Wednesday Action Log 3-27-24

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Mar 27, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 16 comments

This week has been eventful.

I’ve played more Wind Waker and I believe I’m near the end of the game; I’ve gotten almost all of the heart pieces and treasure charts. I probably would have finished by now but my cat is a menace and I got to learn that my GPU wasn’t aquatic. I hope that my new graphics card is waterproof and that no other parts of my computer becomes SpongeBob’s new neighbor.

On a better note I also played Teardown, I’m absolutely delighted with it, I thought I would get bored with the puzzles, but just about the time I’m getting sick of one mission type it changes things up with a new location or goal, it was also surprisingly fun realizing that instead of going around everything you can just remove it with anything from your sledgehammer to just a chunk of a wall. Also the game is beautiful, the lighting is great and it’s extremely fun to watch objects made of voxels crumble.

The Menace in question. (Her name is Betty Blasphemy)
The Menace in question. (Her name is Betty Blasphemy)


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16 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 3-27-24

  1. Dreadjaws says:

    Not much this week, sadly. I’ve been a bit overworked and I’ve had very little time to play.

    Due to these circumstances I’ve mostly been playing on the Switch, since I can pick it up at any moment wherever I am and whenever I have some free time. I’ve been mostly playing Super Mario Wonder. I was done with the story already, but now I’ve been working in 100%-ing it. I am nearly done, I literally only have one stage left to complete it (the last unlockable bonus stage) and by God, it’s absolutely brutal. For those not in the known, badges give you different abilities in this game, such as a double jump, the ability to glide, faster running, etc. You can only equip one at a time, but you usually get to choose them before every stage. But there are a few test stages where the game chooses it for you and puts you through a challenge.

    This particular bonus stage is basically a gauntlet comprised of several test stages one after another (all new ones, by the way, they don’t repeat earlier challenges), and in each one you have to make use of one specific badge ability. They are all very tight with the timing and will test your patience as much as your reflexes. Supposedly, there are ten of these, but I’ve only managed to get to the sixth one and so far there has only been one checkpoint, after the third one.

    I honestly don’t know if I’m gonna go on with this. This is by far the hardest Mario level I’ve ever played in my entire life. I am very close to snapping and jump off a building in frustration. After losing several times in all the previous five sections I managed to memorize the obstacles and crack down the timing so I can easily breeze through them. Not the sixth one, though. This one involves being constantly bouncing off the ground, unable to stop. You can jump higher, but you cannot stop jumping, so you basically have not enough control to be precise, which means you have to rely on luck. Unlike the other levels it’s impossible to practice until you get better. I’ve lost dozens of lives here already, and every time I lose I have to spend time redoing the previous two sections that I have already mastered. They’re not hard now that I know them by heart, but they are an absolute waste of time.

    Also of note, the game keeps track of three collectible coins, a variable number of “wonder seeds” and the flagpole in each stage. In order to complete a stage you have to gather all three coins, all seeds and hit the flagpole at its highest point. If you miss any of these you’ll have to do the whole damn stage again. And sometimes they are very hidden. I missed the first coin in this stage many times in my earlier attempts. Had I reached the checkpoint before realizing where it was it would have been lost and I’d have to do the whole thing again from the very start. I cannot even imagine what I’d fo if if I reached the last section and hit the flagpole wrong. I’d probably end up smashing the Switch with a hammer.

  2. Sleeping Dragon says:

    So to begin with I’ve finished Cyberpunk 2077. This actually happened something like two and a half weeks ago but I felt I missed the window for the posts so here. I believe I said it already but while I was initially kinda put off by the game a little, in large part due to the busyworky nature of the open world, it definitely grew on me. Once I stopped doing the NCPD encounters that cut hours upon hours of filler and most of the remaining content trended towards good. A couple of actually intriguing storylines several of which could have easily been expanded to be their own full-blown stories and as I always say “if my complaint is that I wish there was more of something there is an element of praise to it”. Johnny is, I imagine, hit or miss with people but for me the arc of initial hostility towards at least understanding the character if not necessarily agreeing with him worked, particularly once it became clear that while he is tooting his own horn the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily agree with him being the most amazing guy in the world who is always right. Kerry romance storyline was great, the post-storyline dates were… not great largely due to their technical limitations.

    Another thing I’ve managed to finish was Soulstice. This is to Devil May Cry what Greedfall is to Mass Effect, a AA loveletter that nevertheless stands on its own merits. To be clear, I’m a filthy casual with this kind of game to the point where I dropped the difficulty to easy about halfway through, so I can’t really fully judge if the game is mechanically good within the spectacle fighter genre. I can say that while I didn’t love the main character design (particularly the face). or the facial animation of one persistent NPC, I have rather enjoyed the game’s monsters and what I initially thought was going to be a gimmick mechanic turned out to be utilized throughout almost the whole game which I feel was overall to the game’s benefit. They do heavily tease a sequel and if that comes around I’ll probably put it maybe not at the top of the wishlist but somewhere in the middle.

