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Everything posted by matt0

  1. My theory, not just for this game but across the board, is that AAA game development is in crisis. We're seeing more games delayed and then delayed again. More games releasing in unfinished states. Partly it's Covid, partly crunch, partly toxic studio cultures. Old toolsets and work pipelines that are choking under the current expected levels of fidelity. The constant turnover of development talent preventing the building of institutional knowledge (and maybe this rate of turnover is starting to eclipse the number of new entrants in to the industry?). The sheer size of the teams with multiple studios around the world and third party contractors all working on the same game and the inherent problems that generates for managing projects.
  2. It is cross play. There's one bit I had to play on PC because it was single figurea frame rate on the One S!
  3. Mortal Shell (Xbox One) Played it as a warm up for Elden Ring - I wanted a souls-like I was reasonably confident I could finish relatively quickly. It's good, but "just" good in a genre defined by titans. Things like enemy placement and design, level design and interconnectedness, bosses etc. pale in comparison to Dark Souls. The environments do look fantastic most of the time, although I found the hub area borderline impossible to navigate as it's all barely distinguishable forest paths. It's pretty short, took me just under 20 hours, but I reckon if you're a Souls veteran you could polish it off in half the time. Combat has some weird redundancy issues as there's a parry - with inscrutable timing, I thought it was just me but reading online it seems nobody could figure it out, even Sekiro masters... - but your block is a one shot ability on a cool down and is effectively a parry too. Then a huge amount of the character abilities and objects give you buffs and enemy debuffs that only trigger on parrying so... *blows raspberry* Lots of morbid, abstract world building which I appreciated, obscure item purposes to figure out, clever interactions with NPCs, surprise twists and game changing decisions to be made. As far as these lesser souls-likes go It didn't get under my skin like Ashen did, but I still had a good time.
  4. They have. By creating a Bob Ross NFT against his family's wishes.
  5. It's a fair criticism but they do give you a lot of leeway. I tried to keep stealthy and non lethal but I still had a few kills on every level, was spotted loads and had a huge rolling gun fight at one point on Dishonored 1 and ended up with the low chaos ending. Same outcome for 2 and Death of the Outsider including some incredible keystone cops style slapstick antics on Death of the Outsider.
  6. I massively prefer the first game to the second in terms of moment to moment gameplay. The first has simpler, more concrete interactions. It's an immersive sim with less of the... sim? Maybe closer to something like Tenchu in some ways. The second consistently felt more ambiguous, looser. Case in point, there's a skill that makes you move faster, and you're harder to detect - but there's no way of quantifying that stealth benefit. No way of knowing if you'd have snuck by with or without the skill. So it becomes just pointless granularity. Also it's full of gotcha moments in a game that's supposed to be about planning. "go and operate the machine". Okay, sure. "haha! Machine teleported in some witches! Haha!" "use the elevator now". Okay, sure. "Haha! There's a dog in the elevator! Haha!" Yeah, but you told me to do those things you prick. You've made this complex intricate simulation and you're making me play fucking Dragon's Lair with it? There's no denying the sheer ambition behind the second one though. The desire to create the most intricate spaces imaginable, to push the complexity of the scripting and the way the interactions with NPCs can play out. If those are the main attractions of the series for someone then 2 is a better game on those terms.
  7. When they patched in the 60fps mode it broke a lot of the timings behind the controls which they then never fixed. So things like the dash chain timing window and the input buffering are tied to the frame rate - so you effectively have half the timing window for both of them unless you switch back to 30fps. It's not great.
  8. I died a fair few times there on heroic. It's possible to stay out of fire on the lower level of the gondola long enough to get your shields back and reload depending on the position of the enemies and how you use the cover. Keep one eye on your radar, be aware of where they are at all times and just keep making the shots (easier said than done!).
  9. I've continually played Halo since CE in one form or another, year in year out. Campaigns multiple times solo and co-op (all the Bungie ones solo on Legendary), countless hours of multiplayer, years of ODST and Reach firefight as my couch co-op go to games. I've played more Halo than any other video game series. I just finished Infinite's campaign on Heroic and I thought it was very good. Not top tier Halo, but excellent when held up against the FPS genre as a whole. All these attempts to pathologise or qualify peoples' appreciation for a videogame because you personally didn't like it are fucking weird.
