Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

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

Postby Niku » Mon Feb 05, 2024 8:28 am

i think the reason dad of boy ragnarok is having such a hard time actually engaging me despite me having a decent amount of fun with it is specifically because of their absolute commitment to the "long take" bit. if you haven't played the new god of war games, the cinematic gimmick is that the games are done in one long take style where your main character literally never leaves the screen (even if they still obviously cheat it what with teleporting around and travel between various worlds whiting out/blacking out everything BUT the main character for loading and whatnot), which also means that fast travel basically does not exist. you can travel between pre-determined points, but even those require you to go through a long animation and travel down a hallway before you come out the other side. everything just takes so. goddamn. long.

and then you add that to how the 2018 game worked mostly on a hub-and-spoke system with a huge overworld to traverse, with interesting little stories being told to fill in the time. now the sequel instead is working on almost more of a ... flower bouquet system? where you're shuttled into the main mission/story hallway, finish your goal, and then the world you're in blooms open into a mini-hub-and-spoke open world area separate from the main story-tube to do sidequests and further the story in. this means whenever you make some plot progress, the game immediately then encourages you to faff about with hunting down treasures and doodads and checklist items instead of moving on to the next thing, but also there are mild metroidvania "gotta come back with new powers later" elements that mean you can't really check everything off the list and move on until later. these areas being smaller also means you have to spend more time just sitting in your boat or on your goddamn sled next to the thing you want to do because you wanna hear the story finish but it literally started ten seconds ago when you were pulling up to the destination. (much respect to the admittedly still very good dialogue system in both games where if you're essentially listening to an audio log and get interrupted, the conversation will be something like "AND THEN FAFNIR STRUCK A BLOW TO THE GIANT" "enough, we'll finish this later, we're here." and then you get back in the boat and they'll be like "so anyway, I was mentioning that fatal blow to the giant" and they'll pick the story right back up)

and their dedication to never cutting away from the main character also means you're never like, "cool, we killed the fuckboy, teleport me back to base for the new mission". no, it's always "fuckboy's down, now let's WALK THE ENTIRE DISTANCE BACK WE JUST CAME FROM" with some mild shortcuts along the way.

it is a game that feels profoundly dedicated to wasting your time in pursuit of Prestige.

but it's also fun to bounce frogmonsters with your fire chains.
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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 05, 2024 1:52 pm

Friday wrote:Come to think of it, were the L/R buttons used in LttP at all? Why the fuck weren't they used for item assignments?

I think they were used on the map and nowhere else.

As for why they weren't used for item assignments, I guess devs hadn't quite figured out what to do with them yet. (Jesus, it was like two more console generations before someone figured out hey maybe this should be the fire button or the gas pedal instead of using face buttons for that.) Mega Man X is the first game I can think of that used the shoulders to swap weapons. Which is a great idea except that it meant using a face button to dash. (And it took another console generation after that for them to figure out "wait, we can just use this other face button we're not using as an alternate fire button and you'll never have to switch back to your primary weapon at all!")

I don't remember if any of the later top-down Zelda games used the shoulder buttons to swap weapons. LttP for GBA didn't because the GBA only has two face buttons.

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

Postby Mongrel » Sun Feb 11, 2024 5:22 am

Got RDR2 after all this time.

Jesus, do I need a goddamned church organ to be able to assign all these keys?! Like, I am literally never going to be able to play this smoothly, was hard enough to wrangle it into a "good enough" sorta-functional arrangement.

This seems extra stupid since they were somehow able to make the damn game play well enough on a controller. Why throw out all those contextual menu cues for the keyboard controls? Why complicate what's already an incredibly convoluted and extensive inventory system?

It's a very pretty game, but I suppose I knew that part, it just feel like I'm playing in a barrel of tar.

On the other hand you can (eventually?) get a broomhandle Mauser, and that's mucho points in my book, lol.
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Thad
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun Feb 11, 2024 5:14 pm

I keep meaning to check it out (from what I've read Rockstar has fixed a bunch of the workplace-culture stuff that had left me reluctant to give them my money) but thinking y'know, I should really play some of the other open-world games I've left unplayed or half-finished. Including Undead Nightmare.

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

Postby Mongrel » Sun Feb 11, 2024 5:44 pm

Thad wrote:I keep meaning to check it out (from what I've read Rockstar has fixed a bunch of the workplace-culture stuff that had left me reluctant to give them my money) but thinking y'know, I should really play some of the other open-world games I've left unplayed or half-finished. Including Undead Nightmare.

I'm not sure you're more comfortable with a controller than I am at shooty-FPS type games, but I know you do use a controller a lot more often, so you might have an easier time of that particular bit than I am.

