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What Was The Last Game You Played?


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On 19/02/2022 at 18:42, BFTD said:

I've tried going back to the original XCOM games, but time has not been kind!

There's undoubtedly going to be an XCOM 3, so we'll see a next-gen XCOM at some point. For now, they're apparently working on a similar game based on the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, because it's for a wider audience, I'd imagine that'll be more Chimera Squad than War of the Chosen, and probably even more dumbed down than that.

Not that Chimera Squad was a bad game at all, for a filler title. I quite enjoyed the smaller scale and shift of focus to smaller issues rather than saving the world.

Just coming back to this, midnight suns its called and apprently out second half of this year after being delayed from this month, 

Defo has promise i think 

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Currently playing Hollow Knight. Didn't think it would be my thing, since I prefer games that are more linear. I got to say I am having a fantastic time with it. It is the third metroidvania I have played (The first two being Mega Man ZX and Mega Man ZX Advent), and I am surprised with how I have not gotten bored of the world since there is a good chunk of backtracking. The areas look so stunning, alive, and even psychedelic at times, that backtracking through them again still feels fresh and immersive. The boss fights are very tough, and the challenge definitely gives it more of a personality. I am currently 30 hours into the game, and I feel that I am still far away from the final boss. If anyone is looking for a game to get very immersed in, then I definitely recommend Hollow Knight. It is probably the best £11 I have ever spent.

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Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (PS4, 2019)

Crash Team Racing is one of my favourite games ever. I wrote a review the last time I played it through and I still enjoyed it, what must have been twenty years after it came out. Thinking about it, it's a shame we no longer live in a world where developers just make kart racing versions of their popular game series anymore. Mario Kart is fine, there are other cartoon things like Garfield and Nickelodeon which have produced kart games but this is video games, surely it makes sense to make games about other games and their characters? Imagine a BioShock karting game, watching a Big Daddy and Andrew Ryan drifting through Arcadia while firing Electro Bolt blasts at one another. I'm off to Kickstarter.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is, on the face of it, great. It's hard to play the original if you don't have a copy or a working console to play it on. I remember being excited for a remake and knowing I'd get around to it one day and hopefully enjoy it as much as the original, just with more colour and refinement. When I found out it would have the tracks from Crash Nitro Kart too, a game I'm pretty sure I was the only player of, even better. 

Before I go any further I have two confessions to make. It's been a while since I actually played Adventure Mode in this. I didn't like it at the time I played it last year and wasn't really motivated to go back to it after. I also, usually, earn all the trophies in a game before I write it up. I haven't this time. I tried, I wanted to, I tried a few times and I just couldn't make myself play something I found so unenjoyable. And I've played some absolute stinkers in my time, so you know if I can give up on a version of a game I actually like then it must be going wrong somewhere. 

There are three reasons I didn't enjoy Nitro-Fueled and even as I was playing I couldn't really work out what they were, or try to articulate them. I think it was during my write-up of Detroit: Become Human I mentioned that I've never really understood the uncanny valley concept, where the more realistic something artificial looks the more unusual it looks to people because they can still tell it's not real. This obviously doesn't apply to Crash Bandicoot but there's a level of detail I just find off-putting. The characters and game worlds are extremely vivid and detailed. There's obviously been a lot of work put into these by people who were passionate about retaining the spirit of the original game and it's undeniable that it's all still there. The environments surrounding the tracks are filled with things you'd probably need to do a hundred laps to see in their entirety. The original sounds and music are kept which helps keep the spirit of the original game, and the control system is still as easy to get a hold of as it was. The characters and karts are just as detailed, if anything going too far when you see Crash up close and see his fur.

Here's the thing. I don't like this. All the time I've been playing I kept trying to think of how to describe what I didn't like about it and I think I've settled on 'unpleasant.' There are other reasons for this I'll come to but in the time I spent with this game, I didn't have fun. I didn't have a bright, shiny nostalgia trip. I didn't even feel like I wanted to play the original game, I just felt like I was playing something that was familiar yet completely alien to me at the same time. I couldn't really reconcile those feelings. I've played remakes of games I'd never played and enjoyed them, I've played remakes of games I have played before and enjoyed them, but none of those feelings ever appeared while I was playing Nitro-Fueled. 

