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Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


Ice Phisherman posted:

I've always wanted to play this game but the sheer amount of DLC always puts me off games like these. I have the same problem with the newer Total War series like Warhammer or Three Kingdoms in that I would need to spend hundreds of dollars to get the full experience. I don't mind some DLC but if the DLC runs down my screen into infinity it is incredibly annoying. I just checked Steam and with a 23% discount you can get this game and its 21(!) DLC's for just shy of a hundred dollars. Some of those DLC's are free. Some are not. But that is a ton of DLC and I will never pay a hundred dollars for a game.

I understand that companies got to make their money. Especially for smaller ones. I just wish that going into double digits with DLC would die as a practice.
Any game in which you can't pet the dog is literally unplayable.

Circling back on this, don't let the DLC frighten you. The $20 base game has two zones, and thus far I've only spent any time in one of them, and covered maybe half of that one zone, for 30 hours. I've hunted deer, rabbits, coyotes, moose, elk, and bears, using a free bonus weapon (a .270 rifle) that everybody apparently got from some community event years ago (it can take down moose and bear with very good shots, especially once you unlock the more penetrative ammo for it). I've easily gotten my money's worth out of this, and that's without touching any location outside of the PacNW. I did finally, after about 25 hours, buy some DLC; the crossbow in a weapon pack sounded cool (AND IT IS!!) and the recently released dog was irresistible because it's a dog, but even with those, I've spent like $30 on this game and it's given me more joy than stuff I've purchased for $60. This is basically the experience I've wanted from bigass open FPSers like Stalker and Far Cry. Just creep around and chill out, stopping occasionally to shoot something that doesn't know I'm there.

I will take any further gushing to the thread, so as not to derail this here Happy Game Time Yay Thread. https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3893417

Shine fucked around with this message at 05:45 on May 27, 2021

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Hooplah
Jul 15, 2006


fuck money
smoke bitches
get trees


Your descriptions + the thread's OP remind me a lot of escape from tarkov. it's ostensibly a super hardcore tactical fps, but it also revolves around getting into a level populated with other players of widely varying skill and equipment, and trying to get out with whatever goodies you find. what reminds me of the hunter is that you can absolutely play tarkov sneaking through underbrush avoiding other players while carrying a cheap rifle loaded with top tier ammo until you line up the perfect ambush shot on a completely decked out player carrying gear worth a hundred times what you're wearing. the whole game is basically the dev's love letter to guns. there's a lot of them, and they can be broken down, every part modified, down to switching out the charging handle for something slightly more ergonomic. every bullet is an item in-game; magazines need to be manually loaded and there's no hud to tell you when you're getting low. no minimap either, so you better learn landmarks by sight if you wanna navigate anywhere.

it's a cool game. not necessarily even in my top ten, but it's neat and worth giving a shot if you like shooters but are looking for something more cerebral slow. tarkov legitimately plays like a survival horror game for the first 10-20 hours.

check out the thread:
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3952526

sean10mm
Jun 29, 2005

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD-2R World


Horizon Zero Dawn is one of my favorite games ever even though it doesn't do a lot of things that my other favorite games did.

The main plot is almost totally linear and has one ending. The open world isn't particularly large in size or dense in side-quests. There aren't really significantly different builds because you will be able to level up such a large % of the skills no matter what. Even if you're a completionist it's not THAT big of a game.

On further review, these are less "mistakes" and more "decisions made for valid reasons." They didn't want to make Fallout New Vegas or Witcher 3, they were shooting for something else.

I like complex webs of choice and consequences in games as much as anybody, but there's a lot to be said for having a specific story centered on a specific character you want to tell, and really nailing that loving story properly, and HZD skews hard towards the latter side of things. Aloy is Aloy, you get to influence how she acts some but it's different shades of the same character on the same journey, and that specificity is part of what keeps the story in sharp focus. Everything isn't written to allow a blank slate with a wild range of abilities and morals to slot into the plot without breaking things.

Most open world games are aggressively disinterested in their own plot and are about being playgrounds to dick around in while you ignore it. HZD has some of that, but most of the side content is really about active worldbuilding as much as it is about MOAR CONTENT, which makes sense because the central question of the game is how the gently caress the world got so bugfuck crazy that the humans are living in primitive tribes hunting loving robot dinosaurs (not a spoiler, it's literally the box art.)

The other thing I'd add here is that the combat that takes up so much of time in these action RPGs is just wildly better in Horizon Zero Dawn than it is in e.g. Witcher 3. It's just drastically more interesting and exciting to fight one of a wide variety of distinct robot dinosaurs with different attacks, movement profiles and weak points than it is to do whatever it was I spent hundreds of hours doing in all those Witcher 3 and Fallout New Vegas fights.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Horizon is like someone reached into my childhood and extracted every single thing I thought was cool into one video game. It's one of those rare experiences like Mass Effect 2 where I've replayed it 6-7 times and still find every single moment to be enjoyable.

Oldstench
Jun 29, 2007

Let's talk about where you're going.


FYI: theHunter is on sale right now for $6.

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


I left it out of my writeup, but after seeing Shine's comments one of the best things about The Hunter is its an FPS where nobody will ever attack you. Okay, a bear might maul you, but you don't have to ever be tense that somebody could snipe you. Its totally asymmetric. That makes for a really relaxing, chill game. There's still tension because of not wanting to spook the animals and miss them like I mentioned, which is actually a game design magic trick.

