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Beating Games

ASandoval

Old Man Gamer
(he/him)
I'm in the minority of those who thinks that mechanically, Alan Wake is the stronger game. A lot of that is for the same reasons that lead to just turning on invulnerability. Yes, augments help make later stuff easier but honestly not that much and frankly the loot/augment system was my least favorite part of Control. The whole thing felt half-baked and more a concession to modern gaming's drive toward increasing engagement by putting everything on the loot/crafting/customization gameplay loop rather than crafting a nice, finely tuned difficulty curve for a fun shooter (which makes me extremely incredulous about this Borderlands-esque multiplayer spin off they're making but I digress) -

Anyway! Alan Wake! It's gameplay is good like 90% of the time but you have to play it the way the game wants you to, which is different from basically any shooter at the time or since! But I did a run through the game's Nightmare mode feeling like I have a pretty good grasp on it and was surprised that it was a good time and relatively easy! And I'm someone who has to play the Uncharted games switching between normal and easy in order to make it through them. And I really enjoyed the writing and overall story, doubly so now with the added Control context! But like the gameplay, it comes with the caveat that the main character is insufferable as the game's primarily about a bad person getting a tiny bit better, but that can be a non-starter for some people.

I guess what I'm saying is that I also recommend Alan Wake with caveats, just as I would with any other Remedy game.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
You may be saying hey wait, there are two DLCs, what gives? And, well... I had previously started the other DLC, which felt weird because I knew I recognized the name Alan Wake from somewhere, until I realized that it was a game (the Control team's previous game) and the whole DLC was basically a tie-in/crossover. A friend who absolutely loves Control said I wouldn't get much out of that DLC unless I'd played it, which I haven't, and the DLC is apparently just kind of mediocre without that context. I also don't particularly feel like following up the Foundation DLC with a seemingly less-related story that I won't get half of, so I've called it there and feel ready to move on.
I also hadn't played Alan Wake, and I would agree with your friend -- that particular DLC most was just kinda meh for me. I'd say you're not missing anything if you skip it.
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
The DLC is also meh if you have played Alan Wake, but I thought the first DLC was also meh and Paul liked it so I don't know.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I'm in the minority of those who thinks that mechanically, Alan Wake is the stronger game. A lot of that is for the same reasons that lead to just turning on invulnerability. Yes, augments help make later stuff easier but honestly not that much and frankly the loot/augment system was my least favorite part of Control. The whole thing felt half-baked and more a concession to modern gaming's drive toward increasing engagement by putting everything on the loot/crafting/customization gameplay loop rather than crafting a nice, finely tuned difficulty curve for a fun shooter (which makes me extremely incredulous about this Borderlands-esque multiplayer spin off they're making but I digress) -

Anyway! Alan Wake! It's gameplay is good like 90% of the time but you have to play it the way the game wants you to, which is different from basically any shooter at the time or since! But I did a run through the game's Nightmare mode feeling like I have a pretty good grasp on it and was surprised that it was a good time and relatively easy! And I'm someone who has to play the Uncharted games switching between normal and easy in order to make it through them. And I really enjoyed the writing and overall story, doubly so now with the added Control context! But like the gameplay, it comes with the caveat that the main character is insufferable as the game's primarily about a bad person getting a tiny bit better, but that can be a non-starter for some people.

I guess what I'm saying is that I also recommend Alan Wake with caveats, just as I would with any other Remedy game.

When On the Stick was a podcast, before it was a livestream (and a floor wax, and a dessert topping), we joked that Alan Wake was the game that came up most often. I ended up buying it for like eight bucks way after it was new because of that. That was like eight years ago and I still haven't played it. I should probably... just play it, already.
 

karzac

(he/him)
I also hadn't played Alan Wake, and I would agree with your friend -- that particular DLC most was just kinda meh for me. I'd say you're not missing anything if you skip it.

I never played Alan Wake, but I though the DLC was mechanically pretty cool, with some interesting puzzle and level design. It was really long though, and it did it in the middle of the campaign, so it kinda burned me out on the game.
 
I beat Bravely Second last night, after playing it a lot in February and then a lot the past few weeks. By the 30 hour mark I was about ready for it to finish in the next ten hours, so it taking another 25 was starting to grate. Don't think I'll bother with the post-game stuff, having beaten all the pre-final boss side-quests.

Excited to move onto another item on my 3DS backlog, at last!
 
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Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finished Dungeon Mode in Cadence of Hyrule, which makes the game the full on Crypt of the Necrodancer sequel that… Cadence of Hyrule is anyway, I guess.

