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Videogame thread

Light Sanctity

안녕하세요, 제 이름은 라이트닝 입니다.
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Yep ^ have to agree with Mr. U; finding a genre of games you enjoy is a big factor but also you'd have to understand that a lot of dumb things will happen that you would never see. You also learn a lot about the game you play :)
 

brightobject

there like moonlight
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Recently had the pleasure of playing through Pixel's Cave Story (finished Wind Sanctuary + Boss Rush in addition to the main story) and Kero Blaster (played up through Omake, and am still grinding some achievements). Both are really excellent games--Cave Story is one of the tightest-designed adventure games I have played in a long time, and Kero Blaster is like a further compressed, more arcade-y distillation of the core of what made Cave Story so fun to play. (note: spoilers for Cave Story!)

Cave Story in particular is just ahead of the curve, especially in how it eases the player into difficulty. The leveling system feels almost souls-like in the way it creates risk and reward as you carve a path through a dungeon. I love how the game is satisfyingly short for a single playthrough, but is filled with so many clues hinting at different paths to take over the course of one that it begs you to play a second time. I unfortunately got spoiled on the Booster skip, but was able to find the rest of the secrets the game had to offer using the Steam achievements as hints, and found it really rewarding!

Over the course of the game there are increasingly lengthy and treacherous runbacks to bosses (e.g., the Labyrinth runback to Monster X compared to the much more arduous runback to the Sisters in Egg Corridor, and finally the three/four boss gauntlet blocking the Normal Ending), which prepare you for the insane trek that is the Bloodstained Sanctuary. The True Ending path even sets up for BSS via a much more difficult Final Cave, showing the game was designed for an experience spanning multiple playthroughs.

The levels also have a nice mix of appearing organic while being very smart about the way in which obstacles are introduced and thrown at the player--a great example would be the Rollers appearing early on in BSS in a relatively safe setting in order to foreshadow their appearance in the Heavy Press boss-fight, or the Deletes starting out in innocuous corridors before quickly blocking key escape routes.

I do think the game holds back from reaching maximum difficulty (this is something present in Kero Blaster too--the lack of infinitely respawning enemies makes hit-and-run tactics really viable even in BSS), which is where I guess time attack comes in and challenge mode. I found Boss Attack a bit boring (and had no desire to revisit Bloodstained Sanctuary lol), but Wind Fortress was surprisingly fun and tested booster skills in ways not present in the main game. All in all, a phenomenal game--at the very least try out the freeware version! could not recommend more!


Kero Blaster is a great dessert after pushing my way through the Cave Story's main course, since it's inherited a ton of the run and gun gameplay from the latter. It sheds any pretense of being an exploration game (Cave Story is surprisingly linear, and better for it I think) and is a simple linear arcade platformer. It's just honest, good fun--one playthrough is even shorter than Cave Story's, but like Cave Story it's designed around multiple playthroughs with a MUCH more punishing second campaign and a refurbished new game+ after that for a victory lap.

Kero Blaster being linear and more retro-arcadey also means Pixel gets to be more open about levels being levels-if that makes sense. This means the platforming is much more concentrated than in Cave Story most times. The bosses are just as good as Cave Story (I feel like Pixel is really good at creating very simple patterns that are still satisfying to navigate around). Overall, a fantastic game. It also has some meta elements with the story seemingly referencing Pixel's time working with Nicalis and general themes of work culture.

My one major gripe with this game is the life system. I guess its inclusion feels like a no-brainer given the game's retro vibe, but it really just feels like an artificial way to inflate the difficulty of the game. I think Kero Blaster does achieve a balance here by having levels be so short that it's not that difficult to return to where u were after a game over, but something feels wanting here. Not sure what the alternative would be, but 1ups felt pretty valueless in the game.The player character's hit-box is also kind of hard to gauge when it's basically a huge mound of pixels, which can lead to some frustrating hits and deaths when close-quarters dodging. But all things considered--great value for the ridiculously low price.


Both games also have an amazing sense of humor, not just narratively or artwise but also in terms of design--one particularly trolly jump lin Cave Story comes to mind, where an absent block is hidden by background tiles. I was only be fooled by it once and got a good laugh out of it since I respawned in the previous room--it was a great moment of feeling connected to the developer. There's some of that in Kero Blaster too, but a bit--I hesitate to say meaner, but the game's life system and other caveats definitely change the tone of such moments.

tl;dr both of these games own. Highly recommend playing Kero Blaster after trying out Cave Story!

Also sidenote but I can't be the only one seeing the amount of design influence BSS and Ballos must have had on the Sans fight, right? The battle-by-attrition style of difficulty, unforgiving "runback," and lore drops throughout both fights make me think Toby Fox must have had Ballos on his mind when building Genocide route. Maybe it's just me though.
 
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I started playing Genshin and I want to talk about it now.
Due to Righteous Moral Opposition to the concept of gacha I swore to myself I would never play genshin impact.

Unfortunately I began playing it anyways. Whenever the game isnt annoying me with dogshit mobile game esque grinding and gacha screw I am shocked at how good it is. I am now several hundreds of hours in and its safe to say that the 祖国 has me by the balls.

The story is cheesy-as but enjoyable in a way that only the most earnest of weeby anime crap can be.

The world and soundtrack are gorgeous. First time in years I have played a game where I have to put down my controller and stare at the monitor in awe. Not only is the world absolutely massive but it is filled with the kind of detail that makes you feel you're walking around a gallery. Qingyun peaks might be my favourite location in any video game ever.
Constant chests, quest pop-ups, interesting geography, and NPCs means you can be anywhere on the map and immediately see something to do.

Combat is very simple but has loads of skill expression. The game is easy but good timing, good builds and elemental combos can shorten a fight that might take minutes into seconds.

I can't recommend child-friendly gambling in good conscious. You can consume all the content entirely as a free-2-play (f2P) but this game will do everything in its power to convince you to gamble your hard-earned rent money. If you know you have a problem with gambling or other vices, don't play Genshin. If you do play Genshin, don't ever spend. Not even once. This is an Asian market gacha game meaning you can spend hundreds of dollars and still not get shit.

