What game are you playing?

TedEH

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I'd be surprised if the Pokemon and Kirby titles didn't have physical releases.

I've been doing the same with Switch titles, for the most part - waiting for used physical copies. There's just something about the Nintendo value calculation that doesn't quite work. Putting aside even the idea that digital should arguably be cheaper because there's no packaging and less distribution to worry about - you know very well going in that you're not going to get a big modern spectacle of a game just by virtue of how far behind the hardware is at this point. Pokemon games, for example, are aliased to all hell and back and hard to look at, and built on the same game play loop from decades ago. I mean, I'd be the last person to deny what goes into making any title, but the big blockbuster "wow" titles are pretty few and far between for your $80 (that's CAD) compared to what you get on almost any other platform.

I really like the Switch for what it is, but once the novelty of its gimmicks wear off, and the portability looses some teeth when you work from home anyway, and knowing that it's a platform that sits on that edge of the awkward digital-future where you have to worry if your games will be accessible to you anymore in 10 years, and knowing Nintendo isn't good with legacy support - I suspect this is a platform that isn't going to age well.
 

wankerness

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The thing about the Switch that gets my goat the most is how the 3rd party ports are radically more expensive. Like, Skyrim just came out for it, and it's 70 goddam bucks. That's more expensive than it is on any other platform, even considering the fact that since it's on Switch the odds of it being heavily discounted are MUCH lower. Not to mention it's borderline unplayable on handheld mode on switch cause they don't have an in-game brightness slider and the older Switch models have screens that are way too dark to see anything in any cave in that game.

Or that shitfest Immortals: Fenyx Rising, which is 100 dollars on switch for the GOTY edition, even though it's objectively a lot worse than the other versions (IIRC i bought that game's full version with all the DLC for ~45 bucks on playstation less than six months after its original release).
 

TedEH

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The thing about the Switch that gets my goat the most is how the 3rd party ports are radically more expensive
objectively a lot worse than the other versions
^ And that's just it. I don't mind spending money for the stuff I want, and games are pretty frivolous in the grand scheme, but you just know you can get better builds on other platforms.

And the idea of being able to take "full games" with you in your pocket isn't an exclusively Nintendo thing anymore. Steam deck? Aya Neo? GPDWin? Cloud services? A cell phone with a controller?

Then again.... RIP Stadia, I guess.
 

CanserDYI

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Yeah switch has decimated my pocketbook with my kid wanting every new Mario/Nintendo game that comes out. Fucking 60 bucks is hard to swallow for games that simple....
 

wankerness

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The good first party games are the ones where their pricing scheme DOESN"T bug me. I mean, Mario Galaxy and Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart and even Bowser's Revenge are all incredibly polished and excellent games and if people are still paying 60 for them that's OK with me. I mean, if people will pay for them, why would you discount them? And Nintendo actually went to the work of releasing fully polished products in their cases. They're great, and they were at launch.

It's the bullshit like the endless flood of lazy, badly programmed pokemon games that stay 60 bucks that I can't defend. I don't think those are technically first party, though. Things like that make me understand people who pirate Switch games. Sounds like Legends: Arceus is the first pokemon game really worth playing since the Gameboy Color days. And even it is supposedly quite buggy and wonky. Hopefully the sequels clean up that formula.
 

wankerness

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^ And that's just it. I don't mind spending money for the stuff I want, and games are pretty frivolous in the grand scheme, but you just know you can get better builds on other platforms.

And the idea of being able to take "full games" with you in your pocket isn't an exclusively Nintendo thing anymore. Steam deck? Aya Neo? GPDWin? Cloud services? A cell phone with a controller?

Then again.... RIP Stadia, I guess.
The portable thing is nice with some games. Like, Stardew Valley is great in handheld mode. Animal Crossing, etc.

But, you try playing Dragon's Dogma or Dark Souls or even Breath of the Wild in handheld mode and it's bad news. I'd go so far as to say Dark Souls is unplayable once you're out of the first few zones, Dragon's Dogma is very uncomfortable and extremely difficult to see what's on the screen in some zones, and BOTW is just very uncomfortable and also drains the battery in what feels like minutes (the way the controllers feel in handheld mode leads me to get immediate handcramps with anything that uses a lot of dual stick movement).
 

