Wednesday Action Log 3-13-24

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Mar 13, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 22 comments

This week I’m emulating and playing Ocarina of Time I don’t really have much to say about the game, it was the first Zelda game I had and I’m glad I have save states.

What are you guys playing?


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22 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 3-13-24

  1. Fizban says:

    I haven’t posted one of these in a while (I find weekly too often to have much to mention myself so I don’t, and then have too much so I don’t), but speaking of Zelda I’ll chip in:

    Hooked up an upscaler last week and am nibbling my way through Twilight Princess on the Gamecube (I decided even if I could probably emulate the WiiU HD version on Steam Deck, they’d probably have done some controller/2nd screen nonsense it would be too annoying). Looks simultaneously much more OoT-like than I remembered (can see plenty of polygons), and yet so, so much better and more detailed- so long as you keep the TV at the appropriate distance so the image is the same size as it would have been in the old days. Apparently I conflated memory of the fancy fur from Starfox Adventures onto wolf Link, ’cause there’s no special fur, but the bloom filters for the twilight are just a glowy as I remember. Pretty sure the upscaler is putting a significant delay in ’cause I don’t remember ever missing the monkey throw prompts in the first dungeon but now they’re basically impossible if you wait to see the prompt- this means a lot of things are going to be harder going forward, which is actually kinda nice. In theory. I’m kinda sad how this is probably the last ‘dark’, as in visual, 3d LoZ we’ll get. OoT had color, sure, but when you pop out the temple and the town is ruing and full of zombies with death mountain on fire etc, it’s got that tone. The softer/cell-shaded/whatever can have places with dark pallets, which are spooky, but they don’t have the grit that really makes you go “man, Ganondorf hecked this place up.” Maybe Breath of the Wild/Tears of the Kingdom do have some of that (I haven’t played them yet), but from what I’ve seen it seems unlikely.

    I also picked up a game during the “Dinos vs Robots” sale on steam, Fossilfuel. It’s. . . basically bargain bin Half-Life. If you’d seen this in the bin for like $10 back when HL was new, it’d be appropriate. I paid $13 on sale and I’m not angry ’cause I knew it was a gamble, but it’s kindof amazing. It’s not an asset flip, it’s not someone’s ‘final project’, I haven’t run into any bugs other than a minor graphical glitch, but it’s also very obviously amateur and just trying things to try them. it starts out acting like it’s going to be a combo Resident Evil/Half-Life survival horror: limited inventory, save only at designated locations, pick up and examine objects to find keys, sneak past a raptor ’cause you don’t have a gun (and a boss that you’re better off running from). . . but then you get your first gun, and it comes with 50 bullets. Raptors die in 1-2 headshots, though it’s harder to body them if they’re charging you, and while each hit takes ‘only’ 1/2 your health bar on normal, they double you so fast it is for all intents and purposes instant death.

    The second level gives you a shotgun, and has a snake boss that slowly follows you while you dump a couple cases of buckshot into its head. The third level has a spider boss that slowly follows you while you get the idea, then it repeats that boss. And after that the game brings in the military goons that are killing everyone, just like in Half-Life, right down to literally copying the room full of prox mines and explosive barrels (but smaller and less puzzling). In between soldier guys there’s a dino boss that follows you slowly, a turret defense against like a dozen insta-kill raptors where the solution is ignore the turret and immediately blow the wall to leave (past an extremely sad T-Rex setpiece), and a tank section (they’re clearly using bought assets/systems for that and it’s way too realistic with recoil, but eh). Then you enter the laboratory where you pick up the ‘gravity weapon’ (actually an uber grenade launcher rather than the grav gun), and the ‘laser weapon,’ and then the level I left off at, a giant factory with yup it’s more military goons. By this point my inventory has been upgraded off the page, I have more weapons than the Doomguy or Dr. Freeman would be carrying (most of which are clunky and superfluous), and I’ve passed up so many healthkits it’s laughable (because the dinos kill you in one hit, so healthkits are meaningless). And all of this has been in about 3 hours.

