Wednesday Action Log 12-12-23

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Dec 13, 2023

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 19 comments

Finished Breath of The Wild yesterday after bingeing it all week. Starting Tears of the Kingdom now. No opinions yet, but will keep updated.

What are you guys playing?


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19 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 12-12-23

  1. sheer_falacy says:

    Played through Axiom Verge. It’s a metroidvania, emphasis on the metroid I think. While the story is cool and the general gameplay is fun and I particularly liked the probe launcher you can teleport to, there were a bunch of poor QoL decisions. The game has no fast travel system, which is really bad when you encourage backtracking any time new gear happens. There’s a grappling hook which is incredibly unpleasant to use, which I thought was a contradiction. And you get a dash which is triggered by double tapping the direction button, which is miserable – it’s hard to do when you want it and easy to do when you don’t. On the next boss after I got the superdash, I eventually figured out a strategy which required no movement at all besides jumping, which a) let me beat it easily instead of dying from accidentally teleporting into a projectile and b) is not a good sign for boss fight design.

    Oh, and the probe launcher that I liked? Not usable on boss fights. Ah well.

  2. Lars says:

    Still Like A Dragon: The Man Who Erased His Name. Feels like I’m approaching the end just after 40 hours and only 5 chapters. At least most of the side quests are done and the skill tree is almost maxed out. Short for a Yakuza/Judgement game. All the other games I finished after at least 80 hours with only 60% completion rate.
    The story holds together okay – just the “I pretend to be dead and disguise myself with sun glasses”-part is still stupid, but the premise of why Kiryu is playing dead again is better than the awful Yakuza 5.

    In coop we started playing Raft Mechanic a full conversion mod for Scrap Mechanic to let it play like Raft. Fun till now, as the resource grind is not as crushing as in base Scrap Mechanic as circuit boards and component kids are craftable. But in Raft Mechanic you are not building such big constructions like in the base game, so the resource need is much lower.

    Analog I tried Steam Time a game I fetched years ago for a very small price but never played it. The gameplay is fine to good, but the upkeep is tremendous. It’s like a complete teardown and setup between each round. I’d like an app of that game that does this stuff for me, but I don’t think it was successful enough to deserve that.

  3. Gargamel Le Noir says:

    I’m having a blast with Rogue Trader. It’s just out so it’s still a bit rough and apparently later acts are pretty bad, but the early to middle game is quite wonderful!

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I’m holding back on Rogue Trader because Owlcat games typically have a long post release development tail but I am sooooo looking forward to sitting down to it somehwere down the line based on my experience of their Pathfinder games.

  4. Dreadjaws says:

    I am once again stretching myself too thin by trying to play too many games at once, so I tend to get overwhelmed, leave some behind, and now I’m looking in my list to install an FPS because I’m in the mood for one. Sigh.

    Despite all this nonsense, I have done very little in the way of gaming this week. I’ve been overwhelmed with work (tends to happen at this time of year) and I’m tired for most of my limited free time, so I mostly spend it reading, which requires minimal interaction.

    That being said, I got to finish Dordogne. It was a cute adventure. Not particularly interesting from the puzzle side of things and the replay grind I’d have to do to collect all the stuff and get all the achievements feels like it’d be too tedious to even consider, but the narrative was generally satisfying and engaging, though I feel the ending was a bit abrupt.

    I’ve also started playing Steamworld Build. Big fan of the franchise, as I’ve recounted many times here, and this is the latest entry. As per usual, unless a direct numbered sequel this new game is in a totally different genre. In this case, it’s a strategy/base builder. So far so good, but I see myself in the unenviable position of playing it on console because the PC version runs too slow. My PC is in dire need of an upgrade, but I don’t feel this game should consume so many resources. It kinda reeks of poor optimization. Perhaps understandable on the sense that this is the first game they do in a 3D engine, but still. While the game plays fine with a gamepad I really prefer the mouse and keyboard for this sort of thing.

  5. Glide says:

    Wrapped up XCOM 2. Great level variety, pretty major value added in the expansion War of the Chosen. I didn’t mind the relentless onslaught of timed missions that made some people sore, the playstyle it disincentivizes was an unfun one anyway.