I'm playing the game in Japanese (both text and voice) but I re-watched a lot of the story content in English. Holy fuck is the translation all over the place. It's usually passable but many scenes are made significantly more awkward and unclear from the localisation.
Chinese speaking friends have also confirmed that English Genshin is pretty woeful compared to the original Chinese. Voice acting also takes a noticeable hit in the English translation but luckily you can just change the voice acting language without changing the text language.

The game's systems feel like they encourage playing Genshin the wrong way. This is the kind of game where I'd prefer to spend 9 hours a day binging it and then forget it exists for a month until the next patch. However, dailies, and a bunch of other grindy shit means that the developer sanctioned "optimum way" to play the game is to just login for 20 minutes every day, do menial tasks, and then leave. The rewards should be much bigger but occur much less often (though that wont happen because Genshin's monetisation system benefits from daily players)

Genshin is an absolutely spectacular one-of-a-kind game with crap gambling and mobile-game esque padding in every corner. I'm not sure a game on the massive scale of genshin could exist without gacha shit attached, but I still wish it didn't have it. As much as I'm opposed to gacha it's on legislators to stop it from getting to out of hand. Not consumers and companies.
Anyway the OST is absolutely fucking top. Some of my favourites:
Liyue's 1st battle theme
Qingyun Peak
Guyun Stone Forest
Rex Incognito

Also Albedo's theme sounds exactly like a Pokemon battle theme it is uncanny
 
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Got to plug Hitman 2, along with legacy pack. Haven’t played Hitman 3 yet, but looking forward to it. Best stealth-based game I’ve played in years and highly recommended. Loved the level design and the replay-ability with challenges.
 

Amaranth

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This will be a rare post where I'm not talking about a game I played, I'm talking about a game I worked on!

A friend of mine is a really fucking good writer and he's gotten me on board for puzzle design + proofreading on his upcoming visual novel, it drops in a couple days on December 3rd and it's called The Divine Deception. There's a free demo previewing the first few chapters if you want to try it out before spending money on it, which is out already.

I really really like this project and it's been absolutely amazing to be a part of it, we would greatly appreciate if you tried it out - to a small team of amateur devs it means a lot :heart:
 

Finland

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This will be a rare post where I'm not talking about a game I played, I'm talking about a game I worked on!

A friend of mine is a really fucking good writer and he's gotten me on board for puzzle design + proofreading on his upcoming visual novel, it drops in a couple days on December 3rd and it's called The Divine Deception. There's a free demo previewing the first few chapters if you want to try it out before spending money on it, which is out already.

I really really like this project and it's been absolutely amazing to be a part of it, we would greatly appreciate if you tried it out - to a small team of amateur devs it means a lot :heart:
I feel more interest in vns lately and i might give this a shot if i have time, so long as bootcamp serves me well lol. could be back here in time!

While i'm here, though, i'll talk about two extremely different games.

First is Death Palette / Matsuro Palette. Ever since I stopped Madden Mobile, I haven't been much of a mobile gamer, but I saw a horror Youtuber I like play MP and I got immediately captivated. Most games he plays are a bit grim for my personal playing taste, but this one looked like it hit my black comedy sweetspot. You're stuck with this painting of a girl (my current avi!) and use various hints to decide what you'll add to it. No art skills required, I would know. However, if you mess something up, you Die. If she wants an apple and you don't paint her an apple, you Die. If it's the wrong color, you Die. If it's in the wrong place, you Die. Die, Die, Die, Die. It's pretty hilarious all the mistakes you can make and how she'll individually react to each one. You are clever but this game will slip something past you, and even if your death feels silly or cheap, it's more funny than cheaty, and it's part of the spirit. You just immediately try the day again anyway.

I got the funny deaths I came for, but the game's art, music, and story blew me away. The former two really speak to my likes and aesthetics, enough that I ported a whole six of its tracks to my playlist. Here's my favorite. The monochrome and abstract environment, along with the music establishing itself strongly without becoming fatiguing, go a long way to cloistering the game's little enchanted, magical world. Some of the scattered objects and motifs will help you solve puzzles. Others won't. Place in MP is not a tool subjugated for players solving puzzles, but rather a self-contained environment that you are lucky enough to find puzzle solutions in. This contributes a lot to MP imposing its own unique presence, and is very impressive to achieve given its very contained size. Speaking of contained... I won't spill much more because the game is very short (and also free). Unless you take every single death, it likely won't last more than a couple hours. And there's something appropriate about that. You'll see.

Now let's shift gears from two hours to hundreds.

ss_8fd59f3fbd79b674c2ea37adefe97051505c7b68.1920x1080.jpg


How do I even talk about ADOM? I've played it on and off for at least 5 years, and I just got my first win this past week. Screw that, though, as it's existed for more than 25 years with fairly recent updates.

ADOM is a rougelike. If you die you lose and that's it. There are a handful of ways to win and a thousand to die. I've lost legitimate runs to shooting myself with a spell, getting sacrificed to Chaos by a kobold, and choking on my own vomit. If you want a strange way to kill time, just look at Ways to Lose. Like a certain article on this very site, some on that wiki are endlessly engaging reads.

As fun a topic as deaths are, they just serve to show the amazing intricacy and flexibility of ADOM. "Rougelike" also means a lot of locations, enemies, and weapons are randomly generated. Your main (there are many to pick from) dungeon, the fifty-floor Caverns of Chaos, has plenty of space for random. However, it's absolutely not a bare-bones sandbox, instead filled with unique locations, npcs, and enemies. One lower floor has a sub-dungeon which itself splits off into two more sub-dungeons, each with their own quest. To avoid spoilers: those quests are somewhat hard! This game is somewhat hard!

But what makes ADOM is your ever-growing toolset balancing both long-term plans and whatever gear, weapons, wands, spellbooks, scrolls, and magic rings you find, challenging similarly varied enemies and bosses. For long-term plans, the character creation screen is extremely impactful! Your Troll Barbarian can wear mook asses like a helmet, but if you find a scroll or spellbook: you can't read! (They'll figure it out eventually.)
Beyond the basics, the great differences in both species and class give endless room for fine tuning.

...and you want to fuck everyone up with critical hits. We love crits. But why do you?

"So you press fewer buttons to rearrange their entrails." Based. Orc Barbarians can use Tremendous Blows to turn deadly bosses into origami. Just don't die.

