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Tell me what you are playing

Tell me what you are playing
« on: October 25, 2011, 12:36:06 am »

Tell me what you play and I tell you who you are...

I play too many mainstream games, unfortunately not enough indie stuff...

The Binding Of Isaac. It is a roguelike with a weird setting. I love roguelikes, because they create their own story with each playthrough (almost).

Dark Souls. The atmosphere is very sinister. I like it that the game does not use any cutscenes and very little dialog. This game is like a dream or a nightmare. it has it's own logic. I love to be in that world even though it kills me every time... otherwise it is very gamey, too. But whatever, I am lost in that world... it is killing my productivity, too Wink

The Cat and the Coup. I liked it very much, also that it has a very political theme. More politics into games. I am all for it...

Not to forget my Trackmania 2 addiction*





* although I play all those mainstream games, I want to create very, very different and exclusive stuff. The computer is too great a tool, to only create what are basically toys Wink

So now you know who I am or not Wink Share your games or not games...




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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2011, 01:26:56 am »

I'm not playing enough of anything as I'm busy with my own. I've mostly been playing quicky games on my iPad. Hidden-object stuff, Infinity Blade, Kometen, Contre Jour, Space Invaders Infinity Gene, Space Harrier II. I have S.P.A.Z., Just Cause 2 and Batman Arkham Asylum waiting for my on my PC. I'm usually too tired at the end of the day to put much time into longer games. I'd really like to get lost in S.P.A.Z. for a while. But no matter what, I'm clearing my schedule for Skyrim!
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2011, 12:12:10 pm »

I just got the collector's edition of Machinarium, so now I own 3 copies of it. Tongue

I picked up the recent Humble Indie Bundle and played a bit of the games. Sadly, I found them all to be pretty much shit (apart from TRAUMA, which I immensely enjoyed and was the entire reason I got the bundle to begin with).

I also played through Limbo now that it's finally out for a system I own (PC). The atmosphere is staggering. The gameplay is decent enough, hardly anything spectacular, but the visuals and audio is what really sells it.

Edit: I tried playing the demo of The Binding of Isaac but it was far too difficult for me. Couldn't get through the first room.

Edit2: Oh, and Professor Layton and the Specter's Flute. Charming, as always.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2011, 12:16:24 pm by Chainsawkitten »
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 12:43:24 pm »

I'm playing Gem Spinner II!  Grin
Also on my tablet: Quell.
Child of Eden on the PS3 (though I'm having trouble getting through the 4th part).
And we're re-playing Ico in HD on PS3.
I tried playing Eufloria but it's too goal-oriented and antagonistic for my taste.
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 12:56:19 pm »

I tried playing Eufloria but it's too goal-oriented and antagonistic for my taste.
I thought it was fine and relaxing until the later levels, which grew increasingly frustrating until I simply gave up.

And we're re-playing Ico in HD on PS3.
Yet another reason I'll have to get a PS3 eventually.
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 04:16:31 pm »

And we're re-playing Ico in HD on PS3.
Yet another reason I'll have to get a PS3 eventually.
It's not so different from the PS2 version.
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2011, 10:30:05 am »

Finished Heavy Rain last night. While flawed in many ways it was a really interesting experience for many reasons, many because of the flaws. Because of the nature of QTE it felt like I had chance to observe my game playing self with the curtain pulled away. I think the more interesting insight is in the nature of immersion, and how it choice is really not of the essence in a narrative-centric game, but the feeling of agency. Might of course be wrong, so will have to do a write-up of this soon Smiley
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2011, 03:27:49 pm »

I liked the Heavy Rain tech and game system, it did feel right. I almost never finish any game, but this I did...
Unfortunately it was such a dumb, boring and dumb story. It was such an uninteresting killer story like you can have this kind of story on TV 5 times a week in less than 2 hours.

There was this prequel DLC of Heavy Rain which I thought was better than the main game. You were exploring this house, and it was the most thrilling experience in a game I had for a long time. It was intense. There was almost know story, but a very thoughtful crafted situation.

Someone should buy the tech behind Heavy Rain from Mr. Cage and do something interesting with it...
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2011, 10:54:46 am »

Did anyone play El Shaddai? It looks like it could be an interesting aesthetic experience... don't know if they go deep in developing their themes though. I think I will check it out...

Also I finished Uncharted 3. I usually never finish games, but UC games are made to be finished (it helps that I play on easy). I am really disappointed of UC3. They have great setpieces, but they don't have a story. They introduce villains, but they don't do anything with them. They are the mostly uninteresting. You can't have a great action movie without a great villain (a quote from Hitchcock on his movies).

Also the part in the dessert is an intense experience, (could be inspired by The Path), but it does not go very deep. Mild spoiler ahead. After Drake was surving the dessert for 2 days and 2 nights, he reaches a village. No water. He is almost dead. So that felt really intense. But what happens next? Shootout after Shootout... it is totally negating the last 30 minutes of game. He moves and shoots like he never was in the dessert for 2 days without water. It is ridiculous and sad.

Remember when Lawrence of Arabia crossed the dessert... imagine after he was returning half-dead, that he was having a shoutout with faceless enemies... it would be so dumb.

They could have made it a more convincing experience. Let him search for water, let him find some water, let him rest a bit, let Drake think about how he ended here, and then start the shootout... but they don't take their time to develop situations or characters. So you get a Raiders-Of-The-Lost-Ark-lookalike but never ever reaching the qualitiy of Raiders. At any point.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 11:12:22 am by György Dudas »
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2011, 05:39:26 pm »

I'm still waiting for Skyrim.
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 12:42:54 am »

We started playing L.A. Noire.

