(Archived 2022) The thread in which we talk about games we are currently playing

The new games thread has become a great space to discuss anything related to current videogames in a community that is pleasantly not interested by default in those things, giving space to a wide and nice variety of dedicated threads for Saturn, NeoGeo Pocket, PC-Engine and whatever we feel like discussing.

But the truth is I enjoy that sort of diary-oriented casually discussing the stuff you're just doing at the moment, because not always there is the will or the interest to articulare a whole conversation around it, so I have created this thread to mirror the kind of chat we have been sharing there. Let's just talk about the games we are playing and whatever you feel like saying about them.

And since I'm the first one, I guess I'll start talking a bit about Kane & Lynch, a game I'm playing because @yeso recommended me the sequel, but decided that might as well play the first game too.


It's as bad as you might expect from a mediocre run-of-the-mill third person shooter in the middle of the third person shooter craze of the 360 era, but I have been enjoying engaging with it critically because basically this game is a 1:1 carbon copy of every mission in GTAV, down to both of them being the same Michael Mann's Heat heist themed shooty bang bang ripoff. It's of course less polished but the gameplay/mechanical conceits are the same and the fact you don't even have to extrapolate the aesthetic with both games drinking from the same source makes it even more obvious.

And it's got me thinking how incredibly low we've been putting the bar for these huge ass open world games. All big publishers had to do to earn critical praise was funnelling millions to add cars to Kane and Lynch and there you have it, it's game of the year time babey.

That is, at least, until the game gets tired of itself and decides to become Freedom Fighters 2 in a stage named exactly that, "Freedom Fighters" (as a subtle reference to the game Freedom Fighters), where you lead guerrillas into the cuban parliament to do a coup for NO REASON AT ALL.

Great idea for a thread! Appreciate what you said about K&L. Haven't really thought about that series in years.

I don't have it yet, but I'm excited to play **Spartan: Total Warrior** soon. Someone casually mentioned it on the show after the revival, which unlocked some deep memory I had of playing it for hours and hours with my friends in junior high. Now that I have a Series X, I went ahead and found a copy of the Xbox version on OfferUp. Tim's [review ](http://www.actionbutton.net/?p=387) on action button was a great reminder for me of all the things I liked about it. Hope it "holds up," so to speak.


I started playing Pathologic 2 yesterday, and that sure is a cool video game. Really feels like the people who made it really care about what they're doing.

I only got around 45 minutes in, and there haven't been any crushing survival aspects yet, but I patiently wait for the moment where they become overwhelming and I decide that I cannot handle it. I figure I won't bother with "Medium" difficulty, I'll just play on "Intended" (the three difficulty options are Medium, Hard, and Intended, which is hilarious) until I am no longer having a Good Time.

Anyway, this game has really good vibes. Everything is filthy and miserable and people are always screaming. It's great so far!

I‘ve currently slowly been making my way through Pathologic 2, but I want to talk about something else I’ve been getting back into lately.

A week ago I saw this thread, and there were a lot of things in it I didn't recognize.


So I decided to boot up Caves Of Qud for the first time since mid-2017 and see how its changed since then.

I am currently involved in a game with my most successful character to date.


I started with a warden that only had one mutation, Photosynthetic skin, but also had two points in "Unstable Genome", which means that my character would get two "free" mutations after I leveled a bit. I got very lucky with these "unstable genome" mutations.

Getting back into Qud required a period of re-acclimation. My number one tip to new players is dont sleep on the "sprint" skill given to every character. Few rougelikes are kind enough to give you something like the "sprint" skill for free, and it can be used to get yourself out of many (but not all) bad situations (provided you realize you're in one).

Luckily my mutation options this game (which were mostly decided by chance), have given me a additional number of escape options. "Phasing" and "Precognition" being the most powerful "get out of jail free" cards. Phasing not only makes me immune to damage for a short duration, but also allows me to lose enemies that are tracking me by passing through walls. Precognition allows you to experience the future, and at the end of the duration or if you experience lethal damage, it gives you the choice to snap back to when you casted it. Once you've gotten far enough into the game, you'll also get access to a few "recoiler" items that will allow you to instantly snap back to the city it is programmed for when used in your inventory (it wont auto-save you like precognition)



I recently completed Golgatha for the first time, managing to turn in the quest just barely under the level <13 threshold for receiving the powerful "hologram bracelet" artifact as an additional award, along with a masterwork scoped carbine. The hologram bracelet will be another powerful tool for my character, who is currently mostly focused on ranged attacks (and disappearing in a cloud of corrosive gas if anyone gets too close).


