The 2022 Mosts are live, and they're right here! Join in on the fun!

What games are you playing?

do you like them video games? what about those there romhacks? well pop on in here and talk about them then! what are you waiting for?!
User avatar
raekuul
2 Nephi 2:25-27
Posts: 1476
Joined: 13 years ago
First name: Pokota
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: Colony Gamma
Contact:

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by raekuul »

P5R Clean Save Merciless - I'm in the back third of Madarame's palace (just got Blue Seed). This got a hell of a lot easier with Ame-no-Uzume in my arsenal since she learns Nocturnal Flash right as I get both Skull and Fox getting their multi-target phys skills. But I still have to get to the other side of the Shadow Madarame fight before I can start improving my Technicals and I really became too reliant on late Priestess perks in my main save file warning me when stuff resists/nulls what I'm throwing around.

Pokemon Crystal UPR+FIR: In the home stretch now, I should be done with this on Saturday.
KobaBeach wrote: 1 week ago
11clock wrote: 1 week agoWhen you’re doing a challenge run in a Zelda game that bans heart containers, and the heart container spawns on top of you after beating the boss…
this sounds like the funniest challenge, i might actually try it on one of the 2d zelmas
iirc it's not possible in Link to the Past or Link's Awakening GB since you're forced to take the heart drops, but it's 100% doable in the others. Speaking from experience though, if you do it for the Oracles, you'll need to decide if Rings are kosher or not since a couple of them basically make low heart runs meaningless.

i will not buy p4g on switch i will not buy p4g on switch i will not buy p4g on switch

(it's actually easier to resist this right now because I have my PS2 set up at the moment but I have to take it down Sunday because Dog)
Games Beaten In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Image
User avatar
11clock
Posts: 112
Joined: 3 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by 11clock »

I got to Lorule in A Link Between Worlds no heart containers run. Note that heart pieces are still obtainable, so I can increase my max health to 10 hearts over time. The idea is to make exploration more important for survival. I also have some other miscellaneous restrictions in place (such as my usual “no bottles” restriction, and rules relating to Ravio).

The game was pretty boring at first, but it started to pick up more when I got the Master Sword. I hated the range of your starter sword; kept running into enemies when I was trying to get close enough to hit them.
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4604
Joined: 10 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by KobaBeach »

raekuul wrote: 1 week ago iirc it's not possible in Link to the Past or Link's Awakening GB since you're forced to take the heart drops, but it's 100% doable in the others. Speaking from experience though, if you do it for the Oracles, you'll need to decide if Rings are kosher or not since a couple of them basically make low heart runs meaningless.
Maybe I'll do it for Minish Cap once I actually beat that one? Lots of nostalgia for that one. Kind of wanted to do LADX since it's my fave...

Thousand Arms - Did the first dungeon and beat the Scimitar Crab. I absolutely forget what's next besides the Dating "Sim" tutorial with Nelsha and the Simon Says minigame at Jyabil's smithy. At Lv6 due to doing the mines with no map this time lol, I only leveled up to 3 in the field
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
labels are complicated
User avatar
Catabo
:3
Posts: 418
Joined: 5 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by Catabo »

I'm experiencing Fire Emblem Echoes for the first time, but in GBA form! I played the original FE2, but my 3DS was stolen before the remake came out so i never got to play it back then. A friend recently finished his GBA demake of the remake and it's incredible.

Still in part 1. I'm taking this very slowly, only a few maps per session, so it'll last me.

Before that, i played Lunistice, getting S ranks on about half the levels before fizzling out. I did beat the game; just couldn't get all the ranks. Maybe i'll go back to it.
User avatar
raekuul
2 Nephi 2:25-27
Posts: 1476
Joined: 13 years ago
First name: Pokota
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: Colony Gamma
Contact:

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by raekuul »

P5R Clean Merciless - oh, right, the franchise gimmick. I should probably take advantage of it before I go mouthing off to Shadow Madarame.
Games Beaten In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Image
User avatar
11clock
Posts: 112
Joined: 3 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by 11clock »

I’m going to be trying the SNES DKC trilogy again soon. For DKC2 I am considering doing that cheat for the kremcoins, since I recall hunting the bonuses being what caused me to give up on that game. Hunting for secrets in linear stages is just not fun for me.
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4604
Joined: 10 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by KobaBeach »

Summon Night - Beat Sivon's sub-episode and the rest of Chapter 5 while waiting for my psych appointment so that's pretty poggy. He had to attend these deaf-mute brothers and he's not very good at Portuguese Sign Language, which I can imagine is more aggravating for the patients than himself.

