(Archived) The thread in which we discuss the videogames we are playing in the year 2023

I’ve just been playing Harvest: Massive Encounter, Simutrans Extended and steam Dwarf Fortress on my GPD Win2 this break.

Been trying to articulate a thought I have about games about _pressure_, which both Harvest and Simutrans qualify as. Nothing has crystallized so I’ll at least share what I’m thinking.

Harvest: Massive Encounter (recommended by a show guest a while back) is a tower defense game with simple mineral patches you have to expand out to gather. Mechanically, it is extremely pared down, and well balanced. You can create power plants that create energy units that you watch move between power nodes in the form of little glowy sparks. That power can be consumed by a mining unit to mine one mineral, or be consumed in completing the construction of a building. As you get bigger, you end up having a ‘bank’ of this energy that is never numerically quantified but is always visibly transiting around. The energy packets generally traverse nodes randomly till they reach something that can consume them.

Minerals are spent in typical RTS fashion. There are only two types of ‘tower’ to build - the basic laser tower (single target) or a missile battery (some AOE but very slow). The turrets are ‘loaded’ by the same energy that you have floating through your network and use in construction. You can link laser turrets together such that multiple turrets power a single one that subsequently gets both range and damage boosted - this can be chained in whatever way you like.

Enemies are basically slow kamikaze ships heading towards your structures, and all structures die in one hit. Enemy waves can approach from every direction.

To get to the point, the essence of the game is the balance of the _pressure_ provided by your power plants, the spending of that energy in construction, the consumption of that energy by firing your weapons, the waves of incoming enemies, and the necessity to expand to gather more resources to power your expanding structures. You feel and see the depletion of energy as a side of your base gets hammered, and the choice to expand rapidly can result in a dearth of energy elsewhere, leading to turrets running out of power. This all comes down to pretty organically curved outer structures, as the player maximizes firing area, as well as the development of ‘arteries’ for power.

Simutrans is a transport sim that does a really good job modeling passengers with specific destinations in mind, and is basically ‘network effect: the game”. If you have a few cities linked by ferries for instance, linking another area not only creates traffic along that new line, but also you can see the increase in flow along the rest of your network as people from that new connection travel to their myriad destinations, and as passengers wanting to travel from any part of your network to the new location are freed up. Very exponential feeling, especially when you only have a few connections to start. The industries also have substantial down and upstream order understanding - the dairy far won’t bother producing if the cheese maker isn’t ordering as a result of no buyers at the market. The industries understand lag time in transit, so float an appropriate amount ‘in the pipeline’ of their supply chains. The logjam of an underserved station has repercussions across the network. A similar but somewhat converse instance of _pressure_.

Anywho I like those games and thinking about them. They might be fun for you too!

Happy Birthday @JoJoestar!

The games I've been playing and will continue to play in 2023 are Disco Elysium (until I finish), Spelunky 2 (until I roll credits), and Elden Ring (until it breaks my spirit entirely). I've also been playing Hyper Gunsport. >!I still need to unlock my favorite team, Scrapyard. Playing Gunsport with a bat is too fun.!<

I'm actually brand-spankin'-new to Souls-like games, Elden Ring being my first. Well, I've played a couple hours of Dark Souls Remastered but didn't stick with it for reasons unrelated to the game. I'll likely talk about my play through more in-depth in one of the Elden Ring threads, but I can say here I'm having a fun time, though I'm already imagining I'll like a more focused experience like Dark Souls or Demon Souls better. >!Things really clicked with me in Stomveil Castle. Exploring the castle, the different combat scenarios that place introduced, secret paths, and the fight against Godrick all felt like they worked in tandem to bolster my engagement.!<

going to do the culturally sensitive thing and say “feliz cumpleaños”. Guess I'm the only good person here

@“yeso”#p98797 Time and time again, yeso is proven to be the only freak on here with a modicum of respect

I recorded a video of me playing Death Stranding, as described in the OP message. Apologies for the spoken and written Spanish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjhRTYfQkpI

@“JoJoestar”#p98804 Happy birthday JoJesusJoestar. I am spending Xmas with Kirby.

https://youtu.be/xbkB3t3SvOA

Happy birthday! I didn‘t play any games today but when I’m not so new years eve drunk, I will recount the games I have played in the last few days even though they weren't in 2023. Cheers.

Okay Nier Automata plays much better on the PS4 than Switch. The higher framerate and greater visual detail make the combat and level design respectively feel way more intuitive, and the large squishy Dualshock shoulder buttons make much more sense of the control scheme that incorporates them so heavily. No more PS4/XB1 gen action game Switch ports for me. Get on that upgrade Nintendo, I’m still waiting on BotW in 1080p 60fps.

@“2501”#p98808 I‘m sure you’re aware of this already but the Wii U version can look pretty good in Cemu, and also you can mod the Hinoxes into Shrek.

@“connrrr”#p98815 I’m not tbh, I’m like a babe in the woods when it comes to emulating anything more modern than Super Nintendo. But also, I literally still have my Wii U (it was a good console god damn it!!)

The real point ofc is I do 99% of my game-playing on Switch now and I really just want a superior model already so I don’t have to make these kind of choices between getting the shitty version of the game or having the flexibility of play that’s only really possible on Switch. The fact that Nintendo’s own first-party games that you cannot play on any other platform without shenanigans are still hobbled by the Switch’s ancient hardware is just the coop D. grace.

Do people have opinions on Broforce btw? I’ve been playing it a lot (exclusively co-op with friends who like it) and it’s very dumb and often cheap but also pretty loose and open-ended with highly responsive controls and playground levels, enough to produce the exact kind of chaos that makes for ideal co-op play. I did a quick search for opinions on the SelectButton forums and most seem sneeringly dismissive, but that describes the average SelectButton attitude towards many many things so idk.