TedEH

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People generally pirate Nintendo stuff for the same reason you pirate anything else -> it loses the perceived-value-vs-cost test. People generally are willing to pay for things when it fits their value model - but every little inconvenience or hiccup or comparison to other platforms is going to throw that balance off.

Like the whole attitude towards old IP is a huge driver of piracy. I don't need to pirate PC games at this point, 'cause Valve and Epic and Microsoft have made games so accessible that there's no reason to. Hell, Epic gave away some bangers when their store was just becoming a thing. The PS+ setup is headed in a similar direction. Then on the other hand you have Nintendo doing things like shutting down their stores and taking products off the market that people have proven they want access to. The "limited time" digital sales of the Mario collection was just BS. As much as there's an element to piracy of some people just wanting to have stuff for free - there's the flipside of driving your audience to it by being just about antagonistic towards your consumers.
 

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Conan Exiles mostly, on an RP server. It's fun, it's like playing The Sims With Violence.
 

StevenC

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RE: Nintendo pricing

People keep buying those games forever. Like Mario Kart 8 sold to every single person who owned a Wii U, and then all of those people bought it again on Switch. That's why the price never really drops.

However, I don't understand NoA's pricing at all. In Europe Switch games are all cheaper than PS/Xbox games, have way more price points available, the physical editions of a lot of games are more expensive, etc. The Switch tax is a real thing globally, but NoA just makes such a bad job of it.
 

wankerness

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People generally pirate Nintendo stuff for the same reason you pirate anything else -> it loses the perceived-value-vs-cost test. People generally are willing to pay for things when it fits their value model - but every little inconvenience or hiccup or comparison to other platforms is going to throw that balance off.

Like the whole attitude towards old IP is a huge driver of piracy. I don't need to pirate PC games at this point, 'cause Valve and Epic and Microsoft have made games so accessible that there's no reason to. Hell, Epic gave away some bangers when their store was just becoming a thing. The PS+ setup is headed in a similar direction. Then on the other hand you have Nintendo doing things like shutting down their stores and taking products off the market that people have proven they want access to. The "limited time" digital sales of the Mario collection was just BS. As much as there's an element to piracy of some people just wanting to have stuff for free - there's the flipside of driving your audience to it by being just about antagonistic towards your consumers.
The other thing with pirating nintendo games being rampant is it's pretty easy to jailbreak their current systems. It's true of the switch, and it was definitely true of the Wii-U and especially the DSs (where all you had to do was buy an SD card with some app installed on it, basically). By contrast I think playstation consoles even back in the PS2 days required actual hardware mods. You can easily pirate full switch games and even play it on the actual hardware and that is NOT the case at all with xbox or PS4 (well, it is with the ones with PC ports obviously, but that's more of a recent Xbox thing).
 

TedEH

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I guess that's a big selling point (for me) for PCs - there's no need to "jailbreak" them since they're already general purpose machines. I think it's also another point in the PC-like handhelds getting popular now. If I had a steam deck, the library is vast enough, and the platform is open enough, that I don't think I'd feel any need to "hack" the thing. My 3DS on the other hand..... so much more useful once it was opened up - and I don't even use it for "pirated" stuff - if anything, I go the other way around, where I'll jailbreak stuff so that I can use the hardware to rip roms off stuff I already own. I see no problem with taking a game you paid for, ripping the rom, and playing it on your phone or PC or whatever is convenient.
 

TedEH

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Just finished the Halo Infinite campaign and I have some thoughts....

I think that overall, as a Halo title, it's pretty decent, but I maintain my previous criticisms about the difficulty spikes for "bosses". The thing that gets me about this one is that the open world kinda does nothing for the game - I don't understand what it's inclusion was supposed to do other than check the "we made an open world" box. The first 2/3 of the game primes you for what might turn into a Ubi-style hunt-the-icons grind where you just collect and shoot things for the fun of it, and, not gonna lie, I think there could have been some value in that if it was better tied into how you progress through the game. But the open world parts are sparse, and you eventually just get funnelled into linear missions like a traditional Halo game. Don't get me wrong, those linear sections work well, since it is Halo after all - that's what Halo does: linear shooting galleries and corridors and arenas etc. IMO the game succeeds as a Halo shooting game, but fails miserably as an open world title, even if the world visually looks pretty nice.

