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punk rebel ecks
Dec 11, 2010

We dance for socialism!


I'm just going to start copying and pasting from my giant GOAT list:

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor
Released: June 27th, 2010
Definitive Version: Wii; Also On: Wii U eShop


The Wiiís success really caught everybody off guard. It caught Nintendo off guard, it caught retailers off guard, it caught the press off guard, etc. However, those who were the most surprised by the systemís success were the game developers. They couldnít have imagined that the system would be such a runaway hit. However, while the console was flying off store shelves and racking up a huge install base, developers didnít know what exactly to do with it. Outside the obvious unique control scheme being a problem, there was also the fact that gamers associated with the Wii were primarily seen as casual gamers. Basically women in their 30s and 40s, middle aged men, and really people in general who arenít that into games. Most publishers figured the best way to go about this was to release their casual oriented titles on the Wii while releasing their more hardcore title son the Xbox 360 and PS3.

Despite this, there were some developers who attempted a third option. A way to bridge the gap between casual gamers and hardcore ones. During the late 2000s and early 2010s a lot of arcade type games appeared on Nintendoís console. The thinking was, ďwell casual gamers and hardcore gamers used to play in the arcades back in the day, why donít we just make arcade games?Ē. Thus a lot of arcade games began appearing on the system. Games like NBA Jam, Jumbo Safari, and Tatsunoko vs Capcom were released for the system. It also arguably became the ďgo toĒ system for music games such as Guitar Hero, Rock Band, The Michael Jackson Experience, and Just Dance. But the most obvious example of this arcade phenomenon was with light gun games. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, Deadspace Extraction, and most famously House of the Dead: Overkill.

But of all the arcade games released on the system, by the best one by far was Sin & Punishment: Star Successor. An unlikely sequel to the cult hit that bombed, the game is a rail shooter in which the player controls the cursor and the X/Y axis of the character as they run along shooting at enemies. It is a very simple premise, but like most games by its developer, Treasure, it is very well done with a ton of chaos. This is a game that starts at a 7 for the prologue level, then rapidly switches to a 10 for the first level, but somehow breaks the dial so the rest of the game is stuck at a 10. The entire pace of the game is so fast and frantic that it gives one little time to breathe. Itís either a constant stream of enemies and bullets in your face, or a huge boss battleÖoften with a constant stream of bullets in your face. The game is relentless and just does not stop.
This alone would be enough to put it on the list, but the game doesnít stop there. Unlike most titles in this genre, Sin & Punishment: Star Successor is not a shooting gallery. The environments are very interactive, the camera constantly changes angles, and often the game will switch to different genres such as becoming a side-scrolling shooter or even beat-em-up. The entire thing is a rollercoaster ride.

I canít really talk about the gameplay without mentioning the control scheme. This is a game that was made for the Wii controls. The Wii Remote and Nunchuck are simply perfect for the game. One just simply points the Wii Remote at the screen to where they want to shoot and presses the trigger. The nunchuck feels nice and his light weight, so one can constantly move the stick and not get tired. There really isnít a better control scheme for the game. Itís as if one is playing with arcade control hardware.

Presentation wise the game is good. The graphics are detailed, the voice acting is kinda bad (but in a good way), it has a nice artstyle, and the music fits. My only complaint is that the protagonists look very generic. It is a huge step down from the first game which had cool, though very í90s, looking protagonists. Outside of that I have no complaints about the game, even when I often replay it.
Treasure is a developer that has been on this list multiple times. There is a good reason for that, they are very talented and have quite a cult following. Unfortunately, they also havenít released a game in any form since 2014. Whatís worse is that it was rumored that the studio was done making games. Today, there isnít a single game that the studio announced. It is very possible that Sin & Punishment: Star Successor was the last retail notable budget game from the well regarded studio. If that is the case, I canít think of a better release to go out on.

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dracky
Nov 8, 2010



Rinkles posted:

Is Dark Cloud 1 required reading gaming to get into 2?

It's not, aside from some little shout outs here and there they are entirely separate. Dark Cloud 1 kind of felt like a tech demo and 2 refined it into a full game. I don't think I ever finished Dark Cloud 1, it was a lot more punishing - for example if you used your weapons too much they broke and disappeared, even if you had put a lot of time and effort into making it. In Dark Cloud 2 your weapons "break" but you don't lose them, you just have to use a repair powder to restore their HP ( I think they auto repair when they level up too? I forget)
I liked the very first town building segment in Dark Cloud 1, it was a nice concept, but the rest of the game was awkward and not as fun as 2 in my view. But anyways yeah you can safely ignore 1 and just play 2.

Item Getter
Dec 14, 2015


Is Dark Cloud 2 available on the PS store if I had a PS4/PS5 or is it only in the realm of the original PS2 version / :files:?

Rinkles
Oct 24, 2010

What I'm getting at is...
Do you feel the same way?


Item Getter posted:

Is Dark Cloud 2 available on the PS store if I had a PS4/PS5 or is it only in the realm of the original PS2 version / :files:?

it's on PSN for PS4. $15.

Jeza
Feb 13, 2011

The cries of the dead are terrible indeed; you should try not to hear them.


We're a few months past the 20th(!) anniversary of one of the most interesting games ever made, Sacrifice. Released by Shiny Entertainment, it garnered a lot of plaudits at the time of release but sold poorly. Exactly how poorly isn't really known, but it sounded the death knell for Shiny as a developer and they only went on to release a few terrible movie tie-in games and die an ignoble death in the years after its release. Shiny Entertainment is a curious story in and of itself, and games like MDK and Messiah (and Giants: Citizen Kabuto, although made by a different studio made up of former Shiny employees) are all worthy of note in their own rights.

