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2020 VIDEO GAME CATCH-ALL THREAD


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17 hours ago, odessasteps said:

It’s probably the Mario game for the switch. But I guess that doesn’t count if you want a “serious” tennis game.

I've not heard great things about it, and I've loved past iterations of Mario Tennis. 

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What console do people think is better for indies?  Switch or PS4?

I don't really mean in terms of the library.  Bigger indies/better promoted indies end up on both consoles (though Switch often gets indies titles first if they're not published on both platforms simultaneously).  

I'm more curious which platform people think is more indie-friendly?  I've been told by a few people in the industry that indies don't sell well on PS4 and Sony isn't that interested in promoting them.  Is that true?   I don't pay much attention to sales data.  I've also heard that (some?) developers/indie publishers prefer working with Nintendo.

As much as people gripe about Nintendo's e-store, Nintendo seems to do a fair bit to promote indies.

Amy opinions?

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5 hours ago, Eoae said:

What console do people think is better for indies?  Switch or PS4?

I don't really mean in terms of the library.  Bigger indies/better promoted indies end up on both consoles (though Switch often gets indies titles first if they're not published on both platforms simultaneously).  

I'm more curious which platform people think is more indie-friendly?  I've been told by a few people in the industry that indies don't sell well on PS4 and Sony isn't that interested in promoting them.  Is that true?   I don't pay much attention to sales data.  I've also heard that (some?) developers/indie publishers prefer working with Nintendo.

As much as people gripe about Nintendo's e-store, Nintendo seems to do a fair bit to promote indies.

Amy opinions?

I think it depends on what you're looking for.  The Switch is best for stereotypical  indies, you know the games like Hades, Wargroove, Katana Zero, etc.  Playstation 4 has all of those, plus a shitload of all the weird Japanese RPG series that never quite caught outside of Japan.  

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Here’s my Steam Autumn Sale Haul!

NAMCO MUSEUM ARCHIVES VOL. 1 [4]
Purchased after the release of the Action Button Review of Pac-Man, after I learned it included an NES demake of Pac-Man Championship Edition (the original is not available on PC in any way). Had to. It’s glorious action. Maybe playing it after a 3 hour dissertation on Pac-Man heightened the experience for me, but, still.

The rest of the games in it are of middling quality- they’re all NES ports of arcade games, with the exception of one really interesting game called Dragon Spirit: The New Legend. It’s a shootemup that is exactly as fair as “NES shmup” sounds like it’ll be, but it’s not a straight arcade port. Rather, it expands on the original in ways that are super ambitious for the time. It starts with the last bossfight of the arcade cabinet, and depending on how the player does it will change the story and difficulty of the game ahead. A death means Gold Dragon (easy) mode, which has a different setup and a different level order (mainly a shorter one). Success puts you in Blue Dragon (normal) mode. From there it’s a hard shootemup on a remake compilation that includes rewinds and save states, but for an NES game it tries a lot of very ambitious things. So I’m glad I saw that and tried it out.

SUPER MEGA BASEBALL 3 [4]
A very good baseball game, but I dont know how much I have to actually say about it. I’ve got friends to play it with. I recommend that. The music is bad. If you like baseball but don’t plan on buying any more playstations, This’ll Do.

UMURANGI GENERATION [4]
One of the best games of the year.

I’m starting there because the next part is that I beat it in about 3 hours. It does however have a DLC addon for $10 that I’ll be getting in a week or two for sure.

It’s a genuine delight because it’s the kind of game I’ve been hoping to see someday in some form or another. The player character is not a hero, only an observer of Interesting Times. A photographer trying to make ends meet. The gameplay loop is a bit like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, where you’re dropped into a level with tasks to accomplish- get two boomboxes in the same shot, find a union jack somewhere and snap a picture of it, things like this. The aesthetic is a bit like Jet Set Radio, of a highly stylized cyberpunk future.

