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The games of 2018. (Gaming)

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, December 25, 2018, 20:18 (173 days ago)

Another year has passed, and it's been a good one. Lots of great games hit this year! In no particular order, here are some I played, and a few I missed and look forward to spending more time with.

To start, I'll mention Hollow Knight, only because that's what I've been playing tonight. The lazy comparison is that it's 2D Dark Souls, but that misses a lot of what makes this game great. It definitely has that Dark Souls structure, with reclaiming your currency and XP from your dead body, the difficult combat and boss fights, bonfires (represented here with park benches). It has a slightly more straightforward presentation than Dark Souls (which uses item descriptions to tell its story), which I like quite a bit. I played about three hours of it when it came out on Switch earlier this year, but I dropped it in favor of something else. I just picked it back up tonight, and I'm looking forward to playing some more.

Now let's go all the way back to the beginning of the year, and talk about Monster Hunter World. The first time in a long time that Monster Hunter has been on real consoles, and it's been highly streamlined from past iterations. It's still deep and complex and often inscrutable, but it does a fairly good job of explaining it's systems--at least a good enough job to let me get interested in the game and find the fun. Hunting monsters for parts to craft gear is a really compelling loop, but the actual combat variety of this game is where it really shines. There are a bunch of different weapons, each with its own distinct moveset and upgrade path. No weapon is like another, and most of them have a deep learning curve that really allows player skill and knowledge to dictate how fights go. Combine that with lots of monster, each of which is also vastly different from the others, with their own moves, behaviors, resistances, and weaknesses, and you have a really deep game that rewards experimentation and learning patterns (from monster attacks to which routes they might take to their lairs). This is "grind" taken to another level. I'll admit to not "finishing" the game (as much as it can even be finished), because after you reach a certain rank, the game basically starts over in High Rank, which lets you keep all your gear, but adds new, higher power sets to craft (and throws in some new monsters along the way). I put 50 hours into the game, and loved every one of them, but basically playing the game over again wasn't appealing enough at the time, but I'll admit typing this paragraph has me considering going back to it for a bit.

Also early in the year, I picked up Subnautica on Xbox. At the end of the day, it's just a really compelling survival game. It's immediately novel, in that you're underwater, which is a good twist on the typical survival stuff. But what really makes this game stand out is that it's all hand-crafted (no procedural generation here), and it actually has an interesting story thread to follow (while still allowing you to just explore and build a cool base). Some neat twists and surprises await in the deeps.
I had a lot of fun playing Forza Horizon 4. This is the closest thing we have to a modern Burnout (I guess if you ignore Burnout Paradise Remastered, which hit this year), in that it's just a great driving game that doesn't take itself seriously and focuses on fun and silliness in a way that most driving games don't anymore. The world is your playground, and it's a good one.

Pokemon Let's Go, Pikachu! came out not long ago. It's essentially a remake of the first generation of Pokemon games. It's still a simplistic "baby's first RPG" style of game, but collection all 150 Pokemon still provides a compelling (if sort of brainless) experience. The game makes some notable changes, beyond the obvious graphical enhancements. Capturing wild Pokemon no longer means battling them to make them weak--the game adopts Pokemon Go's capture system, which is just throwing berries to calm them, and throwing Pokeballs at them in simple timing game. It sounds dull, but it works really well. Fighting wild Pokemon was always the most annoying part of those games. The new capture mechanics make that a non-issue (especially now that wild pokemon actually appear in the overworld, and you can avoid them if you want). This game won't change anyone's mind if you don't like the series, but it's a great nostalgia trip for fans, and it's a great game to play on the Switch while watching TV.

I picked up a PSVR this year. I had a lot of fun in Skyrim VR (that world is ugly as shit up close, but VR adds a whole new amazing feeling to being in that world). Dirt Rally in VR is really something special. It's already the the best feeling racing game in the last five years, and being in VR only makes it better (although, be warned, this one made me feel ill the first few runs until I acclimated). Moss is a neat VR puzzle game, where you control a mouse with a sword. Simplistic combat and neat puzzles, but the art style is gorgeous, and the sense of scale is really something to see. Astrobot Rescue Mission is probably the best real game in VR. It's basically Super Mario 64 in VR, and it really works. The premise of the game is that you control an Astrobot through various levels, and your goal is to find all his friends hidden throughout. The platforming is great thanks to the terrific character control, so the game just feels good on a fundamental level. The real magic is the way VR is utilized. Lots of Astrobots are just out in the open at the end of good platforming sections, but many of them are cleverly hidden along the way, and they really require you to use VR movement to peak around corners and behind things to find them all.

