I've put Amalur on hold for a little bit. I've made it to the desert region and almost explored it fully, but the game's stopped being as captivating as it was before. Partly this is due to design; quest hubs are minimal and scattered, the quests themselves aren't captivating and overall the area has a feel of being rushed. Partly it's because I'm massively overleveled for the area (chose to do the hillside region before this one). I don't mind the lack of challenge per se (my warrior/wizard has been fairly powerful for the entire game) but because the enemies are all gray-level, they give me nearly no experience and thus my character development is slow as a particularly dead snail. Not that I really have much to develop anyway; all crafting and unlocking professions are at a point where I don't really need to put any more points in them, and my skill tree 'choices' are pretty automated. I'm hoping the game picks up properly again once I get this region done and get to the next ones, but right now the game's on hold.
And half the reason for putting it on hold is that I decided to buy Sonic Generations from the recent Gamersgate Sega sale. Already owned and completed on the PS3 but a PC version has been in my sights ever since I actually learned it was a good port. Getting to play it in my preferred platform and the prospect of the mods the fanbase is working on it are pretty excellent things. It's probably the best Sonic game ever (although Sonic Adventure 2 has such a big personal importance that it's fairly tied with Gens in my lists) and outside the anticlimactic, nonsensical and boring final boss it's pretty much flawless as a game too. I've been having a blast replaying it on the PC and I can easily see it being one of those games where not only will I actually attempt to collect all achievements/improve my statistics until everything is S-ranked, but it'll stay on my installed games list for eons for whenever I randomly fancy blasting through any of the City Escape/Rooftop Run/Crisis City holy trinity. Completely captivated by it (again).
Give me steam and how you feel to make it real.
I'm currently playing:
DCS A10C Warthog (with my new TrackIR 5!)
Dead Space (soon to be followed by Dead Space 2)
The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition
Between frustration-sparring with Demon's Souls and some rather exhaustive research in preparation for an expensive wristwatch purchase, I've been playing a bit of the Game Boy title Nemesis (on my television, via the Gamecube's Game Boy Player.) Nemesis was the original title for Gradius' international arcade release, and for some reason they decided to keep the name for this port in spite of the NES port of the same game that was released as Gradius 4 years earlier. Never having played the original Gradius before, I can't do a direct comparison, but I'm pleased that all of the traditional Gradius power-ups and options are present in this port. I'm always impressed by the sheer amount of detail that developers were able to cram into that monochrome screen, and Nemesis' biggest strength is probably its spectacular spritework. I don't know that I could really recommend it to anyone but the most die-hard Gradius fan, but I'm certainly enjoying it.
If you're getting bored I'd recommend not doing side quests in the desert and focusing solely on the main story and faction lines. The zone isn't too interesting as a whole and you can't help but outlevel it if you do sidequests. The only interesting part was the arena, which does have some fun fights.
A map of the levels:
I also found that the last few levels were pretty pointless, especially as a single tree spec. I maxed out the detection skill so I could find more stuff but otherwise the skill points were entirely redundant. Similarly, my last 5-10 talents were spent simply because they were there to spend. I put some points in the other trees to get the trophy for having a 3 tree destiny but there were absolutely no talents available that would increase my combat effectiveness.
I'm playing again as a mage and I'm already finding myself out of useful talents halfway through the game. The PS3 version at least caps you to 4 mapped skills, which isn't enough for all the mage talents, and so after capping my used skills there's nothing else useful for me. That character is skipping every side quest in the desert as it happens.
Like most similar rpgs, it has some serious problems with scaling. At the start of the game there were some hard fights that required plenty of attention to survive. By the end my first char (rogue) could kill everything without even using special abilities, and bosses would normally die in a second or two. My second char is a mage and can already kill the entire screen with one spell. Other games have done this - I was an invincible, invisible archer in Skyrim - but in a game so focused on combat it can spoil things a little in the end. It's actually more fun to skip some of the side quests so that you can compete at a reasonably equal footing, though that goes against every instinct I have in this type of rpg.
After trying a bunch of free games, I went back to my backlog. Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes, the camera is bad it made me nauseous and the graphics very hard to decode, maybe it's the colors, I dunno. As much as I loved turn-based games, I had troubles moving the characters the way I wanted and the whole experience felt like trying to walk through a gelatinous blob. Kept dying against mosquitos just past the first town, gave up after 2 hours.
Trapped Dead is more approachable but the save system makes everything hard. I don't want to repeat a dozen of meaningless fights over and over again just because I'm trying to figure out how to get to a certain area. Threw in the towel after 75 minutes, 45 spent in the same spot.
Having a need for a good game, I turned to Torchlight, where I started a vanquisher on hard. Two hours literally flew away without me noticing.
Been playing through the old Fallouts for the first time. Finished the first two, starting on Tactics now. Also some Crusader: No Remember Which Subtitle Is Which (the first one).
No reason is required for OpenTTD. I'd say that's half the point, you just start up a map and lay down some tracks and see how it goes!
Not enough games which allow that these days frankly. :)
Funnily, I was just tinkering around in unlimited play in Settlers 2 Gold (After figuring out DosBox) which has a very similar feeling to it. But I find myself missing the big spangly shiny graphics of the 10th anniversary edition and some of the gameplay additions from Settlers 3.
