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  1. #20441
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Not the Robots is not the game I expected from the videos, its a procedural stealth game where each level is probably doable... Probably, no... I'm going to say definitely.. Probably. And you need to figure out how to do it as smoothly as possible, and the game keeps adding new mechanics, opponents and tools in. Got to building 6 in one clean run and then took a break, its music is a bit oppressive eh? And you are completely defenceless like an overeager roomba evading a building full of RQ-16 T-Hawks. You have up to 3 equipment slots you can fill from boxes in the level of empty by deleting the slots contents which each recharge as you eat stuff but you never feel over-equipped for long.

    I admire What the game has achieved with so little, even hiding under tables, or lasers sweeping through holes in furniture is meaningful and adds colour to an environment which could so easily feel like mindless procedural generation, instead you feel like the game is toying with you, stealing away your expectations and forces new ones on you endlessly, more stressful than Dark Souls easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    To be fair, DA:O is hardly a paragon of quality tactical combat.
    Combat bored the hell out of me in DA:O, its why I never got past the end of an Origin story, being a mage raised that up a bit, but that origin was probably the worst for narrative constraint. My wife loves the entire series so I will end up co-owning DA:Inqisition, maybe I should try and get on board with it one day and I can murder all of her favourite characters and shack up with someone she hated all at the same time. >:D
    Last edited by Heliocentric; 22-03-2014 at 10:57 PM.
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  2. #20442
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    To be fair, DA:O is hardly a paragon of quality tactical combat. Honestly, I don't understand what people see in that game. Is it the gameplay? Characters? Plot? Lore? Aesthetic? None of them are very good. Mass Effect shares some flaws, but it manages not to outstay its welcome. Origins drags on for fucking forever, both in its narrative and its gameplay. Bleh.
    I imagine it's a combination of all of the above. There are remarkably few contemporary games like dragon age. You can point to RPGs that have better dialogue, or better characters, like mass effect, or better combat, like nearly anything, or better worldbuilding, like the witcher, or a bigger world, like skyrim, but there's very few that even attempt to do what a game like dragon age does, and even those that exist aren't numerous enough. It's a starved market. People take what they can get.

  3. #20443
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus vinraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I imagine it's a combination of all of the above. There are remarkably few contemporary games like dragon age. You can point to RPGs that have better dialogue, or better characters, like mass effect, or better combat, like nearly anything, or better worldbuilding, like the witcher, or a bigger world, like skyrim, but there's very few that even attempt to do what a game like dragon age does, and even those that exist aren't numerous enough. It's a starved market. People take what they can get.
    This is it exactly, at least for me. I've played through DA:O twice, despite the fact that I don't especially like the combat, simply because there are so few other modern, top-down, party based RPG's out there.
    Last edited by vinraith; 22-03-2014 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #20444
    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    I imagine it's a combination of all of the above. There are remarkably few contemporary games like dragon age. You can point to RPGs that have better dialogue, or better characters, like mass effect, or better combat, like nearly anything, or better worldbuilding, like the witcher, or a bigger world, like skyrim, but there's very few that even attempt to do what a game like dragon age does, and even those that exist aren't numerous enough. It's a starved market. People take what they can get.
    It never felt particularly ambitious to me, never mind successfully ambitious. Just drawn and padded out. I was late to the party, admittedly, which probably colored my expectations after years of hearing nonstop praise.

    Edit: Second time you force me to edit in the post I'm replying to, vinraith. :P
    Last edited by wrestledwithgod; 22-03-2014 at 11:14 PM.

  5. #20445
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    This is it exactly, at least for me. I've played through DA:O twice, despite the fact that I don't especially like the combat, simply because there are so few other modern, top-down, party based RPG's out there.
    Same for me. After DA2, I was in the mood for that kind of game, but I couldn't think of any. Maybe I should give The Witcher another try, or finally tackle some of old RPG classics I have on GOG to fill the void of fantasy RPG games in my life.

