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Everything posted by Withywarlock

  1. In D&D and other tabletop roleplaying games 'metagaming' is the practice of your character employing what you as a player know. It's one thing to know that trolls are vulnerable to fire, that's a common fairy tale trope; it's another thing to know the troll's exact health, stats, and movement. The character doesn't have access to the knowledge the player does like stat blocks, they can only really go off hearsay and experience. In answer to the OP, no, I'm a compulsive metagamer. I'll do whatever I can to get an edge so long as the game remains enjoyable. If it requires me to play a way or revolve around a build I don't enjoy then I'll read up on it out of curiosity but not for practice. How about you? Yay or nay on the metagaming front?
  2. I would say The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for Wes Johnson's myriad performances alone. While Patrick Stewart, Sean Bean and Terence Stamp have distinct voices, as indeed do most of the NPCs' actors, they aren't really suited for voice acting. Even then if someone were to lump that into the voice direction, which is the problem that plagues Oblivion's voice work, then I'd quite easily find myself agreeing with that. Oblivion's voice actors are good at what they do, but they're hugely overworked given each named NPC has unique lines and every rumour has to be done in each voice. It's amazing that even with one of the bloopers where an old take was left in, the actor maintains composure despite how difficult it must've been to be one of three(?) female voice actors, one of which being Lynda Carter: the wife of the President of Zenimax and Wonder Woman from the '75 TV show.
  3. I'd better say before this thread hots up: attribute not to malice what could as easily be attributed to incompetence. Sure, sometimes it's that nebulous but all-encompassing and satisfying answer of 'greed', and sometimes the incompetency comes from greed. For instance, the game being rushed out because of developer/publisher greed; they want to cut corners and costs and make their money back instantly. There are times when it's just due to management clashes or ineptitude, concepts taking longer to decide upon than the actual coding process, contract negotiation failures and expectations versus reality. It's my understanding that DLC that completes a story is usually added after the initial contract has been fulfilled by studio for the publisher. They've got the game out, and they'll receive additional funding to partake in other projects, one of which may be a more artistically driven one such as providing a more complete experience. Others, such as the case of Mass Effect 3, were due to backlash. It may be that the initial contract stated the game was to release and then afterwards a number of DLCs are expected: what better way to tick off one of those boxes than to cut out the ending, but then I'm just going for the lazy, paranoid criticism of 'laziness' myself. So while I'm sure no developer/publisher plans for an/the ending to be released as content, it may be the reality for that particular game. Or indeed it may be greed. I've no evidence to suggest any of the above.
  4. It's been done before several times from Fallout: A Post-Nuclear Roleplaying Game to The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, it's just that many people don't like the pressure or worry that their content has an expiry date. The first game that exposed me to this was Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, where quest text simply told you that quests had urgency; companions would remind you to get your arse in gear or they'd do things themselves; your journal might pop up to remind you you ought to hurry up. The problem with that for me was that I'd look up wikis to see if content was time-sensitive, and if it was I'd crack on with it... by reading a walkthrough. If ever you want to see good open world game design look no further than your average D&D game. The world does not wait on the players to pick up static quests from NPCs standing outside houses, while the baddies sit in a tiered dungeon. Ravenloft is one of the earliest adventures to emphasise this (later re-vamped, no pun intended, in 5E's Curse of Strahd). Its main villain, the vampire Count Strahd von Zarovich, will move from zone to zone to complete his various goals and hinder the players by taking out key NPCs and secreting away/destroying artefacts that will aid in the final battle. Players can come across him at any moment, and while he may taunt them and drain resources for petty amusement, you never know when the next battle will be the final one. This is not a problem of open-world game design, even if I do think by their very nature are worse at creating a coherent and consistently-paced experience, but simply the market and developers preferring to have players take their time and not miss out on any content.
  5. Basically Frogwares and Nacon are in a kerfuffle over who owns the rights and royalties to which properties and sales, respectively. It's still up in the air but for the time being Nacon are still going ahead with operations. In the case of The Sinking City, the game on Steam (which comes and goes from the storefront) is the incomplete version with content and DLC missing. It's a mess to say the least. More power to you and those who buy it, but I won't do so until I know which side of things is the right one to be on. I hope I figure that out before Greedfall 2 releases.
