Author Topic: Finished playing...  (Read 118038 times)

Gwyddyon

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #255 on: September 04, 2012, 07:06:36 AM »
Crusader Kings II

You can't really be 'done' with this game because it's a sandbox strategy game but I haven't played it in a bit for lack of wanting.

It attempts to model medieval Europe, 1066 (Hastings) -1453 (Fall of Constantinople). You can play a Count (typically runs one province), a Duke (runs several provinces in a country), a King (one Country) or an Emperor (a super-country like the Holy Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire). There are thousands, probably tens of thousands of unique characters and they all have stats and procedurally-generated opinions of one another. Basically, you try to run and expand your holdings and generate 'prestige' (points). There is no winning condition, only an ending condition (1453).

Everything you do is constrained by your position (either duty to a liege or the whims of your vassals), your stats (which limit how many provinces you can hold yourself) and the ruleset (most egregious of which is the inability hold more than two dukedoms or to declare war without a surprisingly difficult and/or expensive to obtain cassus belli) so you end up feeling strangled half the time. In fact, it's often much more difficult to play a king than it is a count. Until you get very good at the game, you spend more time fighting your own vassals than you do other kingdoms, with the possible exception of infidels.

Crusades or Jihads may be called, and if you are the target, you are pretty much fucked, because all of a sudden several armies of tens of thousands of Muslims each all march onto your territory and destroy it. Likewise, if someone dislikes you enough to bribe the pope to excommunicate you, you are similarly fucked. So you find yourself skating a thin line, spending most of your time keeping everyone you know happy just to stay in power. Add to this a backdrop of arranged marriages, bloodlines, alliances, claims on territories, spycraft, assassination, a nearly hands-off tech interface, building construction, succession laws, taxes, religion and heresy, sieges, random events and abstract warfare that relies almost entirely on who has the largest number of soldiers to determine the winner. Also, you spend most of your time waiting, waiting, waiting for stuff to happen. Then it all happens at once and you frantically try to organize it to keep yourself from being overwhelmed.

The result is a learning curve that is less like a curve and more like a brick wall. There is a good game here, but it requires discipline and dedication. They nailed the tone though; spending 250 years taking over Ireland, Scotland, and Wales has made me feel both powerful and vulnerable at the same time, plotting acquisitions carefully and planning my successions and the suppression of the inevitable rebellions they trigger. I'm stuck now, though, facing down England, which has itself almost as many provinces as I do, and the prospect of trying to take it all over is both daunting and depressing, particularly because the spoils of a war are only every one county at a time, and a 10-year truce ensures that it takes a long time to take over a country.

To those who can master this game, I salute you; but remember to go outside and get fresh air once in a while.

Footnote:

This game is easily and popularly modded; one of the mods is a Game of Throne mod for Martin fans. I intend to try this but have not gotten around to it.
Gwyddyon | Gwyllow | Gwyah | Gwystal | Eckhardt | Gwymbulvetr | Tethys | Gwynyang | Gwyabolic | Gwynchester

Edalia

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #256 on: September 04, 2012, 07:29:59 AM »
I bought this game and tried one of the suggested starting points, as well as the War of Five Kings GoT scenario. I found reading and watching Let's Plays about it more rewarding, as I don't have the sheer mastery of the ruleset necessary to enjoy myself.
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Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #257 on: September 05, 2012, 06:23:55 PM »
Uncharted 1: Drake's Fortune (for real this time)

I finally made the impossible jump. The key move is described on this Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SdnQ17MzWE

Look for the comment by Trusteft (the one that isn't a response to my thanks).

I agree with Gellin: U1 is not as strong as U2. The outdoor locations tended to be very similar; either you're in a jungle in South America, or a jungle in Borneo... but it's still a jungle. You often find yourself going to the same locations, sometimes with a different view... but that's not enough to make it feel different. The story was not as epic, nor the conclusion quite as satisfying, as in U2. I also found some of the tasks needlessly irritated, like going upriver.

With that said, I could see the seeds of what would make U2 (and, I hope, U3) a success: the high quality of the voice acting and motion capture, the lushness of the graphics (it's not the fault of the graphic team that the story kept the locations similar), and (as has been noted elsewhere on these forums) the relationships between the characters.

Uncharted 3 is scheduled to arrive in the mail tomorrow. I look forward to it.
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Vylin

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #258 on: September 10, 2012, 11:55:08 AM »
Dead Space 2

I put off playing this one for a long time. I loved the first one, but was not sure how I would like the direction the series was going in. So its been on the backburner for a long while. The Dead Space 3 trailer rekindled my interest in finally getting back into the series.

