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What are you playing right now?
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TOPIC: What are you playing right now?

What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #518


Anyway, figured this was a fun one to keep going. Right now:

Ar Tonelico (PS2): Obscure 2D-on-2D RPG with awesome music, solid art, some very interesting battle and character-relationship mechanics, and a plot that really sneaks up on you. On the surface, you sorta have to give it the benefit of the doubt because the entire first segment is just a seemingly trivial errand-quest chock full of inline tutorial. The head fake, however, is that while the main plot unfolds forwards over a very short span of time, the story as you the player need to understand it unfolds backwards over more and more of the world/society's history until that almost meaninglessly fantastical scene-setting blurb in the front of the manual is actually surprisingly relevant. Also, lots of over-the-top sexual innuendo done Japan-style.

Sonic 3 & Knuckles: I should not need to say more, but for you young'ns, get it and play it. Great level design, solid mechanics, and some of the best dialogue-free in-game story delivery I've seen anywhere. Also, Hyper Sonic pwnz joo. Also also, I got my latest local copy used, and... who the heck leaves off with 5 Tails files, 1 knuckles file, and a couple Sonic/Sonic&Tails files, all with 0 or 1 emeralds (usually the 2nd, or 7th...), and all in the first 3 zones... save for a 1-emerald Tails in Death Egg?!

Phantasy Star Zero: Tried this one when it debuted at TGS '08, took me forever to get around to grabbing a copy. It's... Phantasy Star Online gone mobile. Yeah. I appreciate the broader equipment selection, more detailed plot, and the single-player party-based gameplay, but some of the mechanics are a bit awkward in the smaller format. Almost wish the lower screen really embraced touch so you could do some of the simultaneous moving and menu nav you could pull off in the DC/GC games.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #528

I am finishing up Mass Effect 2 which I am finding disappointing. The missions are super short with no real chance of dying or caring if you die. I'd say the missions are as long as save points in between parts of a mission should be. If you ever die, worse case you are about 1 minute behind where you were. There is never a sense of accomplishment or struggle. Plus, honestly, the story is weak overall. I mean the writing is good, but the game's focus is pretty dumb. SPOILER ALERT: Why am I playing a game about finding people to be on my team. I've done that already and was happy with my teammates... WTF.

I am struggling with FIFA 2010. I just can't seem to get the hang of the controls. I can't score even against the goalie when you load up the game...

BioShock 2 comes next. Looking forward to it. People have said its more of the same, after playing Mass Effect 2 and wishing for more of the same from Mass Effect 1, and BioShock being one of my favorite games, I do not foresee this being a problem for me.

I am addicted to Canabalt: www.canabalt.com/ Don't have it on my iPhone, but I play this Flash version a LOT.

Yoshi's Island is getting some play time as I never played it on the actual system, and the new Wii Mario got me motivated to try it out.

Wii Fit Plus is getting some use since I have a little more weight to lose (Lost 35 in 6 months, want to lose another 10 before June). I like the calorie counter. Worth the 20 bucks for the game alone, plus some of the new games are fun.

Since this list came out last I also played:
Borderlands-A lot of fun, but very repetitive. I think the ending needed to be about 30 seconds longer to flesh out wtf just happened just a bit more.

Left 4 Dead 1-Disappointed. Its ok. Cool concept, but just can't get into playing on online game with other people. Its a piss off the fiancé thing, not a can't do it thing.

Assassins' Creed 1-I enjoyed this. Wonky controls at time, and getting to places was a pia, but sword play was awesome. Looking forward to number 2. (Yes I know its available now)

God of War Collection-God of War 1: Excellent graphical upgrade. Can't wait for God of War 3. God of War 2 is going to be played after BioShock 2.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #529

A Boy and his Blob - Wii
Always Mario Kart on the Wii
Company of Heroes - I suck at it
Left 4 Dead 2
Final Fantasy Tactics DS
Chrono Trigger DS
Secret of Mana - SNES

I keep a rotation if I get sick of one I'll sub but those are my games at the moment.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #540

Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure - Picked this one up 50% off recently. I've only played a few hours so far, but I like it. The puzzles really make you stop and think, a lot like another game I've been playing (Lufia II). I'm not so sure about the controls, though. I respect what they were trying to do with making most actions correspond to similar Wii-mote gestures, but it feels so silly. And it's not very relaxing when I have to pump my hand forward and backward to use a virtual saw.