    Started Metro: Last Light Redux. The gameplay hasn’t been my cup of tea (I can count on one hand the number of first person shooters I’ve been impressed by the gameplay, it’s just not my genre), but I’ve enjoyed the story. It’s a game that knows what it’s here for and doesn’t try to do too much.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      How do you feel about the monologues in XCOM2? My lasting memory of War of The Chosen is the way the Chosen never seemed to shut up.
      They turn up in a mission? Monologue.
      Take a turn in a mission? Monologue.
      Kill one of your troops in a mission? Monologue.
      Defeat them in a mission? Monologue.

      Then there’s the way they call you up during the base-building section to blather at you. Usually, you can skip background chatter in this part of the game by changing menu screens, but not when the Chosen are talking to you. It’s like they’re following you from room to room, like a really sad, not-very-competent bully.

      1. Glide says:

        Yeah, they like their hammy speeches for sure. I didn’t mind it that much, it could grate when they did it several times in a row but at least it made them a very present adversary.

  6. Syal says:

    Sea of Stars has reached the parts I haven’t seen yet. It’s cute and fun, but I’m not finding I want to play it more than the Tales games, so I think our heroes will be pursuing this villager for a very long while.

    Tales of Arise is hitting all the cliches, and I’m happy to report I still enjoy those. Combat is fun, Tales combat with Dark Soul elements. Got a lot easier when I remembered I had healing items and wasn’t stuck with just the mana pool.

    Tales of Zestiria has managed to hit every note wrong, and is firmly in so-bad-its-good so far. We defeat an enemy, and the post-battle makes it sound like we ran away. I ambush a snake I’m not sure was awake, and they say “I’ve never seen them so aggressive.” I reach a bridge, and get a cutscene panning over the bridge… and that’s it, nothing revealed, back to me. I’m hoping the game can keep this up, it’s wonderful.

    The comment snafu last month resulted in me getting a WordPress site, and have been putting my FF8 playthrough on there while getting stymied by incredibly basic things like “list everything from oldest to newest”, or “Have a link on this page that leads to a different page”. Not sure if this counts as a game. Or as fun.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      If you’re doing some commentary and/or analysis in that playthrough I’d appreciate a link once you’re

      Anyway, I have some big gaps in my JRPG knowledge, largely due to being a PC peon. From the tales series I’ve played Symphonia and Zestiria and while I remember having some crucial issues with Symphonia’s story I at least somewhat appreciated an attempt to twist the “chosen one gathers the elements” storyline. Zestiria in turn was just kinda meh. I have Berseria in my backlog but it’s kinda been sitting there… I dunno, on the one hand I like some anime spectacle, on the other I get a little bit annoyed with how rote and/or honestly kinda stupid most JRPG stories are. I understand the “emotions first” storytelling is a thing but it absolutely does not mean you can’t have your story make sense.

      Edit: Oh yeah, we also tried Zestiria with a friend in co-op but that camera simply doesn’t work for it.

      1. Syal says:

        I’m playing both Tales games mainly due to how much I liked Berseria; it’s largely cliche, just a revenge story (three revenge stories, actually), but I like Velvet as a character more than the entire Symphonia team, and Arthur is one of the few JRPG villains who betrays you and still retains his same personality pre-and post-reveal. Although it’s a prequel to Zestiria and I’d be interested in hearing how it holds up if you’ve played that one already. (Zestiria’s camera has proven a problem solo too. Straight into the wall, that’s the best angle for this fight.)

        I’ll link to the FF8 playthrough next week, see how many parts I can manage to shove up by then.

  7. Daimbert says:

    Managed to get another session in with my Consular in The Old Republic and I’m still enjoying it a lot, especially with a character that can physically intimidate an old man and yet when that old man shows her the way out and helps her can genuinely inquire as to his well-being. This might be one of the most fun characters I’ve ever played in that game because her dual nature gives me a lot of leeway in how I react to her, which means that writing about her adventures in the TOR diary on my blog is more fun than it’s been for a long time (and I always found it fun, so it’s not like that’s a low bar).