Overall, the best and most apt review I have read is that Dead Space 2 is to Dead Space what Aliens is to Alien. Its still a horror game, but there is plenty of sci-fi action injected into the story and game. Some times this works, and other times it feels forced. Regardless, the action sequences are well done and the only reason I say they don't always fit is because they are so epic that you lose the sense of being a tiny person wrapped up in this huge horrific mess.

An improvement over the first game is definitely in the visuals and audio. Graphiclly the game is beautifully disturbing, and although some scenary appears to be reused, it makes sense given the nature of the setting. That being said, there is a lot of little details that are amazing and terrifying. The sounds are also great, the music never drowning out the quiet whispers or scratching in the walls. The music does a great job of helping set the mood. Overall the ambience is perfect and builds high tension by itself.

The ending sequence is also really well done, and although lacking traditional "boss fights", it does have extremely powerful REVIVAL!morphs appear at certain times to close out a chapter. The finale was much different than the first game, so it was nice to seem the series do something different. But it was also difficult enough that I had to be concerned about dieing and play differently than I've played earlier in the game. The final cutscene also has a tongue-in-cheek homage to the first game's ending that I found cute.

The negative aspects of this game involve the changes to the action. The first Dead Space freaked me out more than any other game. Its sequel was creepy, but not even close to the same extent. I think that is largely due to the backtracking within the Ishimura vs. constant new scenary in the Sprawl. For me, the REVIVAL!morphs were no longer the horrific monsters they should be (and were in DS1). Instead, the creepiest moments involved Isaac battling his own fractured psyche. More of that would have made for a better horror game.

Dead Space 2 is still a good buy, and now you can get it brand new for $10 (probably cheaper via Steam). Its a little on the short side, I only clocked about 12 hours and did as much exploring and lore hunting as I could. I expect a speed run could be done in an afternoon. The game offers new difficulty settings after completing it, including a Hardcore mode with limited health/ammo and 3 saves for the entire game (deaths push you back to your last save as well). But I wasn't interested in exploring that. There's also some multi-player modes.

One last interesting note I liked: The game had a synopsis of Dead Space 1. It broke down the events and happenings in a mini-movie. I'm not sure I've ever seen this in a video game sequel, but would love to see more of this.
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Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #259 on: September 10, 2012, 02:41:04 PM »
One last interesting note I liked: The game had a synopsis of Dead Space 1. It broke down the events and happenings in a mini-movie. I'm not sure I've ever seen this in a video game sequel, but would love to see more of this.

FYI: Mass Effect 2 does this if you haven't played ME1. You go through the ME1 plot in the form of a motion comic (or was it just still images; I forget) and get to make quick versions of the important choices in that game. Then ME2 picks up where ME1 left off.
Bill Seligman
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Vylin

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #260 on: September 11, 2012, 04:18:25 AM »
FYI: Mass Effect 2 does this if you haven't played ME1. You go through the ME1 plot in the form of a motion comic (or was it just still images; I forget) and get to make quick versions of the important choices in that game. Then ME2 picks up where ME1 left off.

I didn't even realize that. But come to think of it every time I fired up ME2 it was to import a ME1 file or continue from a previous save. Still though, a really cool feature.
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Gellin

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #261 on: September 11, 2012, 11:54:23 AM »
Red Dead Redemption

Finished this finally. I think a lot of this is due to the show Hell on Wheels which inspired me to continue through this game, even during the difficult times. This is a sandbox game. It was compared to GTA's sandbox style and you can see the connections, which is not surprising considering it is the same company. However, it felt more like Skyrim's sandbox to me. I feel this way because you are on your way to missions and you keep getting sidetracked by a million little side quests.

The story is fun but doesn't really reel you in till the last 1/3 of the game. However for the genre, it was a blast. The villains were mediocre until the final 1/3 of the game. At this point the game changes from just fun to engrossing. You interact a lot more with your adversaries and really see where the story is heading. I stopped playing this game multiple time in the first chapter and a couple times in the second chapter. I completed the third in 2 days. They are all about the same length so that should tell you my feelings on the differences in quality.

The combat was decent, though at times a little easy. You auto-aim a lot so combat at times can be very easy. Just hit aim and scroll up an inch and you have head shots. However a lot of the riding sequences would be nearly impossible without this. Guns are cool but I found myself using some of the starting guns just because they felt cooler and I knew them from westerns (guns like the winchester repeater).