Lufia II - Absolutely loving this game so far. I first played it about 10 years ago, but lost my save file somewhere around the 8-10 hour mark. After finishing the first Lufia game around New Years I thought to give this another shot. Both the story and gameplay feel simultaneously derivative and fresh, perhaps because they get the balance right between seriousness and self-conscious jabs like "I wouldn't worry. They're the kind that always come back to bug you." Dungeons are like any other 16-bit (turn-based) RPG, but with some mechanics stolen from Zelda and the Rogue-like genre, while battles are a cross between Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

I get the impression that they looked at every other RPG on the SNES and just took what they thought were the best bits, then crammed it all into a game. Somehow it worked. I'm beginning to care for the characters, and I'm not sick of the battle system after 10 or 11 hours playing, which are my usual problems with RPGs.

Legendary: The Box - This game has been sitting in my backlog since it came bundled with my PS3. I gave it an hour of play on the day I bought the console, and until a few days ago hadn't touched it since. Three frustrating hours was enough for me. I never want to play this game again. And I really don't want to go into why at this point in time (because it may take too long).

Aquaria - I've been playing this on and off for a few months now. Cool game.

Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword expansion - I've actually managed to stay away from this for the past few weeks, which is good, since it takes over my life for days at a time when I do give in and play.

Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery - Haven't got very far yet, but I'm enjoying this game. First in the series that I've bought, although I tried the DS version of the previous one. I find these games to be very similar to the Settlers series, except better (with the possible exception of Settlers 2 - that was awesome). City building, resource management, exploration, and economics are the principle facets of gameplay in this - exactly what I like in an RTS or RTS-like simulation.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #548

Civ 4? I loved Civ 1,2 and 3 LOVED 3 still think it's the best in the series. I'm a fan of pixel graphics so when it hit 3d and my Mac's couldn't run it at a good rate. Even on my gaming PC it ran like a snail. What do you like about it so much? High points and low points.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #551

Final Fantasy IX (PS1): I'm not sure if this is a criticism, but it's extremely focused on the storyline. I'm into the third disk, and there hasn't been much time at all for exploring the world map.

Super Mario 64 (N64): I went on a binge one weekend and got 35 stars or so. It's a fun little game.

Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (SNES): I don't really have the time for any games lately, but I'll start this one again soon.

I'm really looking forward to Final Fantasy I & II for iPhone and iPod Touch. It won't be long!

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #552

Pixelcade wrote:
Civ 4? I loved Civ 1,2 and 3 LOVED 3 still think it's the best in the series. I'm a fan of pixel graphics so when it hit 3d and my Mac's couldn't run it at a good rate. Even on my gaming PC it ran like a snail. What do you like about it so much? High points and low points.

I should mention that I once spent several hours a day for ten straight weeks playing Civilization 2, and struggled to keep Civilization 3 from getting in the way of school work.

As for why I like it so much, this version (with the BtS expansion) adds a kind of balance that was never present in the earlier games. It's actually interesting if you take a peaceful approach and try to win via culture, technology/space, or diplomacy. This is because there's a new depth to these components that can keep you busy at all times. I always felt in the earlier Civ games that the only way to gain the kind of dominance needed to win -- even if not seeking a conquest victory -- required a constant focus on military endeavours. I had no problem with this, since I enjoyed the warfare mechanics (except late in the game; modern era warfare sucked). But now I can shift the focus around as desired, and not be left behind.

A civ with a small military can dominate via culture, religion, or trade. Then, if a powerful civ attacks, they can survive not on the strength of their military defence, but on the strength of their culture, which can give huge defensive bonuses to fortified units in cities, and make holding large cities almost impossible. Or, if they are the elected leader of the Apostolic Palace (religion), they can force peace, arrange trade embargoes, or bring in "brothers of the faith" as allies.

There is one interesting new mechanic that I toyed around with in my last game -- permanent alliances. You can disable this option (in fact it's disabled by default), but it provides a potential twist in dynamics mid-game. Permanent alliances see both civs maintain their independence, but automatically share technology and resources. A small civ may join forces with a large one and suddenly become a major player, perhaps soon surpassing the score of the larger civ. Or two large ones might join to become an invincible force that everyone hates but no-one will fight (if they can help it). Where it gets really interesting, though, is when a civ that has a very strong culture joins with a civ that has very strong military or espionage.

