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Dr. Cheesesteak

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Well, I just got Spider-Man Remastered. I'm playing on the default Amazing difficulty, but I don't feel too amazing yet. More like wanna be Spider-Man at this point. :(
How so? Like you don't feel powerful in fights?
 

Frag Maniac

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How so? Like you don't feel powerful in fights?

It was a combination of feeling clumsy and unfamiliar with the controls, and not having many skills yet to make the fighting easier. Since then I'm nearly 3/4 way through the game now and have managed a lot better. I bound Map to M because I kept accidentally hitting it's default key Tab when trying to use Q to toss things at enemies. I've also done all but a few of the Challenge side missions. At first I settled for a Spectacular score on one Combat Challenge and one Drone Challenge, but have scored Ultimate on all the other Drone Challenges, Bomb Challenges, and Stealth Challenges (which were easy). I've yet to try the remaining Combat challenges, but I think if I use gadgets more, which I've been reluctant to do in general, and focus on quicker takedown methods like Air Launch then web to ground when they fall, I can maybe get Ultimate.

I've done a couple of the Demon Warehouses too, with 100% on bonus objectives. The first I did pretty well, even though it had a 35 hit combo bonus objective, for which I found Air Yank to be very effective. I still had to dodge a ton of attacks to accomplish it though. The second though I kept failing to do the Off the Wall attack objective, because I mistakenly used L Ctrl + Space, instead of L Ctrl + RMB. I've also got pretty much every district 100% on Crimes. Finished all Research missions too, last one being a pretty cool Lighting Rod one. The Black Cat Stakeout missions were kind of boring, and the ending investigation just as much so, but there's also a Black Cat DLC included I'm expecting to be better.

One of the coolest things about this game is the web swinging is so smooth with excellent control, and it definitely needs to be to get an Ultimate score in Drone Challenges. Some of those took numerous tries. I really wish I had the Combat and Drone Challenges I accepted Spectacular score on back though, because I might have gotten 100%, Platinum, or whatever they call it otherwise. Once you accept a score though, you can't replay them. I tend to either really be in a zone, or fumble about in combat, the latter mostly due to getting bonus objectives. There's still a slight feeling of naivety when it comes to tactics though.

The parts I struggled with most were some story missions early on against Fisk's men. I got shot a lot and was trying to figure out movement, attacks, dodges, etc. I'd have to say my only nit pick so far is just last night, after like a week of playing, I finally got a couple of rather nasty bugs in story missions I just feel should have been patch fixed before release. One happens with either keyboard or gamepad, and is a bug where you freeze in place after hacking a security node on the Oscorp building. There's also an animation bug I call Slidey Spidey in that mission, where Spider-Man doesn't auto put his hack gadget (phone) away so he's sliding with stiff arms and legs vs crawling, both out and inside the building. I Googled for a fix, and found one. It's tricky to do, but you basically tap E to start the hack, but need to abort at a time which makes the Press E to Hack prompt stay onscreen long enough to still be there after you quickly tap the Gadget wheel to pop up, then you can Hack the node as long as the Hack prompt is still there. You have to do it that way on 3 nodes whilst evading being seen, and I kept having to abort mission and do it over because I wanted a seamless capture, and I was frequently not pressing the Hack key initially for the correct duration. That doesn't fix the sliding though, I dealt with that via releasing grasp with L Ctrl, then tapping space to web zip back on the wall, but you have to do it where it's safe.

Right after that mission, the next story mission was to rescue one of the main characters, and suddenly the voices of all characters, including Spider-Man, were in a very high pitch, plus audio was cutting out some. The audio cutting out continued a bit with the start of the final Research Mission Lighting Rod. With another search I discovered a fix is aborting mission, quitting game, and relaunching, but again, as long as the game has been out on console, I really think the PC version should have been play tested better, especially main story missions. I guess we on PC are low on priority due to much lower sales though.
 
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Dr. Cheesesteak

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Yeah, the controls can be overwhelming. I'm on PC, but still using a XB controller, so it sorta feels more familiar to me since I usually play action games on controller. The technical stuff I have not experienced yet, but I'm only 6 hours in.

It did take me some time to get used to combat and its flows and nuances, but I feel pretty good about it now. Same w/ web-slinging. At first I fell a lot or hit walls a lot, but now I feel like actual Spider-Man after some upgrades and practice.
 