They take these two identifiable things, and mix in the boldest realization of Environmental Storytelling I’ve ever seen. Where big developers have turned that into “pick up chunks of radio play during the down periods,” that storytelling is all the storytelling you get in this game. For the people around you, it’s fundamental truths of the world so there’s no reason for exposition. It’s all around you in graffiti, in terse signs, in strewn newspapers and dance parties. The way they use the environment in the game to tell the story is just genius. Simple words on everyday items set my mind on fire drawing connections, and the game demands this in order to complete your tasks, to witness this world pivoting and make a memorable record of it.

An absolute delight, and without question one of the best games of the year. Shit, it might be my #1. If you're prone to gloom and doom this won't help. If you have a PC, I can think of no other reason to miss this.

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988
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On 12/1/2020 at 8:36 PM, supremebve said:

I think it depends on what you're looking for.  The Switch is best for stereotypical  indies, you know the games like Hades, Wargroove, Katana Zero, etc.  Playstation 4 has all of those, plus a shitload of all the weird Japanese RPG series that never quite caught outside of Japan.  

Oh man, I have a buddy that plays a bunch of those weird RPGs. I realized when comparing our games via PSN that aside from Madden and Rocket League, we have nothing in common game-wise.

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1 minute ago, Ramo2653 said:

Oh man, I have a buddy that plays a bunch of those weird RPGs. I realized when comparing our games via PSN that aside from Madden and Rocket League, we have nothing in common game-wise.

I have no idea why some of these games are much better known.  At the beginning of the Pandemic, I was surfing the Playstation store looking for an RPG to play, and Trails of Cold Steel 3 was on sale so I googled it to see if I could find a review.  None of the big sites had a review for it, but pretty much every review I could find raved about it...but said I needed to start with the first game.  I checked to see if the first one was on sale too, and it was, so I bought it.  I loved pretty much everything about it, and immediately bought the second one and played through it.  The second one was really good, but the post game parts were overly long.  The third one, which introduced a new cast of characters while also bringing back the crew of the first two games was excellent as well, and you know what I'm going to play the fourth one.  

Over the last year or so I've played Fire Emblem: Three Houses, most of Dragon Quest XI, Trails of Cold Steel 1, 2, and 3, and Persona 5 Royal.  The Trails of Cold Steel games are my favorite by far, and unless you go to random JRPG YouTubers and/or random JRPG fan sites, you'd never know they existed.  No mainstream videogame publication has ever reviewed any of them.

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10 hours ago, christopher.annino said:

I just got my first PS5 platinum with the weird and unexpectedly enjoyable Bugsnax. A little repetitive but very fun and charming and it gets points from this queer dude for having multiple same sex couples. 

Yeah, I may go for that Platinum after I (hopefully) Platinum Demon's Souls.

The sad thing with Demon's Souls is because not as many people have a PS5 and have the game, there isn't as many people available to be summoned or to summon for help with bosses.

I'm at the point in 3-2 where I fight Maneater and.....they patched out the fog gate glitch where you could shoot arrows into the Maneater prior to the fight. So I definitely need the help.

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3 hours ago, Andrew POE! said:

Yeah, I may go for that Platinum after I (hopefully) Platinum Demon's Souls.

The sad thing with Demon's Souls is because not as many people have a PS5 and have the game, there isn't as many people available to be summoned or to summon for help with bosses.

I'm at the point in 3-2 where I fight Maneater and.....they patched out the fog gate glitch where you could shoot arrows into the Maneater prior to the fight. So I definitely need the help.

Yeah I can understand that, I have it and would help you out but I'm not a big fan of those games quite yet (tried Bloodborne a few times and it didn't hook me), but my son fucking loves them and he's getting it for Christmas. He is insistent that I should keep trying to give them a chance, so we'll see. He's gotten the platinum in a few of the Souls games, which made me proud, that day when my kid was finally better than me at video games 😂

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I did a google search earlier and couldn't come up with much, but can any of you give me the 411 on PS5 storage solutions? I know the initial storage is incredibly poor and I read articles saying the additional nvme storage slot was inactive, but can you use an external SSD with it like you can with the PS4? I couldn't find a solid read out there on if that was possible or not. Not only that, I seem to recall from the Giant Bombcast that they were avoiding attaching external storage to play their PS4 games because that was bricking PS5s or something?