Using my Phasing ability I was able to steal a number of books from Grit Gate after turning in the Golgatha quest, and flew off to the temple city/trading hub: The Six-Day Stilt. I have been stockpiling all the books I've found so far for this moment. I am halfway through exploring the traders surrounding The Six-Day Stilt for anything particularly good. These books are worth a fair amount in trade value, but there is a librarian in the temple here that will give you experience for books, based on their value. After I've bought whatever interests me from the trading stalls, I'll dump what ever books I have left on the librarian, and hopefully get a good amount of XP from that.

(Books in gold are pre-written and actually make sense when read, books in grey are filled with filler proc-genned contents and make no sense. There were 2 more books that wouldnt fit on the screen.)

After my business in Six Day Stilt is done I plan to abandon the main quest for a while and go ruin hunting. Getting lost on the overmap when travelling/exploring can be extremely dangerous but I've gained a few items (precinct navigator, mechanical wings, compass bracelet) that will help mitigate that. The Precinct Navigator in particular is an item I'm excited about using. And my "phasing" ability is very useful for exploring ruins because it allows me to walk through walls, which makes it a snap to access areas that otherwise might be inaccessible (Sunder Mind can also be cast and channeled while phased, which is Nice, but I rarely find myself in the Most Perfect Situation for using that combo).

(currently unpowered, but I have more cells)

My kind of general hope for this character is to find some kind of energy weapon and then somehow give it the [Jacked] mod that would allow me to power it with my bodies own Electrical Generation mutation (which is not currently very useful for me. At least I can cast "corrosive gas" while I'm phased and running away. Electrical generation requires I be adjacent to an enemy to use offensively, so I mostly have been using against lower level stuff I'm not afraid to get close to).

I also played like 14 hours of Cyberpunk 2077 lately. I'm actually enjoying it, as a game. I was very ready to hate it but it's fine. It does have some problems and it feels like a lot of stuff is broken/missing, but what IS there seems mostly fine. Fun, even. I certainty had no problem sitting down for two 7 hour sessions. This is a weird comparison but it actually kind of reminds me of "Hellgate: London". I'm holding my judgment of the story until I finish it. What I can say for sure is that managing your inventory is a nightmare.

@Moon#15646 I love how every playthrough of Qud feels like its own huge self contained story. Very few open world RPGs come anywhere close to pulling off over the course of a game the level of storytelling that Qud pulls off on nearly every screen.

I have a game in Qud where I've reached the current end of the main storyline. Really great game, some of the final areas are really incredible. I use a 60% keyboard but I still keep an old microsoft full keyboard around just to play Qud and roguelikes.

After finishing _E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy_ (which I really recommend albeit with a few caveats) a few weeks ago I've been all over the place game wise. Just poking at stuff. Trying some random flash games from Flashpoint project, and working on a 1CC for Crazy Climber 2000.

Crazy Climber 2000 is pretty neat, btw. It's an early playstation game done by a very small team at Nichibutsu and it shows. But once you get the hang of the controls (twin stick game, each stick controls one of your hands) it's quite addictive. It's biggest hurdle it that it has only four buildings and once you get some skills the first building can get a little bit dull. But I value how concise it is and how oddly relaxing it's once you get the climbing rhythm down.


I also remembered how one the latest things I managed to accomplish before the pandemic was nailing down the first loop of _J.J. Squawkers_, so I am back at it to get some practice for the two loops 1CC. My setup here it's not as comfortable, but I'll make it work.

And there's also this game, this "highschool game made by actual spanish highschoolers in the 90s with an engine that was popular at the time" that I've been thinking a lot lately so had to track it down again. It's really silly and not much as a game, but I think it actually deserves it's own thread. It's an interesting curio.


I just..

GOT A FREAKING SWORD IN PUBG](https://youtu.be/DGuViX8X0aE?t=47)


I did not have the demo of Windjammers 2 in my plans tonight, but here we are power flying discs. The fist demo left a bitter taste in my mouth due to bad netcode and not feeling that it offered that much over 1. But damn, this extra time in the oven is working well so far. The new rollback netcode is good and the game feels way better. I am enjoying the matches.

Now make Karnov playable, Dotemu.

So this is a kind of project I‘ve had rolling around in my brain for a while and I think this year I’m going to take a stab at it.

