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Ever got deep into a Game you skipped at the time?


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I'm currently playing Fallout 76, as its on gamepass...its not bad!?

 

I mean this may be as its had two years of stuff added, mostly the wastelanders i'm guessing, but, its rather fun.

 

Feels like fallout 4, just occasionally you see other people. I'm playing on my own and doing the "main quests" and have a massive list of side quets to do, but im mostly ignoring the daily and event crap, but, yeah, 50 hours in!!

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Yeah - for a while this has pretty much been me whenever there's been a massive void in my gaming schedule and I'm not interested in revisiting the games I'm more familiar with. :D 

  • Tackled FFXII for the first time in 2016; this was before Zodiac Age so I was playing on the PS2. Originally I didn't enjoy the new systems, but gradually the gambit and licence stuff grew on me
  • Systematically played each of the PS1-era Persona games during 2018 and 2019, and made threads about my experiences here, here and here
  • Earlier this month I finished FFIII (VI); I made a few tweets about the journey and also posted updates in the retro folder's "currently playing" thread.

I'm often guilty of skipping entire consoles during generations, so I regularly have a lot to catch up on. :P Sometimes I'll try a game I skipped and it won't click, or I'll have to make a few attempts before I really enjoy it, but it can be fun when it works out.

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I think it's going to be a majority of the games I've played this year, because of lockdown. It honestly makes me feel a little bad about this year's RLLMUK GOTY rewards, because the category for that sort of thing is a single entry.

I mean, here's my take on Shin Megami Tensei IV, a 3DS game I picked up about two years after launch for a price in the teens, played for about ten minutes, and then left it for about half a decade along with the console it was on:

 

On 21/08/2020 at 21:35, Siri said:

Funnily enough regarding the original thread title, I dusted off my 3DS to finally have a 'quick go' on Shin Megami Tensei IV at the start of the week, after one too many times messing around with getting Nocturne's Hardtype hack to work ended up with me forgetting about it and not going back by accident.

 

I now have 35 hours on it. This is 35 hours longer than I have spent with the 3DS for about five years. Utterly astounding game, for too many reasons than I care to list.

 

It just... Feels like what you've always dreamt those old school Japanese RPG dungeon crawlers to be like as a kid growing up with only Nintendo/Sony magazines as reference for all the cool import-only shit - the oppressive environments, having to actually figure out where to go next, genuinely tough boss fights that you had to figure out and plan accordingly.

 

But it's all wrapped up in a package that I can appreciate as an adult. There's a story that's fronted by adults dealing with supernatural moral dilemmas. There's fucking tooltips everywhere so I don't use the full heal items like an idiot. There's Skill loadouts that are by choice, and not by chance. If I get jumped and insta-gibbed by a horde, There's a chance to use in-game money to not go back four hours. There's fucking banging music that doesn't sound out of place in the darksynth wave that's creeped back at the end of the century.

 

This honestly would have made my Game of the Decade list if I did push on with it earlier, and that's properly maddening considering the only place I get to shout about how fucking good this game is will be the GOTY thread, in a year where the best games I've played this year have ALL been games from previous years due to Covid.

 

I've not even finished the fucking thing yet. Shit.


After that, I continued playing the game for about another 25 hours. I did get a fairly uneventful ending out of the four available, but that in turn unlocks a bunch of New Game + boss fights, and SMTIV is one of those games where, if you've learnt how a boss goes or figure out how to expose a vulnerability, everything gets slapped very quickly.

This, of course, doesn't downplay how brutal the game is in terms of turn based encounters - You could have power levelled and raised your collection of demons to counter anything you can think of, but there's always going to be bad hands dealt. A couple of crits from the enemy to the main character (effectively removing your chance to switch party during a fight) and the Smirk effect applies to the enemy that landed it (which means they'll evade most normal attacks and do double damage next turn), and you'll still be on the back foot. It's incredibly relentless, and I love it because it forces you to be just as ruthless in every encounter - pressing turns by finding vulnerabilities which gives you another action during your turn, actively switching party demons for the cost of half a turn so they also press turns and make a net positive, and using anything useful on the Main Character (like attack items) to just. keep. attacking.

The best thing is how the plot is very similar to something like Fallout: New Vegas (which is basically one of my favourite games ever), where it feels like none of the factions you encounter have a solution that's right for the world you're placed in - Mafia groups that are able to placate demons but only via harvesting people themselves, Gods that see the only way for peace is to obliterate everything on earth, and everything in between. They're all awful in their own way, and you learn quite quickly that getting to an agreeable conclusion will end up with making someone or something very, very cross.

