Discussion in 'Fan Town' started by ironicBonds, Nov 10, 2016.
Playing throught three houses again - Blue Lions this time
Outer Wilds! Fucking fantastic game. Just finished it. I’ve been posting about this on my blog thread, but why not mention it in the actual game thread? It’s a good player move, if possible, to bring some friends. But friends you won’t get tired of seeing for several full days of gaming. Like, full days. This game is much bigger on the inside than it appears on the outside.
I think it might be one of the best games I’ve ever played. Which, again, I would like to make a distinction between any remotely objective idea of best, and very subjective things like most fun and favorite. As objectively as I can get, this game is the best. It’s good like a world class ballet is good, as in you might need a game developer to appreciate just how fucking deft it is, because it looks effortless. I still feel stunned, like I didn’t believe in the existence of a game virtuoso until I smacked face first into an entire team at terminal velocity and we all died on impact. People in our little play group kept asking who the creative director was, and if this Andrew Beachum fellow really hadn’t worked on anything like this before. The game’s writer is his sister, and it looks like she has exactly one other project on her resume, as a contractor for Insomniac, which is also extremely shocking. This is a magnum opus of a game. A rustic magnum opus with campfires and a fucking banjo.
But it started out as a school project for a masters program. It won an award and caught the attention of actor Masi Oka, who was working on the TV show Heroes at the time. He was apparently using earnings from the show to fund the game’s continuing development. It later got crowd funding as well I think, then eventually got picked up by Annapurna, a production company, which is probably why it’s as polished as it is. This game has been through a whole process. It’s unfortunately locked in a distribution agreement with Epic Games of Fortnite infamy, but that’s a time limited deal. The fact that they have a Steam page completely ready to go except for the release date being listed as TBA seems like they are Prepared for that fucking contract to expire. Currently I think it’s available for some version of Xbox, as well as Windows PCs for about 25 bucks I believe, so it’s not like it’s priced unreasonably at all. Afaik there’s no DLC or add-ons, nor can I imagine it needs any because it’s a complete whole of a story. The sales page will spoil a very early game discovery, but the game doesn’t really treat it like much of a secret. It’s kinda the premise, so people usually wanna know a little bit about that before they invest in a story. Even if you don’t pick up on what’s happening as a player right away, the player character obviously has. I started playing with absolutely no information whatsoever and I found out from them.
So, the game. You are a blue four eyed alien from a wonderfully rustic planet, like I said. Banjos. Your species appears to have something resembling sexual dimorphism but all use “they” pronouns, which I appreciate. You’re an astronaut camping under the stars by your spaceship on the night before your first launch. You can roast a marshmallow before you go if you like. Your ship is made of scavenged and cleverly rejiggered technology and partially constructed of wood, which is a little unnerving, but no worries, these things don’t explode nearly as often as they used to. Safety first, right? Have a great trip!
The game has some rather difficult platforming as you navigate space as a fully 360 degree environment, but you’re not actually expected to be super good at the beginning. In fact, being kinda bad at it will aid you in your explorations more than you might think. There’s so much to see, and sometimes the coolest or most useful things aren’t exactly where you thought you wanted to go. Which is good because otherwise this would be beyond frustrating. But fear not, you’ll have plenty of time to get the hang of it. This game is expansive. You can get days into it and realize with consternation that you’re somehow still adding more questions than you’re answering.
You seem to be a linguist, or a technolinguist, as well as an astronaut. You and a friend have developed a handheld device that can automatically translate this cool alien writing from an ancient civilization. You’re about to be the first member of your species to be able to read while you explore.