The second reason follows on from this, and I think it explains why I don't automatically like the amount of detail put into the game. It's cynical. It has so much - optional - cosmetic content that you can load up an arcade or online race and race against seven other characters who look like they've fallen out of another game. Kart models, colours of kart models, wheels, even colours of all the characters who I've never seen before, they all show up. You can probably spend real money to buy them, I've not paid any attention to it. It feels like an extremely large amount of time and effort was put in to either find or create all these extra characters for no actual gameplay benefit. There's only four different types of handling for the karts so it's all completely cosmetic. You know when people complained about the thought of a bright pink Darth Vader in Battlefront II? That's how this feels to me. I've already got an experience which feels familiar yet bizarre at the same time, now I'm being bombarded with garish colours and noises to further ruin the experience. 151 colours of paint! 108 wheels! 42 bodies! 227 stickers to put on the front! All unlockable only at the whims of microtransactions and what happens to be arbitrarily available in the store at a time. It's ghastly.

The final point of contention I have is also what broke me in my attempt to get all the game's trophies. The gameplay. It's easy to play Crash Team Racing and complete the Adventure mode, as well as win any single race you do and post competitive times in the time trials. To beat the really good times though you need to master the boost mechanics. This is easy, you press one shoulder button to hop as you turn and start the drift, then the opposite one to time and launch your boost. Easy. Problem is, in the time trials you need to do this constantly and perfectly. Even on tracks that are effectively just giant rectangles, you need to be going sideways. 

This ends up making the game feel like the complete opposite of what a kart racer should be. It's not easy to learn and hard to master, it's easy to learn and completely unnatural to even attempt to master. There's no way to drive with any finesse or precision. No two attempts at a lap or even a corner have any consistency or seemingly reason as to what direction, angle or speed your kart moves at. I couldn't figure out how to do it, and I couldn't make myself learn. It's not that it was hard, it's that I wasn't enjoying trying and nothing I did seemed to make any difference. You watch videos of people beating the Developer times which are even more extreme than the target times I was trying for and I'm just at a loss. There are 37 tracks in the game you need to set a time on and I managed the top time on... none of them. I couldn't manage the first track in the game that's also probably the most-played by virtue of that, Crash Cove. I just couldn't do it.

I honestly don't remember having a reaction a game like I did with Nitro-Fueled. I've played things I thought were bad, boring, stupid, broken, but nothing made me feel as uncomfortable and frustrated the way this did. I don't have much hope for the remake of the standard trilogy now, whenever I get to that. 
 