  10. The drop of a skewer shot over distance, that long arc ending in a perfect headshot that sends a brute sprawling. Grapple hooking around a tree and shot gunning grunts as you swing past them. The wheezing rattle of the Commando Rifle as you line up against a jackal's weakspot and then re centre your aim at their head, still firing wildly as they crumple. Banshee missile pot shots at grunts on a distance mountain peak and their classic Halo slow-motion wind-milling as they plummet to the rocks below. Leaping down a sheer slope into the centre of a banished patrol and destroying them in seconds with precision Mangler shots while they barely have time to register your presence. A cat and mouse battle with a trash cannon wielding chieftan in a covenant base, grabbing the cannon the moment he dies and then storming in to the open wrecking swathes of grunts, jackals and lesser brutes with a hail of molten metal. Plasma swording an enemy on a cliff edge, the momentum of your attack carrying you both over the edge, only to grapple back to safety as your opponent falls off the ring in to the void. It's good Halo.
  11. For anyone struggling with the bosses (or just powered up hunters and brutes) - use the skewer! The skewer is a beast and there's always a couple knocking around the boss arenas.
  12. Fair point, well made.
  13. We might be talking at cross purposes because I agree with what you're saying here. I don't think it's a surreal question because I think games don't effect us - I find it surreal because they obviously, transparently do and there won't be a single person on this forum that won't be able to recall at least one kind of emotional or psychological response to a game. I think most of us probably experience some kind of profound effect from playing games fairly regularly, either a sense of fear or panic or flow state, an emotional response to a story, or something more fundamental like seeing Tetris blocks when trying to go to sleep. And if games can do this, and they have the same (and I'd argue greater) capacity for complexity as other mediums I think it's more of a leap to say they can't effect or influence us on a profound level than saying they do. Nobody would argue the first point for films, or books or music, but for some reason it's a truism about games. I've also (not directed at you but just in general) got no patience for attempts to police or downplay these responses, either consciously or unconsciously - I don't see a difference between a sense of revulsion from having to kill animals in a game, a sense of panic or fear from being chased in a Resident Evil game, or being emotionally engaged in a game's story.
  14. I find it frustrating that starting from a generally agreed position of "violent videogames don't make you violent" we've ended up entertaining this weird logical fallacy that videogames have no affect on people full stop. Don't influence people in any way. Don't express or communicate ideas or ideologies. Don't have positive or negative emotional effects. "Do videogames affect people?" Is such a surreal question. As surreal as "does music affect people?", "do films affect people?", "do books affect people?" Regarding the steady increase in mechanics around hunting and killing animals, I always try and trace what the fantasy behind these things is. It's about giving people the illusion of self sufficiency and competence in a world where increasingly, as societies we have less and less, are capable of less and less.
  15. Mine is a bit dull on account of the two Halo games but: BOTW Halo Reach Halo ODST Civilization 4 Joust Runners up: LTTP, Super Metroid, FTL, Slay the Spire, Angband, Huntdown, Silicon Zeroes, FF Tactics, Fire Emblem (the first one that came out in the West), Halo CE, Robotron, Defender, EDF 2025 etc. Etc.
  16. One thing I did like about 3 is you get to see the original T-1 terminator model and it's rubbish.
  17. matt0


    I love Blame! It's full of so many hooks for the imagination and it does a great job of communicating vast spaces and distances visually. Also Tsutomu Nihei does not give a fuck whether you can tell what's going on in his action scenes. Biomega is possibly the better series with wilder ideas and tighter art (although I love how raw and scratchy Blame! looks at times) but there's not much in it. Noise and Abara are good too if you can find them.
  18. I didn't play Wildermyth. I suspect it might be one of the best games ever made. Personal top ten material. I'm almost afraid to play it at this point.