  6. Eyes front, stiff upper lip, that's it. Don't turn your head. Don't you dare. Just ignore him running along the walls at supersonic speed. Ignore the writhing mass in his hand. It's not a person. It's. Just. Pixels. Don't close your eyes, he'll know. He'll come for you next if he detects any weakness. Oh... oh God... what's he doing to--?! He's eating him--, no... absorbing him! Christ in Heaven, why does he have to do it where I can see him doing it why can't I just close my eyes why do I have to hear the squelching RUN RUN THEY'VE SEEN HIM NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO ESCAPE RUN DESPAWN RUN DESPAWN RUN D ~ Prototype would be my guess. Or Carrion. It's one thing to be an expendable NPC in an open world sandbox. It's another to be an expendable NPC in an open world sandbox that is full of body horror. I've just got done reading the comic Spread so that's why such a choice is fresh in my mind.
  7. That's a pity, I find few things more satisfying than fully finishing a collect-a-thon. I hope you're one day able to get a working copy. Fun fact: Spyro: Year of the Dragon had anti-piracy measures where you couldn't go past the first boss, but it would still let you play the game up to that point. Talk about impossible! 😅
  8. It has to be The Elder Scrolls IV: The Shivering Isles. Partly because it had to happen after the horse armour debacle: Bethesda were perfectly content releasing tripe like that until the backlash came, and between miniature content packs such as homes and spell tomes, they had only really planned Knights of the Nine. And while Knights of the Nine is certainly a fun time if you're a light-heavy armoured melee user, it's not much fun for those who aren't that into the Aedra and Daedra lore of the universe. The Shivering Isles, on the other hand, had something for everyone. It's not a particularly serious setting but its silliness is usually volatile, showing that madness is a spectrum. You're tasked with bringing about chaos to the Shivering Isles, before they succumb to the reign of Jyggalag the Daedric Prince of Order, Logic and Deduction. It was my first exposure to the idea that order is not inherently good, that the Realm of the Mad God would be equally miserable were it just a silver wasteland. The good news is - if it can be called such - is that Jyggalag's Greymarch can be stopped and the cycle of chaos and order brought to a halt. The Realm of the Mad God is split into two halves, each representing the very real depressive mental illnesses: Mania and Dementia. Mania is a colourful, happy-go-lucky side of the world guarded by the Golden Saints, the Aureals. It is the home of artists, anxious and fanatics, who - if they step out of line - are thrown into a dungeon prison where they can fight their way out... if they're given a fighting chance. Dementia on the other hand is a gloomy place, guarded by the Dark Seducers, the Mazken. Dementia is home to the paranoid, bitter and heretical. Featured here are the Hills of Suicide, where those who wish to end their suffering by their own hand are sent as a warning to others. Speaking of which... The quests of the Shivering Isles aren't entirely maddening, save for one: the unmarked quest to free the souls of those stuck on the Hills of Suicide. By finding the skulls of those belonging to the ghosts, you can free them of their eternal torment. Doing so grants you a spell that only exists in the form of a staff: Raise Dead. You can animated a corpse without the need of Mannimarco's Staff of Worms. Not a very powerful spell I grant you, but an amusing one given the game's physics and something of a rare novelty. Other quests involve solving murders, thefts, fetching oddities, and mostly helping people find peace in some fashion. It's the little things that count on this rather large island. Expansion packs like these ought to have memorable moments, and the game doesn't stop with them: building the Gatekeeper, a Flesh Atronach; defeating fool adventurers by manipulating traps of a dungeon; electing who should be the Prince of Madness' second-in-command, and receiving the game's greatest reward which I shan't spoil. And should you be foolish enough to attack Lord Sheogorath - who is 256 levels above your own - he will send you sightseeing. Enjoy the flight while it lasts. It can be played at any level and balances itself accordingly as is expected of Oblivion. Nowhere is really off-limits, as while its main quest will send you hither-and-yon you're not exactly encouraged to go further, but good things await those who do. Try the exotic dishes, meet new, strange people... and kill them. There's many DLCs out there but there are none that have ever commanded such respect from me. It is one of my measuring sticks for an expansion pack. If it isn't as good as The Shivering Isles, what's the point?
