gorgeous to not play.
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17 Jun 2019 16:54 #298519 by Shellhead
I have not played any video games recently, or even in the last 10 months or so. But I have been developing a thirst to replay Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. I saw a promising trailer for the sequel game that is scheduled for next year, and it brought back fond memories of the original that I managed to get running on my Windows 10 computer last year. Also, some goth friends hosted a cookout on Saturday, and nearly 100% of the people in attendance looked more goth or more punk than I ever will, so that also reminded me of Bloodlines.

Bloodlines was almost a great game. It was built on the Half-Life 2 engine, which turned out to be a big problem when Half-Life 2 got hacked and the release of both games got delayed for re-working. Bloodlines is an rpg by PC game standards, with quite a few social interactions and a menu of responses for each situation. The NPCs have unusually life-like facial expressions, and the dialogue is often entertaining. You can pick your gender and your vampire clan, or you can take a quiz and let the game select your clan. Depending on your clan, your character might be better at combat, sneaking, or social skills, and often at least two of these approaches will work for a variety of challenges in the game... until the final 10% or so which is heavy on combat. There are also some puzzles that fit seamlessly into the storyline, and even some in-game computer hacking where you can try to figure out the password from clues or else just rely on your character's hacking skill rating.

Bloodlines was buggy on release, but has since been patched nicely and even benefited from additional content from modders. The game includes some great music and some interesting easter eggs. The easiest way to try it is via Steam.
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17 Jun 2019 18:38 #298521 by Sevej

BillyBobThwarton wrote: Surprised to know someone still playing Warlock. I recall hoping for something that gave me the feeling of 90’s Master of Magic but instead getting a rethemed civ 4. I later picked up Warlock 2 on sale and have yet to boot it up.


Play MoM, then! Its craziness, which is partially caused by its inherent imbalance, won't survive today's internet.

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17 Jun 2019 19:46 #298524 by BillyBobThwarton
Play MoM, then! Its craziness, which is partially caused by its inherent imbalance, won't survive today's internet.[/quote]


I suppose at this point I’d rather hold onto my rose colored memories of MoM along with those of Betrayal at Krondor, the Commodore 64, and everything else from my youth. Those were wonderful times where there wasn’t a web to spoil the discovery.

I didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t enjoy my time with Warlock. Your mentioning it gives me an inclination to boot it up again but there is that sequel in my Steam library and I would be curious to know if you felt like it lost something that the first had.
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17 Jun 2019 21:41 #298530 by Sevej
Oh, not that I thought about that. It's just that while I still enjoy MoM (I still have a copy by GOG), I like the different challenge presented by Warlock. That static city growth & building system is just great. No more 20 turns to build a granary!

Sadly I haven't played the 2nd, which supposedly to have better spell research. Most of the things should be the same (except for that city limit, which is a good thing, but I haven't seen the city limit system in action myself). May be next Steam sale! It isn't a super great game, but has became a mainstay for me to come back and play it again every once in a while.
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17 Jun 2019 21:59 #298531 by san il defanso
We bought a Switch, and then had my parents mule it over here when they arrived last week. It's been in almost constant use between me and my sons.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - Our Wii U disc got all scratched up after my kids left it out, so we bought this one to take advantage of the multiplayer-on-the-go nature of the Switch. Just as good as I remember it, though the new battle modes are big improvements. Being able to play anywhere is clutch.

Super Mario Odyssey - Finally getting around to this after eighteen months of avoiding spoilers on it. Of course it's wonderful, though perhaps not as revelatory as Breath of the Wild was for me. However I do feel like it's nailed the flow of its experience. Continuing the level after getting a moon and the removal of lives makes this a potent drug indeed. It now has that Civilization-style addictiveness, where it keeps on setting small goals in front of you and you continually want to pursue them for hours at a time. I just defeated Bowser, which means I have like 50% of the game left, to say nothing of all the moons I left behind in the levels I've already done.
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