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What Was The Last Game You Played?


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On 04/04/2022 at 23:39, Busta Nut said:

I've been playing Rust recently and it is frustrating as f**k.

i really wanted to like it especially after seeing it on Limmy streams and having a few friends start hosting their own server but it just feels like Minecraft with a more mature skin 

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Type:Rider (PS4, 2017)

If Celeste was the first 2D platformer I'd played in a while then my next game both follows and doesn't follow that. Type:Rider is a 2D platformer where you control a colon through an assortment of levels inspired by the history of typography. The uncommon part for me is that it's largely an educational experience, which definitely isn't something I play normally.

Gameplay is fairly straightforward, if a little awkward. Your colon rolls along the platforms and jumps and can rotate in the air, but the controls are heavily reliant on momentum in a way which isn't always easy to generate. If you need to make a big jump you'll need to have a bit of a run up, and if you miss or hit the edge it's almost impossible to recover and carry on. The checkpoints are plentiful so this isn't really a problem, but the mechanics seem like they should favour fluid and reactive movement but this is rarely possible unless you've tried a level and know where you're going. There's a speedrun timer on all the levels but even without this in mind the game is very short, so I don't think it means much.

There are some occasions where you see glimpses of the potential for more diverse gameplay but they don't come to anything. Sometimes you can jump onto a thin platform where one of your colon's dots will be on the top and another one underneath. There are interesting things you can do here but for the most part it's still just left to right. A to B. Same goes for sections later on where movement in the air is slowed down letting you refine your jumps, but this is gone as quickly as it appears. It's a small team that made this game and it's arguable the gameplay isn't the main focus, but I still felt as if there was potential that went unrealised. 

None of this matters though because I spent some time reading about the history of printing and typography and art design and I loved all of it. Do you know where the concept of capital and small letters came from, or what they were called? I do now. Do you know why typewriters all have the same font? I do. This information is interesting, but not really presented in an engaging way. You find asterisks throughout the levels, you pick them up and you get some pages to read. The backgrounds and elements in levels you interact with correspond to what you're learning which is a nice touch, but until you get to the more modern sections (where you also get to play Tetris and Space Invaders) all of the platforming elements are just plain black and cover up a lot of the interesting looking stuff in the backgrounds. 

It was a fun few hours and I learned stuff. I was never bored. I've done a lot worse with video games. My biggest problem is probably just saying "Type:Rider", even saying it in my head I feel like I'm just saying typewriter in an American accent. 

Edited by Miguel Sanchez
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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been playing City Skylines recently and created an absolute hell hole. I've always tried to play it seriously and I'm a bit worried how much I'm getting carried away in being an evil ruler. 

I've made a town filled with pollution and noise complaints, dirt tracks, 1 medical centre and 1 police station with minimal funding. 3 prisons and no entertainment and then across the road I've made a separate cut off society where they have hospitals and libraries and proper roads with low tax. 

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I've been playing City Skylines recently and created an absolute hell hole. I've always tried to play it seriously and I'm a bit worried how much I'm getting carried away in being an evil ruler. 
I've made a town filled with pollution and noise complaints, dirt tracks, 1 medical centre and 1 police station with minimal funding. 3 prisons and no entertainment and then across the road I've made a separate cut off society where they have hospitals and libraries and proper roads with low tax. 

It just ends up bring traffic management simulator and I love it.
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5 minutes ago, SweeperDee said:


It just ends up bring traffic management simulator and I love it.

If I'm being honest that's my biggest issue with the game. It doesn't really change my opinion of the game overall because I'm aware I'm a casual and appreciate the detail anyway but a few of my early playthroughs were going really well until I realised my traffic management was off the cuff and essentially absolutely terrible. 

The way they slowly build up can create issues if you don't know what's coming up, my most efficient playthrough was going well and then they introduced Trains and Railway systems, I tried to build one and it absolutley fucked my otherwise good settlement and made it so ugly beyond comprehension. 

There's a YouTube video of a legit city planner building a city and it's class to watch all the little things they consider before doing anything. 