Magnolia Grandiflora

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My husband and I have gotten back into Tetris Effect lately. It's just a great game to play local multiplayer with your partner.
 

SaddlerFan

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I got the new Saints Row game (yes I watched gameplay videos before I did, yes I know the critics weren't exactly that amazed) and I've been playing it for a few hours now and eh it's okay. I can see where the critics come from, but to me it's not super bad. It has quite a few perks that turn it into a quite okay game for me personally - it has a super easy "tourist" mode, the map isn't all cluttered up with icons at the beginning - why do so many open world games do this, it's so STRESSFUL - and as far as I'm aware there's also a setting that turns off timers so that you can finish things in your own time. This game was definitely made by people who know what it's like when a game stresses you out to a point where you no longer want to play it and since I reach that point quickly, I appreciate all the measures they put into place. Also, you don't get phone calls every five seconds (looking at you, GTA). Also very nice. And the customization options are awesome. And it runs smoothly so far on my PS5. Sure the occasional glitch happens but it's not "Cyberpunk 2077 on base PS4" levels of atrocius. It doesn't look unfinished to me, more like... somewhat unpolished? Is that a word?

The negatives are perhaps the rather sub-standard graphics (although this is a minor point for me personally, I can see how it's off-putting to many others, especially if you have a PS5 and expect the latest amazing graphics) and the rather terrible controls (I'm used to this sort of thing tho, I mean I play Resident Evil 4 for hours every day, lmao) and the driving is not really super awesome either, it's not Watch Dogs level of terrible (and I'm saying this as someone who ENJOYED Watch Dogs) but definitely nowhere near GTA's driving experience although it does gradually get better because your driving skills improve.

I'd say all in all the game isn't worth the Triple A status but it's also not complete trash. A review dude summed it up like I would: It's neither super amazing nor super bad. It just... is. And for me personally, that's okay. If I were a fan of the series and the franchise tho I'd probably feel differently since they seem to have dropped a lot of things people used to enjoy. But since this is the first Saints Row I've ever tried out, it's fine to me. And if I want to play an open world game that takes place in a city with lots of crime happening and that's nearly perfect, I can always just play GTA. Simple. I don't NEED for Saints Row to be like GTA. But that's just me. Other opinions may differ. Heh.
 

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Started playing through the first The Last of Us again, and I must admit that coming fresh off Part II the graphics in the first one are honestly less impressive than I remember. Back in 2016 when I first played it, I was flabbergasted how insane the graphics were, but now they look mediocre. Gameplay feels so much stiffer as well, perhaps the remake really is needed after all.
 

Gun Powder B

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Thanks to @Rain611 constant advertisement, I decided to get 'Evil Dead The Game'.

Just beat the tutorial, thought it was very fun and had some good quirks to it, now we will see if the game holds up for many hours and doesn't get boring too quickly, which is always a danger to games like this. Will it hold up or will it quickly get repetitive? We shall see!
 

Dr. Cheesesteak

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- Resident Evil Village
- Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered
- Monster Train
- Little Noah: Scion of Paradise
- Super Bullet Break
- Samurai Shodown (2019)
- Dragon Ball FighterZ
- Them's Fightin' Herds

So the 2 groups that are easy to summarize are the fighting games and roguelites. I'm only doing story modes in SamSho and labbing in DBFZ, awaiting both to get rollback netcode. TFH I'm actually taking more serious and playing online on occasion. I need to do it more.

I've been in a big roguelite mood recently and the 3 above (Monster Train, Noah, SBB) I chose simply b/c they keep run history stats and have very thorough collection encyclopedias. Something I value in roguelites, being a history graduate and somewhat semi-OCD about archiving stuff (i.e., stat keeping). And, well, they're good games, too. :D

But the 2 big boys up there are Spider-Man and RE8. I'm loving both. I'm 20+ hrs into Spidey and just started Part 3, so I think I'm close to the end. There are some things I do no like about it (OP Demon enemies, some crazy traversal controls for Spidey, etc), but overall, it's been a great open world game that pays a lot of respect to Spider-Man.