But now you can play it as a regular old Dungeon Crawler instead of a Zelda game that is a sometimes rogue like dungeon crawler
 

Rascally Badger

El Capitan de la outro espacio
(He/Him)
The credits rolled on Mario Golf's story mode. I liked at the very end when it remembered that Mario characters existed and they showed up. You get a little Wario and Waluigi action, and about 2 minutes of Mario and Bowser. I think I hate speed golf.
 

Torzelbaum

????? LV 13 HP 292/ 292
(he, him, his)
Shipwreck (PC, Zelda-like) – Inspired more closely by Link’s Awakening, your hero is shipwrecked on a mysterious island and tasked by the local villagers to gather four seals from various dungeons and defeat a ghost terrorizing the island. There are a couple of irritating design choices (you need to beat a 50 GP per try “sword training course” to get the crossbow that you seem to need to proceed; the heart containers are optional finds within the dungeons; there are several “blank spaces” in the inventory) but they had some fun with this. And so did I; it’s about two hours’ worth of game.
I picked this up during the recent Steam sale and finished it the other day. I guess I must not be as fast as Beowulf because it took me about 4 hours to 100% the game. Overall I liked the game but it did burn off some (but not all) of its goodwill with the last two dungeons and the final boss. (Of course some of those were from hitting my pet peeves.) It does have some pretty sweet tunes in it - which helped it stay in my good graces. It plays nicely and isn't too hard overall but if you are looking for a Zelda-like that has you using all of your tools and scouring everywhere for items and to solve puzzles then you might want to look elsewhere.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finally managed to get a winning run in Meteorfall, excellent deck builder RPG. Extremely well suited for mobile play (it’s on Steam as well, but I imagine it loses quite a lot when you don’t have the immediacy of being able to play it on commutes or in a long line or wherever).
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
And I finished the 2nd run of Resident Evil 2: Remake, which was fine, but was really similar to the first run, except for a couple of cutscenes; felt like Sherrys sequences weren't nearly as fun as Adas, but Claire was a much more enjoyable character than Leon, so it's a wash.

I maintain my opinion of this game being *right in the middle* of the RE games I Have Fun With
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
The 2nd scenarios in RE2K19 aren't nearly as different as in the original. One of my few disappointments with that game. (Which is otherwise easily in my top five RE games.)
 

q 3

Posts: 48,017,820,104
(they/them)
Weird and Unfortunate Things are Happening is a solid, free RPG that offers lots of the good JRPG bullshit with none of the bad JRPG bullshit. It's blatantly Earthbound inspired but the focus is more on grown-ups. In fact the two protagonists you'll spend the most time with are both adult women: a dorky lesbian psychic who aspires to be a cool aunt, and a grumpy ex-secretary who wields the Power of Gun. Together they fight crime reluctantly team up with Polite Cthulhu to fight Rude Cthulhu to save the niece/town/world.

It features dungeons that are generally breezy and interesting to explore, clever puzzles and secrets that aren't too obtuse (and the toughest ones are optional), turn-based battles that execute the fundamentals well with a few unique twists, and a story that's reasonably well written with several heartfelt moments and zero memes. It's rather longer than it first appears, averaging probably in the 15-25 hour range. If I had one complaint it's the common RPG one in that it starts to feel exhausting toward the end (not sure if I'll try that bonus dungeon ever), though the quality level remained high throughout and the finale was quite satisfying.
 

FelixSH

(He/Him)
I'm not in the mood for an Earthbound-like, at the moment, but that sounds pretty great. Thanks for mentioning it.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Finally managed to get a winning run in Meteorfall, excellent deck builder RPG. Extremely well suited for mobile play (it’s on Steam as well, but I imagine it loses quite a lot when you don’t have the immediacy of being able to play it on commutes or in a long line or wherever).
And I got another winning Ascension run with the same character. Turns out a deck built around keeping yourself alive indefinitely and absolutely burying yourself in status buffs is a real good strategy.

If it weren’t for Slay the Spire, this’d be a shoo-in for being my favourite deck builder on mobile.

As it stands; the field is contestes
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
Ys IX is in the bag, 100% (well aside from Time Attack and cleaning up achievos which I don't count).

It was good! A very solid iteration on VIII, yet still not as good as its immediate sibling. VIII very much felt like the pinnacle of what Ys could be in a game and narrative sense, and IX felt like a competent send off to this era of the series by comparison.
 

