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Alan Stock

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Everything posted by Alan Stock

  1. Watched this today, I definitely think he has some good points. Surely the temptation would be to go even bigger for a sequel, but I'd prefer them to either scale back the size, or keep the size and have more unique stuff in it to find. I also think difficulty scaling of some kind would be good, at least for going back to easier areas, maybe not the other way around because you don't want to lose the 'oh god Caelid' moments. I know the horse is intergral to Elden Ring but I'd actually not mind seeing a smaller scale world without a horse to zoom around on, you could condense more meaningful content in a smaller area, have less filler and less roaming. But like Mark says, its still a brilliant game overall. But can it be improved? Definitely.
  2. Cool, I'll stick with medium to begin with then, thanks. Time to get small!
  3. Thanks pinholestar, yeah sounds great. My only exposure to Grounded has been via Youtubers when it first came out, who always play together, so it was hard to get a sense of how solo play would hold up. And as for challenge, I love survival challenges as long as its not too grindy or frustrating. I'm a big fan of stuff like the Long Dark, Don't Starve etc. In fact would you recommend upping any of the difficulty settings in Grounded for a more challenging (whilst still being fun) experience?
  4. What's the thoughts on playing this solo, and likewise playing Valheim solo? I just got Gamepass for PC, so I can play them both now. I think I want to do one of them co-op but the other for late night single player. Whatcha reckon?
  5. Not much really happened this episode but I enjoyed it, especially some of the performances: I especially noticed this week how many Scottish actors they have on the cast, which is great. At first in the show I thought it was just them diversifying the Evil Posh English Empire a bit, but then more Scottish actors popped up in other roles as well. They are drawing on a broad international pool of accents in Andor, but I just can't remember an American show with this many Scottish folks in it, I wonder if the casting director or some other higher up has some Scottish connection?
  6. You're maybe a bit more than that if you don't want to go secret hunting. If you do though it takes a good chunk of time, depending on how well you get on. I do agree when you have such a complex level design, it can be pretty hard to narrow down where to start looking, and actually quite hard to remember how to get back in some cases. In Tunic this was only kept at bay because I was quite thorough and happened upon critical paths as part of that. But there's more than a few of them which are arguably a bit too well hidden/off the beaten track. I remember having a similar problem with Link to the Past where the size of the game world made finding the right progression point extremely annoying in some cases.
  7. Come on @therearerules, get to it! Listened to quite a good podcast today from Game Maker's Notebook, an interview with the man behind Tunic. Has some interesting insights into his development process and his inspirations. Clearly it was a labour of love. The podcast channel also does other good interviews on all sorts of games. Podcast link: https://interactive.libsyn.com/exploring-tunic-with-andrew-shouldice The last thing for me left to do is to carry on deciphering the runic language, but its one of those tasks where I think about it, and then see God of War Ragnarok, or Disney+ or whatever on my PS5 home page after a long day at work, and I think.... maybe another day. Maybe it's something I can try to get into over christmas. It will be very hard, I think, but satisfying if I can at least crack some of it, and there's definitely clues to the language construction in the manual to help you along. It seems that cracking the language construction might well be the key to figuring out a lot of the more unique nouns. Its a very interesting language because you can even see they've made runic versions of developer roles in the credits, and when entering new areas etc, so it is very fully formed. If you have to be a language whiz to solve it I might be screwed though, I'm just detectiving my way through it. But I've managed to crack other tricky things like number systems in puzzle games so I'm hoping they've given you enough clues and inference points to keep you going. It is very cool to look at a wall of gibberish and at least be able to pick out some key nouns and adjectives that I've figured out.
  8. Yeah just got there tonight as well. Pretty amazing. My mind boggles at the amount of art work that has to go into all that! The patch just fixes a few crashes, I think its just the area we reached is a big step up in the visuals.
