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2021 VIDEO GAME CATCH ALL THREAD


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HEY, IT WORKED~!

It's very annoying to know that if I ever want to play further playthroughs of Mafia 3, I'm going to have to uninstall and reinstall so that my Sign of the Times DLC won't fuck things up, but knowing is half the battle. 

Now to continue my Kill Everybody playthrough and get back to Cyberpunk 2077.

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Somehow I forgot to mention that Deus Ex: The Conspiracy on PS2 is the best game I'm currently working through. As a dyed-in-the-wool console gamer I've been learning to love (likely inferior) console ports of classic WRPGs. Apparently the PS2 version of Deus Ex is perfectly fine and you trade some loading screens on the bigger maps for an impressively streamlined UI. Runs like a charm on PS2, you'd think they developed the game for it. And I guess I can plug in a USB trackball mouse + keyb if I really want that legit trenchcoat Windowlicker feeling.

It is a little weird to play through a conspiracy-heavy plot based on the availability of plague vaccines being controlled by a technocratic Illuminati, and I wonder just how much damage has been done to the collective consciousness by media like this. But nothing has been presented ignorantly so far, just heavy-handed and semi-knowingly ridiculous.  

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On 9/10/2021 at 2:36 PM, Eoae said:

GameStop is redrafting its mission statement.  The company says it is “evolving” beyond games and will become a “more general technology company”.

 

I don’t really see this going well. 

Funny thing is that way back in the beginning that's what it was. You could go in and get computer hardware stuff, anime videos, and some places even had manga. So in a lot of ways they're going back to it.

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On 9/10/2021 at 1:36 PM, Eoae said:

GameStop is redrafting its mission statement.  The company says it is “evolving” beyond games and will become a “more general technology company”.

 

I don’t really see this going well.  Also, when did Funko pops and Hot Topic t-shirts get reclassified as technology?


It definitely feels like a Red Ventures thing, as Giant Bomb is also putting out a lot of shows now that are only tangentially related to video games (if at all). I'm not sure who is even left at GS. Tamoor and Lucy, I think? Not 100% positive on that, even. They show up in GB content, though, so it's a safe guess.

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44 minutes ago, Shane said:


It definitely feels like a Red Ventures thing, as Giant Bomb is also putting out a lot of shows now that are only tangentially related to video games (if at all). I'm not sure who is even left at GS. Tamoor and Lucy, I think? Not 100% positive on that, even. They show up in GB content, though, so it's a safe guess.

you did the Stop/Spot thing bro

admittedly that tweet is GameSpot reporting on GameStop so I understand how it happened but yeah

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6 hours ago, Casey said:

The Artful Escape.

Game of the year, goddamn.

Finished it last night.  It won't be my game of the year, but, yeah, a helluva a lot of fun and impressive from a creative standpoint.  Really dug the narrative/life lesson, and the visuals are just weird and trippy and gorgeous.  If you had told me I'd get into a psychedelic sci-fi rock opera that much, I would probably have laughed.

I thought everything was outstanding except... the actual gameplay.  This is very much a game that doesn't want you to get stuck on anything before the end of the game.  The platforming is relatively easy and forgiving (you respawn a few feet from where you died) and the rhythm game mechanics are even more forgiving.  I'm not a big fan of games where you can pause the game for hours simply by not choosing a dialogue option or pressing a button after an npc talks.   Not only can you do that, but you can get through the rhythm sections by simply pausing to write the correct button sequences down.  The game won't penalize you for getting things wrong or simply not trying and will just repeat the sequence over and over until you get it right (everything around you freezes until you get it right).  I just ignored the game and let it repeat one sequence over and over at least a dozen times until i scribbled the right sequence of button presses into a notebook, then did it in-game.

Beyond that, I thought the indie roots showed a little too much.  You can't interact with most of the NPC's you meet in town, on the starship, etc.  When you do bump into an npc who can talk to you, they only have a couple lines - at most -and, if you try to talk to them again, they just repeat the same sentences over and over again.  Also, the game is basically on rails.  They were only a few times when it wasn't clear where to go or what to do to move the game along.  Most of the time, you have no choice but to go forward until you encounter what you are looking for.  Very seldom do you have to decide whether to go left or right or try to figure out where the person you are supposed to find might be.  And it's a small annoyance, but I was annoyed by the number of times a npc says "follow me" then disappears and magically teleports to the spot they want you to go to, leaving you to blunder along looking for them and wonder if you're still going the right way or somehow lost track of them.  I'm assuming the npc's don't just walk from room to room with you due to budget/technical limitations.  