  6. #20446
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinraith View Post
    there are so few other modern, top-down, party based RPG's out there.
    Have yall tried Expeditions: Conquistador? It doesn't try to look like Dragon Age or Skyrim, but it hit the spot for me.

  7. #20447
    Network Hub Pertusaria's Avatar
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    Played the first two Blackwell games, which are really short (depending on how stuck you get) and worth playing, as most people 'round here probably know. I played Deception months ago, so I only have Convergence to go and I'll be ready for the new release. I'm hoping it'll be more the length and complexity of Deception so that I can play it in the course of a few evenings. I played part of the demo ages ago and it looked good.

    (Edit: Welp, it was good, and I would say more complex than the first two, but I finished it in one sitting without cheating, so not very long - I think it took me about 2 1/2 hours. I don't feel like Deception spoiled me much for the others, but definitely don't play Convergence unless you play at least Unbound first, and preferably without a big gap between the two.)

    I also played the first few levels / screens of Sokobond, but I think it's something to pick up and play for half an hour rather than something to try to blast through. (Which in part means that I'm stuck, but also that block-moving puzzles are probably more fun in small-ish doses).
    Last edited by Pertusaria; 23-03-2014 at 08:00 PM.
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  8. #20448
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    I actually liked DA:O's combat quite a bit. That being said, I'm absolutely terrible at most top-down RPG games, so maybe it says more about me than the quality of the game.

  9. #20449
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    To be fair, DA:O is hardly a paragon of quality tactical combat. Honestly, I don't understand what people see in that game. Is it the gameplay? Characters? Plot? Lore? Aesthetic? None of them are very good. Mass Effect shares some flaws, but it manages not to outstay its welcome. Origins drags on for fucking forever, both in its narrative and its gameplay. Bleh.
    This. Edge caught some flack for their snarky dismissal in their review, but they pretty much summed it up for me. That Marilyn Manson trailer turned out to be even more appropriate than I feared at the time - the whole game just reeks of a self-important "This is serious, god damn it" tone which it flatly does nothing to earn from start to finish. It's a walking collection of idiot high fantasy tropes obsessed with beating you about the head with how dark and edgy it is but it never once made me care about a single plot point. DA2's narrative was still wobbly and flawed but the cast just seemed so much more like actual people I could hardly believe it.

    A little rant, while I'm at it. I've seen a couple of commenters on this site take issue with other people saying "I don't understand why you like X, Y and Z" (Oh my goodness, you can't understand why other people like different things? How insufferably arrogant!), and it really annoys me. I can't stand Mario or Sonic or Link as characters - they have next to no aesthetic appeal for me and I've always found Super Mario 64, say, bland to ugly - but I get why people praise the games they appear in. I do not understand why people like Dragon Age: Origins. I don't.

    Morrigan is a shallow, one-dimensional non-entity with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, a half-assed trope that's been done a hundred times better a hundred times over. As far as my brain's concerned that is objective fact; I simply cannot see how anyone can't realise it. I understand a lot of people think I'm nuts/dumb/arrogant/whatever, but to me, they're just filling in the blanks because she fits some... nebulous ideal they want to see in their creative media and they're so desperate for more of that ideal that anything will do. (Like Liara in ME1: there is absolutely nothing significant about her character beyond "Mother!" and "Oh, Commander Sheperd, teach me this thing you humans call... love". There isn't. It simply isn't there.)

    Pretty much every facet of DA:O settles into the same pattern for me. Every character, every plot point, every gameplay mechanic, all of it. It's been done before, it's been done better, but people want grimdark and serious AAA fantasy videogames with a ton of pointless busywork that fall into this nice, comfortable angsty niche, and so they just ignore how... dumb it is, for want of something more eloquent. How childish. How clumsy. They settle. And I read people talking about why they love Bioware's back catalogue, believe me, I do, but I never see anything more insightful than "Well, I like that sort of thing" and so the internet chorus agreeing that god damn it, Dragon Age: Origins was awesome and why did Bioware have to go and ruin it continues to baffle me. I don't understand. And screw anyone who dismisses that. :-(
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  10. #20450
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lukasz's Avatar
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    replayed gamedev tycoon. i got it on release. They made few changes and extended the storyline up to paystation 5. Fun game. would see a more professional version.