Some random thoughts.

- Just to reiterate: the open world adds nothing.
- I found the guns to be almost toooo balanced. It mostly didn't matter what you picked, you were always effective if you put some effort into it.
- Except for some segments where I think the intention is to run through instead of killing anything, but they aren't signposted very well if that was the intent.
- To go with the super-balance of guns, they're also super abundant. You always have what you need. I can't decide if that's good or bad. Fun maybe. But not very challenging. Some will like it, some won't, I guess.
- The vehicles sure are slippery as always. If it wasn't a Halo game, I'd say they felt "wrong".
- The grunt dialogue is pretty funny.
- The rest of the dialogue was pretty average.
- I wasn't a fan of Not-Cortana. Something about the way they animated her face with one lip always slightly raised up, and the weird naivety of the character just felt off to me.
- Then when you see Cortana, her face is also a little odd.... like she has too much teeth. Way too much teeth.
- I feel like I'm nitpicking those models too much, but it's hard to not see it once you see it.
- The visuals push my PC pretty hard (I still have a gtx1080), but the upscaler still looks good if you target 1080 and upscale to 4k. The resolution scaling is really transparent, which I found impressive.
- I think the sound implementation was also really good, for the most part. I think it was supposed to be spatialized, but I tried Windows Sonic and it didn't reaaally add much. I left it off.
- The ducking for dialogue is something reaaaally aggressive. Some might like this. I found it distracting.

It's..... a decent Halo game I guess.

Edit:
I will come back to say though that the grapple is pretty great.
 
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Albake21

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Just finished the Halo Infinite campaign and I have some thoughts....

I think that overall, as a Halo title, it's pretty decent, but I maintain my previous criticisms about the difficulty spikes for "bosses". The thing that gets me about this one is that the open world kinda does nothing for the game - I don't understand what it's inclusion was supposed to do other than check the "we made an open world" box. The first 2/3 of the game primes you for what might turn into a Ubi-style hunt-the-icons grind where you just collect and shoot things for the fun of it, and, not gonna lie, I think there could have been some value in that if it was better tied into how you progress through the game. But the open world parts are sparse, and you eventually just get funnelled into linear missions like a traditional Halo game. Don't get me wrong, those linear sections work well, since it is Halo after all - that's what Halo does: linear shooting galleries and corridors and arenas etc. IMO the game succeeds as a Halo shooting game, but fails miserably as an open world title, even if the world visually looks pretty nice.

Some random thoughts.

- Just to reiterate: the open world adds nothing.
- I found the guns to be almost toooo balanced. It mostly didn't matter what you picked, you were always effective if you put some effort into it.
- Except for some segments where I think the intention is to run through instead of killing anything, but they aren't signposted very well if that was the intent.
- To go with the super-balance of guns, they're also super abundant. You always have what you need. I can't decide if that's good or bad. Fun maybe. But not very challenging. Some will like it, some won't, I guess.
- The vehicles sure are slippery as always. If it wasn't a Halo game, I'd say they felt "wrong".
- The grunt dialogue is pretty funny.
- The rest of the dialogue was pretty average.
- I wasn't a fan of Not-Cortana. Something about the way they animated her face with one lip always slightly raised up, and the weird naivety of the character just felt off to me.
- Then when you see Cortana, her face is also a little odd.... like she has too much teeth. Way too much teeth.
- I feel like I'm nitpicking those models too much, but it's hard to not see it once you see it.
- The visuals push my PC pretty hard (I still have a gtx1080), but the upscaler still looks good if you target 1080 and upscale to 4k. The resolution scaling is really transparent, which I found impressive.
- I think the sound implementation was also really good, for the most part. I think it was supposed to be spatialized, but I tried Windows Sonic and it didn't reaaally add much. I left it off.
- The ducking for dialogue is something reaaaally aggressive. Some might like this. I found it distracting.

It's..... a decent Halo game I guess.

Edit:
I will come back to say though that the grapple is pretty great.
This is very accurate to my playthrough of Infinite. I played it at launch, so I've had time for it settle in. And honestly, I'm even more disappointed with it looking back.

