Let's play through our backlogs

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ch3m1kal
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 29 Jun 2015, 05:12

Well since it seems I simply can't be bothered to put up with Dark Souls' bullshit, I decided to go elsewhere.

So in light of the recent announcement I figured it's probably time to actually finish Fallout 3 (and all its DLC). I figured multiple playthroughs of New Vegas would have desensitized me to the poor combat and awful animation.
I only used a few mods, mostly graphics, nothing particularly gameplay changing since I wanted the actual experience as designed. Only real gameplay modification was a mod that makes power armor actually work, and power armored enemies an actual threat rather than a shiny loot pinata.

It was partially successful, in that I was able to power thorough the whole thing, but man... that was rough going towards the end there.

The beginning is ok enough, the writing is generally pretty bad and the quests are for the most part boring and uninspired, especially compared to NV, but passable due to the good atmosphere and art direction. However, towards the end it's just and endless cycle of go to abandoned place, shoot mutants/robots/enclave, retrieve macguffin, return.
Pretty much the only interesting parts were Tranquility Lane, Andale (which was underdeveloped but at least had an interesting enough theme) and Reilly's Rangers, which was also one of the few quests I kind of liked even though it was still essentially just shooting a bunch of mutants.

Other than that I liked The Pitt, it actually had a decent enough moral choice (for the record I ended up siding with Ashur) and Broken Steel, which had plenty of flaws but the overworked brotherhood scribe was probably the best character in the whole game and the overall writing and tone reminded me of Fallout 2.

I think Wolfenstein: The New Order is probably next since I'm putting Wasteland 2 off until the big update.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Robo4900 » 30 Jun 2015, 02:52

I am currently attempting to play all of the main Zelda games. I've played at least a little bit of almost all of the games in the series, but I've never actually completed a Zelda game before.

So, first up I've chosen Twilight Princess, and I'm towards the end of the game. Very fun, soundtrack is incredible, and the motion controls aren't bad. I'll be going for Ocarina of Time next, then Majora's Mask, and then probably Wind Waker.

EDIT: Beat the game. Final boss was kind of annoying, but other than that, I enjoyed it immensely. OoT next. :)
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 05 Jul 2015, 13:21

Well I was feeling kind of down for the past few days so I thought I'd cheer myself up with something ridiculous and fun.

Enter Shadow Warrior, which turned out to be quite good. Great combat, surprisingly decent story, nice graphics and it was self aware enough to make the jokes and one liners be actually funny.

The ending was a bit... umm different, I guess, but I enjoyed it.

Oh and according to Steam it took me 11.8 hours to finish it.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Jamfalcon » 06 Jul 2015, 22:30

After buying it for $1.50 (well, $3 in a bundle with BioShock 2) at a dollar store last summer, I finally gave Dark Void a try the other night. Well, after struggling with running the installer from the disc (haven't had to use one of those in ages...). And apparently the Steam version is even worse and doesn't really work at all, so I'm glad I dodged that bullet. Anyhow...

I'd heard all sorts of things about how mediocre and underwhelming it was. And for the most part, that's pretty true, it's middling third person shooter stuff in the first act. Buuuuuut... I wanted something mindless, and it delivers. The fact that now and then it opens up and lets me dogfight with a jetpack to a very BSGesque Bear McCreary soundtrack doesn't hurt either.

I hear it's short, and based on the chapter listings, I think I'm about half way through after two sittings. Still, barring a difficulty spike I expect I'll finish it. It's not my favourite game of all time, but I'm having fun with it.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby AdmiralMemo » 11 Jul 2015, 03:41

So I've been playing "The Ball" for a bit. Got to say it's interesting, though not ground-breaking by any stretch. I'd characterize it as such: Take Portal and remove all those pesky portals. Now that you're just left with the Companion Cube, make it a sphere twice as big as the player. Give the game a skin on par with Tomb Raider or Uncharted. Then, add in zombies, because first-person games need combat and everyone loves zombies!

It's pretty cool, for the most part. It doesn't make any use of "Negative Possibility Space" though and the zombie combat feels slapped on and unnecessary. Other than that, though, the puzzles feel pretty neat, and it seems like a good game for 2 or 3 play-sessions.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 16 Jul 2015, 15:01

Well, it took a while, but I beat Persona 4. I really enjoyed the cast, and the story. I got really attached to some of the social link stories. I wasn't able to max out as many as I wanted to though. I got a whole bunch of them up to 7 or 8, but I ran out of time. I only maxed out my party, Yumi, and the fox :3

I liked how the battle system works with the weaknesses, but finding the enemy weaknesses really dragged the dungeon crawling. I found it really exhausting trying to maintain my SP levels, though it was no doubt due to my rpg hoarder syndrome. The other thing that I really didn't like was dicking around with persona fusions. I didn't like trying to find personas to fill out elemental abilities. It was just unengaging.