It's a 3rd person...action...RTS...or something that plays something like a fusion of Battlezone and Darwinia and Populous: The Beginning on a serious acid trip. You're a homeless wizard who arrives in a world with five gods vying for control. The voice acting and scripting from the off is top rate, and you'll notice some familiar names, not least Jennifer Hale and Tim Curry (who almost completely steals the show). In a move that could probably never happen today, you are completely at liberty to follow your conscience and curiosity to pick missions. The campaign is only nine missions long essentially, but the pathing is up to you and the game actually contains 45 separate levels. Each different mission rewards you with different units and spells that you carry forward, leading to a situation where your effective 'loadout' by the end of the campaign is pretty much always unique as there are many thousands of different combinations. Choosing one god typically pisses off other gods, and each one usually has a particular dislike for another, and as the story goes on eventually you'll lock yourself out of working for the gods you've displeased the most.

Gameplay is strange (and very strange by modern conventions) but actually relatively simple and intuitive, even if the interface and implementation is extremely clunky by modern standards. You have mana from which you can cast increasingly powerful spells (using a mouse gesture system?!), culminating in things like casting natural disasters like volcanoes and tornadoes that disrupt the environment and detonate your enemies, and you have souls which are a limited resource can be collected from various sources and used to summon your army of Giger-esque nightmare monsters that you surround yourself with. The aesthetic stylings (both visual and musical) are twisted and it is kind of a dark and disturbed game in many respects.

For the time it looked really good (and it still looks...OK today) and it really tried to take RTS games in a directions that have rarely been seen since. It really is an incredibly unique and creative game, and more's the pity that few games have ever attempted something as ambitious.

While it's not Dark Messiah kickathon, you can get a taste of the flavour and voice acting through the intro. Also straight worth it to hear Tim Curry as a balloon headed deity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qUD5GDtF8c

Party Boat
Oct 31, 2007

where did that other dog come from

who is he



Thanks for the write-up! I have a bit of a soft spot for Dave Perry / Shiny and Sacrifice is the only non-licensed Shiny game I haven't played, so I should probably try and track a copy down at some point. The quality of their games after the 16-bit era was... variable to say the least, but they were always brimming over with humour and creative ideas.

Sway Grunt
May 15, 2004

Tenochtitlan, looking east.


Jeza posted:

Tim Curry (who almost completely steals the show).

As ever.

I think Sacrifice was my introduction to "buying games and then not playing them", sadly. I bought it cheap on CD something like sixteen years ago, maybe? I'm almost certain it's still shrinkwrapped. I might as well buy a cheap Steam copy next sale to replace it. If it's in my active backlog rather than a random cardboard box somewhere the chance is at least a little higher I'll actually play it some day.

Ice Phisherman
Apr 12, 2007

Swimming upstream
into the sunset





Hey, you're awake.

About everyone has played Skyrim and it's been relaunched and repackaged by Todd Howard in obvious money grabs. It's a fun game that I sometimes come back to, but it always feels extremely shallow to me. The story was simple, the exploration the same druagr hole or dwemer ruin, the gear primarily trash loot. It had its moments and when those moments hit they were amazing. Blackreach is amazing and I'm still awed by it whenever I explore deep enough.

I'm not here to talk about Skyrim though. Or at least when I talk about it, I'm here to use it as a comparison. No, I'm here to talk about a mod for Skyrim called Enderal. It is a mod that is hands down better than most RPG's, has been completed and as of this moment, has 9586 positive reviews on Steam. It is a mod so popular that it has its own Steam page with Steam supported cloud saves and achievements. It pales in comparison to the 100k+ reviews of other RPG's like say, the Witcher 3. However I feel like this is because it is a mod for an existing game and many people just aren't into modding their games and because it's a little more difficult to use with the special edition of Skyrim until about a month ago where it got an unofficial port. Also just a lack of word of mouth, which I'm here to change.

Enderal is not Skyrim. It is its own game that has repurposed the assets and engine of Skyrim and the team, SureAI, has worked as a mod team on other Bethesda games. They have long a history of this: Arktwend for Morrowind, Nehrim for Oblivion, Enderal for Skyrim and the expanded Enderal: Forgotten Stories for Skyrim as well. These are full games that are not based in the Elder Scrolls universe, but because they're based on the engine and have largely the same kinds of mechanics (with some tweaking) you'll figure out how to play the game rather quickly if you're at all familiar with the series. Though there are a number of differences.

What you're getting in terms of raw content is about 50 to 150 hours of gameplay depending on if you're rushing the story or if you if you're more completionist. Yes, that requires a significant amount of time, but I am in no way exaggerating about how expansive a game this is. But that time is rarely if ever wasted. The game is dense without being cluttered. Purposeful in its design.

Enderal differs from Skyrim and from many of the Bethesda games in which it embraces experience points, has skill books that you need to find or purchase to increase the effectiveness of skills so you actually have something to spend your gold on, has fixed levels for enemies in specific areas instead of level scaling and abandons map based fast travel for a more Morrowind style fast travel system that had to do with fixed locations or with mark and teleportation spells to get around. There's even an internal fast travel system for the city of Ark, Enderal's one enormous city with something like nine districts that are amazingly fleshed out and that doesn't include the areas underneath Ark either. It really does have the feel of a metropolis with a depth that Skyrim flat out never comes close to touching. And honestly, I really missed the Morrowind style fast travel system and feel like instant fast travel to within spitting distance of anywhere important robbed me of immersion in order to give me convenience.

In terms of polish, the voice acting is either amazing or uh...Sometimes pretty bad. And because it was translated from German, sometimes the translation isn't the greatest. Stumbling across the bad is a fairly rare event though, but I did want to bring it up. But what I'm saying is that this is a minimum 50 hour game that is fully voice acted and that is a flat out amazing task. Also when you compare it to Skyrim, the VA work blows Skyrim out of the water consistently. There is no comparison in terms of quality. Volunteer voice actors trounce the effort of Bethesda's VA's all day every day.

