Wednesday Action Log 3-6-24

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Mar 6, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 15 comments

This week I’ve finished Lies of P. It’s a good game, I didn’t think I would ever beat a Souls-like, but I thoroughly enjoyed the game with it’s perfect blocks, dodge rolls, weapons, bosses, and even the enemies placed around a corner just to stab you in the back for thinking there’s free loot. I also like the Pinocchio theme.

What are you guys playing?


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15 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 3-6-24

  1. Dreadjaws says:

    Little time to play this week, so I haven’t advanced much in any of the games I was playing, like Figment or Ace Attorney.

    Vampire Survivors had another update, so of course I’m back for more, that’s a given, but again I only got a couple hours of playtime at most. I really wish I didn’t have the necessity to sleep. Imagine all I could play with that free time.

    Had a go at Go Mecha Ball. I’ve been occasionally looking at some pre-release gameplay videos and it looked like a fun twin-stick shooter, and it is! But… I had no idea it was a roguelike. Now, I have no problem with roguelikes, I’ve played quite a few of them, but oh, off the top of my head I cannot remember ever having finished one, save for Turnip Boy Robs a Bank, and that one had the benefit of side-quests to keep a steady sense of progression. Otherwise I always just lose interest at some point, and I can already feel my interest waning in this one. I’d really prefer it if it just was an arcade-style shooter where you go from stage to stage, but alas. Well, I’ll see how it goes.

  2. Daimbert says:

    I managed to get in a short run of Dark Age of Camelot. I spent the entire 1 – 2 hour run wandering through the main city for the Midgard realm and picking up quests. I also found that compared to Albion’s main city Midgard’s was much more confusing to navigate. Anyway, I picked up a lot of quests but ended up not fighting anything, which is strange for that game since pretty much all the quests are combat ones, or ones where you have to fight things on the way to finding things.

    I also played The Old Republic, finishing Voss and the interlude quest before Corellia. That’s the last planet I need to do, so I should be finished with that character in the next week or so, and then will switch back to Empire side for my next character. I think I’ll miss this character a lot, though, as I’ve said before.

  3. sheer_falacy says:

    This week has been Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth. It has everything I enjoyed from the previous game, and also more. Sometimes more isn’t great because a lot of the “more” takes the form of a very Ubisoft-like open world. It gets you materia and it calls to the completionist in me but I think you could skip almost all of it and barely notice. Also there’s a crafting system, which feels pretty unnecessary.

    There’s some definite laziness in the open world content. Every mako well button minigame is identical. The special combat encounters (except the one extra special one) are recolors of other enemies in the area. They each have 3 “challenges” to do, and after the first couple of fights they decided the challenges would always be the same.

    And that stands out because there’s a definite lack of laziness in the whole rest of the game. Kalm is a giant multitiered city that you spend like 10 minutes in. There are unique soundtracks for so many things. The intro sequence had me saying “what the fuck” on repeat. There are 3000 minigames.

    And there’s so much stuff that is incredibly stupid to the point of beauty. Red XIII has a chocobo riding pose, and it makes no sense and I love it. Cloud does ridiculous jumps with a dolphin. They included Red XIII pretending to be humanish, and it was hilarious. You can ride a segway. Johnny exists. There’s a minigame where your characters are rendered as higher-def versions of the original FF7 look, complete with the fingerless cylinder hands. They really embrace the absurdity that original FF7 included and add more on top, and it works.

    I know I’m going to 100% this game, but frankly I think I’d be happier if I skipped the irrelevant stuff.

  4. Syal says:

    Nearly finished Tales of Berseria, trying to get it out of my system, and my PC controller’s cable decided it wasn’t going to stay plugged in anymore, rendering the controller useless. No one in town has a long enough cord and I really don’t want to play the thing with keyboard and mouse, so it gets to sit at the 98% mark for another two weeks while a new controller cable gets shipped up. Frustrating as hell.

    Infinite Wealth has been a fun time. The PS4 version predictably has bad performance issues (it even failed to save once, thank goodness for constant autosaves), and I’ve found a couple of corners that were cut (one of the villains pulls up a video our hero made, but as he’s listening to it our hero becomes visible on screen and his mouth is moving as if he’s reenacting the video live) but is generally as good as Like A Dragon. I wouldn’t say better, I wouldn’t say worse. Definitely the same general formula in play; introduce a plotline in Chapter 2 then forget about it until Chapter 8 or 9.