I don't know how good the anime was, but I think it might be a better way to experience it.

Next up, since it's still July, Cthulhu Saves the World.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 20 Jul 2015, 16:19

Right! Backlogs. I actually played through a few more games, after buying 13 games on the summer sale (kept it under US$100 though).
I played:

Resident Evil Remastered - it was good, it was Resident Evil, there's nothing new to say about it. I think it's worthwhile; it's also shorter than I remember. Probably because I last played it in the 90s.

Deadly Sin - RPGMaker game. I really liked Deadly Sin 2, which came out on Steam before the first one, so I figured I'd try this one too. It was still OK, not as good as the sequel. Like a lot of RPGMaker games it overstayed its welcome, albeit not as badly as other RPGMaker games that I've played. The real issue was that the last boss was extremely, unnecessarily difficult and really had only 1 viable strategy that required considerable grinding.

The Fall - 2D adventure game. I watched QMonster play a little of it before I bought it. It reminded me of The Swapper. It ended up being shorter and simpler but I really enjoyed the story and I'm already looking forward to the sequel to it.

Verde Station - It's exactly as played by Alex. I played it a little longer to get all of the achievements, some of which are quite clever, a few are weirdly obscure.

Edolie - Another RPGMaker game. I bought this one because I really liked the art style. There's not much combat to this game, which I'm fine with. The story and characters were enjoyable enough to make it worthwhile. Even as an RPGMaker game it had more choices and sidequests than a lot of AAA games. If it wasn't so long (15-20hrs) I'd probably play through it again and make some different decisions. The decisions weren't anything huge, but now that I know how they play out I'm curiously to see how the others end.

Homeworld Remastered Collection - Sadly I never played the original Homeworld games. I'm not big into RTS games, nor have I ever been, with the exception of Starcraft, which I still only play for the campaign. Homeworld Remastered was very pretty and the story was interesting, but the gameplay felt a little too slow so I spent some time just being bored while I waited for ships to build or reach their destinations. The games also had a terrible habit of taking control away from me while I was in the middle of something so they could forcibly turn my head to look at something. I really do not like it when games do that, but the series was otherwise enjoyable at least.

Borderlands - When this first came out I played it with a friend on PS3 and loved it. I also ended up buying it from Direct2Drive, when they existed, and playing it on PC and loved it. Since D2D is gone, Gamefly sucks, and I hadn't played it in a long time, I decided to get it on the Steam sale. It hadn't aged quite as well as I remembered. It was still good, especially once I found my first combustion hellfire SMG (as the Siren, that makes everything melt), but on the second playthrough I just kind of wanted it to end after a while. I still enjoy the series and I'm sure I'll go back and play Borderlands 2 again someday.

Grow Home - Adorable indie game with frustrating controls. You'd think a robot's movements would be stiff but this was actually difficult to control because it felt very floaty and it was hard to not overshoot things. I assume the idea was that the planet being explored had lower gravity, but I think it was taken just barely past the line between interesting mechanic and annoying mechanic. Not annoying enough to ruin the game by any means, just annoying enough to notice and point out. Besides that, fun gameplay and some cool upgrades in the progression, not much of a story but a cute, worthwhile indie game nonetheless.

Deadlight - A zombie game. Steam has gallons of zombie games, but Deadlight was still pretty good. It's 2D and plays like This War of Mine if that played the way I had wanted it to. TWoM played very slow, which worked for a while and fit the theme of the game, but I still got tired of waiting for bad things to happen. In Deadlight, bad things don't stop happening. As a result, I never felt bored, but I was sometimes frustrated when I wasn't given a moment to rest and sometimes it was difficult to see where I needed to go or make sure I wasn't missing secrets while being chased. An interesting game with an OK story, which is above average for zombie games anyways, and it's not like I can play the Last of Us on PC anyways.

Currently playing Watch_Dogs. This was on the Steam sale too. I picked it up because watching Graham play GTAV made me want to play an open world game. Since GTAV didn't go on sale at all (the cash cards can get bent), I decided to try this poor substitute. I went into it knowing the story would be bad, and so far it has met those expectations. It's nothing terrible, it's just dull and predictable. The gameplay is OK. All of the hacking abilities are actually rather fun and interesting; it would be nice if I had more to play with earlier on in the game though. The driving mostly works fine but the cars seem to have a lot of trouble turning unless you slow to a crawl which I always find annoying. I decided about a year ago that I don't like time trials of any kind in open world game so I'm skipping all of those. So far it's just an OK gameplay game but a poor substitute for GTA or Saint's Row.

