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2016 VIDEO GAME CATCH-ALL THREAD


Gonzo
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Nintendo did something really stupid yesterday that other boards and Kotaku have spent a great time writing about. Between Nintendo's stupidity towards their own employees and Microsoft's stupidity about Xbox console becoming a thing of the past with their Windows 10/Xbox focus, it's sad that I will buy Sony PlayStation iterations endlessly.

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The Watch Dogs train rolls on.

Finally found a Cash Run course I could get a gold medal on without clawing my eyes out.  Only took an hour!  Fuck this game. Unlocked some bullshit one star handgun I will never use, but there is something to be said for the satisfaction of completion.

The stupid thing about these VR games is that they take place in the live game world and if you are trying to do them during the game's daytime, normal pedestrians will serve as additional obstacles.  My dad finds it hilarious when I get vested and shout things like GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY~! when I am deep in the throes of gaming.

Also got three levels of the Shell Game in through happy accidents and cheating!  My kid called me via Skype yesterday just as I'd guessed wrong one more time on the last round to get to Level 2.  I paused the game and helped her with her World Lit homework (She's studying Coriolanus.  Who says that public school curricula are shit?) and then went back to brass tacks.

When I looked at the game through the uber cool edge black and white Pause Menu splash screen, I noticed that YOU CAN SEE THE FUCKING BALL THROUGH THE WALLS OF THE CUP!  Somehow the cyberpunk splash of the Pause Menu had given me X-Ray Vision.  I assume that the game developers rendered the ball in the game engine as a "solid" object and did not think to change the opaque level of the texture of the cup. 

Same way that Aiden can "see" the outlines of enemies through solid objects in this game when the game is in combat mode, but he can't walk through a solid object.

I used my new found super power for the sake of evil and got 500 XP.  It got me another skill point.

Got to Level 8 of the Drinking Game and the amount of button mashing you have to do in fifteen seconds is really ridiculous AND THIS IS FOR THE "EASY" STAGE.  I got the free four-star auto shotgun for making it past Level 6 for one of the three alcoholics, so that mini game can go fuck itself for the time being until I get past Act 2 and maybe try again.

Unlocked the Destroyer anti-material rifle after completing my 10th Criminal Convoy.  I have yet to run into an encounter where setting up IEDs at a traffic light or steam vent along the convoy route, blowing shit up, jamming outbound calls for help,and bailing in the getaway vehicle I stashed near by has not worked even during the convoys where I have to take down the target rather than kill him. 

I think I have to complete eight more CCs for the achievement, so this bullshit won't last much longer, thank God.

Burned 5 skill points to unlock the Sniper Rifle Mastery combat skill and then decided to try out the Destroyer during my sixth Gang Hideout mission. 

On the topic of Gang Hideouts:

Why the devs put a fucking platoon of armed criminals around the target that you can nearly murder at will with firearms or hacks, yet require you to get up close and personal with the target himself is beyond me.  The fact that I was able to sneak in unopposed and batter the boss dude senseless while his cronies investigated the explosion caused by the poor dumb bastard I killed via remotely detonating his grenades even further muddies the waters.. 

What good does that do?  How does me clubbing this asshole unconscious, fleeing the scene, and leaving most of the remaining of the gangsters unharmed get this criminal mastermind off of the street and into a nice correctional facility?  What kind of bullshit agent of justice am I?

Why not have a sliding scale of incentives to reward extra effort?  Give me 500 XP for outright killing the target (The Punisher Solution) but give me 500 XP AND a Skill Point for taking a more non-lethal route (The Batman Solution). 

Then I can earn extra XP by phoning the cops to let them know whats up and since I am not exactly on the right side of the law myself, my mission suddenly turns to getting out of dodge before the police arrive to mop up the remaining bad guys. 

And while you're at it, give me XP for every henchman captured by law enforcement as if I had killed or KOed them myself, otherwise I am more likely to kill or beat down every single minion present before going after the target in get the maximum amount of XP available for the encounter.

Now THAT is proper crime prevention that takes game theory into consideration.

Anyway, I tested the Destroyer on an oncoming Chicago South Club vehicle as I was making my escape after thumping what's his face with my fighting baton.  The bullet went straight through the windshield and killed the driver.  Veeeery satisfying.  This weapon will come in handy now that I have all of the Focus perks.  Guaranteed long-distance killshots thanks to bullet time with the trade off being that once I fire a shot from this thing, that takes the stealth option permanently off of the table.