RE8 I'm only a few hours in, but I love it. Lady D as a stalker, so far, isn't as scary as Mr. X or Jack Baker in RE2make or RE7 respectively. But she still has an imposing presence. Opening a door and seeing her right in front of me ducking through is quite jarring. Her daughters' encounters are fairly simple and straight forward, after figuring out with the first one you can't fight them traditionally. But there are some real good design choices on guiding the player on how - and WHERE - to fight them. The dialog/character logic so far doesn't seem as good as it was in RE7 or RE2make (using those as main comparisons, as part of the "new RE games"), but the overall plot and story seems really interesting so far. Eager to continue playing and finishing in time for the DLC.
 

Rain611

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Successfully did enough grinding in Evil Dead to bank enough points to be able to max out the 2 new Survivors being added to the game tomorrow XD. Then I'll just have to max out the new demon. So yea. Been playing a LOT of Evil Dead lol.
 

Jonipoon

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I'm actually replaying TLoU 2 on Grounded. It's very difficult, but definitely not impossible. I'm about 40% through and if I manage to finish the game it'll be the first game I beat on the hardest difficulty.
 

Gun Powder B

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I thought Fallout: New Vegas was the easiest game on the hardest difficulty, but I suppose that's not why people play games like that. It's more to do with with the fact that there's a ton of dialogue choices and multiple outcomes of scenarios and interesting characters rather than nuts and bolts difficulty. I feel like I just mastered the mechanics and exploited the game in my favor.

Anywho, 'Evil Dead The Game' runs badly on my laptop and is definitely a purely Nu-Gen game no doubt about it so I shall shelve until I get my new laptop.

Stutters like Hell even on lowest settings.
 

Turo602

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Finished Shadow of the Tomb Raider and just need to beat the game on the highest difficulty for the last 2 achievements which I'll save for some other time. But I really enjoyed the segment that occurs right after you leave Paititi, which was really hurting the pacing of the game. But that entire sequence afterwards was exactly what the game had been missing up until that point.

Stripping Lara of all her gear with nothing to defend herself with but a knife made these combat encounters so much more rewarding than all the others that came before which were all designed around stealth but ultimately fell flat when you're equipped like a tank and can mow through the few enemies scattered around the large maps.

If the game wanted you to play stealthily, it should have created scenarios much like the one after you leave Paititi rather than hoping the player holds back and dabbles in the stealth gameplay that is over the moment you're spotted since you're equipped with all sorts of combat skills and weapons you've been earning all game long and with no real practice for them.

This odd design choice is what really made me miss the bombastic shootouts of the first 2 games. I understand trying to change up the pace by incorporating more stealth elements into combat which goes perfectly with Shadow's jungle setting, but rather than expanding on the gameplay variety, it completely reduces combat to these stealth encounters that clash with the game's progression system which is mostly carried over from the previous games which were much more shootout friendly.

Yet surprisingly, they managed to get it right with this one specific sequence, which is honestly one of the greatest moments in this trilogy for me with how excellently the gameplay progresses from a series of stealth encounters into a loud and explosive Uncharted-like set-piece that crescendos into an emotionally charged shootout, taking Lara from a desperate survivor to a cold blooded killer with one of the coolest shots and character moments in the series with Lara emerging from the water shrouded in shadow while fire burns behind her, striking fear into her enemies.

I know people have often criticized the reboot trilogy for its emphasis on action and set-pieces that liken it more to Uncharted than the Tomb Raider of old, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider finally feels like it's gotten back to its roots with its bigger and much more intricate tombs that are easily the highlight of the game, and while there is much more spectacle to this game than Rise, which I thought was sorely lacking in, the combat experience was definitely mishandled and not for lack of encounters either.

I actually thought the game was paced really well until Paititi kinda brings everything to a halt and turns the game into more of a mini open world experience. However, despite my gripes with the size and scope of Paititi, I did really enjoy the inclusion of villages in this game, as it allows Lara the opportunity to interact with locals and immerse herself into various cultures as opposed to just passing through and helping herself to whatever she finds.

I also started and finished Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze which I had been playing on Switch simultaneously with Tomb Raider. I first started the game on the Wii U back in 2017 after completing Breath of the Wild for the first time. I must've done at least 3 worlds before I let it fall to the wayside. I thought it was an incredible game then, but after experiencing a game like Breath of the Wild, it was hard for me to find something for a while that would measure up.

