Here we are again: the thread where we discuss the games we are playing in 2024

Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga. I just finished my first playthrough. I played it via GamePass and I’m not sure if I should buy it or not. Will it benefit Ninja Theory to buy the game on Steam? Is Microsoft going to shut them down because not many other people are playing the game, so is purchasing it for $50 a moot point and just throwing money away?

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In an effort to become consumed by free to play games where is only spend my time but 0 money, started ZZZ. I really like the character design and animation, the relaxed vibes and the combat is fun. Really recommended.
I’m also playing the Korean Destiny 3rd person clone The First Descendant, that for one side seems to be having a nice sized audience but on the other side my usual channels doesn’t seem to comment it exists. Maybe they think it is a Stellar Blade DLC, since the female characters are the same.

So i wonder, is Korean Style a thing for games like Anime Style?

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Just started Shin Megami Tensei V Vengeance on my “modified” Switch but it runs so poorly i’m giving up. Usually i don’t care that much about performance. I had no problem playing the latest pokemans but SMT VV is too much for me. I think i’ll play it on pc

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Continuing my sequential Final Fantasy playthroughs from FFI, just wrapped VII and started VIII (again, for the first time since being a pre-teen). Holy moly, in a two-year context, the jump is absolutely extreme. VII is eternally charming and wildly likeable in its “let’s do something with this hardware” herky jerkiness, but I’m struck with how incredibly polished and refined VIII feels coming so closely afterward. The cutscene direction, the cohesiveness of the art, the way characters interact with the world and each other, its confidence in getting wild with the battle system and throwing a whole card game on top of that, and (as an English-speaking player) the way that the script suddenly reads like normal, digestible, coherent text with correct punctuation – it’s stunning. I was expecting to see more of a transition period looking back, but this sort of feels like, “here’s modern Final Fantasy, we just needed one game to figure it out.” What a lovely capsule of 1999 art, in so many ways, so far.

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I had a ton of games I wanted to play and write on but I’ve been taken over by “Elden Ring” since the DLC dropped. Now, I’m stuck on the final boss of the DLC and I’m sick of banging my head against this haha/ Although, based on all the helped I’ve tried to summon lots of other people are on the same page.

Gosh, Shadow of the Erdtree is so good though. The world is so beautiful and tastefully designed and presented; the shimmering yet dull gold tones, the breathtaking draw distance, the narrative design is present even in the weather and atmosphere I find (is there a cleareer sense of day and night because we are further from the Eldtree?) I kept having moments of a sort of Pure Fantasy feeling. Riding Torrent through a thunderstorm up a steep, rocky mountain, for example, felt transportive. Like I was really tapping into the Other World Mindspace that all fantasy more or less promises, or at least gestures to. It’s almost a psychedelic experience.

Anyway, I have “Before the Green Moon” and “Her Story” already in the chamber but I know I’ll never finish ERSOTE if I start something else. I have to work this boss out somehow haha.

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I’ve played some more 80 Days along with two rounds of Pendragon. Still digesting Pendragon.

80 Days continues to impress me with the random things that can come up during a given run. I’ve done three more runs, and each time I’ve encountered, among the familiar, all new routes or side connections, including some that may trigger unpredictably.

Playthrough 3 - The Northern Excursion

So at the start of this playthrough I noticed I could go to Cambridge instead of Paris to begin. So we did. That brought me to Scandinavia, so I naturally decided to go as far north as I could. I saw a trail of dots going all the way to the North Pole, and I soon ended up on a polar excursion on a gigantic walking beast that also hunts and processes whales. Look at this gorgeous beast.

Miles away from our destination, the thing breaks down. The game takes things a day at a time: I witness the diminishing of my master, a woman walk out to the cold and certain doom, dwindling supplies dispersed - the details of despair were well-meted. Then, at the last moment, a savior: the woman who went out into the cold returns on an airship that takes us to a hidden indigenous civilization living in advanced greenhouses in the North Pole.

It’s twists like this that build on the main strength of the worldbuilding deviations the story takes from Jules Verne. Suddenly here is a bit of The Years of Rice and Salt or other alt histories that give the colonial subaltern a fighting chance. Indeed, the valet and Monsieur Fogg appear stuck: the leaders of the civilization do not want to reveal themselves too soon and decide to keep them comfortably imprisoned.

Then, as is the nature of the game, another option presents itself: stowing away on an airship to Calgary, and thence through Canada and back (technically) around the world to Iceland and England, completing the journey in 46 days. This was a pleasing run to see that there are narrative possibilities far outside the pale of the orthodox voyage but still in the spirit of 19th/20th century adventure stories.

Playthrough 4 - The Black Rose

On this one, I intended to go as far south as I could, mirroring the North Pole journey. I even resolved to take as long as possible - more than 80 days. But somewhere (I think on the way to Nice) I met Mademoiselle Estelle, who purloined a cigarette case from a mark. Then she engaged in periodic rendezvous during our travels. When she revealed her target was a floating city capital of the Artificers, I decided to bee-line it to the structure I saw on my first playthrough.

However, somewhere in the story chain, I may have goofed up. I did everything I thought I should, got to Buenos Aires, and got into the city. Then not much happened, and when I got off and traveled back to London, I encountered a very angry Estelle, who demanded to know why I had let her down. Huh? I got to the city. But she didn’t follow me or give me any instructions. In a narrative sense, I was let down by her bad communication. In a metanarrative sense, I wondered if the game had goofed or if the game was playing around with this missed connection. Could one win that heist? Was it doomed to fail? Or is it somewhere in between? Anyway, I finished on day 78, which was thrillingly close.

