Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

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Friday
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:03 am

43. KotOR 2 (PC)

Welp, it's that time again, when we examine a sequel that isn't as focused or digestible but has greater scope and experiments more.

All that is true about KotOR 1 and 2, but also, KotOR 2 is just a broken, buggy, and unfinished game.

Which is a fucking shame, because what IS there and DOES work is amazing. But the game was rushed, released in an unfinished, buggy state, and several plotlines and ideas had to be truncated or just straight dropped.

The best thing about the game is it's examination of The Force and what The Force is and why The Force does what The Force does. And spoilers: It's not a favorable view. The game's final antagonist's goal is to destroy The Force and free life from it's control. Which is really interesting motivation and much better than the usual "I will use The Force to take over the Galaxy."

Just like the first game, there's a pretty big plot twist and revelation near the end of the game, but I want to talk about it a little here, so.

SPOILERS, DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT THE GAME'S BIG THING RUINED:

Kreia/Darth Traya is one of the best written villains in Star Wars, maybe THE best, and she's pretty good even outside of the franchise. Putting the final boss on your team for most of the game is something that you don't really see anywhere else, that I know of, anyway. And her reasons for her actions actually make sense and are, if not sympathetic, at least understandable. Her ruminations on what The Force is and why it does what it does are very interesting and a completely new take and angle on the Star Wars mythos. The Force is generally regarded as a "Good Energy Thing" in the rest of Star Wars but here, Kreia shows you that what The Force actually does is keep the galaxy locked in endless bloodshed.

I've heard that her influence is even felt in some of the newer Star Wars stuff (Rebels) which is interesting to me, seeing as how her take on this strange Energy Thing That Controls Everything is very unique. She also gives some predictions before she dies that of course come to pass, which is always fun.

Apart from THAT, HK-47 returns and he's as amazing as ever, and overall I would say the new cast is more interesting than the previous one. Mechanically the combat is better, with more options and gear slots to customize. Some of the worlds are really unique and interesting, including CRIME PLANET which is always a fun planet to go to.

KotOR 2 is a by far better game than KotOR 1 if not for the fact that it was rushed and incomplete. But as before, I have a lot of respect for games that push the envelope and don't just mindlessly copy their prequels. Most people seem to prefer 1 to 2, and that's understandable as 1 is a finished and polished product and 2 has a ton of rough edges and just straight up broken shit.

In the end, they're equally good to me. I wish wish wish KotOR 2 had been finished, because the potential is amazing. It's one of the biggest games on this list where I feel that way, even over Portrait of Ruin and some games to come.

Do I recommend this game:
Yes, but not as much as 1. Def play 1 first and then if you want more, check out 2, but be warned that it has issues.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Mongrel » Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:55 pm

There are mods that restore as much cut content as possible to KotR2. The bugfixes are good, but the robot planet and the HK factory are still kind of blah (but I didn't mind having an excuse to play the game longer!).

One interesting twist I added myself was to play the second game as Bastila (there's a mod to get the armour from KotR), which I thought made for a more interesting story with better continuity between games, instead of Generic Blank Protagonist.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby beatbandito » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:00 pm

Kotor 2 is great because it has TWO main female characters. One to be your mom and one to fuck. No confusing crossover!
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 17, 2020 2:52 pm

Friday wrote:Putting the final boss on your team for most of the game is something that you don't really see anywhere else, that I know of, anyway.


I can name another game that does this but the problem is that even giving a title in response means spoiling major plot twists. Anyway Last Story is the one that came to mind.

I've heard that her influence is even felt in some of the newer Star Wars stuff (Rebels) which is interesting to me, seeing as how her take on this strange Energy Thing That Controls Everything is very unique. She also gives some predictions before she dies that of course come to pass, which is always fun.


There's an episode of Rebels where they go to Malachor, the endgame planet from KotOR 2, and there's a Holocron there with a voice in it that sure seems like it could be the character in question. This ends up being an important MacGuffin in Darth Maul's arc, which turns out to be way better than I expected it to.