Or you could go Chaos Knight. All Chaos Knights can be very strong, so you can pick whatever species looks most badass and start slicing. They get... "special abilities" too. Surely nothing bad happens when you pledge yourself to the Chaos God who's unmaking reality.

Or maybe you like pressing buttons, but skillfully. If you can pry yourself away from Smash quickplay, High Elf Duelists teach the wonders of melee combat without a Strength score, and Dark Elf Beastfighters hate shields and weapons, if you can manage that. But when you touch people, it can hurt a lot. Like a lot. And Monks have funny legs!

For my elite proprietary blend of melee, ranged weapons, poison, running away, you name it. Sick. Murder hobbits are weird, but Hurthling Assassins are primed to get a sick poisoned weapon, instakill powers, and the deadly power of thrown rocks. Actually!

Drakeling Fighters, besides the whole hitting people thing, can throw fancy boomerangs* and spit acid. Metal.

Weaponsmiths can like... make weapons and gear stronger and more protective? I'll be real, I don't touch this class lol. But you get something on me if you do! Like with Chaos Knights, you automatically are strong enough to hold your shit, so anyone can be strong.

So I can invest in magic without being a total wimp? That's how I won!

Healers are great jacks-of-all-trades, with melee crits, great magic potential, and, well, automatic healing. A lot of it. I won with High Elf Healer, which tilts towards the magic end, with Gnomes, Dwarves, and Drakelings progressively nearing melee.

There's also Necromancers. Not satisfied with eating all the corpses you come across? There's something else you can do...


I can only really scratch the surface of this game. The very excellent wiki goes a long way to easing experiences and informing you. You can try going fully unspoiled, but I have to wish you luck, and there's no shame in changing your mind after you get killed in enough fun and interesting ways. I'll spoil you just a bit. If you find yourself gradually being turned into a chaos mutant from Delving Too Deep: that can be bad. I'm very down to talk about this game in more depth, whether you're just starting out or experienced already! There's a free version with the perfectly cohesive ADOM Experience™, but the paid version gives some significant quality of life upgrades.
 
What pokemon clones are worth checking out? I've tried a few GBC era ones, I wasn't super impressed.

Telefang was really promising, but after a while it just wasn't very fun. Losing is extremely punishing, the turns for somebody to arrive is an extremely annoying and unnecessary flavor mechanic that doesn't really add anything to an already shallow battle system. It's just kinda shit.

Robopon I do like, but it's super grindy and it's not super clear what you're supposed to do. It's ok I think.

Maybe I should check out more ROM hacks, I did really like Pokemon Clover.
 
What pokemon clones are worth checking out?
It's only a demo rn, but coromon has been really fun for me. It twists the type and battle system just enough to feel unique without being super complicated. The spritework is also beautiful and I really like the monster design. Feels like a mix of early gen 1 with gen 7 in a good way
 
I don't really like the direction indie Pokemon clones take with their monster designs. Monster Crown, Coromon which I just found out about today, TemTem just don't really appeal to me. Temtems look like cheap fakemon anybody could crank out, Coromon look like they were ripped out of the Prodigy math game, Monster Crowns look like they're trying to duplicate the GBC style while simultaneuosly trying to get as far away from it as possible, which just doesn't work imo.

I do like Telefang's denjuu and Robopon's, well, Robopon, though. Robopon honestly doesn't deserve to get clowned as hard as it does for its designs as it does. They kind of suffer the same fate as RBG sprites, most of them are visually appealing, but they're seen as bad because people only pay attention to the worst offenders. I really like how Denjuu are designed, they have more complex designs than Pokemon, but they aren't trying to be too realistic or monsterlike, and they're just really nice to look at.

EDIT: Actually I remember playing that prodigy math game, it had a few nice designs. Maybe Coromon will have a few if I looked into it harder but :blobshrug:
 
Monster Crown i happened to find fun, mostly due to the creacher designs. The breeding system lets you get essentially whatever monsters you want, allowing you to use what you like.
 
Hmmm, ive been thinking about buying octopath traveler foe the nintendo switch, it seems fun, but i want another opinion, like, i played the demo, and i like a lot of things and hate others, i like a lot the ambientation, is pixel art in 3d withot being boxels (thats how are they called???) with realistic lighthing, seems like a weird idea, but it looks so cool, and well, the thing that i mostly hate about what i experienced in the demo... it has WALLS AND WALLS OF TEXT AND MORE TEXT, or how spanish people call it, "mucho texto" =), i never know what cutsene skip or what not because of it is important to the lore or to save time because of the demo timer, now, the thing that i like the most (that is rlly obious), the characters, i just cant hate any of them, not even a single part of them, and well, thats good, but it has a bad side, it contributes to the worst part of the game in my opinion, and to the next part, the characters are just normal square enix characters but better, fast and simple : almost all of the characters are just square enix/dragon quest characters, but just... with more things, other of the things i like of the game is the bosses, there are some that are easy, some hard, and some that just one-shot one of your characters by just having luck, but all of them are good, have good designs, things that differenciate them, etc, the only bad thing about them are the dungeons that... those are not dungeons, those are just passages with chests xD.

I dont rlly think i played the game at the 100%, because in the demo there is a 3 hour timer that ends the game whwn the 3 hours passes, and well, it doesnt rlly lets me obtain all characters in one day, and experience the game fully, i hope someone gives me an opinion =)
 
Hmmm, ive been thinking about buying octopath traveler foe the nintendo switch, it seems fun, but i want another opinion, like, i played the demo, and i like a lot of things and hate others, i like a lot the ambientation, is pixel art in 3d withot being boxels (thats how are they called???) with realistic lighthing, seems like a weird idea, but it looks so cool, and well, the thing that i mostly hate about what i experienced in the demo... it has WALLS AND WALLS OF TEXT AND MORE TEXT, or how spanish people call it, "mucho texto" =), i never know what cutsene skip or what not because of it is important to the lore or to save time because of the demo timer, now, the thing that i like the most (that is rlly obious), the characters, i just cant hate any of them, not even a single part of them, and well, thats good, but it has a bad side, it contributes to the worst part of the game in my opinion, and to the next part, the characters are just normal square enix characters but better, fast and simple : almost all of the characters are just square enix/dragon quest characters, but just... with more things, other of the things i like of the game is the bosses, there are some that are easy, some hard, and some that just one-shot one of your characters by just having luck, but all of them are good, have good designs, things that differenciate them, etc, the only bad thing about them are the dungeons that... those are not dungeons, those are just passages with chests xD.

