Wednesday Action Log 6-19-24

By Issac Young Posted Wednesday Jun 19, 2024

Filed under: Epilogue, Action Log 30 comments

This week I’m still playing Rimworld. I, for some reason, decided that it would be a good idea to start a new game on a mountainous ice sheet. With a lot of loading saves and very careful resource management, my base is not about to crumble any second, and it only took five hundred days to get there. A fun bonus of living there is that when a siege starts, raiders will uselessly shoot mortars while standing in -60F weather.

Also, one of my colonists won’t stop hitting on people. I can look at his mood at any point and he will have been rejected by someone recently, while another of my colonists has two lovers and a wife at the same time.

Other than that I’m still playing Stardew Valley. I started a new spooky themed game with my sibling a bit ago. We just barely managed to complete the community center first year, and I’m working on getting Krobus as my roommate.

Anyway, how is this week of gaming or otherwise going?


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30 thoughts on “Wednesday Action Log 6-19-24

  1. Fizban says:

    Skipped the latest savage gauntlet in Exoprimal ’cause I figured it’d be another puzzle and went with Deep Rock Galactic as planned. New overclocks (final tier weapon upgrades) and new seasonal themed thingy are mostly good, new mission type not so much. It’s basically like egg hunt (already my least favorite mission type), except instead of the spots you need to dig out the eggs being very obvious and easier to dig through and the caves generally being navigable, the caves seem to be at maximum squirreliness and you have to hunt the resonance crystals with proximity rangefinders and then dig through normal rock instead of egg mush and the reckoning is often so inaccurate you can throw a max AoE satchel charge and still fail to excavate the target. Oh, but then you get to ride the drilevator! Which on lower difficulties is just a skeet shoot (and if you’re driller, your short weapons mean you don’t get to shoot much), though I suppose on higher it can be comfortably pressured. The part I thought would be cool would be fighting your way back up on the jet boots, considering their short hops, but instead they give you super jet boots that just go up. Also it makes no sense why the morkite seeds go in your pocket instead of being a big backbreaker carry like other objectives, makes it a pain to tell if you’ve got them all and someone’s just hasn’t turned them in yet (holding up the game, which they could even use to troll until you kick them).

    The new core stone events spawn mobs of super fast and tough humanoid alien things, which is a new change from the previous robots and ubiquitous bugs. But they also leave hard to notice damage pools on death and will just run straight through attempts to defend an area. You could theorhetically supersaturate a bunker entrance with enough continuous damage, but you have to shoot the floating core stone (and re-excavate it twice) to finish the event. Very chaotic and prone to wiping.

    Meanwhile for the overclocks: the flamethrower and cryo cannon have got and awesome new “shotgun” option and a “sticky ice” one, respectively. I actually like using the flamethrower again, we’ll see if it gets nerfed. The explosive goo was fun, though the cluster bomb rockets for the gunner had problems triggering for me.

    The big one is how the engineer’s shotgun finally has a slow-firing pump action option, like, ya know, every shotgun in every other videogame ever that’s not a sawed-off (DRG’s is some sort of ridiculous full auto rapidfire thing)- but as I read one complaint on steam, yeah, the ammo reduction is so huge it’s ridiculous. Sure, you can finally one-shot basic bugs at mid range without a weakspot snipe, like ya know, a shotgun, but you can’t afford to ever miss a shot. They gave it blowthrough, but if you want AoE that’s literally what your secondary is for, we want a slower high damage shotgun for *efficiency*, so that instead of needing 2-4 wild auto shots we can just shoot thing once (and also not blow out our ears with auto shotgun booms).

    Then yesterday I fired The Last Spell back up. Finished the run I’d left off on without too much trouble, then eventually gave in later and stayed up way too late starting the next run. Now, I’d specifically gone back through the game on “Apocalypse 1” difficulty, with the intent of dropping it back down to normal for my retry of the map I’d finally failed on, number four. And I go back in and. . . still getting my shit kicked in. Bad traits, bad perks, bad drops. Come back to it today and the death knell is ringing: a wave where everyone is failing to get basic kills by just a few hp, which means it’s impossible to keep up- the only reason I got through was because a lot of those were buffers instead of damage. The next, it’s now basically impossible for anyone to one-shot anything, and there’s fliers, and boomers, and a 7-10 split too wide for even the best sniper, and invincible stunners and move penalties. So on top of everything taking 2 hits to kill, I lose a good four full turns of output, technically finishing the fight but with damn near half the walls destroyed (for the first time getting the achievement for finishing a wave with maximum panic in the town).

