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Default Last game you finished, tell us about it

February 26th, 2013, 17:48
I hate respawning items. Not only does it ruin any loot suspense, it eliminates the virtual breadcrumb trail that lets me know where i've been. In samey looking environments like endless sci fi corridors or underworld tunnels and caverns, it can lead to a ton of backtracking and trying to figure out where you are.
Last edited by xSamhainx; February 26th, 2013 at 18:10.
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February 27th, 2013, 11:46
Last game that I finished was Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 9. Yeah, I'm into classic gaming. But both endings were awesome.
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February 27th, 2013, 18:17
Originally Posted by first_watch View Post
Last game that I finished was Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 9. Yeah, I'm into classic gaming. But both endings were awesome.
Chrono Trigger was great, and it's one of the few jRPGs that has withstood the test of time for me. It's a shame there was never a worthy sequel.

I didn't care for FF9 much. I remember it having very impressive (for the time) cinematics, but neither the story or characters grabbed me at all.
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February 28th, 2013, 05:29
I played Archeage.. but its not yet translated to English so still not out in the market…
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March 19th, 2013, 02:24
Finally managed to finish Diablo III with my level 33 Witch Doc. Had been playing this game on and off since it came out across various patches. Recently forced myself to decide on whether to either uninstall unfinished or to finally give it one last effort and the latter option won.

On a whole I'm not a big fan of hack and slay and so it may come as no big surprise that I consider Diablo III as a fairly mediocre game. Its only redeeming qualities (to me) were a sense of nostalgia and the usual Blizzard polish.
Other than that I found it to be boring as hell (pun intended! ).
I remember a Diablo 2 where you got bombarded with rares, (some) legendaries, set items and all kinds of nice loot that kept you pushing forward in hopes of just one more awesome drop or another set piece or another recipe for the Horadric cube or…

None of that in Diablo 3. In my ~30+ hours of playing the game (only on normal, of course) I got exactly one legendary drop and zero set items. There was only junk, magical items and the occasional rare. What a bore!
They completely ruined one of the major cornerstones of motivation for this type of game. Incredibly stupid.

Also, where the hell was the challenge? I remember always keeping a finger on the potion button in Diablo/Diablo 2 just in case…

None of that in Diablo 3. The Butcher gave me some trouble and the Act 2 boss also took a couple of tries. Other than that: Zero challenge. The intermediate purple "mini" bosses were all pushovers. Diablo Itself just took long but wasn't overly hard to kill (managed to finish him off on the first try).
Other than these one and a half hard bosses, the other ~30 hours of play were one big mindless slaughter. Zero tactics, zero effort, zero putting-some-thought-into-how-to-skill, nothing…

Nah. Blizzard really need to try again and bring back the fun that was Diablo/Diablo 2. It ain't exactly rocket science (though Blizzard sure does like to pretend as such with their pretentious 'tude and dev cycles but after this game I'm having an even harder time to take them serious anymore).

Verdict: Not recommended unless you have ~30 hours to flush away. It may get much better on Nightmare with more challenge and better drops but I'm definitely not going to find out. If you have a pet that can push buttons then I'd recommend to let your pet finish normal mode for you so you can play the game the way it was probably meant to be on Nightmare. If you don't have a button-mashing-capable pet, don't bother!
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March 19th, 2013, 08:49
To be fair, though, Diablo 2 was comparably easy on Normal.

Almost all games in this genre that follow the same difficulty progression starts out with the first difficulty being like a tutorial - and as you move through them, the games open up and you start getting challenged soon enough - and you get better loot. That said, Diablo 3 is definitely a bit extreme in how easy it is at Normal.

Arguably, the game doesn't start until Inferno for a lot of players.

Other than that, though, I agree the itemization sucks - and not just in terms of drop rate. The game does a few things really well - and as much as people claim to hate the story - I think it was ok, and certainly the presentation is beyond any other contemporary competitor. It's quite immersive for a hack and slash game.

The skills themselves are cool - and you really get into the fighting. The amount of skills with their own unique feel and animations is also very impressive and few games can compare. Sadly, the skill system is crap.