Tetris Effect is a strong contender for my overall game of the year. It seems silly--it's just Tetris, after all. The thing that really makes this game great is it's presentation. An outstanding art style is only surpassed by the best audio design in a puzzle game possibly ever. The soundtrack is brilliant on its own, but every move you make, every rotation, every drop, every line clear has a sound associated with it that changes to match the theme of whatever level you're currently playing, and it is really, really satisfying. As I said in the GRIS thread, music is really important to me, and this is an odd combination of Tetris and music maker. I loved every minute of this game. It has a mode called Journey Mode. It's a 27-levle marathon. You move to the next level once you have passed a certain number of lines cleared (the default is 36, I think). When you move from one level to the next, your previous board carries over, so it's a seamless experience. The key to Journey mode is the different themes for each level. They're all compelling, with both cool backgrounds and great music. While the difficulty does ramp up as you move on, it's not just a simple escalation. The speed will often change multiple times through each level, but it moves up and down, creates periods of high tension as the speed is really high, and then the music slows and the speed of the game slows with it and the tension releases. I can get through Journey mode in a little under and hour, and I play through it about once a week now--it's just an amazing experience that has me grinning the entire time because it's just so damn cool. For that extra kick, pop on the PSVR headset. The board just floats in front of you, but the backgrounds completely surround you, and pull you completely into the game--I've lost hours at a time zoning out in VR in this game, when I can only really do about about and hour in any other VR game. I cannot recommend this game highly enough. I don't even have a strong affinity for Tetris, but it really speaks to me in a way nothing else really matched this year. If you even remotely like Tetris, play this game. If you don't feel strongly about Tetris, at least look at some videos, and consider playing this game. It's incredible.

Red Dead Redemption 2. This game is odd. Like . . . really odd. It's a niche, cult classic disguised as a AAA hit. It's huge and beautiful. It has a great story (and I mean really great), with great characters. Arthur Morgan is a great protagonist, and Sadie Adler might be my favorite character in gaming in the past few years. But the game play is slow. Really slow. This game will force you to take your sweet time, and if you fight it on that, it will be a source of endless frustration. I haven't actually finished this game, even after 60 or 70 hours, but that's not a knock on the game. That's due only because I can't stop playing Destiny. I'll get back to it someday.

God of War is my overall game of the year, I think. This game has it all, and is as close to a perfect video game as I have ever played. It's gorgeous. The story is compelling. The combat is the best I've ever experienced. It's deep and satisfying. Like Horizon: Zero Dawn last year, this game set out to make a AAA open world game with all the extraneous bullshit stripped out of it, and it succeeds in a huge way. The only activity I can think of in the entire game that feels disappointingly tacked on is the hidden Ravens, and even those are sort of compelling in their own way. This game is a masterpiece, and I mean than genuinely. It has the best moment of the year: part of the way through the game, after using the new axe for hours and hours and hours, Kratos goes home and picks up his old Blades of Chaos. It's a dramatic moment, filled with tension, and even not having played the previous God of War games, that moment was near pitch perfect, and the way it changes that game and adds variety and strategy to the rest of the game is just incredible and so well done. I have my issues with the story, but it was compelling all the way through, and the issues are relatively minor. If you have a PS4, play this game.

I won't mention Forsaken. We have had (and continue to have) that particular discussion. I'll just say that I like it! It's good. Destiny is the best it's ever been right now.

Beyond games, some other cool stuff happened this year, too!

I attended my first bungie.org LAN, and I can't wait for the next one. I truly thank those of you that were there--it was the best weekend I had this year. Meeting some of the folks from here was an amazing experience, and an important one. I feel like I know many of you pretty well through our time playing Destiny, and through our posts here on the forum, but meeting in person provides a new perspective and does a lot to provide context and tone to posts here in a way that I didn't expect. Let's do it again soon!

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Subnautica

by Blackt1g3r @, Login is from an untrusted domain in MN, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 06:05 (173 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Also early in the year, I picked up Subnautica on Xbox. At the end of the day, it's just a really compelling survival game. It's immediately novel, in that you're underwater, which is a good twist on the typical survival stuff. But what really makes this game stand out is that it's all hand-crafted (no procedural generation here), and it actually has an interesting story thread to follow (while still allowing you to just explore and build a cool base). Some neat twists and surprises await in the deeps.

Subnautica reached final release on Xbox and achievements are now enabled, so I just started another playthrough. The surprises won't be surprises anymore but the game is still a blast. I love how scanning stuff in the world gives you more information about those things while also giving your clues to the story. Everything is so consistent. I also love how the tech tree generally opens up new areas of the game in such a natural way. I also love how a lot fo the creatures in the game seem dangerous at first (probably because they are so alien) but as you learn more about them and how to avoid/deal them they just become a normal part of the world. This is a survival game done right.

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PS. Subnautica is free today on the Epic Games Store.

by Korny @, Dalton, Ga. US. Earth, Sol System, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 07:30 (173 days ago) @ Blackt1g3r

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Oh Look Golem is on Steam

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 08:19 (173 days ago) @ cheapLEY

https://store.steampowered.com/app/646010/Golem/

Not what I expected.

I gotta say, Highwire really needs to improve their PR and outreach. Especially when there is a game with the same name already released. How are people going to know about it if they don't advertise or update?

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Rename :P

by Blackt1g3r @, Login is from an untrusted domain in MN, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 08:22 (173 days ago) @ Cody Miller

They should just rename it to Golem: Combat Evolved. :P

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Rename :P

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 08:54 (173 days ago) @ Blackt1g3r

They should just rename it to Golem: Combat Evolved. :P

Genius.

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Saw this at PAX. Got a button.