    Still pushing ahead with Dragon Age Inquisition, which is an odd game. I’m about 30 hours in and have gotten Skyhold, and the time spent running around there talking to everyone was a lot of fun, especially since some of that gave me some quests to do and then report back with, which was a lot of fun. There’s a LOT of plot and character moments there that are tightly bound together and work really well. Unfortunately, all of that is mostly lost when I head out into the open world and there are quests, sure, but they seem mostly disconnected and are points to hit and things to do rather than things that are tightly tied to the plot or the characters, even if the characters asked for them to be done. The open world model, it seems to me, didn’t really work for this sort of game.

    That being said, I LOVE some of the characters. Cassandra is a GREAT character, where she has some depth to her sense of duty and concern to how she gets angry at Varric for lying to her about not being able to contact Hawke to the fact that she’s secretly embarrassed about liking his rather schlocky book series “Hard in Hightown” to the conversations she has with Solas about being happy to give up leadership of the Inquisition to the Inquisitor because she feels she’s not the leader that was needed. I also like how Josephine is the serious and stable diplomat who is nevertheless more romantic and a bit naive and innocent underneath it all, which you find out if you romance her, which my Inquisitor is doing because she would like Josephine and while she might be more attracted to Cullen I like Josephine better so that’s what she’s getting [grin].

    There are also some great links back to previous games. Dagna, if you get a save where she went to the Circle, is absolutely adorable as your anarchist, being very enthusiastic and often enthusiastic about odd things. Also, I’m past the point where Hawke comes back into the story and while the Dragon Age Keep doesn’t let you change their image the game itself allows you to do that, and I managed to make her look fairly close to what I wanted, and given that I could specify her snarky manner it worked out well, because I had modeled my characters here from characters in the original “Pretty Little Liars” TV series and when my Inquisitor talked to snarky Hawke it actually felt like those two characters talking to each other, which was really cool.

    So, the open world is disconnected and too long, but the plot and character things around it are really good. I suspect that I won’t do this “play through them all” thing ever again, though.

    1. Henson says:

      Dagna’s an anarchist?

      1. Daimbert says:

        Oops. Meant ARCANIST.

    2. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I romanced nobody on my first playthrough (because the game was full of bugs and half of Dorian’s personal storyline and other flags didn’t trigger properly) and when I was replaying it to do the DLCs and establish a canon save I was playing a femquisitor so decided to romance Sera (largely for the queer factor). I don’t even really like Sera but the romance was absolutely stellar.

      And yes, Cassandra reactions in the little quest regarding Varric’s books are delightful, doubly so because even he says this particular series was pretty trashy.

  8. Dev Null says:

    Steam VR just magically started working wirelessly on the Oculus Quest. WTF? That’s _amazing_. I’d played a few things on Steam VR, but mostly kept putting them off because wireless is so much nicer. Now suddenly there are a zillion new games to check out, and Steam put most of them on sale. So this has been the week of VR for me; mostly The Last Clockwinder and Demeo Battles.

  9. Chuk says:

    I’m also doing Tears of the Kingdom, not sure where I am percent-wise but I finished two of the 4 main big sage complexes.

  10. Sartharina says:

    Still playing Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. Beat level 20 on the Rift on my PS5 save, unlocking the last difficulty and story missions. Tried fighting Lufenia-difficulty Lich, and got my ass thoroughly handed to me.

  11. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’m mainly playing Cyberpunk 2077. Still early in the story because I got distracted mopping up icons but I did finally get past the opening act and the city opened up… which means so many more icons to clean out. Now, this is admittedly after heavy rebalancing several times over but I am rather impressed with how viable different playstyles seem to be so far (most of the time) and there were some genuinely good scenes. I feel that Jackie’s wake was generally a well written moment with some good nuance and, although limited, nice ways for the player to have some input into a scene that wasn’t all about them. I do wish the NCPD activities had a bit more interesting notes rather than “here’s ten variations on ‘the gang is picking up a pile of drugs'” or similar. I do understand this is basically the lowest tier of all the available activities but putting in a few more jokes or some interesting lore there wouldn’t hurt.

    In co-op we finished the Solasta expansion Palace of Ice. It may look drab compared to Baldur’s Gate 3 but it is a very solid 5th edition DnD conversion into the digital. My friend is essentially done with it but I may have a poke around the workshop to see if someone has put together something interesting with the editor as the pre-made campaigns are a little bit eh in terms of story.

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