What Are You Currently Playing?
  • POSTED BY elheber on May 24, 2016

    I just finished Uncharted 4. Tomorrow I’ll get my hands on the multiplayer and afterwards I’ll write a review. I won’t say it’s my favorite of the series, but it certainly is the best. And then I’m doing a deep dive into Overwatch.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on May 27, 2016

    Yeah, I’ve been playing more Uncharted as well. So far, I absolutely love all the subtle changes they’ve made to the formula, as well as the much better pacing of the narrative overall.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on May 29, 2016

    Aaaaaand I just finished Uncharted 4. I didn’t think Among Thieves could be topped, but…A Thief’s End is just better in every way. Better gameplay, better set pieces, better story, better character interaction, and it actually feels like you’re on a treasure hunt this time. I rarely do this, but if I did rating scales anymore, Uncharted 4 has earned a 10/10 based on the campaign alone. It’s not perfect (no such game exists), but it’s as close to being that as a game can be. Naughty Dog has done twice in a row now for me.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on May 29, 2016

    Pretty much how I felt, if it wasn’t for the chase scene in the last chapter I probably would have given it a 99. I just really hate those scenes after Uncharted 3. I agree this game gets about as close to a perfect score as you can get, which is why we only allow up to 99, no such thing as perfect.

    If I rated all 4 of them… Uncharted would have been a 90, Uncharted 2 a 98, Uncharted 3 a 75, and Uncharted 4 obviously got a 97. I’d probably put The Last of Us in the 90’s as well, Naughty Dog is surely the best developer of the past couple of decades.

    Back on topic, I’m having a blast with Tales from the Borderlands. Half done, and the story is starting to get really good/funny. Telltale nailed the Borderlands universe perfectly!

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on May 30, 2016

    Can’t say I ever enjoyed Borderlands. I don’t know, the gunplay never felt right to me.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on May 31, 2016

    I always play Borderlands games with hacked save files that basically enable god mode. I wouldn’t say I enjoy the game for its mechanics, but I do enjoy the story and the wacky atmosphere. Even though it was unintentional, I do believe more games should have a god mode. If I wanted realism I’d go outside. If I wanted a challenge I’d play more Dark Souls.

    I’ve got one Episode of Tales left, might right up a review of it afterwards, but I’m not sure what I’ll say, it’s not the same type of game most are used to, definitely more movie than game.

    You can always watch a bit of it from my Twitch stream, I was using it to test out the /twitch page I’m working on for the E3 chat. Which I hope to finish tonight, just need to make it responsive so it fits all screens and add the buttons to switch between various feeds.

    Here’s the link to the stream. https://www.twitch.tv/xsuicidesn0wmanx/v/68615512

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY elheber on Jun 01, 2016

    I loved Uncharted 4, but I can’t say it topped 2. At least not for me. There were a bunch of issues that I’m not getting into in the review, but suffice to say it had a fair amount of problems. The active speech bubbles were completely out of place in this game. Some of the decisions made by the characters didn’t make much sense either, such as early on how Nathan decides not to tell Elena his brother is back… and the hand-waved revelation that he never even told her about him in the first place. Why would the writers decide that Nathan never told her he had a brother?

    Spoiler

    When Rafe calls Sam’s bluff of shooting Nadine, rationalizing that the Drakes don’t have it in them to shoot her, am I the only one who thought, “Rafe, Rafe, Rafe… didn’t you just have like a gajillion of your men killed by these brothers? Where did you get the idea that they won’t kill someone to save themselves?”

    [collapse]

    Stuff like that really takes me out.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by elheber.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jun 01, 2016

    Nate probably wanted to forget about his brother’s “death”, since it happened in one of the worst possible ways. That’s actually how some people deal with grief: choosing to forget it ever happened and moving on with their lives. Joel from The Last of Us did the exact same thing with every single tragedy he suffered through, if you remember. So that’s actually a pretty believable thing.

     

    As for the spoiler, remember that the brothers are fighting to keep themselves alive. They’re not killing in cold blood, they’re killing soldiers for their own survival. It’s not like they go to every threat they encounter and decide “he’s gonna get in my way; better shoot em and take them out before they become a problem.” Hell, Nate had reservations in the second game about killing the guards from the intro level, because he doesn’t kill unless his life is in danger, therefore he must fight back. Now, obviously, it being a game, you can shoot enemies first, but think of it this way: would these mercenaries even reconsider trying to kill the Drakes? Of course not, because they have their orders to shoot on sight, in every scenario. Plus, if you hear the soldier dialogue when in stealth, you hear them saying things that implies they enjoy killing and torturing and fighting. Do you really feel bad about killing people like that? I’ve never understood that argument, personally, since it’s one of those acceptable breaks from reality meant to facilitate gameplay. Plus, there’s even a trophy in the game that pokes fun at the argument once you kill 1000 enemies total.

     

    I understand your frustrations, but I think you’re missing the subtext here and there. That, or I’m overthinking things like always. Either possibility exists.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Joel Castro.

