Wednesday Action Log 3-20-24

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Mar 20, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 15 comments

This week I’m emulating Wind Waker. This is my first time playing it, and I can see why it’s a lot of people’s favorite, it has a lot of quality of life improvements compared to Ocarina along with the combat feeling a lot smoother, Ocarina is probably still my favorite but I think that’s mostly just the nostalgia talking.

What are you guys playing?


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15 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 3-20-24

  1. sheer_falacy says:

    FF7 Rebirth! This is a huge game. They definitely put every minigame they could possibly think of in it and then a few more for good measure. I’m done with the open world stuff, which is nice. They open up a lot of harder versions of minigames at endgame. I find it hilarious how seriously they seem to take the backstory of their silly card game – I don’t buy into the drama of it, but that just makes it funnier so it all works out.

    Cid seems… different. I remember him having more angst, and a very different Tiny Bronco sequence.

    Given how much they expand every event I’m suspicious of their ability to get this done in just one more game. I guess we’ll see, eventually.

  2. Daimbert says:

    With various things to do, a change in schedule coming up, and curling being on, I didn’t play ANYTHING this week. I DID, however, manage to get a lot of reading done, getting through some Robert Sheckley stuff (“The Status Civilization”, which I love even if it is a bit short, and then a collection of his short stories which are pretty much the only short stories that I really like). I hope to do some TOR this weekend and after Easter getting back to Dark Age of Camelot and Pool of Radiance.

  3. Dreadjaws says:

    Well, I uninstalled Indivisible. I’m sure it’s a fine game on its own merits, but not at all what I wanted to play. Some other time, perhaps, when I’m in the mood for something like it.

    Still playing Boltgun. It’s quite a lot of fun, if maybe a bit on the easy side. I recommend anyone trying to play it to just go for the Hard difficulty setting, because in Normal you will stand without cover in the line of fire of dozens of enemies and they will still barely graze you. Though it does well for a power fantasy it doesn’t do much in the way of challenge.

    I started playing Timelie, a puzzle game about using time manipulation for stealth. It’s all about casing a scene and then use your ability to turn time back and forth to find the right moment to move without being detected. Like the dumbass that I am I got stuck in one of the very first stages (after the tutorial). I spent some good minutes being perplexed until I realized I was making the stupidest mistake and that’s why I couldn’t advance. Sigh, I’m getting old. Game’s very fun, though.

    Since I’m a glutton for never reducing my backlog in a considerable way I’m playing Batman: Arkham City for the seven thousandth time. I remember I had the intention last year of replaying the entire Arkham series to prepare for the release of the Suicide Squad game. I had barely finished with Asylum when the gameplay trailer for Suicide Squad came out, reduced all my interest in the game to zero and then it got delayed for nearly a year, so I didn’t go on with my plans. But now, way after Suicide Squad released (and way after my interest in it has gone into the negative numbers) I felt the urge to play City again. God, this game is just so much fun. I don’t care how many times I’ve played it, it never ceases to grab me for hours on end.

  4. Syal says:

    Finished Infinite Wealth, and can now safely say the plot comes apart around Chapter 9 and never really recovers. Too many plot threads never return, or get tied up weirdly. There’s some value to be had in subverting expectations, but you really shouldn’t subvert stuff like “the climax comes at the end”. And then some threads show up that shouldn’t; I feel like the series’ recurring post-game superboss showing up in the main plot is, like, sacrilegious.

    Still, I really like the mechanics in this one; it’s not a complete upgrade over the previous game, but it’s several improvements with a couple lateral changes. Being able to move around to line up abilities and knock enemies into allies for additional hits, or enemies for splash damage, is just a good time. the Bond system is mostly improved, and while Bond Bingo’s rewards are underwhelming, it feels like a system with potential. I’m not a fan of permanent stat upgrades being locked behind Level 30 of each Job; the previous game had various stat boosts throughout, but this one every pre-30 boost is strictly HP and MP. But I am a fan of every ability being unlockable and restricted by space instead; the fun of Job systems is mixing and matching the most powerful abilities, and now you can.

    New Game Plus* being DLC is still pretty scummy, but I’ve never actually done New Game Plus for a Yakuza game, I’ve only ever got a couple chapters in and stopped. These games are just too big for that, they’re not games you “complete” so much as “decide to finish playing”.

    So now we’re in the awkward replay position, where the first game has the significantly better story but the second game has a bunch of mechanical improvements. WHAat to doOoo*. *(I’ve tried to recreate the pronunciation of Gachapin on Dondoko Island. You hear it constantly and it just gets worse every time.)

    *(Things I learned today; you can’t actually use the plus symbol in these comments, you have to spell out “New Game Plus”.)