It goes into something I've been saying for awhile about games needing to get away from player dying as punishment and allow for soft fail-states that never actually "game over", we're not in a quarter munching arcade anymore.

(Of course there's exceptions, games like Dark Souls or Roguelikes depend upon player death reset and build it into something meaningful. But in many games its just a nuisance)

Oldstench posted:

FYI: theHunter is on sale right now for $6.

:signings:

Sorry Shine, bad timing. Good news is the DLC is on sale too!

Honestly for $6 that's an insane value. You could easily get your money's worth just walking around taking pictures of deer pokemon snap style for $6 even if you aren't interested in shooting things.

Zaphod42 fucked around with this message at 18:39 on May 27, 2021

teardrop
Dec 20, 2004



I donít have nuanced enough insights to really describe why I like Night in the Woods so much but I will try my best. The gameplay is an effortless platforming that hops over fences and across rooftops in a relatable way as the bored teens strain against boundaries and explore their little world. The soundtrack is fantastic, sort of a stripped-down synth that grabs my attention and stirs emotion in a way I havenít come across since SOTN. Thatís integrated into the gameplay with a few garage band sequences, one of the protagonistís few passions, that feel like genuine youthful angst.

The central theme is the search for meaning and how you can never ďgo back home,Ē both of which resonate with me because Iím still searching myself and all of the places Iíve lived have certainly moved on without me, and in a way only exist in memory. This fruitless search is destroying the protagonist with an all-consuming nihilism, as well as her hometown which has made a Faustian bargain to cling to past relevance rather than find a path forward in a world which has moved on.

The characters are focused and well-characterized, with writing still clean enough to leave detail to the imagination. Gregg will destroy himself to feel anything, and interacting with you is toxic because it draws him back to his cathartic/destructive past. Bea has seen her parent become her dependent and bitterly abandoned her dreams for a self-imposed prison of obligation. Angus has seen such sorrow that it destroys any faith in greater meaning than the human connections of the moment, but that remaining faith burns so bright that with this, he is the only one who has found a path forward.

The story feels heartfelt and afterwards I learned that the creator hosed up their life really badly, hurt the people around them, and killed themself. I felt like that was evident in the game, someone who felt beyond redemption burning up as they worked and desperately trying to share something before they pulled the trigger. I usually donít finish games because the novelty wears off, this is one of very few I played through twice to see all of the story.

NumptyScrub
Aug 22, 2004

damn it I think the mirrors broken >˙.(

sean10mm posted:

Horizon Zero Dawn is one of my favorite games ever even though it doesn't do a lot of things that my other favorite games did.

The main plot is almost totally linear and has one ending. The open world isn't particularly large in size or dense in side-quests. There aren't really significantly different builds because you will be able to level up such a large % of the skills no matter what. Even if you're a completionist it's not THAT big of a game.

On further review, these are less "mistakes" and more "decisions made for valid reasons." They didn't want to make Fallout New Vegas or Witcher 3, they were shooting for something else.

I like complex webs of choice and consequences in games as much as anybody, but there's a lot to be said for having a specific story centered on a specific character you want to tell, and really nailing that loving story properly, and HZD skews hard towards the latter side of things. Aloy is Aloy, you get to influence how she acts some but it's different shades of the same character on the same journey, and that specificity is part of what keeps the story in sharp focus. Everything isn't written to allow a blank slate with a wild range of abilities and morals to slot into the plot without breaking things.

Most open world games are aggressively disinterested in their own plot and are about being playgrounds to dick around in while you ignore it. HZD has some of that, but most of the side content is really about active worldbuilding as much as it is about MOAR CONTENT, which makes sense because the central question of the game is how the gently caress the world got so bugfuck crazy that the humans are living in primitive tribes hunting loving robot dinosaurs (not a spoiler, it's literally the box art.)

The other thing I'd add here is that the combat that takes up so much of time in these action RPGs is just wildly better in Horizon Zero Dawn than it is in e.g. Witcher 3. It's just drastically more interesting and exciting to fight one of a wide variety of distinct robot dinosaurs with different attacks, movement profiles and weak points than it is to do whatever it was I spent hundreds of hours doing in all those Witcher 3 and Fallout New Vegas fights.

gently caress Ted Faro

I actually really appreciate that about HZD, my statement above has been echoed by (and I copied directly from) most people who have played and finished the game. There's a consistency there that I like to think is indicative of them nailing the story they wanted to tell, in an engaging way, although that may just be personal bias.

But gently caress Ted Faro

star eater
Jan 1, 2006



Fallen Rib

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask



This game was the poo poo. I only 100%ed it with a guide, back when I was a kid and I played most games with a guide until I learned a friend of mine never used guides and I felt like a chump. I wonder if I would've experienced the same kind satisfaction from the game if I had tried to 100% it on my own, I doubt I could've managed. I don't think I've even ever fought Majora without the Fierce Diety mask, which seems like a miss too.

I remember waking up early on school mornings and working on quests, say the Zora egg quest.

For a game that was essentially rushed out the gate due to the success of Ocarina of time, with nearly 100% of the assets being reused, it strikes a very interesting tone and atmosphere -- almost entirely predicated on these reused assets. Characters seem familiar to you, as you know their Hylian dopplegangers, but here, they're new characters. Maybe they're similar somewhat in personality, but other than that, they have this sense of separation yet conjoined-ness.