Pretty unrelated but I remember playing Call Of Duty with someone that actually served in Iraq and he would end each game with 2 or 3 kills and no deaths whereas everyone else fucked about and died a million times whilst getting kills he would play it so tactically and seriously it was so far removed from my casual experiences. 

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Been playing Bugsnax after it was added to Xbox game pass. Not a game I would have ever paid money for but it's pretty quirky and funny. I've got a feeling the story is going to be a lot weirder and darker than the trailers suggest.

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12 hours ago, Rodhull said:

Been playing Bugsnax after it was added to Xbox game pass. Not a game I would have ever paid money for but it's pretty quirky and funny. I've got a feeling the story is going to be a lot weirder and darker than the trailers suggest.

I've completed that game, was free for a month on PS5 some time last year. Same as yourself, starts off quirky and quite child like but it does develop well. Quite an addictive wee game. 

Mon Filbo. 

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Finishing up Dark souls 3 - the last Souls game on my list before I can really sit down and finish the last 90% of Elden Ring lol. Enjoying it more than I expected, it feels much more guided than the other games but it's got that fast Bloodborne style combat. Can't say the story is on the same level as Dark Souls 1 so far but that's always an unfair comparison to make to any game. 

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Doing the GTAO heist where you travel to the Caribbean Island. (Clearly copied RDR2 Guarma graphics) and you need to sneak past guards, I thought I was being clever by getting in the water to sneak past a checkpoint. Just spent a literal 20 minutes swimming around an island without anyway to get back on the land. I've just given up as no respawn option. 

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Hellblade:Senua's Sacrafice

This was one of the first games I downloaded from Gamepass when I got the Series X over a year ago. Tried on several occasions to get into it but just couldn't. Thought I would give it one last try over the weekend.

f**k me! Absolutely loved it. It's only about 9hrs long, the gameplay is fairly linear, puzzles and combat are relatively basic but what a story. A serious attempt to depict psychosis through your character, a pictish teenager called Senua, this game moved me in ways a game has never done before. Don't mind admitting I was in absolute bits by the end. Sequel coming out later this year, can't wait!



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Hellblade:Senua's Sacrafice

This was one of the first games I downloaded from Gamepass when I got the Series X over a year ago. Tried on several occasions to get into it but just couldn't.


This is exactly where I am with it now. Need to try again, see if I can get into it.
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On 19/04/2022 at 17:30, Mr. Brightside said:

Just finished Elden Ring and got my platinum. It's almost perfect. I need some time to collate my thoughts.

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Erica (PS4, 2019)

Erica is a full-motion video game about a girl named Erica who wakes up one morning to find a box on her doorstep with a severed hand in it. What follows is the investigation into where it came from, what the medallion it was holding is for and Erica's own past, with gameplay taking the form of choices for how to respond in situations and conversations, and the odd situational prompt to interact with an object. 

I've never played a FMV game before, but I've postulated at length about all of David Cage's games in the past so I think I know what I'm doing. That said I'm going to split this up into two parts. One for the format, one for the story. The game opens... in fact it doesn't, before the game opens you're prompted to download the Erica companion app and control the game with your smartphone. It's a better experience apparently. f**k off. It's a games console and I have a controller. I'm using that.

That said, the touchpad on the PS4 really isn't a good way of interacting with this game. With Quantic Dream games you have a selection of options on screen and a button prompt next to them. You press the button for the one you want. This is how video games work, and it's fine. Erica manages to make quick time events worse, which I wouldn't have thought possible. Having to move a pointer over it via the touchpad is much less intuitive. In all the PS4 games I've ever played I don't think I've used it as intimately as I did with Erica. 

I did get better at using it the more I played through the game but it still doesn't work. The area of the pad itself is less than an inch high yet some times you need to do an action going from the top down. This doesn't feel natural, and you're often worried you won't do something right and the action won't progress the way you intended. Sometimes you'll need more than one swipe for it to register. The same goes for picking dialogue options, where I occasionally picked the wrong one. When I got my PS4 I wondered how games would use the touchpad. Erica is probably the most extensive use I've seen and it's really not that good.