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Friday, December 28, 2018, 18:18 (170 days ago) @ Cody Miller

- No text -

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The games of 2018.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 15:26 (173 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I had a lot of fun playing Forza Horizon 4. This is the closest thing we have to a modern Burnout (I guess if you ignore Burnout Paradise Remastered, which hit this year), in that it's just a great driving game that doesn't take itself seriously and focuses on fun and silliness in a way that most driving games don't anymore. The world is your playground, and it's a good one.

We need to play that again soon. Korny is not in charge of the race settings this time. ;) I challenge anyone to come up with a 100PI car that can hang with my P50.

I picked up a PSVR this year. I had a lot of fun in Skyrim VR (that world is ugly as shit up close, but VR adds a whole new amazing feeling to being in that world). Dirt Rally in VR is really something special. It's already the the best feeling racing game in the last five years, and being in VR only makes it better (although, be warned, this one made me feel ill the first few runs until I acclimated). Moss is a neat VR puzzle game, where you control a mouse with a sword. Simplistic combat and neat puzzles, but the art style is gorgeous, and the sense of scale is really something to see. Astrobot Rescue Mission is probably the best real game in VR. It's basically Super Mario 64 in VR, and it really works. The premise of the game is that you control an Astrobot through various levels, and your goal is to find all his friends hidden throughout. The platforming is great thanks to the terrific character control, so the game just feels good on a fundamental level. The real magic is the way VR is utilized. Lots of Astrobots are just out in the open at the end of good platforming sections, but many of them are cleverly hidden along the way, and they really require you to use VR movement to peak around corners and behind things to find them all.

XBox VR needs to come out ASAP. I want Dirt Rally in VR.

God of War is my overall game of the year, I think. This game has it all, and is as close to a perfect video game as I have ever played. It's gorgeous. The story is compelling. The combat is the best I've ever experienced. It's deep and satisfying. Like Horizon: Zero Dawn last year, this game set out to make a AAA open world game with all the extraneous bullshit stripped out of it, and it succeeds in a huge way. The only activity I can think of in the entire game that feels disappointingly tacked on is the hidden Ravens, and even those are sort of compelling in their own way. This game is a masterpiece, and I mean than genuinely. It has the best moment of the year: part of the way through the game, after using the new axe for hours and hours and hours, Kratos goes home and picks up his old Blades of Chaos. It's a dramatic moment, filled with tension, and even not having played the previous God of War games, that moment was near pitch perfect, and the way it changes that game and adds variety and strategy to the rest of the game is just incredible and so well done. I have my issues with the story, but it was compelling all the way through, and the issues are relatively minor. If you have a PS4, play this game.

I'm glad to hear that you got so much out of it, despite being new to the series. That means there's more to it than just a nostalgia trip. I loved it, too, but I've played almost all of the God of War games, and the series has been with me for most of my adult life. Kratos is as familiar to me as any Disney character. So of course I was going to like it as long as they didn't totally screw it up (and they REALLY didn't). What's interesting to me is how the gameplay seems fundamentally different from its predecessors in several ways (like the over-the-shoulder camera, an axe as main weapon rather than swinging blades, etc.), and yet felt completely right to me, from the beginning. I guess it's because a lot of the way you go about things is still the same. Lots of button combo moves, based on the same light/heavy attack system as always, and grabbing/bashing/throwing enemies as a way of changing the battlefield dynamics. They done very good on this one.

I attended my first bungie.org LAN, and I can't wait for the next one. I truly thank those of you that were there--it was the best weekend I had this year. Meeting some of the folks from here was an amazing experience, and an important one. I feel like I know many of you pretty well through our time playing Destiny, and through our posts here on the forum, but meeting in person provides a new perspective and does a lot to provide context and tone to posts here in a way that I didn't expect. Let's do it again soon!

It was really cool to meet you, and everyone else. I'm still willing to host something at my place, maybe next summer. I've learned from the last couple of meetups that these things have gone down in scale a bit as far as the number of concurrent consoles, so I'm a little more confident about the electrical system holding up now.

I guess I should mention a couple myself:

Deep Rock Galactic

I know this one's been mentioned here before, but I'll keep repping it forever because DRG really is one of the best co-op games I've ever experienced, and it keeps getting better with frequent content updates. The short summary is that up to 4 players descend into a procedurally-generated and totally destructible underground cave system. Your objectives vary. You might be gathering minerals, hunting aliens, or repairing machinery. There are 4 very different classes of dwarf to play as, each with their own unique weapon sets, team support equipment, and special traversal methods. You explore the mission space, do whatever you need to do, and try to get out. It's still in early access so it's cheap.

