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“I Just Think They're Neat.” Like What You are Playing

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
I forgot how much I love OG Link's Awakening's localization. It's so quirky and full of character and it's yet another reason this is my favorite Zaldo.
Yeah, I think it's a big part of why I love it so much. If it'd had the usual Game Boy quality localisation of would've been severely impaired.
 

Phantoon

I cuss you bad
Thanks to my RG351V I'm going through the SNES library. It'll come as no surprise based on my user name but playing through Super Metroid again just drives home to me how much I adore that game. It's laser guided to my tastes. It took me quite a long time to "get" it back in the day but I'm thankful I did. I do wonder if the games that stuck with me are the ones I had to work at a bit; Link's Awakening and Shining Force were others that took a bit of effort but I'll play any time I can.
 

Alixsar

The Shogun of Harlem
(He/him)
I'm liking Omori but maybe like isn't the right word? On the surface of it, it's a goofy Earthbound/Mother/Undertale kinda game made in RPG Maker where you meet wacky characters (it's less grounded in reality than ever those games are, it takes place in a dreamlike world with magic creatures and such) and battle weird stuff. At one point you walk through a miniature version of the solar system and fight "The Earth", which lead to me taking a screenshot of one of the characters headbutting the entire planet to death. It's got a bright and colorful and wacky cartoon vibe to it...

Uh, ALSO though, the number one tag on Steam for it is psychological horror and THEY ARE NOT KIDDING. The game starts with a content warning that the game depicts depression, anxiety, and depictions of suicide, and THEY ARE NOT KIDDING. I bolded that so people know what they're getting into if they're skimming this post. So it's definitely like...a whole HELLUVA A LOT to get into, or even want to get into. The majority of the time it's this wacky pleasant thing, and then it gets EXTRAORDINARILY DARK really quickly and there's tonal whiplish (albeit in a good way). There's some jump scares too, but they're less jump-y and more like "oh hey something extremely unsettling just happened out of the blue".

Ultimately I'm a little too early to recommend it or not; I wanna see where the story is going because a few hours in I'm kinda only scratching at the surface of what is really going on. We shall see!

Oh also the soundtrack is great



I do think the 2020 launch/2014 Kickstarter (it was one of those games that got delayed forever and people assumed was never happening and then just showed up on Christmas last year) trailers give a good impression of the game overall


 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
I finally took the metaphorical shrink wrap off Battle Chef Brigade and danger if this ain’t something neat!

As the title implies, it’s a cooks-em-up. Except the cooking process is represented by playing a match-3 falling block puzzle game.

Except the pieces in that game represent ingredients you have to manage to impress the judges.

And also you gain ingredients by running through monster infested dungeons and hacking critters to bits.

It’s rare to not only find a game that can juggle so many different genres at once, but also make it so that none of them suffer for it.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I played through BCB late last year and really enjoyed it. It was fun, frantic, and didn't overstay its welcome. Also, my SO really enjoyed armchair cooking, and honestly, that game gives you enough to juggle simultaneously that it was appreciated.
 

4-So

Spicy
Dragon Quest Builders 2 has one of the best localizations I've ever seen. So, so good. I'm casually playing through it for a second time and I had forgotten how incredible the writing is.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
Enjoying Carrion. It's not an all-timer for me or anything, but it's fun to play as a wad of tentacles and teeth playing cat-and-mouse in the air ducts and passages of a sprawling research base. And the animation of the creature is great—it sends out tendrils to pull itself along, stretches and squishes through passages, etc. Definitely worth the $5 I spent for it with the Epic coupon.
 
Gunpoint has been on my "I've been meaning to get around to playing this" list for nearly a decade now, and I finally did. It was great! The concept is that you're doing building infiltrations, and you basically die if a guard sees you but your tools are jumping really high and a very free form hacking system that lets you wire switches/motion detectors/sound detectors to activate something other than their intended purpose.

So, a very simple solution might be, remotely turn off the lights in a room to encourage a guard to try to flip on a light switch, but also you've hacked that light switch to cause a nearby power surge, knocking out the guard. But puzzles eventually get much more complicated, encouraging you to daisy chaining multiple devices together to create rube goldberg machines of switches/motion detectors/sound detectors with interconnected effects. Almost all missions feel like they've been designed to allow for a number of ways to break in, rather than just one correct solution.

I don't think I realized (or maybe I knew at one point but forgot that) it was only a 3ish hour game. I would have definitely done it sooner if I knew it was basically the time commitment of one long movie. Excited to try Heat Signature soon, another systems driven infiltration game by the same guy, but breaking into space ships using sci-fi tech instead.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
Finished Carrion (main Carrion, anyway; still have the DLC Christmas base). Now getting back to NieR: Automata. Am I correct in thinking the first run through the game isn't that long? It's been about 5 hours, I just hit the robot village, and it looks like I'm about halfway done, but I know it's a game you play through repeatedly.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
There are two types of Miitopia players. Those who want to play with all their family and friend’s Miis like the promotional material suggests, which the Switch’s disconnect from the larger Mii ecosystem is a severe downside for, and those who want to fill their game with memes and game references, for which the Switch version’s makeup/wig system and code sharing make it the definitive edition.

I’m in the latter group…
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I only started it, but Arcade Spirits feels amazing. Only half an hour, and I'm already in love with the setting.