The game is also more difficult, but at the same time more satisfying because you can't just steamroll through everything. I mean you can if you play easier modes, but if you're familiar with Skyrim, imagine each mode on Enderal being a mode down for Skyrim. Normal for Skyrim is easy for Enderal. Hard is normal. So on. Especially early on before you get a lot of health, perks and skill points. Yes, if you play the game with certain optimized choices you'll be able to win more easily, but you can't just go anywhere and beat anything because again, the game isn't perfectly balanced for your level. If you wander into the wrong area, you will get ruthlessly murdered or chased off. These areas tend to be marked off though and if you find that some enemy is one shotting you, you probably don't need to be there yet. Great experience if you sneak in though. But if you think you can just be a stealth archer and murder everything in this game, especially at lower levels, the game will rip off your face. Eventually you can become a pretty kickass stealth archer or mage or warrior, but it takes time to get there and occasionally the game will just gently caress you up anyway if you're not careful and refuse to play with at least some care. There are mods for the game (yes, mods for the mod) that balance the game that I find interesting, meaning harder without making all of the enemies damage sponges and I was very appreciative of those.

But what I fell in love with Enderal for was for the story. In terms of story, Skyrim is pure amateur work to Enderal's professionally made story. And I say this as a writer. The story is good and engrossing and the AI companions are interesting and not just damage sponges who carry your loot. The story treats you like an adult and is frequently dark without being dark for darkness' sake, but because it has something to say in terms of story and theme. And the polish is reflected not just in the main story, but in most missions.

It's just so good. If you own a copy of Skyrim on PC I highly suggest downloading Enderal and giving it a whirl. Last time I played it still had some stability issues, but the last patch has come out and I hope that's been fixed. Save often just in case though.

Game good. Game free. Go play it.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/933480/Enderal_Forgotten_Stories/

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

Time for me to plug Legend of Grimrock 2

In 2012, Legend of Grimrock was released on PC.



It was a modern take on an extremely-old-school dungeon crawler. The graphics were incredible, but the gameplay was dead simple - you can only move one "tile" at a time, and you can only rotate in increments of 90į. Your goal was to escape an enormous dungeon, which was filled with strange enemies, mazes, secrets, and puzzles; and there was a cryptic story to tie it all together. It got quite a bit of press and a good-sized following. A great game all around.

Two years later, the same team released Legend of Grimrock 2:



Mechanically, the game is similar to Legend of Grimrock. It's still extremely old school, you're still constrained to moving on a square grid. The difference is the scale: while Grimrock 1 takes place in a single dungeon, Grimrock 2 takes place on a large island with multiple castles, forests, lakes, beaches, etc - not to mention multiple dungeons, which are spread across the island, and some of which are larger than the first game in its entirety.

Have you ever played an open world game and wished that the world had more meaningful content? In a way, Grimrock 2 is the perfect open-world game. There's so much to do in the world, and you're free to explore it in your own way, and at your own pace; and every single inch is worth exploring.



It's a rare game that will allow you to get completely lost in an enormous dungeon, or to stumble across enemies you have no hope of defeating, which makes the player's journey much more interesting. And it rewards the most dedicated players with a secret ending that truly requires you to understand the secret lore and history of its fictional world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8yW9a3KpCw

Sab Sabbington
Sep 18, 2016

In my restless dreams I see that town...

Flagstaff, Arizona


dracky posted:


My favorite game of all time is Dark Cloud 2 (aka Dark Chronicle) for the PS2.

Dark Cloud 2 is also my desert island game, and easily in my top five. It doesn't matter how many years removed I am from my first playthrough, the first time Max walks into the circus tent and the intro really picks up I feel like I'm a kid playing it fresh again.

Taking pictures of different objects in order to unlock new ways to build things is such an excellent and straight fun piece of gameplay, and placing down new buildings as you restore towns only to see there's something new outside/inside it is genuinely exciting.

"Is that pipe architecturally distinct enough to be different from all the other pipes I've seen?" Might not sound like a fun question to ask yourself, but I promise it is.

Senerio
Oct 19, 2009

Ooh! Are we messing with Adora?





I bought the soundtrack so I could listen to Time is Changing whenever I want.

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



I tried both Dark Cloud 2 and Legend of Grimrock 2 but couldn't get into them. Your praise of them and my desire not to spend money on new games right now has me thinking of giving them another shot but I'm not sure if they'll go differently.

For DC2 it was quite a while ago but I think I became overwhelmed and confused by all the systems it was throwing at me. Grimrock was more recent and basically I liked the exploration and puzzles but not its style of combat and team building as opposed to the only other Dungeon Crawler series I like - Etrian Odyssey.

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



I started playing Outer Wilds, and strongly recommend it. In the top-3 of single-player games I've played. Original, thoughtful, and full of attention-to-detail. Unique and exciting... Which is tough to find once you've been playing games for decades. I don't want to say much more... Other than don't even read a synopsis before playing.

If you enjoyed The Witness, play it.

I'll forgive the aliens as humans-with-funny-faces trope


Also: I second Sacrifice as awesome. And The Witness is its own write-up, but is a polarizing game.

Dominoes fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Mar 3, 2021

Harrow
Jun 30, 2012


Polo-Rican posted:

Two years later, the same team released Legend of Grimrock 2:



Mechanically, the game is similar to Legend of Grimrock. It's still extremely old school, you're still constrained to moving on a square grid. The difference is the scale: while Grimrock 1 takes place in a single dungeon, Grimrock 2 takes place on a large island with multiple castles, forests, lakes, beaches, etc - not to mention multiple dungeons, which are spread across the island, and some of which are larger than the first game in its entirety.

This is doing a lot to sell me on Grimrock 2. I played the first one and enjoyed it well enough, but I tend to prefer fully turn-based dungeon-crawlers so Grimrock didn't really stick its claws in me the way something like an Etrian Odyssey does. But Grimrock 2 sounds really cool and like it'd be worth getting used to the real-time aspect for. I'm gonna have to check it out soon.

morallyobjected
Nov 3, 2012


Polo-Rican posted:

Time for me to plug Legend of Grimrock 2

In 2012, Legend of Grimrock was released on PC.



