Talk about anything and everything Squad-related here -- what you've been playing, what you're looking forward to, and how big your Pile of Shame has grown after that last Steam sale...
User avatar
User

Alex Connolly

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Location

Kagoshima, JPN

Favorite Genres

Early Access Curios

Now Playing

Helldivers perennially, knicknacks, paddywacks, dog bones.

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by Alex Connolly » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:39 am

Q1 2016, so pretty soon!
User avatar
User

Calin Kim

Posts

137

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Favorite Genres

RPG, Weird, Thinky

Now Playing

Dark Souls, Jagged Alliance 2, Uncharted 3

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by Calin Kim » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:08 am

I've been working 60-70 hour weeks at work, so I haven't had a chance to play much in the last month or so, but I do have a couple of things going on.

First of all: I finally acquired my very own copy of Jagged Alliance 2. I am fully expecting it to wreck me over and over again, but I read the book that Darius Kazemi wrote about it a year or two ago, and I wanted to give it a shot. I know it's one of the more highly venerated Tactics games out there, so I'm looking forward to giving it a go and having Alex shake his head in the background as I die over and over. I don't feel wholly unprepared for it as I've played a bunch of stuff like Fallout and the old Gold Box games that reward good tactics, but I know this is a whole other thing.

My wife and I are also nearing the end of our Uncharted replay via the PS4 titles. Originally we were aiming to end by April for the release date, but that got pushed back, so we're just finishing up Uncharted 3 now and we'll be good and ready for the new one when it comes out. I'm thinking Rise of the Tomb Raider will keep the lust for adventure in check until Uncharted.

I am also doing something real cool and fun with my PS2 that probably deserves its own thread...
Image
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by RedSwirl » Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:58 am

The Fallout 4 main quest is done, and just like in Skyrim, I feel kind of empty after doing it. All these content-stuffed open-world games have a common problem: the main quest or main campaign is usually the least interesting part of the game. Well, Bethesda has that problem, Ubisoft has that problem in my experience (linear main missions contrasted with open-ended side content), and even Witcher 3 suffers from this to an extent. Witcher 3's main quest is pretty good if you're invested in the characters, but I don't blame the people who were far more interested in the game's other, smaller stories. And that's it with the RPGs really -- the side quests are often more personal stories that don't have the burden of trying to be an epic main quest about Saving The World.

The Witcher 2 did a better job of it I guess: a guy is trying to get his memory back and get's caught up in a shitload of political intrigue. Fallout: New Vegas had a better main quest than Fallout 3 or 4 probably: it starts out with you trying to get revenge, you get caught up in the machinations of various factions vying for control over something easily understandable -- land. The commonality? Those stories are all about people. Not ancient evil threatening the world, just people getting caught up with other people. Well, Fallout 4 is technically the same thing. I get the feeling Bethesda intentionally wanted a New Vegas-type main quest for Fallout 4, but ultimately ended up sucking at it. I get the idea that all the factions involved are supposed to be flawed, but in the end their motivations and choices just sucked.
User avatar
User

Alex Connolly

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Location

Kagoshima, JPN

Favorite Genres

Early Access Curios

Now Playing

Helldivers perennially, knicknacks, paddywacks, dog bones.

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by Alex Connolly » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:32 pm

Calin Kim wrote:I finally acquired my very own copy of Jagged Alliance 2. I am fully expecting it to wreck me over and over again, but I read the book that Darius Kazemi wrote about it a year or two ago, and I wanted to give it a shot. I know it's one of the more highly venerated Tactics games out there, so I'm looking forward to giving it a go and having Alex shake his head in the background as I die over and over. I don't feel wholly unprepared for it as I've played a bunch of stuff like Fallout and the old Gold Box games that reward good tactics, but I know this is a whole other thing.


I look forward to the thread, sir. No shaking of the head, it's a beast of a game. Sadly, the reboots and rejigs and frankly facile use of the IP has done more damage than good. When people hear Jagged Alliance, it's either "I loved JA2!" or "Oh, you mean [insert disparaging remark about BiA or CF]?" or "Oh, you mean that Flashback reboot that was turned out onto the street with a sandwich board saying 'will turn tricks for an end-game.'."

All the love for XCOM is fine, because it has been treated so well all these years later. Jagged Alliance - for my money, the far more interesting and intricate tactical game - sadly, has not. This is where I put things:

Jagged Alliance - Dated, got a DS port of all things.
Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games - Really got into it, but like its predecessor, kinda tough to play.
Jagged Alliance 2 - Incredible. Finicky, grueling at times, but the perfect pastiche of 80s action fare. Terrific characters and inter-squad management.
Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business - A few combat overhauls, nice little contained story. Good place to let your imported JA2 squad loose.
Jagged Alliance 2: Wildfire - Not essential. If you're champing at the bit for more JA2, then this is your platter.
Jagged Alliance Online - No.
Jagged Alliance: Back in Action - Really enjoyable combat mechanics with the pause-and-plan system, odd camera controls, strips away pretty much all of the inter-squad character, leaving a tight tactical experience with zero of the personality. Odd duck.
Jagged Alliance: Crossfire - An expandalone to BiA, set in an alpine failed state. I haven't played too much of it, but like what I did. More of the BiA mechanics, but mirrors the complete lack of personality. Okay for some, unacceptable for others.
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - A sad mess. Meant to be the grand return of the franchise, but quickly shat out in an unfinished state by the devs - who subsequently have gone bankrupt. Mod tools sadly unsupported, so tinkerers are left to crack open the code and see what can be fiddled with. Feels like a nail in the coffin.
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by RedSwirl » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:12 pm

Somehow I got drawn back into Fallout 4.