  19. Valkyria Chronicles (Switch): A charming, janky mess. Fun but broken troop to troop combat. Terrible boss fights and scripted moments in battles. Pacey but overly sentimental anime storytelling that still somehow manages to juggle very heavy themes in a way that doesn't come across a crass. Also, surprisingly few RPG elements - almost none in fact? Weird. The cover system is hilariously broken - as long as an enemy is crouching behind some sandbags they are in cover. Even if you're standing behind them, on the same side as the sandbags, with your gun pointing directly at their head, you only do chip damage because the enemy is "in cover". The command points system is broken as well, where you can move any unit as many times as you like in a turn as long as you have the points to spend. This lets you orchestrate flanking manouvers or push through enemy lines through brute force- but it also means that the when the enemy boss spontaneously appears in a scripted event, they've clearly been scripted not to do the obvious thing which is spend every command point unloading in to your key units in a forced game over condition. So they shoot at you twice, and then run round a corner for no reason. Then all their underlings fanny about running back and forth doing nothing until their command points are all spent... It would've worked better if it was asynchronous - you get the command point system but the enemy just gets a normal every unit moves once per turn - because as it is always feels like the enemy is playing to lose. I had a good time with it, I went through a cycle of being fully invested, to cursing its existence, back to fully invested twice, because it's a disaster of a tactics game, but it's just fun to play. Manoeuvring your troops in real time is fun. Charging in to enemy fire with a defensive buff is fun. Aiming manually and sniping enemies with headshots is fun (I wonder if this was the basis for the Phoenix Point aiming system - it feels like a direct ancestor...). And it looks beautiful - strong PS2 feel realised on more powerful hardware. Exo One (Xbox One): I've lost track of graphics. I couldn't tell you what is good or bad graphics. People are saying Halo Infinite has bad graphics so I squint at my TV and the only conclusion I can come away with is "it has graphics". All the games have all the graphics now. Exo One has NEW GRAPHICS. Stuff I've never seen before. Soar through volumetric clouds and strange vortexes of light and energy, impressive weather effects, squalls of light and particles... Roll a space marble through a very hi definition mid 90s Amiga demoscene production and remember when a mid 90s Amiga demo was still new and exciting even in that era of crispy texture mapped polygons on far more capable systems. ... And that's probably 2021 done. Here's everything I played this year ranked: And the top 20 of everything I've finished since I started posting in these threads in 2017 with new entries in green.
  20. matt0

    Nintendo Switch

    22% docked, 78% portable. All seems about right.
  21. I find the massive vehicle sections in Halo 3 a bit too random and frequently unsatisfying to be honest. Sometimes they play out beautifully and are moments of grand spectacle but a lot of the time you get clipped by a wraith mortar 10 seconds in and spend the rest of the battle doddering about on foot chasing after other vehicles to commandeer... CE's vehicle sections are more methodical although on a less grand scale which I think I prefer. 2's are either shooting galleries or an awkward first step towards what they did with 3. Everything post 3 feels like a mid point of all those approaches. The highlights of Halo for me have always been the regular combat with the vehicles either occasionally forming a dynamic part of that or specific vehicle sections providing a nice way to break up the experience. Infinite could do with with more vehicle bits and more grand scale engagements but it still has its (very occasional) moments. I did the bit where banshees first show up last night and it was magnificent, comandeering one and blasting sniper emplacements with missiles over vast distances. There's been a lot of Halo games now and there's a lot of different approaches to setpiece and encounter design across the series, so everyone has their favourite games and own concept of what makes a good Halo game. 3 is fairly low down the list for me, I actually prefer Infinite.
  22. "just stuff off game pass" Yeah but, what sort of... "stuff"
  23. This could only be more ridiculous if the venue where he announced this was a hotel owned by Atari.
  24. I don't think that was true towards the end of the Bungie era though. The 343 Halo combat model is based on ODST and Reach and they both gave you a very generous supply of scoped pistol, carbine and battle rifle ammo - enough so you could play through most of the game with those weapons. Halo 2 as well, although less by design in that case and more by being a gigantic mess, the Brute AI had no response to you engaging them at range. I've died a fair amount in some places with Infinite on Heroic and have had to switch up weapons and make use of the grapple hook and on one occasion the scanner when I was ambushed by a pair of cloaked elites. I haven't found it significantly easier than the rest of the series, at least on Heroic.
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