Anyway, since I'm getting the system on Monday, I'd like to have extra storage in place.

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6 hours ago, Craig H said:

I did a google search earlier and couldn't come up with much, but can any of you give me the 411 on PS5 storage solutions? I know the initial storage is incredibly poor and I read articles saying the additional nvme storage slot was inactive, but can you use an external SSD with it like you can with the PS4? I couldn't find a solid read out there on if that was possible or not. Not only that, I seem to recall from the Giant Bombcast that they were avoiding attaching external storage to play their PS4 games because that was bricking PS5s or something?

Anyway, since I'm getting the system on Monday, I'd like to have extra storage in place.

You can use external storage but you cannot play PS5 games from it. I believe you can store games there and transfer them to the internal when you want to play but don't hold me to it. You can play ps4 games from it though. 

Edited by Tabe
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External storage is exclusive to non-PS5 games. If you have a PS5 game, like Demon's Souls or anything, it has to be on the console storage.

EDIT: What I'm not so sure about are PS4 games that have a PS5 upgrade, like Cold War or No Man's Sky (or Control, or eventually Avengers, Cyberpunk, etc).

Edited by Casey
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How is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Switch these days.  The Switch release had some fairly serious performance issues when it was first released, but it's been updated numerous times since then.  Did they patch out the issues?

Curious.  I have it for PS4, but have never finished it.  I'm thinking i might get back to it over the holidays and would prefer to play on Switch if performance is mostly comparable (to PS4).

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Speaking of Bioware,if I've never played the previous Dragon Age games, and if I liked the original ME Trilogy, will I like and/or be able to get into Inquisition?

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On 11/30/2020 at 12:34 PM, Chaos said:

I'm posting this here because the Sports Game thread is hit and miss on activity. Has anyone tried any of the recent Tennis games and have any thoughts? I'd love to have a solid tennis game to play, as I loved Top Spin back in the day, but it seems that there aren't any to super rave over? A google search on AO Tennis 2 vs World Tennis 2 is hit and miss as well.

I just am seeing this.  I have played both.  AO Tennis 2 is on PS Now.  If you have PS Now check it out. It's a fun game but it's extremely difficult. Frustratingly difficult. I haven't been able to win a single match. 

World Tennis 2 is a little better than the first version. The first version was boring and repetitive. You could pick the perfect serve response and still miss badly. Neither are nearly as good as Top Spin. If you had to pick I'd go AO  but if you have PS Now play it there.  

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4 hours ago, Raziel said:

Speaking of Bioware,if I've never played the previous Dragon Age games, and if I liked the original ME Trilogy, will I like and/or be able to get into Inquisition?

Yes. It's a good game. It's bloody long though. I finished (what I think is) the Final Boss Battle in hour 80 (and I'm not exactly a go everywhere and do everything first type of player... I go most places and do lots of things, but not everything), and the game was clear afterwards that I haven't finished the full story yet, let alone got into an actual post-game completionist situation.

In fact DA:I is far more friendly to people jumping into the franchise for the first time than Witcher 3 is. There are a few callbacks to the earlier games, but because the player character wasn't in those games, it's more of longtime players recognising them (while in storyline meeting them for the first time). Whereas in Witcher 3 every time you meet someone they spend twenty minutes reminiscing with Geralt about the great times they already had together.

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14 hours ago, Eoae said:

How is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on Switch these days.  The Switch release had some fairly serious performance issues when it was first released, but it's been updated numerous times since then.  Did they patch out the issues?

Curious.  I have it for PS4, but have never finished it.  I'm thinking i might get back to it over the holidays and would prefer to play on Switch if performance is mostly comparable (to PS4).

i bought it and beat it in November. great game. i don't know what kind of issues it had, but outside of once when the game crashed on me i didn't have any problems.