    I’m kindof annoyed. Like, I’m no savant, but I did legitimately no-fail the entire game after the save-clearing update, up until the final part of the final boss of the fourth map just going total BS. Then I come back with more meta upgrades and get wrecked even harder. We’ll see if hiring my fourth hero is enough to save the run- but looking at her damage numbers and that corner with no walls, signs point to no, and even then there’s still the boss.

    1. sheer_falacy says:

      I don’t know the details of your Last Spell run but I’ll say that more heroes is an absolutely massive power gain. A 4th hero is a 33% boost to your action economy.

      Also, notably even if you don’t one shot enemies they get pretty significant debuffs for being at low hp. In particular it can really reduce the movement stat on the basic enemies, so it can often be better to get two enemies to low health than to kill one if they won’t be doing anything relevant the next turn anyway.

      1. Fizban says:

        Oh I’m well aware (up to 186 hours)- it doesn’t help much when you’re out of mana and the whole wall is under attack, or you’ve got two boomer bearing down and your guy is both stunned and can’t kill them anyway. Even so, the next wave actually went just about perfect: the new longbow char’s damage was better than expected (actually killing isolated and even some adjacent targets, while spamming that cheap 3×3 block for groups), somehow I managed to get enough damage up on the tome specialist that they were one-shotting and massive crit-lightning’ing, the spear guy picked up a dagger and somehow muddled through, and the guy I switched from shortbow/crossbow/pistol flailing to axe and dagger also held their line on the ruined corner just fine (bodybuilder does not care what you used to be). This was the wave that asks if you have four heroes, so the question was whether they’d keep up individually, and they all did. I think a major part of the previous problem was those damn giant resistance boosting frogs, on top of the outdated gear and bad builds. The next wave will be the test though, as the first 4-split is usually easier than expected (’cause you might not have that 4th).

        I actually find that delaying your fourth hero until the 4-split wave is best, and as such don’t see much value in the expensive omen for an extra starting hero- better to pay a tiny bit more gold for a higher level hero later, with maximum build planning room. And buying a new hero when you don’t have the weapons to deal the damage on anyone else just means you’ll have four people not dealing enough damage, when you might have had 3 back up to one-shots. Part of the bad gear was minor missteps on two prep phases, reflexively going too hard on econ and ending up with wasted labor when I could have snuk in some gear instead. Now I have to makeup some 200-300 material worth of walls in addition to hitting the next hero hires. But I’ve got all my production buildings out so the gear will keep flowing in, and I managed to get more teleport scrolls and an immunity potion.

        The catchup mechanic of more valuable corpse piles when things die on/in the walls is very interesting. It definitely didn’t offset all the damage, but I got about 2 bonus workers worth of value (spent 2 to get 4’s worth). Of course, fighting next to the walls and deliberately holding position to make those happen without catastrophic failure would be ideal, but you have to make sure you’re not taking more damage than you’re gaining.

  2. Syal says:

    Dipping back into classics this week.

    Bloons TD 6, the tower defense about using monkeys to pop balloons before they can get away. Haven’t played it in a long time, wasn’t great at it to begin with, and went straight for challenges this time, which wiped the floor with me.

    One Finger Death Punch 2, the sequel to the surprise hit game from shovelware company Silver Dollar. Basically a two-button rhythm game, but with gory kung fu on every beat, and also a lot of things will mess with the beat. Forgot how addicting this thing was, and 2 gets rid of the power ceiling and lets every ability activate every time.

    Dokapon Kingdom, for some ungodly reason. It’s an RPG-based Mario Party, but a lot more meanspirited than Mario Party. Although the catchup mechanics are surprisingly strong; if you defeat a higher level player, you become their level, and if you stay in last long enough, you get access to a deal with the devil that just flips the whole board. The game is rude and way too expensive and I don’t know why I’m playing this or why I still enjoy it.

    Slay the Spire and Balatro, no news there.