    So yeah. Basically bargain bin amateurish Half-Life clone. I’m not mad, and I’ll get around to finishing it, but I was rather expecting more dinosaurs. Like, what I’d love to see is basically the SNES Jurassic Park game, but first person and with modern graphics, that would be sick. This is not that. And while the dev has a Fossilfuel 2 out which looks like it’s bringing some big scary dinos, well after having actually played the first, I’m less interested in the sequel. I saw some other dino games, but the only other that caught my attention had pixellated Doom-style graphics that I was not interested in. And I picked up Exoprimal, ’cause I was interested back when it came out but screw Epic- but I haven’t got to trying it yet since I have to run it on my Steam Deck and that means moving the tv from where I have it set up for the gamecube.

    However, I’ve been spending far more hours binging survival roguelikes (to the point I think I need to start intentionally distancing myself, they eat time and nothing remains). I went through Brotato a week or two ago. Much more of a “lets optmize some builds” game: no story, barely even any aesthetic, but quite good at what it wants to do. This last week I’ve plowed through Time Wasters, which has more ‘story’ than Brotato but still less than even say Binding of Issac. TW is a colorful space shooter where rather than just grind the mobs, you want to be patrolling around your outposts for bonus resources. Depending on where you allocate your meta-currency (space cubes) at first, you could end up focusing more on pilots or static defenses, but either way there’s going to be a lot of grinding for cubes. The annoying part is that all this grinding occurs on the same map, which is good because you get it learned real good, but there’s actually entirely different maps with equally fantastic backgrounds for each character. . . that are only used for their final challenge, which only unlocks after you’ve beat the game with them, then beat it with them again solo. Then once you’ve beat their final mission you can start a run with them added to your crew automatically, which is worth a ton of free levels and lets you optimize your build. . . but before you can do that you need to gind enough cubes and playthroughs to actually pull that off for a set of characters, at which point you’ve seen all there is to see for those characters. Frustrating.

    But then Serge started playing Noita over at LRR, and I’d already been thinking about That Damn Game when they were playing Terraria and now I’ve started that up again. I know how it is now, so I’ll probably just quit after I’ve had my fill of fun fluid physics and wandcrafting jank rather than try to ‘accomplish’ anything.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I will admit I do find myself sometimes not having anything in particular to post about but I like hearing about what other people play so drop in the big posts please.

  2. Ronan says:

    I played a little more Baldur’s Gate 3 but I think I’m done with it.
    I faced the Act 2 boss with a very damaged party, and I can’t beat it as it is. There’s a whole part before it whith several fights where you can’t return to camp to rest, and I would have to use an old save from before that point (and probably grind a level or two to be sure) if I wanted to go past it. And I just didn’t like the game enough to do that.
    I don’t hate it, I really enjoyed some parts, but I didn’t find it as groundbreaking as reviews said. The writing is good but the story is just ok, and I don’t want to replay several hours of the game just to get pas a point where I’m stuck.

    1. PPX14 says:

      Is this a Dune Part 2 situation? Where the fanfare could be a result of being compared with the current landscape, more than with historical achievements? (In my opinion – I enjoyed Dune part II but didn’t think it was as amazing as others seem to find it. Certainly not enough to be above The Good The Bad The Ugly on IMDB!)

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        See, I generally agree. It’s obviously a matter of opinion but my take is that no, BG3 doesn’t do anything particularly revolutionary. It’s just that the things that it does it mostly does very well to the point where it lays bare the general mediocrity of the titles coming out of AAA development nowadays. To be clear I’m sure there are people for whom the game didn’t work, a lot probably hinges on whether or not you enjoy the game’s combat system (I do) but I think it presents a strong argument that you don’t have to necessarily “change gaming” if you’re willing to put a lot of character into your game.

    2. BlueHorus says:

      So there are machines in that particular area of the game that will give you the benefits of a Long Rest; there’s one besides the lift you take just before the final confrontation of Act 2.
      It’s (sort of) implied this is a dangerous thing to do long-term, as it’s an illithid bio-machine with tentacles coming out of it – but still full-rest machine, just before the big boss fight.

      1. Ronan says:

        Thanks, I did not see this.
        I’ll try again this saturday, it might save my run ^^

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Also, in case you need some additional tips (though they may have patched it since) iirc the boss is very heavily nerfed by using silence and even if you don’t have it natively odds are good you’ve picked up a scroll somewhere along the way.

  3. Makot says:

    Not much time for playing, so returned to Battle for Wesnoth, trying out the Unstoppable Legion campaign. Am starting to wonder how an exclusively cavalry list is going to work out in mountains (at worst it’ll be punching through chokepoints), but the story looks solid so far.