I dont rlly think i played the game at the 100%, because in the demo there is a 3 hour timer that ends the game whwn the 3 hours passes, and well, it doesnt rlly lets me obtain all characters in one day, and experience the game fully, i hope someone gives me an opinion =)
Take this review with a grain of salt, I'm well aware my preferences with RPGs can be nonstandard.

Even after the first chapters with each character, you don't have any major interaction between the party characters (it's limited to optional dialogue between events). There does appear to be an overarching plot, but it only shows up late in most character's stories. Depending on how you feel about multiple different stories with the same combat party, this may not be a huge issue.

I found the sidequests difficult to figure out what to do. A lot of them came down to brute-forcing map actions on the relevant NPC, though I also had occasional trouble figuring out which NPC was important for a given quest and just went about interrogating/beating up/robbing the entire town. It's hard to tell if it's an issue with the game or I'm just really bad at reading minor NPC dialogue. I don't necessarily find it a huge deal overall, though I believe one quest chain is required for an alternate ending and its one that I've had problems with.

The overall map is a formulaic set of routes, and side dungeons don't seem to have a lot interesting going on unless a quest specifically directs you towards it. It is fully open if you can manage to avoid encounters that would wipe you out, though the main reward of doing so seemed to be getting to late-game towns earlier for the ability to buy higher-tier equipment. Not what I would call a strong point.

Equipment is very strong compared to level scaling, which is good since you will probably end up with very skewed levels among the party. That said, I'm always bad at remembering to update my equipment, so this made things harder for me.

You eventually get the ability to multiclass characters, though only with one other at a time (though you keep unlocked passives) and only one character can use a given secondary class (including characters not currently in the party). To me, this is a clear highlight of the game, since it allows for a lot of interesting combinations (such as combining the Warrior's taunt with the Merchant's self-heal and dodge), even if the one secondary class restriction can be annoying at times. There are extra classes only available as secondaries, but they require fighting bonus bosses to unlock. Not a huge fan of that decision, I prefer having that type of boss being able to test the player at full capability.

A lot of the base mechanics are quite good, and I had a lot of fun up through the midgame. That said, I'm really not a fan of reactively healing with consumable items, so later bosses stopped feeling fun once I could no longer deal with their attacks by applying status (bosses with AoE magic attacks are a standout, since none of the base classes have a group buff to magic defense or a debuff to magic attack). This is a major issue for me, and led to me stopping playing. I considered trying to get through some of the bonus bosses in the hope that the extra classes would have more status options, but I gave up once I was made aware that the "cannot be buffed" status from one was not removable by anything that clears debuffs.

Overall, I would say that the combat system and character options have a lot of potential to be really good, but there are a bunch of minor issues and one significant pet peeve that keep me from fully recommending it.
 

TMan87

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I'll chime in since I played the game too, using subsections as well.

Characters drive the story of an RPG, and you get 8 main characters this time around. All of them are memorable and likable in some way (some may take a bit of time to reach that point), having somewhat complex interactions and ties to the rest of the world. Their backstories have different degrees of drama, which is good because it means you can take a breather between two heavy story beats with a more light-hearted character.
Secondary characters are well-defined too! You get a bunch of NPCs playing key roles in each hero's story, often leading to the end of their path, and it's very interesting to see your main character of choice evolve alongside their designated backstory character(s). The game doesn't try to introduce too many of them, which keeps the story focused. That said, sometimes even one-offs NPCs can have interesting things to say.
The main gripe I have is the lack of character interaction. Your heroes face their own story very much alone, with the other characters in your party seemingly watching on the sidelines without a word. I understand it would probably be quite difficult to program in all of the possible interactions, but there are times where it makes no sense for another character to jump in at what the bad guy says.
Each character also gets their own custom action, which can help you advance main quests as well as subquests, really pushing you to collect all eight.
I'm not a huge fan of how the class system is handled in this game. Coming from the Bravely series offering huge customization & build options, the system here feels unnecessary restrictive and outright poor, with only 10 levels per class unlocking one skill per level. This is really not enough, and you'll usually be scrambling for the right element at times. While some could consider that good difficulty, I like having several options at my disposal and trying to pick the most effective. There are also only 12 available classes iirc, which is... decent, I guess? Some of them are lategame though, so you'll end up with unused slots within your party. The classes themselves have handy bonuses and finding which ones synergize well with which other can be fun? They also unlock sick outfits matching the current primary class of your character so that's a bonus point. Still, probably one of the two biggest weaknesses of the game in my eyes.
The combat system is original, focusing on discovering and exploiting the weaknesses of opponents, forcing you to use all of the cast's weapons. Since weapons are tied to classes, this effectively means you have to stay diverse in your class choices, so you don't end up stonewalled by an enemy (or worse: boss!) at the wrong time. The good thing is that enemies of the same class usually have the same weakness, for example flying enemies are weak to bows. This means you can guess weaknesses of even previously unseen enemies based on previous tiers, rewarding you for both paying attention and predicting correctly.
Now, I'm a bit torn on some bosses able to switch their weaknesses around. On the one hand, it keeps you on your toes, but on the other hand, I feel like it negates the whole 'pay an opportunity cost by testing the enemy's weakness before unloading' motto. Feels a bit cheap.
Storing and spending actions add a new layer of strategy to a fight, because defending for a turn now comes with additional benefit. It is often wise to defend at the start of a fight, while you test out the weaknesses of a boss or tough enemy, before using them all to utterly rain down pain on their head afterwards. Also, all characters get a few special lines if they use up 3 actions, so you'll hear Cyril tell you how unparalleled his focus is quite a while.
The wordbuilding on the game is quite good. The world is perfectly able to live without you, and the fact that you get 8 heroes who come from all corners of the realm strengthens that. People have their own problems, institutions are already there and perfectly running without you, etc. This is magnified by... well, some heavy spoiler stuff, but just know that the (tehcnically?) postgame has one specific requirement that's relevant for this subsection.
And here we get to my second gripe. Sidequests are horribly handled in this game, in my opinion. The starting NPC is marked well enough, all right. You get the subquest, all right. After that? Good luck, have fun. You get little to no indication about what you need to do. In more than one instance, I felt that I was in the right place, but couldn't for the life of me figure out what I needed to do with a certain character or location. I ended up looking most of them up on the wiki. It felt frustrating and weirdly obscure. You can get good equipment out of them though, so maybe do the easy/rewarding ones. Don't bother with the rest; you can level up just fine in dungeons or the overworld, you don't need them to do so.
Exploration is easy enough: walk around, discover stuff, get into dungeons, acidentally walk into a harder zone, get your ass handed to you, learn not to do that. Since you have almost total freedom of movement, nothing bars you from going wherever you go... except the monsters jumping at you at every opportunity. It can be rewarding: I often grinded (oh yeah did I mention this game kind of requires grinding) in areas where monsters were of a high level but had weaknesses I was well-equipped to exploit. You can even access 'secret' locations earlier if you really want to risk it, but it's not really recommended because you can get ambushed by really powerful bosses if you do that. Still, exploring is fun and I'd recommend you to try your hand at it. Carefully.
YES YES YES YES! This part is really what makes the game shine in my opinion. The kinda retro pixel-y graphics are very charming and still add distinctiveness to the characters, the fake 3D is well-done, buildings are pretty, and the world generally looks good.
Another good touch is that bosses are represented with their full height and actually use realistic sprites, so they are absolutely towering over your team, looking very menacing while you try to whittle them down. Move animations are nothing special, but I do like how spells work.
And finally, the music is incredible. Be it ambient music, battle music, cutscene music, a majority of tracks in this game is ambrosia for the ears, adding what the game already has to offer. Truly the game's best point in my opinion. The ending music weaving a bunch of tracks together was just icing on the cake.