  3. Dreadjaws says:

    I guess I’m gonna stop annoying people about Dave the Diver. Just like with Vampire Survivors before it, assume I’m always playing it in some capacity even if I stop mentioning it. I’m done with the main story, but there’s still a lot to do if I want to 100% it, and I do. I’m slowing down a bit, though. With the story over it’s mostly grinding now. Still a fun gameplay loop, but I don’t want it to get stale.

    The only other thing I’ve done this week is start Doom (2016) for the first time. Yeah, I’ve been putting this one off for quite a while for one reason or another, but I finally got to try it. I’ve only done the first stage, but pretty fun so far.

    I have a couple more games lined up to start this week, so hopefully I’ll have something more interesting to talk about next week.

    1. Olivier FAURE says:

      A quirk of Doom 2016 is that the first arena is way, *way* harder than anything else in the game.

      The imps are super annoying in large numbers, you don’t have a lot of life yet, and the unmodded shotgun isn’t a great weapon for that situation. Even after finishing the entire game, I still had trouble replaying the first level.

  4. sheer_falacy says:

    I played through Starstruck Vagabond, by Yahtzee, who is well known for making the Chzo mythos games and maybe some other things. You basically play a space trucker in the game. I enjoyed it a lot initially but that fell off as the game continued and I realized that there is way more game world than there is gameplay. There are 100 sectors, with 3 sector quests each, but there are only actually 7 (technically 8 in the lategame) different sector quests, so you’ll be doing the exact same thing 40 times each if you’re a completionist. Don’t be a completionist in this game. I eventually started focusing the main quest stuff as hard as possible and I wish I’d made the change sooner.

    Also Talos Principle 2 has a new DLC. I loved the base game and I’m loving this as well. It has three different parts – I completed the first one, which does some very creative things with just the baseline laser items. There’s mechanics that I’m sure existed in the base game but that I never noticed, like how it decides where lasers conflict when different colors are in the same network and exactly how lasers hitting each other works – I felt very clever solving the last few optional puzzles in it. The second part is more standard but still enjoyable. I haven’t tried the third part yet but it promises extremely difficult puzzles so I’m excited and/or concerned.

    1. Fizban says:

      I accidentally buried it under my own main post in the wrong spot a few weeks ago, but I mentioned my thoughts when you were playing Ikenfell (5/29/24) and was wondering if you finished it/how you found it?

      1. sheer_falacy says:

        I did finish it. Reading through your post, yeah, that might have been some of what I felt was missing. But also a lot of the main path through the game is set up to be unsatisfying, you’re going to a place so that you can open a door to go to a different place so you can open a door and go to a different place. It’s the bad horror game thing where you need a key to get a key to get a key, with your actual goal buried deep under that.

        As for the ending, it really wanted to avoid having any bad guys. So the final boss fights are against people who aren’t in their right minds because of trauma and therefore aren’t to blame for the things they do, which in retrospect feels dismissive of their personal responsibility.

        1. Fizban says:

          Oof, yeah there’s a fine line to walk there. I don’t think I actually minded the open a door to open a door in principle as much with how the game presented the castle as both in lockdown and also having had some disasters, like it centered the whole point on climbing over this set of obstacles- but then you’re also lacking that feeling of scope in progress, along with the other lacks.

          I guess I’ll put it in the “maybe finish it sometime just because” category rather than plan full replay to finish. Thanks.

    2. Vernal_ancient says:

      I played through Starstruck Vagabond, by Yahtzee, who is well known for making the Chzo mythos games and maybe some other things. You basically play a space trucker in the game. I enjoyed it a lot initially but that fell off as the game continued and I realized that there is way more game world than there is gameplay. There are 100 sectors, with 3 sector quests each, but there are only actually 7 (technically 8 in the lategame) different sector quests, so you’ll be doing the exact same thing 40 times each if you’re a completionist. Don’t be a completionist in this game. I eventually started focusing the main quest stuff as hard as possible and I wish I’d made the change sooner.

      Ah, you reminded me I’d bought that a couple weeks back. Got back into it after taking a break to play through Link’s Awakening, and how much you enjoy it definitely comes down to whether the repetition is relaxing or tedious for you. I lean towards the former, but I think that’s partially because this is one of the few games where I actually feel compelled to roleplay – the option to pick your character’s personality at the beginning worked surprisingly well for me.