It was a modern take on an extremely-old-school dungeon crawler. The graphics were incredible, but the gameplay was dead simple - you can only move one "tile" at a time, and you can only rotate in increments of 90į. Your goal was to escape an enormous dungeon, which was filled with strange enemies, mazes, secrets, and puzzles; and there was a cryptic story to tie it all together. It got quite a bit of press and a good-sized following. A great game all around.

Two years later, the same team released Legend of Grimrock 2:



Mechanically, the game is similar to Legend of Grimrock. It's still extremely old school, you're still constrained to moving on a square grid. The difference is the scale: while Grimrock 1 takes place in a single dungeon, Grimrock 2 takes place on a large island with multiple castles, forests, lakes, beaches, etc - not to mention multiple dungeons, which are spread across the island, and some of which are larger than the first game in its entirety.

Have you ever played an open world game and wished that the world had more meaningful content? In a way, Grimrock 2 is the perfect open-world game. There's so much to do in the world, and you're free to explore it in your own way, and at your own pace; and every single inch is worth exploring.



It's a rare game that will allow you to get completely lost in an enormous dungeon, or to stumble across enemies you have no hope of defeating, which makes the player's journey much more interesting. And it rewards the most dedicated players with a secret ending that truly requires you to understand the secret lore and history of its fictional world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8yW9a3KpCw

also if you're NOT going to play it, you owe it to yourself to go watch Iron Chitlin's LP of it. come for the minotaur named after Ayn Rand characters--stay for the accordion tunes.

F_Shit_Fitzgerald
Feb 2, 2017





Imagine you've got an entire holodeck at your disposal to create almost any variation of baseball simulation. Want to relive a particularly good year for your favorite MLB team? Want to run an historical season from the 1930s to see if you can change history? Want to create an entirely new league with new leagues?

You can do all of it with Out of the Park Baseball. OOTP is one of the most unique games I've ever played as it gives players complete freedom over anything and everything baseball. If you're a statistical junkie and want to dig into facts and figures to make the Mariners (for example) a championship team, you can control every aspect of the team, including finances. If you're more like me and a fan of baseball but not particularly knowledgable about all the nuts and bolts, you can play as a commissioner and create a new league out of whole cloth. Watch entire games unfold on your screen (recent versions of OOTP have 3D graphics with pretty realistic action) or run through entire weeks or months of time in the current season; it's all completely up to you.

I'm on year twelve of simulating a league I created. My style of playing the game is to set up various characters from fiction as players: Bugs Bunny, Hyacinth Bucket, Jean-Luc Picard, etc and watch them battle it out on the ballfield. I don't go for 'serious' baseball so much as 'what would happen if Jaws from James Bond was a pitcher' screwing around. Most other OOTP players seem to stick to managing real-life teams like the Red Sox. Both are equally valid ways to play the game because, like so many games on the market today, there isn't one "correct" way. That's one of the things I like the most about this game. It's not for everyone, but if you're a baseball fan, it might be worth a try.

VinylonUnderground
Dec 14, 2020

by Athanatos


Grimrock seems like it would be extremely my jam. How does it compare to Dungeon Master?

Discendo Vox
Mar 21, 2013


Dominoes posted:

Also: I second Sacrifice as awesome. And The Witness is its own write-up, but is a polarizing game.

At this point Witness, and Blow generally, requires an essay on its merits and influence, and then a separate effortpost just going into how Blow's completely destroyed his positive reputation, tainting the Witness in his wake.

Ice Phisherman
Apr 12, 2007

Swimming upstream
into the sunset





VinylonUnderground posted:

Grimrock seems like it would be extremely my jam. How does it compare to Dungeon Master?

The original Grimrock was made as a kind of homage to old games like Eye of the Beholder. You'll feel right at home with the first Grimrock, which is dungeon based and the second is largely in the outside.

I'll say now that I generally don't go in for the dungeon crawlers because my sense of direction isn't the greatest, but Grimrock was fun as gently caress. Play them in order because Grimrock two is slightly more polished.

Ice Phisherman fucked around with this message at 07:55 on Mar 4, 2021

StoryTime
Feb 26, 2010

Now listen to me children and I'll tell you of the legend of the Ninja

VinylonUnderground posted:

Grimrock seems like it would be extremely my jam. How does it compare to Dungeon Master?

I beat Dungeon Master a couple of times as a kid, and Grimrock is extremely Dungeon Master. Even the spell system is similarly rune-based, although it's a bit simplified. The biggest difference is probably the way you build characters by assigning skill points instead of a 'learn what you do' system. Equipment use is limited by assigned skill points, so its not quite as freeform as Dungeon Master was in that respect, but that's a minor complaint.

You can even disable the automap as an option if you want to get mega lost.

Arms_Akimbo
Sep 29, 2006

It's so damn...literal.

F_Shit_Fitzgerald posted:

Imagine you've got an entire holodeck at your disposal to create almost any variation of baseball simulation. Want to relive a particularly good year for your favorite MLB team? Want to run an historical season from the 1930s to see if you can change history? Want to create an entirely new league with new leagues?

You can do all of it with Out of the Park Baseball. OOTP is one of the most unique games I've ever played as it gives players complete freedom over anything and everything baseball. If you're a statistical junkie and want to dig into facts and figures to make the Mariners (for example) a championship team, you can control every aspect of the team, including finances. If you're more like me and a fan of baseball but not particularly knowledgable about all the nuts and bolts, you can play as a commissioner and create a new league out of whole cloth. Watch entire games unfold on your screen (recent versions of OOTP have 3D graphics with pretty realistic action) or run through entire weeks or months of time in the current season; it's all completely up to you.

I'm on year twelve of simulating a league I created. My style of playing the game is to set up various characters from fiction as players: Bugs Bunny, Hyacinth Bucket, Jean-Luc Picard, etc and watch them battle it out on the ballfield. I don't go for 'serious' baseball so much as 'what would happen if Jaws from James Bond was a pitcher' screwing around. Most other OOTP players seem to stick to managing real-life teams like the Red Sox. Both are equally valid ways to play the game because, like so many games on the market today, there isn't one "correct" way. That's one of the things I like the most about this game. It's not for everyone, but if you're a baseball fan, it might be worth a try.