You're 100% right, open world was pointless. It adds absolutely nothing to the game, and if anything, I think it was a major detriment to the campaign as a whole. The whole campaign is two biomes, forerunner tech or grassy mountain. That's it. They essentially took the second mission of CE and made it into a campaign. Great mission, but terrible idea.

The second biggest issue is how the story is told to the audience. Everything cool that happened between 5 and Infinite is just told you through holograms. That's the whole story in a nutshell. Everything cool that happens in the game happens off screen or is told to you through holograms. "Oh by the way, Cortana died... anyways the banished are bad."

The characters are very forgettable, and there aren't even that many to remember... Not-Cortana is truly an awful character. I saw the ending a mile away. Her character is so bubbly and so Disney-like that it just turns me off. The very moment she rebelled against Chief, had a pouty fit like a child, I seriously contemplated stopping the game right then and there. I was so turned off by it. The pilot is a bit relatable and has human qualities, but it all felt very forced to just have a sad and relatable character. Not much substance other than he's a human. I can barely even remember any of the Banished, honestly, nothing memorable.

The only thing I'll give the game is that I did have fun with the actual gameplay. It was fun returning to a more classic formula of fighting the covenant, but it's not enough to carry the campaign. Grappling hook was fun, couldn't imagine this slog of a campaign without it.

All in all, better than 5? worse than 1-4. I'd give it like a 5 or 6 out of 10. Which is way too low for Halo IMO.

And multiplayer..... oh man I don't even want to touch that dumpster fire. I could be here writing up a 3 page essay. The Halo Infinite multiplayer experience is an abysmal joke. A hollow shell of what Bungie pulled off with 1 through Reach.
 

TedEH

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This is very accurate to my playthrough of Infinite. I played it at launch, so I've had time for it settle in. And honestly, I'm even more disappointed with it looking back.

You're 100% right, open world was pointless. It adds absolutely nothing to the game, and if anything, I think it was a major detriment to the campaign as a whole. The whole campaign is two biomes, forerunner tech or grassy mountain. That's it. They essentially took the second mission of CE and made it into a campaign. Great mission, but terrible idea.

The second biggest issue is how the story is told to the audience. Everything cool that happened between 5 and Infinite is just told you through holograms. That's the whole story in a nutshell. Everything cool that happens in the game happens off screen or is told to you through holograms. "Oh by the way, Cortana died... anyways the banished are bad."

The characters are very forgettable, and there aren't even that many to remember... Not-Cortana is truly an awful character. I saw the ending a mile away. Her character is so bubbly and so Disney-like that it just turns me off. The very moment she rebelled against Chief, had a pouty fit like a child, I seriously contemplated stopping the game right then and there. I was so turned off by it. The pilot is a bit relatable and has human qualities, but it all felt very forced to just have a sad and relatable character. Not much substance other than he's a human. I can barely even remember any of the Banished, honestly, nothing memorable.

The only thing I'll give the game is that I did have fun with the actual gameplay. It was fun returning to a more classic formula of fighting the covenant, but it's not enough to carry the campaign. Grappling hook was fun, couldn't imagine this slog of a campaign without it.

All in all, better than 5? worse than 1-4. I'd give it like a 5 or 6 out of 10. Which is way too low for Halo IMO.

And multiplayer..... oh man I don't even want to touch that dumpster fire. I could be here writing up a 3 page essay. The Halo Infinite multiplayer experience is an abysmal joke. A hollow shell of what Bungie pulled off with 1 through Reach.
Yeh the ending bits didn't really feel earned. Like I don't understand how some sentient / intelligent AI doesn't pick up on how similar it looks to the other sentient / intelligent AI that serves the same role until it's spelled out. There's no weight to the reveal because it was obvious from the outset.

I'm always of two minds with this kind of criticism, because mechanically the game works pretty well. On a technical level, the game plays and runs well. The shooting and core loops of the game are fun. Even traveling in the open world and some of the side missions are fun, but they just don't contribute enough to what the core of the game is. Some people have described it as feeling incomplete or rushed, and I'd believe it. I'm still willing to call it a "good" game, and an enjoyable time - in the same way that I can walk out of a theater thinking "well, the story was nonsense, but at least the cinematography was excellent".

I'm not a multiplayer person though, so I can't speak to that half of things.
 

