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Gripe about What You're Playing 2: Bellyache-tric Boogaloo

Fredde

Let me rock you Chaugnar Faugn
I'm sure it would never happen under Disney's watch, but I would love to see a Star Wars game that's a deconstruction of the usual gameplay loop.

I mean, anyone who would kill people and animals left and right would be firmly treading in Dark Side territory, so I would love to see a Jedi game with a bigger focus on trying not to chop up things with your lightsaber. Killing things in a video game is too easy, I want to see a game where you try not to resort to killing too much lest you become the next Darth Ersatz.
In Knights of the Old Republic II, there was at least a call-out when the Jedi Council tells the jedi hero that they're concerned about how she's basically growing stronger by killing a whole bunch of people (since it's an RPG, and that's how you get stronger in an RPG).

But yes, I'd love to see a game where the easy dark-side solution to every problem is "chop it with my lightsaber", and the light-side option is solving some kind of adventure puzzle, or using stealth. Heck, set it in the original trilogy era, with a jedi who's trying to hide their identity, and can either solve problems with their lighsaber, but then risks drawing unwanted attention, or by sneaking past it in some more complicated manner.
 

nataeryn

Discovered Construction
(he/him)
I would just like to clarify that my previous post is not to say I think no game should have Dark Souls in it. Dark Souls inspired design is just not typically for me. I know lots of people like it and I am fine with Dark Souls elements being in other games. I tried Jedi: Fallen Order because i like Star Wars games and I like Uncharted games. And I will probably still come back to J:FO and give it another try.

I think there's a lot that could be done with Jedi to make fun games that are not about killing lots of dudes. Jedi can serve as like a Police Detective. Jedi: Noir?
 

Adrenaline

Post Reader
(He/Him)
After the prequels and Clone Wars, the idea that Jedi always seek out peaceful solutions seems like a big old lie
 

Zef

Find Your Reason
(He/Him)
After the prequels and Clone Wars, the idea that Jedi always seek out peaceful solutions seems like a big old lie

Considering that every single one of them trains in deadly weapons from the moment they can hold them, building their own is a rite of passage, and they carry them around everywhere they go (as opposed to, say, having some Jedi train as warriors while others are more diplomatic or monastic), and all of the ones we've seen immediately resort to said weapons as a first approach, yeah.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
I guess my complaint is less “this isn’t how the Jedi Order behaves” and more “how is he not a walking beacon of the dark side by the end of the game?”, and I was just using Jedi as short hand for that.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
Well, to my knowledge at least, he can’t shoot lightning out of his fingers by the end of the game.

That’s basically the entire test
 

Nich

stuck in baby prison
(he/him)
Dove into Later, Alligator since it came out on Switch today and while I don't think it's a bad game, it's definitely not the game I thought it was going to be. I was kind of hoping for a little more detective-ing and a lot less minigame-ing. It's also not always clear what the minigames expect you to do until you lose--there was a big flashing arrow in the grilling one pointing me toward an impending disaster, but I could never figure out what I was supposed to be looking at.
 

Aeonus

Still not amused
(he/him)
Risk of Rain 2 had its first patch since its big "Anniversary Update" that filled in all the missing stuff from its 1.0 release a year prior. Prior to the anniversary update, I always thought playable character MUL-T the robot was pretty mediocre, but after the update he was pretty fun. Well, according to the new patch, he was bugged and the weapon I was having fun with was essentially reloading too fast, which they fixed so now he's back to being mediocre.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Revenge of Shinobi is kept from being top-tier by limited continues and a fincky-as-fuck double jump.
 

Becksworth

Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
So I got the new 8bitdo Pro 2 controller delivered today. It has a switch on the back to quickly and easily toggle between four input modes, each of which can be paired to a separate device, so this will make for a great player 2 controller for someone who won’t need console specific functionality like screen capturing, hd rumble, nfc, etc.

Except each mode is hardware specific, a Switch one, a D-Input one, an X-Input one, and a MacOS one. Now the Switch and X-Input ones will definitely get use, and while I’d prefer a second X-Input, I’m sure I can get some use out of a D-Input. The MacOS one is the vexing one, especially considering it just MacOS from what I can tell and not iOS/tvOS as well. I mean maybe in the future Apple Silicon will upend the PC gaming market, but right now Mac gaming seems an extremely niche thing to be locking down a quarter of my options to.
 

