Weekly Games #102
This week was really bad for gaming. I had like 3 days where I didn’t touch anything but finishing up the bonus story for darkarta. The rest of the time if I did play anything it was just a short while. I have managed though to get through 1 chapter a day of corpse party since I’m finally gonna finish off the others and wanted a catch up. I did also consider just leaving darkarta as my only game played but I literally beat the <20 minute long bonus story on the day I did my last report and that’s just cheating! While Idk how much I will end up doing this month I’m tired of being in this mood. If I’m gonna be all depressed with myself I may as well push through and do my backlog because how else will it be done.
Update 64: First two weeks of August (nearly)
August starts better for my backlog.Wohoo!!!
The Emerald Maiden: Symphony of Dreams
Nice HOG, had no problems to beat it, some roses are a bit tricky to find. Has cute kittens.
Planetary Annihilation: TITANS
Okayish RTS. Either way too easy or way too hard depending on the difficulty. Sometimes units are getting stuck for no reason, which is annoying when you have to backtrack to free your units.
green = PoP thanks to AlvinCanCabbage & emymer for challenging me
red = Monthly in a Month
blue = PAGYWOSG
grey = BLAEO monthly theme
orange = completions/for fun games
Overall Backlog Progress:-0,7% unfinished/never played games
PoP: thanks to AlvinCanCabbage & emymer for challenging me
Just for fun:
This game’s boring. There are a couple semi-tricky levels near the beginning, but it doesn’t take long before you end up beating levels below the “perfect” number of turns on your first try, and when you unlock the ability to place five of your own teleporters in each level, there’s no incentive for you to do anything else and you’ll three-star all the rest of the levels in less than two minutes (most in less than 30 seconds, but there are a few levels that have more than five targets). I even got the “beat all levels with 2+ stars” achievement even though I basically cheesed most of them. Heck, there are achievements for using items enough times! You’re practically encouraged not to play the game without using them.
Oh, and there’s no ending; the end of the level select promises more levels even though the game isn’t labeled as an early access title on the store page.
P.S. The “Replay any level and improve the result” achievement is broken, so it isn’t even really good for achievement spam.
Aug 12 2020
July 2020 Progress Report
So I got a new 27 inch ASUS 1440p 144hz display with freesync/G-SYNC - A huge upgrade from the 720p TV that I previously used! Its my first new computer monitor in way too long, so I wanted to ensure I had something that could do higher than 60hz and better than 1080p for whenever I may upgrade my GPU in the future. The good news is that my GPU supports that resolution & variable refresh rate over DisplayPort now that I upgraded its firmware, so it just comes down to how taxing each game is on my GPU as to whether it can push my monitor to its limits. Fallout 4 isn’t the best game I could’ve broken this in with, but with a high FPS physics fix, graphic config tweaks, and the official HD texture pack, it looks and feels nice getting it to run at 60-100 FPS indoors all day and outdoors in many settings.
928 games (+10)
75% never played (+0%, +16, 700)
9% unfinished (+0%, +0, 79)
11% beaten (-1%, +0, 106)
1% completed (+0%, +0, 12)
3% won’t play (+0%, +0, 31)
This includes my Humble Choice August purchase and redemptions. I’ve been really tempted to buy Fall Guys, as I had that wishlisted since its E3 announcement last year, but I’m behaving myself by sticking to my backlog and also it just makes sense to at least wait for the online performance and bugs to get ironed out beforehand, if not wait for some more minigames since I’ve heard some criticisms that the variety could be better.
On Going Games
Its been fun so far reaching level 35, having explored just under half the map, starting enough of the main quest to know who took my character's son. I guess I'd describe my build as a dog loving stealthy VATS rifleman. I think I'm leaning toward joining the railroad since I've aligned with Brotherhood in a prior game and minutemen's emphasis on settlements doesn't appeal to me. I hope to get a better relationship with Piper, but her turn-ons werent what I thought they were and she seems easily pissed off by a few non-obvious actions.
So far there haven't been too many bugs, but there certainly are some where I had to do stuff like temporarily turn on no clip or revert to a save a couple of minutes ago. Also, NPCs (companions or not) grabbing your power armor is annoying. Not sure if I can fix that without a mod that disable achievements or requires all the DLC that I don't have - The major "unofficial patch" requires the latter.