Whew, took longer than I thought! I hope it can help you in your decision.
 
Aw really? I really like some of their designs, especially the bug ones
I haven't really looked into them that much, that's just the vibe I get from a quick glance. I don't mean to be mean ;-;

EDIT: the cat ghost and ice moth are really cool actually, haven't really looked into any more than that
 
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I haven't really looked into them that much, that's just the vibe I get from a quick glance. I don't mean to be mean ;-;

EDIT: the cat ghost and ice moth are really cool actually, haven't really looked into any more than that

If you do wanna see the overall design before getting into it, I could recommend the wiki: https://coromon.fandom.com/wiki/Coromon_Wiki

since its a demo, it only features coromon you'd be able to get in the demo or see it from foes, so you wouldn't be spoiled for the rest of the game
 
Hey, everyone, I'm back in this thread much earlier than expected. I genuinely didn't expect to be back here until the start of 2022. Thank discounted prices at a not-so-nearby GameStop store for the occasion. In any case, I managed to get my hands on the Crash Team Racing game that came out on the PS4... was it two or three years ago? I can't remember. The reason I bring this up is because that was probably the game I had received the most recommendations for out of the entire list as far as me wanting to play more racing games was concerned.

I plan on playing some over the weekend while I have some free time, but for now, I'd like to reinforce my main point that I had tried to describe in better detail last month. I truly do believe that there are certain genres and kinds of games in general that click more easily for various people. In a day and age where it seems like newer games are getting progressively less interesting (or maybe that's just me, growing up is stupid), I find that tracing back my roots and looking at things I enjoyed in the past is a good place to start looking towards expansion.

I'll still be accepting new game recommendations for a while (the full details are on Page 52 of this thread, so if anyone's got any ideas, send them my way! And thanks in advance :)
 

Amaranth

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2021 is almost over so here's a list of games i played this year and some quick reviews for each one

The Zodiac Trial: 8/10
(Playtime: 30hrs, finished story and some of the extras)
This game is very cool because my friend made it and after this he hired me to help on his next one (see my post higher up in this page). It's also just a genuinely good death game visual novel; sure it's not got the budget of Danganronpa or Zero Escape, and sure it's got a few objective issues here and there, but you play VNs for the writing and this VN has some quality fucking writing. I swear I'm not biased because I know the author, it's actually just really good. I won't go into details because spoilers, but if you are really into death game visual novels you really should play this. And I would love you forever if you did, which I'm sure is a great bonus.

Lair of the Clockwork God: 8.5/10
(Playtime: 8hrs, finished story, did not go back for achievements)
This game is just a massive pisstake in the best kind of way. Maybe it's not your humor and you will hate it, but if it's your humor it's gonna be really funny from start to finish. Very competent puzzles and platform sections snuck into what is essentially a comedy game, too. I had a great time. Honestly for what the game is trying to be there aren't many flaws to even speak of, only reason it doesn't get a 9+ is that it's not trying to be, if that makes any sense.

The Magic Circle: 7.5/10
(Playtime: 3hrs30, finished story, did not go back for achievements)
Somehow this game manages to fulfill the power fantasy of puzzle gamers, which are generally not known for having power fantasies. With the amount of things that you can do in this game it's a bit of a letdown though, it feels like you could do way more stuff with these mechanics and the game doesn't really explore as much as it could. But it works, it's got a neat coherent narrative, and it makes you go "lmao holy shit I can just do this?" every 10 minutes in a rather unique way. Good videogame.

New Pokémon Snap: 9.5/10
(Playtime: cant be bothered grabbing my switch to check exact number, >200hrs)
This game is just so cool. Every little discovery you make feels great, and this game is packed with basically endless discoveries. I got full diamonds (>4000 points) on the dex and peaked at 9th highest scoring photodex in the world at some point in the weeks after release, I absolutely burned through this. High score hunting didn't keep my attention for too long once I felt like I had "good enough" pictures for all of them, but that's still hundreds of hours of gameplay, so yea, definitely worth it. If the 7 year old pokemon fan inside you is still alive you need to play this game.

