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2019 VIDEO GAME CATCH-ALL THREAD


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25 minutes ago, Death From Above said:

9 was so fucking good, even with Shao Khan being some sort of awful thing that came from Satan's anus itself in that game. 

I'm not sure why, but shitty superbosses never bother me in MK games the way they do in some others.  I'm used to them, I'm prepared for them, and he was just as foul in MK2.  It's just who he is and what he does (and Shinnok is pretty rotten too, and Brainiac...)

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4 hours ago, Tabe said:

I'm just here to say that FF8 has the best soundtrack of the series. 

I would still take VI & VII's over over VIII music wise. It is still high up there.

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Exploiting AI is usually the most effective tactic in the single player of the few MK games I have played, so escalating that to an SNK boss at the end goes down better with me than it does in most actual SNK fighters.

 

My not-so intensive contribution to the Final Fantasy discussion is that I'm currently playing VI and it's a heap better than VII IMO.

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For soundtracks, X is pretty much the high water mark, with IX right behind, and yeah, about the only good thing about VIII is the soundtrack.  VI, IX, X, and VII are my list of FF's I care about after the fact that I would play through again, although IV and V were good, they just don't have enough to bring me back.

 

For MK's, my list is pretty much 1, 2, 9 and 10 interchangable.  Everything else is bleh.  9 might be my favorite overall for the whole retelling of 1-3 with a decently thought out history change wiping out the the original 1-8 without wiping out the original 1-8.

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We are a month into govt lockout and I'm about to beat Yakuza 0 and the stupid part of me wants to play Young Justice. It's a terrible game, I KNOW it's a terrible game, but the new season of the show keeps reminding me that it has important lore moments AND it lets me play as my two favorite DC characters, which no other game can.

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I decided to stick with FF 8 at least for now and try to give it a fair shake. I actually started over entirely so I could be less amazed by the wall of stuff they hit you with right at the start.

Listen, the Junction system is pretty bad, and it hurts this game a lot. It's a not-bad idea executed in a very bad "this is clearly a 20 year old game system" way. But honestly other than that... it's pretty enjoyable so far? Soundtrack is good, story is fine. Squall is a prick, but the secondary characters actually talk in complete sentences in this game so... I'm saying that breaks even at worst with a lot of the straight up gibberish that passes for dialogue in 7. Some of the bosses actually fight back. It's not going to be my favourite FF game, but I think if you actually get past the hurdle of the awful design of the first hour of tutorials, there's a pretty decent game here. Judging by the Steam achievement numbers literally half the people that played this never actually got past that point, which says a lot about how important it is not to fuck that first hour of a game up. I am curious to see what I think of this by the end, because, like, the combat system being messed up is kind of a problem in a turn based RPG, but I'm not really feeling any hate for the rest of the experience so far.

I haven't even touched or looked at whatever this card game bullshit is. It doesn't seem important, so far.

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4 minutes ago, Death From Above said:

I decided to stick with FF 8 at least for now and try to give it a fair shake. I actually started over entirely so I could be less amazed by the wall of stuff they hit you with right at the start.

Listen, the Junction system is pretty bad, and it hurts this game a lot. It's a not-bad idea executed in a very bad "this is clearly a 20 year old game system" way. But honestly other than that... it's pretty enjoyable so far? Soundtrack is good, story is fine. Squall is a prick, but the secondary characters actually talk in complete sentences in this game so... I'm saying that breaks even at worst with a lot of the straight up gibberish that passes for dialogue in 7. Some of the bosses actually fight back. It's not going to be my favourite FF game, but I think if you actually get past the hurdle of the awful design of the first hour of tutorials, there's a pretty decent game here. Judging by the Steam achievement numbers literally half the people that played this never actually got past that point, which says a lot about how important it is not to fuck that first hour of a game up. I am curious to see what I think of this by the end, because, like, the combat system being messed up is kind of a problem in a turn based RPG, but I'm not really feeling any hate for the rest of the experience so far.

 I haven't even touched or looked at whatever this card game bullshit is. It doesn't seem important, so far.

At one point you'll get an ability where you can turn cards into items, and I think there are some items you can only get that way.  Other than that it's optional.

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Well, I mean, if you never want any upgrades to the weapons, it's optional.  VIII might have the worst weapon system of all the games, even though XV gave it a run for it's money.

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I am fully expecting to walk into a town only to be accosted by Shady Man In Hat challenging me to play Pazaak very soon.

The more we dig into it the more it becomes clear Final Fantasy is the WWE of the RPG universe, where they have long periods of doing just batshit crazy stuff that made sense to no one but themselves while fans of other, smaller series go "but the game mechanics, you trolls".

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1 hour ago, Death From Above said:

I decided to stick with FF 8 at least for now and try to give it a fair shake. I actually started over entirely so I could be less amazed by the wall of stuff they hit you with right at the start.