It's a visual novel from the itch.io bundle from last year, and should really hit everyone here right in the heart. The asthetics are lovely - it feels like a futuristic version of a video-game focused 80s. There is a lot of neon, the symbol behind the text is an alien ship from Space Invaders, there is an arcade with old games. The music feels old and comforting. The setup is, that the big videogame crash from the 80s never happened, and arcades and video games became a giant thing.

Dunno what else to say. If you have the bundle, at least take a look for a nice nostalgia shot.

Oh, and the game asks you very soon if you are interested in romance. Which means I can build up friendship instead, which I like very, very much.

Also: gender neutral options for your avatar, and the gender you choose does not restrict your dating choices. 3 guys, 3 ladies.
 
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Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
I just finished the Steam demo for Sable, and my frothing demand for this game has grown even frothier. It's a nonviolent explore-'em-up about a young woman embarking on a rite of passage into adulthood: riding around the desert on a hoverbike, seeing new places and meeting new people. The art style is inspired by Jean "Moebius" Giraud, and the tone feels very Hayao Miyazaki. Have a trailer!

 
I just finished the Steam demo for Sable, and my frothing demand for this game has grown even frothier. It's a nonviolent explore-'em-up about a young woman embarking on a rite of passage into adulthood: riding around the desert on a hoverbike, seeing new places and meeting new people. The art style is inspired by Jean "Moebius" Giraud, and the tone feels very Hayao Miyazaki. Have a trailer!

That does look cool. The jumpiness/missing frames of the animation bugs me a bit though.
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
That does look cool. The jumpiness/missing frames of the animation bugs me a bit though.
I thought the same thing when I watched the videos, but for some reason that animation choice seemed to work when I was actually playing the game. I have no idea why.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Working my way through Metal Unit, which is the Korean love child between MM Zero and 20XX.

It's not so much a roguelike as a Mega Man game with light procedural elements; Stages (aka chapters) are broken up into a set of single screen encounters. Each stage has a set of encounters it pulls from in addition to camp and boss tiles, with deeper encounters featuring more and more difficult enemies to kill before you can move on.

Dying in a stage just sends you back to the hub in exchange for your current gear/inventory and a decent sum of character upgrade currency. This is less annoying than it seems, as you can pretty freely choose your initial loadout from stuff you've encountered/unlocked up to your current mastery tier (mastery points = using stuff, so it goes up pretty rapidly). Still pretty early in, but there is a pretty strong emphasis on dodging and pattern recognition, because you are very fragile early on and you rarely have good gear to mitigate that. Shops seem sorta superfluous outside getting you some easy early unlocks, as the high rarity gear is rarely for sale and extremely expensive when it is available.

Story is bad sat am anime and I have no idea why they designed the pause menu like that, but if seeing a bodysuit clad girl's (and I use 'girl' here deliberately because the game sure as shit wants to paint her as a naive teenager) bounce back and forth endlessly is a turn off please be forewarned. There's no way to turn it off that I've noticed.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Glad to hear it; Metal Unit is definitely something I was interested in, but was waiting for impressions before I picked it up
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
The hub area has some spots that are clearly marked post-story mode, so there is a postgame of some kind, beyond a few areas gated by progression and mobility enhancements.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
I've bounced off the last few games that I've tried in rapid succession (which is unusual for me, because I typically like everything), but to my relief I am absolutely loving The Bard's Tale IV. The combat is unique and crunchy (playing on hard), the world is interesting, and it just oozes affection for the franchise out of every pore.

All of the loading screen tips are useful *and* funny:


The game starts with this scene of live actors listening and reacting to a Bard weaving a tale:
(5:42 if it doesn't jump to the right timestamp properly; this was the best link I could find, because I don't think many people played this game)

And every time you load up a save, it shows a shot of those same actors, with the Bard singing about what happened most recently in the plot, and it's adorable.

Also, the music is all great, especially the title screen music:
(The song is much longer, but, again, best link I could find.)

Anyway, it's a good game. More people should play it!
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Terra Nil is a neat inversion on the usual city building sim concept; rather than building a city you're tasked with restoring various types of wastelands through minimal and smartly placed bits of reclamation tech and then cleaning up after yourself once you're done. Demo's out on Steam.

 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
John Wick: Hex is making a good first impression; managing to make a really good facsimile of the action scenes of a John Wick movie, except as a turn based SRPG, and some-friggin’-how that fits perfectly.
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
I have certainly played more complex games than Part Time UFO. I may even have played games that I liked better than Part Time UFO. I have absolutely never played a game that was more adorable than Part Time UFO. The little UFO is just out there doing their best! And the people they help are so appreciative! The game by itself is just relentlessly cute, and then the music takes the cuteness up to eleven and beyond. When I bought it, I was a little worried that there wouldn’t be enough to it, but now I am proud to award it the Official Seal of Owlproval.

If any of that sounds remotely appealing to you, you really owe it to yourself to play this game. Even the base price on Switch isn’t too steep, and in North America it’s even on sale for a couple more days.
 

JBear

Internet's foremost Bertolli cosplayer
(He/Him)
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a GOAT. Every second is a complete joy. Fun and novelty oozing out of every pore, and every frame of animation is fun and gorgeous. Not to mention the nostalgia hit of the music and that coin drop sound effect. I'll be sad when it's over.
 
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