I give the devs major cool points for making a gun with the penetration effect from Mass Effect 3 and regretfully have to subtract the same amount of cool points for not putting in the BEEP OF DEATH from GTA5 when you kill the driver of a moving car.

I fast traveled back to the Bunker and was happy to see that my Batcave is now fully operational.  I have a new place to lay my head and hang my hat, so to speak.  How Clara and I managed to buy or steal all of that high end computer equipment and smuggle it on site will remain a mystery, but it does look rather cool.  One of the DedSec vids you can unlock when the Bunker is up is that of some poor asshole rage quitting a video game and I am reminded of my Cash Run antics earlier in the evening.  Et tu, Brute?

I got tired sooner than expected and had to get my ass into work early today, so I decided not to mess with missions and knocked out the last four ctOS Breaches on my map before getting to bed. I like listening to the audio logs because I am a sucker for background story.  The plot thickens.  I am going to love killing Damian Brenks after I deal with the Viceroys. 

I will tackle this orange flag flying street gang over the weekend.

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God, the Punisher game that THQ / Voilition made was so violent and nearly perfect.  The only thing it was missing was an alternate health regeneration system. 

Having to successfully intimidate / interrogate criminals to refill your health gauge was really clunky.  Not very practical when Jigsaw is in a suit of stolen Iron Man armor and blitzing your hiding place with repulsor blasts.

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I am an idiot.  I blew my UPlay points on a the Online Contract cash bonus and the Gold .50 when should have bought the Papavero Stealth Edition perfomance sports car so that I would have a kinda sorta Batmobile for getaways.

That's what I get for not reading the reward descriptions. 

I didn't realize that the cash bonus was for the multiplayer stuff that apparently no one in North America is playing anymore and the Gold .50 is only a four-star pistol and I already have two five-stars (The Chrome and the Auto 6) in my arsenal..

Now I have to clear Acts III and IV to earn enough Uplay points to get the car.  By then I should be done with most of the important things to do in Watch Dogs.

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45 minutes ago, J.T. said:

I am an idiot.  I blew my UPlay points on a the Online Contract cash bonus and the Gold .50 when should have bought the Papavero Stealth Edition perfomance sports car so that I would have a kinda sorta Batmobile for getaways.

I was lucky enough to have a bunch of UPlay points built up from playing Trials Fusion and Assassin's Creed IV, so I was able to have points to spare to get the stuff.  But yeah, they need to make that more clear.  I like the general UPlay concept but it's done so poorly, and has an absolutely awful UI.

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11 minutes ago, Michael Sweetser said:

I was lucky enough to have a bunch of UPlay points built up from playing Trials Fusion and Assassin's Creed IV, so I was able to have points to spare to get the stuff.  But yeah, they need to make that more clear.  I like the general UPlay concept but it's done so poorly, and has an absolutely awful UI.

Agree with that.  I got some wallpapers for Far Cry 4 and it only works on PC.  Why even have it the PS4 version of the store?

JT - that car was the one I was thinking about that actually has decent handling.  It was my go to car for most of the game.  And yeah, I would figure online would be dead at this point, it was pretty barren already when I played through the game a year ago.  I didn't really like online much though.  The races were laggy as hell and the "invasions" into the game got to be pretty annoying.

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29 minutes ago, Neil Koch said:

I didn't really like online much though.  The races were laggy as hell and the "invasions" into the game got to be pretty annoying.

Seconded.  It was supposed to be a fun game of cat and mouse but it basically turned into who could find the hiding spot first.  I did have a couple of good ones - one was me running from a guy and ending up in a seven-car collision, but he was far enough back that I was able to get out of my car, sneak around and hide in a DIFFERENT car and lay low till the timer ran out, as he searched frantically to find me in the rubble.

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Holy crap, Watch Dogs...  How you continue to fail at game mechanics while still being kinda fun.

Completed my 10th Gang Hideout and I am convinced that the guys at Ubi don't know squat about game theory.   Even with environmental hacks, tools, and focus, it is still about a ten to fifteen minute time investment when you are infiltrating a Gang Hideout, unless you want to go in guns blazing and risk autofailing in seconds. 

The surest path to victory in Gang Hideouts is to kill or KO the henchmen and then go beat down the target since there is no incentive whatsoever other than personal pride to leave anyone standing, unlike normal missions that you can beat via by hacking, combat, or a bit of both.

I burn about three Lures, one or two explosive devices and ammo every time I go in and my reward for getting ten completions is a two star flash suppressed SMG.   Signing up for Uplay for free already got me a three-star flash suppressed pistol and getting through 20 Crime Detection encounters got me a five star pistol.