    And just yesterday I played We Love Katamari: Reroll, the PC port of the Katamari Damacy sequel. It’s… Katamari. There’s more of it, there are some twists to the rules in some levels and a bit more layered challenge where barely scraping by is relatively easy to do but the game will read you for it while achieving the top grade is much harder… but at the end of the day you either love the chaotic, cartoony, somewhat absurdist nature of the game, and the comically presented cycles of abuse flavoured narrative, or you don’t. Apparently I do.

  3. sheer_falacy says:

    I finished The Last Faith, which I had stopped playing for a while for no particular reason. It was a fun soulsmetroidvaniaetc, overall. I wish it had had a way to teleport home from anywhere, rather than just fast travel between “bonfires”, but I’ve played games that didn’t even have that so it’s all relative. Finishing the game did not help my comprehension of the story.

    And I’m almost done with the endgame content for FF7 Rebirth. It added a new level of difficulty to pretty much every repeatable minigame. It also added water travel, with its own vehicle, an absolutely massive area to explore, and literally 5 total things in all of it. After you complete 4 of those things you get a compass, which could have been useful but instead it just helps you find GLOWING PURPLE BARRELS in case you had a hard time spotting GLOWING PURPLE BARRELS.

    Also, there are hard fights, which I appreciate because a lot of the game is very easy. It does feel funny when the Ultimate Party Animal puts you against tougher enemies than almost anything else.

    There are some weird materia decisions in this game. For example, there’s a Gravity materia, which, in Final Fantasy tradition, doesn’t work at all on any enemy you’d actually want to do % hp damage to. The Strength and Magic materia add potentially 25% to their respective stats, and the description says you can stack them up to 100%, which would be nice if there were more than one of each in the game. Maybe you can get more when replaying Hard Mode?

  4. Syal says:

    Haven’t played much this week, mostly just a detox week after stalling on Berseria and finishing Infinite Wealth. Played the opening world of Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass again, which continues to be a lovely game, but I’m at the UFO again and realizing I really don’t like that level. The game’s biggest issue is probably the sheer amount of unskippable text it has, and the UFO is all about finding all the text, while the level only has one enemy type, that has to be fought in a very specific way or you just lose. Pretty sure I’d get back into it on the other side of the UFO, but right now that minor annoyance is enough to stop me.

  5. Lars says:

    Still playing Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth. Maybe I’ll find the time on Easter to finish it. Also playing a tiny bit of Saints Row – Reboot and NFS: Unbound.

    Saints Row is back to the over the top action of ‘The Third’ without the super powers of 4 and Gat out of Hell. I liked the super powers. I liked shooting weird aliens, computer bugs and demons more than shooting humans, but it’s fun in small dosis.

    NFS – I actually like the graphic style with cell shaded characters within an otherwise photo realistic world. I don’t understand the rigid difficulty settings. You have Easy, Normal and Hard, while the each consist of 4 different settings: Aggressiveness of the opponents, Aggressiveness of cops, Vehicle durability and Number of continues per Day. Why not let me fiddle with the settings themself? I’d like normal opponents, no cops, normal vehicle durability and unlimited continues. I just want to race. Instead I can only choose Easy Easy Extra 10 or Normal Normal Normal 3 or worth.
    And there is no EA playlist anymore. You cannot choose music tracks you want to hear and (more importantly) don’t want to hear anymore. For my Metalhead there are much to much annoying songs in the standard playlist, so I turned the music volume down to 30%.

  6. Daimbert says:

    I managed to finish off my Jedi Consular in The Old Republic. It’s interesting that there have been comments that Bioware loves their endgame slog, and Corellia — the last planet — seems to be that for TOR, as both the planet and story missions tend to have at least one question where you have to storm some kind of building and put down a lot of enemies. The planet mission also has the Axial Park missions where you run around a battlefield doing various things and killing various enemies. As such, Corellia takes a LONG time to finish if you are doing both questlines. This time, I noticed that the Empire side of Axial Park is more interesting, since you get more orders as things go along without having to check in with anyone and it has more of a sense of urgency and of changing battlefield conditions, while I didn’t feel that way about the Republic side this time. That being said, that could be my memory playing tricks on me. At any rate, up next is my Sith Warrior character, but I think that I’ll really miss this character, as her grayness and overall disposition made for a really fun experience to both play and write about.