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Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (PS4, 2019)
Crash Team Racing is one of my favourite games ever. I wrote a review the last time I played it through and I still enjoyed it, what must have been twenty years after it came out. Thinking about it, it's a shame we no longer live in a world where developers just make kart racing versions of their popular game series anymore. Mario Kart is fine, there are other cartoon things like Garfield and Nickelodeon which have produced kart games but this is video games, surely it makes sense to make games about other games and their characters? Imagine a BioShock karting game, watching a Big Daddy and Andrew Ryan drifting through Arcadia while firing Electro Bolt blasts at one another. I'm off to Kickstarter.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is, on the face of it, great. It's hard to play the original if you don't have a copy or a working console to play it on. I remember being excited for a remake and knowing I'd get around to it one day and hopefully enjoy it as much as the original, just with more colour and refinement. When I found out it would have the tracks from Crash Nitro Kart too, a game I'm pretty sure I was the only player of, even better. 
Before I go any further I have two confessions to make. It's been a while since I actually played Adventure Mode in this. I didn't like it at the time I played it last year and wasn't really motivated to go back to it after. I also, usually, earn all the trophies in a game before I write it up. I haven't this time. I tried, I wanted to, I tried a few times and I just couldn't make myself play something I found so unenjoyable. And I've played some absolute stinkers in my time, so you know if I can give up on a version of a game I actually like then it must be going wrong somewhere. 
There are three reasons I didn't enjoy Nitro-Fueled and even as I was playing I couldn't really work out what they were, or try to articulate them. I think it was during my write-up of Detroit: Become Human I mentioned that I've never really understood the uncanny valley concept, where the more realistic something artificial looks the more unusual it looks to people because they can still tell it's not real. This obviously doesn't apply to Crash Bandicoot but there's a level of detail I just find off-putting. The characters and game worlds are extremely vivid and detailed. There's obviously been a lot of work put into these by people who were passionate about retaining the spirit of the original game and it's undeniable that it's all still there. The environments surrounding the tracks are filled with things you'd probably need to do a hundred laps to see in their entirety. The original sounds and music are kept which helps keep the spirit of the original game, and the control system is still as easy to get a hold of as it was. The characters and karts are just as detailed, if anything going too far when you see Crash up close and see his fur.
Here's the thing. I don't like this. All the time I've been playing I kept trying to think of how to describe what I didn't like about it and I think I've settled on 'unpleasant.' There are other reasons for this I'll come to but in the time I spent with this game, I didn't have fun. I didn't have a bright, shiny nostalgia trip. I didn't even feel like I wanted to play the original game, I just felt like I was playing something that was familiar yet completely alien to me at the same time. I couldn't really reconcile those feelings. I've played remakes of games I'd never played and enjoyed them, I've played remakes of games I have played before and enjoyed them, but none of those feelings ever appeared while I was playing Nitro-Fueled. 
The second reason follows on from this, and I think it explains why I don't automatically like the amount of detail put into the game. It's cynical. It has so much - optional - cosmetic content that you can load up an arcade or online race and race against seven other characters who look like they've fallen out of another game. Kart models, colours of kart models, wheels, even colours of all the characters who I've never seen before, they all show up. You can probably spend real money to buy them, I've not paid any attention to it. It feels like an extremely large amount of time and effort was put in to either find or create all these extra characters for no actual gameplay benefit. There's only four different types of handling for the karts so it's all completely cosmetic. You know when people complained about the thought of a bright pink Darth Vader in Battlefront II? That's how this feels to me. I've already got an experience which feels familiar yet bizarre at the same time, now I'm being bombarded with garish colours and noises to further ruin the experience. 151 colours of paint! 108 wheels! 42 bodies! 227 stickers to put on the front! All unlockable only at the whims of microtransactions and what happens to be arbitrarily available in the store at a time. It's ghastly.
The final point of contention I have is also what broke me in my attempt to get all the game's trophies. The gameplay. It's easy to play Crash Team Racing and complete the Adventure mode, as well as win any single race you do and post competitive times in the time trials. To beat the really good times though you need to master the boost mechanics. This is easy, you press one shoulder button to hop as you turn and start the drift, then the opposite one to time and launch your boost. Easy. Problem is, in the time trials you need to do this constantly and perfectly. Even on tracks that are effectively just giant rectangles, you need to be going sideways. 
This ends up making the game feel like the complete opposite of what a kart racer should be. It's not easy to learn and hard to master, it's easy to learn and completely unnatural to even attempt to master. There's no way to drive with any finesse or precision. No two attempts at a lap or even a corner have any consistency or seemingly reason as to what direction, angle or speed your kart moves at. I couldn't figure out how to do it, and I couldn't make myself learn. It's not that it was hard, it's that I wasn't enjoying trying and nothing I did seemed to make any difference. You watch videos of people beating the Developer times which are even more extreme than the target times I was trying for and I'm just at a loss. There are 37 tracks in the game you need to set a time on and I managed the top time on... none of them. I couldn't manage the first track in the game that's also probably the most-played by virtue of that, Crash Cove. I just couldn't do it.
I honestly don't remember having a reaction a game like I did with Nitro-Fueled. I've played things I thought were bad, boring, stupid, broken, but nothing made me feel as uncomfortable and frustrated the way this did. I don't have much hope for the remake of the standard trilogy now, whenever I get to that. 
 