Same. Some of the openttd track and signalling additions amaze me continuously. I wish I had the patience to build something like this - http://media.openttd.org/images/scre...rk_huggins.png - or recreate some real-life rail networks (India and England come to mind) on a large scale map or maybe even a heightmap!
Best thing in OpenTTD is the music. I loved the original Transport Tycoon soundtrack, and when I installed OpenTTD I thought "damn, I wonder if this has some sort of shitty self-made tracks instead of the originals which I loved", but then I started it and it was better! The arrangements are just superb.
Plus, of course, tracks take up so much space yet depots are like bags of holding - entire railyards on one tile!
Haha, we think alike. I mustered the courage to try the 2048*2048 size map a few weeks ago and would pause the map for several minutes just deciding on which coal mines to start with and make sure the factories were just the right distance away for track building enjoyment. Nothing like some coast line tracks which can later be modified to add checkposts/stations for when oil rigs come into play! :)
I like your three track system, gonna try that next time i'm in there. Just so I understand this right, you criss-cross your three tracks or run them parallel? So a train would pick the third route only if the main one has a stalled engine and the second one is already in use by another train?
Only thing that still bugs me is that your air fleet snowballs a bit too well later on in the game.
Three lines in parallel, like, well, if you were in New York, you'd know about the 7 train in Queens or the 6 train in the Bronx.
Essentially, a two-way track in between two opposing one-way tracks, kept under control via path signals. Ultimately upgraded to four lines, where the center lines act as overflow, but hey.
Damn, that sounds efficient. Defo gonna try that.
And yeah, the NYC subway was surprisingly good, my favourite part was the flat rate. Especially after 11 years of London's tube. :)
However, nothing is as terrifying, humbling, amazing and revolting all at the same time as Mumbai's suburban rail during rush hour, especially in the evenings. Holy sheeit!
Slowly trucking along with Risen 2 still, I have my own ship now and went back to Caldera. It's still just a city, you can get through it with no combat, but I had some in a moment of weakness. It looks like you're supposed to align yourself with a politician to get into the records room, but diplomacy bores me so I beat the crap out of the guard instead.
Sonic Generations - Just beat the Chaos City (or Panic City, or Whoopsies City, or something) with both Sonics. The version for the 2D Sonic was infuriating. The game has a good retro thing going since I genuinely wanted to throw the controller at the screen.
Torchlight - Got it with the TL2 pre-order, and I'm having fun with it. However, as is the case with ARPG's of this nature, my interest is falling quicker than with other games. How people played Diablo 2 for a decade, I have no idea.
Genesis Classic pack 1 - Attempted to play Altered Beast, which so far as I can tell is impossible because you can't get new lives and there are no continues, so I quit. Now playing Comix Zone, which I've never even looked at before. It's pretty good for a brawler, the art direction is very neat.
If you think Altered Beast is tough, Comix Zone is about to bust your balls. No chance in hell unless you play ultra defensively and what was especially unfair is how you lost hp when breaking barrles/walls/etc. to uncover items. UGH! Still a beautiful looking game though.
Yeah, I hate that 'breaking items' mechanic. The releases through Steam pretty much function just like a regulator emulator, which means savestates, but I'm trying not to abuse them. I thought the Wii method with destructible savestates works pretty well.
Dungeon Siege 3. Enojoyed it very much. Completed the run in two days, 21 hours( holidays), completed all side quests( not that there are many), did lots of backtracking and all that. It's not a terrible game as some said, maybe not a proper DS game but not a bad one. Getting it on some sale proved to be a good idea. Actually, it's one of the least buggy and more enjoyable Obsidian games I ever played, there were just a couple of minor glitches and one corrupted save that proved to be fine after I restarted the game. Gameplay is quite fun and it gets better as you level up and gain new abilities. It's 'rpg component' is unbalanced and simplified but whatever, I got into DS3 after bouncning off Witcher 2 terrible 'tutorial'( it's better off without it, honestly) so I just wanted something that worked and didn't lag/glitch terribly. I never ever played DS game( although I was interested in playing the first one when it was announced, but reviews turned me off) so I didn't care much for changes in the setting that some people pointed out. There is timeskip and guns? Fine. I like guns and timeskips. I even chose a gunslinging lady as my avatar( I prefer to play as a male character for obvious reasons). Who cares, I get to shotgun peopel in the face in a fantasy setting and they fly away screaming. Rifle being both rifle, shotgun, machinegun and a grenade launcher was a nice touch. Now about flaws. Camera is terrible and controls are problematic. Story is nothing special( although I liked it but I also liked ME3 story so who am I to judge). Balance is... questionable/nonexistant. By the end of the game both my char and enemies basically oneshotted everything and each other. So it was a dodge-dodge-heal-dodge-SPECIALABILITY-KABOOOM-dodge-dodge-heal- ad infinitum kind of game. Not for everyone, obviously. Some may dislike this kind of gameplay but I didn't. I even had fun. And the boss battles were nice.
All in all, good.
Last edited by coldvvvave; 08-05-2012 at 07:13 PM.