The game opens with the declaration that no one path holds all the answers and you'll need to play through it several times to get the full story. This is fine, and it's a premise which we've seen in several genres and to great effect. Given it takes about an hour and a half for a full run of Erica it's also quite helpful and even encouraging, making you want to play again so you can try and figure out what's going on. The biggest problem with this seems to be that you might find some different details, but the story always goes to certain places and ends in the same location, with minimal differences to the outcome. Given how nonsensical the story itself is this doesn't really help.

I think that opening declaration is what proved to be the game's undoing for me. By suggesting I could find all the answers or figure out what was going on it's like a sense of false hope. I saw every ending, I made every choice and I still have lots of questions. Erica finds the hand on her doorstep. The police turn up and say the hand belonged to someone who worked with her father. She spent a lot of time in the mental hospital her parents set up together when she was growing up. Her dad was killed there and she has nightmares about it, so she goes hoping to figure out why her dad was killed and what was really going on. 

I won't go into the story in every detail but the premise is that the hospital is a front for some sort of drug-fuelled cult which tries to copy the Delphic oracles of Ancient Greece by pumping young women full of hallucinogens and making them see the future. This is obviously nonsense but the game's biggest problem is that it never seems to decide whether or not it's real. Erica sees people performing the ritual, but there aren't enough people at Delphi House for this to actually be real. The movements and actions of the prominent figures there never makes any sense and doesn't align with any of the things Erica sees or reacts to. 

I've seen the argument made online that Erica is an unreliable narrator in the midst of a Fight Club-esque split personality madness, which is why a supposedly dead former patient at the hospital is the one who killed her dad and is following her around getting her to disrupt the rituals. Unlike Fight Club though there's never any convincing denouement where this is rationalised. The action moves from one stilted conversation to another in settings that don't make any sense. Erica tags along with the police inspector in charge of the case of the hand that was sent to her but he doesn't make any sense either. 

The way the game is shot and framed doesn't help matters here. As my first FMV I have to say this didn't give me a strong impression of the genre. The entire thing looks filmed and staged far too neatly and precisely. Ultimately the game is an assortment of video clips strung together based on your choices so I understand why there has to be some sort of uniformity. But the stilted nature of conversations and confrontations that have to wait on your input gives the entire thing an awkward quality which feels even more unreal than the story itself. 

This isn't helped by the girl playing Erica, who might be very young and pretty and have immovable hair and never sweats but there's no point where she reacts to anything the way a normal human would. The entire game takes places in her nightmares, her extremely sketchy flat, the mental hospital filled with hallucinatory plant extracts and "The Chief Inspector's House" which I didn't even realise was a new place the first time I played it. Nobody else acts with a modicum of normality either. It's a silly premise but the way the characters react to things make the whole thing seem even more surreal, but not in a good way.

I think there might be a decent story somewhere at the heart of Erica. The way it's filmed screams "mid-range three part TV drama that everyone who watches it forgets about a week later," so I think it could work stylistically on some level. A coherent (or any kind of) story where things are justified or explained would help. Erica might have nightmares and visions and we might not know the difference between that and reality but this doesn't help when the player/viewer is actively trying to figure out what's going on, rather than being shown it. 

Ultimately my impression of Erica will always be the expectation or desire for something more. Whether that was better controls, more convincing acting, a story that either makes sense or gets resolved properly, I'm not sure. Hopefully if I play an FMV in the future it doesn't make the same mistakes.
 

Edited by Miguel Sanchez
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Bioshock.

Lack of ammo for the weapons is annoying me. Also find the bionic abilities and upgrades a bit clunky. But there's no doubting the quality of the game itself. Given when it came out, the remastered version looks decent. Has a Fallout 4 style long before Fallout 4 was a thing. Very atmospheric. 

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24 minutes ago, BallochSonsFan said:

Bioshock.

Lack of ammo for the weapons is annoying me. Also find the bionic abilities and upgrades a bit clunky. But there's no doubting the quality of the game itself. Given when it came out, the remastered version looks decent. Has a Fallout 4 style long before Fallout 4 was a thing. Very atmospheric. 

It purposefully forces you to conserve ammo so you'll search everywhere for crafting items. By about halfway you'll be laden with as many shells and explosives that you could want.

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