I'm doing a low-grind run, so for the second sub-episode battle I stuck to sniping the Toados from a distance with Sivon's bow and Gazel's throwing dagger, but for the Chapter 5 battle, I tried to get Claret and Natsumi to a safe spot on the map and heal, as Ramda (I wish his official romanization was Lambda tbh) cleaned house with his higher level. Need to get some summons.

My reading comprehension for Sivon's cutscenes was much better than usual somehow. The ones with Ramda could be a bit better, but I'm gonna keep practicing.

For the evening chat I'm going full Edos because I have no taste, I don't think you get a special ending with any of the Flat Gang folk outside of Lipre and whatever Summoner you wind up picking. Opposite gender only, though fans did vote for like a Hayato x Kir situation to appear in a small music animation-style OVA that came with like SN4 or SN1DS? Which is based. Shout out to one of the Black/Matrix games having a flat out secret yaoi route code, deffo using that.

Have to figure out how to grind boam for equipment upgrades though. I could poverty grind? There is better options for Free Battles, but I'd have to be a higher level to do them reasonably.

Shining Force - Going through Chapter 1, battle 3. Trying to see how far I can get with minimal grinding, though I'm not discounting the EXP I get from battles where Max wound up getting owned. I've thought just now, about doing a Fire Emblem-style Iron Man Mode for everyone but Max, but I'm not sure how conducive the game is for that, even with a lighter difficulty. Very fun game, though. Everyone's at Lv3 I believe? I've been trying to spread out EXP gains. Tao might be Lv4, she's too good.

Summon Night: Swordcraft Story - I don't know why I booted this up but I'm doing a Knuckle weapon only run, and it's pretty good. Monk vibes! The Yaksa Spider was a huge pain, there is no real way around that other than picking a good weapon or grinding, so. Lv12 and above is usually fine though. My Vita is charging for now (18% y'all, shit's addicting), but after this I'm going to fight Razzy. My main is Pratty and alas, I wound up accidentally picking Sugarette again. I always get her, I swear, I wanted Kutty. This means I have to ship the two together instead of like Sanary or Razzy, but oh well.

Varil is a garbage option, even for Cleru, I'm sorry. He can stay as the nice-jerk rival. Gabriel in the sequel is a much better male route (sadly I don't think you can romance the demon rival boy), though I'm very interested in the edgy oni guy Guardian Beast in this game. I can't take Sakuro (and Kouren?) seriously as a normal chat option tbh. I'm not sure how platonic they're portrayed though, I have to investigate.

Managed to break like three rival weapons so far, good shit. I might use Razzy's weapon if it's better than my current Bald Eagle Claws (I'm somehow getting a lot of Mystic Ores, I guess I just never bothered with Spirit Weapon enemies).
Catabo wrote: 1 week ago I'm experiencing Fire Emblem Echoes for the first time, but in GBA form! I played the original FE2, but my 3DS was stolen before the remake came out so i never got to play it back then. A friend recently finished his GBA demake of the remake and it's incredible.
modern art
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
labels are complicated
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4604
Joined: 10 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by KobaBeach »

SAJewers wrote: 1 week ago Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils - Jan 20
I read this as Crime Crackers and I was about to have an aneurysm because that is like an anime-style FPS/RPG? released in 1995-early 1996 by the Wild Arms/RIZ-ZOAWD/Cyber Sleuth people and only came out in Japan (and I think people who imported it at the time didn't like it much?)

I should check if it and the sequel are on my bucket list along with some of the other Media.Vision games, because it sounds like a goddamn anomaly
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
labels are complicated
User avatar
raekuul
2 Nephi 2:25-27
Posts: 1476
Joined: 13 years ago
First name: Pokota
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: Colony Gamma
Contact:

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by raekuul »

P5R Clean Merciless: Marakunda + direct commands = Shadow Madarame bested (you're guaranteed enough elemental coverage for phase 2, it's just phase 1 sucks balls if you don't take the eyes down ASAP and that means you need both Skull and Fox for their Ma-Phys skills). At least the Crystal of Vanity means Skull wasn't actually susceptible to the Nose's gimmick which made things a hell of a lot safer.