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I got the platinum for Astro's Playroom on PS5. The only trophy I lack is the network speedrun thing from the "add on" trophies, but that doesn't count towards the platinum, and fuck timed stuff. 50 seconds minimum to complete every level, kiss my ass 🤣 Oddly enough, the hardest time I had getting a trophies for that game (unless I try the speedrun thing) was punching the PS logo on the PS2 and then climbing across the PSVR peripherals on the ceiling.

The most satisfying thing from that game was shooting the plastic ball gun and the Gacha machine.

I might start a NG+ of Miles Morales so I can get the few remaining trophies, and try for that 100 hit combo one too. But Sunday is my last day off before Cyberpunk comes out next week, and I think I might just dick around with Black Ops 3 a little bit more until then.

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2 hours ago, Casey said:

I got the platinum for Astro's Playroom on PS5. The only trophy I lack is the network speedrun thing from the "add on" trophies, but that doesn't count towards the platinum, and fuck timed stuff. 50 seconds minimum to complete every level, kiss my ass 🤣 Oddly enough, the hardest time I had getting a trophies for that game (unless I try the speedrun thing) was punching the PS logo on the PS2 and then climbing across the PSVR peripherals on the ceiling.

The most satisfying thing from that game was shooting the plastic ball gun and the Gacha machine.

I might start a NG+ of Miles Morales so I can get the few remaining trophies, and try for that 100 hit combo one too. But Sunday is my last day off before Cyberpunk comes out next week, and I think I might just dick around with Black Ops 3 a little bit more until then.

Having gotten the Platinum for Astro Bot: Rescue Mission on PSVR, my reaction to the network speedrun trophy was "oh no, not this shit again." The game really isn't designed for that sort of thing, but they shoehorn it, probably because one person in the office enjoys it.

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On 12/3/2020 at 8:38 PM, supremebve said:

I have no idea why some of these games are much better known.  At the beginning of the Pandemic, I was surfing the Playstation store looking for an RPG to play, and Trails of Cold Steel 3 was on sale so I googled it to see if I could find a review.  None of the big sites had a review for it, but pretty much every review I could find raved about it...but said I needed to start with the first game.  I checked to see if the first one was on sale too, and it was, so I bought it.  I loved pretty much everything about it, and immediately bought the second one and played through it.  The second one was really good, but the post game parts were overly long.  The third one, which introduced a new cast of characters while also bringing back the crew of the first two games was excellent as well, and you know what I'm going to play the fourth one.  

Over the last year or so I've played Fire Emblem: Three Houses, most of Dragon Quest XI, Trails of Cold Steel 1, 2, and 3, and Persona 5 Royal.  The Trails of Cold Steel games are my favorite by far, and unless you go to random JRPG YouTubers and/or random JRPG fan sites, you'd never know they existed.  No mainstream videogame publication has ever reviewed any of them.

I feel like I'm living in some weird fantasy world. I don't think I ever realized that the Trails games were outright un-reviewed by the big websites. They've been the toast of the JRPG town for what feels like a really long time, too. Obviously it's a niche series, but it's the king of it's niche. 

I beat Trails in the Sky on PSP earlier this year and have been chipping away at Trails in the Sky SC on Vita.  So far this series has the deepest character writing I have ever encountered in video games. Most of Trails SC takes place in towns you already went to in the first game and it's insane how many tiny, utterly unimportant NPCs have personalities and quirks that I remembered. Most of the buildings you can enter serve no purpose other than housing a few characters to make the world feel more real, and NPC dialogue is constantly changing. You can waste a lot of time running door-to-door chatting up the townsfolk if the mood strikes you, and it really does become mind-blowing when you realize that every priest, food vendor, kid playing tag, fishwife, barracks cook, shoe scientist, etc. have hundreds of their own layered personalities and are written with thorough consistency despite often existing for no other reason than in-game flavor. The thoroughness increases as you work your way up to the tertiary and secondary characters, party members, and main character Estelle, who is easily the realest-feeling and one of the most likeable JRPG protagonists I've ever had the pleasure of having tied to my d-pad. The world and people become so comfortable and familiar, it's astounding.

