November 21, 2017, 07:22:06 PM

Author Topic: What are you currently playing?  (Read 77895 times)

Online Alex Hormann

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #735 on: October 15, 2017, 06:14:50 PM »
I'm returning to Mass Effect for a third try. the first time around, my laptop committed suicide halfway through. on the second attempt, the game uninstalled itself for reasons unknown. Maybe this time technology won't get in my way.

I'm  enjoying it, but it has its flaws. Unskippable cutscenes being one of them. I also think that quest tracking could be a lot better handled. Having said that, driving around in the MACO is something I haven't seen replicated in other games, so that's nice.

It's not as good as KOTOR (very much the game of my childhood), but it's still fun.

Offline Yora

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #736 on: October 19, 2017, 06:16:15 PM »
The most important part about Mass Effect is being the setup for Mass Effect 2.  ;D
I always hate it when people say it about books, but Mass Effect starts to get really strong towards the Endgame. I see two main problems with the first game. The first is that there are way too many weapons and weapon customizations and you get something new and better every 5 minutes, so you can easily spend a very significant amount of playtime looking at menus and compering numbers for no detectable difference in how the game plays. In the second and third game, getting a new gun happens maybe once per level and they all work pretty significantly different. I've seen people bemoan that the second and third game removed "traditional RPG elements", but I am very happy with not having to interrupt my gameplay with extensive spreadsheat reviews.
The other big flaw is that the non-mainstory-levels are almost all very weak and samey. With a few exception, they are all barren planets where you can search for resources just lying around or go into the same repeating 4-room-dungeons where everything attacks you. The mainstory levels, starting with the Citadel, Feros, and Noveria are much higher in quality and once you get later to Vermire the story becomes really great, which makes the levels much more fun. Despite these weaknesses, the endgame levels of the first game are still among my favorites in the series.
In my opinion, Mass Effect 2 is lightyears better in every single aspect. The side missions are universally so much better than the planet explorations in the first and you get both a usually pretty great Recruitment Mission plus Loyalty Mission for every single character. All 9 of them. Plus two DLC companions with 1 mission each. Plus, I believe, 5 big mainstory missions. And every one of them has a pretty good to really awesome story. And while I very much feel that Lair of the Shadow Broker feels like it was cut from the game to be sold separately as an overpriced DLC, I still don't regret having paid that money. I think it's the best part of the series.
And even though I can gush about Mass Effect 2 all day, I think the big majority of its greteast parts only really work completely when you have played the first game. This is why everyone should play Mass Effect 1 to the end at least once. To play Mass Effect 2.  8)

I've been playing Demon's Souls while sick and I am getting really close to getting it 100% completed. Which might perhaps be as insane as I thought it would be when I first saw what is needed to do it.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 06:37:20 PM by Yora »
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Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #737 on: October 19, 2017, 06:54:00 PM »
In my adventures in Crusader Kings 2, I had one game where I started as a lowly Count in an isolated island in the Byzantine Empire. Eventually the Basileus gave me a Duchy (a Theme, as they call it).
I don't remember exactly when it happened but at some point I married my daughter to some French prince. I also don't know exactly what happened, but my daughter became the Queen of France somehow. And the children were of my dynasty.
And since my son died in some battle, she actually became the heir to my main titles in the Byzantine Empire.

I decided to simply gamble everything on France. I made my main titles French duchies and gave away my lands in the Byzantine Empire to Rival family members that despised me. Then I gave them independence from France (just to have them steamrolled by the Byzantine Emperor very shortly after).

After two or three attempted coups (promptly smashed), I secured my rule and managed to change the succession laws of France to primogeniture. Meaning was forever in my grasp. Slowly over the centuries I manage to convert France to Orthodox, with a Greek ruling elite at the helm. I even turned it into an Empire and conquered half of the Holy Roman Empire, the entirety of Italy and southern England.

In the second game I again started in the Byzantine Empire... but this time inland and on the eastern part of it, surrounded by Muslim empires.

This game was the most intense I have ever played in this game. Usually in others I can always relax, go Seduction focus or Learning, spend some time making bastards and seducing sisters, but here I really could do nothing but being on War focus all the time.

The Muslims kept declaring war after war after war. At some point I was the only one in the eastern part of the Empire, an island surrounded by them.
Meanwhile the Emperor kept sending his troops to fight in freaking Bulgaria or Croatia. I think this represents their real life ineptitude... but if in real life Constantinople fell in 1453, here it was about to fall in 1100.

Through conspiracies I was able to bring the other duchies and counties under my supervision, thankfully had a good economy and managed to defend myself and even later regain some territory (under my rule too).
Later some nasty rebellions exploded in the Muslim lands and I used that to reclaim even more territory. With careful use of money and some rare moments of lucidity from the Basileos, I single handedly managed to reconquer almost everything that was lost.

In time everything east of Constantinople was under my rule and when the Basileos died and was succeded by a 6 year old Emperor at the same time the Muslims prepared another war, I had no doubt. I simply started a civil war myself and claimed the throne. It's so easy to get a claim on the Byzantine throne. Anyone can do it by paying a cheap price of 1000 points of Prestige. It represents the decadence and corruption of the Empire.

Anyway, I became Basileos, quickly banished enemies, got the best lands and gave away others, reformed stuff and now the Byzantines are as strong as the Muslim empires.