Interestingly, the only character without an equivalent doppleganger in Hyrule vs Termina is Link himself. He spends almost the entire game, not really earning people's trust, as nearly no one implicitly trusts a child, but (mostly) assuming the identities of recently or not-recently deceased characters, winning them over by his supposed identity being whoever he is mimicking. He has no dialog, as is typical, but completely coasts along on this imitation. I love that the mask transformation sequences appear extremely painful, with Link screaming in agony every time he places a mask on his face. It's a detail that really helps make the world seem grimmer, darker, and more full of pain and sorrow than Hyrule.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGQas1eAXII

The tone this game struck is one of those things that stays with you. When you're a kid, the darkest and creepiest stuff is what stays. Majora's otherworldly, sinister, evil presence has something to it that makes me wonder if Majora's Mask is where my interest in speculative cosmic horror, really began.

Here's a fan made video with music by the incredible Theophany (who did an entire two albums of remixed Majora's Mask music):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbMQfaG6lo8

Here's Theophany's two albums, also on Spotify:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4jdLygR-dI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLTnvRoxfPk

Perfect Dark



I played the gently caress outta this game. A seriously better and improved Goldeneye, with full voice acting? Multiplayer bots? Interesting counter-coop mode where you can play as the enemy team? A huge and varied multiplayer combat simulator, with the best maps from Goldeneye directly imported? like a million guns? Reload animations with all guns having secondary fire modes, including a gun that turns into a sentry gun? It's got it all baby.

Sure, the story is uninspired Sci-fi drivel, but it achieves its ends and I remember "practicing" shooting the default Falcon pistol as fast as possible to try and conserve ammo in my stronger guns in the final level.

My friend and I would stay the night at each other's houses, wake up at 5-6am, and one of us would crawl out of the bed and turn the n64 on and drag the controllers back to the warmth of the blankets with them, and, bleary-eyed and barely awake, we'd start running multiplayer in the Combat Simulator. I think the highest rank I achieved was Rank 8 or 9, ( apparently 8 is Deadly and 9 is Dangerous). I know Rank 1 was "Perfect".

We made an enemy bot that was Elvis's body with Joanna's head (making headshots difficult since he was shorter and his head was smaller) and set him to Dark/Perfect Sim difficulty. I remember DarkSim difficulty being hosed up, because the sim could open doors backwards?

Also, the music OWNED:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OopYRt_-4Ls#t=7006s

The Zombie Guy
Oct 25, 2008


Hell yeah, I loved PD, and the Xbox 360 port did an excellent job of applying some extra polish, and removing some of the lag that crop up on N64 when things start blowing up.
The guns and alternate fire modes were great. My favourite was the Cyclone SMG. The alternate fire mode would empty the entire gun on one trigger pull, which could be situationally useful, but the real cool part was the reload.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jIYUg3Zc2E

Another cool gun is the Farsight, a rifle-sized alien railgun with an x-ray scanner scope. It was slow to fire, but you could use it to 1-shot anybody through walls.

star eater
Jan 1, 2006



Fallen Rib

itís a shame Rare immediately went to dog poo poo when Microsoft bought them and PD zero was apparently completely terrible.

Hyrax Attack!
Jan 13, 2009

We demand to be taken seriously



The Zombie Guy posted:

Hell yeah, I loved PD, and the Xbox 360 port did an excellent job of applying some extra polish, and removing some of the lag that crop up on N64 when things start blowing up.
The guns and alternate fire modes were great. My favourite was the Cyclone SMG. The alternate fire mode would empty the entire gun on one trigger pull, which could be situationally useful, but the real cool part was the reload.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jIYUg3Zc2E

Another cool gun is the Farsight, a rifle-sized alien railgun with an x-ray scanner scope. It was slow to fire, but you could use it to 1-shot anybody through walls.

Oh yeah the Cyclone owned. Dual wielding with access to the stim that slowed down time meant you could put a 100 rounds on target into someone at close range, which was shockingly brutal for my 15 year old brain. Also remember being stunned after shooting a guard riding an elevator to see the blood stains on the wall trailing the elevator path. I'm sure other games were doing that but I'd never seen anything like it for N64.

Whizzing Wizard
Nov 3, 2005

Wrrroavr




It's probably way too much effort, but could we maybe get an index of what games have been posted in the op?

Zaphod42
Sep 13, 2012

If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.


Whizzing Wizard posted:

It's probably way too much effort, but could we maybe get an index of what games have been posted in the op?

Yeah it is work but would be really nice to avoid accidental repeats.

Ideally the OP should just link to the major posts but maybe that's too much.

The Zombie Guy
Oct 25, 2008


Zaphod42 posted:

Yeah it is work but would be really nice to avoid accidental repeats.


Is it really that bad though? I don't mind hearing other people's experiences of awesome games, even if they have been mentioned already. :shrug:

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


Personally, I'm fine with repeats. If a dozen people wanna gush about Ikaruga, then go for it! This is individuals sharing their experiences and thoughts on games, not a consensus Wiki thingy :)

An index would be handy so people can skim something and be like "gently caress yeah, that poster also loves Super Huey!" but I definitely wouldn't discourage repeats.