Paradise Killer: 9.5/10
(Playtime: 48hrs, finished story, 100%ed, then did a bit of glitch hunting + speedrunning)
Holy hell this game!! Jesus christ the vibes on this are UNREAL it's all demons and blood sacrifice and elder gods and extremely dark content BUT the colors are popping and the characters treat it with such normalcy that you eventually just go along with it too, I like games that give me something new and jfc Paradise Killer is nothing but new. Incredibly unconventional way to set up a murder mystery videogame too, which to be fair is likely to get me to love anything to bits (see also: Return of the Obra Dinn being my #1 favorite game of all time). It's funny, it's pretty, it's interesting, it's challenging, it's coherent from start to finish, it's super fucking original, complete banger

Sensorium: 7/10
(Playtime: 3hrs45, finished story, did not go back for achievements)
I wanted an okay puzzle game with some original ideas, I got an okay puzzle game with original ideas. Some of them work well, some of them less so, but overall it manages to be challenging and entertaining enough the whole way. Definitely don't play this if you've not gone through the Portals, The Talos Principle, The Witness, all the big hitters - but if you have, and you liked them, this will have something for you

Monster Train: 8.5/10
(Playtime: 169hrs, got loads of covenant 25 victories which I suppose counts as 'finishing story', but haven't quite blinged out my entire collection)
Already posted about this game here.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles: 9/10
(Playtime: 71hrs, finished story, did not go back for achievements)
Two games for the price of one, and they're the best Ace Attorney games since the original trilogy, and imo they even have an argument for being better than the original trilogy. Which is high fucking praise if you're unfamiliar with the series. You don't need to know anything about AA to jump into it either, though if you do they made sure to sneak in lots of nods and jokes and little things that just make me love the game even more. The only issue I have with GAA is that it takes quite a lot of setup before it starts delivering, but when it starts delivering this game goes -hard-. Probably places somewhere in the top 20 for my favorite games ever. As with the other plot-based games I'm not really going to talk details to avoid spoilers, but, like, you should play these games if you have even just a passing interest in the genre

Persona 4 Golden: 8.5/10
(Playtime: 83hrs, finished 80% of the story)
As someone who's maybe not exactly a JRPG enthusiast, but at the very least a fan of them, I felt dirty not ever having played any Persona games (and I blame the garbage consoles they're on for it), so I figured now that this got a Steam port I probably should give it a shot. The game really fucking loses me when it goes "ok now select this very specific sequence of dialogue options to go towards the True Ending." and then you clear the dungeon and it goes "haha that wasn't even the true ending. now select this other very specific sequence of dialogue options if you actually want the true ending lmao." and then it does this again like two more times. I completely lost my patience. But then I give it an 8.5 anyway despite not having bothered to see the true ending which says a lot about the quality of what I did see. I'm completely sold on the game's entire thing, the gameplay is fantastic all around, and well I'm too old to get excited about the horny teenager segments but I don't mind them too much. Will probably find a (totally legal) way to play Persona 5 as soon as I have the free time, I am sold on the franchise for sure.

428 Shibuya Scramble: 8/10
(Playtime: 37hrs, finished story and some of the extras)
This game kicks large amounts of ass. The live action style is definitely not something I'm used to but I definitely dig it. The twists and turns are fun, I think the ending is mighty amounts of stupid and it unfortunately sours the game a bit for me but as a whole I'm absolutely happy to have given this a shot, though I'll concede at some point the ways to make progress became obscure enough that I had to find a walkthrough. I don't mind doing that if I have to, but if you are the kind of player who wants to figure out everything on their own maybe this game can get frustrating on occasion. Even still, the positives largely outweigh the negatives, great game, quite possibly the coolest in this list
edit: just remembered the game is 50€ when it's not on sale. it's not worth 50€, like at all. it found it on sale for 7.50€ and i bought it then, and that was totally fine and worth it, but yea don't pay full price

Superliminal: 5.5/10
(Playtime: 3hrs, finished story, did not bother with secrets)
Biggest disappointment of the year by far for me, this game is just not a challenge in terms of puzzles. The puzzle parts are EXTREMELY watered down, simplistic, and downright easy. I tried to read all the positive reviews to see what the fuss was all about, and it seems like the Superliminal enjoyers are split in two camps: people who crave anything that remotely carries any "acid trip" feel to it and will eat up any random thing you put in front of them as long as they can look at it and go "haha that's wild", and obstinate completionists who have a great time spelunking through every corner to find the abundant number of secrets present. My problem is that neither of those things are puzzles. The game itself even directly gives up on being a puzzle game towards the end and turns into more of a walking simulator where you occasionally have to guess what's going on with whatever weird room you find yourself in. I acknowledge there's something enjoyable in this for some people, but my god is it not for me, despite being marketed as totally for me. If you are anything like me in terms of taste for puzzles, play Antichamber instead of this, the quality of puzzles is way way higher. Or even random super indie shit like Parallax which costs 1/5th of Superliminal and was presumably made with 1/1000th of the budget, the puzzle quality is still way higher

The Divine Deception: I was paid to work on this/10
(Playtime: I was paid to work on this)
I was paid to work on this. Please play it. It's great. At least try the demo and then play the rest if you like it. Pretty please?
 
Last edited:

May

Never been better.
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Nice post format you got going there...

Here are the games I beat this year. I played all of these on the hardware specified, all-original, the purest you can get.

Monster Hunter Rise (Switch)
This game was pretty nice, I really like how they sort of went back to the old format, but kept the streamlined gameplay in the process. Pre-Generations Monster Hunter games suffered a lot from the sluggish nature and loading zones in my opinion, and while some people cry about not being able to run off and heal in other rooms, I call them cowards! Monster Hunter tends to pride itself on having the monsters use vaguely realistic movements and the like...can you teleport into another room and heal? No! Cry about it! Anyway, yeah, cop this with the random money that you're (possibly) going to be showered with during Christmas.

Sonic Chaos (Master System)
I snagged a Master System II earlier this year and got a bunch of games for it, including some of the more obscure entries in the classic Sonic series, Chaos being one of them. It's the first game that introduced Tails as a playable character, basically serving as the game's Easy Mode, with extra lives and continues, as well as being a bit slower. It's otherwise got gameplay like Sonic 2, but I really liked the levels in this one. It's definitely the black sheep given its release window and most people going "this existed?" when Master System Sonic is brought up, but in the best way possible to me.