Rebels is pretty great overall, though season 1 is weak and there's a major arc in the final season that I expect I would have gotten a lot more out of if I'd watched Clone Wars first (it continues the Mandalor arc that begins in Clone Wars and carries through to The Mandalorian).

Mongrel wrote:There are mods that restore as much cut content as possible to KotR2. The bugfixes are good, but the robot planet and the HK factory are still kind of blah (but I didn't mind having an excuse to play the game longer!).


I started a game with the Content Restoration Mod and the Droid Factory mod but never got far enough to actually play those parts. I've heard a lot of complaints about the Droid Factory in particular, and that you need to do some serious min-maxing on HK to make it completable.

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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Wed Jun 17, 2020 3:08 pm

42. The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Zelda 1 represented just as big a step forward in gaming and what gaming was capable of as Mario, possibly even moreso. Plus it's a better game!

Well, sort of. It's got some problems. Mostly just in the fact that there are no visual cues for like 99% of the secrets, so you're left to just bomb and burn randomly until you find shit.

Here's the thing though: At least in the first quest, all the secrets required to progress have hints to help you out. There's a ton of optional secrets that require rando bombing/burning, but all the dungeon entrances and anything else needed to complete the game at least have some old man or woman somewhere who will mumble vaguely at you about it.

So the devs at least understood that the player would need some help finding required secrets, which is nice. That shit goes right out the window in second quest though.

So, let's talk about the mechanics. Guess what? Zelda 1 has some of the best combat in the series. It's fast and brutal but hell, I'll take that over the "wait around until the enemy drops their guard" bullshit that has infected and metastasized in almost every 3D Zelda. Each enemy has a gimmick (well, aside from the Stalfos, whose gimmick is they have no gimmick) including the infamous Darknuts, which cannot be damaged from the front and will relentlessly slaughter new players who don't know how to deal with that. Ropes charge you if they get a straight line, Bats are small and annoying, Slimes split into smaller slimes, Wizrobes teleport around, Likelikes strike a deep fear into your soul, and those ghost things disable your sword for a period if they hit you.

The tools are all there. The boomerang, the bow, bombs (which are actually useful in combat as their fuses are short) the shield, setting people on fire with a candle, setting people on fire with a magic wand, and breathing into the mic on your controller. Uh. I guess that last one didn't catch on.

The bosses are fine and usually have a weakness that needs to be exploited, but plenty of them are just about good movement, timing, and dodging. You know, like a boss.

Structurally Zelda 1 is an open world game that puts almost all other open world games to shame. There is truly no limit to where you can go and what you can do "first" except for a few things like if you need the Raft or Ladder. The dungeons can be tackled in any order (again limited in certain cases by needing the Raft or Ladder) and goals are up to the player. The game was actually never meant to be played "alone" in that Miyamoto expected kids in the schoolyard to share tips and secrets with each other, creating a sort of collaborative experience that actually inspired the "notes" players can leave for you in the Souls series.

Mario and Zelda are the Grandpa and Grandma of the video game industry. They were in development at the same time and frequently when someone would come up with an idea, they would discuss which game to put it into. It's hard to properly gauge how much impact these two games had on the industry as a whole, but I think it's safe to say "a fucking lot."

Do I recommend this game:
Again, I'm not just putting this game this high on the list because it's the original. I don't owe it anything. It's legitimately that good of a game and if you haven't played it, check it out. It's harder than modern Zelda games, of course, but it's not Zelda 2 hard.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Thad » Wed Jun 17, 2020 4:16 pm

Friday wrote:Well, sort of. It's got some problems. Mostly just in the fact that there are no visual cues for like 99% of the secrets, so you're left to just bomb and burn randomly until you find shit.