So you can get the hell into your ship and you can just go fly to all the planets in your solar system. (Watch out for the sun, it’s very hot and has a lot a gravity, the fucker. This game was made in Unity, and if you’re familiar with Unity, please take a moment to chew on that. If you’re not familiar, someone probably had to program the equations of an entire solar system and an unpredictable moving spaceship and figure out how to math between that. You can’t necessarily just take the equations straight out of a physics book either, because overly realistic physics may not be a very fun game. No one wants to spend eight years in a game traveling to a gas giant or lose control of their character’s jump trajectory the second they leave the ground. So someone probably spent a lot of time fine tuning everything about this so it would feel realistic but not too realistic. With math.) Every single planet is fucking weird and super interesting in a completely unique way. And there’s ruins of this civilization to explore. They’re all over the place. What were they up to? What happened to them?
And then things get really weird. You’re now somehow tangled in this mystery. If you loved Myst and Riven but wanted more from the alien culture and technology, here’s your more. If you love exploration mystery games where something bad seems to have happened and you need to find and examine all the evidence to figure out what and why, this game has got something to show you and it’s a doozy. If you like games where you can have or research outside knowledge from disparate fields to enhance your understanding, oh boy are you in for a treat, though if you’d rather not you’ll be perfectly fine because the internal logic is solid and careful enough that you don’t actually need to correlate it to any outer structure. If you love environmental storytelling, please please please consider Outer Wilds, because I’ve never seen any game so thoroughly deliberate. Everything is there for a reason. It all has something to tell you or show you or teach you. There is only one thing I can think of in the entire game where a notable object may not have served any real function or had anything to offer you as a player besides just looking beautiful, and that’s still arguable.
And the story. I don’t wanna say too much, but getting players to want to read things in games is a known issue. It’s challenging. Look, so I’m the type of player who collects books in Elder Scrolls games because I genuinely enjoy reading them, but I’m also the player who can’t ask more than one question of an NPC at a time if the game isn’t recording the information because I will immediately forget all the details of everything the instant I exit the dialogue menu. I don’t think I’ve ever, ever wanted to read anything in a video game as desperately as I wanted to read literally everything in Outer Wilds, and the extremely high level of recall I have speaks to how well the information was presented. When I found new information I could recontextualize what I already knew, so I was definitely retaining it. The writing didn’t ever waste your time. Much like the rest of the game design, everything served a story purpose. I can’t imagine it’s easy to craft the written elements of a story that must be highly resilient to nonlinear presentation because it’s an open world game, and have it mesh seamlessly with the environmental storytelling, and make it compelling enough that players will not only want to read it but will actually remember the most important information. It was done exceedingly well. The game never tells you how you ought to feel about anything. It shows you stuff but then backs off enough to let you work that out on your own, while still managing to create drive and intensity in the narrative arc. If you could write an entire game in the spirit of I-statements and somehow make it really good, maybe it would look something like this. Hats off to Kelsey Beachum, writer and narrative designer. Fucking hell. I need more hats.
So if you’re looking for a rustic open world space adventure platformer exploration mystery game with understated yet emotionally devastating story beats, I’d highly recommend Outer Wilds.
a friend gifted me pathologic 2 and i am OBSESSED
it's very good
infodumping to arrive at a later date
graveyard keeper! I’m not very good at it so far (been trying not to look things up too much) but it’s a lot of fun!!
Edelgard killed a fearsome were...something. That turned out to just be a grizzly bear. Not even a magical one.
her days in daggerfall begin
Was bouncing between Three Houses, Yakuza 0, and Octopath Traveller... but now Hades has risen up and claimed me.
question - does anyone have tips on how not to lose track of tasks and info in Stardew-like games? I forget literally half the things NPCs say immediately after I get out of the dialogue, and GK’s days of the week thing causes me much pain. I wish you could set yourself in-game reminders and take notes.
I have sections in just about every notebook I have actually used in recent times dedicated to various games.
Graveyard keeper ended up needing a bunch of pages. No way I could have remembered all the things I needed to mix up and do without.
Also like notebooks because then I don't have to go digging through in game menus or tab out to check my info.