Finally the side missions can be fun. I enjoyed some of the "stranger" missions. Poker was a blast. Hunting bandits can be fun at times. The biggest problem is there is so many of them they can distract so much you tend to forget about the main missions. Also any mission that deals with wrangling cows made me want to shoot cows and eat lots of steak just to rub it in their face. :)

Fun game overall. If you enjoy sandbox this is great. If you enjoy westerns, this is the best in the genre. If you like structure, you are warned. And if you reallllly hate wrangling cows, I would stay away.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 11:56:59 AM by Gellin »
Current addictions ... Bioshock Infinite, Starcraft 2 and Mass Effect 3 (Single and Multiplayer).

Winston

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #262 on: September 11, 2012, 05:42:32 PM »
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

I have mixed feelings about this one. I'd like to say it was better than Uncharted 2, but I find I can't.

What's better: The graphics, the environments, the storyline, the voice-acting. Everyone put their all into making this the most cinematic of all the adventures. (If I were George Lucas and/or Steven Spielberg, I might considering suing; some of the action comes directly from the Indiana Jones films. On the other hand, if I were they, I'd stop messing with my old films...)

What's not-so-good: In U2, there was only one instance of the kind of platformer challenge that I think of as "memorize this trajectory." I don't like these. Unless you're incredibly lucky or a highly-skilled platformer, you're going to die a lot until you've learned the moves to get you through the challenge. I accepted it in U2, since it occurs nears the end, as one last little extra task before ending the game.

In U3, there were at least three "memorize this trajectory" challenges, maybe more. For me, this brings the game to a screeching halt (even on "Very Easy" difficulty) as I try to figure out what moves the game designer expects of me.

Then there's the Very Annoying Jump (TM). In U1, there was one, already described in this forum. In U2, there were none I can recall. In U3, there were at least two. Neither was as bad as the "Jump Of the Damned" in U1, but since one was along the side of a fortress while swinging, it reminded me of the worst moment in the series.

Short version: I'm a platforming wimp. Little Big Planet was too hard for me. So I have to downrate U3 a couple of notches for its extra platforming challenges. Despite the fact that every other aspect of U3 is better than U2, the gameplay tarnished U3 a bit.
Bill Seligman
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Gellin

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #263 on: September 14, 2012, 11:04:26 AM »
Killzone 3

Disclaimer: I did not finish but do not plan to at this point.

I had an itching for a good FPS when I started playing this. I was fairly disappointed. I miss the days where you started with only a fist, or knife, or wrench, or pistol. And you slowly got weapons and fought enemies on your way to the more difficult levels and bosses. I am still trying to find a modern FPS that captures the feel of the Doom games or the Half-life games. I feel like all the modern FPS are basically the same formula where you have a cover mechanic and an assault rifle and you can pick up other weapons while running around but most are just some form of shotgun, sniper rifle, etc. Not really upgrades, just different playstyles. This game was very much that.

From a combat standpoint the game was fine. Aiming seemed to be fairly responsive and the cover mechanic worked most of the time. Sometimes cover would do weird things which would end up with you dead. Some missions head shots really seemed to matter (instant death to the enemy), others it didnt seem to matter where you hit them. The silent kills were nice but as with most FPS they didn't come into play except in certain missions. The vehicle missions were a nice change of pace but nothing awe inspiring.

Story was average, if not cliche at this point. Overall I would say this is an average game that continues to beat a dead horse. However,it is super cheap now. Honestly at this point I would either play the Gears of Wars games (which do a much better job of pacing, storytelling and epic setpieces) or just wait for Doom3D OR just wait like a week for Borderlands 2 (though I say this right before I start a gauntlet of FPS in hopes of finding a good one, which will include Resistance 3, Rage, and Modern Warfare 3).
Current addictions ... Bioshock Infinite, Starcraft 2 and Mass Effect 3 (Single and Multiplayer).

Chibe

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #264 on: September 14, 2012, 11:25:35 AM »
If you are looking for a FPS that's like serious sam or the old doom games, I would say get hard reset.

Marco

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #265 on: October 03, 2012, 08:01:59 AM »
Fallout: New Vegas, in that I was partway through my second DLC when Mists launched, and I won't be getting back to it for a while.