Pokemon Crystal UPR+FIR: I mean I can fight Red now but that's not a fight I can win and there's nothing else to do so I'm considering this one beaten. I'm not sure if I'm going to go with Full Item Randomizer or just Key Item Randomizer next time (KIR is a lot easier for me to play trackerless since there aren't that many spots for Key Items to be) but I definitely need to up the trainer levels - the power difference of 50s attacking 70s is a lot wider than the power difference of 75s attacking 100s - which also means I need some form of EXP Sharing which means I need a version of Item Randomizer that's aware of Speedchoice's EXP Sharing options (since they override Mr. Pokemon's Red Scale item) and that means sitting around in a discord server that's adjacent to another discord server, neither of which I actually wanted to join in the first place but I guess that's just How The Interwebs Work Now.

dosbox stuff: time to Legally Acquire some install media for a bunch of legacy computer games (sometimes the GOG versions can be repurposed for this, sometimes they can't. World of Xeen for some reason can't.)
Games Beaten In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Image
User avatar
HatKid
If this ain't a flair, then I don't know what is
Posts: 371
Joined: 8 years ago
Pronouns: she/her
https://hatkid.talkhaus.com/

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by HatKid »

Catabo wrote: 1 week ago I'm experiencing Fire Emblem Echoes for the first time, but in GBA form! I played the original FE2, but my 3DS was stolen before the remake came out so i never got to play it back then. A friend recently finished his GBA demake of the remake and it's incredible.
That's pretty amazing. Totally wild how far GBA FE hacking has come... I'll have to give that a shot sometime.

I was playing Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption, which is okay. It plays a lot like one of those 90s PC RPGs like Fallout, except 3D. Characters get stuck on things all the time, one of my characters got stuck behind something and the only way to get them unstuck was to leave the area and come back. Mercifully, you don't have to "gather your party" to leave an area. Hitting is based on dice rolls, so if you're unlucky you can just not hit enemies like 10 times in a row. Since the game play is almost entirely pointing and clicking and the only way to control the camera is by putting the cursor at the edge of the screen, I didn't really want to play with a touchpad (I only have a laptop). So when my mouse of like 9 years finally started to break, I kinda had to stop playing. Good thing too, since the game was really starting to piss me off. Anyway, so far my opinion is VtM Bloodlines (with unofficial patch) is a better game, unless you really want to play in a Medieval setting for only half the game. Though it's hard to compare since Bloodlines is an action game while Redemption is a point and click dice roll game.
It's also nice not hearing Christof shout "to the abyss with thee" for a little while. That's like one of two attack lines he has, so he says it A LOT.

I was playing Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, but I'm not very into it. Nothing is named. Your hometown is just called "Village". The big city nearby? "Town". Little details like that are missing, plus the annoying platforming from Ring of Fates is back. 3D precision isometric platforming on the DS is NOT FUN, Square Enix. None of the later CC games captured what I liked about the original game and I think that's part of the problem with my inability to get through these games. I just don't enjoy them that much. They aren't bad games, I just feel a little disappointed with them.
Image
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4604
Joined: 10 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by KobaBeach »

Sonic Rush - At Night Carnival as Sonic. Mirage Road's background music is still an all-timer. 3/7 Chaos Emeralds!

Pokémon Refined Platinum - I would have gotten Drayano's hack but I was looking in RH.net at the time. Maybe next time, for a Nuzlocke. Forgot how wordy Platinum is, it never shuts up. Saved after Jubilife, gonna focus on catching the available Pokémon, then levelling them up. Need to check the hack's documentation.
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
labels are complicated
User avatar
11clock
Posts: 112
Joined: 3 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by 11clock »

I played Mighty Gunvolt Burst and beat it.