4-So

Spicy
Resident Evil 7 looks great but, ahem, fuck this difficulty. The game was fine until I got to some basement area and started fighting enemies apparently called the Molded. I'm only about two hours in or so but after trying to get through the area a half dozen times, I ejected the disc and put the game back on the shelf, such is my frustration. I might come back to it before Village is released but I'll be playing on easy. Went ahead and read the wiki so at least have the story if I decide not to come back to it.
 
Resident Evil 7 looks great but, ahem, fuck this difficulty. The game was fine until I got to some basement area and started fighting enemies apparently called the Molded. I'm only about two hours in or so but after trying to get through the area a half dozen times, I ejected the disc and put the game back on the shelf, such is my frustration. I might come back to it before Village is released but I'll be playing on easy. Went ahead and read the wiki so at least have the story if I decide not to come back to it.
It's 100% the hardest part of the game. Only ones you have to kill are in the morgue room.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Revenge of Shinobi for GBA is exactly as bad as you've heard it is, completely unrelated to the Genesis game of the same name, it is, at best, a slog. Forms an unholy Sega trinity on GBA with Sonic the Hedgehog Genesis and Altered Beast.
 

Aleryn

Gravity is overrated.
Resident Evil 7 looks great but, ahem, fuck this difficulty. The game was fine until I got to some basement area and started fighting enemies apparently called the Molded. I'm only about two hours in or so but after trying to get through the area a half dozen times, I ejected the disc and put the game back on the shelf, such is my frustration. I might come back to it before Village is released but I'll be playing on easy. Went ahead and read the wiki so at least have the story if I decide not to come back to it.
This describes my love and hate relationship with Resident Evil pretty well! I got through the original trilogy through stubbornness but nowadays I'm really happy the newer ones and remakes have easier difficulty settings. Maybe 7 has an easier mode? I hope...
 
I've been playing The Forest for the past several weeks with some friends on Sundays. For 2-3 hours a week, we'd build our base, go spelunking in the creepy caves, and while it felt like there was a weird manly-man ideology underneath the whole thing, we were having fun hanging out online.

Today, we finished the endgame. And it sucked. It sucked so bad. The story was... there before, but could largely be ignored. And the endgame proceeds from the assumption that you cared deeply about the narrative they'd crafted.

That's not the only problem. The game starts as a semi-realistic version of MInecraft, and then it becomes survival horror, and then, by the end of the game it becomes shitty Half-Life/Resident Evil 4 with a massive boss fight that FEELS like a Capcom, pattern-based boss fight but without good controls, movement abilities, or anything that would make it fun.

We took down the boss joylessly and proceeded through a few additional puzzles that were terrible. And then we got to the culmination of the story:

The plot hook of the game is that your son, Timmy, was taken by the bad people. And in the last section, you find Timmy dead, sacrificed to revive a little girl who then becomes the end boss. And, you learn, that the plane crash that started the game was caused so this could happen.
THEN, THEN, HOLY GOD THEN
you are given the option to crash a plan yourself to save Timmy. They show you this is an option by having a computer a giant spinning eldritch death laser that shows a plane with three names on it along the lines of "VIABLE SACRIFICES: SALLY: AGE 7, KEVIN: AGE 9, SARAH: AGE 10." And then there's a computer that says "OVERRIDE DEATH LASER" or something. We chose the latter because, duh. Also, Timmy was absent the entire game and there was no connection to him, no nothing. They'd done NOTHING to make this a choice that matters.
.

I was fully done with the game before this moment, but this was the final nail in the coffin. And the worst thing was picking that option didn't end the game - you just return to the survival mode without watching the credits. The first, RIDICULOUS OPTION is what actually lets you know you "beat" the game and is canonical.

tl;dr, The Forest's story mode is the game version of one of those hyperspecific t-shirts that says "DON'T MESS WITH ME! I'm a TOTAL BADASS who was BORN IN FEBRUARY and I would do ANYTHING FOR MY
DEAD SON.

TBH, we had a great time hating the experience together, but it has been a LONG time since I've seen a game fumble the landing that hard, my stars.
 
I played The Forest a few months back with some friends. Had a lot of fun with it. There's a lot of jank, but it does a good job of being a creepy survival game. It's a LOT easier when you play with friends because you can kite enemies and take them on together. It's super friggin' hard if you're only playing with 1 or 2 players.

