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1  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 24, 2016, 08:25:34 AM
^ He is fighter/cleric, shame he is so pissy.

Anyway...

Got out of the Underdark. What the hell were those beholders?! I innocently walked in a cave full of the things. Had to use every cheese tactic I knew, only to later find out there was a special shield which would easily counter them. :|

Did the fire dragon quest and the adamantite golem was harder than the dragon itself. Took Korgan (only one who had a crushing weapon capable of hurting it) + transformed PC (almost died, lol special powers) to kill it. Doing stuff in Trademeet, De'Arnise and Watcher's Keep and whatever I missed in Athkatla are next on the list, then I might be ready to face Irenicus & friends and finish Shadows of Amn.

Despite my criticisms (which I still stand by), I'm liking the game better now that I found an enjoyable party composition: Archer PC (aka machine gun), Korgan (huge hp pool, usually dual wields axes), Viconia (awesome all around, turned immortal once decked out in good equips), Imoen (mage and thief needs). Very low on the micro managing scale and no one keeps whining.
2  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 22, 2016, 07:52:58 PM
There are enough NPCs in the game that you can easily ditch those you don't like.
I usually kill Minsc on the spot when I meet him.

Yeah, I was tempted to do the same. Seems even the PC couldn't stand him anymore. Properly equipped + buffed Viconia is my off tank now and it's working fine so far, should have ditched Minsc sooner.
3  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 22, 2016, 03:03:27 AM
- Baldurís Gate II

I don't get the hype for the game, maybe if I liked spellcasters... There are many annoyances that weren't present in BG1: you're railroaded into a bunch of crap, party members interrupt you to talk nonsense, little exploration (most of it is done in Athkatla and thereís always a friendly NPC ready to shove a quest your way), the story seems to be about the same old "elves did it!", battles devolved into "debuff and kill the mage", even the music took a hit. I was never once bored during BG1 but itís getting hard to keep my interest up in BG2. Still, I want to see this one through.

My favorite part was

Code:
when the PC turned into the Slayer and killed Minsc. Dude is so annoying, Boo is his only saving grace.

Iím somewhere in the Underdark.
4  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 16, 2016, 09:34:44 PM
- Baldur's Gate

Beaten!

Liked it very much, in special all those open areas with natural landscapes and relaxing music. Final boss was eaten by a pack of summoned gnolls/orcs/whatever, which was underwhelming. Had more trouble fighting off a monster worshiped by crazy cultists in some backwards village.

The problem was that I couldn't grasp the concept of lower numbers being better - once I understood how THAC0, AC and the attack roll worked it was very straightforward. That's the result of years of being conditioned to think "high numbers = good" in videogames.

Started BG2, currently exploring that giant city you're throw into.
5  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 07, 2016, 08:17:04 PM
@ Klyde Chroma

Basically what MeshGearFox said. I'm mostly a newbie when it comes to computer RPGs but I have yet to read anyone badmouthing Planescape: Torment.


@ MeshGearFox

From what I've read, a bunch of things were cut because PS3/360 couldn't handle them or 'cause Obsidian didn't have time to implement it. Ulysses as a companion; the true open Free Side; a playable epilogue of sorts. The latter is the one that stings the most, would've been great to visit most places after the whole shenanigan at the dam.

Oh, there's a mod I'm meaning to try in my next playthrough, not sure if it's your taste, but it removes the dialogues tags.
6  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 07, 2016, 10:23:51 AM
@MeshGearFox

Thanks, gonna keep it on mind. Always thought the loading screens in Freeside disrupted the flow of the game.

Your BG2 assessment is exactly how I felt in my playthrough attempts. Maybe I'm just in a crawler mood but I'm fine with BG1 being basically "the party roams the wilderness". It has a minimalistic feel that I appreciate, even if the mechanics are a bit convoluted.


@Klyde Chroma

Indeed. Most of it is "this is terrible, -1/10!" or "best game evar!1!!" without taking the time to explain why. Useless. Even the ancient GameFaqs user reviews are better.

Also, try out these older games when you have the chance. Might take a while to get into but it is worthwile.
7  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 06, 2016, 11:26:08 PM
FONV - Started over and played up through the Bison Steve bit. Open Freeside isn't glitching Orris anymore so I can actually use that now. Anyway, went with a more survival/science based character. Considerably more suitable for Hardcore Mode. Also took some... time-based perk which introduces and interesting game mechanic on top of the existing need for sleep in Hardcore mode.