Since the sale I've added 5 more games to my backlog, including Fire Emblem Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. If I remember correctly, I was convinced by Compleatly to try Ike's story. So up 13 from the sale, down 9 that I've finished, and up 4 since then. That leaves me at 10 more, not counting Watch_Dogs, which is good, considering it's fewer than how many I bought during the sale, so I'm actually catching up. I've also added The Magic Circle, The Amber Throne, and Lisa to my wishlist of now 11 games.

For others: (because I think it's weird to post about my backlog and never talk about anyone else's posts)
Wolfenstein: The New Order - I loved that game. I found the gameplay fun and impactful, something a lot of FPS somehow miss while striving for realism or graphical fidelity or other nonsense. I think I actually enjoyed Wasteland 2 more though (despite the dragging on bit that I mentioned in my 1st post), but that may be because I hadn't played a CRPG in a long time and I really haven't liked Fallout since it was turned into a weird pseudo-FPS (for both 3 and New Vegas).

I might look into Shadow Warrior. I think Alex played at least some of it on stream and it looked quite fun.

edit: Oh! I also played Invisible Inc. I was actually kind of disappointed in it. I liked Mark of the Ninja (by the same developers) because the gameplay was set up such that all the information I needed was on screen in a clean, effective, visual format. Invisible Inc. felt like a step back with the more standardized UI, limited inventory, and it was often difficult to find the right doorway as a lot of the colors in game did not contrast well and a lot of other doorways would be deadends either in-so-far as I'd find a wall or I'd just find my character(s) dying. The rogue-like bits didn't really add to it either. I just found it annoying having to restart instead of being able to progress through the game, which, ended up being rather short and the story wasn't anything terribly impressive either. I kind of expected more but maybe that was because I actually expected it to be more like Mark of the Ninja.

Long post is long. I played through 10 games apparently.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Robo4900 » 21 Jul 2015, 14:05

Due to not really having access to any home consoles or my PC for most of this week, I'm playing Chrono Trigger on the DS, which I've had for a couple of years, but never got around to playing. Anyway, really fun, although I just met this frog guy who said, in our first encounter, "Who goes there? Oh, hi Chrono. Practising your swordplay?"

... Wat.
Anyway, other than that weird thing(Which is where I most recently saved and turned off), I'm enjoying it immensely, and the only things that I've got stuck on were just me not being perceptive enough.
One major thing I like is that it's not too grindy; chances are, if I can't get into an RPG, it's because it's too grindy(Most MMOs, the entire Pokémon series, etc.), but I'm very happy with Chrono Trigger.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ANeMzero » 23 Jul 2015, 09:39

I've been burning through a couple of smaller games recently: Grow Home, Contrast and Gravity Ghost.

My experience with Grow Home pretty much mirrors Trippzens. Short with floaty controls, but never the less enjoyable.

Contrast on the other hand wasn't quite as good. It had a lot of good ideas that all came out half baked. It is awful, but I don't feel right calling it a bad game per se. It wanted to offer a blend of puzzles, 2D, and 3D Platforming, along with an interesting art style and a dramatic story, but on each level it fails to hit the mark. The puzzles are more tedious than puzzling. The platforming in both the 2D sections and the 3D sections is floaty and unresponsive (there is even an extended section that is entirely 2D platforming, which only illuminates just how bad the 2D platforming feels.) The art style feel bland, lacking a lot of what made it pop in the promotional material and concept art. The story isn't great and the characters are grating. It took an hour and a half to get 100% completion + achievements, and to some degree that felt like too much.

Gravity Ghost is also more or less about platforming, and full of floaty controls, but with a more casual experience it never quite feels frustrating. To some extend floatiness works to its benefit, the main mechanic is about orbiting small planetoids, so a bit of float helps to sell that feeling. The story is alright, though the acting feels a bit stilted at times. It took a little under 2 hours, minus some of the more hardcore achievements that require a second or third run, but that feels like a good amount of time for the mechanics. It doesn't overstay its welcome, though admittedly the terraforming mechanic doesn't get much use.
and now; back to me.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 23 Jul 2015, 17:28

Robo4900 wrote:One major thing I like is that it's not too grindy; chances are, if I can't get into an RPG, it's because it's too grindy(Most MMOs, the entire Pokémon series, etc.), but I'm very happy with Chrono Trigger.

Yeah, that's one of the things I've really appreciated about CT, especially on repeat playthroughs. It's well paced such that you never need to grind. I'm interested to hear what your party of choice ends up being. I remember hearing that there was some extra stuff they added in the DS version that wasn't particularly well received. I think it was an extra dungeon or something.

ANeMzero wrote:Contrast on the other hand wasn't quite as good. It had a lot of good ideas that all came out half baked. It is awful, but I don't feel right calling it a bad game per se. It wanted to offer a blend of puzzles, 2D, and 3D Platforming, along with an interesting art style and a dramatic story, but on each level it fails to hit the mark. The puzzles are more tedious than puzzling. The platforming in both the 2D sections and the 3D sections is floaty and unresponsive (there is even an extended section that is entirely 2D platforming, which only illuminates just how bad the 2D platforming feels.) The art style feel bland, lacking a lot of what made it pop in the promotional material and concept art. The story isn't great and the characters are grating. It took an hour and a half to get 100% completion + achievements, and to some degree that felt like too much.