No Man's Sky

I only got this one recently, after it finally went on sale for Black Friday. I KINDA heard a little about it back when it first came out and was really not very well received, but I wasn't paying super close attention then because it wasn't actually available on XBox. Later on after the NEXT update came out, and it became available on XBOX, I started to hear about how much better it had become. I was hearing a lot of things like this:

So I looked into it a little bit and it seemed like my kind of thing. Just a relaxed RPG that you can play slowly and see some cool stuff. Then cheapLEY showed it to me at the KC LAN and I was pretty much sold. Once it went on sale, I went for it, and I don't regret it at all. I will admit that there's occasionally moments where it still feels like a pre-release game. For example, this moment when I fall out of my own freighter, apparently as a result of Dame's and mine having spawned in the same place (which isn't supposed to be possible):

But even so, the actual experience of looking up from a planet's surface and seeing another planet, then jumping into my ship and flying to that other planet, and landing on it, all without any loading screen or pause, continues to feel amazing. It's not going to be for everyone, you spend a lot of time just looking for things, or mining, or walking. But for a certain set of people, it might be what you've been looking for. Also, thanks to Dame117 for playing so much co-op with me and giving me pointers that I wouldn't have picked up otherwise. I just maxed out my backpack's main inventory thanks to you.

Forza Horizon 4

cheapLEY's right about this one. It's the best game of its type that I know of. It's goofy arcade fun rather than the more sim-like Forza Motorsport approach, but it still has that special Forza ability to communicate the weight and feel of each individual car that makes them all feel special and interesting. And thankfully, as the Horizon series has progressed, they've managed to mostly ditch the overly "bro" presentation of the first one.

Forza Motorsport 7
's December update

This isn't technically a new game, but if you have a wheel and pedal set, it might as well be. Forza Motorsport 7's December update completely re-did the force feedback system for wheel users, and it's a BIG deal if you're in that category. I've been saying ever since I got a wheel that Forza was actually better on a controller than it is on a wheel, because they did the force feedback systems on the controllers very well, and not so much on the wheel. The result was that I always felt like a better driver on a controller, just because I could feel what the tires were doing better. On a wheel, I'd often fail to catch a slide that I would have corrected if I'd been using a controller, because I just wasn't getting the feedback to warn me that the rear end was losing grip. However, since this latest update, things have changed dramatically. Right now, I feel as fast using my wheel as I ever have on a controller. I'm finally able to really attack things the way I used to, and it feels great.

BTW, if you're wondering why I kept the wheel, the answer is that there are more driving games than just Forza. Dirt Rally has kind of the opposite problem as Forza used to IMO - frustrating on a controller, but extremely good on a wheel. That's the game I really bought a wheel for.

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The games of 2018.

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 17:58 (173 days ago) @ stabbim

I had a lot of fun playing Forza Horizon 4. This is the closest thing we have to a modern Burnout (I guess if you ignore Burnout Paradise Remastered, which hit this year), in that it's just a great driving game that doesn't take itself seriously and focuses on fun and silliness in a way that most driving games don't anymore. The world is your playground, and it's a good one.


We need to play that again soon. Korny is not in charge of the race settings this time. ;) I challenge anyone to come up with a 100PI car that can hang with my P50.

I am down any time. I haven't played in a while, but it's still installed. So is Mass Effect 3, by the way. I want to try and set up a night to play that for a few hours with everybody again in the next month or so.

XBox VR needs to come out ASAP. I want Dirt Rally in VR.

If I knew for a fact that Dirt Rally 2 would also get VR support, I'd buy it on Playstation instead of Xbox. It's a totally different experience (that I'm far worse at, unfortunately). I'll bring my VR if we get another LAN together sometime. It's intense.

I'm glad to hear that you got so much out of it, despite being new to the series. That means there's more to it than just a nostalgia trip. I loved it, too, but I've played almost all of the God of War games, and the series has been with me for most of my adult life. Kratos is as familiar to me as any Disney character. So of course I was going to like it as long as they didn't totally screw it up (and they REALLY didn't). What's interesting to me is how the gameplay seems fundamentally different from its predecessors in several ways (like the over-the-shoulder camera, an axe as main weapon rather than swinging blades, etc.), and yet felt completely right to me, from the beginning. I guess it's because a lot of the way you go about things is still the same. Lots of button combo moves, based on the same light/heavy attack system as always, and grabbing/bashing/throwing enemies as a way of changing the battlefield dynamics. They done very good on this one.

I cannot overstate how much I love that game. The original trilogy collection was the PS+ free game a month or two ago. I have it downloaded, but haven't even fired it up, and I'm not really even sure I want to, but I might sometime.

No Man's Sky

I've seen you playing it a lot. I damn near bought it again on Xbox, because I've never really tried the co-op stuff, and I'd like to play with you. $50 ($40 on sale right now) is a steep ask to rebuy the game, though. If it ever drops below $30, I'll probably pick it up.

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The games of 2018.

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Wednesday, December 26, 2018, 23:38 (172 days ago) @ cheapLEY

We need to play that again soon. Korny is not in charge of the race settings this time. ;) I challenge anyone to come up with a 100PI car that can hang with my P50.


I am down any time. I haven't played in a while, but it's still installed. So is Mass Effect 3, by the way. I want to try and set up a night to play that for a few hours with everybody again in the next month or so.

Sign me up for ME3. I'll keep playing that one until the servers go offline.

XBox VR needs to come out ASAP. I want Dirt Rally in VR.


If I knew for a fact that Dirt Rally 2 would also get VR support, I'd buy it on Playstation instead of Xbox. It's a totally different experience (that I'm far worse at, unfortunately). I'll bring my VR if we get another LAN together sometime. It's intense.