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Been trying Spiderman (i'm PC only so it's not been out long). A few hours in, it's the most underwhelmed i've felt about a game in a long time. I'm amazed at the reputation the game has.

The fights were ok (only ok) for about 20 minutes, and then became dull. Now the rest of the game has been swinging around repeating the same boring fight over and over again. Then doing the bigger quests, usually a slightly longer version of that same fight, and maybe a bit of looking around in a building, and the quest is done in just a couple of minutes. Then it's back slogging away at the small fights and repeating minigames, in a good-looking but increasingly bland feeling city.
 

wankerness

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I guess that's a big selling point (for me) for PCs - there's no need to "jailbreak" them since they're already general purpose machines. I think it's also another point in the PC-like handhelds getting popular now. If I had a steam deck, the library is vast enough, and the platform is open enough, that I don't think I'd feel any need to "hack" the thing. My 3DS on the other hand..... so much more useful once it was opened up - and I don't even use it for "pirated" stuff - if anything, I go the other way around, where I'll jailbreak stuff so that I can use the hardware to rip roms off stuff I already own. I see no problem with taking a game you paid for, ripping the rom, and playing it on your phone or PC or whatever is convenient.
The steam deck seems cool, I just...I dunno. I would have to actually test one before committing to it. I've had such bad, uncomfortable experiences with both the Switch and the 3DS when it comes to the handheld controllers fitting my hands comfortably and I wouldn't want to get something like that and find I have the same problem with it.

My problem with PC gaming is just that I don't like my PC setup relative to my other setups, though now I have a decent controller and monitor it's less uncomfortable. I need to get some decent speakers that don't take up much space, too. Most of my annoyances with PC gaming mostly date back several years to how much tweaking was always required to get things working right. Like, I remember the dark ages of the early 2000s where I had to keep multiple versions of graphics drivers on my desktop and install them based on what game I wanted to play, cause different games had crippling issues depending on which graphics driver I had. KOTOR was one I definitely remember that being the case with. Bad times. Then fast forward about ten years and I'd try to run bethesda games with mods and there was all the bullshit with having to set up the loader app with the mods in the right order or all kinds of issues would pop up, and then you'd introduce some mod and the framerate would plummet so you'd have to go through a bunch of screens trying to uncheck and check options to figure out what the culprit was (usually some kind of shadow detail or something). Or I'd download KOTOR (again) and have issues with having to use some kind of wrapper application to get it to work properly on a new system. On consoles it's always just you install the game, it goes. If there are bugs, they're out of your hands. Unless the game's made by Bethesda, this is preferable to me.

Bethesda exception is in regards to Oblivion, where on PC I had several cases of NPCs breaking completely (either dying, becoming un-interactable, or just not spawning) and making quests impossible but the wiki for the page showing console commands you could use to like, regenerate the NPC where he should be and un-break the quest. No such recourse on console! I'm guessing Fallout 3 and New Vegas might be similar if I try playing them on console. Skyrim was relatively polished but still buggy as shit, I just don't remember anything breaking to the point where I would have needed a console to proceed unlike Oblivion.
 

Albake21

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Yeh the ending bits didn't really feel earned. Like I don't understand how some sentient / intelligent AI doesn't pick up on how similar it looks to the other sentient / intelligent AI that serves the same role until it's spelled out. There's no weight to the reveal because it was obvious from the outset.

I'm always of two minds with this kind of criticism, because mechanically the game works pretty well. On a technical level, the game plays and runs well. The shooting and core loops of the game are fun. Even traveling in the open world and some of the side missions are fun, but they just don't contribute enough to what the core of the game is. Some people have described it as feeling incomplete or rushed, and I'd believe it. I'm still willing to call it a "good" game, and an enjoyable time - in the same way that I can walk out of a theater thinking "well, the story was nonsense, but at least the cinematography was excellent".

I'm not a multiplayer person though, so I can't speak to that half of things.
Because the gameplay is decently fun, I've written it off as: It's a good game, but a mediocre Halo game. Like if this was a first in a series, I'd be pretty hopeful for the future, but this the 8th campaign in the series...
 

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I've had such bad, uncomfortable experiences with both the Switch and the 3DS when it comes to the handheld controllers fitting my hands comfortably and I wouldn't want to get something like that and find I have the same problem with it.
But... Haven't you said you like PS controllers?
 


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