Next Month’s Queue
Although I’ve been enjoying Fallout 4 and will likely see it through to the end of the main story, I’m planning on branching out some in the coming month - Taking occasional breaks from FO4 to play other games that I’m eager to get into. Evidently I just can’t get enough of FPS’ right now since I can haz moar frames:
This game is tagged as a platformer, but it doesn’t really play like one. Rather than have your standard horizontal movement and gravity-affected jump, you instead aim with the left stick (visualized with a grey line) and push the A button to launch yourself straight to another solid tile, and this is the only way you can move. You’re also only allowed to jump to the parts of solid tiles that are white; any other color block serves only to block your attacks (but airborne enemies and enemy projectiles can move through platforms just fine). Plus, your movement has a limited range; if you aim toward a platform that isn’t in range, you’ll lock on to the nearest in-range platform (indicated with a green line) and jump there instead if you hit the A button. As for attacks, you start off with a spread shot that only goes a few units before petering out, and you also have to hold the X button for a second to charge it (otherwise, you won’t attack at all). You could argue that the movement was an attempt to be unique, but this is a deliberate case of making the controls less responsive. Not long into the game, you get missiles, which you fire by pushing RB while holding X, and while this does result in a more responsive (and actually long-ranged) attack, you have limited ammo and can only refill it at camps (a variant of the game’s checkpoints) or by using one of the also-limited ammo refill items (I never used any and still beat the game with a single-digit amount of them).
The start of the game puts you in an empty hallway that leads to an empty room with a switch that opens the way to the third room; understandable since the devs would want players to get used to the game’s unique controls. But then in that third room, there will be parts of the wall that glow green, and when you get close, brick spheres will start quickly spawning one by one, blocking what was formerly an empty path. Not only is this very sudden and not conveyed very well, but these yellow-brown stationary brick circles also have CONTACT DAMAGE, starting as soon as they begin to appear (when only a couple rows of the vertical wipe transition’s white pixels are displayed). Literally the first hazard and the game has already done something that would be a cheap shot even in a game with normal controls. It isn’t even like the game is trying to teach you how they work so it can build on them later; they never show up again outside of this one room, which can only mean the devs somehow thought this was a good first impression. To add insult to injury, once you make it past that room and the shorter, empty room after it to hit the switch at the end, you’ll have to backtrack through the rooms to get to the path the switch opened, except it doesn’t take long to see that the game pulled a Pixeljunk Shooter Ultimate and spawned new hazards in the previous rooms where there weren’t any before, without any clear indication that it had done so (and said hazards are small spikes, barely one unit tall).
While most of the rest of the game never gets quite that bad, there always seems to be this constant disconnect between the controls and the enemy AI. In a regular platformer, having a hall with an enemy floating overhead aiming shots at you isn’t so bad, but when the only directions you can move are within a cone going upwards, toward said enemy and projectiles (the walls are out of range and you can’t jump to the ground since you’re already on the ground), suddenly this seemingly innocent pattern results in unavoidable damage. There are platforms that only move if you’re charging/shooting in the opposite direction, but you also need to watch out for hazards and just charging moves you too slow to get by them in time, but if you shoot at the wrong point you’ll overshoot and hit the next hazard before it goes away. The game’s filled with subtle irritants like that, where if the controls were responsive and conventional, the enemies and hazards would be fairly designed, but rather than redesign them around the game’s more restrictive controls, they’re left as-is and clash with the core mechanics as a result.
But the game isn’t done having conventionally cheap shots, either. There’s a yellow floating plague doctor with a scythe that keeps its distance from you (only sometimes barely getting in range of your shots), and it’s telegraph for its dash attack as well as the dash attack itself take less than half a second combined; I honestly don’t know how to reliably avoid damage from it without using the shield power-up (which drains your ammo while in use and drains it faster while you’re being attacked). When you reach the masquerade palace, you’ll encounter enemies that will spawn in random locations and stab in your direction less than a second after appearing, only to disappear again after a couple seconds and spawn in a different place, not only making them hard to avoid but also hard to kill without spending ammo. Also in this palace, there are parts where you need to touch a glowy panel and make it to some sticky hands without getting hit in order to open the path forward (and if you get hit, you have to go back to the glowy panel again), but there’s one part where in your glowy-panel state, an empty hall will just have harmful lasers suddenly appear with no warning. You’re expected to keep within the lasers as they move forward, but the more likely outcome is that you’ll already be moving forward and get hit by the one in front when it appears.