Weird, I wouldn't think you would be better or worse at the VR version. I'm curious about why that is.

I'm glad to hear that you got so much out of it, despite being new to the series. That means there's more to it than just a nostalgia trip. I loved it, too, but I've played almost all of the God of War games, and the series has been with me for most of my adult life. Kratos is as familiar to me as any Disney character. So of course I was going to like it as long as they didn't totally screw it up (and they REALLY didn't). What's interesting to me is how the gameplay seems fundamentally different from its predecessors in several ways (like the over-the-shoulder camera, an axe as main weapon rather than swinging blades, etc.), and yet felt completely right to me, from the beginning. I guess it's because a lot of the way you go about things is still the same. Lots of button combo moves, based on the same light/heavy attack system as always, and grabbing/bashing/throwing enemies as a way of changing the battlefield dynamics. They done very good on this one.


I cannot overstate how much I love that game. The original trilogy collection was the PS+ free game a month or two ago. I have it downloaded, but haven't even fired it up, and I'm not really even sure I want to, but I might sometime.

Well I'd certainly recommend it, though I haven't actually played since those games were recent so I dunno how my memory lines up with reality. There's a few things I think I can safely state:

1. Forget everything Kratos said in the PS4 game about being a god, or half-god, etc. As far as I can remember, going in to GoW 1 we all thought that he was mortal, and I'm pretty sure he thought so too. I don't recall how many games in we were before finding out different, or how big of a reveal it was, but at least some of the story you'll be seeing assumes that you think he's just a dude. Keep that in mind.

2. Also keep in mind that although we think of QTEs as standard today, and some have even taken to thinking of them as lazy design, back when GoW 1 came out the idea of simulating physically grueling actions with button mashing was something I hadn't seen before. Spinning an analog stick to twist a Gorgon's head off, or mashing a button to lift an overhead door open was a new idea and seemed more immersive. I'm not saying it was actually the FIRST game to do those things, but at the very least, they hadn't become so common yet, and it's the first game that I can remember doing those kind of things as part of the combat flow, not just in a separate minigame or something.

3. Kratos will not be the wise grown-up you just met, who makes SOME effort to avoid fights. He's younger, he's brash and hot-headed, and as you'll learn in the first few cutscenes, he has absolutely nothing left to lose. He is rage incarnate and he doesn't give one flying fuck what the consequences are.

Also, if you do happen to enjoy the opening trilogy, see about finding a way to play Chains of Olympus, the first GoW game on PSP. It very faithfully translated the gameplay of the PS2 games to a platform that no one thought could handle it, and was considered a major technical achievement in its day. It's the highest-rated PSP game of all time on Metacritic. On top of that, it might have the best story of any of them prior to the PS4 game.

No Man's Sky


I've seen you playing it a lot. I damn near bought it again on Xbox, because I've never really tried the co-op stuff, and I'd like to play with you. $50 ($40 on sale right now) is a steep ask to rebuy the game, though. If it ever drops below $30, I'll probably pick it up.

Yeah I can understand that, and to be honest the co-op by itself probably isn't worth it. There's no content that really benefits from it, and some things are actually annoying, like how only one player can have their freighter spawned in any given system, and how the waypoints that are supposed to show the other player's position almost never work correctly. I had fun playing with Dame but honestly 90% of the time we were just each doing our own thing and talking about what we'd found.

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Space Sims

by Blackt1g3r @, Login is from an untrusted domain in MN, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 05:57 (172 days ago) @ stabbim

If you want more co-op play available there is also Elite Dangerous for Xbox One. Currently the "base" game is $9 and the Horizons season pass (which gives you all the latest content) is also $9. It's more of a simulation game than No Man's Sky and you can't get out of your ship, but there is the option of having two players operate the same ship (on player is the pilot while the other runs weapons) and "wing" missions where you tackle trading or fighting together and split the profit. I haven't played much lately but I picked up the Thrustmaster HOTAS for Xbox and have been meaning to get back into it. I keep hoping MS will add VR to the Xbox at some point because the game would be amazing in VR.

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I really, really like that one

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Thursday, December 27, 2018, 07:14 (172 days ago) @ Blackt1g3r

Didn't get Horizon on the Xbox, but did buy the complete package on Steam 3 weeks ago. There's something about it that inspires so much tranquility. "Friendship drive engaged"

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Space Sims

by stabbim @, Des Moines, IA, USA, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 07:43 (172 days ago) @ Blackt1g3r

I actually own it already but it turned out to really not be my thing. I just could never figure out how to approach the combat. The weird thing is, NMS more or less operates the same way, just with less to think about, and I'm fine there.

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Space Sims

by Blackt1g3r @, Login is from an untrusted domain in MN, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 08:08 (172 days ago) @ stabbim

The latest update (just a week or two ago now) adds a lot to the mining and explorations systems in the game. Mining now lets you explode the asteroids to get at resources inside. Exploration made it easier to scan a system, then go to a planet and scan it for points of interest that you can then go land at or scan or whatnot. Trading hasn't changed either if you want to play it like space-trucker. Some people even fly only with Flight Assist Off or go canyon racing on planets add challenge to the game. That said, the game is very simulation-heavy and not for everyone.