Listen, the Junction system is pretty bad, and it hurts this game a lot. It's a not-bad idea executed in a very bad "this is clearly a 20 year old game system" way. But honestly other than that... it's pretty enjoyable so far? Soundtrack is good, story is fine. Squall is a prick, but the secondary characters actually talk in complete sentences in this game so... I'm saying that breaks even at worst with a lot of the straight up gibberish that passes for dialogue in 7. Some of the bosses actually fight back. It's not going to be my favourite FF game, but I think if you actually get past the hurdle of the awful design of the first hour of tutorials, there's a pretty decent game here. Judging by the Steam achievement numbers literally half the people that played this never actually got past that point, which says a lot about how important it is not to fuck that first hour of a game up. I am curious to see what I think of this by the end, because, like, the combat system being messed up is kind of a problem in a turn based RPG, but I'm not really feeling any hate for the rest of the experience so far.

I haven't even touched or looked at whatever this card game bullshit is. It doesn't seem important, so far.

Wait til the stupid twist.

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21 hours ago, Cliff Hanger said:

I'm not sure why, but shitty superbosses never bother me in MK games the way they do in some others.  I'm used to them, I'm prepared for them, and he was just as foul in MK2.  It's just who he is and what he does (and Shinnok is pretty rotten too, and Brainiac...)

Shinnok and Brainiac aren't that bad. Now, Shao Kahn and Regime Superman, on the other hand, are a couple of cheap fucks. 

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8 hours ago, Death From Above said:

I decided to stick with FF 8 at least for now and try to give it a fair shake. I actually started over entirely so I could be less amazed by the wall of stuff they hit you with right at the start.

Listen, the Junction system is pretty bad, and it hurts this game a lot. It's a not-bad idea executed in a very bad "this is clearly a 20 year old game system" way. But honestly other than that... it's pretty enjoyable so far? Soundtrack is good, story is fine. Squall is a prick, but the secondary characters actually talk in complete sentences in this game so... I'm saying that breaks even at worst with a lot of the straight up gibberish that passes for dialogue in 7. Some of the bosses actually fight back. It's not going to be my favourite FF game, but I think if you actually get past the hurdle of the awful design of the first hour of tutorials, there's a pretty decent game here. Judging by the Steam achievement numbers literally half the people that played this never actually got past that point, which says a lot about how important it is not to fuck that first hour of a game up. I am curious to see what I think of this by the end, because, like, the combat system being messed up is kind of a problem in a turn based RPG, but I'm not really feeling any hate for the rest of the experience so far.

I haven't even touched or looked at whatever this card game bullshit is. It doesn't seem important, so far.

I'm having a similar experience playing Xenosaga II. Every review stresses how it is the out-and-out worst Xeno game ever made. The battle system is very wonky and basically comes down to exploiting the system by taking several turns off and launching really long combos. They changed up a ton of character design and voice actors that all get reset back to the original in XSIII. And it's still the same cutscene-driven nonsensical anime galaxy opera the first one was. But it's still pretty far from a BAD game - it's easy on the eyes, the score during the cutscenes is top-notch, the bosses actually take work, and the main party characters are more likeable than not (except chaos, who wasn't the great to begin with but has some real basement-level VA work going on). The other good thing is that it's easily the shortest game in the series, so you can just rush through the dumb stuff with a guide and get to the real meat of the game. Which is twenty minute cutscenes about vaguely gnostic space artifacts interacting with a  group of galactic political systems who have similar sounding acronyms, and the anime tropes destined to save them from... something.

My attempts to beat FFVIII for the first time since middle school involve me starting the game, realizing I kind of like the characters and setting, and then hitting a brick wall the moment I try to prioritize the card game. I'll waste hours losing all my best cards and then never go back to the rest of the game.

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18 hours ago, Death From Above said:

 

I haven't even touched or looked at whatever this card game bullshit is. It doesn't seem important, so far.

You won't have enough good cards to play that game until the second disc, really. Then there's a relatively short period of time when you can play a lot and win pretty easily. Then the rules go completely bonkers and it's not worth it anymore. It was an interesting idea poorly executed.

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I've been playing quite a lot of Smash Bros. Ultimate lately, which surprises me as I put the other ones down pretty soon after getting them. This one has longevity precisely because it has elements of mobile or Facebook games that I usually don't like, but which really work for me in this game, specifically in how it uses timers.

What I really enjoying doing is playing against three other CPUs in five-minute battles with a stage that morphs into another stage. What I really want is to unlock all the music track so that I can have bunches of stage/music options to choose from as I do this. 

But in order to do that, I need to unlock literally hundreds of tracks. Some of those are unlocked by going deep into a Classic Smash run with a character. Many of the tracks, though, are purchasable in the game's store, and they swap in and out on an unseen timer. Miss a chance to buy a track, and it's gone for awhile until it comes back up. That's not the only use of timers in this game, though.