I remember Beige saying that in Skyrim he just ended up wandering around to whatever new compass marker showed up... which is pretty much what I'm doing in Fallout 4. Part of it is how finishing the main quest freed me up, but another part of it is this new Steam Controller configuration I made for the game. Fallout 4 is a weird game to get working with the Steam Controller, but after rigging up a configuration from scratch it feels amazing. All of a sudden just wandering around and shooting things feels legitimately engrossing among other open-world action games. When it's all said and done this is indeed a really good action RPG. It's definitely better at that job than Skyrim.
User avatar
User

Beige

Rank

Site Admin

Posts

342

Joined

Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:54 am

Favorite Genres

Arthouse, conceptually audacious, thinky, polarizing, masocore

Now Playing

Witcher 3, Axiom Verge, Monster Hunter 4 (STILL), Invisible Inc.

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by Beige » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:56 pm

Image

Fell down a rabbit hole over the weekend and just ended up playing Tharsis for about 7 hours, the way you do.

For those of you not in the know, it's a... uh... well I guess you'd call it a Euro-style board game that you play on a PC. Sort of like Armello in that it sits halfway between board game and video game. You play it on a screen, naturally, but the gameplay involves throwing actual Unity-modeled 3D dice, which you then reserve or put into poker sets or what-have-you. Like a high stakes version of that tavern game that Geralt played in Witcher 1, only solitaire and with a space theme.

Honestly, what the experience reminds me the most of is playing that Chezh masterpiece Space Alert, only against yourself and with roguelike elements.

There's this spaceship, see... and you have crew. And Shit Goes Wrong In Space, naturally.... so you have to survive for 10 turns until the crew reaches Mars. The game board is divided up into modules - flight control, hydroponics, sick bay... and each round something(s) terrible happens in each of the modules requiring you to commit dudes to the business of repairing the problem. Each of your little Space Mans has some kind of special power --- so, for example, the doctor can heal characters on die throws of 5+, while the specialist gets extra rerolls -- making her the character to send into the burning fuselage when you absolutely, positively must roll a 6 on one die or everybody dies horribly.

I adore Tharsis, but then again I am exactly the kind of masochistic person for whom the experience of Groundhog-day exploding a spaceship over and over and over again somewhere between turns 5 and 8 on a journey towards Mars is a personal challenge to be overcome and not a sadistic torture mill to which I am subjected. If you (like me) appreciate the beauteous interplay of elegant and meticulously balanced and tweaked gameplay systems you will find a lot to like here. The resources of "assist" points, crew HP, crew dice pools and soforth contrast and compliment the delicious salad of hazardous status affects -- exploding rooms, "void" dice, stasis, etc. Everything is a trade-off, every choice matters tremendously... there is never enough resource to go around. It's like XCOM (the board game) in that as soon as the dice leave your hand, 50% of the time you howl with rage at not having the courage to say no to One More Throw, but at the same time there is always the possibility that THIS could be the roll that saves your life.

Highly recommended is what I'm saying.
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by RedSwirl » Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:20 pm

Euro-style game. What even is that anymore?

Have European games reached a point where they have a particular "style" like Japanese games do? Maybe Eastern European games. Games from Western and Northern Europe are pretty much just an extension of the North American complex at this point. "Euro-Jank" has been thrown around a little bit as a phrase to denote lower-budget Eastern European games.

A lot of people have come to agree it means games made by small European developers that tend to put technical ambition and substance over the polish and style larger-budget games are concerned with these days. But is that really a style? They could just be a logical evolution of what their western counterparts were doing 15 and 20 years ago.
User avatar
User

Alex Connolly

Posts

477

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:40 pm

Location

Kagoshima, JPN

Favorite Genres

Early Access Curios

Now Playing

Helldivers perennially, knicknacks, paddywacks, dog bones.

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by Alex Connolly » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:00 pm

Euro-style, as in the boardgame style.
User avatar
User

Calin Kim

Posts

137

Joined

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:44 pm

Favorite Genres

RPG, Weird, Thinky

Now Playing

Dark Souls, Jagged Alliance 2, Uncharted 3

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by Calin Kim » Wed Jan 20, 2016 9:03 pm

RedSwirl wrote:Euro-style game. What even is that anymore?

Have European games reached a point where they have a particular "style" like Japanese games do? Maybe Eastern European games. Games from Western and Northern Europe are pretty much just an extension of the North American complex at this point. "Euro-Jank" has been thrown around a little bit as a phrase to denote lower-budget Eastern European games.

A lot of people have come to agree it means games made by small European developers that tend to put technical ambition and substance over the polish and style larger-budget games are concerned with these days. But is that really a style? They could just be a logical evolution of what their western counterparts were doing 15 and 20 years ago.


While we're pondering things, would we classify Icepick Lodge games like Pathologic and The Void as "Euro-Jank?"

Weren't we talking about doing a podcast on The Void back in the day?
Image
User avatar
User

RedSwirl

Posts

325

Joined

Tue Jul 08, 2014 5:22 pm

Favorite Genres

Man I don't know.

Now Playing

Fallout 4

Re: Whatchya Playin' - Brand New Digs Edition

by RedSwirl » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:18 am

So... any blizzard gaming suggestions?

Over the next 36 hours we will be getting something like 2ft (like 60cm) of snow with 40mph (64kmh) winds. I am beginning to take precautions for the event I lose power. All my shit will be charged up. I will have games/anime loaded onto my devices. Podcasts ready for the hours I will inevitably spend unearthing my car, likely more than once.
PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 1 guest

Powered by happyfish | phpBB3 Style by Beige
cron