Happy Birthday!

@"2501"#p98823 I had an ex boyfriend who owned that, and we played it for a good hour together. The cameos and movie references were good fun, and it was a silly time. But the novelty did kind of go away once we got through all the characters. A similar 80s action movie inspired game that I liked even more was [McPixel](https://store.steampowered.com/app/220860/McPixel/). It's great co-op fun, even though it's single player.

@“Tradegood”#p98830 I’ve been playing through it on hard which means lots of bullshit deaths but also improvised tactics and each player getting a respective feel for which bro they’re good with. On hard this matters. There are so many randomized characters with slightly (sometimes more than slightly) different ability sets that the dumb action movie spoofs actually graduate from cheap novelty to a useful way to tell all the characters apart and rapidly grok/recall what each one does - in much the same way as the Smash Bros. character roster would be impenetrable if virtually everyone playing the game didn’t already know at least one or two characters from other games/pop culture, though maybe not the same one or two as the player sitting next to you.

Other things that are fun about this game:

  • - all player characters and most enemies die in one hit so you’re very conscious of who’s shooting where
  • - environments are fully destructable so you often end up _Drill Dozer_ing your way around especially nasty parts
  • - picking up extra lives (which can be killed before you get them if you’re not careful) automatically switches you to a different character so sometimes you have to choose between the life and keeping a character you like, a choice that gets more animated when you’re arguing with your partner about it
  • - a bunch of objects and enemies with distinct properties (explosive barrels, suspended blocks that will crush you if their support is destroyed, traps that kill both you and enemies) lead to absurd chain reactions that can either totally obliterate you or save your bacon
  • - controls are super responsive, movement fast and load times short
  • - there’s a completely unnecessary PvP mode
  • All in all a quality couch co-op game, usually much shouting involved, would personally recommend for hijinks with friends who like hard games especially since it’s constantly on sale. No clue if I’d have a single positive thing to say about it if I’d attempted it in singleplayer.

    @“2501”#p98816 Wii U IS a good console. I bought mine on March 3 2017 (I wasn't sure anymore but that is of course the day BOTW and Switch launched lol) and when it arrived I holed myself in and played Zelda for like two weeks straight.

    [upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/J1sWkmD.jpeg]

    (That Boston America Corp. NES controller-shaped Nintendo Power Mints tin from 2005 is the perfect size to house four PS memory cards.)

    HNY, Wii U.

    Happy Birthday!!

    Happy birthday!

    I'm not sure what my first 2023 game is going to be! I caught [a tweet from Kimimi](https://twitter.com/_Kimimi/status/1609234550730678273?t=tz7yrAXhYUgZiHcHWEmQ8Q&s=19) earlier today saying their first game of the year sometimes sets the tone for the rest of the year.

    The three I have on deck to finish are Final Fantasy X, Pentiment, and playing through Undercover Detective with my partner. 2/3 of these involve mystery solving and all three involve complex interpersonal drama... This year's gonna be a ride!

    Felicidades, @JoJoestar!

    As for me, I‘m playing Spiritfarer. I thought it was going to be a brief indie but NOPE, and damn: remember what I said about Yakuzas, and having like lots of things to do in a town makes everything feels less than it is and more artificial than what it is? Well, let me tell you: this has a loooot of things to do in very different sparse locations, and I discovered this is what I enjoy: very limited spaces that seem bigger than what they are. The fun thing is what ties all together, which are the spaces where you travel by ship, and all the construction/fishing/crafting/etcetera, as well as the characters that are on your ship, whom you have to take care and mend their businesses before sending them away. I’m surprised, but this Charon: the cutey wholesome videogame is… very good?

    Well, I thought I‘d be honoring thiis mess of a year by playing Katamari Damacy and pretending I’m about to make a giant ball of shit, but it seems we're doing this January different at the moment.

    Happy birthday for yesterday @JoJoestar. The first and only game that I‘ve played so far in 2023 is the mobile version of Pokemon Shuffle, the weird match-three game that has an iota of Pokemon team-building built into it. It was also on the 3DS as a free download but it feels more at home on mobile. It’s cool to dink around in for 10 minutes at a time.

    I'll sneak in the last game of 2022 too. I played Poinpy, also on mobile, if you have a subscription to Netflix. It's made by the same guy that made Downwell except this time you're a little penguin climbing up as far as you can go in a very colourful world whilst collecting fruit for an angry cat, rather than falling down a monochrome well avoiding hazards. There's a good amount of finesse in the aiming, and the game is fairly generous in terms of guiding where you would ideally land if your character bounces off a wall. It's fun, and I had a good few hours with it before I beat it.

    Certainly worth a whirl if you have a Netflix account.

    I'm back at it in EDF6.

    The EDF games are the best. 80 missions in and they're still introducing new enemies that are forcing me to try new weapons in order to paint the buildings of Japan with vibrant alien life fluids.

    I really cannot understand why every iteration of EDF doesn't outsell COD. Like, what is wrong with people? I just threw my automated turret gun out and it stuck to the head of the ant so the ant became a walking death machine as it rejoined the swarm.

    As I knock an alien frog sniper off a building by removing the building from existence with a rocket launcher, then saw the frog's limbs off with an assault rifle, I am left wondering, what is wrong with people? The release of a new EDF should be on the TV news.

    Anyway, EDF6 is out of this world good. If you have never tried an EDF game before, 4.1 is always cheap on the PSN and is a wonderful place to start.

    Finished Doki Doki Literature Club and I kinda think it was weak and coasted on the virality of its gimmick!! END