This is disappointing to hear. I actually remember seeing Contrast on Greenlight when it was still pretty new. It was a game that actually showed promise in a mountain of crap. Shame that it just fell flat.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 27 Jul 2015, 08:38

Well it seems there's no point in me thinking what I'm going to play next since it always ends up being something different...

Aaanyway, inspired by GPLP playing through Far Cry 4, I decided to dive into Far Cry 3, which has also been sitting on my virtual shelf for months, untouched.

And I honestly had a great time. Some good characters, great gunplay, pretty decent storyline, and some absolutely gorgeous locations and vistas, despite the kind of bland generic tropical island setting.
I'm mostly surprised because I've never much cared for the Far Cry franchise. It always seemed like "Captain Vanillapants' Bland Adventure in Generic Land" *With guns!. Then Blood Dragon came along and changed my mind.

Now I'm playing Watch Dogs, because I already had to use Uplay in order to play Far Cry, and because I managed to buy it for like 2 euro.
Not that bad so far. Still runs like ass, and it gets a bit repetitive at times, but it touches on some themes that are very interesting to me personally so it gets some points for that.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 02 Aug 2015, 12:51

And Watch Dogs is done, after about 21 hours.
Only bothered with the main campaign and all the side bits that are in any way involved with the story, but not every last fixer contract or gang hideout.

I still think it's not bad, there's quite a bit of missed opportunity and it does have some thematic inconsistencies, due to the decision of making it open world, but an enjoyable enough experience overall. Helps that it looks quite pretty, with the mod that reactivates the stuff from the E3 demo.

The only thing I that really annoyed me, and that was in fact an issue I noticed with several of Ubisoft's more recent titles is that pretty much every character is interesting, except the player character. I guess that's supposed to help players relate to them more?

Not sure what's up next, Wolfenstein is still on the table, but TIS-100 kind of owns me now. :)
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 03 Aug 2015, 11:22

ch3m1kal wrote:And Watch Dogs is done, after about 21 hours.
Only bothered with the main campaign and all the side bits that are in any way involved with the story, but not every last fixer contract or gang hideout.

I still think it's not bad, there's quite a bit of missed opportunity and it does have some thematic inconsistencies, due to the decision of making it open world, but an enjoyable enough experience overall. Helps that it looks quite pretty, with the mod that reactivates the stuff from the E3 demo.

The only thing I that really annoyed me, and that was in fact an issue I noticed with several of Ubisoft's more recent titles is that pretty much every character is interesting, except the player character. I guess that's supposed to help players relate to them more?

Not sure what's up next, Wolfenstein is still on the table, but TIS-100 kind of owns me now. :)


I finished it as well at that pretty much sums up how I felt too. I didn't realize there was a mod to improve the textures though. It's probably best I didn't use it though because it ran pretty poorly on my laptop, which is running GTA V with no problems anyways. Going from one open world game to another I do miss hacking to evade the police, though I don't miss the annoying ctOS scans.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 09 Aug 2015, 13:50

Finally found the time and motivation to finish Wolfenstein: The New Order(13.2 hours according to Steam).

Turns out that despite being more than a year old now, it still has a ton of technical issues. Frame rate has completely random spikes, there's horrible screen tearing despite the fact that it's locked at 60, enabling vsync in the game cuts about 15-20fps off the frame rate and doesn't really get rid of the tearing, and forcing vsync in the drivers causes it to randomly crash to desktop. FUN!
Oh and the texture quality is honestly terrible.

All that aside, the game is pretty damn fun. The levels are fairly linear, but each combat encounter is set in fairly large "arenas" and there are usually several ways of approaching a situation. It really gets a large boost to overall enjoyment from the fact that all the weapons are fun to use (except maybe the Laserkraftwerk which makes a really lame sound and runs out of ammo too quickly) and the nazis die in some quite satisfyingly violent ways.

Oh and the story is surprisingly good, as long as you don't take it too seriously and don't mind a couple of random wtf moments. I especially liked that fact that BJ's ability to withstand bullets to the face is canon and is in full effect even in cutscenes, which is quite refreshing and used to pretty good effect in a couple of situations.

Next up I'm thinking either Shadowrun: Dragonfall or The Talos Principle.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 10 Aug 2015, 13:38

I finished Cthulhu Saves the World a while ago, but didn't have time to talk about it. I only played on easy, so I can't really comment on how well the battle system worked. Suffice to say, easy was pretty damn easy.

