Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

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beatbandito
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:23 pm

Into the Breach is pretty fun. Advance Wars meet FTL which makes sense because it's the FTL guys. It's turn based combat that only lets you redo turns in a round once per battle, but makes it pretty hard to make a mistake from input as long as you take your time. I don't. But it also gives you a level of progression through campaigns that allows me to power level in a way that makes up for the frustrated over-clicking. Until I over-click the wrong pilot and lose my ubermensch.
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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:32 am

Yeah, looking forward to the Linux release; all the reviews I've seen so far have been glowing.

I have FTL but I haven't gotten around to playing it. I really should.

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mharr
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby mharr » Fri Mar 02, 2018 11:44 am

It's a thing of beauty that you can still make a serious living creating the games we were all mocking up in Deluxe Paint back in the 90s. The subculture has its problems, but damn does it respect craft.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:36 am

I'm enjoying Rise of the Tomb Raider so far, but man, I've never had a framerate this inconsistent.

Benchmarking an average 80 FPS on the Very High preset sounds good, but when the variance is a low of 15 and a high of 180, that's pretty fucking janky. I have to kick it down to Low just to consistently get above 30, and, well, my graphics card really should be able to do better than Low.

I wonder if the bottleneck could be processor or RAM or what.

...oh right, Feral just released a tool called GameMode that's supposed to be able to toggle system settings to something more game-friendly. Guess I'll try that next time I play.

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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:42 am

Also, Steam has suddenly and bafflingly started blocking Bluetooth connections from my PS4 controllers. If I pair a controller while Steam is open, it will briefly connect and then immediately disconnect. If I pair it when Steam isn't open, it'll pair just fine, but as soon as I open Steam it disconnects. They work fine if I connect them with USB cables.

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mharr
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby mharr » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:52 am

That sort of frame rate jank is generally runaway garbage collection due to some memory pool or other being slightly too small, or possibly too big if java is involved. No idea what Steam is playing at.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:27 pm

Well, my system RAM is above the recommended specs (recommended is 12GB, I've got 16). I think my graphics card's only got 4GB, so that could be it.

Could also be the processor, which is only an i3. I fired up GameMode and it's improved the framerate, so that suggests the processor was at least part of the problem.

I haven't started playing it again but I ran the benchmarks a few times and I can mostly get above 30fps at the High preset (1080p). That might be good enough; I'll see how it looks in-game.

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Brentai
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Brentai » Sat Apr 21, 2018 5:07 pm

RotTR is notorious for its inconsistent framerate to the point that sites that used it as a standard benchmark used three different scenes because there wasn't one that would be representative enough of the game's performance. I've not seen that for any other game. Even the Pro/X console versions of the games don't consistently maintain 60fps. There are developer comments that the game was designed around 30fps in some fashion, so setting the limiter might actually be what you want to do.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:39 pm

Good to know; I'll look into it.

As for the controller issue, I was running the latest Steam beta; I downgraded to the stable version and that fixed it.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:33 pm

Yeah, it looks like I can get a smooth and consistent 30fps at Very High settings if I change my system refresh rate to 30 and turn on vsync in the game.

There's probably a way to set up a script that'll do that automatically; change the system refresh rate when the game's launched and after it exits. I'll look into it.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby mharr » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:28 pm

Seems to be a popular and fiddlearsey topic in the autohotkey community rabbit holes.
https://autohotkey.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=14380

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Spram » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:04 am

I'm not playing this anymore but let me talk about Xeodrifter.

First the good: Cute graphics. Good control. Modifiying your gun is cool once you have enough "gun" points.

Bad: The different planets might have different graphics but they pretty much have the same obstacles and mostly the same enemies. Every planet has a lava pit to run over or a body of water to use your submarine on. Sometimes you find a secret using your new ability only to find you need another ability to get to the prize. The boss is always the same. Always. It learns new tricks but every new trick seems to be more annoying, sometimes giving itself invulnerability for quite a long time.

In other words, this is the worst metroidvania game I've finished (I've must've played worse, but never finished.. but I paid for this), which is sad because I like the look and feel, but it's extremely bland. It's the same with Mutant Mudds, also made by the same person/people.. makes it seem like I have something against them.. which I wouldn't if I didn't envy their success!

Also, is anyone playing "Minit"? It seems to be the Indie Darling of the month and I don't see what the big deal is. Seems like a cute Zelda Classic quest with only two colors and a gimmick that has been done before.

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beatbandito
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:41 am

Robotech Macross MechWarrior Battletech feels pretty much like you'd expect from how they advertise the creators behind it. The combat feels like the recent Shadowrun games, the out-of-combat feels like Paradox RPGs, the mechs feel like mech warrior. Though where I'm at right now (still tutorial probably, only one night of play) it feels more shallow. Still aiming for parts, but less about crippling specific aspects and more about critical damage angles. I'm hoping that will still develop outward.