  11. #20451
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    This. Edge caught some flack for their snarky dismissal in their review, but they pretty much summed it up for me. That Marilyn Manson trailer turned out to be even more appropriate than I feared at the time - the whole game just reeks of a self-important "This is serious, god damn it" tone which it flatly does nothing to earn from start to finish. It's a walking collection of idiot high fantasy tropes obsessed with beating you about the head with how dark and edgy it is but it never once made me care about a single plot point. DA2's narrative was still wobbly and flawed but the cast just seemed so much more like actual people I could hardly believe it.

    A little rant, while I'm at it. I've seen a couple of commenters on this site take issue with other people saying "I don't understand why you like X, Y and Z" (Oh my goodness, you can't understand why other people like different things? How insufferably arrogant!), and it really annoys me. I can't stand Mario or Sonic or Link as characters - they have next to no aesthetic appeal for me and I've always found Super Mario 64, say, bland to ugly - but I get why people praise the games they appear in. I do not understand why people like Dragon Age: Origins. I don't.

    Morrigan is a shallow, one-dimensional non-entity with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, a half-assed trope that's been done a hundred times better a hundred times over. As far as my brain's concerned that is objective fact; I simply cannot see how anyone can't realise it. I understand a lot of people think I'm nuts/dumb/arrogant/whatever, but to me, they're just filling in the blanks because she fits some... nebulous ideal they want to see in their creative media and they're so desperate for more of that ideal that anything will do. (Like Liara in ME1: there is absolutely nothing significant about her character beyond "Mother!" and "Oh, Commander Sheperd, teach me this thing you humans call... love". There isn't. It simply isn't there.)

    Pretty much every facet of DA:O settles into the same pattern for me. Every character, every plot point, every gameplay mechanic, all of it. It's been done before, it's been done better, but people want grimdark and serious AAA fantasy videogames with a ton of pointless busywork that fall into this nice, comfortable angsty niche, and so they just ignore how... dumb it is, for want of something more eloquent. How childish. How clumsy. They settle. And I read people talking about why they love Bioware's back catalogue, believe me, I do, but I never see anything more insightful than "Well, I like that sort of thing" and so the internet chorus agreeing that god damn it, Dragon Age: Origins was awesome and why did Bioware have to go and ruin it continues to baffle me. I don't understand. And screw anyone who dismisses that. :-(
    Well said.

    Dragon Age Origins was a game that wanted to be a novel. A game whose developers wanted you to play it for the narrative experience perhaps more than the developers of any other RPG.

    Which is why it is, in my opinion, absolutely terrible.

    It fails on the 'interesting/exciting game play' aspect of games. Combat is the bulk of actual play. In fact, its literally the only play found herein. The only time you have direct control of a party is when combat is either in progress or imminent. So much for anticipation, dread, foreboding...for any of the feelings exploration in games normally engenders.

    And speaking of that combat...it was also pretty horrid. MMO style cool downs had no place in this game. None. Killed any idea of tactical/strategic combat when I had to wait 30 seconds for a shield bash to "cool down" before my warrior could use it again. Not that I got to see or enjoy the visceral feel of things, hovering as I was overhead like a field commander, busily trying to keep my mage from dying to her own stupidity.

    All of which we were supposed to excuse due to the dark, weighty, well crafted, mature narrative. Which in point of fact turned out to be utterly generic, completely derivative and mostly poorly written. Demons invade; hero is chosen/arises. Gathers a party and suffers many tribulations. Goes off and does irrelevant stuff, including dabbling in Dwarven politics, while the world burns around him and nobody notices. That sort of Bethesda-inspired drivel. All in a world that is, as so many others have said, Tolkien by way of D&D.

    There existed absolutely nothing intriguing about DA:O. Not the combat; not the game play. Certainly not the tired, trope-filled plot or the lackluster writing and dialogue. Yet sadly, this has become a benchmark for what RPG games hope to achieve in story telling.

