Off-topic video games thread

I played through the first Sea of Thieves ‘Legend of Monkey Island’ Tall Tale last night. Bit of a daft story to shoehorn the two franchises together, and the gameplay took a bit of getting used to as it’s not the kind of thing I usually play, but I did enjoy it and am looking forward to the next part in August.


About two weeks ago I got all the shrines in Zelda! Going to fully upgrade the reward armor set and then go fight Ganondorf again. Haven’t been playing as much though, so it may take a while. I’ve been spending the past few days playing a lot of Animal Crossing instead. I’m working on getting my house in the game resituated so it looks normal instead of like a hodgepodge of stuff and clutter. And actually I’m not doing too badly so far, though the central main room still feels like something’s missing. But I’m working on it!


Well, I finally finished all the campaigns in Heroes of Might and Magic III! The ones in the Shadow of Death expansion were, as advertised, much more challenging than those in the base game or the first expansion, much less the Chronicles, but I actually didn’t have too much trouble with most of them – at long last, I think I’ve gotten sort of good at HOMM3? Admittedly it’s not the deepest game in the world, but still it’s fairly satisfying!

It’s been I think about five or six months I’ve been worrying away at this one – I don’t play as fast as I used to since I don’t have too much time for non-IF gaming these days, but still, that’s pretty good value for money.

I took a short break to replay Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis a couple weeks ago, since seeing the new movie had gotten me back in the Indy mood – sadly, I still remembered how to solve pretty much all the puzzles so it only took me a couple days. Still, another fun blast from the past to revisit! I’m considering sticking with the adventure game theme and taking on some of the Broken Sword sequels next, since I only played the first back in the day.


Great choices. Fate of Atlantis is one of my favourites ever and I love all the Broken Sword games - 3 and 4 have a bit of a different feel, but 5 returns to the series’ roots.


I’m playing a game-- Severed– that has been recommended over many years to me by many people. They all said that it’s a lot like dungeon-crawling IF, and it kind of is: lots of going though a large map and finding things and solving some puzzles. The graphics are great and the story is compelling.

But. There is combat requiring fast fingers. Lots of it. I really like the game, but I am now reminded of how badly I SUCK at any game requiring fast reflexes. I take it waaaay too seriously for what it is. Tom told me yesterday I was generally being a dick, and I think it was because of the game making me feel aggro and attacked. Every couple of days I get stuck on a battle and swear I’m going to quit and then I win it and things get harder. I think I really might have to quit now that it’s timing my flying ability and the monsters are harder and I’m mad all the time. But I have over 12 hours in it now. Sunken cost fallacy? Or perseverance?


Tomayto Tomahto


That’s a reference to a Satchmo song, right? Though I don’t get the meaning of this reference.

BTW I think it’s a good occasion to give up. But that’s a very personal thing. I’m a kind of sissy…

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It’s a Gershwin song, but one of the most famous versions is the Ella Fitzgerald/Louis Armstrong duet, yeah. Idiomatically, folks reference it to jokingly say that the two seemingly-different things are basically one and the same (just like a tomato is a tomato regardless of how you pronounce it) – so whether something is “perseverance” or a “sunk costs fallacy” maybe just depends on your point of view!


Peter, if it helps, a more classical version of this observation could be given with Shakespeare:

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,

By any other name would smell as sweet.


My internet was down but my power was up for a while, which meant I got some non-IF game playing in and I made it through the second and third Broken Sword games.

I went into Smoking Mirror (number 2) expecting to like it – it uses the same gorgeous animation style as the first one, and the basic bantering-duo-solve-history-mysteries concept is one I enjoy. Buuut the puzzles feel a little phoned-in this time – the four major puzzles for the first two hours are basically all variations on “distract the guy so you can take his thing/sneak past him” and while they do diversify after that, there aren’t too many standouts. And I dunno if it’s because the setting/MacGuffin isn’t European (and therefore less immediately familiar to the British developers) and/or they didn’t bother doing their research, but outside of a couple entertaining bits involving Sir Francis Drake, the history stuff is even worse – a well-done game in this genre weaves together real-world fact with creative bollocks, but here the baddie is basically just a Cthulhu cultist and it’s not clear whether the writers were aware that the Mayans and Aztecs weren’t the same thing.

It also suffers from a second act where the two leads split up – the banter between them is a major draw, so separating them is already not great. And then George (generic American lawyer dude) gets an extended comedy bit running around the Caribbean, which is fine as far as it goes except that it’s got nothing to do with the rest of the plot; there are no recurring characters or significant plot developments besides getting one of the MacGuffins. Nico (French investigative journalist) has what seems like a more promising bit, where she needs to get another MacGuffin from the British Museum while staying one step ahead of the bad guys, except it’s so compressed that it’s over before it begins.

Overall, pretty disappointing! Fortunately, while I went into the third game (Sleeping Dragon) with lower expectations, since it’s a full-3d game and I find those awkward for adventure gaming, I thought it generally worked better. The interface is a little annoying, and there are way too many stealth sequences and crate-pushing exercises, but compared to things like Grim Fandango it was relatively smooth. The balance between the two leads is much better, and the return to the Templar plot of the first game means the writing is on firmer ground. The puzzles do feel a bit more Tomb Raider-y, which leads to some occasional silliness – the late-game sequence where Anubis bars your way into a sacred temple unless you can solve the fox/chicken/grain puzzle is an especial low-light – but mostly they’re inoffensive, with one or two solid ones. Not an all-time classic by any means, but it was enough of a lift that I’ll give 4 a try too (5 looks like it’s the real return to form, or at least to the classic interface).