I remember being ecstatic when I got CTR for Christmas in 1999. Sadly, I only experienced it for a few days since my older brother was pissed off that he had to wait to play his new game, and broke the CTR disc when he chucked it towards the radiator. I was absolutely livid.
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Been playing Dying Light 2 today. It took a wee bit longer than I would like to open up into the free roam part but now that I'm here I'm thoroughly loving it. I don't know how but they've managed to improve on the free running element, it's so much fun. 

Always struck me as a bit peculiar how Assasins Creed smashed it with free running and innovative exploration only to be overtaken by many other games that have it as a side part. Assasins Creed with dying light movement would be spectacular. 

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On 03/03/2022 at 12:48, Sigma said:

I remember being ecstatic when I got CTR for Christmas in 1999. Sadly, I only experienced it for a few days since my older brother was pissed off that he had to wait to play his new game, and broke the CTR disc when he chucked it towards the radiator. I was absolutely livid.

Source a copy of that rather than the remake.

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The simple solution to shite remakes/remasters is to give all remakes/remasters to Nightdive Studios.

M2 & Hamster are also good at bringing older stuff to modern systems.

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1 hour ago, GNU_Linux said:

The simple solution to shite remakes/remasters is to give all remakes/remasters to Nightdive Studios.

I wouldn't disagree, but it's only fair to point out that I've been waiting about six years for the System Shock remake that I bought  :P

When it's done, lads; just so long as it's good  :thumsup2

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Slowly working through XCOM: Chimera Squad again, as the series has been mentioned on here lately, and my son loves watching me play them.

It's a lot of fun as a stripped-down, beginners' version of the full games. I like the addition of defined squadmates, who banter and reveal aspects of their personalities in side conversations. It's also nice to get a glimpse of the new post-victory world, with all sorts of difficulties with humans living alongside their former rulers and experiencing all the problems you'd imagine. It's also surprisingly amusing and light-hearted.

The main thing I'd forgotten is that it's buggy as f**k! Not in a crashing, corrupted saved games, can't-progress kind of way - I don't think I've ever had a problem like that with it. It's all weird glitches like guns firing at ninety degree angles to the barrel, squad mates talking who aren't present on the mission, physics going apeshit and character models twitching around like mad; that kind of thing. I know that stuff infuriates some folk but, for me, it just adds to the goofy lightness of the whole thing. Would recommend, even for hardcore XCOM fans as a change of pace.

Edited by BFTD
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On 02/03/2022 at 08:21, Sigma said:

Currently playing Hollow Knight. Didn't think it would be my thing, since I prefer games that are more linear. I got to say I am having a fantastic time with it. It is the third metroidvania I have played (The first two being Mega Man ZX and Mega Man ZX Advent), and I am surprised with how I have not gotten bored of the world since there is a good chunk of backtracking. The areas look so stunning, alive, and even psychedelic at times, that backtracking through them again still feels fresh and immersive. The boss fights are very tough, and the challenge definitely gives it more of a personality. I am currently 30 hours into the game, and I feel that I am still far away from the final boss. If anyone is looking for a game to get very immersed in, then I definitely recommend Hollow Knight. It is probably the best £11 I have ever spent.

I rage quit it 3 times over the past few years before sticking with it in November last year. Put 70 hours into it and got to 104% completion. An incredible game. 

However I still haven't beat one boss because it's horrendously hard. 

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Mario & Rabbids is basically a children's XCom if anyone is looking for the modern XCom experience in a different style of game.

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20 minutes ago, Ludo*1 said:

Mario & Rabbids is basically a children's XCom if anyone is looking for the modern XCom experience in a different style of game.

Wait, is this the first incentive I've had to try a Mario game since the original Donkey Kong?

200.gif

Edited by BFTD
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About 50 hours into Elden Ring at the moment, it's staggering how massive this game is. First real 10/10 game I've played in a long time. 

Still finding bosses and other hidden areas and I’m nearly level 200 on my first play through with a lot of hours already poured into it. I’m collecting all the Katanas in my quest to get the perfect Dex/Int build on the go.
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1 minute ago, SweeperDee said:


Still finding bosses and other hidden areas and I’m nearly level 200 on my first play through with a lot of hours already poured into it. I’m collecting all the Katanas in my quest to get the perfect Dex/Int build on the go.