How is Open Freeside, is it stable? There were so many bug reports at the time.

*****

I actually felt like playing a proper RPG!

- Baldur's Gate

My initial attempts at this series all ended up in failure. Couldn't get into it, had no idea how to play even after reading the manual, couldn't handle those 394791 spells with varying effects. It was frustrating. In the end, my problem was listening to the internet hive mind telling me how BG2 was so superior you shouldn't bother with the first one. Bullshit.

BG1 is much better, at least for newcomers. The place you start in is a big tutorial and characters have fewer spells, so you can take your time learning the system, step by step. Something fairly interesting is how some companions have quests that are time sensitive, with proper consequences when you don't heed their warnings. In addition to that, I was surprised by party infighting -- in most RPGs the NPCs merrily journey all over the place even if they hate each other. Pretty cool.

First tried BG1 "classic" but goddamn it was killing my eyes even if it's still fairly playable. Most h4rdc0r3 fans seem to loathe the EE but being able to adjust the font size is a blessing, not to mention all the quality of life improvements. By reading the Steam reviews you'd think the game is an unholy mess or something.

I managed to reach Chapter 3 without too many bumps. Let's see how long it lasts.
8  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: July 02, 2016, 05:04:14 PM
Playing Dark Souls 2 SoTFS. I had to dig my controller again because kb+m was not working well, even after turning off that double click thingie.

The Gutter + Black Gulch were excellent, best zones in the whole game so far and made the torch system relevant. It was what Blighttown should have been. That being said, most areas feel uninspired. I'm at Drangleic Castle and it's just... boring. The areas are weirdly designed too, like I'm climbing some stairs that go to a narrow tower that lead me to a corridor somewhere and I end up in some big ass room. I usually don't pay much attention to such minutiae but it was jarring.

Gameplay is solid but I don't like how often the game throws mobs at you -- Lost Bastille was particularly offending in this regard. The combat works best when it's 1x1 or 1x2, like when you fight Smelter Demon or the Pursuer. Both actually make you pay attention to their movesets and openings. Shame you need to level that crap adaptability stat just to get proper MOI or you end up with idiotic stuff like Pursuer hitting you when you clearly dodged the attack. Pissed me off when it happened and felt like Plesioth's hip check all over again.

Overall it's been a mixed bag. Heard good things about the DLC, though.

****

Edit: Beaten.

Turns out there wasn't much content left. Shrine of Amana was alright, the lady singing added a nice touch and the blueish colors were welcome after all that yellow and brown. Was ready to fight the boss and be done with the game but nooo, you need to get some other stuff because reasons.

Was thinking of playing the DLC but I'm not sure now, don't really care. It was a decent game, but way too many cheap moments for my taste, just like DS3. The first Dark Souls is still the well rounded one.
9  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Awesome deals - 2016 version - Save money for that NXMH on: June 03, 2016, 05:13:11 AM
Not exactly a deal, but you can get select Steam games on your GOG account too -- GOG Connect. Pretty nifty and it does work.
10  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: Should a game ever have auto battles? on: June 03, 2016, 05:08:30 AM
FFXIII had this, never saw much of a point in that game. The commands weren’t fully optimized but from what I observed would get you through most battles. Maybe useful for people whose only interest was the story? They could just hit Youtube and save the monies, if so.

However, I found out that making up strategies on the go and timing the shifts was fun, the game had systems nice enough that letting it go "auto" was a waste. FFXII had a similar "issue" too if you set up your gambits correctly. I remember comments at the time about how the game would basically play itself.

Speaking of FFXII, the same applies to Dragon Age: Origins. Configure the tactics and then just sit and watch, except in difficult battles. It was quite handy because it cuts down most of the most micro management tedium which seems to be inherent to real-time with pause.

Etrian Odyssey and recent SMT titles had this too, if I'm not misremembering. Useful to make short work of lowly mobs.

So I guess it depends on the game.
11  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: What's the haps? on: June 03, 2016, 04:41:48 AM
Soooo...

1. Neighbors around the block have dogs that won't shut up when left alone (which is all the time -- seriously, why get a pet then?)