Oh hey, funny timing on revisiting Broken Sword:

Today’s thing that made me feel older than dust - the time between the release of the game and its first remaster is less than the time between said remaster and today’s announcement of another one.


Ooh thanks for the heads-up Mike! Looking forward to that.

And I still haven’t played the first remaster! (Although I did get it when it was free on GOG.) I always just fire up my original CD-ROM and use ScummVM for compatibility. (Also old here.)


Recently a friend has been getting me back into Terraria, which is a game that I had gotten burned out of several years ago. There’s a lot of stuff, it’s neat, and we’re slowly making good progress. And then just the other day I decided to play some Subnautica, resuming my main save file which is in Freedom mode, and now I have spent a large portion of my time playing it. It’s really spooky and I have to work up the nerve to go deeper, but I’m hoping to finish it at some point soon!

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Been playing through the IFComp games, which is going well, but have been having a hard time writing about them. I think I need more structure, because freeform has me meandering and unsatisfied with the review.

Frustration aside, it has left me with more appreciation for reviewers, prolific or otherwise.


Man, this poll ended up being fairly rough for FF fans, lol.

77% either hate the new direction, never cared about FF, or simply haven’t ever played it.

9% are just “other” whatever that means,

14% are fans or border-line obsessive.

Given the the clout and longevity of the series in the mainstream, I have to admit I’m a little surprised at these numbers. Really goes to show that it’s not your typical gaming cross-section around here, which is good I suppose. It’d probably be a more stressful and less inclusive place if we were just an extension of mainstream gaming culture.


I imagine that depends on your measurements. Might make an excellent thread!


Rusty Lake put out their new game a few weeks ago, Underground Blossom, and it was very satisfying. They are one of my favorite game developers. This is part of a long series of games, but there’s no need to play any of the previous ones to play this one. There’s a lot of bonus content after the game ends, so stick around for that. I found it a lot easier than previous RL games, but I don’t know if that’s because it’s easier, or if I’m just really good at their games by now.

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I started playing breath of the wild :sweat_smile:


Well, I got S+ ranks in Professional mode in Resident Evil 4, both for the campaign as well as for Separate Ways.

New game plus is not possible for S+ rankings, though the game does allow certain unlockables. Those are a grind in themselves, but they offer a path for people like me who are better at planning/strategy elements than twitch gameplay. Still, there are some pretty dire skill gates to get through. The hardest by far is the iconic “village” scene with Leon. In normal and even hardcore difficulties, you can get into a good rhythm with pistol and melee. Even after Dr. Salvador (chainsaw guy) shows up, it’s fairly simple to kite around. Since Leon is invincible during melee animations, just keep setting up attacks by staggering enemies (leg and head shots).

Pistol shots don’t easily stagger mobs on professional difficulty, so it may as well be a different game. Since the player has no upgrades or special equipment during the Village section, this is especially apparent. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, honestly, but I eventually did.

The other severe limitation is that auto-saves/checkpoints are disabled in professional. On top of that, the player can only save 15 times during a professional run if they hope to earn an S+ rating. That isn’t a lot, actually. Should a player save after completing the village? That’s still early in the chapter, actually. Deciding when to save is a big deal.

Finally, a professional S+ run must be completed in less than 5.5 hours, which was tough for me.

I enjoyed the time I spent completing these challenges for both the main story and Ada’s campaign, Separate Ways. And challenges for beating them with only knife and pistol (I knifed Regeneradors!), or winning without healing, or finishing the story without talking to the merchant.

I can only think of a couple of cases in which I became so acquainted with the world of a game: the 2002 remake of Resident Evil and, perhaps, Super Mario 64.

Narratively, things have been clarified and, in some cases, expanded upon. Luis is more interesting and far more developed. His friendship with Leon is more credible. Wesker is more than just an OMINOUS PERSON OMG; we hear a bit about his plan. Krauser’s also been developed further.

Leon and Ada have received the most attention. Leon is not just a glib, wisecracking action hero (though he does a bit of that). He’s tired and more than a little disillusioned after his experiences in Resident Evil 2. He’s haunted by them, and, while he doesn’t often say so directly, it shows. The Ada we see in the new Separate Ways is, thankfully, her own person with her own thing going on. She doesn’t incessantly crush over Leon; she’s busy.

Is Resident Evil 4 (2023) the greatest cinematic third-person shooter ever? Yeah, I think it probably is. What are the competitors? The Last of Us games, I think, but the experiences are so radically different that it’s hard to compare RE4 and TLOU2. I think players who enjoy stealth gameplay will likely prefer the TLOU series from a mechanical POV.

It’s hinted that a remake of RE5 will be next. How will that go, I wonder? There is some wildly problematic content in the original. I would think some changes would be needed for the 2020s. It hasn’t aged all that well.

Anyway, 10/10 that one part of the island still sucks, but some things never change.


Holidays are always big for new releases! Anything on your radar? Here are the ones I’m watching.

Fashion Dreamer (Switch): Yes, the spiritual follow-up to the Style Savy games is finally here! Become a style icon in this sim about life as a fashion influencer!

Like a Dragon Gaiden: a stylish ARPG in Sega’s Yakuza universe, starring fan favorite Kazuma Kiryu.

Persona 5 Tactica! A turn-based strategy RPG in the Persona 5 setting.

Dragon Quest Monsters: after a years-long hiatus, the charming bestiary of Dragon Quest returns in this monster taming and collecting battler!

Can I afford all of these games? Absolutely not! Fashion Dreamer is the only sure thing because Callie and I will play that together.

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