Harrow
Jun 30, 2012



Yeah I don't think there's anything wrong with repeats at all. Different people talking about the same game just means different perspectives on that game!

An index could be fun, I'll see if I have time to put one together this weekend. Or if someone else does before I get to it, let me know and I'll edit it into the OP.

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




I looked back through the first couple pages of the thread after the index suggestion and the one tricky thing I saw is that there are some games with huge effort posts and others that just get a line or two of recognition. I'm not sure how detailed you'd want those links to be.

Torquemada
Oct 21, 2010

Drei Gläser


Whizzing Wizard posted:

It's probably way too much effort, but could we maybe get an index of what games have been posted in the op?

On one hand if itís going to be done, itíd be easier to start doing it when the thread is 11 pages long. On the other Iím reading multiple hundred page threads where people regularly infect the discourse with the vile stench of anime. If I can gloss over a couple of nimrods babbling about Naruto and DBZ power levels or whatever for multiple pages, reading someone elseís additional thoughtful and informative take on a beloved game isnít that much of a hardship.

After The War
Apr 12, 2005

to all of my Architects
let me be traitor


I know it's something that I would like to see, and can help with as necessary. It would be cool for people, when writing about a game, to be able to see what previous people have already said and maintain a dialogue, as well as to entice newbies who stumble onto the OP ("oh cool, they're talking about.."). Not to mention that it serves as something of a game "rec list," as well.

EDIT - And I'm working from home, so it wouldn't even be a "doing nerd poo poo in spreadsheets so it looks like I'm working" kind of project, either!

After The War fucked around with this message at 19:15 on Jun 5, 2021

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Quick and rough list if anybody wants to finesse it a little more. I probably missed some of the shorter ones while scrolling through:

A Fisherman's Tale by The 7th Guest
A Hat in Time by Zybourne Clock
Age of Empires 2 by TheMostFrench
Alpha Protocol by theshim
Alien Isolation by VinylonUnderground
Anachranox by Whybird
Analogue: A Hate Story by Reveilled
Another World by VinylonUnderground
Armored Core 2 by Shine
Atelier by cheetah7071
Batman: Arkham Asylum by thrilla in vanilla
Black Magic by fridge corn
Bloodborne by FrozenGoldfishGod
Burnout 3: Takedown by thrilla in vanilla
Civilization by Lampsacus
Civilization 4 by Erwin the German
Commander Blood by Lid
Crash Bandicoot 4 by Violen
Crusader Kings II by VinylonUnderground
Dark Cloud 2 by dracky
Dark Messiah of Might and Magic by Jeza
Dark Souls by Shine
Dark Souls by FrozenGoldfishGod
Dark Souls by VideoGames
Dark Souls 2 by FrozenGoldfishGod
Dark Souls 2 by VideoGames
Dark Souls 3 by FrozenGoldfishGod
Dark Souls 3 by VideoGames
Dark Queen of Krynn by Glare Seethe
DEFCON by Sardonik
Deus Ex by Erwin the German
Diablo 2 by TheMostFrench
Disco Elysium by Erwin the German
Duke Nukem 3D by Heavy Metal
Earth Defense Force by Shine
Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind by Erwin the German
Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind by VinylonUnderground
Enderal (Skyrim Total Conversion) by Ice Phisherman
Fallout 2 by VinylonUnderground
Fallout: New Vegas by Erwin the German
Faster Than Light by VinylonUnderground
Final Fantasy 4 by Spuzzz
Final Fantasy 7 by Erwin the German
Final Fantasy 14 by Erwin the German
Half Life (mods) by TheMostFrench
Half Life 2 by Erwin the German
Hitman: Contracts by Erwin the German
Homeworld: Cataclysm by TheMostFrench
Horizon Zero Dawn by sean10mm
IL-2: 1946 by Shine
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy by Erwin the German
Kentucky Route Zero by Mode 7
Killer 7 by PNGYAKUZA
King of Dragon Pass by Fly Ricky
King of Fighters 99: Evolution by Heavy Metal
Kirby Mass Attack by Regy Rusty
Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords by Erwin the German
Knytt Underground by Glare Seethe
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver by Rarity
Legend of Grimrock 2 by Polo-Rican
Legend of Zelda by Mr. Pickles
Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask by Erwin the German
Legend of Zela: Majora's Mask by star eater
Life is Strange by exquisite tea
Life is Strange by parkingtigers
Mafia by Erwin the German
Marathon by haveblue
Marathon by DAD LOST MY IPOD
Marathon 2: Durandal / Marathon: Rubicon by Glare Seethe
Marvel Heroes by Shine
Master of Orion 2 by VinylonUnderground
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne by Erwin the German
Mayhem Triple by Sorting Algorithms
Mega Man 2 by Shine
Mega Man X by Shine
Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes by Heavy Metal
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater by Erwin the German
Metroid Prime by Erwin the German
Mirror's Edge Catalyst by BeanpolePeckerwood
Monster Hunter World by Shine
Neverwinter Nights Enhanced Edition by Erwin the German
Nier: Automata by Erwin the German
Night in the Woods by VinylonUnderground
Night Stalker by Shine
Ogre Battle: The March of the Black Queen by The Zombie Guy
Ori and the Will-of-the-Wisps by Canine Blues Arooo
Out of the Park Baseball by F_Shit_Fitzgerald
Out of the Park Baseball by Arms_Akimbo
Perfect Dark by star eater
Perimeter by Sardonik
Phantasy Star IV by VinylonUnderground
Pirates Gold! by VinylonUnderground
Prey by VinylonUnderground
Psychonauts by Jeza
Psychonauts by Sab Sabbington
Punch Out!! by Shine
Rain World by f#a#
Ratchet & Clank - Up Your Arsenal by Shine
Remember Me by Parkingtigers
Resident Evil by BiggerBoat
Resident Evil 4 by Erwin the German
Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves by Shine
Rocket League by Shine
Rocky's Boots by fridge corn
Romancing SaGa by 5-Headed Snake God
Runescape by Jossar
Sacrifice by Jeza
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin by Xarbala
Severance: Blade of Darkness by Mr. Pickles
Sin & Punishment: Star Successor by punk rebel ecks
Snoopy Silly Sports Spectacular by Shine
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 by VinylonUnderground
Space Rangers 2 by Shine
SSX 3 by morallyobjected
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl by Erwin the German
Star Wars: Racer by Mr. Pickles
Star Wars: Squadrons by morallyobjected
Stickybear Basket Bounce by fridge corn
Suikoden II by Ms Adequate
Super Hexagon by Glare Seethe
Super Huey by Shine
Super Mario 3 by Shine
Super Mario 64 by Heavy Metal
Super Metroid by Shine
Super Punch-Out by Shine
Tales of Mal'Eyal by Konstantin
Terranigma by theshim
The Hunter: Call of the Wild by Zaphod42
The Longest Journey by Erwin the German
The Void Rains Upon Her Heart by Sorting Algorithms
The World Ends With You by theshim
TIE Fighter by Shine
Thief: The Dark Project by Mr. Pickles
The Dark Mod by Erwin the German
Tomb Raider Anniversary by Heavy Metal
Tomb Raider Anniversary by VideoGames
Total Annihilation by TheMostFrench
Towerfall by Polo-Rican
Track & Field 2 by Shine
Tropico by VinylonUnderground
Undertale by Erwin the German
Unreal Tournament by Shine
Vagrant Story by Party Boat
Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines by Erwin the German
Wario Ware: Mega Microgame$ by GoutPatrol
Winter Games by fridge corn
XCOM: Enemy Unknown by Shine