      Even rushing the storyline can be kind of difficult if you don’t vibe with the box stacking – every plot point is followed by ‘now go faff around and run some deliveries or something,’ and most of them are proceeded by ‘get a particular upgrade by finding upgrade kits and then delivering boxes until you’ve got the money.’ Great if you find the game relaxing, but I’d imagine pretty hair-pulling if you’re just trying to get through it quickly

  5. Daimbert says:

    Rimworld actually sounds interesting, mostly for those sort of odd interactions. I should make a note to look into it at some point.

    I had other errands to run and so didn’t play The Old Republic. But that’s okay because I have a lot of TOR Diary entries to catch up on anyway and have a long weekend coming up where I’ll definitely get at least one run in, and maybe two, so there’s no fear of my running out of things to write about and having to miss a post.

    I did manage to get in a run of Mass Effect. I’ve actually settled in to the game now and am actually starting to enjoy it, and I’m getting enough side quests through the main map to let me just go around and explore sectors. I’m also doing fairly well with the Mako this time around — it was a challenge last time — which is nice, but that might be more the difficulty level that I’m playing at than anything else.

  6. Glide says:

    Finished Wasteland 3. Excellent combat and level up systems, fights were balanced and required thought throughout but the party felt strong and capable of handling anything. The story seemed a bit underbaked – it wasn’t bad but it did seem light on plot points. It gives you a moral choice at the end without providing enough information to make that choice. I ended up sticking with the Patriarch even though I think the game saw it as the evil path, because Angela Deth and her resistance simply did not present a compelling alternative vision; tearing down a working (if authoritarian) government and replacing it with a vague hope that good people emerge to lead seemed way past naive and into moronic considering we’d met mostly unhinged gangs of raiders outside of Colorado Springs. Maybe I’m giving the writers too little credit; certainly it was a little refreshing to not have good and evil spelled out for me in Saturday morning cartoon fashion. But doing “moral greyness” through simply not knowing much about either party seems inferior to doing moral greyness through a strong series of pros and cons that you learn about both sides.

    Started Darksiders III. It’s a nice looking game that iterates on the hack and slash foundations of the series by adding some Souls elements of hard-hitting enemies, I-frames focused dodging, corpse runs, and larger distance between checkpoints. This is fundamentally not to my preferences, particularly the harsh time-wasting penalties for dying. I’m generally enjoying individual fights but am getting worn down over time by the punishment factor. Luckily it’s a fairly short game so I’ll push through but probably not going to compete for my GOTY anytime soon. I gather from what I have read over the years that it was fairly unsuccessful in making itself appealing to Fromsoft fans as well.

  7. Vernal_ancient says:

    Restarted Link’s Awakening on Hero mode, where enemies do double damage and there’s no health drops. It’s… harder, but not in a way that really matters. You die a little more often but restart right where you died with almost full health. I think boss fights would have to be restarted on death but none of them have killed me yet (though a couple came very close)
    Saw the trailer for Echoes of Wisdom yesterday, I’m cautiously excited for it. It looks like they took a similar ‘use every part of the environment’ idea as Tears of the Kingdom and made it the core loop. Seeing how most of my issues with Tears boil down to ‘cool concept but it exacerbated too many of the flaws in Breath’s gameplay rather than fixing them’ that has me hopeful that it will be an enjoyable game

    1. Dreadjaws says:

      I would have preferred they went with A Link Between Worlds’ art style rather than Link’s Awakening, but I suppose it was probably easier to use the latter for a number of reasons. I don’t hate LA’s style, but I vastly prefer ALBW’s.

      But yeah, it looks like the environmental gameplay might fit this style better than it did TOTK. I still have to finish that game. I left it months ago and haven’t had the desire to come back.

      Still more excited for Metroid Prime 4, though.

      1. Fizban says:

        Heh, I complained about the Link’s Awakening remake artstyle earlier, and then hey I saw this trailer. Thought well, that poster said it wasn’t bad after they got used to it, let’s give the trailer a chance. But nope, still reflexively cannot stand that art style. The beady eyes work as part of the paper aesthetic in Paper Mario, but the combination of that with 3d models, with exaggerated proportions, just makes the thing look childish. Like a toy or cartoon specifically made for children to play with, not a hint of seriousness. I was skeptical of Wind Waker’s art style at the time, but not enough to refuse playing it, and in the end it doesn’t feel like it’s undercutting anything, just different. But this? Oh no bobblehead Link waved at bobblehead Ganon and then fell in a hole, now bobblehead Zelda has to wander around and fix things!