The story, as you surmised KCar, is mega dumb. But it's supposed to be? I had a hearty laugh at the story's expense. We decided revive the dumb kid because it was comically bad and stupid that was even a choice. Afterwards, there's a cutscene where you get your kid back, but he's a twitchy mess and clearly there's something wrong with him, and eventually he turns into a monster while you're doing a late night TV interview and the kid starts murdering people in the audience. It seems very intentionally hokey. That ending actually got rewritten and patched out of the game because they wanted a new ending where the kid doesn't turn into a crazy monster, just a slightly weird monster, that way the kid can be the star of the upcoming The Forest 2 - where you're the kid grown up and you're helping your monster-bride survive more cannibals and junk. I'll probably play that one with friends as well because it looks even more dumb.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
I played that game on the stream with the boys, and we fought a few zombies or whatever, then had way more fun building a houseboat, which we promptly rode off into the ocean and set ablaze, giving ourselves a Viking Funeral. I'd honestly forgotten all about the plane crash and zombies and shit.
 

Purple

(She/Her)
I absolutely adore The Forest, honestly, and would really encourage more people to play it. Was playing it with a friend forever ago and we got, I THINK, right up to the end (at least, spending FREAKING FOREVER going down and down through caves and reaching the bottom of the massive map-dominating sink-hole certainly feels like the endgame), but we kinda ran out of obvious way forward and I don't think we'll realistically ever finish without at least a terse guide of what the actual critical path even is.

What's weird about the game as a whole though is that when it's good, it is ASTOUNDINGLY good. Visually impressive as hell, I love how if you want to build a log cabin you have to actually chop down trees, going around rather than just hitting the same point repeatedly, gather up fallen logs one or two at a time, carry them over, and place them all one for one. The map feels really huge. The monster designs are legitimately unnerving. The AI does a weirdly good job of creating the illusion of fighting people/things with independent agency and planning. Having our first real base get UTTERLY WRECKED by what certainly felt like an organized war party is one of the best experiences I've ever had, the cave diving is hard to psyche yourself up for...

... but then when it isn't good it's just... out and out baffling? It really seems to just inherently jump from 0 to 60 on being a grim realistic survival/child hunting scenario to slaughtering screeching nudists to eat or make their bones into armor, and then you still have small songbirds gently alight on your finger, or the contents of your firepits while you're doing this. There's really nothing to even remotely suggest that you are going to find your missing son and have a happy reunion I mean... other than finding various places where the horrible cannibal mutants pin up his drawings like their grim corpse art tableaus are the family refrigerator? And of course the children's survival manual your son was reading on the plane contains instructions for building furniture out of human bones!?

And then of course you've got this whole crafting system where the vast majority of options seem to be completely useless/roleplaying-only in utility? I maintain that building any sort of permanent base structure is a full-on trap option that takes forever, is all made of paper essentially if monsters do attack, you are in fact perfectly safe sleeping through the night anywhere with just a bed out in the open, and it's not like you need any infrastructure to craft other things. Ziplines rule though.

And yeah, the plot is irrelevant/underbaked enough that having played through, I'm pretty sure at least 95% of the game, I genuinely still have no idea where it's going, and would fully believe any or all of these reveals are in the spoilers above:
- The whole penninsula is cover for a lab belonging to what is essentially the Umbrella corporation.
- Some kinda Lovecraft sorta thing or literal portal to hell is at the bottom of the sinkhole.
- The horrible monsters are actually really nice and have been taking good care of Timmy and the real monster is you, just panicking and murdering them all on sight, how dare you.
- Timmy is the final boss. 50/50 on whether he is a 30 foot super mutant or just sitting on a throne of skulls commanding waves of minions.
- Something else entirely.

Of course, what I DO know is that if you start a new game in multiplayer, rather than play the intro out for everyone from the same perspective, everyone other than the host actually have seats elsewhere on the plane, but still start with a cherished photo of Timmy and goal of finding him, and I legitimately think it's great that you just play this thing as a polycule of 1-8 men all raising a son together.
 
I agree with everyone that the game is really good when it's good - fully 4/5 stars up until you decide to put the story to bed. I wouldn't have minded the narrative being quite that silly if I also didn't find the whole endgame process so dull, janky, and irritating.
 
The ending is so bad, but that's part of the charm. Me and the buddies were pretty much laughing the entire way down through the bottom of the crater.
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
In virtually ever other regard, Saints Row 4 is easily my favourite sandbox game, and the thing that everything else in the genre should be looking to as inspiration. I could go into detail about that, but this isn’t the effusive praise thread.

My only complaint is that, until after you beat the game, it is never daytime.