Overall, I think they've improved the game with patches - and it's a decent game now. By no means a great game - and certainly not close to competing with the best in the genre, but I think people are being too hard on it.
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March 23rd, 2013, 02:39
Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs does, at first glance, look like an open world GTA clone, and while there are similarities between the two, the games have a very different feel to them.

Story & setting
In Sleeping Dogs you play as an undercover cop, who has to infiltrate the triads in Hong Kong. While the core story itself might be nothing to write home about, most of the characters, even the ones that you are supposed to dislike, feel like they have have reasons for what they do, things that motivates them on a personal level. This is in particular true for the first part of the game, where the story has a rather personal tone to it.
Sadly as the game's story expands, to cover events that does not just deal with the starting part of Hong Kong, the story goes downhill. Less time is spent on each character, which means that only a few are given enough screentime for proper character development. The later parts feel rushed, and not nearly as well thought out as the early parts.

There is also a dating part of the game. Something that very well could have been an interesting addition, the main character is after all an undercover cop in the triads, and letting the player try to deal with his personal life at the same time as he tries to take down the triads could well have been an interesting thing. Sadly, this feels incredibly underdeveloped, as each girl is given a single "quest" for you to do, and instead of having the characters connect on some personal level, you are given a reward in the form of map markers showing up for particular things (depending on the girl). And you'll have the option to "date" all of the girls, with no repercussions, in fact the game encourages it, and only once is it mentioned that one girl might not like it (but as you don't see her ever again, it does not matter anyway).

The city itself feels relatively large, and there are plenty of people out an about, which makes the city feel alive. Sadly, there are not enough for it to feel like it has the population of the actual real world city, but even a high end PC would probably have trouble with actually having so many NPCs.

Gameplay
The core gameplay is surprisingly solid in Sleeping Dogs, in particular the melee system. The main character has several different "moves" available, and more are unlocked as the game progresses. From simple punches & kicks, to throws, jump kicks and counters. And the combat flows really well, giving it a very good "feel". It really does feel like you are in almost complete control of the character.
The gunplay is considerably worse, but still not bad. It works, but many games have done it better in the past.
And even the driving controls work (much unlike how it is in Saint's Row 2, where driving in the unmodded game is painful).

There are several different ways for the main character to grow stronger. After each mission you are given two types of experience, one for the "cop" side and one for the "triad" side. These are not mutually exclusive, instead the potential "cop" experience starts maxed out at the start of each mission, and any bad thing you do will lower it (this includes stealing things, hurting or killing civilians or property damage). Triad experience is earned as you deal with enemies, and the better you do it, the more you get (a headshot is worth more than just killing the enemy by shooting it repeatedly in the foot). The cop experience encourages you to actually behave like a human being, and not just drive like an idiot, while the triad experience encourages good use of the combat system.

There are also collectibles in the form of jade statues & health shrines. The statues are used for learning new moves from a martial arts instructor, while the health shrines increases maximum health. Sadly these two (the shrines in particular) feel rather "gamey", and immersion breaking. Cruising around, looking for shrines to pray in front of in order to increase max health just does not feel right, and detracts from the overall experience. There are also other minor collectibles, but these feel more optional.

There are no shortage of sidequests either, both in the form of missions to help hte police and those that helps members that in some way are related to the triads, and the rewards for these is experience. Also, there are street races & fighting events, both of which feel appropriate in terms of how they are presented.

Technical
Even on my aging computer, the game ran just fine, and it still managed to look pretty good. There were a few bugs here and there, but I did not experience anything serious. The worst thing that happened was when a boat I was in suddenly sunk right at the start of a mission, which forced a reload (as I died due to this). But apart from some minor oddities, the bugs were relatively far between.
This is a console port, but it is a good one. The controls do feel rather "consoley", but they are not bad.

DLC
The DLC for this game deserves a special notice. There are plenty of it, and most of it does not really matter. Some add some new fighting styles, but as I don't own those, I can't comment on them, and some are just cosmetic. There are two pieces of free DLC as well, one of which adds high res textures, and the other give you some more hats.