An odd new feature that is kind of hit-or-miss is the addition of optional quests, and random events. Quests usually involve building a certain number of units or buildings in a short period of time, and offer small rewards. Events occur randomly throughout the game (to every civ), and add an element of unpredictability, with famines, technological breakthroughs, natural disasters, and other oddities drawn from real history. It's debatable whether this adds to the game -- I think it does more good than bad.

I could probably go on for a lot longer, but I'll stop there in describing the features I like in Civ 4. I thought you might be interested in why I like the series as a whole, so here's something I wrote a while back.
I've been a huge fan of the Civilization games for a long time now - ever since my brother came home from school and showed me the original Civ running on his black and white toshiba laptop. There was something magical that hooked me from that very first moment. The freedom to take a civilisation of my choice from a small, insignificant tribe through to a world superpower - or even the only power - and do so across a vast expanse of time, with my every decision altering the course of human history, must be unparalleled. How/where else could I explore the possibility that China might have never caved under external pressure following the Opium Wars of the 18th century, or the Aztec, Mongol or Incan empires might never have fallen.

Low points
-it takes way too long to complete a game (although that was always a problem, and I only dislike this because it takes over my life; I actually enjoy long Civ campaigns more than short ones)
-It's still possible -- albeit difficult and extremely rare -- for a warrior to defeat a tank (it'd better be a pimped out warrior with some huge defensive bonuses and a tank with 0.1 health and no attack bonuses)
-diplomacy and trade (but not trade routes) still feel silly and awkward at times
-Civilopedia is now useless as a teaching tool
-there's no real difference between religions
-I preferred the 2D look of Civ 3
-some stuff I liked in Civ 3 is gone, like mobilisation

EDIT: Holy crap, I wrote a lot
Last Edit: 9 years, 1 month ago by mossy_11.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #556

You wrote a lot but answered my question to the letter. I feel that I'm forever stuck in Civ 3 just as I am RRTC 2. I just love the graphics to much to upgrade to a more modern version of the game.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #558

Is it worth it to get Civ 4 over 3 because in Steam (which I now have on my Mac), 4 is $20 and 3 is $5.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #560

I think Civ 4 is the better game, but I can't put a price point on how much. Maybe try the demo of each?

I'd probably buy them both, but that's just me -- a crazy Civ fan.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #567

Speaking of civilization games, I played a few rounds of this one recently. Kinda interesting what can be done with only one button...


Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #572

I should also add to my list:

Sonic Pocket Adventure: This one is... well, it's kinda "does not compute." The engine is more solid and fluid than the GameGear titles (thank you, likely in large part, beefier CPU), and even though the themes are ripped from Sonic 2, I think I like the level design better than Sonic Advance. I do dig the chiptune remixes of the S3&K soundtrack, I just wish they'd put a bit more thought into matching them with the stages. The graphics, I think, are what really provide the dissonance. The artists did a great job within the system limitations of matching the look and feel of the Sonic 2 tilesets, but something about a game as sleek and elegant as Sonic being run with 4-color sprites... just seems wrong O_O

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #573

Giana Sisters on my iPod Touch...
WHY did they make the retro version only available after completing the new game FULLY (including all bonus levels...etc)

Why would you do that? It's really sadistic... the new game is... okay... but actually I just want to play the retro version on my iPod Touch (which is a feature they boasted when I bought it.)

Anybody know a hack? Maybe there's an option in the plist that I can change or something? There's seriously just an on/off switch when you finish everything. WHY WHY WHY?!?!?!?

It's even more annoying because I'm not even able to enjoy the new game (I'm just going through it as quickly as possible, and not taking time to respect it, because I really just want to finish it.)

Maybe after I've finished I can go back and respect it more? For now I just want some retro action though... hack/cheat anybody?

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #574

Notes on the game itself... the music is EXCELLENT (soothing even... I have a temper with games, particularly when the music's annoying/repetitive... I've no tantrums with this one, so that's a good sign.)

Graphics are great...