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 00:23 on Jun 10, 2021

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



Oh so my Kirby Mass Attack post isn't good enough for you, huh?

ShallNoiseUpon
Sep 10, 2010



Thanks Jerusalem!

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die



Towerfall was originally launched as an Ouya title (lol), and was created by "Matt Makes Games," who would later make Celeste. It received a lot of critical acclaim when it came out, and a lot of people still know the game today.

Strangely, 99% of the attention the game got centered on its versus local multiplayer modes, while its single player campaigns were largely ignored. This post is specifically about the single player content.

I've talked to people who purchased, installed, and played the game, and never even realized that it contained single player campaigns! This is probably because the single player content is confusingly hidden behind the "co-op" button on the title screen... admittedly, not great design...



The single player experience is basically perfect. I liken it to something like Tetris or Ms. Pac-Man: bone-simple, timeless, fun for just about everyone.

The game has three buttons: dodge, jump, and shoot. If you dodge into an arrow, you pick it up. You can kill enemies by shooting them with an arrow or jumping on them. With these three simple moves, you can pull off an incredible array of acrobatics.



The single player campaign starts off very simple, with easy enemies that move towards you in a straight line. As it progresses, the number of enemies increases, and the enemy movements get more complex. Like a Mario game, each enemy type has a unique and easy-to-understand way of moving. Some enemies are humanoid, and have same moves you do ó and their AI is surprisingly good! Eventually, there are a bunch of boss battles that are intense and well-designed.

The game has around 20 levels, but each level has various difficulty modes. I've been playing this game for years and years and years and still haven't cleared everything. Every time I buy a new console I immediately install Towerfall, because the single player levels are always fun to play, and never get old. It's really timeless! And you can get it for absurdly cheap! Give it a shot!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghDkn6ez6Nc

Polo-Rican fucked around with this message at 19:45 on Jun 9, 2021

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

I old enough to say my first game was the original Super Mario Bros. I saw the evolution of games from 8-bit to today and eventually found myself working on games for the better part of a decade. Games have been a big part of my life since I was 5 and continue to be even today. A combination of some casual math and various platform/game stats would suggest that I have about 45,000 hours of game time played in my life across pretty much every genre and hundreds of games, ranging from playing with world-class organizations to casual time-wasters. There are some landmark games that many people covered in this here thread. I don't want to talk about a game that changed the trajectory of design, but instead the manifestation of the best ideas combined into one product. I want to talk about what I feel is the best game ever made:



Ori represents this uncommon amalgamation of wonderful artists in every discipline. Literally every piece of this game is exemplary in it's own. Combined, it becomes something greater than the sum of it's parts. Even in an endless sea of games, Ori stands out as something special.



