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Gabe

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  1. What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    16/02/18 - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PC) As many people focused on the visuals when this came out, yes, this does look absolutely stunning at times (anything set outdoors) and a bit, well, not so stunning at others (indoors, underground, people). Outside of that I'm not sure what to say, nor what I think. I wouldn't say I enjoyed it particularly - I split it over 2 play sessions and I was hardly chomping at the bit to get playing tonight, I was more thinking that I'd be able to finish it tonight. It was an experience, really, which is probably what the developers were aiming for. The story was okay; I did want to know what had happened to Ethan (and I'm fine with where they took it at the end) but overall the journey felt a bit disjointed and I didn't really feel the way the murders went down made much narrative sense (within the context of what happened overall). In fact, I felt a little disappointed that it wasn't a bit more of a murder mystery - I quite liked the mechanic involved in piecing together those last moments and would've liked that to be expanded upon. Still, as I said above, it was an experience (though far from a masterpiece) and probably the biggest-profile game in this genre I've played. I have What Remains of Edith Finch in my library and I gather that's benefited from improvements/refinement of this type of game? Ultimately I don't regret my time with this (the length was pitched about right) and you can't complain about that. Previously completed:
  2. I presume you have to play for at least an hour to qualify for the freebies (rather than just open it up for 10 minutes)?
  3. Gaming Magazines

    The only magazine I subscribe to is Retro Gamer and I have no idea why I still do - about 4 years ago I used to at least open the bag it comes in each month and flick through the pages, but I even stopped doing that probably about 2.5 years ago. I really do need to get around and cancelling.
  4. One of the complaints I read suggested that it was the last patch that actually made it so bad. And I think cricket scorelines all too frequently just destroys any claims to realism; I saw a thread with Chelsea (in the first season) getting thumped 7-0 at home by Bournemouth. That is just one example of many, many 7-0s I've seen in a number of very different threads at all kinds of levels (from the lowest non-league to Champions League). Yet I am still getting excited by reading various threads over at the SI forums and living vicariously via the various challenges people attempt over there - and posts like Fry's above too. That said, I learned long ago to not buy an FM before the January transfer update and other patches were live, so I shall continue to read here and over there (and probably moan about it all .)
  5. Reading more threads over at the SI forums and the scores in matches is insane. It's almost weirder to see 1-0 or 2-1 than it is to see 5-4 or 6-2 or, a popular one, 7-0. I'm still debating getting it but that is completely killing it for me (and I have seen too many goals as an issue - and it's not the first time over the years that complaint has been made). How are you guys finding results generally?
  6. What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    06/02/18 - Victor Vran (PC) This is an ARPG probably best known for having Geralt of Rivia voice the titular character than anything else as it isn't the greatest example of the genre. I'll start with the positives: actually hitting stuff feels quite fun at times (so long as you ignore ranged weapons, which are pap) and each of the (many) maps are a decent enough size that you can do 2 or 3 in a session and feel like you've achieved something - and I prefer that to big, sprawling open worlds in many respects. And, um, yeah. That's about it - so now for the bad. Buckle-up! The story feels like an important chunk is missing, jumping from running around for little discernible reason to the "A-ha!" moment - (don't read if you care about the plot - though you shouldn't as it's rubbish): It's all delivered so lifelessly, too. I haven't started The Witcher 3 yet, but I always found Gerhalt's voice work to be, well, lacking any soul (to be polite). I never felt any emotion in Geralt's words, change of tone or pitch - he could well have been reading the ingredients on the back of a cereal packet for the effort it seems like he puts in. I would like to think that changes in TW3 but regardless, he sounds just as monotone and frankly bored here as he did for much of the first two Witcher games. There's also a voice in your head throughout - and I suppose somebody might've found it amusing, but the script it awful, unfunny and irritating. Geralt Victor doesn't say all that much either (or maybe he did and I just tuned it out like white noise) so you're getting commentary from this complete asshat. It's not a good look. Next, weapons and armour. Well, there's no armour, so scrap that. You get a choice of outfits at the start and 2 or 3 additional ones at certain levels, but that is it so far as that is concerned. As for the weapons, there's a mix of melee (hammers, scythes, swords etc) and guns (shotgun, lightning gun etc) and they are graded from common to legendary. Like most games of this ilk, the majority of loot is trash. And I'll come on to my biggest gripe shortly... Skill-wise we are also lacking. You get 2 'super' powers that charge over time, then all other skills are linked to your weapons - you get a basic attack and then 2 special attacks. There's about 8 or 9 different weapon types I think, so on paper that's a reasonable amount of skills. You can have 2 weapons equipped at any one time (and can switch them on the fly) so there's room to mix and match. Most skills are - you may be able to guess - a bit crap. You may well find that the skills you prefer are so much better than any other that it means you stick with the same weapon, rather than mix things up (which is surely the intention). It gets dull, fast. There's crafting - but the general inventory UI is so appalling it irritated me to the point of not wanting to experiment. Basically, when you go into your inventory or crafting page etc you get a massive tool-tip that covers 2 lines of the space below the item you are looking at, completely obscuring your other gear and making any kind of navigation a massive pain in the arse. It's horrendous and you can't turn it off or have it appear on the opposite side of the screen. It genuinely made me a bit angry. Grrr. You also have 'Destiny cards' (which isn't the spin-off band after Beyonce left) - these are various buffs you can equip. They can also be upgraded (much like weapons, 'super' powers and your outfit). It's not very exciting and just feels lacking, with increases to any particular thing being really pathetically small (like +4 damage to a weapon that does 100 already). For me, though, the biggest failing is that these games need to make you feel powerful within the world; you need to be able to chart growth in a meaningful way across the multiple hours you spend on it, be that in terms of damage output, super high stats or insane 'super' powers. Victor Vran does absolutely none of this and it is compete crap. At the very start of the game I got a scythe that did up to 83 damage. 31 levels later, my rare, max upgraded scythe did 134 top-damage. . . . Yeah. Other weapons fare no better and there aren't even stats to play around with - HP is the only thing that goes up at certain levels, there's no underlying strength/speed/endurance type stats. Loot - and this is hardly unique to this game - is generally pointless (whether found on the field or available in shops), and with such little damage range to work with - and given the poor increases given by crafting - you just never feel powerful at all. Enemy HP far outpaces your damage range, making even low-level grunts more spongey than they should be. There's a level cap of 50 I believe, so who knows, perhaps you start getting MEGALOOT from level 40 onwards (and there are a good number of non-story related maps you can go hunt on to grind, with lots of challenges to earn more of that PHAT(crap)LOOT) but it just isn't engaging enough to bother doing that. In the end, it was a pretty disheartening 14 hours I spent with it and the only positive is that I do have Grim Dawn to play. Which is a terrible silver-lining to cling to, but there you go. Don't buy this. Previously completed
  7. Stellaris - "Make Space Great Again"