I’m not sure if I want to touch Inti Creates games anymore. They have a habit of making fairly easy levels, but the most bullshit boss fights ever. I couldn’t finish Curse of the Moon 2 because of this issue. Tone down your boss attacks, please! Almost every attack is impossible to dodge unless you already have knowledge of it.
User avatar
raekuul
2 Nephi 2:25-27
Posts: 1476
Joined: 13 years ago
First name: Pokota
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: Colony Gamma
Contact:

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by raekuul »

P5R Clean Merciless: You know these technical combos would work a lot better if they weren't guaranteed to fail during most boss fights. (Currently in a Mementos run for funds/targets/stamps, 5/26)

Balanced Battle Network 3: Starting the Zoo comp scenario (I was good and didn't punch Flashmanα in the face, and the game rewarded me with letting me finish the Oops, No Battlechips sequence). I will probably play a randomizer of this later in the year, depending on how unimpressed I end up being with Legacy Collection (BN4 apparently had a thriving PvP community in spite of the flaws of the main game, and I've yet to beat BN6, so there's actually a couple of legitimate reasons for me to get Legacy Collection).
Games Beaten In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Image
User avatar
Bean
Yep.
Posts: 4216
Joined: 13 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by Bean »

Dragon Quest Heroes II. Wow, this one's surprising me. It has a connected world map and also battlefields that you can roam around in instead of just being self-contained areas. That said, the eventual grind for 100% will be overkill because of how much they added to it and what you have to do, so this will be played piecemeal. Long story short, it's the usual Warriors style gameplay, but it's more of an action RPG otherwise. I like it!
User avatar
11clock
Posts: 112
Joined: 3 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by 11clock »

I played and beat Donkey Kong Country (again).

I retract my earlier S tier claim from years ago. It’s more of a borderline B tier game. DKC1 has great level design, but is held back by some rough edges. Donkey Kong being too situational in comparison to Diddy, Funky’s flight system adding unnecessary clunk to world navigation, the bosses just kind of existing, occasionally being sniped due to lack of screen real estate (especially regarding the fish in the water levels), bonus rooms so cryptically hidden that I barely found any throughout the entire game, and it doesn’t save your lives and animal tokens. I can recommend DKC1 if you can look past those issues (and use savestates to bypass the last one), since it’s still a solid platformer at its core, and none of my critiques are major.

One thing I really do appreciate about DKC1 is that it isn’t collectible-focused. Just survive the platforming challenges and get to the end of the level. The bonuses, while overly cryptic, are just for extra lives. I enjoy platforming through linear levels more when I don’t have to focus so much on finding secrets. It’s much more fun to stumble on a secret than to actively look for them.
Last edited by 11clock 4 days ago, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
EllenHouraisan
Witch of Starlight
Posts: 385
Joined: 1 year ago
Pronouns: she/her

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by EllenHouraisan »

Something compelled me to play through ASMT. I'm not a romhack player at all, but I felt like it was worth experiencing. It's certanly an experience. So far, it's had its fair share of neat, fun, challenging stuff, but also a lot of real bullshit. That level with the invisible enemies can go fuck itself, and so can that utterly terrible egg boss. World 3 as a whole has a real problem with levels that are fine for the first half, but then get unreasonably harder and longer for the second. My biggest issue is that there's no real life farm in the game at this point, and not every level saves progress, so I have to constantly savestate with 1 life and it gets annoying real fast. Also trivializes the demo counter, sadly. It's currently at 111, but it easily should be at 200+ thanks to that motherfucking bad terrible awful egg boss. Currently 2 levels in on World 4, which hasn't been too bad as of yet. I dunno, I'm somewhat enjoying myself despite everything, so I'll keep going! I do not think I'll go for the postgame, though.
Image
Image
Image
:trans_pride: :bi_pride:
User avatar
KobaBeach
suffering from "unfinished battle with god" syndrome (jrpg stan)
Posts: 4604
Joined: 10 years ago
First name: David
Pronouns: he/they
Location: Portugal
https://koba.talkhaus.com/

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by KobaBeach »

For some ungodly reason I've been working through Mega Man 7 again the past two days? Super good game

Mega Man 7 - I've basically gotten every optional upgrade, stocked up at the shop, and I'll start Wily 1 soon.

EDIT:
Legion Saga 1 - Heading to Jubaru Pass or whatever the fuck.

Suikoden 1 Win9x - i love the way this port is set up with the GUI. Past the encounter at Ludon's Inn.