  9. While I'm perfectly happy with more skateboarding games (seriously, why did the genre dry up as rapidly as it did?), I'm not overly impressed with Nacon being in charge. Between their 'meh' lineup of released and upcoming titles, as well as their dispute with Frogwares over Sherlock Holmes and The Sinking City (who have also muddied the waters of legality), I'd say I'll hold off on buying this in Early Access or even after launch. I'm not that desperate to play this.
  10. As I've said a few times in the past, VR as we know it isn't going to be the future of gaming or just one of the main means of interfacing with it. To me it's a tossup between Augmented Reality (AR) and something not yet been announced/discovered. VR's been around for a long time and its development is too slow. By the time the tech reaches such a stage that we can be totally comfortable functioning with (and that day may yet come), it'll be long outdated. That said, I hope the immediate problems with VR come to an end soon such as the pricing, unwieldiness, migraines and eye strain.
  11. I wouldn't go as far as to say it was mind-blowing unless one's experience with the spectrum of RPGs at the time was fairly limited, from lesser-appreciated games like Dark Messiah of Might & Magic to the hugely popular Fable 2. What Skyrim did accomplish was streamlining the more cumbersome RPG elements of older games (for better or for worse) and made combat somewhat more dynamic with dual-wielding (including spells), experimental build encouragement, and Shouts. I would still say the gameplay is weak but that works in its favour as a turn-off-your-brain sandbox, which I think is its only qualifier as being a good game.
  12. I've a feeling this may be a thread I'll come back to every now and again, so for the time being I'll nominate The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind as my first choice. I don't quite get the story, and I'll admit I find all of its side content vastly more intriguing than its main plot, but there is an incredible game there... underneath the guff that remained with the series from its inception. My main problem with it is that it's not as good as Gothic, and that's painful to say when I don't like Gothic very much (nor its fanbase, but they don't like me so we're golden). Just about everything Gothic does, which came out at around the same time (but was not as well distributed, marketed nor did it have TES' name value), this game does worse. Its combat is incomprehensible without a wiki (then again what RPG's truly is?); its stealth is undercooked; and related to that point is the weak character interactions where simply clicking through dialogue options without a care plops things into your journal, with every NPC knowing just about every piece of information you've ever inquired about. Things I do like are usually overshadowed by other problems. The game requires you read your journal for quest information, which is helpful and comprehensive... but it's poorly organised, and sometimes directions can be obscure to downright incorrect. You also have to navigate the open world with its dire render distance, hoping you come across roadsigns that lead you to somewhere you want to be and preferably out of the way of cliff racers. Some places such as Vivec are technical powerhouses for their time I'm sure, but impractical and take an age to navigate. And the final criticism off the top of my head is how the factions interact with each other negatively... but that's all they do. There's none that appear to get on or synergise. Houses, Guilds and 'Guilds' want you to choose your allegiances very carefully, usually before you join up and take time to perform their quests. These criticisms, lengthy as they are, are not particularly bothersome. I enjoy the game greatly because the whole is vastly superior to the sum of its parts, whereas Gothic is the opposite: it's truly amazing how all the common sense aspects of Gothic's design made such a spectacularly OK game when its at its best.
  13. Though I enjoy the multiplayer aspects of the games still to this day they would stand up on their own without constant sequels, especially sequels that are off-putting due to the progression systems not carrying over particularly well. With Warzone 2 coming out, and none of the old material carrying over it's hard for me to justify playing newer installments when the old ones have active (if often sweaty) playerbases. Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw was involved in some of the initial drafts for what would become Duke Nukem: Forever. His pitch was an ironic take on the character: people not glorifying his deeds; acknowledging his attitude doesn't fly by today's standards; and he's too unfit to be as outrageous as he once was. But he admits himself it wasn't a very interesting story to tell, or in my opinion, via a video game. As a webcoming, a short animation or blog post, I'd welcome it. I don't think Duke Nukem should come back primarily because of what you go on to say: "they'd have to tone him down a lot." If you make him too offensive he'll just add another sentence to his sad footnote on games history because that'll go down worse than DN:Forever; if you tone it down he's Matt Hazard minus the satire. ~ Most of my choices would be 'put on hold until diverted to their original purpose' which Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed fall snugly into, but that's not the question at hand. The problem is I don't really want any games to go away if people enjoy them, even if I don't get or dislike them myself. I agree with the OP's choice of Halo: anything that's doing the novels have done better by miles, if a friend's back-to-back revision of them is anything to go by. 343i haven't a clue where they want Infinite to go, and a sequel's prospects look worse each passing update. Sonic's definitely the big choice for me. He's resistant to my earlier proposed treatment of Duke Nukem given he's a very charming character with a lot of nostalgia value. Even the films were halfway decent (the fan service being my favourite things about them are not glowing praise, I realise). Not to mention I saw how Banjo & Kazooie were treated in Nuts 'n' Bolts: it's a fantastical game in its own right but it spends so much energy taking the piss out of itself that it feels abusive more than it does a parody. I'd rather Sonic be retired than see a game where his ankles are too swollen to fit into his iconic running shoes.