The character creator is good. The gender neutral option gives you more variety with your options than a lot of single player RPGs will, but only because since your only representation is a portrait and so everyone has the same body model (read: shoulders). Other than that you have 'male' faces and 'female' faces, and all the toppings are universal (hairstyles, feature colors, tattoos) so ungendered just lets you choose any face from either pool. But since the options are all universal anyway, maybe just have the gender not impact the portrait at all and let me choose whatever gender with whatever face I want? And then maybe put the face structures in the options and not as a base choice so after I choose everything I like and realize the lighting completely changes the look of the face I can swap them out without resetting all my options? Maybe?

There's also a Mount & Blade-esque stat allocation questionnaire where you decide how terrible your family's deaths were and how cool your life after was depending on what attributes you want to raise. I personally like these because it makes it easier to write my story in a universe I don't know much about, but it's another choice that seems to limit your ability to truly freely RP your character that could have easily been separate from the actual gameplay modifiers. Ultimately it really doesn't matter though. It's made clear through cinematics and plot staples that who you are and what choices you make will make almost no impact in this universe. There might be one or two 'ethical choices' that get referenced later, but otherwise your character is really just for you, not for the game.

I give Battletech's character creation a score of Feature Sliders Where You Can Manually Type In Values out of Dynamic Model Adjustments With Option Saves That Persist When Leaving Character Creation. Which is pretty good.
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Mothra
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mothra » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:53 am

I'm definitely gonna get this FUCKER of a game

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby ReinaldoN » Tue May 01, 2018 10:24 am

I've been playing a lot of Frostpunk since it came out. I love these city building type games. The only complaint I have about this game is the lack of infinite playthrough mode and small maps. But I think they'll add both the infinite mode and bigger maps soon.

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beatbandito
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Thu May 03, 2018 11:43 am

Battletech the actual game and not just character creator: It inspired me to play MWO again.

Okay slightly more real coverage. It's really not very good. I like turn based tactics games with strategy elements, and this game really wants me to forget everything but that, but there's just so much to overlook that I'm not tall enough. The basics are how the game runs, poorly, with crashes, textures not loading and just ridiculous load times during which you get no response or signs of life from the game at all. These are frustrating.

Then there's the aspects of game mechanics that get annoying. RNG is insane, you could have a heavy mech get an unlucky hit to the cockpit from a light mech on round one and BAM that's a mechwarrior out of combat for ~15 days. I've mentioned in chat how DFAing (jumpjetting onto an enemy mech) was as likely to blow up my legs as the enemy, and even though the fact that it does damage is a constant, there's no signs that one particular attack may do more, and that level of uneducated RNG bets are pretty common. There's no taking turns (even just movements) back at all, and only one pilot can be active at a time. So even though, like a board game RPG it was, say, based on, each round of combat is supposed to be like 30 seconds of action all taking place at the same time with initiative and turns taking the place of actual speed, if one mech starts to walk forward, they need to resolve the round before any mech on either side does anything else. Kind of a stupid complaint, but also kind of a stupid feature? Melee is clearly supposed to be a big part of the game, but the skill trees to get the most out of it are the two most defensive trees and yet if you use a melee attack you just lost both of the passive defense skills. Nevermind that your evasion doesn't go nearly as high on a melee attack and you have very limited positioning for the attack, so you can't try to end in cover. Also enemies jut fucking spawn. Like, you get a defensive position and then the last move of the round you trigger a script that has three more enemies spawn just directly on you who all get actions for that round.

And lastly, the Mech Warrior (sorry, I never played an actual Battletech game before) stuff that's just... frustrating. Mech weight is directly related to efficiency. I can't even be a quarter of the way through the plot and already any light mech I bring with me is dead weight. The way evasion works, you still have to stand still to let the enemy retaliate. A Light mech with a very specific mechwarrior ability could use its turns in a way that you get a turn to move in and attack, followed by another turn to get a second attack in and leave before the enemy could react. But for that to work you wouldn't be able to entirely escape the enemy's attack range in that turn unless you have very well placed mountains to shield you (or who knows, maybe cities later on. So far there have been very few buildings to blow up unless they are specific objective) and the enemy doesn't have the jump jets to chase. Otherwise your Jenner is going to unleash 20 SRMs into that heavy's back and maybe give the pilot a wound (of 4 to incapacitate) but then that heavy is going to turn around and launch 60 at you and if any hit that jenner and pilot are gone. Plus, along with RNG mentioned above, damage is just stupid. You get put up against two or three lances at a time and if one of your mechs loses one limb with equipment on it, you probably just went negative on the mission rewards. Nevermind that now you're down a pilot and maybe a mech for potentially a whole finance upkeep cycle.