Persona 5 Strikers (PS4)
This game's sound mixing for voices is awful, like, wow, and this version doesn't even have good sound settings. Outside of that, this is one of the most enjoyable Musou games I have ever played, mainly because of the variety the Personas give to the normally repetitive hack-and-slash gameplay. I never felt the burn from the repetition here, and the music and fast-paced nature of the game was very nice to see. It's actually pretty hard at times too, which is always a welcome sight in my book. Definitely get the PC version if you can though, as I believe that has more varied sound options that the PS4 version doesn't, which should fix any voice problems. I feel like the PS4 version really dropped the ball there.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GCN)
Played this a lot as a kid and managed to get a new copy this year at a knock-down price. As many will say about it, it's amazing, like, wow. It's your standard Mario RPG fun, with the action commands giving you more proactive gameplay that older, slower RPGs struggle to work with. Pretty sound story as well, cute graphics, everything you could ask for. I recommend emulating it for the graphics mods available, which can make for a better experience in most cases. They are beginning to look a bit dated on vanilla but they've definitely stood the test of time regardless.

Punch-Out!! (Wii)
Gaaah, I love this one. It's oozing with personality and every fight makes amazing use of the limited options the game provides, I can see why the speedrunning scene has skyrocketed in recent years. You can feel the passion that went into it, and for the low price it sells for, it's easy to pick up and play right now! I know I've not said much here, but really, try it!

Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch)
Eh...I actually started it in late 2019, dropped it, and finished it in March of this year. It's alright, but I think the people who say it's some amazing experience are liars. It feels very "Nintendo"-y, if you catch my drift: all by-the-book, doesn't take many risks, etc. This isn't bad, it's still a fun game to sit down and play! However, I strongly feel that continuing Dark Moon's direction was a terrible idea and any Luigi's Mansion after the first one just misses the point of what made it so great. I think Dark Moon's stuff was amazing for the 3DS given its portable nature and controls, but it shouldn't have continued here. 3 isn't bad, it's just not quite my cup of tea. Oh, and I talked about the game here.

Pokemon Silver (GBC, played on SGB2)
Not sure why I didn't clear this game for all these years when I've played literally every other game in the first two generations, but hey, nice to have it out of the way now. Anyway, Silver has Ninetales, Donphan, and Skarmory available, which automatically makes it the best game. I also like the sprites here, they're very cool. It still suffers from that abhorrent "you must beat the game to evolve Vulpix" problem that Gold has, but with a little clunky trading, you can solve that.

Pokemon Shining Pearl (Switch)
My experience with this game was pretty fantastic, really, I enjoyed being able to use Houndoom so early-on and the new Grand Underground is really something special. I got exactly what I expected here: Pokemon Pearl in a new game engine. The chibi art style is honestly adorable (look at Cynthia and tell me this isn't the best thing) and the difficulty certainly surprised me for a game that's designed for younger audiences. Let's call those "Sinnoh moments", eh?

I feel like most people slamming this game are pearl-clutching glitch haters that want to go on doomsday rants or something, at least from what I've seen. Either that, or they wanted a Platinum remake, not a Diamond and Pearl remake, both of which are very, very different things. I think the real problem is that Game Freak remade what are arguably the worst games in the franchise, playing base Pearl this year really made me realise what Platinum did for this region.

Super Pokemon Eevee Edition (PC)
I talked about this here, it's very good and you should play it. It blends Final Fantasy and Pokemon gameplay perfectly, all while having that 2010s edginess. It's still being actively updated and deserves way more credit than it gets.

No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles Either! (Vita)
Well, I technically reached the credits a few years ago, but when I started editing (and taking ownership of) the Badman Wiki I felt like completing the game. I've nearly done it, just missing a few encyclopaedia entries. It's an F2P game at first with that icky c.2015 microtransaction poppycock, but you can effectively purchase a "full version", which then turns it into an actual game. It's pretty solid as a puzzle game and the combos feel very fun to pull off when you get the hang of it, but sometimes getting the heroes you want to upgrade your horde can be a chore, especially if they're rare-types. Regardless, it's a very solid game if you want that itch scratched.

There are a few other games I cleared, but those are the most notable of the bunch. This was definitely a low in my gaming years, but next year will probably be much stronger given I need that streamer content™.

Some other games I have picked up but not finished;
  • Final Fantasy VII (PS1), been meaning to clear this forever.
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX (Switch)
  • Super Mario RPG: The Seven Sages (PC)
  • Metroid Dread (Switch)
  • Destroy All Humans! (PS2)
  • Pokemon Pearl (DS), lost literally all motivation LOL it's so slow and clunky aaaaa
  • Steamworld Dig 2 (PC)
and probably another I'll remember in an hour and scream at myself for forgetting.
 
insert very creative post format here
xaviere’s speedy thoughts on the games he finished this year:


Metroid Dread: 10/10 it’s very good go play it

Bug Fables: 10/10 something spiritual successor to paper mario something
(if you buy the artbook on steam, it’ll be found within the game files)

Journey: 10/10 you had a time where you thought about someone you met in the past and wonder what they’re doing now?
that’s essentially journey
bravely default 2
omori
ori and the will of the wisps
dark souls remastered
hyrule warriors age of calamity
okami
 
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insert very creative post format here
xaviere’s speedy thoughts on the games he finished this year:


Metroid Dread: 10/10 it’s very good go play it

Bug Fables: 10/10 something spiritual successor to paper mario something
(if you buy the artbook on steam, it’ll be found within the game files)

Journey: 10/10 you had a time where you thought about someone you met in the past and wonder what they’re doing now?
that’s essentially journey
bravely default 2
omori
ori and the will of the wisps
dark souls remastered
hyrule warriors age of calamity
okami
Just asking, metroid dread is still good with spoilers??? (i couldnt avoid them D=)
 

MZ

And now for something completely different
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I played way too many games to go over them all, but I thought it might be fun to at least rank all the Metroidvanias. These are all good games and worth the price of admission, although none were my favorite game that I played this year (the #1 narrowly loses to Transistor). Oh and I played the Switch version of all of these.

6. Gato Roboto: I got it for $5 and cleared it 100% in about 3.5 hours, but aside from one unnecessarily tough boss fight there's nothing really wrong with it. Fun while it lasted, didn't leave a huge impression, very adorable.