Then there are the story content DLCs. These give you stories separate from the main game, but one of them is played during the course of the main campaign. The Zodiak tournament can be accessed at any point during the main campaign, but it is recommended that you do it late during it, due to the challenging combat. Nightmare in Northpoint give you a rather strange story about the walking dead that has an entirely different tone than the main game. Both of these are worth buying on a sale, but they are short. I can't comment on Year of the Snake, as I've not played it.

Be warned that there is actually some cheat DLC for this game, and unless you want to make the game easier, avoid these like the plague. These are not properly marked as cheat DLC though. The cheat DLC include: Top Dog Gold Pack, The Red Envelope Pack, The High Roller Pack & Top Dog Silver Pack. These mean that it might not be worth buying any complete DLC packs, as you really don't want to have them (Deus Ex HR had the same problem as the Tactical Enhancement Pack was a straight up cheat DLC, giving you a lot more money and two extra weapons)

Closing words
Overall Sleeping Dogs was a really good game. It lost some steam towards the later parts, but it still remained fun. It was also somewhat lengthy, at 23h (and I did not do everything). This game is strongly recommended for anyone who have even a slight interest in these types of games.
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March 27th, 2013, 23:01
Bioshock Infinite

Hmm, well… How to put this.

Possibly the best game I've played in my time. Considering we're talking about several thousands of games and I'm quite the picky sort - that has to mean something.

Well, maybe not THE best game - but definitely in my top 5 and in terms of experience it's nothing if not unique.

It does resemble Bioshock quite a bit - but unlike that game, I wasn't expecting a true System Shock game. That's in its favor.

But as a shooter, it's miles ahead of it. I never much cared for the "shooter feel" of Bioshock and felt it was average at best.

Infinite feels like a great shooter and all the weapons are strong. I adore sniper rifles, and this one is among the best of its kind. I also tend to go with "normal" weapons - and I chose the Carbine as my second one - and it's also a great implementation. I didn't try the other weapons all that much - but from what I can tell, they're all very nicely handled.

The powers are all very different and very useful - exactly as they should be. The same goes for the "gear" and I can already see a handful of interesting builds - if you're into that sort of thing.

Boiled down to its basic gameplay - Bioshock Infinite is much better than Bioshock. Everything is refined and you can tell they spent a LOT of time polishing the core of the game. The Sky Lines are great - and they do more for the experience than I thought. I would have expected them to be an even bigger part of the game, but they're certainly there enough to be extremely integral to the whole thing. I wouldn't call it much of an evolution - but it's also not negligible. It's something new in a genre that desperately needs something new.

The much more open nature of the levels allow for some wonderful long range combat - which I really missed in Bioshock. There's a ton of opportunities to take advantage of the environment and sniper rifles are obviously strong at range. You can get as creative as you want, without the game really demanding that of you. That's how I like it.

However, the gameplay is not really what makes it so fantastic. It's just a requirement for making what's fantastic shine.

Unlike Bioshock, this game isn't just a great and promising premise. In fact, I'd say the premise and the location of Columbia isn't quite as strong as the underwater city known as Rapture. However, it's still amazingly well made and the story stays strong and engaging from start to finish. Bioshock fizzled out around halfway through, and you definitely didn't want to pay too much attention to details as it'd fall apart pretty quickly.

Now, I haven't had time to digest Bioshock Infinite - and given the nature of the plot and what goes on as you progress - there's ample space for a zillion plot holes. But I honestly haven't noticed any as I've played through it. That's about all I need from my plots. So, in this way - it's FAR ahead of Bioshock. It's also dealing with some seriously interesting stuff - but I won't get into that for fear of spoiling the story.

What I WILL say - is that the ending is, without a shred of doubt, the single best ending of any game I've ever played.