The game also goes off the rails in a very, very good way near the end as the extent of your actions is basically shown in advance, effectively.

It's just something that was pitch-perfect in all the right ways - the visuals, the world it was based, the sounds, the severity of the combat - all come together to form something tonally aggressive and dirty, an environment that's both haunting and uncaring for your success, but is so tangibly pleasing that you just want to see what it's all about.

TL;DR - I got around to playing Shin Megami Tensei IV after not playing the thing for five years, and it's easily one of the best games I've played in some time. If you don't like reading through that wall of text, you can watch this:
 


(Warning: There's a lot of spoiler imagery, and the author has a horrible tendency to use the term 'you feel me' which is utterly fucking cringe, but he gets the point across I guess)

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I was a few years late to the Shenmue party. It was the end of 2003 and I’d just been made redundant. That game kept me going for a couple of weeks, it’s pretty much all I did with my time. Epic!

 

I played it again recently on Xbone and enjoyed it just as much. It’s a bit dated and janky I guess, but to me it’s still brilliant. Shenmue 2 however has failed to grab me for the second time. 10-12 hours in and I lost interest, which is a few hours longer than back in 2004. 
 

Ultimately I want to finish 2 and buy 3. Maybe one day!

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4 hours ago, Down by Law said:

Bit of a companion thread to ever got into a console you skipped at the time ? 

 

I'm currently in the middle of a Virtua Fighter 3TB addiction on the Dreamcast. What started off as a bit of a curio has now developed into a daily habit.

 

I had this game back in the day but dismissed it as quickly as almost everyone else i knew, as Soul Calibur just about blew everyone's socks off in every department. I had played Virtua Fighter 2 on Saturn and enjoyed it and I really rinsed Fighters Megamix to death, so I knew the gameplay was good but VF3 just seemed so barebones and outdated by the time the Dreamcast hit - and with the aforementioned Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive 2 and the seemingly never ending supply of import 2D fighters from SNK and Capcom there was no time for this game at all.

 

I read an article a few years ago about this game having a resurgence in Japanese arcades and I can see why. The game is extremely well made and challenging. The animation is still great for a 1999 release - even more impressive considering it's arcade release was originally in 1996(!). So what's keeping me coming back to it on an almost daily basis?

 

It's got a ranking system. When you beat the arcade mode, you are graded on performance - I think it starts at 10 and 1 is the best (I assume, the highest I've gotten is Grade 4) and it gives you some pointers based on your play style such as - combo more when the opponent is in the air - try to utilize the dodge - try to win by KO (i think I got this as it went to time over a few too many times) etc. Winning with an 'excellent! (perfect)' and not losing any rounds , beating Dural at the end (you get one shot) landing specific moves etc all add up to more points leading to better ranks.

 

So i just can't stop playing trying to better my rank. And all the time my skills are improving and i'm learning to use the dodge buttons, time counters better, block, block and block some more and just becoming an all round better player. I'm pulling off some of Akira's trickiest multi part moves so easily, when I remember previously sitting in training mode barely able to do them against static AI. Counters were out of the question, and now I'm actually nailing a few of them in each playthrough of Arcade mode. Anticipating a somersault kick from the enemy and landing a perfectly timed counter feels awesome. 

 

So why play this over Virtua Fighter 5FS or even 4 Evo? Well, It's got that ever charming mid 90's arcade aesthetic - really catchy tunes, bright blue skies and excellent stages - I know a lot of people don't like the elevation and multi-tiered design, but they really do offer up some unpredictability and excitement. Also, kicking Pai of a roof or dunking Jeffrey into the sea always raises a smile. 

 

So a game I dismissed as being barebones over 20 years ago has finally got it's claws into me and I can't stop playing it. Good times.

 

 

1996


I started really playing VF when VF4 came out, which got quickly followed by Evo and that was me well and truly sold.

After that game sucked me in I went back to the earlier incarnations with my newly found knowledge.

 

VF3 is a great addition to the series IMO and an amazing sequel to VF2 (which is also an amazing sequel to VF).

 

The progression of the series through each iteration was super impressive and something I could only really appreciate once I was fully versed with the game.

I half wondered if the VF e-sports announcement was going to include earlier versions. I would happily watch high level fights of VF3.