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Space Sims

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Thursday, December 27, 2018, 18:22 (171 days ago) @ Blackt1g3r

I may or may not be totally addicted to being an interstellar Uber driver, plotting routes and skimming stars for fuel. Completely different mindset than when I played on Xbox, so weird.

The money I make on the side by scanning systems every time I jump isn't half bad either.

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Re: Chains of Olympus

by Harmanimus, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 12:40 (172 days ago) @ stabbim

It is available in a collection for PS3 and that is probably esasier than finding an actual PSP with it.

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Re: Chains of Olympus

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Thursday, December 27, 2018, 13:45 (172 days ago) @ Harmanimus

It is available in a collection for PS3 and that is probably esasier than finding an actual PSP with it.

Totally worth playing, IMO. It's my favorite game in the series, aside from GoW PS4.

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Just some more random stuff.

by cheapLEY @, Friday, December 28, 2018, 19:05 (170 days ago) @ cheapLEY

So, I've decided I'm taking a week off from Destiny, I think. Not because I hate it, but because I love it. I had to fight the urge to fire it up tonight.

It seems like a good time to take a week off. I'm at 650 on my Hunter, so I'm no longer in danger of being "behind." Niobe Labs isn't until the 8th, so there's presumably nothing new next week.

Destiny is so good and fun right now that it's preventing me from playing other things I want to play, such as . . .

Divinity Original Sin II.

I bought this the other night. I loved the first game, despite never finishing it. This sequel seems like more of the same, but better (at least after the five or so hours I've put into it). Unlike the first game, which had a pair of customizable blank slate main characters, this one allows you to choose to play as one of the main party members right out of the gate. Each has a unique back story and questline to follow, which is a great addition. The combat is better than ever, with a strong mix of classic RPG stats and rules, and a very tactical feel (elemental and environmental awareness is critical).

I also desperately still need to finish Red Dead Redemption II, which is what I'm playing tonight.

Seriously, this game is good, if not for everybody. If you decide to check this out, I have some strong advice to help avoid burnout--follow the main story for a good while before you explore too much. I spent way too much time in the first few chapters just dicking around and getting lost in the massive, gorgeous open world. This game is great for that! The problem is, I spent so long doing that, and there's still a 40 hour game behind it, one that will still require tons of traversing that open world and more opportunities for getting lost in it. If you front load that exploration, the game can feel like a slog afterwards. So spread it out!

If you have the patience, this is truly one of the best experiences in gaming, ever. The story it tells is truly masterful, which is not something I say lightly, and not something I would ever expect out of Rockstar. But they have created a great cast of very real feeling characters, and Arthur's story is a truly affecting one. The game is slow and deliberate, and while I understand why that might not be appealing, it is absolutely paid off by the end, and I can't see the story of the game working without that pace.

And just an FYI Celeste one of the year's best platformers will be free for Xbox LIVE Gold members in January. I bought it on Switch, but that travesty of a thing they decided was good enough for a d-pad made it damn near unplayable. I always meant to give it another shot, maybe even buy it on another console, but next month I can finally get back to it.

Just some more random stuff.

by EffortlessFury @, Friday, December 28, 2018, 19:27 (170 days ago) @ cheapLEY

And just an FYI Celeste one of the year's best platformers will be free for Xbox LIVE Gold members in January. I bought it on Switch, but that travesty of a thing they decided was good enough for a d-pad made it damn near unplayable. I always meant to give it another shot, maybe even buy it on another console, but next month I can finally get back to it.

Yeah there's some added challenge there, for sure. You can always try the Pro controller or buy an adapter that lets you use an Xbox/PS4 controller? (If you wanna keep your progress on one platform :P)

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Just some more random stuff.

by cheapLEY @, Friday, December 28, 2018, 19:42 (170 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

Yeah there's some added challenge there, for sure. You can always try the Pro controller or buy an adapter that lets you use an Xbox/PS4 controller? (If you wanna keep your progress on one platform :P)

I have a Pro controller--the d-pad on that thing sucks, too. I didn't make it far enough to really worry about keeping progress. I've been told by a few people that they played the entire thing using the thumbstick instead of the d-pad, but it just doesn't feel right for me.

Just some more random stuff.

by EffortlessFury @, Friday, December 28, 2018, 20:51 (170 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Yeah there's some added challenge there, for sure. You can always try the Pro controller or buy an adapter that lets you use an Xbox/PS4 controller? (If you wanna keep your progress on one platform :P)


I have a Pro controller--the d-pad on that thing sucks, too. I didn't make it far enough to really worry about keeping progress. I've been told by a few people that they played the entire thing using the thumbstick instead of the d-pad, but it just doesn't feel right for me.

Yeah I played most of it with the thumbstick. I paid the price with some excess, unnecessary deaths.

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The games of 2018.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 07:17 (170 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Cuphead

Came out in 2018 for the Mac. Excellent game, although it suffers a bit from Super Meat Boy syndrome, in the sense that the challenges are bite sized so you are never forced to play well for more than 2 minutes at a time (the exception being a section of the last island, which is where it actually becomes great). Run and Guns like Metal Slug were about getting good and playing your best for 30+ minutes at a time. Jettisoning a Relic from a bygone era, or symptom of our cultural gaming ADD?

