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Wot are you playing?

Actually, I was notified I have 2000 Sony Rewards points which I could cash in for a $20 PSN card. I apparently got 1000 of them from getting a Platinum trophy on a PS4 game. I am going to see if I can get more points to get a $50 card which would pay for Bloodstained outright!

Completed Shadows of Mordor, so moved onto Shadows of War. Wish I hadn’t wasted my time with SoM now! SoW has everything fun from SoM, but the gameplay is so much more fun. And the opening is a quick run through all the major cutscenes from the first game so you miss no story!

Got to respect how SoM doesn’t waste time at the end. I was dreading the ending would be some long-winded boring battle. But a few quick interactive scenes and it’s all done!

So @Gungeon , just play the sequel! You won’t miss out on anything.

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Ooh I didn’t know it had co-op! With all of the games coming out on Switch with co-op it’s becoming a more and more tempting purchase

Holy moly thank you KIR! That’s so cool you remembered! :+1::heart:

That’s amazing - that it does the previous cutscenes, great touch from the designers.

I’m going to be all over this!

Gushing complete.

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@Quoc what’s remastered Skyrim like? I had it on Xbox 360 when it first came out and I really miss it. Now got a PS4 and jonesing for some Skyrim but the price is keeping me away at the mo.

Besides, SoW next methinks!

@Gungeon I feel that the technical remastered changes for Skyrim are fairly minor overall. The game feels more stable. But if you already played the original, I feel that is hard to justify spending full price to buy it. Especially when you consider for console players that the benefit of Special Edition is probably access to the Creation Club content and Creation Club content costs additional money to use.

But! If you are newer to modding, then some of the Creation Club more officially supported mods are worth checking out like “Tundra Homestead” house by Elianora, “Forgotten Seasons” quest mod by Trainwiz and “Survival Mode” is interesting if you haven’t played a survival mod yet in Skyrim.

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Nice. Thanks for that. Those mods sound interesting. I’ll keep an eye on it and get it on sale.
Especially since the next elder scrolls is rumoured to be ages away!

More proof that I may not have a soul: I’ve been playing Undertale for about a week, not really getting into it but willing enough to soldier on… until I got to the Muffet fight, failed it about half a dozen times and decided that I’m obviously not going to become friends with this game. It would’ve been okay but for the boss battles, some of which strike me as downright antagonistic game design. I don’t think a game has to be fun, but unskippable fights that give you little to no indication whether you’re on the right path or not, so you might just be stuck in an endless loop of not dying but not progressing either - nope. Not how I want to spend my time. Perhaps if the rest of the game had clicked with me more, but not as it is.

It’s a shame: when I read how critics that I generally like reacted to the game I wanted to play it and have similar reactions, but like To the Moon, it seems that this one is Simply Not For Me™.

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On the other hand, it would seem that XCOM 2 is very much for me, though I’m an average commander at best. I was talking to some friends about how I’ve got a few games currently installed that I very much enjoy while I play them (mainly Hitman and Outer Wilds), but I can’t bring myself to play them, because I don’t currently have the energy or focus needed to put the effort in. While XCOM 2 is by no means a dumb game, it offers more in the way of immediate dopamine hits: a successful headshot, newly discovered tech, that sort of thing. There are pretty immediate rewards, whereas the other two games take more time and more investment - which I’m looking forward to when I have more energy again, but not now, not yet.

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Vanilla XCom 2? The world of mods is seemingly unending to add to the dopamine hits.

Nah, XCOM 2 + War of the Chosen. I’ve got a small handful of quality-of-life mods, but other than that I’m going for the unadulterated experience.

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After the most recent GiantBomb QL and since it’s the Steam Summer sale, I just picked up Hit Man 2 … Who knows maybe this time I’ll play through it (I bought the last Hit Man on not one but 2 platforms but never finished it).
This has also reminded me that I need to get a larger SSD for my desktop.

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Giving Persona 5 another go. First time, I got 3 hours in then was distracted by other things. Thought I’d struggle to keep since I don’t remember anything, but turns out I was still in the middle of the initial tutorial!

I like it, but the combat is really swingy. Had a few battles where the bad guy targeted and killed the main character on the first turn. Game over. Seems counterintuitive to have a party game where one character is the deciding factor.

