Author Topic: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition  (Read 1559 times)

Solid Blake

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4429
  • "Liberating Canaries"
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #120 on: March 09, 2017, 03:50:20 PM »
60 hour mark, and I feel like I'm coming to the final quest. I really don't want this game to end. The world is just so enjoyable to explore/exist in. I'm not a trophy guy, but I can see myself hunting down the Platinum just so I have an excuse to play more.

Oh, I also got Ghost Recon: Wildlands, but that will have to wait.

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23062
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #121 on: March 13, 2017, 11:13:45 AM »
Beat The Witcher 3 at a little under 50 hours. Quite liked the ending I got minus who I ended up with romantically. Let it sink in for a couple of days before dipping my toes into the DLC.

My thoughts is that the production and story stuff are top notch. Also love that it really captures the feeling of being a witcher. That was something they drifted away with the second game. However, the combat is rather weak and super button mashy. It's a shame that a game that has a story for every side quest with voice-acting seems to have spent so little time on making a combat system.

Solid Blake

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4429
  • "Liberating Canaries"
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #122 on: March 13, 2017, 11:29:41 AM »
This whole Nintendo "scarcity" thing is ridiculous. I'm totally against buying the Switch, especially this early on; however, I'm being put up in a hotel due to an incoming blizzard and I'd totally consider buying the Switch just to play Zelda in my hotel room. They're completely missing out on impulse buy sales from weirdos like me.

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23062
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #123 on: March 13, 2017, 09:03:36 PM »
I feel like this year is already overloaded with games I want to catch up with and it's only mid March!

I played about two hours of Resident Evil 7 and thought it was gripping, but turned in my rental because I didn't feel like plowing through it.

Then there's Nier: Automata, which looks bonkers. Nier sounded amazing, but the gameplay looked crap. With Platinum making the sequel, the minute to minute gameplay looks tight.

Everything I hear about Horizion: Zero Dawn sounds great. The only reason I haven't jumped on it is that after the juggernaut of Witcher 3 I want some space before I play another open world title.

On the indie side we've got Night in the Woods, Torment: Tides of Numenera & Subnautica.

And the list of games I'm keeping tabs on for this year grows week by week. I've got it up on GiantBomb and the thing is an absolute beast. If only half of these games end up coming out this year, I'll be plenty busy.

FLYmeatwad

  • An Acronym
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 26229
  • I am trying to impress myself. I have yet to do it
    • Processed Grass
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #124 on: March 13, 2017, 09:54:09 PM »
Night in the Woods is really wonderful, probably my best of the year so far (aside from the continued changes to Clash Royale, obvi), and I wanted to get Torment after reading a few articles on it before release, but that game came out at a terrible time. Same day as Horizon, which I still have to get, and three days before Zelda, which I'm about 11 hours in to now and it's good, but I'm not in love with it yet. All the cooking and weapon deterioration is a drag, and the world itself doesn't seem super fulfilling. But I'll play more. I freed an Ice Dragon spirit earlier. Oh, then there's ME:A a week from tomorrow, which I'm not super pumped for because I don't like ME all that much, but will play to see if they changed it at all. All leading, of course, to the most anticipated game of the year on April 5th when I get my P5 Take Your Heart Edition. So many big games.

Actually surprised with how much I enjoy playing Zelda with the Joy Con loose though. Got my Switch replaced a few days after filing for it, and now that it's all set up I'm pretty impressed with the console. Didn't get a Pro controller, and though the actual design of the joy con is a little rough, the right one especially, not having them tethered to a single thing (haven't even touched the grip it came with) and being able to move/relax in any position I want while playing is great and feel really good. Like I can have a leg up, one hand beneath it, and the dog under my other arm and still be good to play. Really cool. Might pick up Shovel Knight soon, never played the DLC and interested in the prequel thing, since I thoroughly enjoyed the first game back on the 3DS when it released. Hoping we get a new episode of TWD as well on PS4 tomorrow or next Tuesday (hopefully tomorrow, and not on ME Tuesday). Oh, right, probably picking up Has Been Heroes for a system as well, either Switch or PS4, since I missed out on Darkest Dungeon and this seems very much like that/is a 2017 game I can put on a theoretical list.