    1. Olivier FAURE says:

      It’s been a while since I played Battle for Wesnoth. Losing all my saves kinda made me lose interest. Has the game meaningfully changed in the last few years? When I played, it already had a lot of content, but the quality was mixed, the writing especially was terrible, and there wasn’t too much variation in gameplay.

      1. Makot says:

        Mechanics are still the same, and nothing points to any meaningfull changes in foreseeable future. As for writing quality, it’ll remain mixed, for the same reason it’s mixed in SCP – some campaigns are written by people who have an idea, but can’t write well, some are average, and some are genuinely good stuff.

        Tbh I see this particular game as a relaxing turn-based enterntainment, with more interest in mechanics than writing, so personaly I don’t find this a problem.

  4. PPX14 says:

    I ordered Mario+Rabbids Sparks of Hope, actually after complaining about the first game and some other Japanese games in general like Ocarina of Time, Pokémon, Okami, having annoying unavoidable handhold sections and uninteresting interruptions and very annoying companions. (And worst of all for Kingdom Battle, arbitrary loss of camera control!) Someone replied saying that Sparks of Hope is great, and I remembered how much fun I had with the battles in the first one.
    Time to put the Switch to some actual use.

  5. Daimbert says:

    Started Corellia with my Consular in The Old Republic. I had intended to finish at least Corellia and maybe the entire run that morning, but Corellia is a slog. I played for two hours and just finished the first area (planet and class story missions only) and I remembered that the last area is a slog as well and I needed to do some other things well. So I stopped there and hope to pick it up again soon.

    As for any other games, things are changing wrt work in the next couple of weeks that will reduce the time I have most weekday evenings, so I’m trying to wrap some other things up — like getting ahead on the blog — before that happens, so I might not play much — even “The Old Republic” — for the next couple of weeks.

  6. Vernal_ancient says:

    Went back to a Stellaris save from a few months ago. I don’t have any of the dlc, but the game is complex enough that I’m still getting a handle on the vanilla mechanics, so I’m having fun with it

  7. Syal says:

    Infinite Wealth continues. I would say compared to Like a Dragon, the game is half a step better mechanically, and a full step worse narratively. The first one is heavily Dragon Quest, this one is adding a lot of Persona, with All Out Attacks and Tartarus optional dungeons. They’ve also got a split party in Chapter 8, with a Japan Team and a Hawaii Team. It’s pretty awkward to shift between them, on account of the other team not having the levels anymore, expecially if you’re run a team through their Tartarus. Feels like it might have been better to restrict the job classes to Japan and Hawaii as well, so that transitions would necessarily result in different builds; that’s how Yakuza 0 did it and it worked well enough. Everyone having access to everything results in these shifts being flat downgrades.

    There are only two new party members, the rest are all from the previous game. The first one, Tomizawa, started as a character I didn’t care for but managed to grow on me over time. Chitose’s basically the opposite, she was fun until I realized she’s a standard JRPG fetish-stacking non-entity character. (She’s a Zoomer ninja princess who blatantly hits on our mid-forties protagonist; rich, aggressive, cute, stylish, wanton AND demure.) ((She’s also got some Gwen Stacy syndrome, in that Ichiban’s obsessed with Saeko so Chitose’s probably gonna die.)

    Likewise, the villains are a step down; Like A Dragon’s villains had very clear goals by Chapter 8 or so, and were in fact all spinning around a central theme of Absolutism. I’m in Chapter 13 of Infinite Wealth and am hard-pressed to say what the hell any of our villains are trying to do, or most of our heroes for that matter. Shit is just Happening.

    I had a very early guess about who the VTuber Tatara was (…ta/ta/ra is just how Japan spells “Tattler”, isn’t it?). The guess was partially correct, which made me happy, until I realized this was another case of stacking, this time answer stacking. A lot of anime games seem to have mysteries with A, B, and C possibilities, and then the answer is “All of the Above”. Congratulations, you guessed part of the answer, because you guessed literally anything at all.

    I was going to say the game had a lot fewer sidequests, too, but turns out I just never went to the beach and the beach had like a dozen.

    1. Lars says:

      I just finished chapter 9 with the worst happening of cutscene incompetence since Marvel Midnight Suns. Okay Midnight Suns was cutscene incompetence – The Game. Every main quest mission was accompanied by a finish cutscene that nullified the gameplay. Within 80 hours of Infinite Wealth I had just 2 that stood out.

