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 The Video Game Thread 
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Enjoying Edith Finch, but, like Gone Home, in fact even more than Gone Home, it really is an on-the-rails story-ride where you just get in the car and observe. They occasionally throw you a little interaction to do but it's nothing like PLAYING a game.
That said, these are very pleasant little diversions in between the bigger action or horror games and I just came off of Horizon: Zero Dawn, which may have been the most time I've ever spent playing one game on one run.
After this, though I'll need something with a little more action so if anyone has any suggestions, I'm... game?


Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:05 am
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DOOM.
Which I started and havent beat...yet. But it's really really fun. Really open levels that you can explore.

I still need to go back to Horizon and beat it. I think I bit off more than I could chew starting New Game+ with Extra Hard Mode. Just makes some parts of the game....so tedious.


Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:57 am
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Kenji wrote:
My first thought is, "Badlieutenant discussing a video game? Awesome!"
I've gone a long while thinking I disliked video games, but after a recent chance replay of Earthworm Jim, I think I've come to a point where I just dislike anything past 16 bit, or at least anything that isn't along the lines of the cartoony looking 2-D games that 16 bit excelled at. It may be that I'm just entering old coot territory, but there's still a real uncanny valley effect for me when games add that third dimension, and nothing tells me a game isn't for me faster than the phrase "open-world environment." And why do the games take so long nowadays? Too many damn cut scenes! I don't have all month to beat a silly game! This soup is too warm! Get off my lawn!

Kenji wrote:
I guess my answer is that what makes Sonic unique among 16 bit platformers also bores me. My favorite stage in the series is Scrap Brain Zone precisely because it's a stage where you have to take it slowly and really study the environment. I've even grown to like Metropolis Zone in Sonic 2, and almost everyone hates that fucking stage. A lot of gamers think that Sonic himself is just ill-equipped to handle slower platforming challenges - I've seen this in person watching a friend of mine who beat Sonic Mania but got a Game Over on Marble Zone and never bothered giving it another go - but I enjoy these sections while still admitting that Mario reached much higher highs with this sort of gameplay.
It may be that I just strongly dislike the particular way that Marble Zone slows Sonic down. There's too much passively standing on slow-moving blocks as they cross a lava pit for my taste. It's just tremendously frustrating when you have this fast character forced to stand around while the clock is ticking. Casino Zone in Sonic 2 is probably the happy medium between the two maps you posted. Still complicated enough to give you room for those satisfying full-bore runs, but with enough spots where navigating bumpers or the like provide a challenge that speed alone doesn't fix.

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Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:03 am
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Lucky for you Bad Lieutenant 8 and 16 bit games have had a big resurgence in the past few years, almost to the point where you can play just those types of games exclusively. I’d recommend giving Shovel Knight, Cuphead, and The Binding of Isaac Rebirth a shot to start out.

It seems like every time I browse games on Xbox or Switch theres a whole new crop of indie games with retro or cartoony styles available.


Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:36 am
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Ace wrote:
DOOM.
Which I started and havent beat...yet. But it's really really fun. Really open levels that you can explore.

I still need to go back to Horizon and beat it. I think I bit off more than I could chew starting New Game+ with Extra Hard Mode. Just makes some parts of the game....so tedious.

Played DOOM twice. Loved it. And I was a DOOM-junkie back in '94, so I hope that's a ringing enough endorsement.
Yeah, I never play any game in the Hard modes, I think it takes away from the exploration and story-development if you're just spending all your time and energy fighting. But that's just my style of game-enjoyment, I like to explore a world, not just fight all the time.


Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:43 am
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I stopped and the reason is going to sound stupid. I was going to do a run where I got everything and all collectibles. But I missed some and that just pissed me right off.

And IDK man. Playing it on hardest having to fight those 3 Frostclaws took a lot of out me. And I'm to understand there's fire variants of those and make it harder.


Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:36 am
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The Nameless One wrote:
With BOTW I can understand the experience being subjective to the point where good stuff happens but it's putting me through a gauntlet of frustration where I'm trying to give it chances and it keeps biting my hand. It actively discourages me to play it, and my only real game play incentive to progress is upgrading my stamina bar so I can climb bigger rocks. The game is optional to a fault where the dungeon and item cycle of previous Zeldas adds a level of excitement to going back out into the world and discovering new areas with said item. Getting Roc's Feather in Link's Awakening and hopping over a square is more exciting than anything in BOTW which gives you every tool you will get in the first hour out of a 50-100 hour game and doesn't do much with it beyond entirely optional shrines. In general I feel woefully unequipped for what the game expects of me, so there is no real point to engaging in ANY combat, in fact it is probably smart not to fight anything, and this isn't by choice but by the game punishing you for every aspect of trying to engage with it in any fun manner, unless you want to spend hours doing cooking nonsense. I want to fight, dammit! I want to be competent beyond the tools it provides. I shouldn't have to go into my menu and eat an electricity resistant mushroom every time I see a fucking bat, and those bats will fuck you up, especially when you just want to climb a fucking rain slicked rock. I don't have any arrows right now and there isn't really any good indication as to who sells arrows considering that EVERYONE is a dumb vendor with random shit. Every time I think about this stupid game I get mad because the whole thing has just been trolling me left and right. I've played this game for 40 fucking hours and I've done jack all it feels like, where is my sense of progress! I want medallions, three of them, then I want a Master Sword... ugh, this game even sucks the soul and joy out of getting the Master Sword


Sure, experience is subjective, but I'm surprised you're still having trouble with regular battles after forty hours. I guess one thing I decided to do pretty early on was to focus on exploration and finding shrines, which, in a sense, aren't really optional. Within a handful of hours I had the first row of hearts completely filled out and the Master Sword in my hand. (Stamina is non-essential. The game throws almost nothing at you that you can't climb with entry-level stamina. I wouldn't waste spirit orbs on stamina, not at first. I've climbed mountains left and right, all over the map. As long as you're observant and can find crevices, grooves, and ledges to rest on along the journey upwards, you don't need stamina upgrades. They do make travelling easier, though.) Then, stuff like electric bats, well, you just shoot an arrow at them before they get to you. No mushroom necessary. (I stock on arrows at every town. Itinerant merchants, as you point out, are unreliable. I rarely buy anything from them. Most towns have a shrine next to them for warping purposes.) There's a handful of really hard enemies I'm hesitant to confront, but most of the rest are fairly manageable. Applying Souls-style movements and timing helps. (And, for enemy camps, MGS-like planning and stealth is key.) You're right about the earlier games having a stronger sense of progress, but, on that end, I guess I accept this Zelda plays by other rules. It's not the Zelda to end all Zeldas.


Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:23 am
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BL wrote:
I've gone a long while thinking I disliked video games, but after a recent chance replay of Earthworm Jim, I think I've come to a point where I just dislike anything past 16 bit, or at least anything that isn't along the lines of the cartoony looking 2-D games that 16 bit excelled at. It may be that I'm just entering old coot territory, but there's still a real uncanny valley effect for me when games add that third dimension, and nothing tells me a game isn't for me faster than the phrase "open-world environment." And why do the games take so long nowadays? Too many damn cut scenes! I don't have all month to beat a silly game! This soup is too warm! Get off my lawn!


I know you're doing self-conscious (and partly self-effacing) parody, but cut scenes are very 1990s and early 2000s. (Or very Metal Gear Solid.) They're not really the reason behind current inflated running times. (Quest glut and grinding are more to blame.) Most AAA releases need to advertise "100 hours of gameplay or more!" so numbers-crunching videogamers think they're getting their money's worth. But there's a sea of independents out there that last 10 hours or less. Some even harken back to the 2D era: Inside, Limbo, Braid, Night in the Woods, Cave Story, Papers Please, Hyper Light Drifter, etc. The list is really, really long. A few, like Thirty Flights of Loving or The Stanley Parable, last 20 minutes to an hour. Others, like Stardew Valley, last as long as you want them to. These are some of today's emblematic games. Can't quite agree with you there on the uncanny valley. You can still have interesting, obviously unreal, 3D graphics that steer clear of any valley, uncanny or otherwise, from the Pixar-in-motion joys of Psychonauts to the watercolor-inspired Okami. Not everything is dudebro Call of Duty photorealism.


Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:32 am
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Beau wrote:
Sure, experience is subjective, but I'm surprised you're still having trouble with regular battles after forty hours. I guess one thing I decided to do pretty early on was to focus on exploration and finding shrines, which, in a sense, aren't really optional. Within a handful of hours I had the first row of hearts completely filled out and the Master Sword in my hand. (Stamina is non-essential. The game throws almost nothing at you that you can't climb with entry-level stamina. I wouldn't waste spirit orbs on stamina, not at first. I've climbed mountains left and right, all over the map. As long as you're observant and can find crevices, grooves, and ledges to rest on along the journey upwards, you don't need stamina upgrades. They do make travelling easier, though.) Then, stuff like electric bats, well, you just shoot an arrow at them before they get to you. No mushroom necessary. (I stock on arrows at every town. Itinerant merchants, as you point out, are unreliable. I rarely buy anything from them. Most towns have a shrine next to them for warping purposes.) There's a handful of really hard enemies I'm hesitant to confront, but most of the rest are fairly manageable. Applying Souls-style movements and timing helps. (And, for enemy camps, MGS-like planning and stealth is key.) You're right about the earlier games having a stronger sense of progress, but, on that end, I guess I accept this Zelda plays by other rules. It's not the Zelda to end all Zeldas.
I wouldn't have gone for the stamina upgrades if it was apparent I can upgrade my stamina with food. It constantly feels like I'm missing something and the feeling extends to everything I do, like, yeah I should've spent that 40 hours upgrading my health, but even then with the balancing it felt like I was just doing work to make my health go from dying in two hits to four. Everything feels like work, optional work which is still punishing if you don't do the work. I hate work, I want to play a video game I spent 80 dollars on and the game just makes me work and work and work. If I do want to be combat effective it takes health increasing food, in order to get that food I have to track the food items and spend an hour collecting ingredients. All so I can go and do micro-dungeons as opposed to big sprawling awesome dungeons with awesome bosses at the end which make you feel like that heart was earned in a fun and challenging manner which progresses you along with the story. You feel like you are actually growing through your trials. Here it's like "congratulations you successfully spent 40 hours going out of the way of the story's progression so you can still feel like garbage". I'd be more forgiving of the combat if the game was 60fps but holy shit it chugs, I'm not used to this 20fps nonsense and it's like the game is trying to keep up with what I want to do before it's too late.

The thing I hate most about the game is it's thing with chemistry. Ugh, realism does not = fun, every time a game guns for realism it's just bullshit. Like, if I see an electric bat I'm fucked! All I have are metal weapons because wooden ones break in two fucking hits FUCK THIS GAME


Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:02 am
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Oh my God the stealth section where you had to throw the bananas during Gerudo Town... Just the absolute worst. I spent 20 bucks on MGSV and I love it


Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:06 am
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The Nameless One wrote:
I wouldn't have gone for the stamina upgrades if it was apparent I can upgrade my stamina with food. It constantly feels like I'm missing something and the feeling extends to everything I do, like, yeah I should've spent that 40 hours upgrading my health, but even then with the balancing it felt like I was just doing work to make my health go from dying in two hits to four. Everything feels like work, optional work which is still punishing if you don't do the work. I hate work, I want to play a video game I spent 80 dollars on and the game just makes me work and work and work. If I do want to be combat effective it takes health increasing food, in order to get that food I have to track the food items and spend an hour collecting ingredients. All so I can go and do micro-dungeons as opposed to big sprawling awesome dungeons with awesome bosses at the end which make you feel like that heart was earned in a fun and challenging manner which progresses you along with the story. You feel like you are actually growing through your trials. Here it's like "congratulations you successfully spent 40 hours going out of the way of the story's progression so you can still feel like garbage". I'd be more forgiving of the combat if the game was 60fps but holy shit it chugs, I'm not used to this 20fps nonsense and it's like the game is trying to keep up with what I want to do before it's too late.