As for the Nintendo scarcity thing, especially with the Switch, I don't think that's a fair complaint. Like, it's a console launch. When the PS4 came out you couldn't walk in to a store and buy one whenever for like 4 or 5 months. Same with with the Xbox One (though that was more like 3 months because of the price tag, I imagine). That's just what happens when a new console comes out, and those things didn't even launch with notable titles. Though Zoo Tycoon was pretty CINECAST!ing great and still makes me feel justified buying an Xbox One at launch. Regardless, I wouldn't blame Nintendo for the short supply on this one, it seems like they are doing all they can to get systems back on the shelf as quickly as possible, they know how much they need this thing to succeed. Though, like I said before, I really don't think they manufacture scarcity. They just under produce. But in this instance I don't think they did that either, they just made them as quickly as possible.

Honestly, given how half formed some of the online and eshop stuff feels on the Switch, and the odd March launch, it seems to me that they are treating this as a pre-launch in a way. Getting the hardcore base set up with systems and attempting to get as many made as possible so that when holiday comes the stock there can go to parents and whoever is shopping for that, because at that point the line up of titles will be more full.

Oh, forgot, I want to play Nier and RE7 VR too!

EDIT: The PS+ game this month Disc Jam is a bunch of fun and everyone should download it.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 10:04:15 PM by FLYmeatwad »

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23062
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #125 on: March 15, 2017, 02:59:45 PM »
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Witching is back! After my adoration with The Witcherís unique role-playing experience as a monster hunter, I was disappointed that The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings focused more on politics and less on wonderful, wonderful monster-hunting. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt brings back that experience and smooths out a lot of kinks resulting in the best title in the trilogy.

You play Geralt, a brooding, jaded mutant known as a Witcher who does one thing and does it well: kill monsters. He occasionally gets embroiled in politics, but tries to stick to making an honest living as a monster hunter and saving his friends from peril. His latest rescue is Ciri, a former student of his who is on the run from The Wild Hunt who wants her blood for some nefarious, world-ending purposes.

The overarching plot is seeped in tropes and cliches, but the game delights in subverting them at every turn. For one, Ciri is far from a helpless damsel in distress. Sheís is just as good of a fighter as everyone else, if not better, and anytime people try to sideline and ďprotectĒ her sheís quick to throw down some valid indignation at the idea she should stay out of the fight.

The other main subversion is that The Witcher 3 exists in a morally gray landscape that more resembles our own. Sometimes the monsters are just harmless trolls who want shoes like humans. Sometimes the humans are the real monsters. And sometimes you find yourself empathizing with the most detestable characters in the game because theyíre human and tragic and flawed. They know they did bad things, they know they deserve punishment, but they also hope for redemption.

The best example of this is The Bloody Baron, a large, jovial fellow who has quite the temper. Geralt only gets involved in his life to find Ciri, but quickly unravels a tragic, intimate story of a marriage gone bad through ridicule, alcoholism, and physical abuse. And the Baron knows he CINECAST!ed it all up, he knows that heís a detestable man, and it gnaws at his insides. You want to hate him, but the weight of guilt and shame is damn humanizing. We all have that dark side, we all do monstrous things, but does that mean we deserve to be treated like monsters?

This gets to the heart of what makes The Witcher 3 a satisfying RPG experience. Take away the specific fantasy of being a very particular kind of characters and youíre left in this world where youíre constantly faced with deciding which option is the least shitty choice. Sometimes you make things worse, sometimes things end up better, but thereís no perfect, wonderful fairytale ending. This is a deeply broken and messed up world.

Itís a shame then that the story has to focus so much on world-ending events because almost every beat of the story that works does so because of the characters. Itís the father/daughter relationship of Geralt and Ciri, the comradery with Zoltan and Dandelion and itís the relational baggage with Triss and the constant power struggle with Yennifer that make for the most memorable moments.

Wild Hunt isnít about Geralt. Heís your eyes into the story, but it is Ciriís tale. You spend the game constantly trying to piece together her story and find out what sheís done and who she met. There are even sections where you play as Ciri, which I initially disliked until I thought of the story as being Ciriís story.