Leisure Suit Larry Wet Dreams Don't Dry

Stupid title aside, the game is actually pretty good and up there with Love for Sail. The jabs it takes at the modern digital world of sex and dating aren't really that original, but it's done with its own style that will definitely amuse you if you ever liked this series.

Unavowed

Wrote about it here.

GRIS:

Lol kj. It's pretentious garbage.

Red Strings Club

Aside from some bullshit mini games, it's a rad cyberpunk tale that deals with human sexuality in a surprisingly mature manner, both for a video game and for a piece of dystopia.

Life is Strange 2

It's hard to top Chloe and Max, but so far so good.

Megaman 11

Looks better in motion than the screenshots would suggest. The two 'gears' are essentially redundant, but the game provides a nice level of difficulty if you are a returning fan of the series. It's not easy. If you've never played a magaman game before, just go home and skip it - you have no chance.

Unforeseen Incidents

The art style is hit or miss, but it's a pretty good adventure game in terms of story and mechanics.

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The games of 2018.

by Harmanimus, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 13:58 (170 days ago) @ Cody Miller

GRIS:

Lol kj. It's pretentious garbage.

If that’s not a motivator to try a game out, I really don’t know what is.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 13:09 (170 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Just picked up ACO (on sale for $40 CAD on the Xbox store) and I’m absolutely loving it so far.

It’s a mechanical sequel to AC Origins, so if you played much of that game, you’ll have a basic idea of what to expect.

It starts off much better than Origins did (I thought Origins was downright BAD for the first ~6 hours, but then it begins to find its stride). So far, Odyssey has a better narrative thrust to kick things off, some interesting mechanical layers added on, and the world is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Oh, and ship combat is back in a big way, including the “board the enemy ship” stuff from AC Black Flag, and it’s just as addictive now as it was then.

Also like Origins, AC Odyssey has a quest-chaining system unlike anything I’ve seen in any other open-world game, and the loop it creates is super compelling. I find the quest systems in most games usually work like a menu at a restaurant. I’ll look at my quest log, pick an activity that I’m in the mood for, complete it, then go back to the log and pick another, and so on. But with these newest AC games, I’m constantly stumbling across new quest items mid-mission, and I often allow myself to be diverted by them (rather than stating focused on the objective I’d started with). So I’ll often pick a quest item to get going, and then 3 hours later I’ll end up completing that mission after encountering and completing a dozen other objectives, all without ever leaving or aborting the mission I first started with. It makes it a difficult game to put down, because there are so few clear-cut breaks in the action.

I’ve heard that the game suffers from a lot of bloat and redundancy in its middle hours, so I’ll see how it goes. But so far, I’m having a great time with it.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by cheapLEY @, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 14:11 (170 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I intend to pick that up eventually. I loved Origins. I really liked Bayak as a character, and neither of the new protagonists seem that intetresting, which is disappointing.

I just listened to all of Giant Bomb’s game of the year podcasts, and it sounds like the story gets really wild a really dumb, which I am totally here for.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Saturday, December 29, 2018, 15:01 (170 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

100% agreed on Origins' start-off. The hell were they thinking?

I wasn't planning on getting Odyssey, since I already beat Origins very recently, but your review makes me reconsider it.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Saturday, December 29, 2018, 15:39 (170 days ago) @ ZackDark

100% agreed on Origins' start-off. The hell were they thinking?

I wasn't planning on getting Odyssey, since I already beat Origins very recently, but your review makes me reconsider it.

Yeah I feel like they’ve been strangely bad at figuring out how AC games should start for quite a while. Odyssey is better in that regard than Origins, but it’s not on the same level as AC2 by any means. More than anything else, I feel like Odyssey manages to slip the player into a good gameplay loop quite quickly.

I’m still only 6-8 hours into Odyssey, but so far I’m glad I got it. Especially considering it’s on sale right now. If you ended up liking Origins, I think you’ll like this one, too.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, December 30, 2018, 18:32 (168 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

Maybe it's just the fact that I'm coming off of Red Dead, but, man, I cannot get into this game.

I'm only like two hours in, but I'm just not feeling it. I like Kassandra's attitude, but she is nowhere near as interesting as Bayek was.

It's a good thing the gameplay is still really fun, because the game isn't doing anything for me in any other way. Even the world feels less interesting than the one in Origins, but that may just be because I'm not that far in, yet.

At this point, I'm honestly half considering re-installing Origins instead. There's still a ton of stuff I never got around to in that game.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by cheapLEY @, Sunday, December 30, 2018, 20:58 (168 days ago) @ cheapLEY

So, I've played a little more, and it's growing on me.

I've done a few side missions on the first island that you start on, and I think about about to leave it. I'm on the mission to kill the Cyclops and presumably steal his ship.

Primarily, I think it was just a matter of adjusting from playing Red Dead Redemption II. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is like the complete opposite of how that game is designed. Down to simple things, like Arthur in RDR2 doesn't run unless you tap the sprint button--that game is slow! Kassandra goes from 0-60 immediately, and it felt all sorts of wrong for a while. Now that I've gotten in the groove of how Odyssey controls, it feels great, and it's nice to in a game that knows it's a video game again. I love RDR2 for it's deliberate pace and long animations and all that stuff, but it is also nice to be playing a game where you can basically loot shit as you run by it at full speed.