  9. Heard about this on the lastest Backpage podcast and decided to give it a shot on Steam. It's fab! It's a 2D puzzler very much inspired by The Witness and the puzzles are great/fiendish/satisfying. I've put about 10 hours into it so far and it's been a headscratcher, a headache and a joy. Just like the The Witness, you have an open world to explore filled with panel puzzles with a simple grid input. You have access to a whole load of areas from the start and can tackle them in any order, with some areas being locked behind puzzle sets. You have to determine the puzzle logic for each set as they get more complex. The game is dastardly and brilliant in up-ending your initial solutions, when you suddenly hit a brick wall in a set and have to re-evaluate why the answers you got earlier worked. It's very clever and also can be very tough. You can brute force some answers but you'll either have to understand the logic to progress, or if you fluke it, at least try to figure it out for your own satisfaction. It's got a nice chilled out atmosphere with the art style and music, and has pretty low spec requirements. Price is £20. I'd definitely recommend this for people who liked The Witness. It's not as rich or deep, but the core puzzling is just as compelling, complex and clever. It doesn't have such a good difficulty curve as its inspiration, so if you struggled with The Witness this might be more frustrating than fun, but if puzzling is your jam, give it a shot.
  10. Got to the next big area tonight and wow, it's beautiful. Definitely continuing to flex those graphical chops which were missing a bit in the beginning. Also I turned on the R3 to show critical path thing, thanks for the tip. Enemies are getting harder but my skill is improving to match. I think the combat feels better in this game than the last, and there's a bit more to it. Once you get over the complexity like Chrichstand says it is pretty damned good.
  11. The callouts from the companions are really helpful. I find it hard to keep my eye on the attack direction arrows with so much going on. Had a very tough battle in the second Draugerhold which took many deaths to beat, but was so satisfying when I got there. It forced me to learn a bunch of the moves I'd unlocked. It's getting better fun as it goes on. The characters are great:
  12. Luck definitely increases the chances of a rare chest still. The Dairy I actually found harder than most of the later levels, in fact they nerfed it in a recent patch but it sounds like it's still hard! I'm happy to see more people get to try this out thanks to Gamepass, its a perfect example of how a lo-fi game stripped to its bare essentials can be better fun and more addictive than a bunch of recent AAA blockbusters.
  13. Definitely sounds interesting. There was a big interview on IGN with the creator on this a while back: https://www.ign.com/articles/what-is-obsidian-pentiment
  14. @Indy @ S.E. That's the first big hurdle, time-wise. Don't forget you can spend your gold on the main menu and should probably focus on survivability related upgrades to begin with to increase your game time. Focussing on a few weapons is a good tactic early in the metagame, just try and get ones that compliment each other, so if you have a short range weapon try getting a longer ranged or area attack to compliment it. In the early stage of the metagame, you'll find you last longer with close range area denial, like Garlic, upgraded whip, etc. This lets you carve out holes when you are surrounded. Chickens (HP restore) can spawn from destructible scenery, but if you stay in one place you probably won't spawn any more in, so keep moving. Don't just go in one direction though because you'll end up leaving loads of gems on the ground, try to do big loops or retrace your steps from time to time. For mini boss enemies (the big ones with loads of HP), it's worth focussing on them when you can, because they will drop the almighty chests which are the key to staying ahead of the enemy power curve. I could give more tips but half the fun is figuring it all out for yourself, good luck!
  15. Great news, also hope they get the presenters back, that was a big appeal of the show - and of course I hope the comedy genius of Trevor returns! Not sure what they'll do to target it more at the younger market. Probably more focus on games popular with that demographic for challenges etc and maybe less retro type stuff. The humour might have to shift a bit but hopefully that doesn't mean ditching Rob. And don't expect an audience of middle aged people if it's still a live audience (or contestants). I'm picturing Fun House levels of kids rocking all over the place here
  16. Good piece by Nathan there. I definitely agree with some of what he's saying, and I didn't even pick up Forbidden West or Ghost of Tsushima for these reasons. I also get the non-critical path heebie jeebies and am constantly having to turn back on my collectible hunt in fear of triggering a new section or boss fight. I think though that like the Uncharted sequels its the characters and satisfying gameplay that keep me going in Ragnarok, and just to see what they're going to show you next. It is a bit of a worrying trend though, that the first game in a big Sony series will have some cool new stuff and ideas, but then it all filters into the other series and the sequels and becomes gameplay-wise really homogenous. At least Ragnarok isn't open world, although it certainly shares elements with that. There was also a rant on Kotaku yesterday about how much the author hates crafting and is sick of it, which I can relate to, and the loot game aspects don't add much for me in these latest Sony games. The only exception being Last of Us 2, where materials are so scarce that it feels like a weighty decision to choose what to craft. Although at least in Ragnarok's case the crafted items do seem to have a bigger impact on your playstyle.