    Folks, if this and Bioshock: Infinite are the modern pinnacles of story telling in games, I'll just go back to watching movies and read even more books than I already do. Cause this...is a pretty low bar to set.

  12. #20452
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    Well said.

    Dragon Age Origins was a game that wanted to be a novel. A game whose developers wanted you to play it for the narrative experience perhaps more than the developers of any other RPG.

    Which is why it is, in my opinion, absolutely terrible.
    No. No no no no no. I'm guessing you worded this poorly, judging from the rest of your post, but if you didn't, I STRONGLY disagree. Mediocre gameplay, narrative, and shear length bring down DA:O. Not a focus on storytelling. Planescape: Torment was a phenomenal RPG, and it had that focus. So did The Walking Dead, and The Witcher 2. To suggest they suck for the same reason as DA:O makes my stomach churn.

    Edit: As far as the "why not a film, or a book?" argument goes, it ignores so many aspects of gaming that it makes my head hurt. Exploration and RPG style dialogue are both gameplay, just the same as killing stuff. Another key advantage of interactive storytelling is pacing. But hey, let's ignore that and ask asinine questions, why not?

    Honestly, I hate to start this discussion but statements like these piss me off. Sorry. :/
    Last edited by wrestledwithgod; 23-03-2014 at 07:36 PM.

  13. #20453
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    So, as long time subscribers to the Seren E Goose liveblogging extravaganza and entertainment experience may be enthusiastically aware, I'm not a huge fan of dark souls. Which is why the scheduled plot twist for this week is that I'm playing it.

    You see, I had a think. There are many games I 'don't like' I've given second chances to. I was convinced that I had to be missing something in GTA so I gave it a fair few retries before I concluded it wasn't my jam. But when I last left dark souls I'd defeated the gargoyles and the capra demon, and had activated the bonfire in the depths when my prolonged metastruggle against the games true end boss finally culminated in ignominious defeat.

    I was vanquished, gentle reader, by the fans. A most squamous, writhing body of smarm and venom, a single breath can inflict the most grievous of all status effects: exasperation.

    Don't look at guides.
    Don't get the drake sword.
    Play it blind, but obey my edicts.
    You put points in what stat?
    You can't beat the taurus demon?
    You can't beat the gargoyles?
    You can't beat The gaping dragon?

    To my shame, I yielded. They took the field, and bubbled out their chorus of a thousand gloating voices, like a fart through quicksand. Ha ha ha! Welcome to Dark Souls.

    But a day or so ago, I decided to go back. To play the game on my terms. To stack poise and damage resist against the seething tumult of the fanbase. I would use guides. On my terms. Not to defeat the bosses, or figure out a pattern on traps, or to locate sweet gear, these things I wish for my own satisfaction. But to figure out how the heck to get back out from the bottom of blighttown? To see how best to upgrade weapons? Verily. Verily as fuck.

    And how am I finding it?

    Well it's alright. It's a lot more bearable now I know if there's a shortcut between bonfire and boss fight. I took out the gaping dragon, and after a few retries, bested Queelag. Winning boss fights is satisfying, I'll give the fans that, but it's not some giddy new height of gaming elation. Sorry, fanbase.

  14. #20454
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus alms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Similar View Post
    Super Sanctum TD. I think I'm missing something because I'm only at about the sixth mission and I get clobbered.
    Looks like my save file went poof so I can't really say how far I went without a respec, but I'd suggest trying at a few different builds before giving up.
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  15. #20455
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Drake Sigar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by salattu View Post
    Have yall tried Expeditions: Conquistador? It doesn't try to look like Dragon Age or Skyrim, but it hit the spot for me.
    The writing in particular is really good, though I think what really sells it is the setting.

  16. #20456
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Lambchops's Avatar
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    Finished Saints Row 3 (in that I did all the plot stuff, definitely no way I'm going to even contemplate trying to 100% it!). It was good fun, first sandbox game I've managed to get to the end of since Vice City (unless you want to count Arkham City, but it's not quite the same type of game).