    The Dondoko Island minigame is mostly a Stardew Valley kind of thing, but gets a special mention for how atrocious its combat system is. For whatever reason, instead of using any of the Yakuza fighting engines they’ve had in their long-running open-world fighting series, they’ve replaced it with, like, an Animal Crossing fighting engine, except it’s got way-too-sticky lock-on like Kingdom Hearts 3, where you’ll aim and swing and your character will flip 180 degrees to attack something behind them. Except it’s even worse here, because the thing prioritizes the least valuable target; if you’re fighting enemies near a pile of trash, the lock-on prioritizes the trash. Specifically the trash behind you. It’s so bad I’m assuming there’s a programming error somewhere, a > instead of a < that turns the whole thing backward. But even without the lock on problem, the same-genre Rune Factory 4 blows this combat system out of the water. Honestly, so does Recettear. It's a bad system.

    …looks like I played Balatro this week too. Probably done with Balatro, I’ve gotten enough numbers to go up for now. I’ll be back eventually, probably.

    1. Lars says:

      The key for Dondoko fights is: 1. Run away 2. Hold the attack button until you have the special attack 3. run toward the enemies 4. release the attack button 5. Dodge roll 6. Repeat from 1. Bat upgrades recommended to reduce the time for number 2.
      As the AI on Dondoko Island is as bad as the fighting system itself, that way you can win every fight basically unharmed. Enemies only swing their weapons when you stand still for a second. And that only happens after the special attack (which doesn’t auto target as bad as the normal attack) but at that moment they are just preparing their attack so you have enough time to dodge and get away.

      Worst thing about Infinite Wealth is: It’s not a game to enter the series. It has soooo many references to previous entries new players aren’t familiar with that a lot of story and side content falls flat to them. On the other hand: There is no surprise for long time fans and the new gameplay elements (Dondoko Island, Sujimon battles, Pizza delivery) are mediocre at best.
      Like A Dragon surprised with turn based combat, Yakuza 6 had a pretty good Baseball Sim under the hood and Yakuza 3 the Golf Sim.

      1. Syal says:

        5 doesn’t work because the Dodge roll doesn’t activate when I hit the button; I’ve seen it activate two seconds later after I’ve run away. This might be due to PS4 performance issues, I’m still astonished there’s a version of the game for a system that was pre-empted over three years ago. Oh well, that questline’s finished now, I never have to use that system again.

        Definitely not an entry point, but a guy like me who’s played 0, Kiwami, 7, and nothing in between, I’m having a good time with it here at the beginning of Chapter 8. (Still hoping the V Tuber character has a V-tube Yakuza tattoo on their back.)

        1. Lars says:

          Yeah, I wonder when that plot point will come up again, 60plus hours later.

  5. MikhailBorg says:

    I turned down the difficulty level on the Half-Life: Alyx mod “Levitation” and am enjoying it a lot more. I played the other day until I got physically tired of standing up in the living room and waving my arms around.

  6. Henson says:

    Been playing Arkham City for the first time. It’s fun, and it’s nice to actually have a good post-game reason to stay in the city to hunt all the Riddler trophies, but the story has been remarkably unfocused. It’s clear they wanted cameos from all our favorite villains, but there comes a point where it’s just too confused. To top it off, the final boss fight is astoundingly underwhelming, and then the game just…ends. They had all the elements to make this so much better than it is.

  7. Lazerhawk says:

    I’m finishing up some old games on Xbox, Ace Attorney, Morrowind, Cyberpunk, and I want to finish Code Vein.

  8. Sleeping Dragon says:

    Still playing Cyberpunk 2077. I should be wrapping it up around Saturday so I’ll probably talk about it some more next week. Having said that I have finished Phantom Liberty DLC and in my opinion it is very good. In the beginning it felt a bit setpiecy and I was worried they were going to go too heavy on the spectacle side of things but I feel after the action heavy opening it has found its balance. The side missions and gigs are on average more involved than in the main game and the new repeatable side activities provide rewards that are at least not completely irrelevant in the endgame. Finally, and this will of course be a case of varying mileage and I’ll avoid getting into spoilers, I think the main storyline of the DLC did most of its beats pretty well. Some characters exit the story perhaps a touch too early but I understand there is a limited amount of resources and the important ones do get a decent amount of screentime.