Also not sure about the time mechanics. I keep wanting to do things, then find out they waste an entire day! Frustrating. I’ll give it a chance though

The combat becomes more balanced soon, so don’t worry about that. However the time mechanics, whew, they are pretty bad.

I stopped playing after 20 hours because it was infuriating. And I didn’t like the style of narration, it felt like I was still playing a tutorial after 20 hours. The game made very sure I understood its story up to a point where it seemed the game assumed I am the dumbest person to ever hold a controller in his hand.

Maybe I am, but I don’t want this game to judge me!

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I’m 13 hours in - have completed the first palace and just opened the side quest dungeon. It’s CRAZY how show this game is. I do write enjoy how is little more than an interactive anime at times, but not sure how much the 45-60min cut scenes will grate after a while.

Admittedly some of that may have been time on pause while I tended to chores, but I don’t think that accounts for much.

The JRPG is one of the genres I keep bouncing off of. I’ve played some, such as FF8, FF10, Ni No Kuni, Persona 3 and Persona 4, but with all of these I end up playing them in spite of themselves. What enjoyment I get out of them is due to the aesthetics and (sometimes) the stories, characters and ideas. I’ve got Persona 5, mainly because I keep thinking that this will be the one to break the spell, but I think I just have to accept that JRPGs aren’t for me.

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I’m the same. Just cannot get into JRPGs, even highly rated ones like Chrono Trigger.

One offshoot of JRPGs that did entertain me for a while, though I haven’t played one in ages, is in the Wizardry mould, where you have a party of four from a large roster, and try to penetrate ever deeper into a really hostile maze. The hook for me was partly in the exploration, and partly in trying to make a really optimal party with the ridiculously complex interactions between characters, all the while knowing that carelessness or failure to get the party just right could easily result in them all being killed. Something like Etrian Odyssey?

I guess they worked for me because I’m into roguelikes rather than narrative.

Any JRPG where progress is just a matter of time invested turns me right off, especially when they get really grindy, which is a perverse reaction given that I’m fine and dandy with being thrown all the way back to square one in games that just kill all your guys.

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I put 80+ hours into P5, and I loved it, but I can easily see how the style of game may not be for everyone. The turn based combat is rather dated at this point, and the dungeons get really long to the point you just want to avoid enemies to finish them, but you need to fight to level up your characters, otherwise the bosses can be too hard. There are long stretches of story that give you little to no interaction that make it seem like it should just be a visual novel or simply just an anime. The time mechanics can screw you because in order to do everything in the game, you need to more or less perfectly schedule your time in regards to who you spend time with and jobs you perform, etc. Heck, I didn’t even notice one of the confidants until I was almost done with the game simply because I did not go to that area often because I was trying to focus in other bonds.

Despite all that, I still loved it. But the style of game is not for everyone.

I wonder whether to some extent it’s the name of the genre. I associate RPGs with player agency, and that’s not something I’ve found much of in JRPGs (though the Persona games tend to offer more of that than other JRPGs that I’ve played). And combat is generally one of the things I enjoy least in RPGs, with the exception of some turn-based ones like the old Fallout games, and 95% of the gameplay in JRPGs seems to be combat. I love the style of the Persona games, but I think they’d have to be in a different genre for me to really enjoy them. I could imagine loving a Persona that plays more like, say, Jade Empire.

The turn based combat is the reason I wanted to play in the first place! Turn-based JRPGs have really hit a rut recently - it’s all nostalgia 16bit fanservice or… Dragon Quest? It’s a massive shame. Real time RPGs do nothing for me. They’re just button mashing for the sake of it - you do the same thing as turn based but have to aimlessly run around and tap attack all the damn time whilst waiting for gauges to fill. Worst of both worlds. I refuse to accept that turn based combat is just an artifact from the limitations of old tech!

I do find the Persona 5 systems interesting. The Rogue-Like element means rationing SP is interesting, and the hold up system is a cool way of speeding through enemies you already know (nifty for grinding). But as you say, it’s frustrating when those systems collide. I need to get through the dungeon using as little SP as possible, but I also need combat practice. And I need to make lock picks, but if I do that I waste time I could be in dungeons.

But I still don’t quite know how to take advantage of the turn systems - when you know the enemies weakness all you can do is attack with the other characters until you get to the one who can take advantage of the weakness. Some way to bypass that would be helpful