So far it's been an interesting experience. Even though it has a thick Rockstar sauce poured over it, the core gameplay is actually about questioning suspects in crime cases (reminds a bit of Heavy Rain once in a while, though the narrative is far less interesting and far more cliché -presumably on purpose, for kitsch value?). It's a bit jarring to see our avatar act much more violently than we expected when we chose between Truth, Doubt and Lie and you really need to get a few questions right to progress (again, this is not a game: losing is not an option). Once in a while there's a chase scene or some shooting. But if you fail at those three times, the game offers you an option to skip that sequence. This has been its saving grace for us. Suddenly the whole thing became playable. (I wonder how many years it will take for developers to offer this option on the first try, without requiring failure. But it's a step.)

The graphics are... interesting. The general rendering suffers from that contemporary blockbuster aesthetic where shapes are too sharp and colours too clear, and no amount of clever depth of field can fix it. But there's an option to play in black and white. After reducing the sharpness on our tv set, increasing the contrast and reducing the brightness, the game almost looks like a 40s film noir.

Except of course for the funny face animation... Well, the facial animation is actually quite impressive, but those detailed heads are mounted on much less detailed bodies, so much so that it sometimes seems like the faces are video-textures. It's a strange effect. The only solution will probably be to capture the entire bodies of the actors in the same way as the faces. Not all faces have the same amount of detail, by the way. The main characters look remarkably different from the minor ones.

The acting is pretty decent. But a bit too contemporary/naturalistic for my taste. I would have loved it if they had adopted the cool underacting style of Bogart era movies.

I don't like the writing much. And this Rising Star/Heroes Journey tale is getting very tedious to me.
The music is well done but overly dramatic. I turned it off to listen to the sound effects. And I haven't missed it. There still are some musical cues to help you find objects that can be interacted with.

There's a lot of objects to interact with. That's actually one of the more amusing things to us: just standing still, picking up a banal object and turning it a bit. This is how you find clues for your cases but many objects don't have any purpose. They are decorative. Sometimes they contribute to the narrative.

We're still playing. That's more than we can say of most games. And more than we can say of Grand Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption.
I do recommend that you try it. If only to see the stunning amount of detail that millions of Dollars can produce (and then to realize that it still isn't enough and that this approach is probably a dead end).
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 09:02:29 am »

Almost played through the entire Uncharted 2. I am bit conflicted with it.

First of I was really disappointed because it turns out the game that won so many awards is basically just Tombraider meets Gears of War with tons and tons of cutscenes. Many times there are cutscenes for things that seem like I should be able to do in game. Almost no character interaction during gameplay (except for helping people up ladders) which is also a great shame. The cut scenes are more like some kind of glue that holds gameplay sections together. Finally there is huge discrepancy between what we see in cutscenes and what we play. Drake does not like guns in on cutscence as he does not want to hurt people (so he says) but then we proceed to punch people quite badly and it all with throwing a guy of a roof (to certain death). After that you come to a new level, and start to shoot tons of people down, confusing things further.

But then again. If I do see it has just an evolution of a genre it does has some really good stuff. The graphics are fantastic, really really amazing. And the characters and dialog are not that bad compared to what you ordinarily get. Also, the game as some really spectacular sequences that really seem like and advancement from how older games played out.

But then once again. Between all the great moments are tons, tons, tons and TONS of tedious shootouts. They have really drawn out on stuff in this games and it really destroys it. Also the story and environments gets really ridiculous later on with everything added only to squeeze out more jumping and shooting to game, and negating most of the atomosphere.

All in all, while it has it momements, I am honestly very sad that this game got such universal acclaim and even won writing awards.
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 10:48:34 am »

The best thing I like about the Uncharted series is that they do not have loading screens. It feels a bit like magic. And they made really great looking games, where you think they have to shift a huge amount of data... but they hide the loading/streaming extremly well. So they make a pretty seamless experience on a technical level.

I played about 2/3 of LA Noire... The problem with cinematic games like LA Noire and UC is that you know their roots in movie history, their cinematic models. And then it is inevitable that you draw a comparison between the game and its source material... and then I realized how weak the storytelling is in comparison. They feel very much like copies, they don't feel original at all... it is like watching Chinatown and then The Two Jakes side by side. (although Chinatown was already a hommage to the noire genre).

It is like they want to make a good movie and a good videogame at the same time in one package. And as far as I understand it from an outsider perspective, making a good or even great movie takes a lot of effort and talent. It is like writing a great novel and a great symphony at the same time... I don't know if that is even possible (or if it even makes sense)...
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 10:51:42 am by György Dudas »
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2011, 12:41:43 pm »

But then once again. Between all the great moments are tons, tons, tons and TONS of tedious shootouts.

When I mentioned this to Richard Lemarchand, the game's lead designer, he said that the reason for this was that they wanted to make sure the players of the previous Uncharted would like this one.

But given that I couldn't even play Uncharted 1 because of all the stupid shooting, and I did almost finish Uncharted 2 (gave up on the last boss), I'm looking forward to see if Uncharted 3 has cut down on the shooting. Maybe they are gradually trying to teach their players a new style of playing?
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Re: Tell me what you are playing
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2011, 12:44:05 pm »

It is like they want to make a good movie and a good videogame at the same time in one package. And as far as I understand it from an outsider perspective, making a good or even great movie takes a lot of effort and talent. It is like writing a great novel and a great symphony at the same time... I don't know if that is even possible (or if it even makes sense)...

Good point! Maybe even a very good point! Smiley
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