    1. Trevor says:

      I also thought Phantom Liberty was very good. I think it hits at the core of what I want in a DLC. I don’t want it to be too integral to the base game—I want the core game, no DLCs, to be a complete story—but also it can’t be too disconnected. The Blood and Wine DLC to Witcher 3 introduced a whole new area where everyone is super high level and random Witcher contracts have tougher monsters than the core game’s final boss. Didn’t really work for me. And then it has to be fun, a treat for those who loved the original game.

      I really liked the homage approach. That the first mission is “We’re going to have your character play Escape from New York.” “You’re going to fight the Spider Tank from Ghost in the Shell.” If they had done riffs this hard in the core game I would have thought it was lame and that they should write original material, but in a DLC it’s a fun treat.

      Having a big name actor like Idris Elba was clearly attention-grabbing and I think they got their money’s worth from him (even if part of the compensation package they gave him was including some of his questionable-quality hip hop music on the soundtrack).

      I also liked that you made a decision at the end of the DLC and that there was not a secret third “make peace between the Geth and Quarians” solution.

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        I’m still conflicted about the DLC model in general. I hate chopping off pieces of content to sell piecemeal (looking at you Bioware/EA) or holding planned content hostage to base game sales (looking at you Ubisoft). At the same time I understand certain games could never evolve to the point they are now in just base game development, Paradox grand strategies come to mind, or the quality of the DLC is based on the combination of experience with developing a given title and a smaller scale that needs less filler by today AAA standards (which is a separate problem in itself). I guess I should just be happy that it was a good one.

  9. Turbo says:

    I finally completed “Eternal Darkness” on Gamecube. Apparently, I missed the ultimate purple rune which makes the game significantly easier. I thought I’d go back for it in a later level but NOPE: you were supposed to backtrack. Oh well. It was a fun game but I am not completing two more playthroughs for a secret ending. I don’t have it in me and in the age of the internet I spoiled myself by looking it up after my first playthrough.

    I’m also playing more Vampire Survivors to get the latest update and DLC content. The DLC is fun and adds some cool stuff, but it also pollutes the item pool a bit and you only get so many item banishes. I wish the DLC or update added more, or gave us an option to disable DLC content like Risk of Rain 2. (Also excited/nervous for the upcoming ROR2 DLC. Now that it’s totally in Gearbox’s hands it could be good or bad. Survivors of the Void is already contentious due to the balance of the void items/fields.)

    In other “Bullet Heaven” news, I’m also playing “Halls of Torment.” It’s a game that heavily leans into the Diablo aesthetic and it has some nice quality of life features. Its already got a good amount of content and the devs seem to update it frequently. I recommend it if you like that style of game.

  10. Jason Love says:

    After VanillaWare’s 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim blew me away with its narrative structure, I committed to buying their next game, no questions asked. Their next game turned out to be Unicorn Overlord, and it came out last week, so that’s what I’ve been playing. This is the genre and format descendant of games like Ogre Battle 64, but the addition of conditional targeting rules in the vein of Dragon Age or Final Fantasy XII feels like the most obvious yet perfect addition to that formula. Combat stages alternate with map exploration, resource gathering, and lighter one-on-one unit skirmishes that permit easier experimentation. Taken together, it all adds up to one of the most engaging experiences I can remember, rivaling the Civilization franchise for compelling me to always play just a little bit further and to disregard how quickly one hour of play turned into four.

    The only thing disappointing me is the plot, unfortunately. 13 Sentinels is one of my favorite science fiction stories for mixing such a plethora of tropes and tributes that it transformed into something wholly unique. Unicorn Overlord‘s story by contrast comes across like the writers knew they couldn’t handle political writing on the level of Matsuno’s Ivalice games (Final Fantasy Tactics, Vagrant Story, etc.), and decided to aim lower on purpose and just make up for it with polish. It is a very, very polished game.

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