The open-world roaming sandbox parts are nice when you finally get there - it takes a while, but then the game has a lot of tutorial-story to start out, which is fine. It does kind of has that AAA-open-world-game thing where certain characters are at times basically landmines in the open-world segments, in that if you talk to or go near them you'll immediately be roped into a story mission and the main story or a side story will advance. Not really that hard to avoid for the most part though.

I'm curious if there's "best" point in the game to spend a long time just roaming around the world in, because that's obviously the most fun. The scripted story events are just like any other AAA game, really. Press button, do thing, advance, maybe a bit of combat in between.

I got it for $25 ImaginaryCanuckBucks on sale (so I'm guessing $18-20 US?). I don't think I'd ever pay $60-80 for a game like this.
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beatbandito
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Sun Feb 11, 2024 6:24 pm

I am almost ashamed to admit that Hogwarts: Legacy is a pretty good game. It is a AAA monstrosity of mechanical mundanity, but does a pretty good job of it. I would compare the experience to an Assassin's Creed or FarCry. There's an established system that will change just enough to seem different as you perform the same four tasks over and over 100 times, but it offers it at a baby's pace of constant reward and re-enforcement that outdoes what either of the other series provides. I would also compare it to Forspoken, a game that looks and plays very similarly. There, however, the writing managed to be worse than the stale and limited implementations of the standard gear and gather systems that make up the main gameplay content.

Legacy has a bad story, because it takes place in the Harry Potter universe, which has bad lore. Far-and-away the failings of the game come from this, despite the writer's attempts to kill and bury the author to the best of their ability. But you can't just unmake the social politics of the existing world, and there would be franchise to license if you cut around all the worst parts.

Anyway, if this game were basically any other existing franchise it would still be incredibly generic, but it would be the best thing that franchise saw in a while. It's a shame as much design effort and ingenuity as clearly did went into... this.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Sun Feb 11, 2024 7:27 pm

Mongrel wrote:
Thad wrote:I keep meaning to check it out (from what I've read Rockstar has fixed a bunch of the workplace-culture stuff that had left me reluctant to give them my money) but thinking y'know, I should really play some of the other open-world games I've left unplayed or half-finished. Including Undead Nightmare.

I'm not sure you're more comfortable with a controller than I am at shooty-FPS type games, but I know you do use a controller a lot more often, so you might have an easier time of that particular bit than I am.

Yeah, I'd probably end up mostly playing it on the couch. I game out there a lot more than I do in my office.

Mongrel wrote:The open-world roaming sandbox parts are nice when you finally get there - it takes a while, but then the game has a lot of tutorial-story to start out, which is fine. It does kind of has that AAA-open-world-game thing where certain characters are at times basically landmines in the open-world segments, in that if you talk to or go near them you'll immediately be roped into a story mission and the main story or a side story will advance. Not really that hard to avoid for the most part though.

I'm curious if there's "best" point in the game to spend a long time just roaming around the world in, because that's obviously the most fun. The scripted story events are just like any other AAA game, really. Press button, do thing, advance, maybe a bit of combat in between.

Yeah, that all sounds a lot like the previous game (which I played on 360; I never had a PS3).

Mongrel wrote:I got it for $25 ImaginaryCanuckBucks on sale (so I'm guessing $18-20 US?). I don't think I'd ever pay $60-80 for a game like this.

Yeah, it's US$19.80 in the current Steam sale and goes on sale for about that pretty frequently. It's one of those where if you don't want to get it on this sale, you can just wait 4-6 weeks for the next one.

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

Postby Friday » Sun Feb 11, 2024 8:47 pm

I can state for the record that RDR2 plays much better on a PS4 controller. It's still overdesigned and takes a lot of getting used to, though. The finicky, stuffed controls are a definite flaw of the game. I did eventually get used to them to the point where the controls "disappeared" from my mind, but it took like until almost the halfway mark. That might be a record in terms of hours taken for controls to vanish and to hit that sweet spot where you just think what you want your character to do and it happens, because you've got 100% muscle memory and don't have to tell your fingers shit.

You're on a keyboard, though, so it might never go away. I can only advise you to suffer through it. Once you make camp near Valentine (the second camp, after SNOW TUTORIAL) you have access to basically 80% of the game's open world content. I advise you to just do the occasional mission to continue to advance the story while slowly exploring the map.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Grath » Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:26 am

beatbandito wrote:Legacy has a bad story, because it takes place in the Harry Potter universe, which has bad lore. Far-and-away the failings of the game come from this, despite the writer's attempts to kill and bury the author to the best of their ability. But you can't just unmake the social politics of the existing world, and there would be franchise to license if you cut around all the worst parts.

I was under the impression that rather than "attempts to kill and bury the author" it was more "we'll throw a bone to the people most effected (token trans character with a name that's almost a slur, to match the treatment of all the other minority characters) and otherwise just lean in to the antisemitism and other shitty stuff, with an alt-right Gamergater as lead designer who was forced to resign after people actually read his social media"?