    Felt it sagged a bit in the middle when the missions were easy examples of activities I'd already stumbled across while exploring, and kind of wish I'd rationed out the DLC missions for that section of the game rather than playing them at the start, would have kept that bit livelier. But yeah it's ridiculous nature made it mostly quite fun even if the actual content of the missions was getting a bit stale towards the end, any longer and I think it would have outstayed it's welcome (as such I'm going to wait a while before playing the next one).

    Not sure what I'll move onto next, guess I'll attack something else in the backlog.

  17. #20457
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrestledwithgod View Post
    No. No no no no no. I'm guessing you worded this poorly, judging from the rest of your post, but if you didn't, I STRONGLY disagree. Mediocre gameplay, narrative, and shear length bring down DA:O. Not a focus on storytelling. Planescape: Torment was a phenomenal RPG, and it had that focus. So did The Walking Dead, and The Witcher 2. To suggest they suck for the same reason as DA:O makes my stomach churn.

    Edit: As far as the "why not a film, or a book?" argument goes, it ignores so many aspects of gaming that it makes my head hurt. Exploration and RPG style dialogue are both gameplay, just the same as killing stuff. Another key advantage of interactive storytelling is pacing. But hey, let's ignore that and ask asinine questions, why not?

    Honestly, I hate to start this discussion but statements like these piss me off. Sorry. :/
    Oh, I know you were replying to BC, but since he replied to my rant-y post - just to clarify, I have no problem with DA:O, or any Dragon Age game or any game trying to tell a story. Jeez, it's one of the things I love the most about videogames. I'm all for authorial intent, and I don't like games letting the player tell their own stories that much because I think most players' stories are boring, dull and near-identical. I just don't think DA:O does a very good job of storytelling. Their setting (I can't even remember what the Dragon Age world is called, for Chrissakes) is a lazy mish-mash of Tolkien and every medieval European cliche going, like a half-assed rip-off of Guy Gavriel Kay's back catalogue, their characters lean on tired, threadbare tropes they don't bother to elaborate on half the time, their political intrigue is strictly by-the-numbers, their morality isn't anything like as grey as they think, the story arc evokes little or no tension...

    I'm pretty sure I could name ten recent fantasy novels that absolutely demolish almost every aspect of that bloody game's narrative, and it wouldn't take me much effort. And all anyone offers in its defence is "Well, the combat was so much better than the sequel!" or "Uhhh... Alistair is my bishie!" or "But Morrigan's so twisted, dark and edgy!" (She's not.) Still, hey, people still think there's actually something to Sephiroth beyond "He's angry" and "He has a big sword". (There isn't. There never was.)

    EDIT: And just in case this somehow wasn't clear, too - I think DA2, for all its flaws, markedly improves on pretty much every area of weakness I stated up there. It's still by no means perfect and it still leans on an awful lot of lazy fanservice that seems suspiciously like something designed to engender disturbing slash fiction rather than any worthwhile emotional response. But it's a huge improvement nonetheless, IMO, and has more than its fair share of fantastic story moments where the first game gave me precisely none.
    Last edited by Eight Rooks; 24-03-2014 at 12:59 AM.
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  18. #20458
    Thedas. The Dragon Age setting, literally. Says more than enough, if you ask me. :P

  19. #20459
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    Finished Deus Ex. I feel like things got a bit less interesting at the end (in terms of gameplay, not plot), but overall I was incredibly impressed by what it accomplished. I also appreciated the insistence on grey morality; never did I feel that there was a "right" decision to make, just a different one.

    Now that I've got that crossed off my backlog, I think I'll delve into Assassins Creed: Revelations. Apparently it's the worst of the Ezio games, but the recent announcement of Unity has got me into the mood for some AC and I was going to finish off the Italy-set trilogy anyway, so may as well do it now.

  20. #20460
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    Wow. I DID word that badly. DA:O sucked not because it tried to focus on narrative, but because it tried to focus on narrative and failed to provide a solid, entertaining and original narrative on which to depend.

    Hope that clears it up.

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