I was going to do a write-up of this game so I'll just add to yours.

The complexity of tools available to you is insane. The game is integrated with the entire history of american pro baseball, as well as current teams and players from 15 international leagues. You can make a league of all number one draft picks vs a league of all Mr. Irrelevants. (Mike Piazza is king) You can design your own stadiums, set your own off-season free market rules, add expansion teams, eliminate the DH to bring back God's True Game. There's a checkbox to simulate pandemic conditions, or to spawn a new league file from the state of real baseball on the day you create it. You can export pretty much any game data into a text file that you can batch edit in excel and import back into the game.

Then there's the community. There are tons of online leagues where 20-30 owners compete in simulated seasons. Some start in a historical year, some are purely fictional. Some have gone on for many years with the same owners, bickering over rule changes and salary caps every two months. When my brother passed away our OOTP league filled the church with flowers. It's one of the few nice places left on the internet.

If you like Blaseball, this is a more grounded version of that you can play with your friends. Sometimes I'm shocked that so few people know about this game.

Arms_Akimbo fucked around with this message at 11:03 on Mar 4, 2021

FlowerRhythmREMIX
Nov 4, 2011

Just Post, Kupo


I've heard of it in passing, but, generally I hear discussions around Football Manager more than OOTP. I can only guess, but probably because baseball is a bit more regional than FM.

F_Shit_Fitzgerald
Feb 2, 2017





Iíve heard about Football Manager and have debated asking about it in the general chat thread. Does it have the same level of customization as OOTP, and do you have to know about Euro football or could you just set up a league and simulate games without much interference?

Wooper
Oct 16, 2006

Champion draGoon horse slayer. Making Lancers weep for their horsies since 2011. Viva Dickbutt.


FM thread is here https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3749097 btw.

iSurrender
Aug 25, 2005
Now with 22% more apathy!

F_Shit_Fitzgerald posted:

Iíve heard about Football Manager and have debated asking about it in the general chat thread. Does it have the same level of customization as OOTP, and do you have to know about Euro football or could you just set up a league and simulate games without much interference?

My goto for football managering is Ultimate Soccer Manager 2, released in 1996.
Does it count as to say it's widely available on abandonware sites, and runs in dosbox?

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

I'm sorry, everyone.

I'll do my best here, but for me it has to be Resident Evil on PS1. I was an early adapter with the hardware and played the early games that at the time were pretty dazzling graphically but lacked depth. But this one...man...I'd never played anything like it and still don't think I ever quite have.

For starters, the fixed, pre-rendered backgrounds were a really clever way for the PS1 to display visuals that I'd never really seen on a console before and once I got used to the weird, tank style control scheme, really sucked me in to the environment. I loved the cheesy, b-movie style voice acting and dialogue from the get go. The music and cinematic cut scenes added another layer of immersion I'd never really experienced before.

I'm pretty old and, looking at it now, it's hard to explain how much ambiance and innovation was really on display here back when it came out. You weren't really sure what the gently caress it was you were actually doing. You were just kind of wandering aimlessly and dealing with locked doors, shifting camera angles and weird interactive puzzles that made no sense. Some stuff was interactive and sort of meaningless but often added to the story and the ambiance.

Your first instinct on you initial play through is, naturally, to kill every loving zombie you see immediately. Then you drop one and they get back up so you shoot some more and then...you run out of loving bullets. poo poo! This is where the game teaches you to run and dodge enemies but, at the time, that made no sense so it must be that I missed some items somehow. You backtrack a little to rooms you know are safe and then learn to really search. Then you might something but what the gently caress is a green herb or an ink ribbon or a jewel? The hell do I do with this?

So maybe you try a different way. This door is locked. Maybe upstairs. More roadbloacks. Then before you know it there are easily more monsters in the game than you have bullets to handle. Slowly, a sense of dread kicks in every god damned time you open a new door, preying there aren't more enemies behind it. The sense of relief when you discovered a safe room, a quiet area or even an empty hallway slowly became more and more palpable as you began to acquire new items.

Then the game fucks with you again by dicking you over on your inventory slots, making you recall where that item box was, how to get to it and god help you if you missed the map because you will get lost. And panic. It was a really new experience before the days of walkthroughs on the internet or even printed strategy guides wondering what all this poo poo I found might do, where to try it and how to carry it...and where the hell are some loving bullets but drat if that wasn't made it fun. BActracking through areas you thought you'd cleared and were safe are repopulated now.

If you're anything like me, after a bit -- bleeding out, missing the right items and down to two pistol bullets and a knife -- you decided to start over knowing what you know now and then got to where you were the fist time only in just a little bit better shape this time and with a slightly better understanding of the layout of the mansion and where you were supposed to go. Then you'd press on, find NEW poo poo, discover uses for those weird keys and statues you found only to realize you stashed them in the item box and have to backtrack. AGAIN. The game KEPT doing that to you, all the way through the end, but along the way offered just enough rewards to make you feel -- if not powerful -- at least a little more so and you couldn't wait to try out that shotgun.

Oh? I can aim UP? Headshot! Killing 3 zombies in one close up blast was exhilarating.

Then you'd find a weapon only to realize you can't carry it. Bitch! Then use it and feel strong for 10 minutes until you ran into something even more formidable and waste all that ammo and have to hunt in every knook and cranny for more. This pattern repeated itself over and over, especially on your first run and made the game tense even if you didn't find it scary. You were always almost just out of ammo, healing items, inventory space or often just plain loving lost. Finding or unlocking a new door was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. You couldn't wait to see what was behind it but dreading what might be. Oh gently caress, a new monster.

Jump scares. Creepy camera angles. I loved the whole thing and couldn't wait to get home from work to play it and cheered out loud when I reunited with Barry on the helicopter.