 

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I played hundreds of hours of Spelunky on PS4/Vita, years after its original release on the previous gen of consoles, and it became one of my all time favourite games. Finally completing Hell was one of my most satisfying moments in gaming ever. I'm not saying anything here that thousands of players haven't said before, but Spelunky is an utter masterpiece of design and ingenuity. My partner and I played it for a couple of hours every night in co-op over the course of probably nearly a year, and it was probably better than the sequel in that regard because you could play with one player on the Vita and one on the PS4, which allowed same-home multiplayer on 2 separate screens.

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Bounced hard off Demon's Souls when it came out. Bounced just as hard off Dark Souls. Had zero interest in DS2 and I didn't have a PS4 for Bloodborne. When DS3 came out, I revisited Dark Souls and something clicked to the extent where I became almost obsessed with the games and the lore. I eventually bought a PS4 purely to play BB. I've now got 100% on DS & DS3 and I even went back and finished Demon's Souls, albeit via RPCS3 instead of a PS3. Still working towards that Plat on BB and I still haven't finished DS2

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For me the first game that leaps to mind here is Castlevania - Circle of the Moon for the GBA. 

 

It's surprisingly deep with the DSS card combinations and whilst I believe the difficulty and the random item drops are massively imbalanced, there's a really good action / explore / metroidvania / Sokoban / puzzle combination there and it's a great little game.  I'll go back to it with the DS in hand while the news is on the TV, it just fits short Burst play really well.

 

Of course the true mystery of the original GBA console was that you pretty much couldn't see the screen.  I mean , how did we not notice?  Why weren't GBA owners returning their consoles to the shop complaining that the only way to see the screen was direct sunlight in just the right amount of shade on a day where it's sunny but also overcast lightly with high pressure to the north? And Castlevania COTM was the worse offender with the dark dungeons being all but invisible to the human eye.  If it wasn't for the excellent music you'd swear the console was switched off.

 

Then the GBA With a lit screen came along  and the DS and the DS Lite and now the 3DS and the same cartridge has followed me.from console to console, becoming a rom on the 3DS.  A fantastic game, and great that after a few years you could actually see it.

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There's been a couple for me. The first one to spring to mind was the original Mass Effect. I'd been heavily into Star Wars Knights Of The Old Republic and somehow assumed this would be more of the same, but it's not really and I think this just made me mentally reject the game when I first tried playing it. But then a couple of years went by and suddenly Mass Effect 2 was on the horizon and looking pretty good, so I gave it another try. It ended up becoming one of my most well-loved games ever.

 

The most recent example though would be The Witcher 3. A mate of mine at work would rave about it, telling me it was the best game ever made. I bought it on PC and then  totally failed to get into it at all - it kinda seemed like a bit of a janky Euro RPG with a levelling system I couldn't/wasn't willing to understand and I just left it.

 

And then just over a year ago, for whatever reason, I decided to give it another go... and fell in love with it. I ended up getting it on Switch too so I could carry on my game in handheld mode if I'd be away from the PC and I'm still playing through it as we speak. That mate of mine might even be right... it very well could be the best game I've ever played at any rate.

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Stardew Valley. I saw the thread, heard some discussion on Giant Bomb / the Beastcast but never actually looked the game up. Thought it sounded nice but not really my thing, compounded by never having never played Harvest Moon, which seemed to be the hook a lot of people were hanging the game on.

 

Cut to May 2020. I’m about to move into a new home and a friend texts about how much she’s enjoying Stardew. Fine, I’ll check it on the store. £11.99? Okay, that’s a nice price. I should at least get my money out of it.

 

A few days later, I’m in the new house waiting for my better half to arrive in a fortnight’s time. Meanwhile, I’ve got an air bed, a TV, my iPad, my PS4 and time. I’ve been to Tesco with my iPad to use their WiFi to download some films. Time to give Stardew a whirl with my iPad on in the background.
 

Within a few hours I’m hooked. I’m plotting ways to get stuff done and still have time to  get to the mines for minerals. I’m mapping out seed strategy for the seasons. I’m using my phone data to watch beautiful farm builds on YouTube. I’m trying to woo lovely Abigail. I’m waking up, showering, and getting straight down to the farm. Several days I only stop briefly to get food.

 

In under two weeks I put around 100 hours into the game. Collecting, growing, selling crops, marrying Abigail, having two kids, unlocking secrets and rebuilding my farm twice.

 

I now I wait for update 1.5. What a brilliant game.

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Not sure if this counts but Bury Me, My Love I got for free on Switch and tried it, and I thought it was awful. I deleted it and dismissed it as some naff mobile game.

 

For some reason re-downloaded it ages later and it hooked me badly, and I ended up putting over 15 hours into it getting multiple endings. Very engaging story and the medium is perfect for it.