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:56 am

Friday wrote:I can state for the record that RDR2 plays much better on a PS4 controller. It's still overdesigned and takes a lot of getting used to, though. The finicky, stuffed controls are a definite flaw of the game. I did eventually get used to them to the point where the controls "disappeared" from my mind, but it took like until almost the halfway mark. That might be a record in terms of hours taken for controls to vanish and to hit that sweet spot where you just think what you want your character to do and it happens, because you've got 100% muscle memory and don't have to tell your fingers shit.

You're on a keyboard, though, so it might never go away. I can only advise you to suffer through it. Once you make camp near Valentine (the second camp, after SNOW TUTORIAL) you have access to basically 80% of the game's open world content. I advise you to just do the occasional mission to continue to advance the story while slowly exploring the map.

Yeah, this is more-or-less what I'm doing. I wasn't sure if there was any big map expansion after Valentine, or if most of the map was unlocked at that point, so good to know it's about 80%. I'm guessing the 20% is after they finally go back to Blackwater or something? I had the basic plot spoiled a long time ago, so since right now SOMEBODY'S in jail for murder I'm just gonna leave 'em there for as long as I can, lmao

Getting hammered at the bar with Lenny actually exceeded expectations, so that was pretty funny.

I wanna run scams with Hosea, lol, that seems like fun, so I hope there's a couple of those.
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beatbandito
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:04 am

Grath wrote:I was under the impression that rather than "attempts to kill and bury the author" it was more "we'll throw a bone to the people most effected...

Yeah but also like, they make fun of wizards popping on the floor and vanishing it.

The central narrative of the game is unabashedly racist towards any non-white, non-European culture. Mostly by way of "beast" races with full sentience but that agree with the general order of magic society. But also, disgustingly, in the same light towards an African transfer student npc.

Rowling's views and politics (and the studio leader guess, but I didn't know that) are why I steal this instead of paying for it. But the reason Harry Potter is bad isn't directly because of the author's views, it's a reflection of them. The same empty rhetoric of real life set like a facade in the reality of the story, since it clearly couldn't stand up on its own naturally in any setting. The gameplay elements are born from a similar void of AAA standard decisions with no real heart, because the person who designed it has no real heart.

But in spite of both those things I think the people that made this game did an impressive job. I was surprised to find a real cake under the shit frosting, and not the continued layering of shit fondant I expected.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Friday » Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:21 am

I will continue to maintain forever that Rowling was a mid writer. She was clearly making up shit as she went, and that's fine if done in moderation (no writer plans everything in advance) but if you overdo it you end up with nonsensical bullshit. Her one talent was hiding important plot points in mundane text. Snape is also a good character.

the main issue that I have about HP (that isn't political) is that Harry is a terrible hero. He has no abilities and skates by on his "chosen one" status alone. Stick up her ass does all the work, and Ron is a the butt of all the jokes. Like compare him to Katniss, who isn't the chosen one and wins because she's smart and capable while still being a flawed teenager. Harry wins because, in order:

Stone: Stick up her ass does all the work, surprise I have the power of love my mom gave me
Secrets: Stick up her ass does all the work
Prisoner: i can't even fucking remember this it was so boring but I assume "stick up her ass does all the work"
Goblet: lol i beat your stupid love shield idiot oh god fucking damn it you picked the same wand as me so you win by pure luck
Phoenix: Dumbledore does all the work, also Harry is so fucking bad at wizarding that his uncle dies
Prince: I found this book that has hacks in it, also Snape does all the work
Hallows: lol surprise I win because of a convoluted series of events involving an auto-win wand and plans laid out by Dumbledore

Seriously Harry is the LAMEST YA mc. He even gives Bella a run for her money in terms of just being a passive object the plot revolves around. If he was female we'd be writing essays on how we need to give girls in fiction more agency.

even his role in Quidditch is exactly what he is in the plot: a stupid, sudden win out of nowhere for no reason that invalidates everyone else's effort.

And remember, I'm excluding political reasons why HP sucks a fat dick. But I'll just mention that he ends up as a cop so he can enforce the status quo of the wizarding world which is fucked up beyond belief.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 12, 2024 1:29 am

It's funny how fast that series went from taking the better aspects of classic British "Boarding School" genre to rapidly embracing everything that was reactionary and vile about the genre instead. I'm amazed she made it to seven books without reintroducing Golliwogs or something.

Friday wrote:And remember, I'm excluding political reasons why HP sucks a fat dick. But I'll just mention that he ends up as a cop so he can enforce the status quo of the wizarding world which is fucked up beyond belief.