    I regret not getting this when it was at a great price in a bundle, because EUIV is one of my favourite empire building games ever and I know Paradox do the genre so well. Even though I could do without another time sink (just started another long Hearts of Iron 3 campaign). Will keep an eye out though for a good deal and hopefully will be on board soon.
  8. What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    30/01/18 - Scream Collector (PC) This was an alleged idle-clicker with an insane grind. It actually launched just before Halloween and I stupidly thought I'd have it finished well before Christmas (the dev said it should take about 3 weeks). I've never tried the genre before (outside of when one of the Steam sales had one) but believed it was, indeed, something to occasionally have running in the background and click on every once in a while. Boy, was I wrong. My Steam play time is around 240 hours on it and whilst most of those will have been with it idling away whilst I was doing other stuff, I'd say that easy 40+ hours will have been wasted doing 'housekeeping' - because there were lots of little activities to perform which would earn you gems or spins on a wheel of fortune or other bonuses - all things that would help the pain of progressing. So it wasn't really that idle at all if you actually wanted to see the end of it. It became a battle of grim determination, of having lost so much time to it that I felt compelled to finish it - and now that I have, I will be happy to never touch an idle clicker ever again. Previously completed
  9. What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    28/01/18 - Not Dying Today (PC) This is trash. I only even noticed it as it came up in my discovery queue and was 90% off (so cost 69p) and had 'Very positive' user reviews. It's a side-scrolling beat-'em-up and, as noted, is trash. Now admittedly my last foray into the genre was probably Golden Axe, but even so that had better controls than this, where they are horrible; stiff, sluggish and give you little opportunity to avoid getting hit (there's a dodge roll that is barely quicker than walking and the times you'd use it, you still get hit by the long reach of some enemy attacks). The collision detection leaves much to be desired, too, meaning a lot of the cramped screen estate offers no protection. It has the staples for the genre (levelling up and upgrading stuff) but no story at all (it did make me laugh seeing somebody actually credited for that). You just seem to start, move right (but sometimes also left! Wow, so innovative!) and then get to a final boss that you kill and the (very) brief end scene seems to suggest we should know who this character is? Ah, who cares. Even at the low, low price it currently is, it's not worth it (unless you place no value on your time whatsoever.) Somebody left a negative review (which I did see before buying) which also made me chuckle - it just said 'Not Buying Today'. Wish I'd taken heed of that! Previously completed
  10. @kiroquai I was reading a good career mode thread in the SI forums and it was full of crazy scores like that across a range of leagues from non-league to the top tier in a few different countries. In one season the average goals per game was 4.5 I think which is just rediculous for a 40+ game season. Plenty of 7-nils (both for and against) and games like yours throughout the 10-odd seasons he had played through. I don't remember scores being so crazy and with such frequency in the last editions I played (which would've been a lot of time spent on FM09, I think, though I did buy - and not like - FM12) and it has totally put me off buying it. The UI looks to be a bit of a mess, too, with player screens having not enough space to display everything.
  11. What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    25/01/2018 - Titanfall 2 (PC) I feel I almost need to say right off the bat that I did enjoy this; the guns have some punch and are satisfying to handle, the traversal is different and the Titan sections don't outstay there welcome. Some of the platforming is a bit overdone (that big dish level), mind. But the campaign seems to get raved about on here and I really don't know why - I didn't think it was anything special at all. I mean, I finished it not 30 minutes ago and I'm struggling to think of a single set-piece that I look back on fondly. Now I play on easy so I can accept I am probably losing out on some of the fun of gunplay being a bit more strategic/challenging, but that doesn't change the fact that the levels, writing and general plot were fairly unremarkable. It was pitched about right in terms of length and had plenty of positives, then, but I am hoping for a better campaign from another forum favourite (Wolfenstein: The New Order) whenever I end up starting that. Previously completed
  12. Just to encourage others to post, I much prefer seeing screenshots and reading folks' stories rather than videos (no offence Tomox!) And, of course, lower league has always been the best way to play; obviously the English pyramid provides a lot of leagues to work through, but I have fond memories of the lower echelons of the Dutch and German leagues (SV Meppen ). If I saw this for an attractive price (yeah, I know it's 25% off at the moment but that isn't hitting my sweet spot just yet) I will probably succumb. Even more likely if I go and read the stories over at the FM website...
  13. Liverpool Football Club Thread