    1. Anonymous says:

      Really? Let’s see: 1+1=2. Seems to work.

      1. Syal says:

        Hm. Maybe the copy clipboard deleted them, then.

  5. Graham Bubblefish says:

    I’m still on Against the Storm, which may be the best designed game I’ve ever played. Everything just works great, the difficulty progression feels scary but in fact flows very naturally. The random aspects really work well together to make every settlement feel slightly different, making me use a whole slew of different strategies mixed together every time to win the game.

    Aside from that, a friend of mine is joining the navy and has gotten into World of Warships, which although I’m not a fan of Wargaming is quite an enjoyable game for their standards. Hadn’t touched it for well over a year and pleasantly surprised it hasn’t turned into the same pay to win grindfest that is World of Tanks. I havent spent a dime on the game, but racked up 2 months of premium time in like 2 weeks. I’ll probably quit again by the time that wears off though haha.

  6. Grey Rook says:

    A moderately modded Total War: Warhammer 3 campaign as Tzarina Katarin of Kislev. An update broke my saves so I had to restart. I ended up missing one portal cycle because I was… really busy keeping things down on the home front, but I have two of the four macguffins and am working to get a third. Assuming that I manage to actually reach Slaanesh’s palace; some of the bribes it offers are amazing, such as the single best weapon and ancillary in the game. We’ll see.

    Doom, using the Extermination Day mapset and the Project Brutality gameplay mod. Some of the levels are absolutely brutal, like the Counter-Offensive, where you’re required to defeat about half a dozen Cyberdemons in a place with little cover or supplies. Plus moderate numbers of Mancubi, Barons, Cacodemons… even getting to the big castle at the end is no picnic, and actually taking it even less so. Ironically, the boss fight on the level after that is a cinch because the mod’s version of the BFG 9K just melts the bastard in a couple of seconds.

    I’ve been playing Dawn of War: Dark Crusade since the game was released on GOG. It’s still good, but sadly there turns out to be some kind of memory leak bug apparently related to memory allocation changes in Win10 from Win7 which cause unavoidable crashes after taking at least one stronghold. Frustrating, especially since this makes the campaign unwinnable.

    I’ve also randomly started playing Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri again, doing a run as the University. It’s still awesome, but I feel like I’ve lost what little skill I ever had with it. It’s still fun, but markedly harder than I remember.

  7. Chuk says:

    Might be late to the party, but I’m still going through Tears of the Kingdom — I think I have about 40 shrines left still and just discovered a plot thing I don’t want to name in case it’s a spoiler, but I found it surprising (in a good way).

  8. MikhailBorg says:

    Right now I’m trying to finish “Warhammer 40K: Battle Sister”. It’s easier as you get used to reloading and using your power sword, but it still gets pretty strenuous.

  9. Fizban says:

    As expected, I’ve only played like 45 min or 1 hour more of Twilight Princess– I *want* to play more, but apparently I want to do so between breakfast and lunch without something forcing a cutoff later, and keep having stuff to check on in the morning. But mostly I keep getting distracted with other games-

    I finished Fossilfuel, which wasn’t so much a distraction as a chore to finish. Last time I described it as “not bad per se”, or something like that, but going back in I feel I was too generous. Grading on the curve of LRR’s Watch and Play series, sure it’s a functional game. Grading on the curve of average to actually good games, it’s just bad. I was in fact basically at the end: fight through a few waves of dudes in the “combined power plant and factory,” which is actually a premade car factory asset (possibly even stock with the game engine?) with an added box in a room, then pick your ending. It grandiosely says this will affect the rest of the game, but it’s quite nakedly an ending choice.

    If you ‘stabilize’ the power (and then figure out the real fake door slapped onto one wall is actually the real door to progress), you fight a few more guys and mounted guns, then enter a doom arena with a ridiculous giant mech. The mech does respond satisfyingly to the gravity grenade launcher with physics flinging it around, at least. You blast it until dead while likely taking no damage, then you win.

    If you overload the power and find the other bigger slapped on door to exit, you go to a train tunnel, where you have to go pull a rail switch further down. The obstacles you clamber over are probably enough to block the train themselves of course, and a T-Rex shows up for you to blast while slowly backing away (and whose corpse would also either block the train or be smashed out of the way, like the dino itself. Then you go back to the train and you’re done.

    The whole thing took 3 hours including resets according to Steam, 2 hours according to the game’s final screen. I said before I wasn’t mad about paying $13, but actually I kinda am now. The best thing I can say is that it functions: it’s bad, but it functions. $5 might be appropriate. The dev has a sequel out for again a base price of $20, and I know there’s no way they’ve improved enough to warrant that, likely not even half. The screenshots of a megalodon and spinosaur seems cool, even if they’re obviously setpieces, but I now know for certain their setpieces suck. Basically all this game has done is remind me that decades and tons of other survival horror/action shooter games since Jurassic Park, we still don’t actually have a decent dino park survival horror/action shooter.