This is a game where nothing is off limits to you, you are cartoonishly overpowered right from the jump (you can spawn infinite tanks from a very early game mission, and you never wind up using it because you are so much stronger than a tank) and that’s before you count what cheat codes can get you.

AND YET

Clear visibility is something you have to earn.

Unless there’s a good reason for them, day/night cycles always bug me in games, but it’s weirdly galling here.
 

ShakeWell

Slam Master
(he, etc.)
Neo-Alec of Basement Brothers compares Magician Lord to Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, but I find it much less interesting and much crueler. You're frequently beset by multiple-hit enemies, your power-ups are so much more fragile than Arthur's (two hits costs you your transformation, one hit removes a POW level, of which you can total three). The stage designs are bland, at best, the bosses are either extremely easy or flood the screen with attacks that become nearly unavoidable. It's a game that definitely got by on its aesthetics, coming out in the arcade before the Super NES and in the home basically at the same time.
 

4-So

Spicy
BPM: Bullets Per Minute is fun but I find myself just wanting to go listen to the soundtrack after about 15 minutes. The reload mechanics make sense within the context of the game but they don't feel good, especially with guns like the revolver, and I've never been good at keeping beat (which is one of the reasons I passed on Necrodancer). I'm also not a fan of roguelikes in general, so the game likely already had an uphill battle. It just makes me want to go play Doom or Doom Eternal so I can get my butt-metal fix and I don't have to deal with roguelike nonsense.
 
So, I watched Nick Arcade for a little late 20th century nostalgia. Among the games shown in the Video Challenge was Hal Lab's Hyperzone, and just watching one of the contestants blast away at non-descript shapes left me bored to tears. There must be more to this game than this, right? It can't possibly be as dull as the half minute of gameplay made it look, can it?

I fired it up on an emulator just to make sure, and yes, Hyperzone really is that boring. It's a Mode 7 tech demo in the guise of a game. It's Space Harrier with more confusing play mechanics and the personality and seat-of-the-pants thrills extracted from it. You're sandwiched between roads and have to stay between their boundaries or you'll take damage, even though you're in mid air and the damn roads shouldn't make any difference at all. The enemies are banal and/or self-indulgent (half of a Super NES controller? Really?). You can slow down or shoot, and you can't expand your abilities until after you've finished two stages... if you can stay awake for that long.

The cruelest cut is that it's by Hal, who even by at the time should have known better. Imagine going home with a Super NES and making this your first non-pack in game. It's like F-Zero meets Space Harrier meets profound sadness.
 
I've been going through Mega Man X5 - X8 for the first time thanks to the Legacy Collection. The Cyber Field stage in X7 has completely broken my brain. I'm too mystified to even gripe as I play it, my mind simply can't comprehend that this level exists and that someone would make it.

Also this will be my hardest X game to finish yet as a completionist. I'm compelled to save all the Reploids, but the game obviously is not going to make that remotely easy or feasible. Gonna have to make my peace with letting them die.
 
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Sprite

(He/Him/His)
I’m just aghast that Nintendo didn’t make a way to mass import Miis from old systems to Switch and it’s seriously hampering my enthusiasm for the Miitopia re-release. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to get Miis from friends unless they’re physically present with their Switch or unless they also have Miitopia.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
This is absolutely ridiculous.

My old NFC reader is busted, AND the New 2DS XL I bought last year doesn’t seem to be able to read amiibo. So my Miis are stranded. Screw this.

I’ll have to use the Wii U I guess but I’ve already wasted so much time on this idiotic process.
 
Yeah, I ended up canceling my Miitopia preorder. I loved the original game, but the Miis are the point and there just isn't that much new stuff added to the Switch version. I got frustrated by the process and ultimately realized I didn't care enough to do it and my money/time is better spent on other games. I can easily just replay it on 3DS if I want to.
 

Sprite

(He/Him/His)
I’m pretty bummed. The original game was pulling on 20 years of people making and importing these things, and when the game auto populated the Miis they were all weird and wild. Here Miis can be weirder and wilder than ever but we’re basically starting over from scratch.

I’m still glad they re-released it and will probably get it eventually, but I was back and forth between getting it Biomutant and I think I’ll go with the latter.
 
I’m still glad they re-released it and will probably get it eventually, but I was back and forth between getting it Biomutant and I think I’ll go with the latter.
Yeah, I just got Mass Effect and I preordered Biomutant a billion years ago so same boat.
 
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