The game is a parody JRPG, and it's pretty self aware of it. Near the beginning of the game, you fight a party of standard protagonists, and Cthulhu comments that they'll probably come back and be a pain later in the game. In the final dungeon, you do fight them again as the penultimate boss, but they're no stronger than at the beginning of the game. One touch that I liked was how every bookcase and dresser seemed to have a unique message when you searched them.

I think my biggest criticism of the game is that the maps were just far too big. I'm generally decent with remembering where I've been, and where I have to go, but I kept on getting lost. I ended up just hugging the left wall, and hoping that I would eventually make it to the next floor. This could have been mitigated by either giving the player a map, which they couldn't since they ran out of time, or just by making smaller maps, and having more of them.

Fun game, the battle system would probably have some legs to it if you don't play on easy, and the script was pretty enjoyable through and through.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ANeMzero » 10 Aug 2015, 20:03

I've finished a couple more things since my last post:

Watch_Dogs: Nearly everything that can be said about the first Assassin's Creed can be said about what is certainly going to be the first in a series of Watch_Dogs titles. There is a lot to do in the game, but not a lot of variety. It has some great ideas that are held back by generally poor execution and the things it does actually nail become a bit tired with repetition. A

Far Cry 4: Actually finished this before my last post, but it didn't really fit with the theme of shorter games. In many ways it is Far Cry 3 done over. Pagan Min isn't quite as good as Vaas, but he is just enough of an ass to move the story along as needed. The addition of Gyrocopters has an interesting effect that mirrors the addition of flying to WoW: I just fly over to a quest marker, drop down, complete it and fly back up. The fact you can shoot a grenade launcher from the air just makes things even more ridiculous. The game is big, pretty, dense on content (though most of the content has the depth of a puddle) and full of opportunities to make things explode in spectacular ways.

The Talos Principle: The best puzzle game I've played since Portal 2, but dear gods do they need to make the Fast Forward button have a default binding. The lack of internal checkpointing for any of the puzzles (even the final, enormous, multi-stage puzzle) is frustrating to no end, and inclusion of a lot of lengthy, pointless corridors doesn't help much either. There are too many puzzles that expect you to spend the first 10-30 seconds just finding all the jammers/boxes/laser crystals hidden away in various nooks before you can actually start the puzzle in earnest. The good definitely outweighs the bad though, with the more complex challenge stars being particularly rewarding to figure out.

Chariot: A surprisingly long but competent co-op focused puzzle-platformer. You play a Princess and her Fiance on a journey to bury your recently deceased father. Unfortunately he decided that he wasn't quite ready to go yet, at least not until he has made sure he has the best damn burial place in all the royal catacombs. You'll spend 8-10 hours with Ghost Dad berating you, complaining and just being a bit of a jerk, and at least in my experience I enjoyed nearly every minute of it. Biggest problem was the level length, near the end levels took upwards of 30 minutes. By the time I finished the first level of the last world I'd forgotten it was only the first level.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 18 Aug 2015, 17:46

ANeMzero wrote:I've finished a couple more things since my last post:

The Talos Principle: The best puzzle game I've played since Portal 2, but dear gods do they need to make the Fast Forward button have a default binding. The lack of internal checkpointing for any of the puzzles (even the final, enormous, multi-stage puzzle) is frustrating to no end, and inclusion of a lot of lengthy, pointless corridors doesn't help much either. There are too many puzzles that expect you to spend the first 10-30 seconds just finding all the jammers/boxes/laser crystals hidden away in various nooks before you can actually start the puzzle in earnest. The good definitely outweighs the bad though, with the more complex challenge stars being particularly rewarding to figure out.

Was that one of the games on James Recommends? It sounds pretty familiar and interesting.

I did a first playthrough of Sonic CD. I didn't really like the whole time travel part of it. It felt kinda arbitrary how long you needed to run to warp. In the past, there is a thing you have to search for and blow up in order to get the good end, but I just really don't like exploration in Sonic games. Exploring means you aren't going fast.

The bosses were weird because a whole bunch of them were puzzle bosses. The one boss that stood out to me was the third. You start by chasing Dr. Robotnik through a maze, hopefully getting some hits in, and at the end you're in a screen full of water. Robotnik will move around the screen shooting projectiles at you, but what makes it interesting is that he has a barrier of air bubbles you need to breathe before you can hit him. The other memorable boss was Metal Sonic, but mainly because I died trying to the wrong thing. It's a race, but having played Sonic Generations (good game btw) I kept on trying to kill Metal Sonic, and let Robotnik catch up to me and died.