** ART **

- There are no background assets in this game. Every rock is just *that rock*. Every static element is hand painted

The immediate strength of this title can be seen from any screenshot. This game is stunningly beautiful. Moon leaned super hard into this beautiful hand-painted style and executed brilliantly on this direction. For most studios, this would mean specific lighting, shaders, and asset work to comply with a strict art style to give it the desired look. Even if carefully executed, you can see through the matrix -- you can see the same tree, rock, house, etc. Looking at Ori though, you might find it difficult to pick out repeated assets - everything kind of looks unique, like it truly might be hand-painted.

That's because it is.

The game's static objects and backgrounds are not built with assets, but are instead painted individually. From a production standpoint, this is a very risky way to do development - you have to have your LD done and making changes is complicated and expensive. You don't get to work concurrently and it adds time and risk to production that most studios are not willing to sign up for, but when it's done as well as it is in Ori, the results are breath-taking. Every screenshot could be framed as a piece of art.


** ANIMATION**

- Not everyone would suit this pipeline, for me it was perfect. An animators dream, robustly and generously supported by programmers who understand artistic quality

To compliment the beautiful static components of this game is an intelligent lighting system that not only serves a functional role of making Ori 'pop' in the world, but also serves a narrative and artistic role. The number of frames of animation for every action is absurd and the blending involved to make motion feel believable is perfect. The animation process is detailed in a great GDC talk that's worth listening to.


** MUSIC **

It's good. Really good. Just banger after banger of Orchestrated tracks. Yep, you should check it out.


** GAMEPLAY **

- A beautiful game without fun is just going to the Lourve with extra annoyances

Ori is a platformer in the style of a Metroidvania. You start with a limited set of moves and eventually build up your skill set until you eventually find yourself being able to traverse levels in creative ways. During the second half of the game, it becomes fun to just move around - you are given so much freedom to traverse the world between being able to bounce off of an projectile, a mid-air dash, and being able to rocket yourself in a direction on-demand, moving around is a joy. You are not only allowed to be creative with movement, you are encouraged to.

One of my only real complaints with the first Ori game is with the combat. It feels relatively unnecessary and I just wanted to get back to the platforming challenges. Will of the Wisps remedies this with a substantially better combat system and more interesting combat scenarios to compliment it. It no longer feels tacked on, but instead like a part of the whole experience.

With that said, one of it's common complaints is with Difficulty, which brings us to...



** DIFFICULTY**

- If you try to make a game for everyone, you'll have made a game for no one

I grew up with platformers and I was very fluent with 2D platfomers long before Ori. I felt right at home with Ori though and adored it's challenges. For some, especially for those who might be experiencing 2D platformers for the first time, this game comes off as difficult.

Ori does not pull punches on it's difficulty and will expect you to execute to complete it. To that end, I don't think this is a game that will be for everyone to just pick up and play and find success. I do however insist that it's worth the journey, even if it's your first platformer. I think if there was ever a title to learn on, this might be the one.

---

This is a lot of words, but I feel like I'm still skipping over the details of what makes this game so special. I played the first game on a whim because I liked the genre, but it blew me away. The sequel is just better on every axis, and I've been evangelizing this title ever since. A combination of game, art, and production have come together in a way that is exceedingly rare in this industry.

It's hard to pick a 'Best Game Ever' - the pool of great games is huge. Before Will of the Wisps, I'd be at least somewhat unsure where I would land, but as of today I think the answer is clear, and I don't think it's even close: Ori and the Will of the Wisps is not a masterpiece of the medium, it is *the* masterpiece.

Canine Blues Arooo fucked around with this message at 22:13 on Jun 9, 2021

exquisite tea
Apr 21, 2007

Carly shook her glass, willing the ice to melt. "You still haven't told me what the mission is."

She leaned forward. "We are going to assassinate the bad men of Hollywood."




Jerusalem posted:

Quick and rough list if anybody wants to finesse it a little more. I probably missed some of the shorter ones while scrolling through:

:wow: that's way more effort than I was willing to do!

Shine
Feb 26, 2007

No Muscles For The Majority


Polo-Rican posted:

Towerfall was originally launched as an Ouya title (lol)

Y'know, I've owned Towerfall Ascension for years and have somehow only dabbled with it for like 30 minutes. I'm gonna reinstall it tonight!


Jerusalem posted:

Quick and rough list if anybody wants to finesse it a little more. I probably missed some of the shorter ones while scrolling through:

:swoon:

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Regy Rusty posted:

Oh so my Kirby Mass Attack post isn't good enough for you, huh?

I wanted to punish you for not picking up on the value of so many Kirbies, you really hosed up on that one, Regy Rusty :colbert:

Polo-Rican posted:

Towerfall

Strangely, 99% of the attention the game got centered on its versus local multiplayer modes, while its single player campaigns were largely ignored. This post is specifically about the single player content.

I've talked to people who purchased, installed, and played the game, and never even realized that it contained single player campaigns! This is probably because the single player content is confusingly hidden behind the "co-op" button on the title screen... admittedly, not great design...

Yeah count me in as somebody who didn't know this was a single-player game and would probably have picked it up if I had!