Then why not make Ciri the main character? For one, her story isnít conducive to a sprawling, open-world RPG. Sheís got The Wild Hunt on her tale and her combat sections are basically contained, controlled spaces where you do a lot of running. And while Geralt certainly has an urgency to his quest, it also makes sense that he would do the odd job along the way because Witchers have to make a living and those drowners arenít going to kill themselves.

And as glowing as I would love to be, the game stumbles into two major flaws. The first is that a lot of the side missions end up becoming repetitive. Granted, these are some of the most well-realized and produced side missions, with individualized, fully voiced cutscenes, but the contracts in particular follow a formula that gets old fast.

It also hurts the game that once you level past a quest, the experience rewarded for it greatly diminishes. This means that unless you truly need the cash or just want to experience that story, a good third of the incentive for playing those missions is taken away. I get that this is a balancing thing so that the player never outstrips the main story mission in power level, but itís a shame that within ten hours I never touched another Witcher contract.

The other problem is the combat. Granted, this is the best the combat has ever been, but it lacks any true finesse or skill. A lot of it boils down to cast magic, swing in a few hits, dodge, repeat. It doesnít help that the AI is not particularly good. To be fair, this is something true of almost all open-world RPGs as the greater your scale is, the harder it is to make truly compelling and challenging combat encounters without resorting to trickery or sheer volume to up the difficulty.

Still, in an experience that ran me about 50 hours and took me through an array of wonderful characters and delivered a distinct and unique RPG experience, this was an absolute delight. The maturity of the world-building and storytelling is what makes these games work so well. They stories are dark without being cynical, down to earth without looking grimy, and deeply, deeply human.

Solid Blake

  • Elite Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4429
  • "Liberating Canaries"
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #126 on: March 17, 2017, 12:07:57 PM »
I'm starting to worry about Mass Effect: Andromeda, as the preview coverage has been very mixed (almost blatantly poor) and a lot of what I didn't like about Dragon Age: Inquisition appears to be popping up in ME:A write ups/impressions. I haven't liked a Bioware game since Mass Effect 2, so I'm hoping these are just little hiccups for an otherwise rewarding RPG experience.

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23062
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #127 on: March 17, 2017, 12:19:39 PM »
It was made by Bioware's b-team which explains part of it. It's also just a Bioware game and they've been rather shit for a long time.

FLYmeatwad

  • An Acronym
  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 26229
  • I am trying to impress myself. I have yet to do it
    • Processed Grass
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #128 on: March 17, 2017, 11:20:37 PM »
I'm getting it, still excited enough to play it, but I have always went in thinking that it very much will be another Mass Effect game, which it seems like it is, I think after 3 people just aren't afraid to call the series out on its shit. But it has always been shit since the beginning, and got more like that in 2, at least the third one wasn't as afraid to toss aside the facade that it was primarily an RPG and lean in to being a halfway competent shooter. If they continue down that path maybe it will at least make combat encounters not a drag.

But who knows. I don't come to those games for the gameplay, I come for that sweet alien sex the character dynamics. And because, up to this point, they have been 'Important' pieces in the gaming landscape. But if that changes I won't be heartbroken. Maybe Bioware will get away from that stupid dialogue wheel and go back to the things that made KotR and the first DA game great. I'm approaching it as a known commodity, and have excitement, but I also feel like I know the types of things I will enjoy and the things about that I won't enjoy. Who knows, maybe it's a bad Bioware game, but, without ever getting the love for the previous games in the franchise, I'm not even sure what that would look like.

Sam the Cinema Snob

  • Objectively Awesome
  • *****
  • Posts: 23062
  • A Monkey with a Gun
    • Creative Criticism
Re: What are you playing? - 2017 4K or Bust Edition
« Reply #129 on: March 20, 2017, 07:12:18 PM »
Horizon: Zero Dawn was quite something. Rented it for a day and enjoyed it. The variety of the enemies and the world/story are top notch and I'd love to sink into this game, but not right after The Witcher 3. I need some space.

Played a bit of Torment: Tides of Numenera, and I'm not sure how I feel about it so far. It has that InXile jank, but I'm hoping the story sustains the game.