Here's the thing though: At least in the first quest, all the secrets required to progress have hints to help you out. There's a ton of optional secrets that require rando bombing/burning, but all the dungeon entrances and anything else needed to complete the game at least have some old man or woman somewhere who will mumble vaguely at you about it.

Also bears noting that a lot of the spots you burn and bomb aren't random. This isn't Vietnam, Donny; there are rules.

In the overworld, all bombable walls are south-facing. In the dungeons, any of the four walls may be bombable, but only in the middle.

Burnable bushes aren't governed by rules like that, but a lot of them are arranged in ways so they stand out. If there are only two bushes in the middle of a screen, odds are pretty good one of them is burnable (just like how if there are two Armoseseses, one of them probably has something under it).

Here's the thing though: At least in the first quest, all the secrets required to progress have hints to help you out. There's a ton of optional secrets that require rando bombing/burning, but all the dungeon entrances and anything else needed to complete the game at least have some old man or woman somewhere who will mumble vaguely at you about it.


I don't remember any explanation for what the fuck "grumble grumble" was supposed to mean in-game, but I do remember there was a reference to "a hungry Goriya" in the manual.

Structurally Zelda 1 is an open world game that puts almost all other open world games to shame.


And no other game in the series would even attempt to match that sense that you could go anywhere, right from the start, until Breath of the Wild. (LBW played with the idea a little too, I suppose, but it was still split into Light and Dark Worlds.)

I think LttP is an essentially perfect game, but it doesn't have that sense that you can go anywhere right from the beginning; progress is gated by items (sort of Metroid-style, but not exactly; the Metroid series typically gives you a steady sense of progress throughout, whereas in LttP you can access most of the Light World once you've got the glove, most of the Dark World once you've got the hammer, and damn-near everywhere once you've got the hookshot and the ocarina).

But presumably I'm jumping ahead.

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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby nosimpleway » Wed Jun 17, 2020 10:56 pm

If there are trees scattered around, the bottommost row of any given column is likely to have the secret in it.

It's more "searching bottom-to-top might save you some time because you find the secret sooner", rather than "it's only ever in the bottom row of trees so don't look anywhere else". Lookin' at you, nondescript walls along the southeast side of the lake.
And, uh, level 8.

That all bombable walls are south-facing isn't a ton of help on the SE coast, or the mountain stream with the waterfall you can go behind. The coast has three unmarked secrets in otherwise blank walls, the mountain stream has zero. This is particularly vexing if you are a young nosimpleway, who very distinctly remembered a screenshot in Nintendo Power of the cave across that mountain stream... not realizing that it was only there in the second quest.

I think Legend of Zelda makes for the best randomizer. It's nonlinear enough and simple enough that shuffles are pretty effective. You still end up a little red Sherman tank by the time you roll into level 9, but there's no telling what you had and where you came from immediately before that.

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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Thad » Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:21 pm

nosimpleway wrote:It's more "searching bottom-to-top might save you some time because you find the secret sooner", rather than "it's only ever in the bottom row of trees so don't look anywhere else". Lookin' at you, nondescript walls along the southeast side of the lake.
And, uh, level 8.

But level 8 sticks out too, because most of the column is 2 bushes wide but then there's this little bit that's only 1 bush wide.

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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Thu Jun 18, 2020 2:53 pm

41. Grand Theft Auto 3: Vice City (PS2)

Before being "80s retro" was even a thing, Vice City came into the room all "yo dawg I heard you liked the 80s so I got like 113 songs from that period and no game will ever match that ever again" and you were all "hey i heard there's a code that like makes you have sex with a hooker" and moms got really upset about it

Before Vice City, the best the GTA series had to offer was GTA 3. Let that sink in for a moment.

No, seriously. Let that sink in for a moment.

While GTA3 was a big leap forward (it was the first 3D GTA after all) it was nothing compared to Vice City. When we think of what GTA is now, with the stories, the characters, the plot, everything that makes a GTA game a GTA game, that all basically started in Vice City.

