Wednesday Action Log 4-3-24

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Apr 3, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 19 comments

This week I’m playing Graveyard Keeper. I don’t have a lot to say about it, I don’t like how blatant some of the references are, and I’m having fun working my way up the tech tree. I also finished Wind Waker.

What are you guys playing?


From The Archives:

19 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 4-3-24

  1. sheer_falacy says:

    Geneforge 2: Infestation. It’s a more polished version of a game I played, uh, 20 years ago. It has an interesting story, a lot of different paths, a variety of weird creatures you can summon, and art that makes you really feel the size of the development team and where their focus isn’t. So far I’m enjoying it a lot!

    1. Dev Null says:

      Loved those Geneforge games, back in the day. I’ll have to have a look at the… re-release?

      1. Sleeping Dragon says:

        The first three Avernum games are on, I think, a third iteration (the original games were called “Exile” I believe). I’m going to hold back on buying the Geneforge 2 remake as I need to catch up on Spiderweb games because running the second Avernum trilogy is a pain and it doesn’t seem like they’re planning to remake those…

  2. Syal says:

    Went back to Like A Dragon New Game +, and am greatly missing the quality of life improvements Infinite Wealth made. I’m also five levels under the recommended starting level, and enemies are pretty much killing me in every fight unless I spam the strongest attacks every turn. But man, Kume is just so much more punchable than anyone in Infinite Wealth; and the game’s intensely weird relationship with Nonomiya is more interesting. 7’s the one with more staying power, I feel.

    Finally got back to my Tales of Berseria playthrough. Who knew all it would take to get me to start playing my stalled-at-98% run again, was to stall a different anime game at 98% instead. Weirdly powerful psychological pyramids here. Anyway, game’s still fun.

    Finally made it back to Triangle Strategy, so my first run of that game limps forward once again. I’m immediately reminded of why I stopped; our group is faced with an enemy that wants to destroy them, and they hold them off by showing them something that would ruin their reputation if we survive long enough to reveal it. Providing the guys who want to kill us another reason to kill us. somehow convinces them not to kill us. The story is bad, is what I’m saying. And there’s a lot of it; I sat down expecting to play through one more battle, and three cutscenes later i still hadn’t hit one. But I did play an optional battle, and the “easy to win, hard to win clean” battles themselves are still fun. It’s nice the game doesn’t have permadeath, because my entire party would be triple dead otherwise.

    Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass isn’t holding my attention as much this run. Have I overrated it before? No, I’m sure I’m sick or something. Probably ruined it by convincing myself to do a write-up on it and then doing a non-writeup run. Whatever the reason, I’m sure it’s stalled until other things are completed.

    1. Storm says:

      Oh yeah, I liked the gameplay of Triangle Strategy quite a lot, and I had high hopes after the first couple chapters, but by the time I finished my first playthrough I just had no desire to go back and replay it. Fun as the game could be, the story really let it down, and that’s a shame.

    2. sheer_falacy says:

      Agreed on Triangle Strategy, it had generally very interesting gameplay and was far, far too impressed with its own writing. I watched all the little optional between mission vignettes and my general advice is to instead not do that.

      I generally liked the difficulty in it except for one fight where I eventually just said “nope” and turned the difficulty down.

      As for Jimmy, I think it’s a really cool game but I don’t think replaying it repeatedly is going to be its best representation.

  3. Fizban says:

    Last week I played about half of Project Warlock. I’d been looking at a bunch of ‘boomer shooters’ on my wishlist and thinking they all weren’t quite right, and then it turned out the reason I couldn’t find one to pick was because I’d already bought the one that looked like the best fit. It’s good, fine, alright. What I really want is a non-scavenging, non-cover, non-shields, non-wacky powers (basic blasty spells is fine), mostly linear, with some story, shooter (or just say: Half-Life 2/Black Mesa- even Doom 2016, while good, has you searching for upgrade points). Don’t see or hear about any of those these days, so boomer shooter is is I guess.

