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Alan Stock

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    Games, Photography, Travelling, Films, Clubbing, Dog's bottoms.

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  1. Alan Stock

    Outer Wilds

    @Pob I got stuck on landing on the moon because of the same reasoning as you. It's not very logical so I didn't even try it until I'd ran out of other ideas! One thing that I really like about Outer Wilds is that usually games with this kind of structure use stuff like door passwords or new equipment to stop you reaching the end right away. In this game though, it's knowledge of how the world works and hidden mechanics that "lock off" the end parts of Outer Wilds. Once you know how the systems work and have figured out the puzzles, you can blitz to the final areas of the game, heck you could start a new game and finish it in minutes (which of course speedrunners have). I love that the answers are there in front of you the whole time but its your lack of knowledge that prevents you from exploiting them. The devs can confidently allow access to them from the start because there's no way you'd accidentally find the right things to do on your first few runs. Like all the best puzzle games most of the final puzzles test your knowledge of the way the world actually works and prove you have pieced together the info gained in previous playthroughs. When I think back to my some of my favourite puzzle games of all time, they share this theme. In Riven (Mysts sequel) you have to connect disparate bits of info across the islands into something that makes sense, its only by understanding the world, the culture and even the language that you'll ever reach the end. In the Witness and Talos Principle you learn rules which when combined together allow you to solve very complex puzzles. The Witness is quite similar to Outer Wilds in that once you understand the rules you can race to the end from the start, and brilliantly (and infuriatingly) the Witnesses even randomises its final secret puzzles to make sure you understood the rules properly. Even the Portal games do this if you ignore all the gadgets and gimmicks, essentially you're learning the rules of what the gun can do and by the end the games are testing all of your combined knowledge of how the system works. When you compare this to other types of puzzle game, like point and click adventures, or stuff like The Room, although they're also really good, I think its so much more satisfying to come away from a game feeling like you know its systems and world inside out. And ultimately that knowledge was required to finish it.
  2. Alan Stock

    Outer Wilds

    @Pob You already have everything you need to know. Try some stuff! Re: discussion above (Minor general spoilers)
  3. Alan Stock

    Outer Wilds

    You're missing something else there Pob. I can't reveal it without spoiling it - but there is a key bit of info you'll either already have, or have yet to find that will guarantee your success getting on that moon! If you need any more clues such as where to start looking for the info, just holler.
  4. Alan Stock

    Outer Wilds

    Yeah I definitely recommend checking out that NoClip documentary on Youtube (linked a few pages back). The simulation side of this game is pretty amazing - in other games they'd just fudge it but in Outer Wilds they simulated all the gravity and stuff. One great example is the zero g training cave on your home planet. They didn't mess with the phsyics system at all when they made it, instead they put the cave at the core of the planet and all the gravitational forces around it just made it zero g naturally - how cool is that?
  5. Alan Stock