        Heck, going in knowing it had Zelda as the lead and the protag is wearing a blue cloak at the start, I thought they were actually just gonna let Zelda have a sword running around in hiding Shiek style- almost certainly an intentional misdirection, but I liked that idea. Making her a more outwards puzzle-solving “wisdom” character with an adaptable tool certainly matches the roles they’ve been suggesting, but I feel also misses some of what the complaints are going for: Shiek was awesome, she’s got a sword in Twilight Princess, just let the girl swing it for pete’s sake. Or even her mage-like smash versions. Feels like they’re still kinda missing the point, even if the “rod of wisdom” makes for a fun time on its own.

        Shame they finally make a Zelda-led game and they pin it to an art style that makes me nope out so hard, and this right after the same problem with the Pokemon Diamond/Pearl remakes (they don’t hit me quite as hard, but still enough that combined with the mechanical changes meant I’m not paying for something I don’t want).

        Which means that I too, am far more excited for Metroid Prime 4! And they’re at least starting it with stuff about their space federation, I loved how primes 2 and 3 added more of that stuff, you’re actually part of a universe rather than isolated dungeon planets with random shrines. If you’re a “bounty hunter” that means there must be a civilization paying you, and if these galactic threats are so huge we should be seeing them interact and encroach on the non-chozo-powerarmor people, and they’re continuing in that direction. Excellent.

        1. Vernal_ancient says:

          Heck, going in knowing it had Zelda as the lead and the protag is wearing a blue cloak at the start, I thought they were actually just gonna let Zelda have a sword running around in hiding Shiek style- almost certainly an intentional misdirection, but I liked that idea. Making her a more outwards puzzle-solving “wisdom” character with an adaptable tool certainly matches the roles they’ve been suggesting, but I feel also misses some of what the complaints are going for: Shiek was awesome, she’s got a sword in Twilight Princess, just let the girl swing it for pete’s sake. Or even her mage-like smash versions. Feels like they’re still kinda missing the point, even if the “rod of wisdom” makes for a fun time on its own.

          Yeah, I do think I’d prefer that too, but hey, hopefully this opens the door to more Zelda-led games, or maybe ones where you switch back and forth between Link and Zelda. Future ones might go more that direction

      2. Vernal_ancient says:

        Yeah, I liked LA’s style for LA, but mostly because that was a remake and the art style feels like a modernized take on the old-school sprites. It feels weird for a new game to have that art style rather than building more off the non-remake 2D games styles

  8. Grey Rook says:

    Ashes: Hard Reset is the second expansion for the Ashes 2063 series, a Doom-based total conversion which moves the action from the demon-haunted Mars base to the post-apocalyptic Georgian countryside. Mix STALKER, Mad Max, Fallout and Metro 2033 into a blender and you might get something like this. You are a Stalker, Junker, Scavver. The names are many, but ultimately you are a man who sustains themselves by delving into the ruins of a bygone era and plundering their riches.

    Hard Reset is a prequel starring Walker, a side character in Afterglow, as he is tasked with guiding a group of soldiers to the old Spire in Atlanta for reasons they decline to share, setting into motion the events which will lead to the events of the two main episodes.

    There’s also the matter of the mysterious woman in the red dress who keeps showing up almost everywhere he goes, just watching him.

    New arsenal and new enemies. The silenced pistol is situational; it doesn’t do a lot of damage, but being able to down some enemies without alerting everyone is still useful. The lever-action shotgun can be wielded one-handed, allowing you to use your flashlight alongside it.

    Speaking of the flashlight, I’m not fond of how it puts a hard limit on how much light you have access to. The solar lantern that Scav uses can be recharged in direct sunlight. Walker’s flashlight needs batteries which have to be bought or found.

    Also not fond of two of the new enemies. Wendigos and Mutant Gladiators are both lightning fast, seriously tough, and will kill you in no time at all in melee. No ranged ability, but they’re so fast that I have trouble drawing a bead on them, and they usually come in pairs.

    I do like that there is a lot more military ammo laying around in Hard Reset, allowing you to get a lot more use out of the customizable Modular Rifle… but in exchange there seems to be much less ammo laying around for your more affordable weapons, Boltcaster aside. And the upgrades for the Modular Rifle, Lever-action Shotgun, and the last tier of the Master Blaster become available so late that you hardly get any use out of them.