Then, when you finally beat the motherfucker, your very first impulse was to start again only really Do It RIght This Time. I Got This. You got better every time and learned the layout along with your mistakes. By the time I'd mastered it, I must have played through it 6 or 7 times; to the point that, by the end, you wondered what the gently caress was so hard about it in the first place. Well then. Try it on "hard" or using the other character and then those things hosed you up.

You learned to save spam (if you had an ink ribbon. oh poo poo it's in the box) and what "survival horror" meant. It defined a genre.

BiggerBoat fucked around with this message at 00:11 on Mar 5, 2021

Ms Adequate
Oct 29, 2011

Baby even when I'm dead and gone
You will always be my only one, my only one
When the night is calling
No matter who I become
You will always be my only one, my only one, my only one
When the night is calling





I was 11 when Resi 1 dropped and for a kid who loved videos game and had a terrible fascination with zombies it was absurdly brilliant. Truly an unforgettable and incredibly difficult experience. And the bosses, oh my god, you struggle through the mansion and get further than before even though it cost you ammo and herbs and you finally figured out that you have to inspect the book or whatever by spinning it around in your inventory screen, only to open a new door and find yourself staring down a gigantic snake or something.

On top of which, it blew my mind that there were two characters who not only had differences in capabilities, but also in both plot and their paths through the game!

StoryTime
Feb 26, 2010

Now listen to me children and I'll tell you of the legend of the Ninja

F_Shit_Fitzgerald posted:

Iíve heard about Football Manager and have debated asking about it in the general chat thread. Does it have the same level of customization as OOTP, and do you have to know about Euro football or could you just set up a league and simulate games without much interference?

Football Manager is extremely good at playing itself. The current versions will literally ask you at the start which gameplay elements you'd just want assistant managers to do for you, and you can choose all of them. You can roleplay as a clueless mega millionaire club owner who just occasionally intervenes to yell at the players or the media.

StoryTime fucked around with this message at 08:26 on Mar 5, 2021

CRIP EATIN BREAD
Jun 24, 2002

Hey stop worrying bout my acting bitch, and worry about your WACK ass music. In the mean time... Eat a hot bowl of Dicks! Ice T





Soiled Meat

Lid posted:

Commander Blood

You know how the 90s had FMV? What if we combined FMV with stop motion animation and puppets and most of the cast looks like Baby Yoda or robot cows armed with circular saws? And then make it an adventure game. To electronic music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHwbE-JJPcU

h....how did I not know they made a sequel to Captain Blood?

Klaaz
Sep 23, 2003



I've been playing FM since it was still named CM during the 90's but kinda lost my love for it since the dev considered tweaking your wing distribution or whatnot from 75% to 80% adds to the realism and quality of the game. Also stuff like 63% fitness of a player, how on earth is that realism? Hm yes, this player has 67% fitness today while yesterday he was on 62, hmm yes

Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

Harrow posted:

This is doing a lot to sell me on Grimrock 2. I played the first one and enjoyed it well enough, but I tend to prefer fully turn-based dungeon-crawlers so Grimrock didn't really stick its claws in me the way something like an Etrian Odyssey does. But Grimrock 2 sounds really cool and like it'd be worth getting used to the real-time aspect for.

If you played and enjoyed Grimrock 1 then yeah 2 is a no-brainer. It's basically a much, much larger and better version with more mystery, intrigue, and a fantastic open world.

One Grimrock note I should have mentioned: Strangely, I played the full game co-op. One of us moved around the map using the keyboard while the other used the mouse for attacks, interacting with items, etc. This actually works really well!! It feels very natural and makes it feel more like you're an adventuring party rather than a solo player. And additionally, it's good having an extra brain to help solve puzzles, spot trap doors and hidden switches, etc.

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



Polo-Rican posted:

If you played and enjoyed Grimrock 1 then yeah 2 is a no-brainer. It's basically a much, much larger and better version with more mystery, intrigue, and a fantastic open world.

One Grimrock note I should have mentioned: Strangely, I played the full game co-op. One of us moved around the map using the keyboard while the other used the mouse for attacks, interacting with items, etc. This actually works really well!! It feels very natural and makes it feel more like you're an adventuring party rather than a solo player. And additionally, it's good having an extra brain to help solve puzzles, spot trap doors and hidden switches, etc.

Ha that would have been way better. Since my last post I've actually played through and got the true ending of Grimrock 2 but I absolutely hated the combat. It's a sign of how strong its world and puzzles are that I ended up putting up with the combat being so bad.

Electromax
May 6, 2007


I worked for the last month or so on a project about Tomba for PS1, making maps and visualizations of the game's design and layout:
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1371590313278648320?s=20

It's a really unique adventure platformer that doesn't have a lot of similar games even today, and while I spent most of my energy to write words on this for now, I put a lot of love into these maps and infographics because of the colorful memorable world and likeable characters. Check it out if you have access to an emulator and you like quirky overlooked gems.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1gTSxDnA6iANVvTzUMt4vl3i5MaV3Y2hG

Vandar
Sep 13, 2007

Isn't That Right, Chairman?





Every time I've tried Grimrock 2, I seem to gently caress up somewhere in character building and end up getting my rear end handed to me before too long. Got any tips or advice there?

theshim
May 1, 2012

You think you can defeat ME, Ephraimcopter?!?

You couldn't even beat Assassincopter!!!


oh man I only just noticed this thread and do I have words, time to write about a few of my all-time favorites

Terranigma

I'm not, by nature, an easily moved person. I haven't cried in probably 20 years. But Terranigma's ending brought me right up to the brink when I beat it as a 15 year old kid, and to this day it's still a well of emotion for me. What starts out as a simple "whoops you hosed everything up, get out there and fix it" with a boilerplate brash JRPG protagonist turns into a story with some really strong twists, memorable characters and moving moments. The music in the game is some of my all-time favorites as well - the theme for Crysta, your hometown hits me with almost pure longing for quieter, simpler times and innocence.