Playthrough 5 - No Hotels

I peeked at the achievements and was amused at the idea of staying at no hotels throughout the journey. A few things happened on this runthrough:

  • Not staying at hotels actually makes Mr. Fogg’s health a significant value. Usually I find it easy to keep his health close to full. Losing 10 out of 100 health every evening we weren’t at a hotel made managing the health more important. Also, it was tough to keep him happy, as he’d complain about not sleeping in a hotel. Why the man never took it upon himself to book a hotel, I don’t know, but we saved a lot of money that way.
  • This was a wealthy run in general. I lucked into a route and item combos that worked very well (principally going through Kabul, Agra, and Calcutta). I ended with over 16,000 pounds, whereas in past playthroughs I was typically knocking about with hundreds of pounds at most.
  • I knocked out Jesse James when he tried to rob us. That was pretty cool and unexpected.

I’ll probably continue to poke at this game, but not at this pace. I don’t want it to get old.

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Dropped Baldur’s Gate 3. I’m just not finding the writing to be compelling, and I don’t care for the combat or inventory management. It’s good, but I don’t feel the need to finish Act I.

Instead I’ve turned back to 1000xresist. Now this is a game with some compelling dialogue. Hekki good stuff.

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If you want to cheese your way through that final boss with a little respec, this is what I did.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Eldenring/s/8V04VBlJhk

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Oh shoooot!! So, funnily enough, this is the exact build I found myself naturally developing as I keep dying and refining my approach so this doesn’t seem cheesy at all it’s kind of validating haha

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Nice! I don’t think cheese really exists in these games anyway. You do what you gotta do to get by. I only felt a little cheesy because it was so far off from what I had been doing before then but I just wasnt even coming close to winning so I knew I had to just scrap the build and do something different if i wanted to finish it

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I’m still playing. What a nice game! 3 hours into it, still in the tutorial zone. Loving it so far, playing on casual mode, 1 hand on the controller and the other petting my dogs. This is it.

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I’ve been playing SMT V:V for a couple of weeks and it sure is nice to revisit this game. I’d completely forgotten how generous it is with its demon interactions and its exploration; being open enough to feel big but narrow enough to not become aimless.

I decided to revisit the original story on Hard mode after hearing that there’d been some balance tweaks. I’d started playing the original release on Hard but I found it painfully grindy by the time I’d reached the boss at the end of the first area before dialling the difficulty to Normal. The biggest change is that demons have innate skills that do things like retaining buffs when they’re swapped out for another demon or not consuming a press turn when swapped out - relatively minor touches that help you out. The other change of note is that the Nahobino gets three bonus stat points after a handful of story events, which breaks the balance a teensy bit on Hard but the focus of the game is still on managing weaknesses and resistances.

The original DLC content being included is great too, and relatively seamless. The fiend fights are real hard and need big-boy trousers for, and it’s cool to see them included if even just as a throwback or fan service.

Anyway, I love this game. What other games let you fight archangels Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael with Cleopatra, Thor, and a giant, green, chariot-riding penis by your side?

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Recently I’ve been focusing on playing through games I got on the steam sale and for my birthday (so less slop than usual), but I also have adhd and can never keep to one or a couple games at a time and jump around a lot, so here’s a selection:

  • Ultrakill - not that far in yet but I’m a big fan of moving fast, shooting also fast and killing plenty of gnarly freaks
  • A second playthrough (ie from the very start, if we include NG+ and NG++ then fourth playthrough) of Armored Core VI - incredible, moving story coupled with the everliving joy of moving fast, shooting also fast and killing plenty of gnarly freaks
  • Project Wingman - Inspired by my naval and aero engineering nerd gf I had already played Ace Combat 7, 4 and 5 (twice) over the last few months, so I thought I’d try this. The post-post-apocolyptic setting is interesting, dogfighting and ground attack are both fun and it is very pretty. It can be a bit rough around the edges but I love jank and weirdness so I still had a very good time
  • Mega Man Legacy Collection (so far Mega Man 1 and 2): Very rough levels and game design in places, but the vibes, platforming and fighting are all fun with a rewind function.
  • Street Fighter III 3rd Strike - I have very very little experience with fighting games, but I think they look neat and wanted to try it out. I love the character designs and especially animation and I’m starting to get a feel for things
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always cool to see someone new try 3rd strike. if it’s possible def try to find it on a candy cab, looks amazing on a crt.

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I’ve been enjoying it! Mostly been playing Makoto and enjoying her design and general feel a lot, especially as someone who used to do martial arts before my disability got worse

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highly recommend popping on fightcade for third strike if you’re ever looking to play other people.

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am I sensing potential third strike opponents in this thread…my knuckles just cracked all by themselves

3s is the first fighting game I ever truly loved and is still my favourite one! those jump arcs… there’s just something about em. now that I’m a bonafide martial artist it’s fun to see the animations with a lot more context

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Let’s get it on now

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:musical_note: SELECT AND MAKE YR FIRST PICK :musical_note:

mine is ken sorry im basic

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IMG_8866
I believe the kids are calling it brat summer

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