I still have 300 years of game to go, and I think I can mend the schism and even recreate the old Roman empire, but most importantly, after more than 300 years of constant struggle, I think I finally have free time to seduce my sisters.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline tebakutis

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Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #738 on: October 19, 2017, 06:55:01 PM »
The most important part about Mass Effect is being the setup for Mass Effect 2.  ;D

I agree with pretty much all of this. :)

Though I will add one caveat. Lair of the Shadow Broker was the best Mass Effect DLC for Mass Effect 2. However, I feel The Citadel (for Mass Effect 3) was the best DLC in the series. It had the story and cast of three games to draw upon and told one of the best/most heartwarming/funniest stories in the entire series of games. Just typing that makes me want to go play it again.
T. Eric Bakutis: 2014 Compton Crook Finalist and author of Tales of the Five Provinces

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Offline Yora

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #739 on: October 19, 2017, 08:49:42 PM »
I never got Citadel. The idea of adding lots of comedy content isn't really my type, and it feels particularly misplaced at that particular point in the series. And that game already doesn't sit well with me for wavering on the established themes.
Though I've also heard from pretty much everyone else that they really loved it.

What makes Shadow Broker so great for me is that it takes what had already been my favorite planet in the game and then dials it up to eleven. The first game is very much space opera with strong touches of Star Trek, with the shiny citadel, a Federation of peaceful worlds devoted to sience and a human/turian starfleet consisting of nothing but very polite handsome officers (except for Harkin). That was already pretty cool.
And then Mass Effect 2 throws you into something that feels like a blend of Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell.  8) Ilium (just like Omega) was already pretty cool, but Shadow Broker goes balls to the walls. And you know whose picture you will find at the top of the page when you look up the expression "Taking a Level in Badass".  ;D
Spoiler for Hiden:
Though then again, the barkeep in ME2 and ME3 implies it's one quarter Krogan.  ;)

I'll be playing all the games again when we have off-season at work in January and February. I think it's already over three years  since I last did. Used to play them at least once per year.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #740 on: October 19, 2017, 09:22:47 PM »
I never got Citadel. The idea of adding lots of comedy content isn't really my type, and it feels particularly misplaced at that particular point in the series. And that game already doesn't sit well with me for wavering on the established themes.
Though I've also heard from pretty much everyone else that they really loved it.

The comedy is great, but it's honestly a side benefit. I think the reason I enjoyed Citadel so much (and why many others did) is that it is ultimately a love letter to the characters you've spent three games getting to know. The ending of ME3 was certainly dramatic (and controversial) but other than the brief holographic recollections you can do with your crew, there's only so much there. You don't really get to say goodbye.

The thing about Citadel is it *was* that goodbye. Literally every character gets a part (provided they're alive, of course). It was a last chance to revisit every character you got attached to in a situation where they all band together for one final hurrah.

I think making it too dramatic or dark would have done it a disservice, as the DLC was about celebrating the last time you'd ever see these characters (since ME3 ends the series) and reminiscing about everything that made them great.

If you do replay, I'd heavily suggest picking up The Citadel at once. The "main story" is just one part of it. It also adds a ton of side interactions and character development bits that are liberally sprinkled throughout the entire narrative. It just lets you spend more time with the characters, essentially, which I loved.

What makes Shadow Broker so great for me is that it takes what had already been my favorite planet in the game and then dials it up to eleven.

You won't get any arguments from me. I loved the Shadow Broker DLC ... hands down my favorite ME2 DLC by far. I just loved the Citadel a little more, because while the Shadow Broker let me reconnect with Liara, the Citadel let me reconnect with EVERYONE.

Cannot recommend it enough for your next playthrough.
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You can read my cyberpunk police procedural Loose Circuit for free at the link!

Offline Lanko

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Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #741 on: October 19, 2017, 09:28:44 PM »
I still have to play Citadel after all these years... but there's so much I already forgot or don't properly remember that I would have to start an entire new campaign and it's gonna take a while to get to Citadel  ::)
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Yora

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #742 on: October 20, 2017, 04:42:58 PM »
How terrible...  :D
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Online Alex Hormann

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #743 on: October 29, 2017, 01:08:36 AM »
Finished Mass Effect, leading my xenophobic Human Alliance to Galactic domination. :)

Started No. 2 and have a few thoughts.
1 - The graphics are a massive step up, particularly in cut-scenes.
2 - Cigarette Smoking Man Sorry, The Illusive Man already annoys me for hid cliché-ness.
3 - They've actually made the squad interface worse. I didn't think it was possible. I just wish I could control people individually like KOTOR.
4 - The plot already has me hooked. I look forward to Cerberus and I leading Humanity to further greatness.

Offline Sgtwolf01

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #744 on: October 31, 2017, 10:38:43 PM »
Quite a few games. Just bought Civilization VI a couple days ago, played a couple of hours of that. Been doing a lot of Victoria II stuff as well recently, more observer content though, and modded! Uhh, what else have I been playing, little bit of everything really. Quake Live, Red Orchestra 2, Chivalrey Medieval Warfare, Civilization V, Stellaris and probably some others.

I'm going to 'play' some Space Engine soon as well, as well maybe some more Ravenfield and 0 A.D. There's probably more things that I recently played though, so I might add them in if I remember any of them.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2017, 10:45:56 PM by Sgtwolf01 »
This might get use one day, perhaps in another world. Hey I could probably turn that into a story! *rolls for skill check*

Offline Yora

Re: What are you currently playing?
« Reply #745 on: November 01, 2017, 06:23:30 AM »
I'm back to playing Dark Souls a lot. After some initial failures I'm now fully back into it and doing really well.
This time I'm actually using co-op, and engage in jolly co-operation8)
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