As for the other "big" part of the game, that's obviously the character of Elizabeth. She has to be the LEAST annoying and MOST useful of any NPC in a game I've played. I didn't have a SINGLE issue with her being stuck or her doing something that I wouldn't want her to do (except for some story stuff, but I'm talking technical stuff here). That's quite an accomplishment. I think the best part of her is that they've managed to make her very endearing and completely non-sexualised. I found that surprising, given that she's not THAT young. But they stayed completely away from that without it seeming wrong or forced - and there's a very good reason for it as well, which I won't spoil. She even manages to beat that girl from ICO when it comes to sympathising with her plight.

That's not all the good parts. No, not by far. The game has several interesting choices as you progress - and I have no idea what it will be like with different ones. I can't say if they're truly significant or not - but there's one particular choice that has to be. But this means that it's quite replayable - and the gear/power/weapon design is such that you'd have to play through it 3-4 times to see all the interesting combinations. That's another thing that you didn't get with Bioshock - but they've learned their lesson here.

Want more good stuff? Well, there's the playtime. Steam tells me I played for 19 hours - but you can probably take away an hour or two of idle time and stuff. I think I probably played for 16-18 hours - and I didn't go OCD all the way. That's a decent chunk more than both System Shock 2 and Bioshock - both of which I completed in significantly less time - the first time. So, it's also quite big for this genre.

Even better? Those hours are CRAMMED with content. There's not a single other game out there with this level of unique and high-quality content with such density. It's an explorer's dream come true. You get richly rewarded by being curious and exhaustive. The design makes every toy or gift worthwhile and interesting - so it's not just a completionist thing at all.

The production values are through the roof. Everything looks amazing. Voice acting is superb - especially from the two main characters. So much quality comes at you at a relatively high pace - that you can't possibly take it all in. I certainly felt exhausted after playing it. I'm tempted to go back and replay it right now - and I never replay games. At least, I never replay them right after completing them. Only my mental exhaustion prevents me from doing it now.

Talking about pacing - this game was made with someone like myself in mind. Unlike the vast majority of shooters (including the more "cerebral" ones like Dead Space) - this game has a LOT of quiet moments. It does exactly what it should do - which is to give you room to enjoy everything about it - and you really get to soak up the content as you prepare for your next encounter. I think you play for something like 45 minutes before you even get into your first fight - and though the pace slowly ramps up - it never suffocates you with a feeling of grinding similar fights.

The balance is also strong. I played on Hard mode - and it started out being surprisingly hard. Then it became somewhat too easy, only to soon after become quite challenging. Even with a semi-optimised gear/weapon setup - I felt very challenged for most of the game. I don't know how 1999 mode sets itself apart, but I think it would have been too hard for a first playthrough. For my inevitable second playthrough, however, it's a given.

Of course, there's the automatic respawn mechanic - but I think it works well enough. You're respawned with half health - and your enemies get health back as well. Taking people out with melee is much harder than it was in Bioshock (though it might be easier if you spec for it) - so you can't just whittle away health. You'll eventually run out of ammo - so it's not really a good idea to keep dying. I don't much mind it.

Something even better? There are NO stupid boss fights. All fights follow fair rules and you don't have to do "gamey" shit to get through anything. MUCH better than Bioshock.

Surely there must be something bad about the game?

Well, yeah - a few things.

Surround sound support seems borked - and I know I'm not the only one. It actually seems to NOT support it at all - though I can't really believe that. Anyway, I couldn't get it working.

I was not THAT impressed with Columbia. At first, it was fantastic - and you really get into that whole bright "up in the air" thing - but it never quite matches Rapture. In fact, I think somewhere around the middle of the game, the location takes a clear back seat to the story and the characters. In Bioshock, the primary character was Rapture. Not so here.

I missed the hacking. Bioshock hacking was tiresome at length, but as done in System Shock 2 - it's a nice addition to spice up the gameplay. Also, I think the security systems were a bit superfluous - seeing as how you couldn't shut them down or anything. But they did add the secret codes and the lockpick mechanic - so it almost evens out

I think that's about it for the bad stuff.

I was sort of pissed at Ken Levine after Bioshock. Partly because it wasn't System Shock and partly because I didn't appreciate the attention it got - when System Shock should have gotten it back in 1994. Also, I didn't care for how Levine failed to follow through on the strong premise - and I frankly thought he was a bit of a hack designer.