I do hope the character interactions get a bit better. Red Dead has set a new bar for that in video games, but I still think even Origins was better than Odyssey in that regard. But, again, I'm not very far yet, so there's still lots of potential there.

The gameplay is still fun, and the game is still gorgeous (although, again, I think Origins might have been better there--or maybe it's just because this style felt new the first time around? I think it seemed like it was bit more polished, somehow).

Thanks for making a post about it--I fully intended to just skip it, but now I'm glad I bought it. It's sort of exactly what I'm looking for right now.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Monday, December 31, 2018, 15:04 (168 days ago) @ cheapLEY

So, I've played a little more, and it's growing on me.

I've done a few side missions on the first island that you start on, and I think about about to leave it. I'm on the mission to kill the Cyclops and presumably steal his ship.

Primarily, I think it was just a matter of adjusting from playing Red Dead Redemption II. Assassin's Creed Odyssey is like the complete opposite of how that game is designed. Down to simple things, like Arthur in RDR2 doesn't run unless you tap the sprint button--that game is slow! Kassandra goes from 0-60 immediately, and it felt all sorts of wrong for a while. Now that I've gotten in the groove of how Odyssey controls, it feels great, and it's nice to in a game that knows it's a video game again. I love RDR2 for it's deliberate pace and long animations and all that stuff, but it is also nice to be playing a game where you can basically loot shit as you run by it at full speed.

I do hope the character interactions get a bit better. Red Dead has set a new bar for that in video games, but I still think even Origins was better than Odyssey in that regard. But, again, I'm not very far yet, so there's still lots of potential there.

The gameplay is still fun, and the game is still gorgeous (although, again, I think Origins might have been better there--or maybe it's just because this style felt new the first time around? I think it seemed like it was bit more polished, somehow).

Thanks for making a post about it--I fully intended to just skip it, but now I'm glad I bought it. It's sort of exactly what I'm looking for right now.

I’m about 17 hours in at this point, and I feel like the primary plot has just started to open up.

So far, I haven’t seen anything in terms of character interactions that match Bayak and his relationship with Aya (sweet Moses, did that relationship develop in a way that was far more sophisticated and mature than I expect from a typical video game!). Most of the dramatic performances in Odyssey are serviceable, but I’m sad to say that the actor who plays the main antagonist makes me roll my eyes with every line.

Then there’s the little side-mission NPC interactions. I’ve grown to love them, usually because they’re hilariously rediculous. It’s like a B movie. Kassandra’s dialogue options include ham-fisted attempts to seduce half the characters you meet, and it’s always so blatantly out of place that I refuse to believe anyone at Ubisoft was taking it seriously. It’s just like “let’s bang, ok? No? Lol, whatever, I’ll go kill that guy...”

While the writing is laughable, I am finding the overall plot compelling, and I’m absolutely obsessed with the world itself. I actually find this game far more beautiful than Origins. Not surprising, since my favorite parts of Origins were the areas populated by Greek settlers, and the architecture featured in those locations. Plus I’m more familiar with Greek mythology and history, so all the different locations have more iconic appeal for me. Sailing along the coast and seeing the beaches of Marathon before rounding the bend and entering the port of Athens... I got goosebumps. And Athens itself is jaw-dropping for me.

So yeah, I’m enjoying it in a different way than I enjoyed Origins, which is pretty cool :)

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by cheapLEY @, Monday, December 31, 2018, 15:54 (168 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

That’s all good to hear, and has me eager to dive in. Like I said, the Giant Bomb stuff last week said that plot really gets crazy and dumb (in a way that I think is great).

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, January 02, 2019, 19:29 (165 days ago) @ CruelLEGACEY

I'm around twelve hours in, now, and I'm really enjoying it. Unlocked the cultists stuff last night, which seems neat, if a little half-baked.

The story is silly and sort of mediocre in presentation, but it is also totally compelling in some odd way, and I've really grown to like Kassandra.

Wolves are fucking annoying. I swear I run into one every five feet, and they chase me forever.

The world has grown on me quite a bit, too. I think I still like Origins world better, but I suspect that's mostly just because it was first, and I have fond memories of it. I also do really like the Egyptian stuff. There's lots of awesome detail in Odyssey, though, which was the thing I initially felt was lacking.

I'm missing some of the little stuff from Origins. It seems like they've cut out the resource stuff, for the most part, which I kind of liked. I needed some wood for a ship upgrade, and it was the first time I noticed that using Ikaros doesn't show resource deposits or animals like Senu did.

The gameplay has remained incredibly fun, though. I've been having a blast with the Sparta/Athens war stuff. Weakening an area's power and killing the leader is a satisfying loop.

The ship stuff is cool, and a welcome return. I wish it was a bit deeper, still. I miss the really open water and huge storms of Black Flag. Maybe that stuff is in there and I just haven't seen it yet--I haven't sailed to the southeast yet, where it looks like there's more water.

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