The game is even a bit obtuse at times. Conventional Metroidvania wisdom tells you to look for places you haven’t been yet and go there, but after wandering around the light world and dark world for a while, I reached a “boss” that has some of the game’s worst examples of mechanic/enemy dissonance: you have to jump around this huge room going to different split paths to kill the eyes that act as the boss’s health bar, all while the regular enemies spread throughout the room are doing their patterns (patterns that don’t always sync up with each other) and the boss itself shoots a laser at you every so often. When I finally got past that, I hit a dead end when I freed the bird person and was simply told “you know what to do.” Um, no, I don’t. So I combed through the map until I found a room I hadn’t gone in yet, so I went down there and nope, it just had a chest with some currency (you can get currency simply by killing enemies), so I combed through the map again. Aha! There’s another room I haven’t been to yet, so I head there and–wait, no, it’s just another dead end with some currency. Maybe I just needed to go back to the entrance of the gold fortress and the bird person would open the door for me? Nope. Maybe I can break the door in now? Also nope. Turns out, the only way to get inside is to go through the game’s Lost Woods equivalent and wander around until you get the item that lets you fast-travel between camps, then go down the list until you select the one that happens to lead to a camp you couldn’t actually reach otherwise. That bird person was just to access the post-game boss. By the way, when you reach the golden fortress, you’ll see minotaurs on hamster wheels, and at first they seem like just a background detail, but later on you’ll reach a room where the path is blocked by lasers. Turns out, not only can you attack the minotaurs, you have to in order to disable parts of the fortress’s defenses and progress, but this isn’t communicated to you (I only discovered they could take damage by accident while I was trying to kill an enemy).
The final boss actually tones the difficulty down a bit: the first phase is just a giant TV (that doesn’t even have contact damage) slowly chasing you and shooting four perpendicular projectiles. It does still have a cheap attack where it’ll suddenly charge at you and crush you, instantly killing you regardless of how much health you have, and the way it foreshadows this attack is by staying still for a couple seconds (at least the yellow plague doctor would lean back). The second phase picks things up a bit with it being a circle (still no contact damage) with a regenerating shield (only hurts if you’re standing on the boss when it regenerates; you can stand on the shield itself just fine) and it drops projectiles that rotate in opposite directions (as well as shoots at you directly occasionally, which can lead to some more times where you just get trapped and can’t dodge). However, the post-game boss gets back up to par. The fight opens with a cinematic of your character shooting up into the arena with the boss in the background and a beam of yellow light falling on your character. Then, when you land, you immediately get punched by a red fist and take damage. Turns out that beam of light was the telegraph for the fist, evidenced by the final third of the boss fight when they show up again and aim at you from different angles. Most of the battle is just waves of enemies, but when you kill one, an eye will appear and you have to jump into the eye to kill it and that’s what actually damage the boss. After a few waves, a launcher shows up that takes you to another arena; there’s a few variants and their order is somewhat random (you may not even see all of them in one go), but one is a square that has an enemy in the center (where you can’t hit it) that’ll shoot a laser without warning and rotate, moving the laser around the arena. At least it starts shooting in the same direction each time, so after a few attempts you’ll know where to be to avoid it. The semi-final phase is a circular arena with an enemy in the center that’ll occasionally shoot at you, but as far as I could tell, it neither lowers the boss’s health nor dies on its own if you shoot it, so you just have to focus on the other enemies. The final phase actually has a single entity that functions as a boss; shoot it enough times and it’ll be stunned for a few hits, at which point you jump into it to damage it just like all the other eyes, only this time you’re dealing way less damage to the boss’s health. Also, the lower its health goes, the more it’ll spawn other enemies and those red fists, resulting in more clutter and potential unavoidable damage. This boss was the only time I used healing items outside of when I’d accidentally trigger a text box and instinctively hit the B button to try to close it. After several attempts, the game stopped me around halfway through the fight to make fun of me for losing so much, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that also secretly made the fight easier because I won not long after.
Still, I don’t think I’d recommend this game. The concept could work in theory, but a lot of things still need to be overhauled, like “don’t have enemies that go through walls if we can’t attack through walls.”
Aug 11 2020
Far Cry 5
August 11, 2020
Aug 10 2020
It’s been a while since I completed a not so short game in less than a day, but here I am, having completed Momodora Reverie Under the Moonlight just a few hours ago.
It was harder than the previous two games, that’s for sure. But it was still as enjoyable.
Rise of the Tomb Raider is also done. :-) :-) :-)
I have to say my backlog was bloated with games that shouldn’t have been there in the first place, after the cleanups it’s much easier to find and play games I really want to AND diminish my backlog.
First week of August
The progress for this month started very well, hopefully it also ends like that too :)