  7. Pythor says:

    I managed to start and then finish Tunic. I’m sure I’m behind the times here, but I caught a Youtube short showing it, and got interested. It’s a great game if you’re a fan of Zelda, and also if you like puzzles. It’s got a feel between Wind Waker and Ocatina for me, with a splash of Dark Souls, but not enough to be frustrating (other than perhaps during boss fights). I managed to get the good ending, and only looked up 2 of the solutions; not because I couldn’t figure them out, but because I didn’t want to waste the time doing it. In any case, I recommend the game to anyone.

  8. Olivier FAURE says:

    Teardown is great. I’m just waiting for the time the developers inevitably realize they need to add a “defend against enemy hordes” mode to this game.

  9. Alarion says:

    I started Resident Evil: Village. It’s good, but it’s interesting watching them try to recapture the magic of RE:4. Remote village, castle, etc

    1. PhoenixUltima says:

      Having played RE8 and RE4 (both original and remake), I have to say that RE4 wins by a hair, just because Leon is a fun protag while Ethan is Blandy McBlanderson. Both are great, though.

      1. Alarion says:

        I think I agree. The remake of 4 is probably next up and I’m looking forward to it. I think my favorite part of 8 so far is how they’ve just said “screw it” and embraced the ridiculousness of healing items. (slight spoiler!)….severed hand? Pour some first aid juice on the stump and just stick it back on. That’s always been the case off screen, but it’s just great to watch

        1. Dreadjaws says:

          No spoilers, but you’ll be given an actual logical explanation for how the healing items work in this game (and, by extension, the previous one).

  10. Glide says:

    Pathfinder: Kingmaker begins to finally show signs of a conclusion (or at least a climax) as, after almost a month, I’m down to a single-digit number of sidequests in Act 5. It’s generally fun but there have been some fights that just seemed dramatically overtuned; you can be consistently mowing through normal foes in a single swing but difficulty is just a number and you can go from winning in seconds to literally being unable to do damage with a wee little +30 to monster armor class and spell resistance, and it’s a number the DM is clearly willing to crank up and make you suffer here.

    I want to shout out the irritating confluence of two problems into a roadblock that wasted 90 minutes of my life. There’s a backer-designed quest that forces you to complete its final battle in the (otherwise optional) turn-based mode. It’s a massive fight inside a large trapped labyrinth you must navigate to find the source of infinitely spawning enemies and shut it off. In itself, it’s a recipe to annoy players who have been playing the game real-time for 90 hours (plus Kingmaker) with its glacial pace and huge scope. I can deal with one big, slow fight though. If it had just let me get through it I would have gone “huh, that’s weird” and forgotten all about it. But unfortunately, there’s also a long-running bug in turn-based mode that causes a character to lose the ability to end their turn if they’re hit with a Frightened condition, soft-locking the game. You can get around it by switching out of turn-based and back in – but the one time I’m encountering this bug happens to be the one time I’m not allowed to leave turn-based mode. I played this fight five times, and five times my animal companion (easily my most weak-minded party member) got Frightened and crashed the game before I was even halfway through the maze. Luckily the quest is not critical-path and I can just ignore it and go on my way, but it’s a lot of time lost to a bug on a 2+ year old game, and the “but thou must!” nature of the forced mode switch makes it a lot more grating.

    Despite the fact that all the above complaints are easily flowing from my keyboard, it’s quite a compelling game and I’m glad I played it. The writing continues to be really good, with the authority figures on the human, demon and angel sides of the conflict all being a wonderful mix of compelling and just a little bit untrustworthy, making it unclear who’s really on my side.

    1. Henson says:

      I’ve played through the game twice, and found turn-based to be so much more enjoyable in general. And kinda necessary on higher difficulties. I always worry that turn based in a game like this will turn into a neverending Fallout 1 queue of thirty or so enemies taking turns slowly, but it never got to that point.

    2. BlueHorus says:

      Completely with you on Kingmaker’s difficulty. I gave up on the final section, where I couldn’t go three metres in any direction without getting into a fight with mobs that took ages to kill and did a specific type of very dangerous, hard-to heal damage. I even modded the game so that I could never roll anything less than a natural 20 for everything and the combat was STILL a chore!
      I think it’s a problem with the Pathfinder rules system, the numbers just get soo large and unwieldy that balance gets completely shot.

      On the plus side, the sequel (Wrath of the Righteous) gets around this by making it possible to be so overpowered nothing can stop you, and you’re effortlessly wading through enemies designed for a level 20 party, which is…

  11. Alberek says:

    Cute Cat!
    I have been playing Balatro… it’s as good as people say. Nothing too crazy, sometimes you have zero chances of winning, but pulling a crazy combo feels like actually cheating in the game.

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