  14. I don't think that much of him or his content. I appreciate his impact on YouTube and post-television entertainment, but I far prefer those who followed in his footsteps like Markiplier, going on to do their own thing successfully despite his vast fame and fortune. It's a shame he's fallen from whatever grace he may have had, but more shameful than that is the lack of repurcussions for some of his abhorrent actions in the past.
  15. I try my best to minimise casualties but I have no sympathy for NPCs who get in the way having tried to be patient with them. I particularly dislike when games such as Prototype(?) have achievements for killing fewer than 10 civilians for the entire game, but the game gives you too many abilities that do area of effect damage and such. How about you OP?
  16. I've already mentioned Harvester in another thread, which has seemingly caused permanent damage to the site's two moderators' sanity so I'll avoid that nominating that one. @Yaramaki's suggestions are some of my favourites here, and some of them I really wanted to play (Mister Mosquito was one I desperately wanted but was difficult to find in my corner of the country), and the briefly mentioned Deadly Premonition is one of the few survival(?) horror games I can withstand even if I don't get on with its controls. Similarly to @killamch89's nomination of Sonic's Schoolhouse, there was Rayman Junior, a game designed to help improve Maths and English. It wasn't particularly advanced and the platforming was minimal, but it was decent enough to fool me into enjoying myself. Of all the mascots... I think my only unique choice would be Doshin the Giant. It's a game where you play as a giant yellow god with a outward belly button, who can mould the world around them for the betterment of their worshippers. If Doshin upsets the people enough, he turns into Jashin and can perform evil deeds such as breathing fire. It was an unusual god game and settlement sim to say the least but it does possess a charm few other games of its ilk do.
  17. I won't quote the article ver batim (though I strongly recommend people read it fully rather than just what myself and others quote), but here's some interesting tidbits that stand out to me: Such as...? So what is Web 3? Because right now "Metaverse" and "Crypto" are buzzwords used by people who want to impress investors, not actually move the World Wide Web forward like what came with Web 2.0. You can't just say "who doesn't understand Web 3" and then proceed to not explain what it is, which right now the Wikipedia page only confirms my suspicions. Correct me if I'm wrong, but does this therefore mean there's only going to be 10,000 of these things sold? If so this leads me to the next bit, How are you going to cover the costs if only 10,000 people are paying for these passes? Games consoles are sold at a loss: the games and accessories themselves make up for the losses. What "games built on different blockchains" are going to make up the cost of hardware that can run games at 8K HDR, 120 FPS, ray tracing whilst being accessed by a fingerprint scanner? Regarding the logo they say this much: OK, I guess...? You couldn't just change the logo anyway, just to be sure? Your brand isn't going to hit store shelves or wherever for another two years, you've got plenty of time to change it. Four guys and a 3D Printer, essentially. That's a romcom waiting to happen. ...you didn't speak to developers before you decided to make your console? Jesus wept on an 30p NFT.