There's more gameplay than most walking simulators, but less than most platformers and rhythm games.  i described Artful Escape to someone as What Became of Edith Finch on acid and 'shrooms and Hendrix.  That's actually a compliment.  It's one of the weirder, more artsy/experimental games Annapurna Interactive has published, and that's saying something.

Also, I am officially old.  I found the folk riffs to be quite pleasant while the guitar rock riffs were grating.

Edit: Also, the director is named "Johnny Galvatron" and he's a founding member of an Australian rock/pop band called the Galvatrons.  This game definitely feels like something an aging rock n' roller would design.

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I think everything you don't like about the game is a reason why I really do like it. I'm actually super grateful to the developers that they don't have a fail option for any of the quick-time events. I didn't do what you did, I just tried to memorize the sequence of buttons. Frustrating, yes. But fun. I too liked the folky stuff more, especially the song on the title screen, but the space-rock riffs and stuff just fit the narrative and visuals and honestly, this fucking thing is gorgeous at times.

What Remains of Edith Finch hit me hard for whatever reason when I played it last year during the pandemic on the Switch (The First Tree as well, but that's a different publisher). This game is less... in your face about how emotional it is, but it's still there. For my money, right now, they're one of those publishers that have released only gold right now. The next game they put out, if I see their name attached to it, I'm going to try it. Now I need to go buy Kentucky Route Zero.

But yeah, GOTY for me right now. But I haven't played a hell of a lot of 2021 titles, so that might not be saying much. Curse of the Dead Gods and Hades might factor into that - and yes, I'm counting those, since one only had an early access release before this year and the other wasn't released for consoles until this year - but I'd have to actually go back and tally up what I've played from this year. Recency bias makes me think the Artful Escape is my favorite, though.

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I probably sound more critical of the game than I actually am.  If I had to review it formally, it'd get a high score.  The visuals are gorgeous and surreal, the main character is likable, the narrative themes work (the game is a coming-of-age story about stepping away from other's expectations and deciding who you want to be), and, of course, nearly every moment in the game is wonderfully weird and imaginative.  I think, as high concept art games go, I liked Twelve Minutes more and there are a couple games I'd probably vote for as my GotY, but I expect to see this on a lot of people's top 10 lists at year's end.

Definitely play Kentucky Route Zero.  Visual aesthetic isn't as interesting, but it's in the same vein: odd, experimental game that works better than it should thanks to strong writing.  Annapurna has published a lot of good-to-great games over the past few years.  I at least look at anything they publish and I usually enjoy their stuff a lot.

Deathloop review embargo ended this morning.  Early reviews are a lot of 9's and 10's.  Metacritic score based on first 40 reviews was an 89.  Looking forward to playing it tomorrow.

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Yeah, I watched enough on my drive home this morning to pre-order/pre-download it. I also didn't realize it's not a $70 game and with PS+ it made it a little over $53. Good enough for me. Weird that this can be had for under $60 and Returnal went with the full $70 pricing.

Still waiting on a $30 to $35 range for Returnal before I get that.

I've also been playing more of Ghost of Tsushima. I bought the $30 PS5 upgrade for it and started over. My nightly routine is to watch the little one after my other daughter goes to bed to give my wife a 3 hour headstart on sleep. Ghost fills at least half of that time. This game looking great before and with the PS5 upgrade it looks fucking amazing. Probably the best thing I've ever seen on a console that's not Forza or Gran Turismo. My god, it's just beautiful. The only way it could have possibly been better is if there were additional controller feedback to mimic the crunch of stepping on grass or leaves. I've heard others talk about this sort of thing when playing games, about wanting to live in that game world, and this is the first time where I've sat there and wanted to really be in that game world. It's just incredible.

Oh, and my daughter and I have been playing a shitload of No Man's Sky, but I'll save that for the NMS thread.

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33 minutes ago, christopher.annino said:

WOW, was there any heads up announcement??? I definitely don't recall one... Such a bummer. 

Servers for all three LBP games have been shut down since May due to hacker attacks.

PS4 servers for LBP 3 are back up.