Also installed Cookie's Bustle.
EllenHouraisan wrote: 5 days ago My biggest issue is that there's no real life farm in the game at this point, and not every level saves progress, so I have to constantly savestate with 1 life and it gets annoying real fast.
put in the game genie cheat code "C222-D4DD" for infinite lives. i always use it. remove the quotation marks obv

"fuck leeves" - lolyoshi in my dms years back, or smth
Image catmen and wearing sandals year round enthusiast Image
MaGL Patch Collection / rpg list / animu list / mcmangos / steam
Image
Image
Image
labels are complicated
User avatar
11clock
Posts: 112
Joined: 3 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by 11clock »

I have been playing Crash Bandicoot: The Huge Adventure. It’s basically a super abridged demake of Crash 2 and Crash 3. Fairly solid, despite lacking in polish.

EDIT: The relics are godawful. The small size of the screen means you’re constantly being blindsided by things, so you practically have to memorize every obstacle in the level. I gave up by the third level, no thanks. I feel contempt with having collected the gems.
User avatar
11clock
Posts: 112
Joined: 3 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by 11clock »

Oh wow, DKC2 somehow made fast travel even worse than DKC1’s by having it cost money. Now I am stuck in world 1 unless I grind more. Greeeeaaaat.

Also, I don’t like having to roll in order to run in these games. I’m glad that DKCR changed it, and TF dropped running entirely in favor of analog movement.
User avatar
raekuul
2 Nephi 2:25-27
Posts: 1476
Joined: 13 years ago
First name: Pokota
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: Colony Gamma
Contact:

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by raekuul »

Balanced Battle Network 3: Blasted through BeastMan, BubbleMan, and DesertMan scenarios today while I waited for an NTFS partition to get archived. BBN3 reduces how many battles it takes to upgrade/change your Style, so instead of having to grind three hundred virus battles I only had to do fifty that were basically already en route anyway (i'm pretty sure I only got shield instead of bug for the first change by virtue of using guards and barriers as my preset chips before the scripted style change - I've since switched to a RockCube as my preset chip which has turned out to be hilariously strong with the other changes to wind- and punch-type chips)

P5R Clean Save Merciless: still just chewing away at the days leading up to Madarame's deadline. My daytime phases just haven't been very favorable to my progression but I'm probably only going to be playing through Yodelbooger for this savegame anyway because I just don't find the Third Semester to be interesting.

AWDS: Hard Campaign unlocked! For real this time! I'm not sure why I'm still playing this.
Games Beaten In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Image
User avatar
Bean
Yep.
Posts: 4216
Joined: 13 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by Bean »

Beat Dragon Quest Heroes II last night. Still maintain that's it a very solid sequel, but I don't see me doing the grind for 100% goals in the game right away. I will get a head start on some of it like finding all the treasures and beating all the enemy types, but money grinding and that? No thanks. Also, shout out to the game for having its one and only crash on me while I was at the final level. At least it was early on and not as I was finishing the last boss off.
User avatar
raekuul
2 Nephi 2:25-27
Posts: 1476
Joined: 13 years ago
First name: Pokota
Pronouns: he/him/his
Location: Colony Gamma
Contact:

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by raekuul »

I was able to pick up Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope for half price, between A Sale and stashed gold coins (that I was actually saving for something else that now doesn't look like it's coming out ever). It's been fun so far, but the game likes to hang/crash during enemy turns. Doing the Chapter 1 cleanup now.

Also started picking away at 007 Goldeneye on NSO; going back and forth between this, the Doom ports on Switch, and GZDoom is very confusion. To be fair I was never good at twinstick movement; once I get a "proper" N64 controller that works on NSO (I love this wired retrofighters N64 pad but it doesn't work on NSO) and can reclaim my long-dormant muscle memory I should have an easier time of things.

BBN3: screwing around in the little bit of the undernet that I can reach without actually getting a Tally; I'm wearing HeatBug so I probably shouldn't be also wearing Fish but I want to grab IceBall before I start the story section that wants IceBall and got sidetracked by the demon statue <-> Undernet link point (BBN3 puts the GodStone megachip at that particular bug trader and I'm not terribly far off of owning it, and GodStone actually synergizes well with a D-code folder despite being in the wrong code since D-code also has the Geddon1+Snake combo available and GodStone can take advantage of that)
Games Beaten In 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Image
User avatar
Bean
Yep.
Posts: 4216
Joined: 13 years ago

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by Bean »

Finishing up the last little bit of stuff I want to do in Dragon Quest Heroes II for now. I'll leave grinding to max proficiency with every weapon type and getting every weapon alone for the time being. Now if that one rare Liquid Metal Slime accessory drop would actually drop, that would be nice. Putting rare drops on a rare enemy that rarely wants to stick around is always a silly idea.
thatguyif
Posts: 1046
Joined: 8 years ago
Pronouns: We Are The 99%
Location: Over There

Re: What games are you playing?