    POSTED BY elheber on Jun 01, 2016

    I have to preface this with, “don’t get me wrong, I still loved this game.” Because I did.

    Anyway, I don’t buy the trauma theory. If this were Joel not telling Ellie or Tess about his past, that’d be completely fine. But this is Nathan’s wife. It’s not like the past would never come up and she’s been privy to the more elusive side of Drake from the start. So maybe it’s me who is overthinking things, but I think it would have made sense if Nathan had said something like, “oh my God, Elena! I have a wife now, Sam. I haven’t told her much about you but I know she’s gonna love you.”

    As for the “Ludonarrative Dissonance” trophy, it’s another beef I have with Druckmann. He’s dismissing a very valid criticism of his game when he justifies it with that admittedly fantastic line from True Lies, “yeah but they were all bad.” It isn’t so much that Nathan is killing all these dudes, but that the cutscenes pretend that he isn’t. Nathan and Sam don’t want to kill but they aren’t opposed to it when their life is on the line, which they were during the hostage encounter. It’s not like the game slips in a few gameplay moments where you can avoid a fight altogether… you are literally forced to clear the field before you’re allowed to make a jump to the next section. No sneaking past them. The implications are clear: Nathan kills lots and lots of bad guys… Rafe and Nadine are bad guys.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jun 01, 2016

    I actually was able to completely sneak by a few enemy fights during my play time, so it’s a completely viable option now in Uncharted 4. It’s extremely difficult, yes, but not impossible. And it’s one of those things that fall into gameplay and story segregation, which happens in a lot of games. Sometimes it’s acceptable, and other times it’s jarring. I never had an issue with the amount of people Nate kills, to be totally honest. It’s an argument that’s fair if you’re reading into an alternate interpretation of the character, but I personally just don’t see it. If Lara Croft can get over killing to save her own life in spite of having reservations about it in her own games, why can’t Nathan Drake?

    POSTED BY elheber on Jun 01, 2016

    No, Lara can’t get away with it either. I’ve heard that defense, but her games have been criticized for almost the same issue. One minute she’s struggling with the thought of taking an animal’s life, and then in the gameplay you’re blowing animals up with explosive arrows. On the one side she’s conflicted about killing people, but on the other side the player gets brutal finishing move upgrades for extra XP oh la la.

    I was able to 100% stealth sections in U4, but I never was able to skip fights. The button prompt (to grapple for example) into the next area just doesn’t show up until I take everyone down. Maybe I just got unlucky and all the events I tried it in just didn’t have that option. And I want to reiterate that the issue isn’t how many people Nate kills, but instead how the story pretends he doesn’t. In fact, it’s still only a minor annoyance to me, and the real reason it bothers me is the denial from people who say it isn’t actually a problem. If Druckmann would just say, “yeah, it’s a narrative concession we make in order to have fantastic and untethered combat while still keeping Nate a lovable hero persona we want him to be,” then I would fucking agree 100%. But instead he says, “Indiana Jones killed like twelve people, so this is the same thing. There is no issue.”

    Ludonarrative harmony is an actual game design concept. One of the greatest things about Batman: Arkham Origins is how fun it makes beating bad guys up and then how

    Spoiler

    the Joker calls out your hypocrisy for being almost as much a sadist as he is… and then you satisfyingly give him a brutal beat down to really drive home the point. You won. You won but he won because he’s right. You aren’t beating up criminals to fight crime; you’re doing it because you enjoy it.

    [collapse]

    It’s genius.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jun 01, 2016

    Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

     

    As to the topic at hand, I’m currently trying to run through the entire Assassin’s Creed series once again. It remains a favorite series of mine, even though the most recent installments seem to miss a lot of what made the older games so great in the first place. Starting from the very beginning, but playing without a HUD, and holy crap it changes the entire experience in a big way.

     

    POSTED BY elheber on Jun 02, 2016

    I bought a bunch of discounted games on Steam recently, and I also bought Gang Beasts at regular price (a game that’s been on my wishlist for a long time). I just couldn’t wait any longer. I liked it so much, I bought an extra controller for my PC so I could play multiplayer and then downloaded a program to let me use my PS4 controllers so I could play 4 players.

    Me and my family had a blast with it this past weekend, even though it’s a very early build of the game in Early Access with only a couple of modes.

    It’s a party game where each player controls a humanoid blob trying to knock everyone else off of the stage. And when I say “control” I mean it in a very loose (yet also extremely specific) sense… the left trigger controls the left hand grip, the right controls the right hand grip, the Y button lifts your arms up, etc. The rest is done by the physics engine. Suffice to say: things get hella goofy.

    If it ever comes to a console or you have a PC in your living room and you have a few other people to play with, I recommend checking it out when it’s out of Early Access.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by elheber.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Jun 02, 2016

    If you own both PS4 & X1, I’d suggest playing Unity on the X1 and Syndicate on the PS4. For whatever reason, the PS4 version of Unity was so buggy it was nearly unplayable, while the X1 did not have those issues. Things switched for Syndicate, with the X1 version being frustratingly bad, and the PS4 version working fairly well.