    Still a very cool mod, the levels are very well done though some of the secrets are kind of bullshit. The setting is very interesting to me. Certainly one of the best Doom total conversions out there, and since it’s a mod, it’s completely free.

  9. Sleeping Dragon says:

    This week I’ve mostly played various Next Fest demos. Up until this point with my massive backlog I’ve generally not partaken in the reemergence of demos (although I support the idea as a customer friendly development) and particularly in their mass drop during the Fests (which I do see as somewhat less customer friendly what with so many demos dropping in at the same time and many being time limited). However, this time some internet pals brought the occasion to my attention so I’ve decided to dive in. Honestly it was on some level liberating just going from one demo to another without the pressure to “complete” a whole game and overall my first Next Fest was fun and the feeling of just exchanging links and opinions was enjoyable as a thing on its own. Now on to the demos themselves.

    Reka is an indie game where you’re playing a young witch apprenticed to Baba Yaga, it taps into the Slavic witchcraft tropes and to me strikes the balance where the visuals are simple enough to be within the means of an indie studio but impactful enough to be effective. Having said that this feels like it’s going to be much more of an atmospheric experience than a mechanics focused game, at least judging by the game which admittedly featured alpha gameplay and only the tutorial area so maybe it expands later.

    The next two games I love the ideas of but also they may end up being too complex for me. First one is The Alters from the studio that made This War of Mine and Frostpunk (which are games I own but have shied away from playing so far). Much like those two it is a kind of survival game with a strong resource management component: you are the sole survivor from a crashlanded spaceship/mobile base. What spices it up is that in order to maintain your base you need to use the unique resource your ship was sent to find and create the titual alters, essentially your copies from alternate timelines where some choices were made differently resulting in different skillsets, and also different personalities. The demo plays up the psychological aspects of dealing with the Alters which is something that makes it rather interesting for me.

    Now, if I find The Alters daunting the next one, Heart of the Machine, is probably just plain beyond me even if the idea is interesting. It looks to be a very granular and complex simulation of an AI uprising where you play the AI and the guided tour that the demo offered was engaging but also rather handholdy with a lot of “don’t worry about it for now” in the part I’ve played (I haven’t gotten throug the entire demo because of time constraints). Looks like something I would love for someone else to play and read their emergent narrative. I believe comes from the studio that made AI War and The Last Federation so it seems to be their thing to make these idea driven games even if it means increasing the complexity of the mechanics and making the UI somewhat challenging to parse without putting in the work.

    Vampire Dynasty appers to have some relation to games like Farmer Dynasty and Lumberjack Dynasty but when I checked they seem to be done by several different studios under a single publisher so I’m guessing this is more of a publisher thing? It seems to be a mix of a sort of feudal lord and vampire simulator where on the one hand the villagers are your primary food source but on the other hand you also want your village to thrive as it is the source of your money and renown so you should target people who do not have useful skills as well as outsiders or those just passing by (which is a clever way for the game to reinforce the narrative with the mechanics). Similarly the game implies a very open ended structure that I assumed was characteristic of these Something Dynasty games but the demo also dangles some hooks of an actual plot in front of the player. It is mechanically rather clunky and I did not care much for the structure building mechanics but if it pops up in a bundle or goes on a really good sale in a couple years I’ll probably consider it.

    I tried a bunch of other games but I think this post is long enough as it is. Bottom line is this did not help my bloated wishlist.

  10. Gresman says:

    Not much new on my end.
    Just way too much work and not enough free time.

    I did finished the Blackwell pentalogy. All five of them are really good games and the last one has quite the emotional punch to it. For achievements I had to play with the commentary on. To be honest at places the commentary enhanced the experience in some way. The developer seems so passionate and candid. I just have to appreciate that. It was also great to see the progression from game to game in graphics and design. Also given that those games were released in between 2004 and 2014 or something like that their vibe and technological progress in the story itself is captivating and a certain time capsule. Those were the years where we got the first smartphones. I know it is only 12 years or so ago but the change in how we work and live is drastic. back when I started work I could never imagine being at home working two days a week from home. Or that I could book my tickets for things on my phone. I think I got my first MP3 player back then. Before that I had a Discman.