I imagine a phone note app or Google docs or suchlike would be similarly useful and possibly easier to organise
I've mostly been having my life eaten by work, but I've been playing Secret World: Legends on weekends and I really like it! With the whole cinematic feel and the fact that the investigation quests are even a thing (an MMO with actual puzzles and riddles and shit hell yes) and the character and monster designs are really cool, it's apparently just hitting the sweet spot of "I like this! ANOTHER!"
...Sooo I accidentally all the way to level 19 and don't know how any of the in game social stuff works OTL
If anybody here plays & wants a buddy I'm Anomaleee there too :)
I've been on the fence about graveyard keeper for ages, but I finally watched a let's play for it (mostly listened to one while playing gleaner heights) and I had no idea i'd like it this much. I have most of the map opened up except for the town (digging up random rockslides, yus) and I like the characters a lot. tho since I've been playing gleaner heights lately...any amount of character is nice XD (I feel like gleaner heights is trying real hard, and I appreciate a lot of the game mechanics, but I cannot give a single shit about these folks. im not far in the storyline yet tho, putting that on hold while I grind, so maybe that's part of it)
but my brain is just really jiving with this weird medieval world where I casually slipped into cannibalism. look it's fine. I cooked it all the way through, and im definitely not lighting my little church up with corpse wax candles. that would be silly. not looking forward to the dungeon grindy stuff later, but as long as I can take breaks and go back to my little blasphemous homestead to take care of my business I think i'll manage. Im getting the dlc after I finish most of the main game though, I don't want to put too much on my plate.
Octopath is fucking rad. Just grinding up all my people to at least level 20. Then I'm gonna go and get to doing Prim's chapter 2. Real fun combat.
Spyro Reignited trilogy! It's wild playing it as a competent adult now.
i play too much dead cells BUT I finally beat the game on very hard difficulty a few weeks ago and now am bashing my head against Expert to get that sweet 4th boss stem cell
I'm enjoying the addition of volcanoes to Civ IV, and the overall addition of environmental effects and diplomacy stuff, though the clear and predictable limit of flooding is silly
In the last ten minutes I have been playing a video game adaptation of HP Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls" in which you play as the rats, and it was several minutes well-spent.
Samurai Shodown 2 and Skullgirls recently. Got me a fightstick too to see how I like that over controller. The answer appears to be 'very' so we're gonna be replacing the Mayflash unbranded hell buttons with some Sanwa buttons. I'll probably dump the stick and gate for Sanwa stuff too at some point but right now the priority is get rid of the clicky gummy fuck buttons.
here is the promised infodump, arriving at a WAY later date
Pathologic 2 is a Russian game. It's sort of a revamp of the first Pathologic, but you don't need to have played that or know anything about it to play Pathologic 2 because it's not a sequel but a remix and also, the original Pathologic was kinda... bad. game-wise. Hbomberguy made a 2 hour long video about it that basically boils down to "this is the best game I played in years. It's also terrible. I loved it. Don't play it." and then in the last 3 minutes he drops in a "and hey, there's a Pathologic 2, and that does everything the first game did right even better, and has fixed basically all of the problems! play that instead"
In Pathologic 2 you play as Artemiy Burakh, surgeon, recently summoned to your hometown by your father, Isidor Burakh. You've been away for years. Your hometown is very very special, has a culture & certain beliefs that are unique to it, and you... have grown horrendously out of touch. Some things you've forgotten. Others you've written off as superstition. You're a stranger in your own home. You arrive at your father's house to find that he's been murdered - and you have been declared the prime suspect. He's left you a legacy and a list of names. You don't know what they mean, but believe he wanted you to protect them. You think your goal is to find your father's killer and avenge him.
In actuality, you have 12 days before the entire town is dead from the plague. You need to find a way to stop it - and to do that, you must first understand it - before it's too late.
i love this game so fucking much I hardly have words for it. It mixes dreamlike atmosphere and gritty realism and hopelessness so easily. I felt off balance so frequently. At times I didn't know what was real and what was meant literally vs what was just intended as metaphor. The visuals are stunning. The writing is incredible. The plague talks to you. And the fucking pressure this game puts on you? jesus christ.