You play as Tommy Vercetti, voiced by Ray Liotta, a man who just got out of a 15 year stint for the mob and is sent south to Not Miami in order to get him out of the way. A drug deal goes bad and, in an effort to get back the drugs and money, you accidentally take over all crime in the city.

Oops.

Inspired by Miami Vice, Scarface, and basically every other classic 80s media they could think of, Vice City is a game about uhhhhhh

driving cars? bad shooting mechanics? satirical talk show radio stations?

It's got a little of everything! Hop on that bike and do a stunt jump! Grab that rampage token and kill 50 gang members with a rocket launcher! Murder, mayhem, fast sports cars, neon palm trees and 80s tunes. Vice City is more style than substance, with it's uneven mission difficulty and horrible boat missions, but don't get me wrong, there's a lot to like about the substance.

It's difficult to describe the appeal of a GTA game to someone who has never played one. It's really just the sense of freedom and fun you get from living like a complete psychopath. From the outside in, I can almost understand why the conservative slice of our population was so horrified by these games, because they're all about murder and crime and running over hookers to get your money back. They just don't understand that it's Not Real, and I can understand why, because Vice City was a major leap forward in creating a living, breathing city for the player to run amok in.

And that's what makes the GTA games and all their myriad imitators so fun. It's literally taking a facsimile of a real city, making it as realistic as possible, and then dropping the player into it and saying "Here are some cars and some guns, do what you want."

Since Vice City the formula has been experimented on and refined, both inside the series and outside of it (seriously, games like MGS5 owe something to the GTA series) but Vice City is where it all began, at least in terms of the scope of what was possible to achieve. I might be talking about GTA5 or Saints Row 4 here if I had ever played them, but Vice City is considered one of the best games of all time on wikipedia for a reason.

Do I recommend this game:
If you only have one star and are running on foot from a cop, he'll sometimes say "if you make me run I'll get all sweaty."
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Mongrel » Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:20 pm

I was always kind of biased against the 3D GTA games since I played the original 2D games, which were all straight comedy compared to the "fake serious" versions from GTA 3 onwards.

I never played it, but I was glad that Vice City at least tried to push back a bit into that territory compared to GTA 3 (and inspired things like That game where's it's GTA but everything is purple and ridiculous whose name I am inexplicably forgetting right now... EDIT: Oh yeah Saint's Row).

The soundtrack and radio stations they brought in were brilliant, one of GTA's best innovations. Though I think the best in the series for that was the late-80's fake LA with GNR, early hip hop, etc.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Thu Jun 18, 2020 9:31 pm

Tier up! 40-31.

40. Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn (PC)

Oh, man. The glory days.

2nd edition DnD was such a clusterfuck of poorly balanced rules. People newer to tabletop complain about needing house rules to play DnD now, man, they don't know the half of it. Trying to play 2nd edition "as written" was always a not very fun time. The classes weren't balanced and neither were the monsters, with tons of them having one hit kills on a failed save.

How someone made a decent videogame out of that ruleset, much less one of the best WRPGs of all time, is beyond me. But BG2 is a masterpiece of roleplaying, albeit it hasn't aged the best. Mostly due to UI problems and how zoomed in your view is.

So remember everything I said about BioWare and KotOR? Yeah, pretty much the same here, but better and High Fantasy/DnD flavored. Specifically, Forgotten Realms, so they have a lot of lore and stuff to draw on. Here's the plot:

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It's not really required to play BG1 first, though that is an okay game too. It's just that BG1 is a pale shadow of BG2, lacking a ton of options, characters, scope, romance options (I -think- this is the first BioWare game to also be a dating sim, but I'm not sure 100%) and higher level play. Though both have Minsc, who is best.

The game is open world, rewarding exploration and thorough searching. NPCs have dialog trees, sidequests, and everything else you'd expect and want from a robust RPG experience. Like I said earlier, the combat can be janky as hell sometimes, with your character keeling over instantly from getting crit or failing a save, but there's quicksaving and quickloading so you can mitigate the jank to your heart's content.