"Finding" six of the Weapon Smuggling crates unlocked a four star flash suppressed burst fire assault rifle and only involved minor puzzle solving after unlocking the ctOS Towers around the city (something you want to do anyway).  See where this is leading?

GHs give you a free skill point faster than you could earn it via XP, but by the time you complete 10 GHs, you are bound to have better firearms either through DLC, other unlockables, or just by amassing enough cash to buy them from the Gun Shop.

There should be no gun in the game higher than four stars and all flash suppressed weapons should at least be three stars given the importance of stealth in the missions.  I'd have attached all five star weapons to DLC to make getting the extra content attractive and I probably would've made all but one of the flash suppressed weapons available only through Uplay or via DLC. You should only get one or two star weapons from the gun store.  Want better guns?  Play the game or access extra content.  And DO NOT GIVE THE DLC GUNS AWAY FOR FREE WHEN THEY ARE UNLOCKED~!   PLAYERS SHOULD HAVE TO BUY ALL NEW FIREARMS FROM THE GUN STORE~! MAKE IN GAME CURRENCY WORTH SOMETHING BY CREATING AND PROMOTING YOUR MONEY SINKS~!

This is Value Added 101, guys.  Mass Effect 3's co-op was Value Added perfection.  I kept playing for about a year after I finished the campaign simply because it was so much fun and every successive DLC for co-op added something worth working towards.

Risk and time investment <> appropriate reward in this game and it screams of sloppy development.

If I am going to get a shit one star gun from Cash Run then do not make the courses so damned hard.  If I am going to invest an entire afternoon doing Gang Hideouts, give me a three or four star weapon that I will actually use through the rest of the game. 

Why do I get a kick ass five star sniper rifle that can shoot through walls for completing 10 Criminal Convoys and get a shitty two star flash suppressed sub machine pistol for 10 Gang Hideout completions that isn't better than the weapons I've been using to complete Gang Hideout encounters? 

Why did I get a three star full auto assault rifle for one GH completion and a two star silenced SMG for ten?

Value rewards are all over the place and aren't properly incentivized.  If you want me to finish the drinking games against these assholes, don't give me a great four star auto-shotgun for six rounds of completion on the easiest level and then make the rest of the game so frustrating that I call fair dinkum and move on..

Anyway, I didn't play much last night as this is my custody weekend and my daughter and I ate pizza and I *sigh* got caught up with the Divergent movie plot by watching Insurgent so that I can take her to go see Allegiant on Sunday and not be lost in the fog.  The things you do for your children.

I am up to the game mission, Jury-Rigged, and after that I will go after the Signature Shot.  That way the Viceroys can be established antagonists in my story and I won't feel like I am just rushing from data point to data point.  Of course, I haven't unlocked any of the ctOS Towers via story missions so I haven't gotten the location icons for the remaining Burner Phones, QR Codes, Missing Persons, or Weapon Shipments. 

By the time I unlock the Wildfire assault rifle for finding the 6th victim in MP or the Tommy Gun for the 16th QR code I find, I will already have the kick ass flash suppressed Goblin and Biometric Assault Rifle in my armory.  Further evidence that Ubi really doesn't know shit about the art of game loot.  And don't get me fucking started on Uplay points and Uplay rewards.

As the story goes on and I listen to more audio logs, I find myself not hating Aiden as a character as much as I thought I would, but he's no memorable protagonist like Commander Shepard or tent pole anti-hero like Niko Bellic, Luis Lopez, Agent 47, or Trevor Phillips.  The story could also use a bit more Clara and Jordi as they respectively provide my moral compass and my comic relief.  At least Ubi gave me cool safehouses; the Bunker and even the room at the Owl Motel are much better looking than the shit apartments you tend to start off with in GTA games.   

Another thing this game kinda got right was establishing interesting antagonists.  I have the typical Daredevil / Kingpin motivations for going after Lucky Quinn and of course Damian Brenks made this shit personal by going after Aiden's sister and her son.  I haven't run across Iraq yet, but from the looks of the Viceroy hierarchy and the audio files I've heard so far, these assholes aren't just some run of the mill street gang. 

Finally some atypical opposition to deal with, and there is still the matter of these mysterious weapon smugglers, this hacker named Giggles, and a serial killer to deal with.  Why are my enemies and support characters so intriguing while the protagonist I pilot is so meh?