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 00:25 on Jun 10, 2021

Lechtansi
Mar 23, 2004

Item Get


Canine Blues Arooo posted:

I old enough to say my first game was the original Super Mario Bros. I saw the evolution of games from 8-bit to today and eventually found myself working on games for the better part of a decade. Games have been a big part of my life since I was 5 and continue to be even today. A combination of some casual math and various platform/game stats would suggest that I have about 45,000 hours of game time played in my life across pretty much every genre and hundreds of games, ranging from playing with world-class organizations to casual time-wasters. There are some landmark games that many people covered in this here thread. I don't want to talk about a game that changed the trajectory of design, but instead the manifestation of the best ideas combined into one product. I want to talk about what I feel is the best game ever made:




I've been meaning to effort post about Ori and the Will of the Wisps but you know, :effort: So thank you for putting in the effort and allowing me to tack on what I really want to say.

Let's talk about feelings. Specifically, feelings that you get while playing games.

Most games have one or two feelings - the pain of losing or the thrill of winning.

Ori is not like that. Ori is about all of the feelings.

And I'm not talking about that part - the famous Ori prologue that makes everyone cry. I'm talking about the complex feelings that come from witnessing incredible art.

Like this for example. Ori has several different types of boss battles - one of the main ones being "you need to run the gently caress away because the thing you are facing is 100x your size." IIRC this is the first one you fight:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR3HPjEhw8I

After I did this sequence I had to pause the game and cry. Not because it's a sad sequence, but because it's just so goddamn beautiful.

And it's not a one-time thing either. I rewatched it just before making this post and for the 50th time had a good cry.

There were several times while playing this game that I just had to sit back and think "Wow, this might be the most amazing thing I've ever seen."

Ori is not a game for everyone. You have to be good at platforming and enjoy some of the quirkier aspects of the metroidvania genre.

But gently caress is it a masterpiece.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Holy poo poo that IS pretty, I never realized how good looking that game was. :stare:

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Jerusalem posted:

Holy poo poo that IS pretty, I never realized how good looking that game was. :stare:

It is the primary reason I think it's worth being the game you cut your teeth on if you are new to the genre. The game's beauty is unreal and if you ever get frustrated, just look around...

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Is the first(?) Ori worth playing first or just jump straight into Will of the Wisp?

Canine Blues Arooo
Jan 7, 2008

when you think about it...i'm the first girl you ever spent the night with



Grimey Drawer

Blind Forest holds up even today. It's still a gorgeous game and worth it on that axis alone, but it's rougher around the edges than Will of the Wisps, but that 'roughness' is minor in the scope of the game, with the major sins being relatively unengaging combat, and a particular sequence that moves from platforming to puzzle-solving.

I'd still highly recommend it. If Will of the Wisps didn't exist, I'd probably be writing about Blind Forest instead.

Torquemada
Oct 21, 2010

Drei Gläser


I bought the first Ori and regard it very highly, despite it being too hard for me to finish.

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

Shine posted:

Y'know, I've owned Towerfall Ascension for years and have somehow only dabbled with it for like 30 minutes. I'm gonna reinstall it tonight!

Jerusalem posted:

Yeah count me in as somebody who didn't know this was a single-player game and would probably have picked it up if I had!

Yeah give it a try! It starts off simple, and if you stick with it long enough the challenges become fiendishly difficult... but it's always satisfying and fun. Here's a good example of fun high level gameplay (it's really hard to find any good videos of single player because, again, the only mode that got any attention was vs multiplayer!):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABlruejQdCY

Polo-Rican fucked around with this message at 14:31 on Jun 10, 2021

Party Boat
Oct 31, 2007

where did that other dog come from

who is he



I love Metroidvanias and am a sucker for smooth platforming and strong art direction, so absolutely loved both Ori games. I didn't get around to Will of the Wisps until last month but it was such a treat when I finally did play it.

I imagine most posters itt will be familiar with Mark Brown's Game Maker's Toolkit but he did a couple of great videos on some of the strongest bits of each game (mechanical spoilers, obviously):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ_KrRq4UiA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIdHTL18kTU

It also seems like the game's designers were very aware of how popular the bash move was in the first game - it's one of the earliest abilities you get in the second game.

Lechtansi
Mar 23, 2004

Item Get


Jerusalem posted:

Is the first(?) Ori worth playing first or just jump straight into Will of the Wisp?

Will of the Wisps is interesting because it's basically a perfect sequel. It's like Ori 1 was the early access version and Ori 2 is the final version after years of refinement. 2 even has the same basic plot.

Ori 2 takes the best bits of Ori 1 and makes them even better and fixes the worst bits.

Ori 1 is great because it's still more Ori but if you only have time and space for one, 2 is the obvious choice.

However, if you are going to play both, definitely play 1 then 2 so you aren't spoiled by the additions that 2 brings.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

For That you Get the Head...

The Tail...

The Whole Damned Thing

Lechtansi posted:



Let's talk about feelings. Specifically, feelings that you get while playing games.



I never played Ori but now I want to check it out now.

The two games that pop in my head regarding "feelings" would be Shadow of the Colossus and Okami. Shadow made me feel kind of sad whenever I killed a monster and Okami gave me this sense of joy whenever I liberated an area and was treated to that beautiful animation of all the flowers and sunshine and poo poo covering the valley.

There was a game called Manhunter that I think was made by Rockstar that actually gave me the opposite "feeling". It was a reality TV style murder simulator or something where you got points for killing people just for high ratings and I put it down pretty quick because it made me feel like poo poo. I put down the original GTA3 as well once the novelty wore off and found myself not really wanting to murder hookers, rob people and mow down pedestrians.