I'm gonna play the Ys series! Why? Well, I like Falcom a lot! I love the Trails series. I like the vibes their games have, they always keep this intimate feel even though they have narratives with high stakes. Their worlds and characters always feel like they're made with immense care. And Ys is just a pillar of the medium! It has been around for such a long time and I find the way it has distinctly evolved over the years to be fascinating as it also tracks Falcom's progression as a developer. Ys IX also came out in the US literally yesterday and it's the latest game in the Ys timeline so I'd like to fill in some gaps before playing it.

My Ys history, before this current push, is this: almost none. I played Memories of Celceta(which is a remake of Ys IV, the only canon version of IV according to Falcom because the other versions were outsourced back in the day) on the Vita back when it came out and it wasn't really anything special. It had the Falcom "feel" in spots but it also felt a bit of a formality since they hadn't made their own version of IV before. Then I played like 75% of Ys VIII when it came out but I fell off of it when they announced they were going to do a complete re-localization of it to fix their now famously bad first script. I decided to wait but got pulled to other things.

So first step here is....the beginning! I just completed Ys 1 and had a great time with it. With the help of this HG101 article(http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/ys-book-i-ii/) on the first two games I decided to go for the PSP version: Ys 1 & 2 Chronicles. This version is based on the Eternal versions that were originally released on the PC in the late 90's/early 00. They have entirely new graphics(which look really great), new content, new character art, new musical arrangements. I picked the PSP version because I could play it nice and comfy on my Vita and it had more bonus stuff like another set of updated character art and a few different soundtracks you could pick from(TG16, PC-88, and the new arrangements I think). I decided to play with the Eternal version art instead of the Chronicles art because wow it's just so charming!!!

Eternal/original update:

Chronicles/second update:

The PSP version also changed the UI, getting rid of the fancy border that seems to be on most of the early games in the series:

Eternal PC:

Chronicles PSP:

I think the PSP version is absolutely gorgeous. The pixels are plentiful and extremely detailed and it runs very smooth.

The gameplay uses the "bump" system that they utilized for a bit. In Ys 1 you just run into enemies to attack them, but you need to do it off-center of the enemy or they damage you. This is actually super fun!!! I cackled to myself a bunch just imagining Adol full on sprinting around this world, running into skeletons and making them explode. Then just sprint to the next spot with guitar music ripping in the background. Oh yeah the soundtrack owns but if you're familiar with any Falcom game ever made then you know that's just the standard for them. The bump system makes some of the bosses feel super fiddly, ESPECIALLY THE FINAL BOSS, but in normal play it's always mad goofy and fun.

Structurally it's also neat as you're just dropped into the world after getting ship wrecked in a store which is also known as: The Ys Special. You just kinda run around and do shit. You talk to people, get clues where you need to go next, explore the world, exploit the broken level up system. It's not a long game, I think I spent 6 hours with it? And like half of that is just the final dungeon. It's not especially heavy on story but what is there is dripping in spoooooooky mysteries and ancient prophecies. Just good clean fun. Really loved seeing the beginning of Adol and Dogi. And just the creation of the stuff Ys is made of: fast movement, fast combat, shredding guitars, ancient civilizations, exploring, big trees, shipwrecks, curses. All of it was here!

My next one is finally finishing Ys VIII which I've been replaying on the Switch. I'll save most of my thoughts for when I finish it but in short: it absolutely shreds. It's meaty as hell. Story, movement, exploration, music. It's all just a big steak to dig into. Maybe too big sometimes!!! The thing that makes it such a joy to me moment to moment is that the movement just feels soooooooooo good. The locomotion of your character running is just this unbelievably well tuned feeling. Every second you're moving a character around it just fun as hell.

After finishing VIII I have a road map of sorts in mind. Next up will be Oath in Felghana which is the remake of Ys III. This will be the first game in the second phase of Ys that I'll be playing. After that I'm planning on going: Seven, II, Origins, and then I'll see how I feel. Might wanna just jump into IX or may check out one of the others.

I posted this in here since it's what I'm currently playing but also am open to just making an Ys thread to capture my playthroughs as well as opening it up to other IC friendos who may want to play along with their own version preferences and thoughts!

I‘m gonna go ahead and admit it because it’s weighing on my chest and I like this forum. I trust you all to understand my plight despite having only lurked the forum for a few short months…

So, this year I decided that I want to play some chill "normie" games. I went ahead and started playing Pokemon Shield, because my younger cousin so kindly gifted me his copy. I also decided I wanted to play the latest Madden for some ungodly reason. I guess I was a bit tired and worn down from all the disappointing Triple-A titles that I invested lots of free time to last year.