I'm gonna play it again as Tails, but I think Sonic 2 and 3 are better.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 22 Aug 2015, 17:12

So I "finished" GTA V, insofar as I finished the story mode and all the single player quests and the achievements that didn't feel terribly annoying to get. That game is worth every penny even just for the single player and I look forward to inevitably playing through it again. The graphics are excellent, the soundtrack is awesome, the story is fun, the characters are funny, the writing is great, the voice acting is incredible, the gameplay is fantastic, and there's mod support. The online content is supposedly fun but it just doesn't interest me. There's not much else to be said about it that isn't already known.

After that I played through Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim on Steam. Another great Ys game. I don't think it was as good as Ys Origins and I still like Ys I and II more but still worthwhile, still fun, and I still like the story for this game and the whole series. Ys 8 is scheduled for release this year in Japan on PS4 and it makes it that much more tempting to buy a PS4, even though I don't own a TV.

I also played through Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. I was on the fence about playing this one because of it's reputation as a short prologue and because of some parts of the story that have been discussed at length. I gave it a chance anyways and I'm glad I did. The Fox Engine from MGS4 is still fantastic and runs really well on PC. The turning radius on Snake still needs some work but that was a minor issue that I just needed a little time to adjust to again. I still find parts of the story questionable but interesting and the music always draws me back in to the MGS series. Now I'm looking forward for MGS V even more.

Finishing my backlog from the Steam Summer sale I played Polarity, an interesting puzzle game that I picked up for less than the cost of the Steam cards from it. It's a simple game where you play a "hacker" (the story is irrelevant) though "hacking" is actually just playing through Portal-inspired levels with magnetic companion cubes and the ability to switch your polarity between red and blue. A cool game with relatively simple puzzles and nothing mind blowing. Enough to carry me through a few more games before I break down and play the DLC for The Talos Principle for a real puzzle fix.

Lastly, a new favorite of mine, I played Gravity Ghost by Erin Robinson and Ivy Games. I heard about Erin and this game from the Hey Ash podcasts and started following it when Erin started streaming the development of the game on Twitch. I thought it was interesting and I knew I'd end up trying it but I had ended up forgetting about it until I saw it on a Humble Bundle. I bought it a while ago and finally got around to playing it.

Games like this are why I love giving indie games a chance. Gravity Ghost has a simple story that's both written AND delivered really well. It also has a unique gameplay idea that's executed well but not perfectly; orbiting and terraforming planets was very calming and zen but I found the gravity-influenced controls difficult to get used to. I loved the art style, sound track, and voice acting, which included Ashly Burch. I put this beside other indie favorites of mine including Always Sometimes Monsters, A Bird Story, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and Never Alone. It's an entirely different kind of game, but I enjoyed this more than GTA V. I would recommend this to everyone and anyone. The description on Steam is better than I could describe it:
Click to Expand
Gravity Ghost is a peaceful gravity hopper: Run, jump, and orbit your way through a handpainted galaxy. Join Iona the ghost as she searches for her lost best friend, the ghost fox. Explore a shattered galaxy and rescue its survivors, armed with powerups and mysterious terraforming powers. Meet the 7 magical guardians and best their challenges. There's no killing, no dying, no way to fail. Just hours of blissing out to buttery-smooth gravity goodness.


Now I need to play something different, so I think S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky is next with some mods installed.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ANeMzero » 23 Aug 2015, 16:42

More games! Always more games. Some short, some not so short.

140: A short little platformer with a rhythm-twist. A lot of the moving hazards and obstacles are running in time with the beat of the background music. The controls are pretty basic, you're just running and jumping the whole way. However, each level sees you collecting some hovering "keys" which then unlock new mechanics in the levels themselves, which then allows you to progress in some way. It is about an hour long unless you want to take on the Mirror Mode levels, where there are no checkpoints. It manages to be fun without being too frustrating, and the levels are constantly evolving to keep the gameplay fresh.

Xeodrifter Another short game! Xeodrifter is basically Metroid-Lite. You play as generic spaceman, your ships warp core has exploded and you're now stranded in a system of 4 planets trying to find a new core. It is a 3DS downloadable title, so it is relatively small in scope. At $10 and with a 3 hour campaign it might even be a bit too small. There are probably less than 10 enemies in the entire game, and the 8 bosses are all just the same enemy with a new attack every time you fight them. However despite being a bit lacking in content, and the difficulty curve being a bit wonky, it still manages to hit all the high notes of a Metroid game, the sense of exploration, the feeling of progression from going back to the early zones and just mowing through enemies. It is a pretty great game, but maybe best to wait for a sale.