    Sorry for getting of track. The heat is derailing my brain. But yeah it is super interesting to see a game series exactly in this time period and evolving with it. It was a fun trip and melancholic in some way. Go try these games out. They are fun 25 hours all in all.

    I saw there would be a new Life is Strange game. Looking forward to that. Even if I am not that enthused to play Max again. Not because I disliked her. More that I like to explore new characters in the same world. Expect for the two brothers. Did not care for them a bit.

    I also noticed that this is year is heavy on adventure games in my urge to clean up the backlog. This is not a bad thing just interesting that I have such a focue right now. Also it ist the first game in a while wihtout a LEGO game. :)
    Also finished the Gat out of Hell achievements with a friend. The game has loads of issues but it still holds up. Gameplay is fun and fast paced. It runs well. It looks quite well. The netcode is not that great. I have to admit I noticed one thing I miss. The DLC spin offs. Meaning the games that started out as a DLC and were spun off into a new game. Maybe you can call them stand alone expansion packe. Those were fun (mostly). I just miss that developers could create such weird things and if the scope was too much the could just create a stand alone pack. Like Blood Dragon, Gat out of Hell and Dark Crusade. Those were great games. I want that back.

    Wor I feel really bad for spending so much time musing about stuff. Maybe I just needed to talk about it. In any case thanks for reading.

    1. Fizban says:

      Wait what? They’re doing a new Life is Strange and Max it the protag again? I on the other hand, am actually interested in that.

      My experience with the first Life is Strange was watching it on youtube, thinking hey that seems dece maybe I’ll pick it up, but episodic games have a bad track record and I might as well watch the next video, and then missing the opportunity to get hit by one of the most impactful moments I’ve seen in a game. You can call it cheap or simplistic or not actually important to the story, but the feels is the feels and when the player absolutely *botched* it I was like holy shit. Loved the game (hated the ending), watched it through again when a different group streamed it, but never picked it up ’cause the opportunity had passed. Found what I saw of the other games powerfully uninteresting.

      Granted, I’ve also heard very mixed reports of the other games, which had I think at least two different actual teams doing the work, and as a sequel quite possibly missing the original team this will almost certainly lose a ton of the vibe that made the original so effective. But I do have attachment to the characters from the first game, and a chance to play something myself this time? Hells yeah.

      1. Gresman says:

        Nowadays it is definitely way more pleasant to play all the episodes back to back instead of going to wait a month.
        I still think the idea of episodic content has value in certain aspects. It allows in some cases to change up the format a bit or give a good point for a break. That was basically what I did for True Colors.

        To me Before the Storm was better than the original Life is Strange. Had more impact and it was heartbreaking to see what happened to Chloe. That I prefer Before the Storm and True Colors might also be down to the fact that I just felt more invested in Chloe and Cho than in whatever happened to Max. Also it felt somewhat lower stakes at times or maybe just less supernatural.
        I would recommend playing the games even if you have already seen a stream as your thoughts might be different if you are not having someone talk over it.
        My issue with Max being the protagonist again and giving her a new superpower just does not sit right. Maybe it will just be an evolved form of her power. But her story felt finished. Will still play it and I am looking forward to it.

        1. CSilvestri says:

          I haven’t played True Colors yet, but I definitely enjoyed both the first game and Before the Storm. I think the original hit me more, but BtS being a prequel meant I still ended up crying at all the cute ending scenes with Chloe and Rachel because I’d played the original. (And then it’s still got that last few seconds as if to say “you didn’t forget how this ended, did you?”)

          I’m intrigued by the upcoming one; I have some doubts, but I hope it turns out well and I definitely want to know what happens. The premise seems weird coming from the first game given that she starts going back on the ‘I swore never to use this power again’ because of, uh… basically the very same setup as the first game. Seems a little contradictory. Also, last I’d heard they were going to have you choose which ending happened, which is definitely the right approach in principle but also certainly the hardest to write well for.

          Also, from this conversation I’m glad you’ll understand why I was totally baffled at first by ‘Blackwell pentalogy’.

          1. Gresman says:

            I can agree with your statements.

            Sorry for the confusion about the Blackwell bit.
            Completely overlooked the naming coincidence. I think either in a forum for Blackwell: Epiphany or even in the commentary itself the developer acknowledged this. But I totally forgot about it again.