Exposition Owl

could use a space fortress
(he/him/his)
I just notched 100 Shines in Super Mario Sunshine on the 3D All Stars Collection, and I think I’m going to call myself done. I did a full 100% complete run years ago (before I was diagnosed with or treated for obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, it should be noted), and I’m not going to put myself through hunting down all those red and blue coins again. There’s a lot of fun to be had with this game, but its rough edges are really striking going back to it after having played Galaxy and Odyssey.
 

Poster

Just some poster
I picked up Child of Light recently, and I just finished it yesterday. I enjoyed it for the most part. The art was great, and the poetry was a neat gimmick, I guess, but I suppose it can't help but feel forced at times. The gameplay is basically Grandia. On Expert, enemies can hit pretty hard.

Anyway, I do wish the game had more options for healing in battle. It felt like I was constantly running low on healing items, and only one character has healing spells, but you are limited to two party members. The firefly can heal, but it is far too slow.

At any rate, it had been on my radar for a while, so I'm glad I finally got around to playing it.
 
I picked up Child of Light recently, and I just finished it yesterday. I enjoyed it for the most part. The art was great, and the poetry was a neat gimmick, I guess, but I suppose it can't help but feel forced at times. The gameplay is basically Grandia. On Expert, enemies can hit pretty hard.

Anyway, I do wish the game had more options for healing in battle. It felt like I was constantly running low on healing items, and only one character has healing spells, but you are limited to two party members. The firefly can heal, but it is far too slow.

At any rate, it had been on my radar for a while, so I'm glad I finally got around to playing it.
I really enjoyed that game, I should replay it.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
I finished Miles Morales tonight. Excellent cast, lots of optional McGuffins to collect, still extremely satisfying to Spider-Man around a pretty good approximation of New York. But someone really should've told them the right way to pronounce "Stuyvesant", yikes.
 
Weird and Unfortunate Things are Happening is a solid, free RPG that offers lots of the good JRPG bullshit with none of the bad JRPG bullshit. It's blatantly Earthbound inspired but the focus is more on grown-ups. In fact the two protagonists you'll spend the most time with are both adult women: a dorky lesbian psychic who aspires to be a cool aunt, and a grumpy ex-secretary who wields the Power of Gun. Together they fight crime reluctantly team up with Polite Cthulhu to fight Rude Cthulhu to save the niece/town/world.

It features dungeons that are generally breezy and interesting to explore, clever puzzles and secrets that aren't too obtuse (and the toughest ones are optional), turn-based battles that execute the fundamentals well with a few unique twists, and a story that's reasonably well written with several heartfelt moments and zero memes. It's rather longer than it first appears, averaging probably in the 15-25 hour range. If I had one complaint it's the common RPG one in that it starts to feel exhausting toward the end (not sure if I'll try that bonus dungeon ever), though the quality level remained high throughout and the finale was quite satisfying.
Your description sounded really cool, so I started playing this and it is indeed excellent. Thanks for posting about it!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
How do they mispronounce it in the game?

"Stuy-VES-ant". As someone who engineers VO sessions as a regular part of his job, it is baffling to me that they wouldn't have had a producer or someone check the pronounciation when they recorded those lines...or had anyone flag it for rerecording after the fact. I guess there's always something that slips through the cracks.
 

Mightyblue

aggro table, shmaggro table
(He/Him/His)
I mean, sure, but New York is filled with Dutch names. Accent and pronunciation checks is one of the early steps for script direction before you go into production.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
It’s possible that no one on the VO team heard the word before.
I mean, sure, but New York is filled with Dutch names. Accent and pronunciation checks is one of the early steps for script direction before you go into production.
Mightyblue has it right. And on a game of this scale, it's pretty common to have an internal pronounciation guide for exactly those times when no one in the room has heard a particular word. And then if you're still not sure, the next steps are 1) Google it, 2) ping the writer of the script to see if they know, and if all else fails, 3) record the line with multiple pronounciations to make sure your bases are covered. This all takes, at most, two or three minutes.

It's so easy to get this right, especially when it's the name of an actual human who has multiple things in the city named after him. Our top high school is Stuyvesant, Stuyvesant Town is a well-known private development on the east side of Manhattan, here in Brooklyn we've got the neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, AKA Bed-Stuy Do or Die. Every single New Yorker (and probably anyone who's ever listened to Biggie Smalls) knows how to pronounce Stuyvesant, and it really kills the immersion when the game gets something wrong that's so glaringly obvious. A character who's supposed to be native to the city just wouldn't make that mistake.

I liked the game a lot and I'm 100% nitpicking this one thing! It was just a weird failure of production that stuck out to me, both as a New Yorker and as a Professional Video Games Company Employee.
 
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