So basically, if you're completely obsessed with robots and turn based tactics games, wait for a sale. If you're slightly less than either of those things, or a diehard Battletech fan, wait for a sale after there's a thriving mod community for the game.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Thu May 03, 2018 2:58 pm

I've been very busy at work today. Someone has to figure out how to fill this mecha-shaped hole in my mecha-shaped heart.

Mechwarrior Online may or not be a fun game still. I've been watching a lot of videos that mainly complain about updates from 2015-2016 and all the most recent videos have been by the same channel which is worrying. I've also heard that the community is overall pretty good and not as douchey as most competitive online shooters, and even though it's small you can still find a game easily. I have this set up and ready to dive back into, so I'll probably bitch or praise it in #FF later tonight.

Mechwarrior 4 Mercenaries is apparently abandonware now, so I'll be taking a look at it at some point to see how playable it remains, and so should you! I've never played a mercenaries expansion of a MW game, but apparently it adds some kind of merc company management on top of the combat.

Mechwarrior: Living Legends is a fan project that started as a Quake III mod and moved into the Crytek engine. It apparently has microsoft's backing and is still getting support (that link is a video of a patch launch from this week). Cons are that it's super buggy and still changing a lot, and there's no customization. But it feels like the base combat is pretty tight, and they're doing their best to give you as many options as possible to vary builds. You can also pilot non-mech vehicles.

Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries is the second of these four games I'm just learning about. It's set for release in December, and the combat looks (and sounds, from demo players) tight and fun and very much like a 2018 mechwarrior game. What worries me is that nothing outside of combat has been shown, and even in combat there's some issues like AI, though Piranha Games sounds receptive to the demo players. From the past year or so most of the marketing seems to be more-or-less saying it'll be the Battletech (2018 game) mercenary company sandbox game with some story elements, but that plays like Mechwarrior with lots of shit to blow up. And that sounds just fine to me.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Niku » Fri May 18, 2018 5:37 pm

i bought the ps4 kingdom hearts collection

never before has "i'm back on my bullshit" been so completely apt
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Mon May 21, 2018 6:36 pm

More Hot Takes From a Hot Mess:

Metal Gear Survive is a good survival game. It is absolutely and unapologetically not a Metal Gear game (except for the fact that the main resource is "Kuban Energy" which is pronounced like a white person trying to correct another white person's pronunciation of "Cuban" [no, no, not cue-ban, koo-ban] and feels like a Kojima thing) but if you can get past that there's a lot getting done right.


The Bad
Let's get the basics out of the way. It plays like a survival game, you get resources, and use those resources to improve your means of getting more resources faster. Wow, survival games are just obtuse clicker games now that I think about it. But that's a whole other post. The writing is fucking miserable. The limited knowledge you may have is that after the end of MGSV mother base gets sucked up into wormholes and end up in an alternate dimension trying to survive. It manages to be way fucking dumber. You were a member of the Diamond Dogs, the wormholes did happen, but you survived them(?) but lost an arm in the process that grew back(?) and then after died somehow(?) and then get brought back to life maybe(?) and a weirdo sends you into the other dimension through unexplained means. Here you find out there was a long term scientific outpost in the other dimension that had nothing to do with Big Shell(?) and was wiped out somehow before all the people were transported at the end of MGS5(?). You meet a UN Soldier(? though honestly this one is probably answered I just did not care) who, despite you initially saving, then caring for during his recovery, is convinced that you're still a terrorist that he can't trust, and you'd be a fool to trust him. The only remote saving grace is an AI which is the only 'spokesman' for the original project still around who insists that the UN guy should absolutely just fuck off like he keeps threatening to, because he has nothing to do with the mission and is just stupid and annoying.

Right out the gate with real gameplay you hit two annoyances (stick with my, my thesis is still this is a good game). For one, your thirst and hunger are dropping like crazy and you don't know how to take care of them yet. While it wont be immediately apparent, currently these things really don't matter, because you automatically go back up to 25% on both meters when you die or relog. And when you die you leave any resources(materials, not energy or equipment) you had on you in a souls-like bloodstain, but you likely had almost no resources, and any you did have probably got autostored at your base when you walked past it, which you almost certainly did because currently your roaming area is small enough that you'd be hard-pressed to not find the box you leave behind if there was one at all. BUT, as a new player all you see is you can only sprint for about two seconds before getting tired, and there's no clear way to fix that, which is bad design.

This leads in to the second issue, the gi-fucking-gantic tutorial. Technically you could say the whole single player experience is kind of a tutorial, but at the very least the first 7~ missions are training wheels until you get My First Errand and unlock online content. This is only an issue because it is super goat mom. You can technically just fuck off from the tutorial whenever and start hunting for loot, but up until mission 4-5 you're limited to a very small area, and it's not until mission 7 that you get the ability to purify your own water, which is huge. I can see why they wouldn't wanted to have a 3 hour purely linear tutorial covering everything, but instead you're given the illusion of freedom but it's being heavily regulated for upwards of 10 hours (maybe 3ish if you have a good understanding of the mechanics and rush it, but again, that basically is a linear tutorial). It ends up feeling like KOTOR before you unlock your jedi class, but that's a bad analogy.