2. An enlightened soul decides to buy a parrot

3. Logical conclusion: the parrot starts to imitate the BARKS. A barking parrot, yes. Now it's like there is one more annoying dog around!

My neighborhood is blessed with suck, certainly.
12  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: April 23, 2016, 08:27:23 AM
- Dark Souls III: Beaten

Tough game, but for the wrong reasons: excessive tracking (enemies doing an 180 to hit you square in face isn't hard - it's cheap);  the weakest undead can quickly stun you and recovery time takes forever (for the player, of course); trash mobs (by the end I was skipping everything); poise does not work or is bugged (can't tank attacks); gimmicky bosses.

However, my main issue is that everything moves too fast. It's so different from DS1, which had a deliberately slow, methodical and puzzle-like gameplay. It's a shame most action games go this route -- happened to Monster Hunter too when mechanics were revamped for Tri.

Even the OST was full blown orchestra instead of minimalistic tunes, this beautiful track being the exception.

If anyone wants to play it on PC: the port was competently done, way better than the clusterfuck that was DS1. KB+M works very well, felt natural. FPS tanked at some places but never went lower than 30 and that's playing with a VGA bellow the minimum specs (even on low the game looks stunning).

No comments about DS2 since I never played it.
13  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: February 20, 2016, 01:21:03 AM
- Shadowrun: Hong Kong -- Shadows of Hong Kong (aka the mini-campaign)

First of all: Mighty cool of Harebrained Schemes to release it for all owners at no cost. Nice gesture and a clever way to generate goodwill.

Second point: WHY wasn't the main game like this?!

The scenarios you're throw into were interesting, the underwater lab being the only weak link. Missions ended up twisting in unexpected ways, a la Dragonfall. Resource management was a thing and the enemies had decent weapons and abilities so face rolling everything wasn't always possible. The Fuchi run and the main missions were excellent. Really, the only thing in the OC that came closer was Whistleblower. If you play on Hard, know that you'll have to make proper use of buff/debuffs. Yes, it is that good.

The story was reminiscent of the first half of Dead Man's Switch: very low-key. I understand lore-wise Hong Kong is full of magic and mystic stuff but all that feng shui talk was silly. I'm glad they took this direction because I think it's Shadowrun at its best. The ending was bittersweet but felt natural. Fuck Kindley Cheng - never called her Auntie.

Most of the grievances I had with the main game were addressed: the dialogues were to the point, yet with enough flavor to be charming; almost zero of those overly chatty NPCs; good pacing; no useless giant hub nor huge, empty maps; balanced violent/non-violent solutions to the quests. I've read claims that the matrix mechanics were tweaked but I didn't take a decker on any missions so I have no idea if they hold water. Speaking of which, add the lack of forced decking sections to the list! On the technical side, I didn't hit any bugs, had no stuttering and the load times were alright. Music and graphics were top-notch, as expected. It was fairly long too, clocked 12 hours.

In the end, it is ironic that Shadows of Hong Kong, a mere Kickstarter stretch goal, ended up overshadowing and besting the whole of the main campaign. Took out the bad aftertaste left by the lackluster base game. Kudos to the developers for fixing what went wrong. It felt like a proper closure to the Shadowrun Returns series. Dragonfall is still my favorite, though.

Hopefully HBS won't take too long to revisit the Shadowrun setting. I can hardly wait to go back into the shadows.
14  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Mass Effect 3 anyone? on: January 27, 2016, 11:34:45 PM
Shamus Young is doing a series retrospective. He's covering ME3 now.
15  Media / Game Journals / Re: A Game Journal Reborn on: January 21, 2016, 01:25:46 PM
Underrail - Beaten!

I was so near the end I thought "what the hell, better push through it". There wasn't much left, basically solve one puzzle and fight the boss. Was very happy to take the elevator and finally get out of the fucking Deep Caverns. Felt like I spent 1/3 of my playtime in that hellhole. The game acknowledges that because once you return, your character has the option to say something among the lines of "I'm not even sure if I'm alive after going through so much crap". So true. The ending slides were a nice touch, I was satisfied by how my choices played out.

I believe the DC should be more about freely exploring, reading logs and letting the environment tell the tale rather then forcing the player to fetch a bunch of stuff. Something akin to Lonesome Road (Fallout NV DLC) would be alright.

Taking everything into account, I liked most of it. However, that final bit? Nope.
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