No gaming tonight as my kid and I are taking my girlfriend out to celebrate her pending birthday.  I will probably push on further tomorrow evening after I take my kid back my ex's house after we get out of the movie theater.  Then we will see what's what with the Viceroys.  Maybe by then I will find a way to earn 40 quick Uplay points and unlock the Papavero Stealth Edition before I start Act III.

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I've been slaving away at Bloodborne for a week and still don't feel like I've made a huge amount of progress. I've got better at the combat, the low level guys are easy to take care of now and I've learnt enough of the bigger enemies I've come across that i know when to stay back and when to attack. I've killed the first 2 bosses. The first was fairly easy and i didn't even die, the second? Not so much. The crazy Hunter guy in the graveyard kicked my ass like 10 times once he turned into a beast. I eventually got extremely lucky and the idiot jumped off the side of the stairs and through the map to his death. At this point i'll take a glitch as a win!

I'm guessing I've got a long way to go. There are three tombstones to select your location from and i haven't even unlocked the second one yet. This might take a while. I'm enjoying it well enough but it's slow going. Hopefully it will pick up the pace once I've unlocked some more areas.

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Downloaded Wolf Among Us

This will be my first Telltale game (though I have wanted to play several of them)

I think it will help that I know so very little about the source material

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1 minute ago, RIPPA said:

Downloaded Wolf Among Us

This will be my first Telltale game (though I have wanted to play several of them)

I think it will help that I know so very little about the source material

If you enjoy it, I couldn't recommend Tales from the Borderlands more. I think it's there strongest work.

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5 minutes ago, RIPPA said:

Downloaded Wolf Among Us

This will be my first Telltale game (though I have wanted to play several of them)

I think it will help that I know so very little about the source material

I put Dead Space in my queue before going to work this morning.   I will not be playing that game with the lights out. 

I thought that playing a gory, horror survival game like that around my daughter would be a bad idea, but that little 13-year old sneak has confessed to have watched Alien vs. Predator and Curse of Chucky and she's like "Eh, I don't think that would bother me," while I was taking a look at the screencap gallery.

I do not know whether to be proud of her or ground her for a week.

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26 minutes ago, El Dragon said:

If you enjoy it, I couldn't recommend Tales from the Borderlands more. I think it's there strongest work.

I always figured that would be my first one  especially since they put it on disc. But free is free

I mean obviously the first Walking Dead one got good reviews- I just always felt like I should watch the show or something to enjoy it

And I am immediately reminded as to the fact that I suck at QTEs that require more than a button push

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So based on my critique so far, here's what I'd like to see in Watch Dogs 2, provided that there is a Watch Dogs 2.