Hell, I just stopped writing for about 20 minutes and listened to a bunch of the soundtrack again. It's got so much emotion in the stronger pieces, and the ending... One final day in your home, and then to your rest... and then you see the world that you built, everything your journey created and filled with life... it's an unforgettably poignant moment.

The game is also just really fun to play. Ark wields a spear and has several different moves he can use in a fun action RPG (including a block that it's easy to forget exists until the final boss pastes you into the ground with a massive lightning attack that you have to block to survive ), there's a low-impact magic system that you can pull out from time to time for some helpful effects, and a solid variety of different enemies with different behaviors rather than just a gajillion palette swaps. In one of my favorite little game design situations, the starting weapon gives you a small regeneration effect in the first few areas of the game to help you get used to the combat. The game is full of little touches and love and a little weirdness on top of it. It really is one of the best games that very few people have played, never being released in North America and getting a slightly janky translation in the PAL release, and to this day it still is a champion of the SNES era and well, well worth the playthrough.

The World Ends With You

Oh boy, where do I begin? TWEWY is, in my opinion, the best game on the Nintendo DS. Everything about it is incredibly unique.

The aesthetic is jagged and punk, the music is a bizarre mix of J-pop, rock, metal, hip-hop, and just funky instrumentals that somehow brings the setting to vivid life, the characters are fascinating and the development is some of my favorite in any media. It helps that I first played the game as an antisocial, kinda angry teenager, which meant that I mapped near perfectly onto Neku, the main character - and then seeing him change and grow as you experience the story was a way to inject some hope into my own worldview. The battle system takes advantage of every aspect of the DS, using the buttons, the touchscreen, and even the mic and the wireless data settings at times. The story is a mystery from the word go and everything you find out only seems to raise even more questions, with some real twisty bits to upend your perspective every now and then. The difficulty is granular as hell, with you being able not only to change it on the fly but also to adjust your levels down for increased rewards, leading to me doing playthroughs of the game on the highest difficulty with my level set to 1 for the whole run. The variety of enemies you face keeps things fresh, as even ones that appear to just be palette swaps come with new tricks to deal with.

What I can't really put into words is just how unique the game is. On the one hand it's yet another JRPG set in Tokyo, but on the other it's rebellious and uncompromising in its vision and presentation. It's yet another group of anime teenagers, but it's also a tale of pushing your horizons and expanding your world. You equip your characters like any RPG, but it's with trendy clothes (or punk gear, or tailored suits, or frilly dresses) from local stores that each bear their own identity and have mechanical impacts on the combat. And there's a ton of other things I could say here, like how there's a post-game side-story based around a minigame that is completely off-the-rails hilarious, or the fact that as you stop in to stores and buy their stuff the staff starts recognizing you and getting excited to see you (everything from high school students working at a burger joint to a salesperson for a top-end jewelry boutique, with great little details in every one), or the different combinations of attacks you can work with (one of my favorites was just to stack a bunch of pins that made you deal damage while sprinting and to just drag Neku around smashing into everything and avoiding almost all damage).

TWEWY received rereleases, which had to redo the combat system since you lacked the dual screens, and I haven't played any of them so I don't know how good they are. An anime was announced, which is going to be awful, because every anime or movie based on a game is awful. A sequel was also announced, and it is a mark of just how much of a unique, standout experience TWEWY was that I would rather the sequel be bad than forgettable.

Alpha Protocol

Obsidian Entertainment is afflicted with a dreadful curse that makes their storytelling, worldbuilding, and character stories great, but at the price of every game being somewhat janky and not receiving mass appeal for many years, if ever.

Alpha Protocol is an adequate action spy stealth RPG hybrid with occasional fits of bugginess that is also one of the finest storytelling games ever made, with a level of detail that is absurd. But more than anything else, Alpha Protocol is the undisputed king of reactivity. For every game that touts itself on player choice making a difference and having the world react to it, I've never come across one that matches Alpha Protocol.

The old Alpha Protocol thread here had two catchphrases, often uttered together in the same post: "Wait, that's a thing?!" and "This fuckin' game." Veterans with multiple playthroughs are still consistently surprised by how differently certain conversations and events will unfold based on a staggering array of factors, including what order you're doing things in, who you've met, what different people think of you, what areas you've been to and what you've done in each of them. While the overarching plot and several breaking points will always unfold the same way, the story that's wrapped around them is engrossingly your own. There's a limited number of ways you can approach the combat and stealth sections (though more than many give the game credit for), but the sheer number of ways conversations and confrontations can play out is frankly astounding.

And the game rewards you with perks for your playstyle and your choices! Choose to let the ringleader of a terrorist organization go? You'll get a different perk than if you execute him on the spot. There's a perk for varying your approach in a conversation to keep people guessing. There's a perk for getting your mission handler to like you, but there's also one for getting them to dislike you. There's perks for getting to the end of the game with every character loving or hating you! There's even a perk called Swiss Diplomacy if you can get there while keeping absolutely everyone neutral towards you! There's an enemy you can try to bait out into fighting you by using sarcastic, taunting lines of dialogue, but if your character doesn't do that consistently, he'll realize he's being baited and will leave! You can get people to turn on each other, give you information and supplies, taunt them over the bodies of their loved ones, or save their lives, and the game acknowledges just about every single choice you make.

The fact that the game was pulled from Steam not too long ago over licensing kerfuffles is an absolute goddamn shame. Alpha Protocol is a game that only gets better the more you play it, as you discover the ludicrous depth the dev team sunk into it, and I still find it to be a triumph of game design.



whoof that was some words, I'll probably write some more later

Hulk Smash!
Jul 14, 2004



theshim posted:

Alpha Protocol
I also really like how the game handles different, less usual, difficulty options. To start the game as a veteran, you first have to beat it as a recruit. As a veteran you have many more skill points to start with. As a recruit, you have next to nothing.

The best part? The NPCs react differently than with a normal start if you're a recruit or veteran and the game provides additional choices just for those.

TheMostFrench
Jul 12, 2009

Stop for me, it's the claw!