        2. Fizban says:

          I also liked Before the Storm when I watched it, very nice getting basically the other half of the story before Max came back, though since it’s a prequel there’s even more inevitability in the ending. Also pretty hilarious watching Chloe just repeatedly go back and insult people to their face until they lose their cool even after ignoring the first however many tries. I doubt my thoughts on Life is Strange 1 would be any different (other than potentially “oh this isn’t as good as I remembered,” or maybe the denouement being more thorough than I recall ) since my dislike of the ending is very much on founding principle- it’s well executed for what it is, I simply reject what they clearly paint as the right choice.

          Every time I notice them on a discount to something affordable I consider it, but that steam “backlog” has been making me cut down on impulse buys on things I don’t actually have any plan to play.

          The steam page seems to say Double Exposure isn’t so much giving her a new superpower as sticking her with a specific variant of her old one: she already visited alternate timelines temporarily, but now they’ve decided to do a twin parallel worlds thing instead of rewind. Which I actually find inferior and makes me wonder what if any reckoning they will do with her having had the god-tier power. Presumably she’ll have stopped using it for so long because of the trauma/ending of the last game. But also to me, well her story was finished. . . except it wasn’t. She still had one of the ultimate powers, the use of which could be considered both morally imperative and repugnant, so what does she do after exposing the various crimes? Well, apparently stops using it and goes to college, until something makes her do it again. Alright, let’s see where this goes.

          I will say I was not quite as powerfully uninterested in what I saw of True Colors, might take a look at it again.

          1. Gresman says:

            I will never argue if someone says that the ending of Life is strange was bad. I did not like it and it did not click with me. I would have enjoyed if the “happy” ending were canon. That could be down to my headspace back then.

            Max getting a new power to me at least undercuts the fact that she should have learned that her power comes at a cost and for crying out loud she was basically the reason why the storm came by using her powers.
            Interestingly enough that seems to be a theme in Dont Nod games or at least the Life is strange series. The powers always have a downside.
            While being on a walk today I also thought that Dont Nod seems to have a few themes that always come back. Their games always seem to have some kind of outsider character even back in Remember Me(do not play the game. It is not bad but has major issues.). Their games usually have a lot slice of life and community stuff going on and grief almost always plays a big part.
            The best parts of their games are definitely the slice of life parts. The middle chapters of Life is Strange, True Colors, Before the Storm and Tell Me Why come to mind. Life is Strange 2 suffered in this regard mostly due to the fact that they just had to escalate the situation and send the boys on their way with each chapter. Meaning there was never a way to learn about them and their interactions with the same people. The time it slightly worked was at the end of chapter four and beginning of chapter five. But that had to escalate as well and it was downhill from there.
            All that to say the things these games are good for is telling a story over a long period of time with the same characters. It was really impressive how much story was told in the Wavelength DLC of True Colors. It takes about an hour or so and plays only in one location with almost no interaction with other people. But you learn way more about the inner turmoil of Steph and what is going on.

            Sorry for more of my stray thoughts and rambling. If I were in a podcast I could probably fill a whole hour talking about these games and even more hours if I were let loose to talk about more games.

          2. Syal says:

            but now they’ve decided to do a twin parallel worlds thing instead of rewind.

            Just like everyone’s favorite sequel, Chrono Cross.

            1. Fizban says:

              New weeks’ log is already up but- hey, I dug Chrono Cross. Somehow. Don’t remember hardly any of what happened or how it was supposed to all go together or had any idea what the good ending was doing, but I definitely remember liking it at the time.

              Of course, I’ll also go on record saying that Chrono Trigger isn’t the be-all end-all either. It’s good, but the late game wander around leaves you looking for a guide, at which point it turns out there’s like 7 endings and I don’t even know which one is the “normal” one I should be going for to start. Much like FF7, or FF6, or any number of other rpgs, if it happens to be the exact one you played at the exact right time, it will be the measure by which all others are judged- and for everyone else it’s just pretty dang good.

        3. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Ah, I actually have Life Is Strange 2 and True Colors in my backlog but I kinda hesitate to play them because the rewind mechanic somewhat alleviated my analysis paralysis (even if the game sometimes cheated around that). So when I heard Max was getting her own sequel that piqued my interest and I find it slightly unfortunate they’re changing the powers. Though I suppose if she kept using them after the first game that would be a little weird, particularly in light of one of the endings.

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