    This week I managed to inch forward a bit more in Twilight Princess, now halfway through the water temple. Unfortunately while I’ve been looking forward to it ’cause I remember it being quite cool, I also made the mistake of remembering the rest of the dungeons through the game, and IIRC there’s only actually one more that I like. It’s also weird how despite the clearly worse graphics and lesser dialogue/story integration, Ocarina still somehow feels like a more lived in world. TP spends a huge chunk of time in a town that’s basically abandoned, then you finally get to castle town where there’s exactly one mini-game, no real shops, and no castle grounds, but also huge crowds of people. The gorons don’t have a city, they have a hot spring and some weird half exploded orb mine thing on top of the mountain. The zoras domain has an even huger waterfall and is quite pretty, but it’s just a throne room with no leader and a waterfall. Even Hyrule Field feels weak- blocked passages making travel take longer, with barely anywhere to travel to. The simple circle in OoT around the ranch feels entirely reasonable, while TP just feels videogamey.

    I would be more upset with essentially deconstructing my nostalgia for Twilight Princess, if any of the other game since had managed to match OoT, but they haven’t. Wind Waker has its whole island thing with random isolated towns, Skyward Sword has exactly one town and disconnected regions, and correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure BotW/TotK aren’t any better. Somehow OoT managed to absolutely *nail* it the first time.

    So what have I been playing instead? Well last night I popped open Transistor, which people were gushing about back in the day. And ironically it’s got more of the non-scrounging basically linear action that I’m looking for, except with real time positioning between it’s ‘turn’ attack volleys. Not sure if I’m coming up on the end of the game or just half. Only complaint is that I’m also pretty tired of crapsack dying worlds, which is a shame ’cause I’ve still got plenty I haven’t finished. I would be finishing Elden Ring, but due to TP’s non-configurable joystick settings I can’t switch back and forth so it’s on hold again. But yeah, all the soulslikes and roguelikes and even just fiction I’ve read recently is dying worlds left right and center, getting tired.

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      There’s a lot to criticize about BotW and TotK, but I don’t think their world not feeling lived in is one of those things. Sure, there are a lot of abandoned areas for story purposes, but there are a lot of towns and areas with population that feels realistic (even one that you help build yourself bit by bit). Plus, a lot of wandering strangers can be seen and interacted with all over the map and important NPCs are spread all over the place instead of them being all in one place.

      1. Fizban says:

        I suppose I need to get a grip on that compulsion to take shots when I haven’t played it. I’m not really against doing so, but clearly I’m having trouble motivating myself to keep up with any games, let alone one I was never that thrilled for and would have to go rustle up a borrowed copy to play. If/when/if I ever do get around to it, I’ll definitely make sure to post my thoughts.

  4. Dreadjaws says:

    This week I’m playing Graveyard Keeper… I don’t like how blatant some of the references are

    You know, I have the same issue with a lot of indie games. They seem to believe obvious references are a substitute for clever writing. References are fine if they come accompanied with a joke, and not in place of it. Otherwise it all strays too far into “Epic Movie” territory. I’ve stopped playing a few games because I was promised humor and I got a reference galore instead.

    That’s not why I stopped playing Graveyard Keeper, though. I just got sick of how ridiculously grindy it gets later.

  5. Dreadjaws says:

    Well, it has been a bit of an eventful week this one.

    It was a grueling experience, but I did manage to 100% Super Mario Wonder. I thought the sixth challenge in the last stage was ridiculous, but nothing could have prepared me for the absolute bullshit of the last one. Jesus Christ. It highlights how unfair these two challenges are that I lost all my lives (way over 100, btw), had to restart the whole thing from the beginning and I absolutely breezed through every other challenge in the stage. Only the sixth and tenth one were the ones I had trouble with. But in the end I did it. I unlocked everything there was to unlock in the game. And the reward you get for it is pretty much worthless, so it’s basically just bragging rights.