I usually start up the game and go to the Spirit Board, where spirits are being offered on timers. Now that Nintendo is running XP/SP/gold specials on spirits for a limited time, I'll usually spend more time there than I normally would to try and get the SP and (especially) gold benefits so that I can buy more music tracks. 

Then, I head over to World of Light specifically to play the Treasure Tracker/cave hunt games, which are also on timers, so that I can not only level up the spirits I have, but so they can find SP, gold, and items that I can use to get more music tracks. After I collect what I earned for the last tracker/hunt and then send more spirits on the next one, I then play a bit of Classic Smash to try and go deep enough to maybe randomly unlock a music track.

I spend more time watching timers to try and get what I need to buy the music tracks that I want to play the part of the game that I most enjoy than I do actually playing the part of the game that I most enjoy.

What's worse, I kind of enjoy it. I don't like WoL overall, and some of the Spirit Board fights are terrible, but for the most part, I'm having fun. I just wish that there were easier ways to get the gold I need to unlock music tracks. I've found that just playing 1v1v1v1 against the computer doesn't do enough to earn gold. On the other hand, I do enjoy checking in on WoL to see what I've uncovered, and once I found out that there were TWO ways to send spirits on treasure hunts, I got back into traveling the WoL map to find more ways to unlock more treasure hunts to send more spirits on so that I can get more gold to get the tracks that I want. 

It's exhilarating in an unsettling, maybe-my-brain-is-addicted-to-this-game-loop sort of way. 

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I replayed FFVII this summer after playing it when it came out and I was in 8th(!) grade. I had the same thoughts as most of ya'll, the story was a pretty thin, but I liked the materia system since I'm not a big RPG guy and I liked that I could just plug in people as needed.

I'm replaying Skyrim now since I bought it last year for $15 for the PS4 and I'm digging the upgraded graphics.

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YAKUZA 0 UPDATE:

 

Finished story mode today.  The ending is so wonderfully mealancholy and manages to give the nominal good guys retribution without things being "okay."  I'm very glad I played 1 before 0; doing it in chrono order Nishiki and Goro's Y1 stories would be sorely disappointing, but Y0 works better as backfill.  I only got 60 percent completion, much lower than in Kiwami or Lost Paradise; there's just so fucking much to eat your time up that I could have spent another full month and not been close to a plat.

 

Total play time from July 2018-Jan 2019: 214 hrs, 12 min.  Not a bad return on a $17 investment.

I have Kiwami 2 sitting on top of the PS4, but I'm taking a break before starting it.  Gonna do the DLC stories for Spider-Man and play God of War before getting back to Kamurocho since I've spent probably 400 hrs on this series in the last 8 months (between Y1K, Y0 and FotNS).

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Few things:

  • Regarding FF8, maybe I'm not remembering it correctly, but I seem to recall there being some super wack ass moment where it's sidescrolling over a video in the background.
  • Also about FF8, the combat system is totally fucked.
  • I'm bummed I missed out on MK9. I don't think I'll ever play or get to play it and I'm jealous of everyone who has. I only ever hear really positive things about it, namely the story. I probably should check YouTube to see if there's a MK9 story compilation.
  • All this talk about RPGs from the PS1 and PS2 era makes me sad that we never got more Front Mission games, but thinking about Front Mission makes me want to go and play Into the Breach on the Switch.
  • While I think FF6 is clearly the best in the franchise, I do have a soft spot for FF7 and like that one more than any others that aren't FF6. FF9 is close though.
  • FF12 might be the most disappointing FF game to me. I remember being really excited for it because I was a huge fan of Vagrant Story. I thought, holy shit, we're going to get a FF game styled like Vagrant Story and a similar combat system. The setting and story in magazine previews sounded good too. Then I got to playing it and I was just very bored by it all. Nothing in it grabbed me like how I thought and I never completed it. I haven't played a FF game since, which isn't saying much because there haven't been that many.
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6 hours ago, Craig H said:

FF12 might be the most disappointing FF game to me. I remember being really excited for it because I was a huge fan of Vagrant Story. I thought, holy shit, we're going to get a FF game styled like Vagrant Story and a similar combat system. The setting and story in magazine previews sounded good too. Then I got to playing it and I was just very bored by it all. Nothing in it grabbed me like how I thought and I never completed it. I haven't played a FF game since, which isn't saying much because there haven't been that many.

XII is for me both a really great and really awful Final Fantasy. The music, setting, and for me the gambit system was excellent. The plot was a disaster and I actively despised most of the party. But I still get the urge from time to time to toss it in and spend 80+ hours with Fran, Basch, and Balthier just doing hunts and wrecking shit. 

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