Guess that was a side effect of having immersed myself into such a rich and expansive world for so long and Donkey Kong was unfortunately one of the few games I never completed during that period. It just wasn't the right transitional game for me. So I finally decided to start it up from scratch on the Switch and holy sh*t I'm glad that's behind me. I thought it was a great game, one of, if not, the best 2D platformer I've ever played, but it was really stressful.

I don't know if I'm just putting too much pressure on myself because there's just way too many hidden collectibles in each level and the completionist in me just doesn't feel right moving on until I've cleared it all. While not as excessive as Crash Bandicoot 4, it is very much in the same vein and was actually the reason I stopped playing Crash 4 which I would really like to get back to someday. But the levels are tough enough as is to be worrying about arbitrary puzzle pieces, yet I must collect them all or the level just doesn't feel complete.

But the challenge was never unfair and I found that once I wasn't worrying about collecting stuff, I was able to blast my way through levels that had otherwise been giving me trouble. It's a satisfying test of skill with some really cool and unique levels and I really enjoyed the inclusion of Dixie and Cranky as companions as they added a level of variety to the gameplay with their unique abilities that completely alter your strategy and approach to specific levels. Though personally, I found myself sticking with Dixie the most as her extra air time and slight boost up completely reduced the margin for error in platforming.

My only real issue with Tropical Freeze aside from my own mental block was how often challenge rooms would repeat themselves for a puzzle piece. I think they ultimately disrupt the pace of the levels and add unnecessary repetition to the experience. I know they're a staple of the series but they definitely need to either reinvent them or start implementing them throughout the world map so they don't detract from the levels themselves.

This game was also originally released before the trend of removing lives in platformers which was a great change for the genre and after playing Tropical Freeze, I couldn't help but feel like it contributed to that shift as lives were pretty meaningless here with how easy they were to obtain as I was always hovering at or around 100 lives for the majority of the game.
 

Gun Powder B

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..but Shadow of the Tomb Raider finally feels like it's gotten back to its roots with its bigger and much more intricate tombs ..

Huh, interesting, I always thought the tombs in SOtTR were pretty linear but all-in-all an improvement over the last two games. I suppose when the bar has been lowered any extras feel like a sigh of relief which I totally get. Let's hope they keep going that way with future iterations.

I am playing Hunt: Showdown, which is a pretty nice online game where you track down monsters and kill them (not Monster Hunter though, sorry Capcom), carefully avoiding other players who can easily kill you if you don't get them first. It's not like a battle royale where a group of warriors just slog it out like Clash of the Titans but plays more like a huntsman/woodsman-type game where you have to carefully select your gear, be stealthy, and know how to take down certain enemies or they will wreck you. Cleverness is certainly a requirement for this one.

Strangely enough, it reminds me of the new Evil Dead game but much more raw and gritty and less technologically demanding (It was released in 2019).

I do not like the perma-death feature in this one. After level 11, if your character dies, it's permanent and lose all of your gear and your character that you invested in both monetarily and aesthetically in. I don't know why they did this but it is a very janky feature typically found in European games. All-in-all the game is in fact pretty janky in its presentation despite its virtues I mentioned above and it's pretty much a hardcore online game that's rough around the edges. @Frag Maniac you might really dig this one.
 

Magnolia Grandiflora

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My husband decided last weekend that he and I would have a Mortal Kombat tournament this weekend so I've been brushing up on my MK11, while sneaking in some MKX here and there because I just generally prefer that game.

I am getting used to the slower pacing of MK11, it's just taking some time.
 

Turo602

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Been playing Days Gone and it reminds me a lot of State of Decay, which I really enjoyed for bringing to life the open-world survival horror game I had only ever dreamt about and Days Gone easily takes it to the next level with its AAA budget and presentation. Not to mention, the power of the PS4 that not only allows for an impressive open-world, but the most insane hordes of zombies I've ever seen in a video game. They actually remind me a lot of the darkseekers from I Am Legend in both appearance and with how they hide in dark caves during the day.

I also really like the inclusion of the bike which I found difficult to control at first, and while it could definitely handle better, I've gotten used to. But the bike is essentially your companion throughout the game, the same way horses are in a game like Red Dead Redemption. Meaning you're going to constantly be babysitting it by keeping it close by, refueling it, upgrading and repairing it, and even customizing it, which adds another layer to survival when your only means for quick transportation is not only limited, but vulnerable and completely dependent on you. I know there's been many moments where I've had to strategize the placement of my bike to get out of close encounters and even find myself separated from my bike by a massive wandering horde. I've even run out of gas and had to walk my bike to a nearby gas station that sure enough, just happened to have a horde walking by.