    To be fair, I'm not sure they needed to defend brilliantly @Chewylegs , Fabianski didn't have too many testing saves to make (if any, in truth). It wasn't a great performance from most of the team and it's a shame to lose a great unbeaten run in such disappointing fashion - though at least we've shown we can go on long unbeaten runs, been a while since that was the case. @Stigweard I fully share your frustration - we probably are the team most likely to beat the top of the table side then lose the next match to a struggling team, something that has been true for far too long (then you'll get pundits going on about players not being able to get themselves mentally up for such games etc). Would've been great to start building a cushion above Tottenham, too. As a positive though, at least we didn't lose to a goalkeeping error, that's something, right?
  14. What games did you complete? 2018 Edition

    21/01/2018 - Earthlock: Festival of Magic (PC) This is an indie JRPG (yet the credits list hundreds of people) that is meant to tap into the charms of JRPGs from the late 90s, apparently but adding challenge and strategic depth to battles. It doesn't. It has many problems: the story, the battle system (oh my god it is so slow! And a bit crap), the world, the character progression...I actually can't think of a single good thing about it - other than it isn't terrible, just so, so average it hurts. The only challenge comes from damage-sponge enemies, 1-hit kill attacks that can hit the whole party and sheer numbers (you can face up to 8 enemies at once and, at times near the end, that many can hit hard). The battle system itself is turn-based with the main attraction being that you can swap between 2 different stances that each give different attacks and skills. In reality a lot of the alternate stances are a bit rubbish so you won't use them and indeed. There's no gear (you use a talent board to upgrade stats and skills), no need for money (as little to buy and selling was only recently added in a patch!) and no real character progression. Which, in fairness, is probably like a lot of JRPGs in the 90s...so, hurrah? Actually, there is one positive - the devs will be releasing a free new version (which they are calling the 'Shouldhavebeen Edition') which changes a lot of stuff (apparently). That they are going back to polish a game which is over a year old and give it to existing owners is something that should be celebrated, so well done them, even if I'll never play it. Previously completed
  15. Does anyone actually like random battles?

    Blue Dragon on the X360 let you get a skill (fairly late on, mind) where you could run around the field and when bumping into enemies much weaker than you it instantly gave you a token amount of XP - so you could roam around without having to battle and still at least get some reward for it. It was a good system.
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