  • A more likeable and honorable protagonist.  If Aiden has such a strong sense of justice and self-righteousness, why does he start off his career as a cyberthief?  I do not think that Pierce and Brenks are knocking over the Merlaut out of a Robin Hood-esque sense of altruisitc wealth distribution and I do not buy the notion of personal tragedy being the trigger for his career as a vigilante.  A guy like Aiden would just take his revenge on those he blamed for Lena's death, not enter into a protective contract with society.
  • GTA 5 style driving mechanics.   IMO, GTA 4 and 5 provide the gold standard for sandbox transportation models.  Vehicle weight means something.  Torque means something, Braking power means something, Engine upgrades mean something.  Different classes of vehicles act differently and most importantly, they do not swerve all over Hell and breakfast at the slightest turn.
  • GTA 5 / THQ Punisher weapon system.   There are too many guns available in Watch Dogs and not all of them are useful or deirable.  By the time you unlock one as a reward, most likely you already have a better gun you've been using for a while.   There needs to be a basic, intermediate, and advanced gun for each class of firearm (pistol, sub machine gun, shotgun, assault rifle) and grenade launchers and sniper rifles should be lumped in a "special" weapon class.  Weapon customization should come about via mods and not by purchasing a different gun.  Mods should have their own tactical benefits and detriments (ie. having a flash suppressor enhances stealth but gives a slight penalty to damage or using a tac flashlight helps pick out hidden enemies in low light encounters but negates your own stealth options).  The weapon mod system from THQ's Punisher game was near perfect.   The tired Uzi you used in a prior mission felt like a new creature once you purchased a drum magazine and flash suppressor.  Not a mystery why GTA 5's weapon system is very similar.
  • More creative firearms.  Hey, I really love Clarence Boddicker's flash suppressed Desert Eagle from Robocop and I also dig Leon's signature pistols from The Professional and Selena's guns from Underworld and Castle's Tac-Package S&W from Punisher: War Zone.   I'm a gun nut.  Give me some different firearm models than the ones you usally see and give me the mods to make them even cooler!
  • Balanced value rewards.  Don't hand out crap weapons for difficult tasks and don't hand out great weapons for bullshit tasks.
  • Adopt the GTA heat system.   Shaking the cops or losing enemy pursuers should not take so much time and if I complete a Fixer Contract or a Criminal Convoy, I should automatically purge heat and lose the people chasing after me.  Nothing is more annoying that completing a Fixer Contract only to waste time getting rid of enemy fixers in a vehicle you've nearly battered to shit already.
  • More straight forward and reasonable mini-games.  Three rounds per level of the fucking Shell Game?  Ten rounds of the Drinking Game that I have to endure three times?  Complete a psychotic Cash Run course in barely over a minute?  Fuck that.  Give me Poker and Chess Challenges any day of the week.
  • A more anonymous protagonist.  What the fuck is up with nearly everyone in Chicago recognizing Aiden on sight as the vigilante?  Why does Aiden go through the trouble of altering his arrest file in the cutscene for the mission, Dressed in Peels:
    when news outlets have long since put his name out there?   Can't the cops just retrieve the original arrest record from a garbage file or from backup data?  Do they realize who they have in custody in the first place?  Why even wear the trademark mask when you are doing the dirty if everyone knows who you are?  Ubi has a lot to learn about secret identities..
  • Improved character customization.  I don't mind playing a white guy, but his signature look kinda sucks and reskinning his clothing and trying to pass it off as a new outfit does not help.  I'd also at least like to chose what my facial characteristics will look like.   In short, where is my fucking soul patch?
  • Romance is bullshit sometimes.  I have done the Suicide Girls thing and I dig cute chicks with tattoos as much as the next dude, but does my character really have to have sexual tension with a female NPC in every game?  Thanks to Mass Effect, romance angles feel like a requirement and I am not sure if that is good or bad.   Aiden's sudden fondness for Claire feels a bit forced but at least it is related to the plot and romance isn't separate gameplay bullshit to slug through.  Watch Dogs hasn't forced me to take Claire out on a date or buy her flowers or anything.

Even though I am an IT professional, I am not bummed out by the lack of "realism" when it comes to the core hacking content.  This is a fictional Chicago and Aiden has more in common with Batman than he does with Elliot Anderson.  Aiden is super hero and control of the city's infrastructure is his super power.  The computer intrusion premise does not have to be realistic.  I break into computers for a living to test network integrity and trust me, it is the challenge that is exciting, not the process itself.

The hacking puzzles can stay as can the side missions and Privacy Invasions even though they are kinda creepy.  The DLC content should always add new cases for Aiden to deal with and not just tack on some bullshit weapon, outfit, or vehicle.

And since a super hero is only as interesting as the super villains he faces, continue to keep either the villains interesting or at least keep the storylines interesting as they make me look forward to showdowns with bad guys.

i love the Bunker.   It is one of my favorite safe houses from any sandbox game I have played.   The only thing I would add to the Bunker (and to the shipping container crash pads hidden around the city) is an armory for aesthetics sake as it would address where Aiden keeps and maintains his arsenal.

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15 hours ago, Big Fresh said:

That was my choice. I like to support game developers when they give me something I like.

This is why I don't like F2P stuff.I understand the need to generate revenue for your game/IP/whatever you want to call it, but I don't like the chore of trying to get around maximizing a game's experience without spending money.

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3 hours ago, Chaos said:

This is why I don't like F2P stuff.I understand the need to generate revenue for your game/IP/whatever you want to call it, but I don't like the chore of trying to get around maximizing a game's experience without spending money.

I agree usually. It takes something special to get me on-board. It being Marvel helps a lot.

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6 hours ago, J.T. said:

I put Dead Space in my queue before going to work this morning.   I will not be playing that game with the lights out. 

I thought that playing a gory, horror survival game like that around my daughter would be a bad idea, but that little 13-year old sneak has confessed to have watched Alien vs. Predator and Curse of Chucky and she's like "Eh, I don't think that would bother me," while I was taking a look at the screencap gallery.

I do not know whether to be proud of her or ground her for a week.

Dead Space is a great game, and probably the spiritual successor to Resident Evil in the aspect of Survival Horror, as is Dead Space 2.

Dead Space 3, while I enjoyed it for what it was, is more a successor to Resident Evil 6.

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