      1. Syal says:

        Incompetence in both directions, no less; the party is defeated by about half the strength of a single random encounter, and then the villains not only leave them alive, but let them keep the MacGuffin.

        I am hard-pressed to say what the hell any of our villains are trying to do.

  8. Glide says:

    I’ve been playing Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous. It is big, complicated, and hard to sum up in a simple thumbs up or thumbs down. It’s slightly less of a grief engine than Kingmaker but it’s showing signs of ramping up those qualities over time. So far the dialogue trees and the companions are the game’s biggest strengths. The party members are very useful in a fight and I’ve loved their backstories. Maybe the best integrated evil-aligned companions I’ve ever seen, there’s a subtle hint of tension with my good character but they’re never lecturing or nagging me about needing to do more evils.

    Exploration has been a surprising weakness – lots of far-flung places on the preposterously huge map that you take ten real life minutes trekking to and find only a 20-second battle and a chest with a Leather Armor +1 in it. I’m somewhere in between on the management sim and wargame aspects (which I loved in Kingmaker). They’re mentally engaging but can be a bit draining over time, especially the grid-based battles. Still like the choice-based wartable decision making a ton.

    Deliberately hard games like this are not my cup of tea and I knew this going in and tuned the difficulty down slightly. I have moments of frustration, but overall the game is still scoring well in the key metrics of “how much time does it suck up” (over 30 hours in 2 weeks) and “how soon after I get home from work do I fire it up” (pretty soon).

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I didn’t care much for the management/strategic layer of either Kingmaker or Wrath, they were fun as far as making choices but I dropped the difficulty on them to the bare minimum partway through both playthroughs simply because they’e gotten tedious and repetitive.

      Also I feel like Wrath isn’t that heavy on difficulty most of the time, particularly as you progress down your mythic path as most of them seem to have some pretty strong abilities down the line (for the record I played Trickster which literally breaks the mechanics of the game and I felt the path was entirely overpowered in the later part of the game).

  9. Dreadjaws says:

    Well, I gave up on Go Mecha Ball. Just like I suspected, the roguelike approach ruined for me what could have been a perfectly fun arcade experience. It’s a shame. The gameplay is fun, but the forced repetition kills it. There’s just not enough sense of progression.

    I also played Maneater. Let me clarify: I played the hell out of Maneater. I played it through completion. I had been avoiding that title because people seemed to think it wasn’t particularly deep (no pun intended, and, in short, I was afraid of having the same issue I had with Go Mecha Ball), but man, this game is just relentless fun. Playing a shark and going in rampant destruction is absolutely fantastic, but also you have objectives and collectibles that are just varied enough that you don’t get bored.

    I do have a couple criticisms, though: there’s a bunch of unlockable abilities that I feel the game doesn’t do much to encourage using, and there are a few movements the game doesn’t explain well enough or at all. I literally finished the whole campaign not realizing there was a lock-on function that allows you to throw stuff away with your tail at a specific target and man, that would have made some battles so much easier.

    I started playing Boltgun. I’m not much versed into Warhammer 40K lore, so the story at the start whent right over me, but as boomer shooters go it’s pretty fun so far. Weapons are satisfying to use and I love how the game makes you really feel like you’re a dude in a heavy set of armor.

    I also started Indivisible, but I don’t know if I’m gonna go on with it. The art style is beautiful, but I’m also having the same problem I had with Go Mecha Ball: it’s not the kind of game I expected. It’s not impossible for me to get into a game when I was expecting something different (in fact, many times I ended up more interested than I initially thought), but I’m having a hard time getting invested in the combat here. I’ll see if something happens that manages to keep my attention. I can’t even remember how this game got into my library (a Humble Bundle, likely), but I know if I had considered a deliberate choice of buying it I would have found out more about it before it.

  10. Lars says:

    I maxed out all the Speed Duel worlds in Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links and are now going for the Speed life goals, like summoning Dark Magician 3 times in one Duel as Yami Yugi. Rush Duel can stay where the sun doesn’t shine. After that I maybe done with Duel Links entirely.

  11. sheer_falacy says:

    A lot of Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth. It’s a massive game with a ton of effort put into it. There are a lot of great moments. I continue to be disappointed in the open world stuff, but oh well.

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