The thing I hate most about the game is it's thing with chemistry. Ugh, realism does not = fun, every time a game guns for realism it's just bullshit. Like, if I see an electric bat I'm fucked! All I have are metal weapons because wooden ones break in two fucking hits FUCK THIS GAME


I have no idea how you're having that experience. You seriously spent hours collecting ingredients? You didn't effortlessly collect them by, I don't know, walking in a straight line? I never consciously collect anything. Every now and then I just stop by a campfire and cook some food, food I already have. It's not a whole lot of work. And, no, you don't need to upgrade your stamina at all, with food or otherwise. Stamina-boosting food's alright if you're in a bind and you need a boost because otherwise you'll fall and lose all your climbing progress, but after forty or fifty hours I only had to resort to that, like, twice. And I'm only now seriously concentrating on improving my stamina wheel because all that's good for is giving you longer sprinting times and the chance to be a little sloppier with your climbing and not have to scout the terrain and plan your ascent. As for the bats, again, you just shoot them with an arrow before they're near. There's, like, a handful of electric bats in the whole damn map. And they make this long, protracted approach. You can go grab a sandwich, come back, and still have time to shoot them down. That's true of all the bats. I don't know, I appreciate you're clearly very frustrated with this game, but I've had a dramatically different experience. The lack of long dungeons, well, yeah, I agree. But then we've had long Zelda dungeons for, you know, decades. There's plenty to go back to if that's what you need in your life.


Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:39 am
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Like, it sounds like when people talk about this game is that they are simply okay with the bullshit. Honestly, it's frustrating talking to you or anyone about it because clearly you got your 80 bucks worth and I did not. Pretty pissed about that, this is a passion series for me and I feel like a stupid child playing it. I'm not a bad gamer by any stretch of the imagination and this just feels like a masterclass on how to set my critical sensors off. The bottom line is that I really shouldn't have to be worrying about these factors, they are factors which are not fun and the solution to these factors is not fun. None of this is fun. What's fun?

Christ, I'd shoot the bats if I had any arrows. Where's my reliable source of arrows? You see how these things begin to add up and amount. No matter what it feels like I have to go somewhere and farm shit for an hour. Remember when you first entered a hot area and had to go track down cooling food? Seriously, you get 2 minutes worth of heat repellent per hydromelon. Sure, they are plentiful but the process of keeping yourself cool while exploring the desert is BULLSHIT. I have the clothes which keep me cool but oh my god it becomes too cold at night to wear them. The amount of fucking busy work it takes in order to do anything in this game is insane, and none of it amounts to fun elements such as combat effectiveness. It's just a massive pile of garbage game


Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:26 am
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Finished What Remains Of Edith Finch and, despite it's failure (is it a failure if it was never intended?) to actually be a GAME, it was a reasonably haunting and melancholy experience, more like reading a short novel where the interactive nature of the medium is required for the experience to be successful.
It is in this way that games have unquestionably transcended the "Video Games Can't Be Art" argument. There may be many other ways, but this one in particular is now granite. Too bad ol' Roger Ebert didn't live to experience and understand.
Whether they were all totally successful or as good as their creators believed them to be, each of these games, Gone Home, Firewatch, The Vanishing Of Ethan Carter, Edith Finch, are all solid examples of this media experience, the latest causing me to immediately start a Shirley Jackson novel.
Another I'd have to mention, though much more interactive, is Until Dawn, which is still probably the best new horror experience I've had in years, better, overall than most horror films, and I mean MOST HORROR FILMS not just most wide-release horror films.


Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:57 pm
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The Nameless One wrote:
Like, it sounds like when people talk about this game is that they are simply okay with the bullshit. Honestly, it's frustrating talking to you or anyone about it because clearly you got your 80 bucks worth and I did not. Pretty pissed about that, this is a passion series for me and I feel like a stupid child playing it. I'm not a bad gamer by any stretch of the imagination and this just feels like a masterclass on how to set my critical sensors off. The bottom line is that I really shouldn't have to be worrying about these factors, they are factors which are not fun and the solution to these factors is not fun. None of this is fun. What's fun?