5. Ori and the Will of the Wisps: Beautiful game, good sequel, I think it leans a little bit too hard into aping Hollow Knight. The sidequests and extra areas were great and I particularly enjoyed the sand escape and final boss sequences, these games really end on a high note. Worst things about this game are like, buying the map is kinda dumb? The village building stuff felt shoehorned in? Incredibly pretty, great music, no reason not to play if you liked the first or worth a shot if you didn't play it.

4. Dandara Trials of Fear Edition: Beautifully imaginative game built around a mechanic that just feels like it shouldn't work. You can only move by shooting yourself to other walls, no walking around at all, but you just get so smooth and fast at it. Soon enough it feels great to move around in this game, and that feeling doesn't go away. It's built on a lot of Brazilian culture and political references, only some of which I could get but the atmosphere and messaging is incredible. And the world just keeps getting bigger, it's constantly shocking how much there is and all the stuff you can find. It has more flaws than Ori, particularly fast travel really should come sooner, but the highs are so high. If you want something imaginative and purposeful and different, absolutely worth a shot.

3. Metroid Dread: Game's great. I 100%'d it. Controls put me off for a while but after that it's smooth sailing. It's not the best Metroidvania from this year or the best I played this year, but it's so polished and straightforward I get why other people are so high on it. I just want a bit more inventive stuff, it nails the nostalgia but doesn't really push anything far enough.

2. Axiom Verge 2: Above Metroid Dread because I put fascinating, creative, innovative takes more interesting than the smooth Nintendo polish and perfection that it brings. Dandara had flaws, this game just kinda doesn't as long as you're in to what it wants to do. Cryptic lore barely metered out, a surprisingly large world to get lost in, absolutely banging music, and just cool ideas one after the other. Talking about almost anything is a spoiler, you should go into this game blind and ready, no need to even play the first game. I feel like it's possible to bounce off this game, it's a bigger risk than anything else here, but if you like Metroidvanias at all absolutely try it out. And honestly the drone itself should sell this game, it's somehow even cooler in the sequel. Here's some great music from it.

1. Iconoclasts: The best Metroidvania. Hollow Knight is the polar opposite of this game while still being a Metroidvania and the only other thing I think gives Iconoclasts pause, they can share the title that's fine. But holy shit, play this game. It has like 20+ good boss fights that make good use of its fun combat, inventive weapons, good puzzles, great art, and absolutely incredible music. You can find all that in a lot of Metroidvanias. But this game's story is the real seller. It's a linear Metroidvania, moving the player between large nonlinear Metroidvania-like areas where you can find powerups and stuff but eventually you have to go to the one right exit to proceed, and this is done in service of a narrative that rivals the best video games have to offer. The developer has a lot to say about religion and hierarchy and knows how to make insane twists and stakes-raising feel completely earned and devastatingly powerful. The writing and characters are great, Agent Black deserves to land on "top video game antagonists of all time" lists. I probably wouldn't have made this post if I just didn't want more people to play Iconoclasts. And Transistor, but Transistor isn't nearly as criminally underdiscussed. The few minor flaws here simply don't matter, a couple annoying boss fights and one slightly too long elevator puzzle area don't change my opinion that this is simply the best Metroidvania and everyone should play it.
 
So I'm bored. Why don't I list my favorite indie games of all time and state why people should play it? Ok lets go. I shall also state the price compared to the game time I got. This'll tell you how to spend your money wisely! My best way to put it is if a game is 25 pounds/dollars/most currencies that don't go too high you should get 25 hours out of it.

Hades: This game is a masterpiece, have you ever wished for a rougelike which when you die it feels as if it's a reward? This game, like many other rougelikes encourages dying as a way to improve at bosses and stages as well as to get new items. Progression feels quick but not to the point where you get 10 times better after a run, there are multiple weapons each complete with three different paths. No matter your playstyle you'll find at least one which you enjoy and you unlock them and their paths extremely quick, the upgrades are more slow though. This means you can play and almost immediately pick the weapon for you. Though they're all good. The story is impeccable and every time you die, you come back to amazing dialogue. You can also date a male and female character which is cool. Canonically bisexual MC ig. 19.49 pounds and I got 148 hours by completing all the achievments.

Omori: I bought this game a day after release as it was recommended by a friend and good god is this game amazing, I couldn't help to spend about 5 hours every time I loaded it up. So. What makes this game so good? Well you begin in a place called headspace, where you hang out with your friends to fight bosses, find places and loot as well as all the more. The story eventually goes deeper as it introduces the real world and well I don't want to spoil it. The story is beautiful as well as the art and graphics, also the modding community makes it even better. 15.49 pounds and I got 57 hours after playing Hikiomori and the main route as well as some mods.

Bug Fables: The game is like paper mario but better, yes you've probably heard this many a time. What I like to say is if you've heard something a lot with nobody disagreeing, it's probably true. Unless you're on Facebook. But I digress, this game is an amazing RPG with quite a lot of good plot twists in the story. You play as three bugs and you can go around doing quests off the quest board, follow the amazing main story, fight secret bosses. Talking of secret bosses, have fun with Team Slacker because this game's difficulty does not hold back. Especially with the hardmode badge. 15.49 pounds and I must say it goes 50% off all the time. So buy it.

Everhood: I'm tired of writing now and this one doesn't take much to explain. Take Friday Night Funkin, the hit rhythm game but take a bunch of probably illegal drugs whilst recreating it. It's a rhythm game with a cool style where the notes come at you to beat you to death, the songs are also great. The difficulty can be challenging because like I hate that shopkeeper guy with a burning passion. You don't even get much time out of this game, it's just so good it must be here. 9.99 pounds and 11.3 hours.

Ok here's honourable mentions with tiny explanations

Rivals Of Aether: Smash Bros if literally everyone was actually there

Terraria: Better Minecraft

A Hat In Time: You've 100% heard of this one. Buy it.

Every Shovel Knight Game: You've 200% heard of this one. Buy it.

One Step From Eden: There's a 1% chance you've heard of this one. Buy it.

Nefarious: I don't even know there's like 300 reviews. It's like decent. Gameplay is like every platformer ever but the story is beautiful.
 

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