From an engine and gameplay perspective, this game is similar to Fallout 3, which hasn't aged well.  The PC engine is buggy and  feels like a console port.  The bugs range from random crashes to lost items to irretrievably messing up the main plot (I didn't run into the last category, but I know people who have).  Core gameplay is the same combination of FPS-type shooting, turn-based targeting when you have the action points for it, and lots and lots of inventory management.  As with Fallout 3, there are two basic phases of gameplay--the first phase where you're scrounging for the materials you need and have limited freedom of movement because a deathclaw or something is going to kill you if you go the wrong way, and the second phase where you are the richest person in the world and can go pretty much everywhere because nothing really threatens you.

Balancing this is a greater focus on intricate plotlines, as you'd expect from Obsidian/Black Isle.  I wouldn't call the main game a huge triumph of storytelling, but it was definitely interesting at times, and I liked the number of different options you have for determining the fate of the Mojave.  The Dead Money DLC was a bit more artsy with its companion characters, feeling a bit like a Neil Gaiman story at times.  I haven't gotten far enough into Honest Hearts to really get a feel for it.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 08:23:53 AM by Marco »

Seniummortus

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #266 on: October 03, 2012, 08:21:31 AM »
To be completely honest, the DLC's other than Dead Money and Old World Blues were terrible IMO so you're not missing much (although I would recommend Old World Blues, I quite enjoyed that one.) YRMV but I found them short and mostly empty as far as story goes. This may have been clouded by the fact that by this time I was the right hand of god smiting everyone and everything that looked at me funny and as a result was able to blow through most of it.

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #267 on: October 03, 2012, 09:26:54 AM »
Resident Evil 6.

I am a major Resident Evil fan and my anticipation for this game was high, especially after the bitter taste that Operation: Raccoon City left my in my mouth. So after several hours of dedicated play, I've finished the three main campaigns plus the bonus (won't spoil) and I'm extremely pleased with how this one turned out. I can see how some long time fans will be dissapointed in some of the changes but I think overall it's a great direction to take the series.

If you've not played a RE title since before RE4, then you're in for a major surprise at all the ways the game has changed. RE4 started the new direction, RE5 expanded, and now this one has finished the revolution, making it basically a completely new series. Instead of survival horror, I think RE would now best be classified as a third person shooter where the bad guys just happen to be monsters.

The feeling of clausterphobia and lonliness from the original series is gone, replaced by a constant AI/Co-Op companion to watch your back. There always seemed to be a secondary character to help you along the way before but they were simple side characters that were used to move the plot along at times, whereas now they're a constant presence and every bit as important to the story as the "main" characters (Chris, Leon, etc). What this does is make the game much much action-oriented, as before the developers had to be careful not to throw too much at you at one time, lest you get overwhelmed. With full-blown co-op existing at all times, the action gets more hectic and outrageous than ever before.

I believe it's that change that will cause the most uproar to veteran RE fans. What used to be an intense, oh-my-god-what's-behind-that-door kind of game, it's now basically a Michael Bay movie. The horrible voice acting is gone and replaced with movie-quality characters and interaction and while I personally think it's great, I can understand the feeling of something being last, as campiness in RE games was one of the guilty pleasures, not unlike an Evil Dead movie.

The controls are very tight, in my opinion, except for a few shooting sequences that require the most precise of timing and the game picks those times to seemingly lag behind. Everything else was very responsive and even playing over XBL with a friend, I didn't really feel any slow down. The graphics are great and I really like the use of cutscenes in this one, especially in comparison to what I felt were poor quality ones in the RE5. The sound is strong as always, though again I sometimes found myself missing the old-style music that could send a chill up your spine and make you as tense as all get out.

Definitely recommend this one, especially with a friend. I did not due the campaigns with the AI at any point so I can't really comment on how good it is or isn't, but with a friend it's just a complete blast to play this game. Even during some of the lamer Chris/Piers sequences, we enjoyed blowing stuff up and competing for kills. During the more intense moments, it's great to have someone to watch your back and play off of; Capcom really opened the sandbox up in this one.

So yeah, if you like the RE series, definitely play it; if you weren't a fan before or haven't played since the original series, still give it a try to see if you like the new direction.

Edalia

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #268 on: October 03, 2012, 10:34:52 AM »
That's all good to hear. I loved RE4, and wasn't really into the earlier incarnations. The negative press RE6 seems to be getting has a lot to do with it "not having the feel of the originals"... and maybe I'm okay with that.
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Vylin

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Re: Finished playing...
« Reply #269 on: October 03, 2012, 11:28:00 AM »
Sounds like the same path that Dead Space is taking. In the grand scheme of things, its no big deal, but there are dangerously few legitimate Survival Horror series out there than are actually scary and well done. Now I'm not sure if any of the franchises are still left. What's Silent Hill up to these days?
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