  18. That is indeed a very real video game called Harvester, which did everything it could to spit in the eye of censors and critics of its time. The music video however is a parody of The Wurzel's hit song "I've got a brand new combine harvester." It was up there as one of the first games to begin serious lasting discussion about violence in video games, especially due to the full motion video (FMV) and mixed use of practical and digital special effects. Its artistic merits are far and few between, and as the lyrics say "oh when there's symbolism, there is no subtlety." Anything it has to say about political correctness, domestic violence, the conditions of slaughterhouses, and cult worship is totally blown up by its gratuitous violence. This is the sort of game people think Grand Theft Auto was/is. There is something that is seriously messed up though, and I take no pleasure in discovering this news, nor missing it earlier before posting: the actor who played protagonist Steve, Kurt Kistler, was arrested for possession of something I'm not sure the rules will permit me to say or link to. He was also wearing a similar flannel shirt in his mugshot that he wore in game. "You were always such a kidder, Steve" doesn't seem so charming now. It's always cheap on Steam and GOG, so if it gets frustrating (and it sure can with the typical point-'n'-click combat controls that plagued games of its time) it's not a total waste. I don't think the main protagonist's actor will see any of the royalties given the above, and honestly it'd be a pittance if he did.
  19. It depends on the game, but the mods themselves and game communities will be able to tell you which you have to do. In my experience most games load up the mods on your latest save file, but it's been known for some to only work on a brand new save because it changes fundamental components of the game.
  20. I tend to enjoy the more obscure and frankly deranged ones like Harvester (content warning for all manner of things below): However I would like to get more into Broken Sword, and also try out the Monkey Island games for their Douglas Adams/Monty Python-esque humour. Those are the sorts of adventure game where despite their wackiness they at least make sense.
  21. I consider myself adept at platform games and even I struggle with the first Super Mario Bros. on NES. There is a lot to look out for in terms of level hazards and enemies, but they got easier as time went on. ~ I myself struggled with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, or more specifically its dragon fights. I'm generally not a fan of ES combat in any iteration of the games, but Skyrim is up there as one of my least favourite barring stealth-archer build (AKA the only build.)
  22. Hardware scarcity is certainly a big deal but not specific to a single year and it didn't originate with Covid-19 (for PC users I'd daresay it was cryptocurrency mining that caused shortages.) Gaming in the UK boomed as a direct result of Covid, or more specifically, lockdown efforts. I imagine this was the same in a lot of other countries in the world. Lots of studios and their developers faced difficulties, absolutely, but I still don't think that qualifies as a worse year than the industry dying. There is certainly discussion to be had about Covid-19's impact on gaming, and I'm sure there's many interesting comparisons between the struggles now versus ~40 years ago.
  23. Not to shut this down, but I struggle to see see where this discussion can go (please do explain if I'm missing something here.) How does one go about measuring how worse a year can be than 1983, the collapse of an entire budding industry? 2014 would be my pick but it'd be a laughable choice because only liking one game out of over 20 that I bought on release day for review (half of which weren't worth it) is nowhere near comparable. While I'm sure people will have years with reasons deeply personal to them, I'd hardly say those moments qualify to be considered the worst in video games' history. There's discussion to be had about that, and indeed 1983 for those who want to have it, but I think you know the answer already.
  24. It could be said that this began with Fallout 3 and Todd Howard's "over 200 endings" statement. What he meant by that is, if I recall correctly, there's over 200 combinations of slides. It's like when talking about permutations in a deck of 52 playing cards. Technically there's over 200 endings; it doesn't mean they're each going to enhance the experience, and it's also why I've long since been unimpressed by the number of endings a developer boasts their game to have. Fallout: New Vegas does its ending slides well because each of the factions have so many things that you can change within them. Two players could allow Caesar's Legion to take the Dam, but the people who made it happen could be completely different and will go on to shape the future of the Wasteland differently. You can look at the older Fallout games and how they did their endings. Not as dramatic an extent as Todd Howard's claims, and not as meaningful as New Vegas', but definitely worth playing through multiple times to correct old choices and see new ones. Anyway, I'm diverting this conversation more into the realms of ending slides rather than games missing them. Apologies to the OP for that, I hope I've steered us back on course.
  25. Think of slides as pages to a presentation. In the instance of Fallout: New Vegas, you'll see the aftermath of the campaign: who went on to do what, and how the Mojave Wasteland fares after your adventures. Still images accompanied by text and narration. In answer to the question I don't know any games that are missing ending slides. On the contrary, F:NV mentioned above has slides for things you don't do. It took me a while to figure out the means of destroying the Powder Gangers in their newly acquired vault hideout.
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