Metal Gear Solid: Oh yeah, the first one. I'd played through every Solid title, minus the first and Portable Ops, so I figured with MGS5 rapidly approaching I should at least deal with MGS1 (No clue if PO is even canonical and I'm not about to buy a PSP or Vita to play it.) Long story short, it holds up surprisingly well for an early 3D title made in the 90s. It isn't perfect, and the gameplay differs pretty dramatically from later titles, due in part to certain limitations (Not being able to rely on players having joysticks meant they made movement digital, you can only run, and so the game is pretty forgiving of the choice to just run everywhere.) While it is hard to say it aged well (shooting is awful and everyone's face looks like a carved potato), I can see how it became a classic. Also it was nice to find out the few plot points that are often missed in series plot summaries like how Liquid was actually the superior clone, which to some extent recontextualizes the relationship Big Boss had with Liquid vs Solid


Retro City Rampage DX: A pretty mediocre open world game. I view it a bit like Mafia 2, in that it is really more of a linear action game built around a single map rather than a Sandbox title. It wasn't bad, but sometimes the constant barrage of references feels a bit grating, and the last couple missions are nothing if not aggravating. It was cool to see a game effectively set in Vancouver, and the concept was novel, but I can't imagine ever going back to it. It wasn't too long, maybe 5 or 6 hours, but it really overstayed it's welcome.
and now; back to me.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 10 Sep 2015, 14:47

I played through Electronic Super Joy: Groove City last night, and it's fun, but I didn't like it as much as the first. The game is virtually identical to the first. It follows in the steps of the first, where the goal is to make it to the end of each level avoiding obstacles all with an awesome soundtrack, and a great monochrome aesthetic.

It's been a while since I played the first, so I might be a bit off on the differences. The biggest difference is that you are given a more limited control set. IIRC you could double jump in the first, but you can't in this one. You also don't get the stomp to destroy some enemies or homing missiles. Not necessarily a bad thing, though, as the levels are designed with this in mind. My disappointment in the game comes from the amount of content. There are far fewer levels in this game: 13 + 2 secret areas. On the other hand, you get a level editor, so there definitely is value in the game. I'm not an aspiring level designer, so I didn't play around with it, but if you are it's definitely worth a look.

If it wasn't clear, I really like the original Electronic Super Joy. It has a really good pace in levels, and controls really well. For this kind of platformer, good controls are key, and I don't remember having any complaints with them. Definitely worth checking out if you like games like Super Meat Boy or VVVVVV.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ch3m1kal » 25 Sep 2015, 03:18

So I finished Mad Max after exactly 50 hours.
Didn't 100% it, but I did do the vast majority of side quests. Have to say I liked it a lot, yes it's somewhat repetitive but the core gameplay elements are very solid and it got a lot of points from me for art direction, atmosphere and generally getting to drive badass cars in an awesome looking huge world.

I guess my only complaint would be that the story's a little bit dumb, but at least it's told reasonably well.

Now playing SOMA, and holy crap they made this game for me!

And yes, I know I'm kind of cheating by playing new games, but hey at least my backlog isn't getting any larger. :D
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Robo4900 » 26 Sep 2015, 00:42

Finally playing through Arkham Asylum. This game is incredible.
"If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate."
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby Trippzen » 27 Sep 2015, 13:58

I finished a few more games on my backlog.

I played Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure. It was inoffensive and the characters were kind of cute. I also played Endless Legend. It suffered from all the problems that Civilization: Beyond Earth does but it also has a pretty terrible menu system.

Then I played the DLC for Kisima Inigitchuna (Never Alone): Foxtales. It was really good but I liked the base game better.

I played Terraria. I also played it before it had Steam achievements so I was basically just playing it for that. I still don't quite understand the enjoyment factor in Terraria because I'd still rather play Minecraft or Starbound any day; I just find Terraria frustrating by comparison. My "win condition" was Plantera because hunting down the bulb is awful.

Undertale. I purchased Undertale shortly before Alex started streaming it and while he was streaming it I decided to move it up in my backlog from after Witcher 3 (which I may get to sometime next year) to immediately. If you can spare $10 and 10 hours then you should play it. If you enjoyed any part of watching Alex play it on stream then you should play it. The magic and nostaliga that I associate with my favorite games of all time was almost instant with Undertale. There was no part of Undertale that I did not enjoy or find endearing; art style, story, characters, music, animation, gameplay, etc. I'm actually taking a short break before moving onto my next backlog game to reconsider what games I consider to be my favorite (Final Fantasy Tactics, Earthbound, etc) because I think Undertale is a lot better. I checked the score on Metacritic when I purchased Undertale, out of curiosity, and it was 97. I checked while writing this because I wondered if it had settled at all and it's gone up to 98. I don't know what else I can say that isn't a spoiler.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby ANeMzero » 07 Jan 2016, 22:54

It has been a while since I posted but that doesn't mean my backlog has remained untouched. Another year, another set of games I'll never get around to beating!

However, I won't let the inexorable passage of time and my own poor impulse control get me down. I've still been finishing games.So let's start with my most recent conquest and move backwards.