The Good
In an industry obsessed with being the next Dark Souls, Survive is the next Bloodborne. You are constantly planning your survival, and your enemy is the environment. You are never explicitly at risk. Not that it would be much of a game, but if you stayed at the base you could spend the rest of time doing little management tasks, dying and respawning ad infinitum. When you go out into the world, your goal is always to make your survival easier. This is usually through gathering resources, finding crafting recipes, unlocking fast travel points, or at least marking locations and expanding your map. When you're fighting, or avoiding, enemies you're not struggling against them, you're struggling against your food, water and oxygen uses, your gear durability and your health.

The enemies are incredibly deadly (one catching you off guard could potentially kill you outright from full health) and come in swarms, but they're about as smart as a zombie with a glowing crystal weakpoint instead of a head. There's no difficulty is rounding them up behind a fence or under a ledge and obliterating them, but that will take time. You could also run, if you think you have the stamina, or sneak, but that takes the most combined time and stamina, with the least risk to your health.

The majority of the world is covered in dust that requires a gas mask and oxygen, which drains much faster than food or water, making every action deliberate. If you have a mission (side or plot) or just an area you want to explore, that is your commitment, and going too far off path will have heavy costs. In the dust you also have low visibility and lose your map and quest markers. So if you end up in a fight, chase or sneaking around to avoid either, you can quickly realize you don't know which way you were heading. This is what makes it Bloodborne to me. Bloodborne was Bloodborne because of the healing mechanic. I didn't love it because I felt like you were supposed to play cautiously, then double down on your first mistake to try and correct for it. Here though I really feel like every action, every step requires risk management to plan your end game. Caches of the best gear in this game have the same reaction as a poorly placed swarm of enemies "Now? Here? I don't have fucking time for this!" This is a stealth game where you absolutely do not have the time to be fucking around in stealth.

Also worth noting is the kuban energy I mentioned up towards the top. This isn't the 'energy' we've come to heavily sigh about we know from mobile games. You get energy from enemy kills, as well as some gathering spots and for certain mission rewards. It is not any kind of timer or anything that will prevent you from progressing. It's more about deciding if you want to get two levels when you go back to base, or if you want to speed up this defense mission so that you do make it back to base, etc. You would be hard pressed to get to a point where you don't have enough energy to repair your gear or make enough food so you can go gather more for whatever task you're working towards. Actual monetisation is from premium account time which doubles all your resources. It's a spit in the face that all the time amounts just happen to cost slightly more than the closest real money game cash package, but otherwise it's only some resource boosters. No one's going longer without food or getting better items, only getting more rewards for the same tasks.

The Ugly
You.
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Mazian
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mazian » Thu May 31, 2018 1:02 am

Curse of the Moon, the mini-pseudo-8-bit preview game for Bloodstained, is a loving homage to inspired by blatantly ripping off Castlevania III and Rondo of Blood. But if you're going to steal, steal from the very best, right? It's a setup that plays to Inti Creates' strengths, and hits all the right notes - tight controls, sharp level design, asshole floating ghosts that knock you into bottomless pits, fantastic soundtrack, everything you need. A+++ would back some other project to get this as a freebie again

Layton's Mystery Journey does not actually contain Professor Layton himself. That's a tough start, and unfortunately it only goes downhill from there, with the laziest cliché writing I've seen in ages and a set of puzzles that just aren't very good. Entirely too many cheap-trick word puzzles, trivially easy puzzles, and lazy variants on earlier puzzles. It's the first Layton game after the death of series puzzle designer Akira Tago, and apparently there was no B-team ready to step into his place. I'd feel much worse about it if I hadn't only paid $15 for the mobile version - the 3DS port runs $40, and all you get for the extra price is some non-gameplay cosmetic items.

Apparently I needed more pseudo-8-bit games, but also needed to remain several years behind on releases. So: Axiom Verge is the best Metroid fangame you ever will see. It's almost purely a one man production, and it's got a few rough edges, but those mostly stay forgivable (the plot has no meaningful resolution, it strays into precision platforming a few times in endgame). On the other hand, the graphics evoke the right atmosphere while still retaining originality, and it's very good at making exploration feel rewarding - the first half of the game mostly rewards you with health and weapon powerups, the back half shifts to a very wide array of optional weapons. Those do a good job of giving you something to play with and keeping it fresh: none of them are vital, all of them are at least situationally useful, and there's enough variety in what they do that it never feel like a waste to find another. That's a tough balancing act.

Mini Metro is still what I'm playing for quick destress breaks.

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