Something I saw someone point out which didn't even occur to me was how well the game implements all of its storylines. Usually, open-world games tend to have you deviate from the main quest with a bunch of meaningless side missions that don't really advance the plot. Days Gone on the other hand uses each of its plot threads to progress the overall narrative and the meaningless "filler content" of the game like clearing out freaker nests and enemy camps actually impact your experience in the open-world, making it beneficial to the player to engage in those missions.

The random events marked by question marks are very hit or miss though. The most you'll get out of them is a survivor you can send to a camp to increase your trust and credits, but are oftentimes anti-climactic and lead to a trap, an ambush, or a dead body to loot. The icons also disappear far too quickly and at times can just make you feel like you're aimlessly wandering without even knowing what you were supposed to find.

But my biggest gripe so far is with Deacon St. John himself. I just find Sam Witwer to be completely miscast here. I first saw the guy on Smallville and his performance here doesn't really set the bar any higher. He's a CW caliber actor and it constantly comes through with every line of dialogue. Whether he's loudly exhaling, exclaiming "jeezus," or droning on about any and everything in an overly pronounced and emotionally charged whispery voice, he just gets on my nerves. I don't remember being this irritated by him in The Force Unleashed games.
 

Gun Powder B

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Days Gone was pretty great and it inspired me to get back into motorcycling (do not regret it, am loving the rides).

Unfortunately though I got bored with it in the latter part of the game where the story starts to get bland and everything starts to feel 'samey'. Deacon St. John is a bit too much of a stereotypical 'Tough Western good guy' and I just kinda lost interest in the story at some point.

It is a well made game though and perhaps a bit underrated, I loved sneaking up to bandit camps and sniping them with a homemade suppressor, and even the chases were pretty fun.

Thematically outstanding, state of the art. Gameplay, story, and characters very good but gets weaker and a bit repetitive later on (my overall summary of the game).

I am playing 'Ebola 3', which I got on Steam for $17.

****ing amazing. Survival horror at its best. It's a certainly a low budget UE4 game no doubt about that and the game does feel a bit linear in its exploration at times, as you merely use an elevator to get where you wanna go in the world, but everything else about is top notch survival horror with everything from the puzzles to the crafting to the setting and even the few characters that are in the game are very interesting.

I really don't even know how to review a game like this coherently, all I can say is, If you have $17 to spare, and are open to something that's survival horror to the marrow of its bone, and isn't AAA snob-grade, just play the damn game already!
 

Frag Maniac

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Well, I enjoyed Monster Energy Supercross 3 so much, I bought and am now playing ME Supercross 4.

I knew 4 has a new twist where you start with dumbed down skills and have to hone them via spending skill points you earn on Abilities, but that's nowhere near the problem as it turns out. Getting those skills goes pretty quickly actually. The thing that takes time is learning the new tracks, which are quite a bit more technical in this game. I guess I didn't watch much if any Supercross events in 2020, which is the season the game is taken from, so it hit me like a ton of bricks. I've never seen small, odd shaped tabletops, that double as sharp and dogleg turning points before. There's also a lot of tough rhythm sections with steep faced jumps you can get stuck in if you don't land in the right spots. There's also things like very deep sand in hairpin turns, and hairpin turns at the bottom of a big air double. A lot of the tracks are frustrating because you not only have to hit your marks precisely, you also need to triple out of 180 berms at times just to keep up with AI on low difficulty modes.

To make matters worse, they nerfed what you can do with the bike. Landings need to be much more precise or you crash, and weighting back on jump takeoffs and landings only gives a very slight traction acceleration boost now. Some say once you get to the 450 class, it's easier, as they have the power to make big jumps much easier than the 250s can. This was true to a degree in Supercross 3 as well, but here you feel it much more due to how technical the tracks are. I never knew loving this sport would end up making me a glutton for punishment, without even owning a dirt bike. :(

The track I'm on right now is taking so long to dial in, you might just be done with Ebola 3 before I even get back to it GPB.
 
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