Post by thatguyif »

Grand Theft Auto IV is three-quarters of the way done. More specifically, 75.12%. A long session ended with what seems to be the start of the next act in the plot,

finding out that not only was Florian Cravic not the traitor in Niko Bellic's unit during the war, but he's become a gay lifestyle coach who is fucking the "family values" deputy mayor. (Ah such halcyon times when that was thing)

Pretty much all but two of the side missions are done, with one of the remaining two currently active. All that really remains is the plot and such, which is fine...except for one thing: The friends system.

As I noted before, the Friend system is super needy. The game all but demands you hang out with your friends once every two in-game days. When you have one or two friends, not that big a deal. When you have 3 or more friends, it's such a pain in the ass to juggle. And the game makes a point to remind you when they call you at the most inopportune times, which is any free time you have outside of missions. Now, in theory, you can address this by turning on Sleep Mode on the phone, which will stop all incoming calls, and it does work. But there are three problems with it:

1. It turns off if you load a game or start a main mission, and the game doesn't really tell you that.
2. Some missions, including main missions, only trigger with a phone call. More on that later.
3. The game goes out of its way to make you feel bad for turning it on when you actually call the friends for one reason or another. Instead of the usual banter, the phone just beeps a couple times then hangs up.

The game seems aggressively parasocial in a way that predates but defines the mainstream use of the term by a decade. You can say "no" to people when they call you, but the game always punishes you for doing that by dropping your like rating. On its own, not necessarily a bad thing. But then the game locks 100% behind making sure three of the friends you can befriend (Packie McReary, Brucie Kibbutz, and Little Jacob) have their like status above 75%, since that is the level to unlock their special abilities. Further, the game goes out of your way to make you feel bad even more by having your friends text you constantly when you either don't hang out or refuse to answer their calls. It's so frustrating because not only does this cause the game to have extreme padding, but also...that's not how friendships work. And I doubt that this was one of those "critiques on American culture" situations that the team was known for. It was just shitty design that takes a very dim view on how friends work.

And what sucks is, the friends system would be interesting if they let the player enjoy it on their own terms rather than be punished for not playing it "properly." Like over time, I warmed up to Roman. Brucie became funnier over time. Packie's an interesting character to me because his family shares A LOT of similarities to my dad's family. Little Jacob, as said, is super chill. Kate opening up (and in turn having Niko open up about the war) was a great experience to witness. (Dwayne's the one exception. He's always a downer, and Niko's responses make them seem worse. I get that he just got out of prison and he had to let his protege die, but even so). Hell, I have no doubt dating in the game is interesting, but again, I can't play it by my own terms so I don't involve myself.

Plus, it would make me more willing to use the special abilities to some degree. Only ability I really use is Little Jacob's discount gun shop. Roman's taxi service might be useful for drinking excursions, but it means giving up the car I drove in. Brucie's chopper service seems to be a Metroidvania-style fast travel when used properly, but it's kind of undercut by the fact that, well, you could just steal a car (though it might be useful in getting rid of pesky Wanted Levels). Dwayne's backup kind of requires advance notice for missions, and that's a bit frustrating. Finally, I haven't found a situation where Packie's car bombs can be useful.

Finally, going back the phone thing: the game makes use of your phone by calling and texting you about missions. The texts aren't too bad: They tend to either be side missions, or just a trigger for a mission. However, when it's a call, that becomes a frustrating thing, especially if it comes from a mission giver or a friend. That's because if a mission is given over the phone, it starts automatically. And you're only given a minor notice or warning to expect a call. So you might be ready to call it a session, and then you get a call and the mission starts, and you cannot save. That's happened to me more than once.

I expect to finish this game in the next couple weeks, hopefully. After being sick a while, I think I can focus on it again.

---

Had some things to say about a couple demos I played today in lieu of GTA IV, but I'll hold off until tomorrow.
Image
Image Image
Image Image
Image Image
Post Reply