The expansion (Throne of Bhaal) is also worth mentioning, though I feel the story is better in the vanilla game. But ToB finished the plotline of the overarching story, so if you liked SoA you'll want to get ToB too.

Do I recommend this game:
Western Roleplaying fans only. It's not a JRPG, or anything else. It's probably the best straightforward example of WRPG excellence.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby fanboymaster » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:11 pm

The degree to which GTA3 steps up from 1, the London expansions and 2 shouldn't be understated, the degree to which VC steps up from 3 is also retrospectively huge, though there were many contemporary reviews that admitted they thought of the game as GTA3.5. 2D GTA prior to 3 is an arcade game extended out to an appalling length, roundly miserable, and the mission structures they provide exist as barest pretext for the point based nature. While being in true 3D was the huge innovation of 3 its commitment to an actual mission based progression structure does a lot to liven it up. VC's commitment to its period is nice, and while playful and part of an early nostalgia wave, earns some credit for its general attitude of "lol this decade fuckin' sucked." The mission structure is one I'm sad they never went back to, even Vice City Stories fucks it up (though that game's jusst pretty weak in general).

BG2 is a game I admire and I wish Infinity engine and its imitators didn't give me hives. Every time I see a throwback to not just the style, but form of that engine and ruleset I die a little. I promise real time with pauses was always a bad compromise for a game style that unforgving.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:16 pm

Yeah, by "UI problems" what I actually meant was "The Infinity Engine".
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby fanboymaster » Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:20 pm

I once asked a Pillars of Eternty dev at a PAX panel if they felt like they had to hold back on improving the game too much because the people who backed their kickstarter wanted janky old IE shit and got a laugh and a very long version of "yes"
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:54 am

39. Planescape: Torment (PC)

Speaking of the Infinity Engine, Torment looks so different than Baldur's Gate you might be tricked into thinking it doesn't use it (it does).

Of course, it has all the same UI and zoomed in problems of Baldur's Gate, so let's get that out of the way first.

I used to say Torment was the best written videogame I've ever played. It still might be. It's certainly the fucking longest written, this game has ten fucking truckloads full of text for you to read. Playing this game is more like reading an interactive novel. It's almost just a straight up visual novel.

The plot starts off pretty simple: You wake up on slab in The Mortuary, naked, covered in tattoos, with no memory, and are immediately approached by a wisecracking floating skull named Morte who insists he's the Head of Vecna and your best friend and will read the tats on your back for you. They turn out to be instructions on what to do (Find a man named Pharod) but some of them have been removed and altered. Morte informs you that you've been around for awhile, and each time you die, you instead revive later, but with a memory wipe and a brand new personality.

From there your quest to find out what the fuck is going on begins. And if you thought the start was strange, boy howdy you haven't seen anything yet.

The devs of Torment went out of their way to avoid typical fantasy tropes. Swords? There's one, and you can't even use it. Big world ending evil you have to stop? Nope. Just another typical day in Sigil, the City of Doors at the center of reality. Your quest isn't about saving anything, but instead personally focused. It's a journey of discovery and self-discovery. Of course, along the way you might kill a villain or two.

Or not.

You see, Torment is famous for the ability to talk your way past nearly every encounter. Including the final boss. Yep. You're given a bunch of stat points to add to your STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA, and I advise you to put them into those last three, because you're going to need your social skills. Sure, you can play through the game just fightin' and murderin' like a normal RPG, but I mean. Come on. Nobody plays Deus Ex as a Rambo, we've been over this.

Your companions are fucking amazing. Morte the floating skull. A dude that is on fire all the time. Nordom, A malfunctioning Law Robot gone rogue. A gutter rat tiefling thief girl. Fall-From-Grace, (Jennifer Hale again) a chaste succubus and the owner of "The Brothel for Slaking Intellectual Lusts." A giant sentient suit of armor who is an avatar of Justice. You get the idea. No boring "rangers" here.