    Finished Batman: Arkham City. Only the main story. I will do the DLC later. I’m still debating if doing all the challenges and finishing all the side-quests. These are all fun things, and I’ve done them before, but I really have to work on my backlog.

    Played through Frog Detective. It’s a cute-looking adventure game, very simple, relaxing and easy, with a nice sense of humor. That being said, I have some mixed feelings about it. First two episodes were nice. The gameplay is basically a bunch of nested fetch quests, but both the first and second episodes are short enough that it doesn’t matter.

    The third episode, though, overstays its welcome. You get a larger map and to compensate you’re given a vehicle to move faster around, but doesn’t change the fact that it’s the same gameplay with no variations. There’s only so much you can do with this concept before getting sick of it. There aren’t any real puzzles and you figure out the plot twist right from the very start, so the game doesn’t have anything else to pull you in. It’s really only barely over an hour long and still feels like it drags on.

    There’s also this weird thing where the game inserts some sudden political message against the prison system, which doesn’t ruin the experience or anything, but it’s so blatant and feels so out of place (particularly in a game clearly aimed at a younger audience) that it completely took me out of it. I also feel this chapter is way too mean-spirited towards the protagonist. There’s only so many times I can see him apologizing for being abused before thinking the developers must hate him. It was kinda endearing in the first two chapters, but the last one goes way too far with it.

    Started The Evil Within. No spoilers, but it’s a bit of a bold way to start the game, for sure. I imagine a lot of people would call it quits right before the first chapter ended, but it’s not really something unfair, just unexpected. Game’s alright so far. Definitely not just a reskin of Resident Evil despite being from the same creator, and also much more reliant on stealth. But it still hasn’t managed to really grab me. Still waiting for that moment that’ll really pull me in.

    What did pull me in was the Super Mario RPG remake. I hadn’t played the original in way over a decade, but it managed to hold my attention immediately and I’ve had trouble putting it down. It’s just as amazing as it was back then, only prettier to look at. I love this game. It’s a timeless gem.

  6. Daimbert says:

    I started the next character in The Old Republic, a Sith Warrior based on Mirrorverse Benjamin Sisko who was also used as my Bounty Hunter character (and this is a continuation of that one, since it was revealed to him during that run that the reason he could survive all of that was because he was strong in the Force). I was trying to decide whether or not to run this one as a Marauder, and then one night was thinking about it and thought “Should I make Sisko a Marauder or a Jugg … er … naut … Juggernaut it is!” That being said, the character is a bit irreverent — both in terms of the original character and how I played the character — and the Warrior is pretty formal and talks a lot about honour when doing things that aren’t totally evil, which doesn’t fit, but it does have some snarky moments which work.

    I also went back to Pool of Radiance for a bit, as my schedule has changed to allow for that. Since I hadn’t played it for a while, the first thing I had to do was find the save game, but it turns out that using the Gold Box Companion for that worked really well since it lists the save games for the game in order of most recent to least recent, which made it easy. Then I wanted to check in to see if I had done enough to clear the old city yet, but it was night and I had to wait until morning, and you can’t rest in the city itself, so I hopped back into the old city to rest, but had my rest interrupted and had to fight some goblins, which was an easy fight but one of my main fighters still got knocked out. After that, I rested to heal up and then checked in at Town Hall, and I still have to clear that area, but then I stopped at the shop and found that I had a nice shield and ring of protection that I identified and gave to my main fighters to help them out. Identifying costs 200GP per item which is steep, but since I’m pretty much committed to cheating at any point where things are getting too problematic for me using the GBC I’m not as worried about gold anymore.