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I resisted Monster Hunter on PSP until the second game and even then only got it as a mate bought two copies so he had someone to play with, totally hooked, spread that to many other friends and ended up hunting every lunch time at work. Even hunted on the tube to work with my friends. Such an amazing game put well over 450 hrs into it!

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This describes nearly everything I play. :wacko:

 

I'm currently playing Shenmue, before that it was Resident Evil 2 (original), Pilotwings 64, Sleeping Dogs, Portal 1 & 2. All for the first time. There are so many classics I've missed out on, I don't really make a distinction between new or retro in deciding what to play.

 

I do have a Switch, PS4 and an alright PC, but outside of the big Nintendo games that I'm a sucker for (and that never come down in price anyway), I'm seldom in a rush to buy anything recent.

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Dark Souls. My mate kept telling me how amazing it was, and that I really needed to play it as I have very similar tastes to him in games. But I kept reading about the difficulty and just couldn't be arsed. 

 I decided to grab it one day when it was on sale on the Xbox store and was instantly hooked, rinsed through it and the DLC, went straight onto DS2 and did the same, but I admit I did get Dark Souls'd out by the middle of 3 and have yet to return to it. 

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I played the demo of Watch Dogs at the turn of the generation and found it gimmicky. Picked up the full version for £4 2 weeks ago and it's by far the most fun I've ever had with a GTA type game. Once you are fully tooled up with the hacker upgrades, police/ fellow criminal chases and shootouts are actually fun rather than the war of attrition in most similar games. Also the morality meter seems entirely pointless for much of the game but if you stray too much into the red, random members of the public will call the police if they see you which adds a new dynamic.

 

Obviously the story is absolute nonsense and Aiden and his shit coat are entirely forgettable but overall I was hugely surprised. 

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Pretty much the same answer as in the other thread: Forza. Both Motorsport and Horizon. 

 

With Motorsport, I always just considered them a poor Gran Turismo clone, having only played the first one. Got a 360 after FM4 had been out for a while and discovered that it was better than the Gran Turismo equivalent. By s one way. Bought a wheel just for that game.

 

With Forza Horizon, I'd never really been a fan of open world games, so hadn't really considered it. It came with the 360 I bought and remained unplayed until around the time the second was coming out (which also came out on XBone to illustrate how late I started playing it). Gave it a go. Obsessed now.

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5 hours ago, Yobo Ahoy said:

I played the demo of Watch Dogs at the turn of the generation and found it gimmicky. Picked up the full version for £4 2 weeks ago and it's by far the most fun I've ever had with a GTA type game. Once you are fully tooled up with the hacker upgrades, police/ fellow criminal chases and shootouts are actually fun rather than the war of attrition in most similar games. Also the morality meter seems entirely pointless for much of the game but if you stray too much into the red, random members of the public will call the police if they see you which adds a new dynamic.

 

Obviously the story is absolute nonsense and Aiden and his shit coat are entirely forgettable but overall I was hugely surprised. 


Had a similar experience with the sequel. So much so that ended up platinuming it, having a whale of a time. San Francisco felt fresh as a location too as despite seeing it in a few films haven’t played any games set there (bar Alcatraz in Far Cry 5)


The online integration is really good too, pretty seamless and with a good number of users. Very satisfying when you get the drop on someone, or co-op with someone to take down a target.

 

For ten squids or whatever it’s sale price is now, it’s a really fun game.

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2 hours ago, glb said:


Had a similar experience with the sequel. So much so that ended up platinuming it, having a whale of a time. San Francisco felt fresh as a location too as despite seeing it in a few films haven’t played any games set there (bar Alcatraz in Far Cry 5)


The online integration is really good too, pretty seamless and with a good number of users. Very satisfying when you get the drop on someone, or co-op with someone to take down a target.

 

For ten squids or whatever it’s sale price is now, it’s a really fun game.

 

Must admit I turned off the online aspects of WD1, couldn't really be arsed. But there was still loads to do, unlike most open world games the side missions (gang hideouts, convoys, fixers) were really fun, so much so I had completed most of them before act 4.

 

But yes, WD2 will be getting bought very soon. 

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2 hours ago, Yobo Ahoy said:

 

Must admit I turned off the online aspects of WD1, couldn't really be arsed. But there was still loads to do, unlike most open world games the side missions (gang hideouts, convoys, fixers) were really fun, so much so I had completed most of them before act 4.

 

But yes, WD2 will be getting bought very soon. 

 

Even without the online think you'll find plenty to enjoy. San Fran is a fun location to roam around.

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