    Outer Wilds

    I couldn't ignore Outer Wilds any longer after it picked up so many Game of the Year nominations so I bought it last week. Holy crap, what a stunner of a game! It's super orignal, exploration is at the forefront, the puzzles are clever and it's packed with wow moments. It's got heart too, from the soundtrack to the story. If you're like me and have been put off playing this by the boring-looking gameplay and simple visuals, I highly recommend giving it a chance. What unfolds is an epic adventure of exploration and eureka moments, breadcrumb trails waiting to be uncovered and weird planets that will blow your mind. I played it every chance I got until I finished it yesterday and just wish I could forget it all and play it again. It's a sort of weird hyrbid of mystery, space adventure and puzzle game. The problem with hyping this game up though is that to sell its best moments is to spoil it. The best advice is to go in with as little knowledge as possible and just give it a whirl for a few hours. If you're not hooked by then, it's probably not the game for you. Outer Wilds isn't afraid to just let you loose in the galaxy with your little ship and explore. You get direction from the hundreds of clues and locations around the planets, which will either leave you with questions you want to answer, or point you to somewhere new to check out. The freedom was very refreshing, especially on the back of recently replaying the Myst series (where you're plonked into a weird world with no clue what you're doing). The game does have a few little flaws (as discussed in this thread) but they are very minor compared to how amazing the rest of the game is. These include a slow opening section, slightly wonky flight mechanics and some frustration with the final puzzles. But although there can be some annoying bits they are overshadowed by the sense of wonder, the epic scale and the sheer imagination on offer in Outer Wilds. It definitely deserves its 2019 game of the year nominations, don't let it slip under your radar like I did!
  6. You get trucks as part of the story don't you? If not, its a reward for one of the main side missions around the end of chapter 3 or 4. I seem to remember unlocking them in Lake Knot city. I can't imagine life without the trucks, they are amazing for road building and taking on 5 missions at the same time. If you check the vehicles tab in the fabricate menu are there no trucks there? I've also unlocked at least 2 truck variants by doing side missions (raising stars level) for shelters. I haven't played for about a month but plan to get into it again this Xmas. I seem to be about to enter the end stretch and honestly I don't want it to end. I feel like doing a load of missions and finishing off roads just to delay the inevitable. It sounds crazy as I must have about 80 hours on the clock but I wish the world was even bigger!
  7. If you mean the big ship then nope, its part of the story. Enjoy, its an amazing game!
  8. Yeah the controls in the boss sections still suck even using the shoulder buttons. Combine this with the camera perspective in the boss fights and they mostly feel clunky and frustrating. I'm near the end now, people here were talking about a point of no return - but do you get a chance after the final boss to go back and collect all the missing gems/Boos? Something that seems a bit odd is I haven't come across a single Boo since the first one that you are introduced to, and I'm on floor 12, the same thing with the rare ghosts. I've also cleared a lot of the gems so I'm a bit suprised I haven't run into them during my backtracking. Overall its a fun game but it only holds my attention for a few hours at a time. When I'm playing it though I love the visuals, the attention to detail and the little puzzles in it. It's amazingly polished but doesn't quite get up to the 9/10 mark for me. I think partly that's because the structure is very basic, the combat is weak and nothing is too taxing. Plus there's only so much you can do with a vaccum cleaner. If it had had more of a Metroidvania structure it might have helped, sadly not too many of the vaccums abilities are used - in fact the most interesting uses of them are often reserved for the secret gems which I've vowed to hunt down before the end. A telling thing about the structure is that in one area I just unlocked I got a new vaccum ability, only to find out it can only be used in specific places that are clearly signposted. It's all so linear. Despite its flaws though its just so lovingly put together and imaginative I can't really knock it, I just wouldn't say it's a "must play" (unless you have kids in which case they will love it!).
  9. Question for those who have finished the game:
  10. Any verdicts on the complete season of Life is Strange 2? At first I hated season 1 due to its cheesiness, soundtrack and teen angst but ended up loving it by the end thanks to the characters and real emotional bits. I played the demo for Life is Strange 2 but it seemed pretty cheesy again and really slow. It didn't really grab me and the setting was way too similar to the first game. But it was only an hour or two long and I know the premise of the sequel is actually a road trip. Do you think I'd like it?
  11. I agree, I think the game was released to reviewers too late and the "must complete it" stipulation hindered rather than helped reviewers. This isn't a game where just following the story missions gets you the most out of it. On top of that half the fun of the game is the collaborative stuff like roads and revisiting areas to optimise them. Few of the reviewers would have had any time to indulge in any of that stuff. Compare that to me where I spent like 15 hours or more just pottering sround in episode 3. In addition the side missions actually unlock gear which helps in the tougher story missions. I watched some of YouTuber Jacksepticeyes pre release playthrough, and he was constantly having server issues. The cooperative aspect is a big part of the game and it seemed shakey at best before release due to the small server population and the servers going down for patches etc before launch. Once Jacksepticeye reached release day, suddenly his world was alive with player structures, the servers were working properly and he was getting all the feedback from the stuff he'd previously built. It changed him from liking the game to loving it, and I wonder how many other reviewers never really got the full experience due to similar issues or just lack of time to enjoy the game at their own pace. Sure its still going to be very divisive, but its like giving someone Animal Crossing with a week to play it and expecting them to appreciate all the depth in there and the stuff that takes ages to pay off.
  12. Why does the thread title have the horror tag, or is that supposed to be a joke? I think far too many people dismiss this game without ever giving it a shot. Just the mention of David Cage will stop some people from ever giving it a chance. In reality its a really good game with some great characters and acting, a story where your choices actually matter. Even if the story is a bit whack and the whole race comparisions is done pretty hamfistedly, by that point you're sucked in and the emotional punches can hit hard. It feels like you're in an interactive film with some epic scenes and a great build up to the climax where earlier decisions really start to make you nervous for your characters' welfare. I ended up playing through the game 3 times, each with different endings. I also watched quite a few YouTubers play through it, as its great to see what different choices they make and their reactions to all the madness and hard choices in the game. I've seen people geniunely crying at points in the story. It's a great game, it may have a few flaws but overall its a perfect game to stick on the TV and play through with your other half.
  13. Yeah I said earlier I was going to do some side questing before continuing the story. I ended up spending a day getting more of the road network up to scratch, repairing old structures and connecting the mountains to the east with 'lines. What an epic personal mission the latter was, climbing to summits fully laden with upgrade materials. One descent was so steep I had to use climbing ropes all the way down from the snowy summit to the grassy slopes, I died 3 times in the process but managed to get the structures in place. Now I have a route spanning from With my new transit system in place I smashed out a bunch of side missions and raised my reputation with a bunch of settlements. I ended up unlocking some really handy items (and of course different sunglasses colours, whooopeee....). At the end of the day I probably spent far longer building this stuff than the amount of time it will save me. But I enjoyed the challenge, it was a self-made adventure that was really compelling and satisfying. It has that minecraft hook to it where you really should go to bed but your base (in minecraft) just needs that one improvement, and before you know it its 4am and youve built a castle with moat and an automated farming system.
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