  7. CrushU says:

    Oooh, I liked Graveyard Keeper; though I’ve not finished it…

    I’m on Stardew Valley still because I’m trying to actually finish a playthrough for once.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      Every single time I want to start a new Stardew Valley playthrough I check on it and the dev is juuust about to update it again…

  8. Storm says:

    I’ve been playing a lot of Unicorn Overlord myself. I never had a chance to get into the old Ogre Battle games, but this one is tempting me to try them out. Units are moved as squads, and when two meet each other they do a round of automated combat, with the actual logic of what moves each character uses and when defined by the player. It reminds me of the FFXII gambit system in all the right ways.

    The one issue I have is the difficulty and scaling feel a touch off. After finishing the first couple areas, I skipped the next one entirely to go for a tougher zone, which was really fun and engaging, but now that I’ve finished that I’m left with an army of level 30-odd characters facing a level 15 story. Still fun, but I’d love some more granular difficulty controls.

  9. Sartharina says:

    I have been playing Dragon’s Dogma 2. The game’s store page hits you with a bunch of seemingly-predatory monetization, but playing the game it’s all Moon Moon. Words cannot describe how stupid and pointless the Crapcom MTX attached to the game is without accidentally implying they’re more useful/predatory/manipulative than they actually are.

    Game itself is very fun. I have been enjoying being an effectively-naked Beastren warrior made of muscle and fluff, with my favorite classes being Warrior and Archer. I don’t mind the repetitive enemies and kinda uninspired open world because hacking and smashing through the implausibly large hordes of monsters as a giant catman has yet to get boring.

    1. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I got DMC 5 this last sale and I’m hoping that’s the case with that one as well because there’s A LOT of DLC that looks like in-game resources.

  10. unit3000-21 says:

    Remakes. Resident Evil 4 and System Shock, really hard to say which is better, cause both are excellent.
    SS really shocked (he he) me with it’s greatness, I think I like it better than SS2 O_o

  11. Glide says:

    A Short Hike – This a pleasant, short game with no conflict, just a relaxing walk/climb up a mountain meeting new people and doing activities with them along the way. Not trying to complete any of the collection quests, I finished in under 2 hours. It wasn’t quite as up my alley as reviews implied it would be (I love a good nature game and I like slice-of-life games a lot), but I’m glad something like this can get made and succeed. The climbing and gliding controls are really smooth.

    Tacoma – It’s the Gone Home studio’s followup work. It didn’t do nearly as well because the market for games like Gone Home became saturated really quickly, but for my money I liked Tacoma a lot more. You watch flashbacks of life on a space station, including the final hours of the crew during an unexpected disaster. You can rewind and pause the flashbacks for details and to follow a scene from the perspective of different characters, which gives you a bit more active input than Gone Home. The story is very trope-riddled but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; while it’s far from original, it executes on the tropes very competently and I was shockingly attached to the characters considering that they’re represented as indistinct mannequins in the flashbacks and that you only get 2-3 hours with them.

    Final Fantasy X – I have no nostalgic attachment to Final Fantasy so it’s been interesting to gradually play for the first time as an adult these ‘ancient’ classics most people played as a kid. I’m lucky that FF doesn’t need to be played in order because the timing of PC ports and sales for these games has had me play them in almost random arrangement. Anyways, FFX. It’s got a world and backdrop that I find artistically/graphically impressive now, so I can only imagine how gorgeous it was for someone on a diet of exclusively 90s games. It goes to show that processing capability is no substitute for top-tier art direction. I like the fairly straightforward combat strategy where characters specialize in certain enemy types, and you have access to the whole party in most situations. It’s very well tutorialized without breaking immersion as the party members all scold Tidus for trying to fight X instead of letting Character Y handle that. I’m very, very spoiled on the story by cultural osmosis (and by reading Shamus’ work on this very site), but I’m still enjoying it well enough. Final Fantasy games seem to me to do a consistently better job than many other party RPGs of keeping party members on their own journey with their own reasons for participating that impact their reaction to every part of the plot; western RPGs with parties have much more tendency to compartmentalize companions into having a notable introduction to the character and then zero development outside of one designated companion sidequest.

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.