I know you don't have to play that way if you don't want to but both those games just kind of made me feel sleezy. I'm not too wild about murdering animals that aren't bothering me in games like Far Cry or Re8 either.

The Grumbles
Jun 5, 2006

let the anger flow through your salt beef filling

Jerusalem posted:

Is the first(?) Ori worth playing first or just jump straight into Will of the Wisp?

They're both on Gamepass (including PC Gamepass) - maybe give the first one a go, and if you bounce off it, it's still worth trying the second! The first feels closer to something like Super Meat Boy for me - it's about nailing down that perfect puzzle/jump sequence - but 2 is just a perfect Metroidvania with the best-feeling movement and control of any game in that genre. The first never stuck with me, but I'm gonna try and finish the second.

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dead gay comedy forums
Oct 21, 2011




since there was a lot of justified love for Marathon earlier on I wanna contribute with a personal fave:

Myth: The Fallen Lords
(do yourself a favor and put its soundtrack to play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7suyzEbPno)



Back in distant 1997, a certain developer called Bungie made a different type of strategy game, strictly focused on the tactical level in a 3D terrain along a physics engine that offered a very impressive level of interaction and response at the time. Projectiles could miss; height advantage could completely turn around a very difficult battle; friendly fire meant a lot of complications; terrain could warp and deform from any attack capable to do so.

My first memory with it, in fact, is probably very similar to many other players drawn to the idea of dwarven grenadiers blowing the poo poo of undead hordes. I sent the brave, intrepid dude to throw one of his bombs in a cluster of thralls; these tough, lumbering zombies with loving huge axes blew off in pieces and I was loving elated. The sound and animation of the explosion gave this tremendously satisfying feel, my dwarf looking a mighty colossus soloing those undead bastards without a sweat.


the horrors of unlife brought by the Fallen Lords versus Oleg's mastery of gunpowder

My next memory is, in another mission, sending the same guy to throw a bomb behind a group trying to flank my warriors who were stonewalling the ghŰls (the most hated enemies of the dwarves in the Myth universe - the beast thingie with the sickle jumping on the warrior on the cover) and, oh my loving dear God, there is weather on this game, the guy not only misses the throw but the wind is against the grenade, and the grenade falls right square into the middle of my men. As the chunks of meat and blood fall into the battlefield, I could see the loving grin of the ghŰls now charging into my grenadiers, screaming "YOU loving DUMBASSES TIME TO HAVE FACES FOR DINNER", laughing in monstrous glee.

This was only the second or third mission of the campaign. Turns out a lot of Myth players had very similar experiences: a shared dramatic first impression of friendly fire and excessive eagerness to employ dwarven pyromaniacs. It was, turns out, quite effective.

Because while the tech was great for the time and also had very tight gameplay that rewarded in abundance the player's tactical competence and understanding of the mechanics, early Bungie loving knew how to ace in style. Myth: the Fallen Lords is a masterclass in narrative for games. The music is loving spectacular; the means of delivery - the diary of Joe Somebody going to his death against forces of mythological evil - is excellent in execution; a homage to The Black Company series, your guys are part of a last-ditch effort to turn the war around because the titular Fallen Lords are kicking the poo poo out of mankind's rear end. It is, at first glance, a very standard medieval fantasy "Light versus Dark" prose that isn't going to excite anybody who has seen Lord of the Rings. Then it gets you.


you are going to not learn about 85% of all that

The excellence comes out because of the spectacular use of minimalism in the game. It's videogame story that saves itself through incredible narrative economy and efficiency. The narrator is somebody with your guys who has some general awareness of whatever the gently caress is going because he hears "you" (as a general or something) and others of rank talking about the current state of affairs and what they are going to do next, but doesn't have any bigger insight or perspective of a bigger picture. Then your units have their own backstory blurbs that show you a tiiiiiny piece of context, respective to their characteristics. Your archers, it turns out, were enemies of human civilization for quite a loving long time until the Fallen Lords showed up, for example. You can also read the enemies' blurbs. Along with each mission's intro, that's it. That's all you are getting in terms of story (well, there's the manual too, but it doesn't show much as well). And that's all you need to have a great time.


cool rain after a huge battle, let's blast some mdma? hell loving yea

In terms of ambience and mood, Myth ropes the player in with plenty of skill. The differentials are quite effective, too: yes, it is a very run-of-the-mill narrative, yet I never played a game that was extensively based on Irish mythology before or after the Myth games; actually, come to think of it, this game is Bungie's take on the Mythological Cycle of that chronicle of legend (the villain is also named Balor). There are way too loving many games about Norse and Greco-Roman myths; seeing a truckload of Celtic names and words without relation to Tolkien in this game, even today, remains refreshing somehow. It is all familiar yet exciting: the idea of a grandmothers' special take on some recipe that she makes only in winters always come to my mind when I describe this story to others. You know what is coming, it isn't mindblowing, but drat if it isn't delicious every single time.

I have played the campaign like five times and seen some Let's Plays of it a good bunch of times as well in more than fifteen years. One of my personal criteria to define if a work is one of the greats or not is that, over a long stretch of time in your life, whenever you revisit it, you feel that "drat, this is good" coming up. I have been many different versions of myself playing and seeing this game being played; some of these I barely even recognize as mine anymore, as they drift through the currents of time. Yet, every time I came back to it, this game delivered: isn't that all you need to have a classic?

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