  17. Pretty sure it's in the Lessons bit of the Codex. I put in about 5 more hours last night in the first big area. Having fun, even though its very familiar territory. Pootling around in the boat, lovely environments, chitchat and clearing out secrets. As I enjoy finding the collectibles in this, I'm making sure to explore every inch, which is time consuming (you can check collectible progress by selecting the flag icons on the map). This time around I'm on the case with Odin's ravens, which were a nightmare to go back and collect in the first game. The combat is still tough, the Hard mode lives up to its name and I can easily die on normal enemy encounters. Some bosses will see me with tons of deaths but I'll get there in the end. I'm slowly becoming more survivable with armour and health upgrades. Like the first game, I find it very hard to remember all the moves available to me. I've never been very good at fighting games, so I try and mentally ingrain a new attack at a time into my arsenal. There's a lot to process when you have more than a few enemies to deal with. Each has their own specific block reqirements, you have ranged attacks to dodge, and your own large moveset to consider. People who are better at fighting games than me will get more out of it - but despite me dying a lot, it's satisfying when I eventually pull off a big combat room using all the tools at my disposal. It also makes the collecting/exploring aspect meaningful, because I need those extra goodies to become stronger. And don't forget to keep upgrading your weapon skills, the game doesn't prompt you to do it so you can be sitting on thousands of XP that you forget to spend! Already had some amazing vistas to behold, and I definitely agree it feels more next-gen as you go on, even if the core gameplay is the same. Very beautiful at times and the details are amazing. The characters are as entertaining as ever. So, its been a comfort play at the moment, it's fun being back in this world, and I honestly don't mind the slow pace I'm going at. Hopefully it will add some new wrinkles in as we go on. PS I have found the dialogue a little hard to make out at times, maybe due to other audio cluttering the mix, or the variety of accents. I turned off subtitles because I hate them, but tempted to turn them on again. Anyone else finding this?
  18. Ah, I did a search for the vid name here and it didn't come up. Feel free to delete this one mods.
  19. Quality episode. Some amazing performances, especially the last speech. Also the main theme tune has really grown on me, it was used beautifully here.
  20. Definitely agree with this. I've literally had him tell me what to do 3 seconds after I have started the puzzle! So far, just like the last game you do have to use your noggin a wee bit. But not with Atreus telling you exactly what to do all the time! It's like they're so worried people will get stuck, or maybe its accessibility gone too far. If you're worried about those things at least have it as a gameplay option we can turn on and off, they'd only have to flag the hint lines in code and have a toggle on or off for them, easy. Maybe if enough people moan about it they can shoehorn it into a coming patch.
  21. Another good mini-documentary from People Make Games (who did the Roblox expose a while ago). Total madness that there's still no regulation for this stuff. Looking forward to the next episode as well which goes into the weird inner workings of Valve.
  22. I've been on PS5 performance and no technical issues so far. Also I wanted to mention how they've made Kratos' environmental traversal a lot quicker, faster animations for getting up ledges and stuff, which makes everything feel a bit more fluid. Combat seems like its already deeper and more engaging than the first game and I'm only an hour or two in:
  23. To contrast I played on Hard for a few hours last night and found the bosses much harder than expected, but I can't remember how that is compared to Hard on the original. Maybe once I start getting gear the learning curve will kick in a bit. First impressions are it hasn't wowed me yet, like folks say its like hopping into a DLC and the grand fights so far don't have the same impact because we've seen it before. But it's still good being back with father and boy and their little crew, character stuff is as good as ever.
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