    But the game I’ve actually been playing/researching is of course That Damn Game, Noita. I got some very lucky rolls with survival perks so I stuck through terrible shop rolls and both recalled and decided to save scum my butt off ’cause I wasn’t going to get this good of a perk set again for a long time (immune to melee, fire, explosions, and constant all-seeing-eye). Fought my way to the bottom and still didn’t have a decent wand, fought my way back up some with death scouting and found some, also found I’d remembered wrong about the wand-edit rooms and the only one I had active was the one at the very bottom so exploring the surface seemed bad. Went back down and right to fight a boss, got insta-killed, read up on the boss’s BS mechanics, got it after between 5-10 more tries. Looked up how to regain health, was reminded of all the “so rare it effectively doesn’t exist” BS you can find in the wiki that makes you wonder why bother playing the game. Fought my way back to the surface, found what turned out to have been the one guaranteed full-heal outside of the level end shops in the game, but let myself die seeing if I could get to it before looking that up. After reading up on actually usable healing (and some more on how wandcrafting works) I now knew the boss I should actually be chasing, from much earlier in the game, so I fought my way back up from my last save-scum and killed it, then armed with some healing I went and did a ‘quest’ to open a secret chest to unlock the other set of super-power spells I’ve apparently been missing the whole game. And finally did some serious digging to you-know-where now that I had infinite healing to go with a particular potion and yup I managed it, cool.

    Now I’m finally at a point where I think I actually know what I’m doing. I’ve figured out the actual general path one should take so as to not waste 100+ hours banging one’s head against the wall. The low/no-spoiler version is: get to grips with the basics: not-dying, finding gold, and building wands, and figure out how to get in and out of the ‘holy mountains’ without triggering the collapse. If you keep going left from the starting mines, you will eventually find a boss who is very important, but you’ll need some power first, so start the run by fighting down to the ice caves and then going right.

    And that’s it. It almost seems intuitive, except the game is deliberately obtuse and is set up like an always going down roguelike. But doing so is futile, and wandering around the world looking for stuff is also pretty futile. The two main things you need are powerful wand (which you’ll figure out eventually), lots of max health (which you get by scouring areas, which you don’t have enough healing to do), and infinite healing. Infinite healing comes from one of two specific and rare spells, plus one of a set of spells that you will literally never get unless you defeat one specific boss that’s practically hidden right next to you. Getting back out into the world and exploring will send in basically every direction *away* from that boss. Sigh.

    But now that I’ve got that together, I kinda want to ditch the save-scum’d run ’cause I feel like I can have fun doing runs again instead of fighting the game itself to get anything done (also I’m getting bored with the build I have of course, while the pain of drudging through the beginning has faded).

    Noita optimizing and LRR’s Bylaw and Order also put me back in the mood to read some DnD notes, maybe do some tinkering. I actually made a post over on GitP for the first time in ages to answer a question I don’t think anyone else would have (evaluating a 3rd party book), but I still don’t actually want to engage with any of the old hands that are still over there, so yeah. Might add a Noita style flask to the other magical flasks/bottles I already have. Reading on 5e’s Druids and the rules for what is now the Ranger-only animal companion has inched me a bit closer towards a final solution on how to fix my 3.x Druids/companions, and I found a couple cantrips I might add. That’s about it though, nothing major.

  10. Tuck says:

    Played through Steamworld Dig 2, really enjoyed it. Not a particularly hard platformer/metroidvania, but very satisfying. I did have to look up a few secrets.

    Then I realised I actually own Steamworld Dig on GOG, and had never played it. So I’ve started that now…and it’s not nearly so polished. Definitely a case where the developers took the first game and improved it a lot mechanically for the second!

  11. SpaceSjut says:

    My Baldur’s Gate 3 playthrough is closing in to the finale of Act 2. I still like it.

    I have started the Intermission-DLC for FF7R, which is… so far so nice, I guess? Mainly I want to get this done before I tackle (and buy) the next part.

    Then I am dabbling occasionally in Robocop – Rogue City, which so far seems to be a decent shooter. It’s nice to kill some time, my main problem is that I cannot save manually.
    And as another time-waster I am dabbling with Everspace, and I am not very good at it. But it’s some fun space shooty stuff, and usually over quickly.

  12. Syal says:

    …took me three weeks to notice the March Action Logs are all labeled as May.

    …I have not played anything new since finishing Infinite Wealth.

    1. Bay says:

      Huh, I’m not sure how that happened. Somehow none of us noticed either? Fixed now.

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