Shantae: Risky's Revenge. Originally a downloadable title for the DSi, it really shows. It is short for a metroidvania (but nowhere near as short as Xeodrifter) but still a fantastic game in its own right. I never actually played the original GBC Shantae but I got past my irrational distaste for starting series in the middle to find a really fun and funny game. It kind of falls apart near the end, but still solid for what it is, and I really like how they set up the sequel. It definitely felt like they maybe should have focused a bit more on either transformations or magic in Risky's Revenge. Neither system was bad, they just both felt a bit bare-bones.

Assassin's Creed: Rogue. Essentially an expansion pack to Black Flag, Rogue really doesn't do anything interesting with the formula outside of swapping the roles of Assassins and Templars. I expected a big twist that never really came and in the end the only story threads that resolved were things to lead into AC3 and AC:Unity.

None of this is to say Rogue is bad, Black Flag was great and Rogue is good too. It doesn't quite have the character of the tropics and pirate themes, but it was nice to see a game with a large focus on (what would become) parts of Canada. Sailing is still phenomenal and it makes me wish Ubisoft would just drop the Assassin's Creed stuff and make a full on sailing series.

Her Story. Somehow it makes an obtuse search engine and an incredibly fragmented short film feel engaging. I'm not really sure how I feel about it afterwards, but it was.. something.

The Beginner's Guide. Another game I'm not really sure about. I enjoyed it, I felt engaged by it, but I'm not really sure how to construct words about it. It definitely isn't for everyone. I'm not even sure it is for me, and perhaps that is why I'm struggling with it.

Shovel Knight is in no way like the previous two games I listed. It wants to be a modern take on classic NES platformers and it does it perfectly. It looks great despite the choice of a limited palette, it sounds great, and it plays phenomenally. It is a great platformer and does a good job of paying homage to classic games while still feeling original and fresh. Unlike Retro City Rampage it doesn't try to carry itself entirely on references and nostalgia. It is a legitimately good game.

Undertale. This is a hard game to write about, not just because it is so well aware of what it is that literally anything feels like it could be a spoiler, but also because I hate recommending games to people. I always get super selfconcious about whether or not they'll like something and feel like it might be my fault if they waste their money on something that just doesn't click with them.

So instead of recommending it to friends I simply bought a couple people copies of it during the Steam Holiday Sale. Hopefully it will at least be able to justify the time they spend with it.

Dying Light. It is a fantastic followup to Dead Island. It improves on DI in nearly every respect, aside from the story. The writing is still pretty much trash. There are some problems, such as the gunplay being weak and guns not scaling at all (an epic quality "American Pistol" you find at the end of the game will do the exact same damage as a common quality "American Pistol") and some of the special zombies being kind of bullshit, but otherwise the core melee and parkour gameplay are solid enough to carry literally everything else about the game. It is fun to run around and beat up zombies and it doesn't stop being fun to run around and beat up zombies.

Mad Max. I feel pretty much the same about Mad Max as I do about Dying Light. It has a really solid core gameplay loop (driving and car combat) that is held back a bit by additional combat systems (hand to hand combat) and a story that isn't anything to phone home about. It is fun to drive around fighting cars and it doesn't stop being fun to drive around fighting cars.

Saint's Row: Gat out of Hell. I can't tell if I'm just feeling a bit mentally fatigued from writing about so many games in such a short time span but yeah.. Pretty much the same as Dying Light, and Mad Max.. and now that I think of it Asscreed Rogue. Flying is fantastic, it works really well and was honestly how I spent probably the first 40 minutes with this game. Everything else however doesn't quite hold up so well. There is barely any story and almost zero in the way of real missions. It is entirely held up by Activities and they're far from the best the series has to offer. Flying felt really good though, at least until I got it fully upgraded and it kind of lost the "weight" it had.
and now; back to me.
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Re: Let's play through our backlogs

Postby unpronounceable » 18 Jan 2016, 17:44

It's been a while since I updated the thread. I've mostly been playing recently bought games for the past few months, rather than games that have been sitting in my library for years.

Since my last update, I've only beaten two games. Eternal Senia is a free action jrpg which was a good mindless game. It was a pretty easy action jrpg, pretty cute, and short, but not great. It was a bit more grindy than I wanted, though as a mindless game, it worked. My biggest complaint is that the engrish is heavy in this one.

The other one is The Fruit of Grisaia. It's a Japanese visual novel, which starts with a lot of comedy, but in the latter half turns incredibly dark. It suffers from pitfalls common to VNs, namely that the pacing can be pretty bad. I enjoyed it, though the second half was far more compelling than the first. As far as whether I'd recommend it or not, that depends on how tolerant you are of anime highschool antics. If you don't like those, then I doubt you'll be able to make it through the first half. If you can, though, I'd give it a shot.

As far as games I'm currently playing, all of them are new (for me): Rocket League, Skullgirls, Mushihimesama, and Trails in the Sky: Second Chapter.

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