The gameplay's... look how do I put it? The game's shallow... the original retro version had a system where the power balls gave you something different every time. It was cool! First... you become a punk chick so can smash blocks. 2nd... fireballs... but then there were mystery items... like a water drop... what did it actually do? You found out finally when you accidentally jumped on fire... aaaaaah!!!! Tear drop makes me immune to fire!!

In the new version they dumped this... all you get is fireballs (which you get at the start of every level anyway... if you lose them you can quit to the menu, get them and then continue)... sorta leaves me wondering why you don't just always have the fireballs!

Finally the puzzles (okay wrong word, but I'm tired so will continue to use it)...
They are retro style! Some people hate them... I love them! Most are what many call "cheap deaths"... the author LOVED jumping puzzles. Ones where it's easy... you're jumping from 1 platform to another... BUT there's a roof above you, so you need to get the EXACT jump in, otherwise you're dead. Also lots of looooong/hiiiiiigh jump ones... where you need to jump as far as the game physically lets you (without walking off the side of the platform) he loooooooves these puzzles!!!!

Yeah in short the designer (who is now dead... died just before the game was released... a legend who will RIP...) is VERY sadistic. He loves cheap deaths! That's his style... I guess as this is his last game I should stop complaining and just enjoy his sadistic style... is sux (I JUST WANT MY RETRO ACTION!!!!) but I'm 100% sure he planned it that way.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #578

I beat Mass Effect 2 last night... not sure I will be picking up ME3... just stopped caring by the end.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #580

I've been playing Bully (PS2) for the past week-or-so - it's a good, though not outstanding, game. As with all Rockstar games, its real value is in the social commentary, which is cutting and often-times over-the-top, but always enjoyable. I'm publishing a journal of my progress and experience over on Bitmob. Check it out here, if you're interested.

I'm also playing Stunt Copter, for reasons you will soon discover, and just got Space Invaders Infinity Gene and Flight Control for my iPod Touch. I haven't really spent any time with either of them yet, so it's too soon to give impressions.

Still going with Lufia II as well. I really like it.

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #586

I've been playing AvP on Xbox 360. I finished the Marine campaign on hard and have finished the first Alien campaign (also on hard). It's a pretty cool game, but the Alien controls and attacks feel somewhat unnatural.

Also, I've been playing Xbox arcade games I downloaded from Xbox Live with my Microsoft Points from my birthday. So far I have: Worms, Pirates vs. Ninjas Dodgeball (beat it), and Avatar Drop (kind of addictive).

Re:What are you playing right now? 9 years, 1 month ago #608

-It's still possible -- albeit difficult and extremely rare -- for a warrior to defeat a tank (it'd better be a pimped out warrior with some huge defensive bonuses and a tank with 0.1 health and no attack bonuses):

A few weeks ago, I had a guy who was an Archer, had a bunch of City Garrison and Guerilla upgrades defending a city on the hills, so it eventually survived an attack launched by an enemy tank with about 10.0 health.

I always hated that Civ in the past was so defensive, I remember having to bring hordes of tanks and artillery to take out a city defended by about a dozen pikemen and losing a few units in the process. I think Civ 4 made things a little bit more balanced and I really loved the new unit upgrades system, it allows you to further specialize your units and adjust them to your needs. I also like the new unique units and buildings for each Civ.

It's pretty sad that it took that long for them to release Beyond The Sword for Mac.

Re:What are you playing right now? 8 years, 11 months ago #921

Got another interesting one-

Mystic Ark (SNES): Found the patch for this one when I went over to investigate the Tactics Ogre translation. Took quite a few tries to find the appropriate ROM, but once everything was matched up and happy... iiiiinteresting game. Think Myst done as a JRPG with the metaplot of Smash Bros. Some reviews have said it makes you think about what it is to be human... if that's an explicit direction, I haven't hit that point in the plot yet, but for a save-multiple-worlds-from-transcendent-evil core, the worlds themselves are surprisingly diverse. I won't ruin the details for anyone who wants to try it, but suffice to say what you start off doing in each world is generally nothing like what you were doing in the last world. And some of the puzzles are quite devious and, for SNES era, refreshing. Definitely worth trying if you're looking for a change of pace.

Re:What are you playing right now? 8 years, 11 months ago #923

Would it help to have played 7th Saga first, or is that unnecessary?

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