You have several survival meters to keep track of - hunger, thirst, exhaustion, health, immunity so that you yourself don't catch the plague, and in addition to trying to keep all those under control (dear god did I spend a lot of time starving), time does not stop just because you do. Some quests are time sensitive and the will disappear if you miss their window of opportunity. Others can keep for days without you paying attention to them. It's never explicitly stated which is which. Time marches on, unbearably steady. It pays you no mind. You can't do everything. You can't save everyone. Who do you prioritise? What matters to you most?
also it KEEPS CHANGING. THE RULES. AUGH. So you feel you're getting the hang of things? Know where to go for food, have some money stocked up, remember where the places to get water are - oh. Water, you say? You thought that was an infinite resource? Well you see someone has been spreading rumours that the plague is spread by way of water, so some forward-thinking townspeople have taken it upon themselves to sabotage the water pipes. Now all the water that's left is that in the wooden barrels, and those deplete! If you have the resources you could fix one back up - but I wouldn't count on it staying fixed for more than a day or two. Oh, and also, food's running kind of scarce, what with how no supply trains have arrived for weeks and all that, so prices are rising.... significantly. I'm sure you'll be fine though, good luck! :)
Each day new districts of the town will be threatened by the plague, and the named NPCs in it be in danger of contracting it. You can protect them by giving them tinctures - but how many do you have? How many can you spare? You also need those to keep your own immunity up. Not to mention, protecting an NPC does not guarantee their survival... sometimes you just have bad luck. Every goddamn day is a desperate struggle for survival as you run through the town (you're always running. Who the fuck has time to walk? The clock is ticking!!!) trying to make time for all the things you can't bear to skip out on. You're constantly making choices - explicit ones, such as which dialogue option to choose in a conversation, and the 'hidden' ones, such as how badly do I need food and money right now? Badly enough to sell my medical supplies? Badly enough to mug someone? Badly enough to break into a house...?
the difficulty settings for Pathologic 2 says it's designed to be "almost unbearable" and they were right. i spent the whole last day of the game starving because i couldn't stop to get food. all i had left was nuts and raisins.
I get that all of this probably sounds incredibly unappealing to a lot of people but... 1. if the survival mechanisms are what's making you cautious, there are difficulty sliders for them! you're supposed to struggle, but what's one person's "struggling" might be another's "literally impossible". never ever feel ashamed for adapting something to your needs. 2. the story... the characters... the immersion.... 3. the steppe people and their culture and their language is real cool. also aesthetic. 4. there's only one thing you the player can do to ruin your chances of getting to the end! there's nothing like "oh fuck this NPC died, I didn't save them, and they were important so now the game is ruined" - an npc dying means you can't see them anymore. Means quests tied to them won't happen, and you'll miss out on content and conversations and possible supplies or benefits they might've been able to help you with. It doesn't mean you can't reach the end of the game. You very much can. You are expected to fail. You can't save everyone - so it's okay that you don't. 5. THE WRITING IN THIS GAME like just the fact alone that artemiy keeps phrasing things so physically... your "people" screen of the menu is sorted into "nerves / bones / blood" like hello??? the map of the town looks like a brain. he describes the train station & the traintracks as the umbilical cord of the town. artemiy you creepy bastard i love you so much
pathologic 2 is about culture and legacy and responsibility and impossible goddamn choices and it's an incredible experience and i'm gonna play it again, and again, and again. the end
Rebought Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri + expansion pack on GOG for about five bucks and have been addictively playing it again. 20 years later and it's still my favorite Civ-style game.
more skullgirls. i am in love with this horrible gremlin child whose goal in life is to kill the entire mafia and then god:
Hello please be aware Ori and the Will of the Wisps is officially out and it is Heavily Hollow Knight inspired
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