I don't know how much of Levine is in Infinite - but clearly he's a big part of bringing it to life. He's definitely behind the story and the characters - and that's enough for me.

He's been redeemed in my eyes - and I must concede that he's a very talented guy.

Bioshock Infinite is something you need to play - and you need to play it right now.

9.5/10
Last edited by DArtagnan; March 27th, 2013 at 23:31.
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March 27th, 2013, 23:44
So story was strong even though Levine said story wasn't important a while back?
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March 28th, 2013, 08:05
Yes, I think all aspects related to the story were strong in this game. That includes plot, characters, and especially how it's all delivered throughout the game. Things are brought to life on screen in a powerful way that's way beyond the norm.

Games are unique in how they can make you feel part of what's going on, and that's a very engaging experience when handled well. I don't know how the story would work in another medium - but here it works very well indeed.

I don't know what you think Levine might have said, but as far as I know - he believes that a story should serve a game and not the other way around. For Bioshock - he talked about writing the story very late in the process, and that makes sense. I suspect he spent more time on the story in Infinite, especially because it's more than just a strong premise wrapped in a cliché. But I don't think a premise is something you need to work on for a long time - and the hardship involved is how to follow up on that premise and how to present everything within the game world. How you do THAT - is most definitely important, and I'm pretty sure Levine would agree.
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March 28th, 2013, 12:54
9.5?
What's -0.5?
No boobs?

Anyway, I don't need to play it. Sorry. A shooter, less than 20 hours to beat, cmon. You're talking about a playthtough time in a 1/10 adventure.

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March 28th, 2013, 19:40
Why are you apologizing? It's as if you're saying it should matter to me whether you're going to play it or not.

When I said you need to play it - I didn't actually mean YOU - but rather all the people who're reasonably sane and have interest in fantastic games.
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March 28th, 2013, 20:22
I'll probably play it, but must have more reviews before I buy it. It seems a bit gimmicky; need more info about the gameplay. I'm a bit tired of shooting from ME3 MP.
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March 28th, 2013, 20:49
Unlike ME3, it's not made without passion or vision. Also, you can just about reverse the combat to exploration ratio from ME3 to Infinite. As in, shooting is something you do in between the exploration and story delivery - where in Mass Effect 3 - story delivery and exploration was something you did in between the shooting.

Still, you have to enjoy shooting and you'd have to enjoy the "Shock" formula.
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March 28th, 2013, 20:52
Well glad to know it has more exploration. That's a big plus in my book.
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March 28th, 2013, 20:58
As it is in mine

I can't stand pure shooters.
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March 28th, 2013, 21:20
I played the first CoD and that was it for the series.
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March 28th, 2013, 21:24
I couldn't even stomach the first one. I don't remember the last pure shooter I bothered to complete.

Maybe it was the last Wolfenstein game that came out some years ago. I barely got through it and that's only because I have a thing for the fantastical Nazi stuff. I find it delightfully silly.
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March 28th, 2013, 21:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
When I said you need to play it - I didn't actually mean YOU - but rather all the people who're reasonably sane and have interest in fantastic games.
Look, I may be a common lunatic and will describe sometimes myself with those words, but would never go so low to call anyone else with words like that.

Posting to someone that he is not reasonably sane is a pure insult. Adding to it that he, whoever it is, is looking for whatever and not fantastic games is just a touch of class.

Well, thanks.

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March 28th, 2013, 21:39
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Look, I may be a common lunatic and will describe sometimes myself with those words, but would never go so low to call anyone else with words like that.

Posting to someone that he is not reasonably sane is a pure insult. Adding to it that he, whoever it is, is looking for whatever and not fantastic games is just a touch of class.

Well, thanks.
I, however, have absolutely no problem with calling you insane and obviously not a seeker of fantastic games.

So, you're welcome

(sometimes, DArt is slightly sarcastic. you're probably not insane - just a bit lacking in sanity)
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