In no particular order.

Diablo 2:
Really guided me into RPGs with character progression, looting, farming, and a bunch of ideas that are pretty common in a lot of games today. D2 had an especially eerie atmosphere that drew me into the world, and despite being limited to a small isometric perspective I always wanted to explore as much of every area as I could before moving on because it felt so interesting. Enemies felt dangerous, I had to be prepared, and coming together with a bunch of strangers online to bring down bosses always left me with a winning feeling.

Age of Empires 2:
I played AoE 1 before I was old enough to get 'the point' of RTS games, it was just make guys, walk around, do things, hit each other. I didn't really care how to win. AoE2 was a big deal because it had this next level of presentation that made me give a poo poo about stuff like victory conditions, and how to beat the enemy. It also had these things that just felt entirely novel in spite of its seriousness, like sheep herding. Being able to build what felt like a true town or city with walls and gates made everything feel like it had meaning - that base was mine, and I'd be damned if the enemy was going to take me down. Finally reaching the Castle Age really brought that feeling home, and having access to a variety of powerful siege weapons to destroy the enemy base, after all the work I had put into my own, made winning all the more satisfying.

Total Annihilation:
This was a new one for me - The concept of 'never ending' resources with a focus on creating a productive war machine to just constantly drive units towards the enemy. If you had a parent or grandparent who got you to sit with them and watch world war documentaries, TA felt (to me) like a futuristic version of how those docos looked - big explosions, huge numbers of vehicles and troops rushing towards each other under streams of gunfire, aircraft everywhere, huge artillery, and the incredible music that went with it all (which changed if you got into a fight, pretty cool feature at the time). It was a game that really drove the imagination because the sounds and music (very heavy with the right sound system) made the scale feel so much larger than it actually was.

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


Half Life Mods:
The main game wasn't actually that great to me when I was young, I didn't know what was going on and I never completed it in full until Half Life 2 came out, I think everyone got a copy of it in 'The Orange Box'. What WAS great to me was the mod scene - there were so many great mods for Half Life that kept it going, with obvious ones like Team Fortress Classic or Sven Co-op, and things that didn't seem like they should be possible like Natural Selection and The Specialists.

The Specialists put together a lot of great action movie stuff. Slow motion gun fighting and melee, different types of punches and kicks, wall jumps, dives and evades. You could disarm enemies and grab their guns out of the air, if someone threw a grenade at you then you could spin kick it back at them. Lots of awesome things for such an old game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D6ZQOX5URs

Natural Selection was like Starcraft meets Alien VS Predator in the GoldSrc engine. The term 'Total Conversion' used to be a lot more common in those days. The Marine team had an RTS style commander who dropped buildings and weapons from a top down view, and Aliens could evolve to a species called the 'Gorge' which created structures like resources towers, chambers (defense, sensory, movement) and hives that all gave access to new abilities and also improved the respawn rate. NS2 got rid of this difference and both teams had commanders/hive minds, with the gorge being more like a support unit.

There was some awesome variety in the Aliens with poison spraying bats, teleporting humanoids, giant rhinos that could eat another Marine player whole (putting them out of action for an extended period).
The Marines required awesome teamplay, being able to build phase gates to move the team instantly around the map, scan for invisible enemies, build turrets that could shoot structures through walls, and also had suits of heavy armour, or jetpacks.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t56hDFpXon8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkYLEYkZcgg


Homeworld Cataclysm:
This game rocked. It took everything about Homeworld and expanded on it massively. It wasn't a true sequel though, focusing on different clans and families in space, the characters you played in Homeworld were not really mentioned, but some of the factions introduced in the original now had more personality and it felt like a very developed universe. The modular designs and movements of the ships were very cool, it was fun to just sit around watching things move around and take themselves apart and back together again, and the story was fantastic with a real sense of urgency. It's now known as Homeworld Emergence and can still be purchased from sites like gog.com

Back when Let's Play was a thing unique to Something Awful, it was the first game I ever recorded- unfortunately it was also before youtube was the main platform people used (we even advised against using youtube for reasons I can't remember) and the videos don't exist anymore, but it was great to be able to really explore the game in depth along with other people.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDcELUCroDs

TheMostFrench fucked around with this message at 16:03 on Mar 22, 2021

Dominoes
Sep 20, 2007



Bro - I still think AOE2 and Natural Selection are 2 of the top multiplayer games, ever.

Some context on AOE2: It came out in 1999. Since then, there has never been a period where it didn't have an active online community. It gets monthly patches, and yesterday was the end of a tournament that ended in a $90K USD cash prize. I play it several times a week with my brother.

Ibexaz
Jul 23, 2013

The faces he makes while posting are inexcusable! When he writes a post his face is like a troll double checking bones to see if there's any meat left! When I post I look like a peacock softly kissing a rose! Didn't his parents provide him with a posting mirror to practice forums faces growing up?


New Super Metis posted:

There are things I haven’t seen or played or read yet that I’m sure would fit on this list -- I know 13 Sentinels is definitely one, and Telling Lies from the same developer as Her Story -- so please if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Hello! Response from page 1 and I don't know if anyone else in the thread recommended these but based on your list here I'd recommend the films Coherence, The Invitation, Resolution, and The Endless.

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Polo-Rican
Jul 3, 2004

emptyquote my posts or die

Vandar posted:

Every time I've tried Grimrock 2, I seem to gently caress up somewhere in character building and end up getting my rear end handed to me before too long. Got any tips or advice there?

It's pretty hard to screw up character creation so badly that you can't win.

The issue is probably how you're dealing with combat, and the combat system is admittedly a little misleading. Since it's an old school RPG, you imagine you should just face the enemies and attack. But really, this isn't a turn-based game, it's real-time, so you should be constantly circle strafing and dancing, which greatly reduces the number of hits you take. It's pretty easy to dance around so that a single enemy can never hit you! The biggest risk is positioning: getting stuck in a narrow hallway or getting cornered.

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