Playing these games feels very much like eating at a nostalgic, and definitely horrible fast food restaurant that you liked when you were younger but since avoided as you grew older after learning of its health risks. For now, I don't care. I am having my video game equivalent of Trans Fats and I will enjoy it until I inevitably move on to the "Cool and Good" games.

ALL games are cool and good!

@sabertoothalex#15907 Nice, I decided to jump into Ys about this time last year. Started playing IX an hour ago, still have VI and Seven to get to as well. It‘s been a really great time, I appreciate that these games aren’t really padded in the same way many other Jrpgs can be and getting through them is a pretty brisk process. Even VIII, which is totally huge as you mentioned, clocks in at about 40 hours which I still think is nice for a game more grandiose in scale compared to the others.

I can see why maybe it doesn't look like a super interesting series from the outside, but these games just feel _so_ good.

@sabertoothalex#15907 I do like me some big borders in games, so I tend to gravitates towards the PC version. It's part of its charm to me. But yeah, Ys 1 and 2 are really nifty concise games, well worth the play.

@sabertoothalex#15907 yeah the psp books I+II look great. Felghana is a cool game too. I personally go for the FM synth soundtracks - not crazy about the orchestral versions.

Are you skipping around the series out of convenience/accessability? IV for the PCE is great. The side scrolling versions of III are interesting as well. V is the only one I haven’t played.

As discussed in the ‘Never Owned an Xbox’ thread, I had never played a Halo, Gears of War or Forza game until recently. Thanks to Game Pass I've put some time in to all three on Series X. Some very brief thoughts:

  • -

    FORZA. Forza Motorsport 7 is really excellent. My favourite ‘Xbox standard’ so far. A little more direct than Gran Turismo, and it‘s nice to escape the standard GT rotation of cars and locations. Looks good, feels good. The AI comes into its own in longer races. I’ll be putting a lot of hours into this one. Excited for the new one.

    Horizon 4 is… fine? It hasn‘t grabbed me like I thought it would. I feel like I played so much Burnout Paradise in 2008 that I never really need to revisit that type of game again. Its representation of Edinburgh is a novelty, but why you’d include Edinburgh in a driving game is unclear to me as in the real world NOBODY LIKES DRIVING IN EDINBURGH.

  • -

    **GEARS OF WAR.** Just getting started on this one. Playing the 'Ultimate Edition' of the first game. It's good! I'm dying a lot and it's quite difficult to tell which muscle cubes are my own bros and which are bad guys sometimes, but I'm having a good time so far and expect to work my way through all of these games quite happily.

  • -

    **HALO.** I need some help with this one. I don't get it. I've started with the first game, and I'm having no fun at all. Should I skip ahead to one of the others, or is this it? I'm admittedly not a die-hard FPS fan, but I've enjoyed a few (both pre- and post-Halo) and normally get on well enough with them in single player. This just seems unintuitive and dull. Driving controls are reeeeally not working for me. Levels are (so far) empty and repetitive. Advice needed on how to enjoy Halo please.

  • @Syzygy#15985 The thing is I don‘t need it to feel modern. My favourite FPS games are probably Perfect Dark, Doom and Half Life 2. The Medal of Honor games from around that time are great too. I’ve had not-unpleasant times with a single-player Call of Duty or two. They‘re all well-realised versions of the things they’re trying to be, and since I played some of them for the first time more recently, I‘m definitely able to enjoy them as ’new games‘ rather than through nostalgia goggles. It’s just not clicking with Halo though.

    But maybe that's the point though and you're right - Halo is the basic, not-good version of a modern FPS. It had limitations, but was pushing up against them rather than working within them. Perfect Dark, for example, is the better-realised version of Goldeneye and doesn't really have any mountains left to climb in terms of design. Halo is ambitious but hampered, Medal of Honor is just a good game.

    probbably going to finish g string in the next couple days. Really enjoyed it. As I mentioned in the other thread, I appreciate the eccentric approach to space and level geometry. The game is a one-woman show, so it‘s entirely one person’s ideas about pacing, encounters etc. Keeps the experience novel and never lapses into sanded-smooth pacing of contemporary FPS design.

    Great atmosphere. Oppressive vision of nasty future: acid rain, smog hurricanes, space debris regularly crashing to earth. And surprise twin peaks


    I've been playing Kero Blaster, which initially struck me as a surprisingly restrained followup to Cave Story, perhaps even phoned in but eventually revealed itself as a clever, tight, delightful spiritual sequel to NES Kid Icarus.

    @Syzygy#15922 My mom? wtf? Rude.