I've just reached the capital city, Leyendell, for the first time earlier tonight. That area alone looks about the size of some other full games! 

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I've just reached the capital city, Leyendell, for the first time earlier tonight. That area alone looks about the size of some other full games! 

It’s genuinely bewildering some of the sizes of the areas. Only criticism I could possibly level at areas like Leyndell is that you can’t use your horse in most parts of them; takes quite a while to get around on foot. You’re in for some good fights there though, enjoy.
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Played some Ghost Of Tsushima today. Sexy ass game. As a fan of Red Dead 2 it's similarly majestic. The whole doing away with the mini map and relying on the wind is very cool. The combat is tricky whilst rewarding and overall is a well crafted gem of a game. 

As an aside I've seen a lot of discussions about Ubisoft employees and similar types laying into Elder Rings and getting utterly rolled on social media in response. Thought it was an intriguing nerdy gamer debate and i do feel like most mainstream developers go down the same old route of shitloads of ingame walk-throughs and overload the hints and tips so I do appreciate games that try and take different approaches, not sure on the ingame messages from other players though. 

Edited by Albus Bulbasaur
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Ghost of Tsushima was a gorgeous looking game with some really cool quirks. But... the initial charm soon wore off and I got bored after a few hours of the same repetitive tasks*. However, I had come straight from playing the base game of The Witcher 3 so the next thing was always going to be dull in comparison.

*I guess that's the trap most open world games fall into but something like HZD or Spider-Man at least managed to be quirky enough to maintain my interest. Assassin's Creed, on the other hand, did not.

 

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27 minutes ago, yoda said:

Ghost of Tsushima was a gorgeous looking game with some really cool quirks. But... the initial charm soon wore off and I got bored after a few hours of the same repetitive tasks*. However, I had come straight from playing the base game of The Witcher 3 so the next thing was always going to be dull in comparison.

*I guess that's the trap most open world games fall into but something like HZD or Spider-Man at least managed to be quirky enough to maintain my interest. Assassin's Creed, on the other hand, did not.

 

Funnily enough I agree with your first part. I've basically just finished the first segment of the island but it's taken me a wee while (I had played before my post on here) and I'm not exactly rushing to play the next part. I feel like after learning the first 3 stances there's not too much more the game can offer other than looking gorgeous buuut regarding your second part I actually loved the latest AC game yet i have seemingly ground to a halt in HZD since I've opened up the world. I don't have an intense desire to see what's next to come. 

My issue now is I'm playing 3 or 4 open world games at the same time so I'm struggling to dive into any single one to truly focus on, doing 3 separate tutorial segments where I had to watch cut scene and then pick berries almost made me quit gaming altogether! Having said that Dying Light 2 is leading the pack right now which is insanely fun and has opened up quite nicely. 

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On 08/03/2022 at 21:55, SweeperDee said:


Still finding bosses and other hidden areas and I’m nearly level 200 on my first play through with a lot of hours already poured into it. I’m collecting all the Katanas in my quest to get the perfect Dex/Int build on the go.

 

On 08/03/2022 at 21:57, StewartyMac said:

I've just reached the capital city, Leyendell, for the first time earlier tonight. That area alone looks about the size of some other full games! 

 

On 08/03/2022 at 21:59, SweeperDee said:


It’s genuinely bewildering some of the sizes of the areas. Only criticism I could possibly level at areas like Leyndell is that you can’t use your horse in most parts of them; takes quite a while to get around on foot. You’re in for some good fights there though, enjoy.

I want to love this game. I want to love it so fucking much. It's absolutely epic. 

So how come I don't? I'm not able to invest the time, energy or effort that is clearly taken in the pursuit of trying to 'git gud' and I'll be honest, my days of relentlessly playing games the entirety of the day are long beyond me. I played it for maybe 90 mins on Saturday and it started to grate on me.

Probably why I've never got on board with any of the Souls games, I'm probably just no longer a skilled enough gamer and can't be arsed becoming one again. It's a shame as I'd have loved to have played through it in a less punishing and grindy environment. 

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