Christ, I'd shoot the bats if I had any arrows. Where's my reliable source of arrows? You see how these things begin to add up and amount. No matter what it feels like I have to go somewhere and farm shit for an hour. Remember when you first entered a hot area and had to go track down cooling food? Seriously, you get 2 minutes worth of heat repellent per hydromelon. Sure, they are plentiful but the process of keeping yourself cool while exploring the desert is BULLSHIT. I have the clothes which keep me cool but oh my god it becomes too cold at night to wear them. The amount of fucking busy work it takes in order to do anything in this game is insane, and none of it amounts to fun elements such as combat effectiveness. It's just a massive pile of garbage game


I honestly can't fathom scarcity being an issue in this game. If I ever drop below 100 of any type of arrow, I just go to a shop and buy more arrows. Because I have over 20,000 rupees. But I rarely have to do that, since most of my arrow stocks are at 200+, and I have at least 30 of every item in my inventory, not because I spent time searching for them, but because I just picked them up while doing stuff. The only issue I've ever had with item scarcity is rare items, like dragon scales and shooting stars, where you can only collect one per night. You need those to fully upgrade certain armors, and if I don't have enough, I just don't worry about those armor upgrades; they're an unnecessary luxury.

I can understand some of your complaints, and as impressive as it is in some regards, it's not my favorite Zelda game. I'd prefer a little more structure, less space to explore and more focus on character and incident. Switching armor classes to perform certain tasks can get annoying when you have to switch between them frequently (to climb, swim, and then protect yourself from cold, for instance). But many of your issues feel like mindless griping or just a total misapprehension of what kind of game you're playing. More than anything, it's a return to the form seen in the original Zelda, with more freeform exploration and no clear linear narrative path. That might not be your cup of tea, but that doesn't make it bad game design. The critical consensus is heavily in favor of the game (even more enthusiastically than me, who enjoyed it with some reservations), which certainly counts for something.

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Fri Feb 16, 2018 1:13 pm
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The Nameless One wrote:
Like, it sounds like when people talk about this game is that they are simply okay with the bullshit. Honestly, it's frustrating talking to you or anyone about it because clearly you got your 80 bucks worth and I did not. Pretty pissed about that, this is a passion series for me and I feel like a stupid child playing it. I'm not a bad gamer by any stretch of the imagination and this just feels like a masterclass on how to set my critical sensors off. The bottom line is that I really shouldn't have to be worrying about these factors, they are factors which are not fun and the solution to these factors is not fun. None of this is fun. What's fun?

Christ, I'd shoot the bats if I had any arrows. Where's my reliable source of arrows? You see how these things begin to add up and amount. No matter what it feels like I have to go somewhere and farm shit for an hour. Remember when you first entered a hot area and had to go track down cooling food? Seriously, you get 2 minutes worth of heat repellent per hydromelon. Sure, they are plentiful but the process of keeping yourself cool while exploring the desert is BULLSHIT. I have the clothes which keep me cool but oh my god it becomes too cold at night to wear them. The amount of fucking busy work it takes in order to do anything in this game is insane, and none of it amounts to fun elements such as combat effectiveness. It's just a massive pile of garbage game


It's not simply that I got my money's worth or that I'm OK with the bullshit. It's that I never even had a shadow of any of your problems. Of course, given the type of game it is, there's an element of resource management and strategy, no doubt. You do need to worry about environmental factors because that's what the game is primarily about, dealing with your environment. Like I said, this Zelda plays by its own, unique rules. But dealing with the environment was just never that frustrating for me. It was fun, actually, finding ways around problems or figuring out creative solutions. For instance, when I got both a fire sword and an ice sword, pretty much by chance, by attacking enemy outposts or solving shrines, I figured they'd be useful to counteract harsh environmental conditions. And I was right. I never used them for battles, to avoid breaking them. I just equipped them when the temperature got too hot or cold. Forty hours on, I still have the fire and ice swords I found in the fourth or fifth hour of gameplay. Not that I have any use for them now because you can find clothes for every environmental condition. And they're not hidden or anything, they're at whatever the main town is in each area. I think you're approaching an open-ended game as if it were a linear experience. Due to the nature of the game, you're not always ready for every challenge you face. Sometimes you need to back away and try another area. It just seemed natural to me to accept that. It's even part of the joy of a game like this, trying things out, seeing where you can go, where you can't, making mental notes of places that are too difficult now but may not be later, etc. There's so much to do that if I ever got close to being frustrated with anything I just went elsewhere.


Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:25 pm
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PSN Flash Sale for those looking for some cheap games
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/gri ... LE18PS4G/1


Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:16 am
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Ace wrote:
PSN Flash Sale for those looking for some cheap games
https://store.playstation.com/en-us/gri ... LE18PS4G/1

Funny, I bought one of these games LAST NIGHT for 3x what it costs this morning. :-/


Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:17 am
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Thre's always a flash sale on PSN. Usually the 2nd or third week of every month. Sucks that PSN doesnt let you do refunds.


Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:12 am
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Big Gamer Conundrum: being in love with the Switch, now I want every game ever on it, so I'm seriously considering double-dipping on stuff like Kentucky Route Zero and Stardew Valley, if only because I think they'd be even better on the Switch than on my laptop. But, then, I'm in Argentina, where 20 dollars is 400 pesos, or about a week's worth of lunchtime meals. So, with Owlboy, Kirby, Bayonetta(s), Tropical Freeze, and other stuff-I-don't-have on the horizon, maybe I should save my money. Anyone else having these kinds of clearly important, crucial debates with oneself?


Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:52 pm
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It looks lovely, but I was rather turned off by what I played of Owlboy. The first dungeon consists of a lot of overly simple puzzles (weigh down the switches / spin this lever bullshit), dumb enemies, and constant interruptions. I mean:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7mXRN-XaLI&t=15m14s

Good thing the game decided to pause to introduce this very slow moving enemy! Surely I would have crashed right into it otherwise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7mXRN-XaLI&t=19m46s

Is anyone over the age of five stumped by these types of puzzles? Do developers put these in just to waste time? Is the game loading when there's a dramatic cutscene every single time a door opens?


Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:56 am
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Beau wrote:
Big Gamer Conundrum: being in love with the Switch, now I want every game ever on it, so I'm seriously considering double-dipping on stuff like Kentucky Route Zero and Stardew Valley, if only because I think they'd be even better on the Switch than on my laptop. But, then, I'm in Argentina, where 20 dollars is 400 pesos, or about a week's worth of lunchtime meals. So, with Owlboy, Kirby, Bayonetta(s), Tropical Freeze, and other stuff-I-don't-have on the horizon, maybe I should save my money. Anyone else having these kinds of clearly important, crucial debates with oneself?

Me too 100%. I got my Switch last May for Zelda and now every game I want to play I want to have for Switch. I haven’t gone so far as double dipping yet but getting Binding of Isaac again on Switch to get that third DLC is mighty tempting. But since I unlocked almost everything on my Xbox version I don’t want to have to go through it all again.


Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:08 am
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Kenji wrote:
It looks lovely, but I was rather turned off by what I played of Owlboy. The first dungeon consists of a lot of overly simple puzzles (weigh down the switches / spin this lever bullshit), dumb enemies, and constant interruptions. I mean:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7mXRN-XaLI&t=15m14s

Good thing the game decided to pause to introduce this very slow moving enemy! Surely I would have crashed right into it otherwise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7mXRN-XaLI&t=19m46s

Is anyone over the age of five stumped by these types of puzzles? Do developers put these in just to waste time? Is the game loading when there's a dramatic cutscene every single time a door opens?


Eh, it's typical scaffolding. Some games go a little heavy on it, to the point where they treat you like an idiot. I am occasionally nostalgic for the days when something like R-Type would throw all kinds of crap at you unannounced. "Oh, you thought that corner of the screen was safe, huh? Well, no. Here's the tip of a massive battleship that appeared out of nowhere and exploded you. Sorry."


Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:15 am
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Just finished Infamous: First Light.
A fun enough DLC that felt like it was going to be twice as long as it was. Because they used the map from Second Son exactly, you could see the Bridge to the other map plainly the whole time and I assumed I would get to cross it, but it turned out to be just that short. I powered up really quickly and before I'd blinked it was over.
Still, I enjoyed that power set in SS and so it was cool to play that character and get some (minimal) story too.


Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:05 am
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Early On, Metal Gear Survive Goes Between Being Fun And Frustrating

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Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:29 am
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