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Played Morkredd last night.  It was.... interesting.  Very short top-down adventure that basically plays out like a mashup of Limbo and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (it's designed to be played co-op but you can play solo by controlling two characters independently with one controller; same as Brothers).  

It's got a Lovecraftian vibe going on so I was expecting something weird to happen.  Was not expecting the last act to take a detour into body horror.  Last act abandons the mostly monochromatic color palette for full color (well, red, anyway) and sends your characters into a cave that looks uncomfortably like the inside of someone's stomach.  Very fleshy.  Then your characters step into a couple organic pods and come out as..... giant, gross worms.  

Yeah, that was an interesting design choice.  Fascinating game.  Can't find much about it on the internet, so I'm guessing not a lot of people have played it.  Thought it was probably overpriced for it's length, but overall it was an interesting experiment.  I like the "control two characters independently using the same controller" mechanic, but i'm not good at it.

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I’m looking for a recommendation.

I’m looking to sim a football game.  However, since I do not follow the NFL I haven’t got a clue about their video games.  It’s kind of hard to look up reviews 

Ideally, I would need a team and roster creator.  Hopefully, a custom stadium creator.  Plus, whatever else might be available to customize streaming on YouTube so it’s reflective of my sim wrestling league.  
 

Lastly, I’d rather not buy a current generation Madden game.  I’m really only doing this football (with my roster of wrestlers) as a one off.  So would any of the cheaper football games from the past few years work for me?  

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I got to play a little of Deathloop the night is was released, but I started dozing off, which is bad when you have a baby sleeping in your arms. So I played another hour or so last night and got far enough to actually "start" the game by getting my first ability, the three lives thing.

Early impressions from me is that this game is really fucking cool and everyone that made Bioshock should be looking at this and clapping at the work that was done. This game is just oozing with character. It also plays so fucking well for a console FPS that isn't one of the big three or four.

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Yeah, I played a couple hours after my wife fell asleep and really dug it.  Lot of character, lot of charm, lot of creativity for what is essentially an fps.  Really dig the loopy 70's aesthetic.  We'll see how well all that holds up but I feel fairly confident this is going to be standout for me.  

I may have to go back and give Prey a chance.  Have never played it.   Anyone want to say nice things about it to convince me?

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17 minutes ago, Eoae said:

Yeah, I played a couple hours after my wife fell asleep and really dug it.  Lot of character, lot of charm, lot of creativity for what is essentially an fps.  Really dig the loopy 70's aesthetic.  We'll see how well all that holds up but I feel fairly confident this is going to be standout for me.  

I may have to go back and give Prey a chance.  Have never played it.   Anyone want to say nice things about it to convince me?

You should play Prey and then NEVER read about what Prey 2 was going to be because you will feel very disappointed. Prey is very good though. Incredibly ambitious, which given the studio, is a no-brainer, and it's done some shit that a lot of games should be doing and never do. 

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9 hours ago, Brandon Bones said:

I’m looking for a recommendation.

I’m looking to sim a football game.  However, since I do not follow the NFL I haven’t got a clue about their video games.  It’s kind of hard to look up reviews 

Ideally, I would need a team and roster creator.  Hopefully, a custom stadium creator.  Plus, whatever else might be available to customize streaming on YouTube so it’s reflective of my sim wrestling league.  
 

Lastly, I’d rather not buy a current generation Madden game.  I’m really only doing this football (with my roster of wrestlers) as a one off.  So would any of the cheaper football games from the past few years work for me?  

I think your options are pretty limited.  Maybe try Draft Day Sports: Pro Football 2021 which has "mixed" reviews on Steam?

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13 hours ago, Brandon Bones said:

I’m looking for a recommendation.

I’m looking to sim a football game.  However, since I do not follow the NFL I haven’t got a clue about their video games.  It’s kind of hard to look up reviews 

Ideally, I would need a team and roster creator.  Hopefully, a custom stadium creator.  Plus, whatever else might be available to customize streaming on YouTube so it’s reflective of my sim wrestling league.  
 

Lastly, I’d rather not buy a current generation Madden game.  I’m really only doing this football (with my roster of wrestlers) as a one off.  So would any of the cheaper football games from the past few years work for me?  

I could have sworn that the 2K games had PC versions with a mod community, but I was incorrect.

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