I can't really talk much about this game without giving up massive spoilers. Let's just say that it is very unique, even very very unique, a true one of a kind videogame. If BG2 is the gold standard OoT, then Torment is Majora's Mask. Weird, different, unique, crazy good.

What can change the nature of a man?

Nordom: Attention: Fall-From-Grace. I wish to address your body.
Grace: Pardon me?
Nordom: Your body. Your form. Your reason for selecting it. Why?
Grace: Why... I suppose I find it comforting. Besides, I rather like the wings.
Nordom: It would be more practical for you to assume the form of a modron. It is 13.27% more efficient. Give or take +5.2%.
Grace: Why Nordom, are you trying to court me?
Nordom: It was not my intention to initiate legal action against you.


Do I recommend this game:
This is one of those games that is crazy awesome enough that I would say anyone who likes a good (and unique) story should play it. Be warned, however: It requires a lot of your time.
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Thad » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:36 pm

Friday wrote:How someone made a decent videogame out of that ruleset, much less one of the best WRPGs of all time, is beyond me. But BG2 is a masterpiece of roleplaying, albeit it hasn't aged the best. Mostly due to UI problems and how zoomed in your view is.

I bought the Enhanced Edition ages ago; I've heard mixed reviews about how the EEs modernize the experience. Haven't played it yet so I can't comment (I was thinking I'd finish Disco Elysium and then scope out Baldur's Gate and some other isometric RPGs afterward, but while it turns out DE is entirely playable holding a Steam Controller in my left hand, the controller is too heavy to hold comfortably that way, so I'm gonna have to figure out something else).

There's also GemRB, the open-source engine for playing the old Infinity Engine games, but I gave up on trying to make it work. Lots of editing ini files and applying weird third-party patches.

fanboymaster wrote:I once asked a Pillars of Eternty dev at a PAX panel if they felt like they had to hold back on improving the game too much because the people who backed their kickstarter wanted janky old IE shit and got a laugh and a very long version of "yes"

Can totally buy that. I played a few hours into Pillars but just had trouble getting into it.

Friday wrote:You see, Torment is famous for the ability to talk your way past nearly every encounter. Including the final boss. Yep. You're given a bunch of stat points to add to your STR/DEX/CON/INT/WIS/CHA, and I advise you to put them into those last three, because you're going to need your social skills. Sure, you can play through the game just fightin' and murderin' like a normal RPG, but I mean. Come on. Nobody plays Deus Ex as a Rambo, we've been over this.


I've never played Torment but Arcanum had a lot of that going on too. (Talk your way past the last boss, or just kill Jesus and bypass the final area entirely.) I quit my last playthrough after I maxed out my charisma, capped my party at 10 people (including two characters who despise each other and who you ordinarily have to choose between, unless you have 18 CHA), and the slowdown caused by too many party members moving at once made the game unplayable. (This would have been 2001 or so; I'm guessing the slowdown wouldn't be much of a problem now.)

I'm enjoying the hell out of Disco Elysium (or was, until I stopped playing due to hand pain), which pretty clearly takes a lot of cues from Torment but sets it in a fantasy world where it's the 1970s but also the early 20th century, and there's no combat at all and everything is dialogue trees and dice rolls.

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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:13 pm

38. Stardew Valley (PC)

The thread title for this game on these forums (named by Mothra iirc) is "Stardew Valley has harvested my fucking soul" which is a very appropriate thread title because holy shit this game is addictive to play. Each time I finished a day I'd think "I should go to bed" but then "no, just one more day" and then it was 3 am.

The "Harvest Moon" genre of video games is an odd one, really, but also understandable: It scratches the progression itch and it's got all the Animal Crossing shit in it that people love. Decorate your house! Decorate your farm! Go around picking random shit up!