All this comes at a price. I don't know if the games have a pacing problem so much as their nature causes them to have a pacing condition. They are slow. Very slow. Especially in the beginning. The exposition dumps alone dwarf the average game's script. No voice acting, sprite-based graphics (I think it uses the same engine as the PS2 and PSP Ys games). Combat is old-school turn-based attack/magic/tech stuff tied to equipping different colored gems, i.e. traditional to a fault. The cool collectible stuff a) absolutely requires a guide b) is literally just more stuff to read. It's anime trope-y with it's bad guys, romance, and humor. The actual big plot has equal parts thoughtful political stuff and doofy magic plot devices. Only about one in ten gamers are going to be accepting of that much balls-out JRPG traditionalism, unlike something like Dragon Quest XI where the super-traditionalism is still accessible. But if you're into it, god damn does it provide.

I own Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2 for Vita and played the opening hours of 1 to see what it was like. It seems like a much more accessible starting point for the series. It also definitely seems more anime. Top-tier voice acting, top-tier dialogue, but I got the vibe that it's going to do some harem/waifu shit where all the female characters end up in love with you. Still, I know I'm going to like it a lot once I play the 60 hours of SC I have left. Then maybe I'll do the two Crossbell games, that's what, 100 hours? And then all the Cold Steels are around 70 to 100? I'll be caught up with the series in a quick 20 years.

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3 hours ago, John E. Dynamite said:

I own Trails of Cold Steel 1 and 2 for Vita and played the opening hours of 1 to see what it was like. It seems like a much more accessible starting point for the series. It also definitely seems more anime. Top-tier voice acting, top-tier dialogue, but I got the vibe that it's going to do some harem/waifu shit where all the female characters end up in love with you. Still, I know I'm going to like it a lot once I play the 60 hours of SC I have left. Then maybe I'll do the two Crossbell games, that's what, 100 hours? And then all the Cold Steels are around 70 to 100? I'll be caught up with the series in a quick 20 years.

They play with the waifu thing, but at the same time they are really self aware about it.  With that said, almost everyone I've ever heard of playing this game picks the same character romance mostly because it feels like she's the character the story is pushing you towards.  There is another character who they kind of push you towards, but it is so problematic that I cringed every time they brought it up.  It's literally my least favorite part of the entire series.  Also, it's going to take you at least 100 hours to beat any of these games.  Unless you just don't care about any character moments and/or the bonuses you get form getting your relationships to the higher levels you're going to do all the side content.  It just doesn't really make sense not to, if that makes sense.  

After I play Trails of Cold Steel IV, I'll probably move onto Y's VIII, which I've heard nothing but great things about.  I probably won't get to Trails of Cold Steel IV until after I'm done with Cyberpunk 2077, so who knows when I'll get to Y's VIII.

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I picked up the updated Shadow of the Colossus. I loved that game for PS2, and am enjoying the PS4 version.

Also, I’m perhaps ashamed to admit that it’s the one game that I find a bit frightening. Some of the colossi freak me out. It’s weird, because most aren’t particularly threatening in-game (I’ve never died). Very much the design and ambiance.

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Oh man, I blew through a ton of the Ys series last year. I thought they were going to remind me of Secret of Mana, but they give me more of a Castlevania: Symphony of the Night feeling. They (usually) aren't very exploration-based, but the combination of world-class shred-heavy soundtracks, light story, smart use of a smaller map, extravagant boss fights based on pattern memorization and just the right amount of grinding really blend nicely. Ys Origin in particular does that well since everything's confined to one big dungeon. Ys: Memories of Celceta is more exploration-based and Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim has more story, I recommend the hell out of all of them. I haven't started Ys VII or VIII and I'm a little tentative when it comes to VIII - one of the series' biggest strengths is that none of the games try to be epics. They're very efficient, they tell little self-contained stories and keep things like equipment and leveling very straightforward. Ys VIII looks like the game where they added *more*, with a bigger map, more crafting, more cutscenes and voice acting. But everyone who's played it says they loved it.

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