    Assassin’s Creed is one of my favorite game series as well, not sure if I could stomach the early games though. I’ve been spoiled rotten by newer games lately.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jun 08, 2016

    Currently playing Gone Home, since it’s free on PlayStation Plus this month. It’s actually quite an engaging little title. Never thought looking through a house could be so entertaining, but…there it is. The story might not be that amazing (or even original), but the way it’s told is what makes it great to me. I wish so many people wouldn’t dismiss this game, because as predictable as the story is, it’s far more engaging to see this kind of story from an outside perspective sometimes than to actually be in the middle of events. It honestly reminds me of the aftermath of the film The Graduate, and that’s not a bad thing.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Joel Castro.

    POSTED BY elheber on Jun 08, 2016

    It’s time you checked out Her Story, then, mastermetal. It’s not so much about the story but how you piece it together. The screen is basically a Windows 95 desktop and you get to search through a database of short clips of interviews of this woman; however, the search function is limited: The entire interviews were transcribed and you can search for any word she may have spoken, but it will only give you the first 5 results. So in order to see later interviews, you have to work your way through what she may have said next in order to get the full story.

    If you do, by the way, I highly recommend you don’t try to cheese it like I did. I tried to find trick words that could skip me ahead, but I cheated myself out of an even better payout had I tried to play the game more logically. The game is smart; it’s written smart enough and designed smart enough that you can let it lead you on with just you, your detective instincts, and your pen & pad.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jun 08, 2016

    I’ve wanted to try that game, but alas, my funds aren’t exactly great for the moment. The interactive narrative genre has halways fascinated me, ever since I played Ether One, which is arguably my current favorite of said genre. I’ve also wanted to look at The Beginner’s Guide.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by Joel Castro.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jul 21, 2016

    Currently playing through the Resident Evil: Beginning Hour demo. Well…it definitely feels like a horror agame again. Thank you, P.T., for giving us a great demo format.

    POSTED BY elheber on Jul 22, 2016

    They even pulled off the “not revealing what game this actually belongs to” stunt that PT pulled. The demo (a much earlier build of it, VR only) was originally shown at E3 2015 under the name KITCHEN.

    So my theory, for those of you that have played the demo, is that this home is of a family whose daughter became a zombie. So the dad has her locked up and is kidnapping people to feed her. That part is shown at the end of the VHS tape. To that end, he converted the house into a maze and a deathtrap. The father also probably uses mannequins to lure or distract her. I can’t explain the supernatural ghost stuff, though.

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    "A closet intellectual, he acts dumb to impress women."

    POSTED BY Rex ranae on Jul 24, 2016

    I’m currently working through a replay of System Shock 2, and trying out Far Cry 4 for the first time. The latter is surprisingly entertaining. I had never played a Far Cry before. It’s definitely a modern AAA game (in both the good and the myriad bad ways), but it seems like good simple fun with a fairly broad variety of mechanics. There have been far more uninspiring games released

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jul 26, 2016

    Started playing Neverwinter on PS4. This is my first crack at a traditional MMORPG since Runescape, so I hope it plays well. At least it’s free, so I won’t be losing out on much except time.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Jul 26, 2016

    I thought Neverwinter started off pretty slow over the tutorial area, but once you got into the 1st city it opens up and becomes pretty enjoyable for a while. Eventually you’ll run into the pay-or-grind wall, I believe that’s where I ended up quitting.

    As for what I’m playing, well I haven’t had much time for anything. Played some TC The Division and a little Red Dead Revolver & Red Dead Redemption this week so far, but mostly I’ve been spending most of my time working on the site here.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY Joel Castro on Jul 26, 2016

    I think its pretty good so far. I don’t mind grinding, to be honest.

    POSTED BY xsuicidesn0wmanx on Jul 26, 2016

    Yeah, I guess in my case it was also a matter of already grinding in ESO and FFXIV for a long time, after a long break from FFXI.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    You're all zombie thigh-fat people brought into animation by some evil force of forceful evil!!! - Happy Noodle Boy.

    POSTED BY shadowchronicle on Jul 26, 2016

    I bought a bunch of discounted games on Steam recently, and I also bought Gang Beasts at regular price (a game that’s been on my wishlist for a long time). I just couldn’t wait any longer. I liked it so much, I bought an extra controller for my PC so I could play multiplayer and then downloaded a program to let me use my PS4 controllers so I could play 4 players. Me and my family had a blast with it this past weekend, even though it’s a very early build of the game in Early Access with only a couple of modes. It’s a party game where each player controls a humanoid blob trying to knock everyone else off of the stage. And when I say “control” I mean it in a very loose (yet also extremely specific) sense… the left trigger controls the left hand grip, the right controls the right hand grip, the Y button lifts your arms up, etc. The rest is done by the physics engine. Suffice to say: things get hella goofy. If it ever comes to a console or you have a PC in your living room and you have a few other people to play with, I recommend checking it out when it’s out of Early Access.

    I know this is super late but gang beasts is so much frking fun. The only thing its missing now is online play which it will get later.

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