Stardew Valley starts you off in a shack on a patch of overgrown, rocky land, gives you a few turnip seeds, and then says "do what you want."

There's no fail state. You can't "lose." Sure, you can pass out from losing all your energy or having you HP hit zero, but you just wake up in bed. There's no way to fail at Stardew Valley. The game does include a built in timer in that at the end of two years your ghost grandpa will show up and give you a rating for how well you did, but it has no in-game consequences. (He will give you a reward based on how you did, but you can get it later after you fulfill the requirements anyway.)

The gameplay is the life of a simple farmer. Wake up, water your plants and cat or dog, clear a little bit of your land, go into town and talk to people and give them stuff so they'll like you more, go into the mines and kill monsters and collect ore, go fishing and try to get that seasonal legendary fish, then head home and pass out. Some days are holidays and will have a festival going on. It should be familiar to anyone who has played Harvest Moon or any game like it.

Stardew Valley is my go-to game for introducing someone who has never played a videogame in their life to videogames. I have a really hard time imagining a person who would not like this game, even non-gamers. SDV has something for everyone, even a masocore gamer like me. (You should see my farm, pure utility. I don't decorate my house at all, like a psychopath. Abigail lives in a whitewalled hellscape.) I spent most of my time accomplishing the in-game goals, making my harvests as efficient as possible, and exploring the mines (and then later the harder desert dungeon). When I wasn't doing that I was getting every villager to max hearts by shoving their favorite food/gemstone in their face every day.

But you don't have to play the game like that. You can just relax and have a chill time. There's a pretty robust dating sim, and I think as of current patch 12 different characters you can marry. I stopped playing before the multiplayer patch came out, but there's that too now.

Kids can play this game. Grandmas can play this game. Anyone can play this game and enjoy it. I can't think of a game with a more universal appeal. I never was able to get into the other games in this genre, but SDV certainly was an exception to that.

Do I recommend this game:
Biggest yes on this list.
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Thad
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Thad » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:34 pm

Friday wrote:Stardew Valley is my go-to game for introducing someone who has never played a videogame in their life to videogames. I have a really hard time imagining a person who would not like this game, even non-gamers. SDV has something for everyone, even a masocore gamer like me. (You should see my farm, pure utility. I don't decorate my house at all, like a psychopath. Abigail lives in a whitewalled hellscape.) I spent most of my time accomplishing the in-game goals, making my harvests as efficient as possible, and exploring the mines (and then later the harder desert dungeon). When I wasn't doing that I was getting every villager to max hearts by shoving their favorite food/gemstone in their face every day.

But you don't have to play the game like that. You can just relax and have a chill time.

Well, hypothetically, anyway.

Part of why I quit playing is that I found myself trying to min-max everything (my game sounds a lot like yours, on down to marrying Abigail, though the mines don't do much for me and I haven't spent much time in the desert one). Somewhere along the line, I found I couldn't relax and have a chill time anymore.

YMMV. I enjoyed the everloving fuck out of Stardew Valley, until I didn't anymore; I got too caught up in time management and money management and I found that this life simulator was simulating my life entirely too well and I was starting to stress out about the same shit in-game that I do IRL. (At least I manage my time a lot better in the game than I do IRL, so I guess there's that.) I'd like to be able to get that early sense of breezy and laid-back play back, but I don't know if I can; I don't know if I have the right personality type.

I still got dozens and maybe hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of it before I hit that wall, though, so it's still an easy recommendation.

And I still enjoy playing it with my nephew when I get a chance, so maybe that's the secret. At least for me.

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Friday
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Friday » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:48 pm

37. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)

it's ok i guess

you can like, be a raccoon

Do I recommend this game:
eh
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Niku
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Re: Friday's Ultimate Vanity Project: 100 Games, 100 Reviews

Postby Niku » Fri Jun 19, 2020 6:51 pm

fuk u its a tanooki
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