Yeah that is just absolute dogshit.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Friday » Mon Feb 12, 2024 2:35 am

On the other hand, I've heard/read that HP meant a lot to a lot of Queer/Trans people as they read it as an allegory for their own troubles, which I can absolutely guarantee Rowling did not intend, so yeah Death of the Author go go go. If HP means something to you because you read it as an impressionable young person that's fine and I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 12, 2024 4:43 am

Eh, I wonder how many of those felt that way at the time, but lost those feelings knowing what they do about the author, especially with things like Dumbledore where it was just declared by fiat after the fact and not actually in the books. That's as bad as tokenism, honestly, maybe worse.

If someone still gets some kind of comfort out of it, I guess... by all means - even if it's only nostalgia.

Though TBH this reminds me of just how incredibly offensive the Sorting Hat and other horrific classist Brit tropes are also in there from the beginning. Even when I still (barely) was a teenager reading the first two books, the fact that the wizarding world of HP has a fucking CASTE SYSTEM was deeply unsettling and repellent.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby beatbandito » Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:16 am

I was lucky enough to recognize Harry Potter as trite when it came out and I was in the main demographic. Still being in the middle of the Hitchiker's Guide series helped. But what I've seen of reviews and summaries of them since then there is only one well-written moment in the entire series.

When Harry meets Ron, and they exchange food. Harry, from an adoptive family that treats him like service staff, and Ron, from the poor but loving close-knit family. Harry has become exceptionally rich in a way that even an adult would have trouble rationalizing, and has access to the best treats the train has to offer. Ron has only the same old handmade lunch he's probably had a million times. The agree to a trade that suit both boys' personalities: Ron happy to have unfettered access to fancy treats, and not being the type to consider or care about the value of the trade. Harry, never having had friends, family, or wealth, is happy to give away some unknowable fraction of that wealth both to endear Ron, and because a homemade sandwich is probably something he has legitimately never had and would at least be interested in.

And based on every other excerpt I've seen from the series, someone other than JK wrote that part.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Niku » Mon Feb 12, 2024 9:33 am

Mongrel wrote:Jesus, do I need a goddamned church organ to be able to assign all these keys?! Like, I am literally never going to be able to play this smoothly, was hard enough to wrangle it into a "good enough" sorta-functional arrangement.

This seems extra stupid since they were somehow able to make the damn game play well enough on a controller. Why throw out all those contextual menu cues for the keyboard controls? Why complicate what's already an incredibly convoluted and extensive inventory system?


I've not played RDR2, but goddamn am I still feeling this with God of War nearly 40 hours in. On a controller, no less. "Oh, to get past this obstacle I need to L2+Square, L2+R2 but oops I didn't hit left on the d-pad first to make sure I had the right weapon in hand but also up on the d-pad too to make sure I had the right arrow equipped." AAA games feel like playing Twister way too often and it just furthers the "death by a thousand cuts" that makes the game a chore in spite of all the things that I really like about it.

Friday wrote:even his role in Quidditch is exactly what he is in the plot: a stupid, sudden win out of nowhere for no reason that invalidates everyone else's effort.


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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Büge » Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:13 pm

Friday wrote:I will continue to maintain forever that Rowling was a mid writer. She was clearly making up shit as she went,


And cribbing from other authors. All the Dursley stuff in the first book is pure Roald Dahl.

Mongrel wrote:Eh, I wonder how many of those felt that way at the time, but lost those feelings knowing what they do about the author,


It wasn't just Rowling revealing her biases. There was also issues within the text, as Aja Romano wrote in an article for Vox:

It took me a very long time to figure out I was genderqueer, and when it finally clicked, one of my biggest revelations was that I’d spent years mapping my own identity onto fictional characters without realizing it — above all, Tonks in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I vividly remember the visceral excitement I felt the first time I read the fifth Harry Potter book in 2003 and met Nymphadora Tonks, a shapeshifter with spiky pink hair, a punk-rock aesthetic, and an insistence on being called by her gender-neutral last name. I was certain that Rowling had written a canonically genderfluid character. Like millions of other Harry Potter fans who dared to project ourselves into the books, I was ultimately disappointed: By the end of the series, Tonks was a married, fully binary woman, softer and gentler, letting her husband feminize her as “Dora” — a name she’d previously hated.
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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Thad » Mon Feb 12, 2024 3:46 pm

By the end of the series, Tonks was a married, fully binary woman, softer and gentler, letting her husband feminize her as “Dora” — a name she’d previously hated.

That's, uh, not where Tonks is at the end of the series.

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Re: Hey [%target] Whatcha Playin'?

Postby Mongrel » Mon Feb 12, 2024 4:16 pm

Büge wrote:And cribbing from other authors. All the Dursley stuff in the first book is pure Roald Dahl.

Oh hell yeah. The classic Cindahlella premise.

I mean, it was actually a good steal, but y'know *waves at rest of book & series*
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