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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:18 am 


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Ah yeah, I can see how this would be a very sore spot for a morrowind fan.

I would try and explain what i liked about certain quest lines because to call them ALL irredeemable trash is either pure rage or a bit dishonest tbh, but that's enough internet for one day, i'm going to sleep instead.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 12:24 am 


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I feel that for rpg's - especially huge wide open rpg's with largely customizable characters - playing optimally and balancing are much less of an issue for me.

RPG's to me are more about simulation. Like in a tabletop game, you might make a character with a low charisma rating not because you want to be optimal, but because you simply want to roleplay a huge fucking dork and have it somewhat represented mechanically. A large part of the gameplay of classical rpg's is creating characters and seeing how they fair in different situations that the game provides, with the strategic or "playing to win" aspect subsidiary to that.

Like as far as I'm concerned it's totally fine to justify a no-gun run in Bloodborne via "my characters backstory that I made up is that he's a swordsman mercenary who hates guns for taking his job".

Of course this is all why it's so hard to get action rpg's right. Action games are about direct player interaction and skill, while rpg's are about indirect simulation. It's very tough to reconcile them.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:20 am 



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Vanguard wrote:
Anyone play Elona? That's my favorite sandbox RPG.


Elona is indeed quite fun. Been meaning to get back into it, as I never got very far (corrupted save files are the worst, and if your laptop consistently crashes from Elona, despite multiple repairs, you should probably upgrade). Surprised it wasn't brought up in that conversation about rougelikes supposedly lacking creativity.

I know some people look down on the possibility of endlessly grinding. But IMO it's part and parcel of the sandbox. Game lets you do, be, and associate with ridiculous things, might as well let a little girl on a talking bike stomp all over a giant dragon (whose meat is then cooked on a paper barbecue and fed to a goose that shits out a coin).

Really wish there were more games like it. Seen GearHead recommended to Elona fans as another open-world/sandbox rougelike, but have yet to try it.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 6:46 am 


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I can't bother to go too much into details because it probably doesn't make a difference to me, but Oblivion is definitely my favourite of the series. "Worst game ever made" is a hyperbole if I ever saw one. :)

I can understand the people who gravitate towards Morrowind. It still carries the "RPG" and dungeon crawling DNA to a much bigger extent.
Not only allowing more game breaking builds and spells, much more gear to equip, a dialogue system that actually allows you to investigate subjects rather than just following along a scripted line, and of course the much more limited fast travel system that makes any advancement in the game's world feel like much more of a adventure than the sequels' "pick a direction and keep walking" approach. I also love how you can break the main quest of the game if you want by killing any NPC in the game, right down to demigods.

But Skyrim did basically nothing [that interest me] that Oblivion didn't, so it's really down to the minute details. In general it feels even more "dumbed down" (take that expression with a grain of salt), walling in the player options even more than Oblivion did. The world is less varied and interesting than Oblivion. It's all identical snow fields, and instead of crazy-ass demon realms we just get dragons this time. It's really cool the first time you see one, but every instance after that is just more repetition. Even the final boss is a dragon.
Skyrim also has one of the most terribly designed user interfaces I have seen in a video game. It does look a lot better than Oblivion's cartoony style, but there's no defending dropping immediately recognizable icons and layouts for a list of identical white letters.

But I really do like all of them.
Elder Scrolls (from 3 onwards) is one of those games that I enjoy immensely while I'm playing them, but whenever I'm thinking back on them there is very little there to really take away to set it apart. The dialogue is terrible, the world building is bland and lazy, the exploration is repetitive, and the combat is atrocious, and completely mitigated by the fact that you can pause the action at any moment and consume one of your 700 healing items.

But they still do strike that gene that longs for adventure in a big open world, so they must be doing something very right, and whenever Elder Scrolls 6 gets announced I'll probably be super hyped for that.

Btw, here's a really awesome article from 2011 that explains why Skyrim fails terribly at expository dialogue, but also recognizes why it probably couldn't do it any differently. It also uses Dark Souls and Demon's Souls as a basis for comparison:
http://grantland.com/features/one-night ... n-crumble/


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 8:43 am 


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Squire Grooktook wrote:
I feel that for rpg's - especially huge wide open rpg's with largely customizable characters - playing optimally and balancing are much less of an issue for me.


So a big failure of Skyrim and to a lesser extent, Oblivion is that they're so terrified of limiting what a player can do, that a naked axe wielding, dumb-as-bricks barbarian can basically finish the mages guild questline, barely firing a spell and become head of the mages guild. Let that sink in.

Edit: I'm enjoying the article Sumez posted so far, but..
Code:
Remember how you then crept around the house stealing all the bowls, spoons, paintbrushes, and bread you could carry? Remember then stumbling across an in-game fence willing to pay good coin for your stolen bowls, spoons, paintbrushes, and bread?


There's the lie, lol! You do not *stumble* across a Fence. They'll only buy stuff off you if you're affiliated with the thieves guild, which you'll only join if you happen across the meeting place at midnight in the Imperial City's Waterfront district, in a random back garden. Okay lol. Or get arrested repeatedly and some inmate will tip you off.
It's all contrived, you're nudged towards fences, you don't find them.
Even then, at the beginning you're only allowed to deal with Ongar in Bruma....
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Last edited by Blinge on Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:01 am 


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Blinge wrote:
I would try and explain what i liked about certain quest lines because to call them ALL irredeemable trash is either pure rage or a bit dishonest tbh, but that's enough internet for one day, i'm going to sleep instead.

Do me a favor and treat that as a small bit of hyperbole. Taken individually, there are admittedly some quests that are at least alright. That mage guild quest where the woman tries to murder you with the super heavy cursed ring underwater was kind of cool for throwing a completely different problem at you from anything else in the game, even if the solution (dropping the ring) is very obvious. There was that one where you need to go find the frozen tears of a famous knight from the past. Mechanically it was nothing great, just a bit of running around followed by a pixel hunt, but reading about a legend in an in-game book and then going to check it out firsthand is the type of thing Morrowind excelled at. There was one where you go inside a painting iirc and the visuals were interesting even if the gameplay was still the same. There are also a lot of quests that had good concepts but were botched by bad execution. The foremost among them is easily the Dark Brotherhood murder mystery where you're locked up in a house with a bunch of people and you need to kill them. That should have been cool but your cat man can just walk up and stab people right in front of everybody, no stealth or anything, and they'll all be like "My god how did this happen! I bet it was the black guy!"

Taken as a whole, Oblivion's quests are unmistakably bad. Very, very few give you any real choices to make. Most of the time you're just following that insulting quest arrow to wherever it wants you to go. The rewards are almost universally bad, and if you find a quest with a good reward you need to be careful. Don't finish it too early or it'll be scaled down to your level and become worthless. Now that I think of it though, Skyrim may be even worse in that regard. Didn't play a whole lot of that, but I can't remember even a single interesting quest.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:19 am 


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Eh you're pretty much right. Skyrim similarly has novel concepts that don't quite make it to execution in gameplay.
I didn't know Oblivions' murder house could be abused in this way..

Sadly I don't remember anything that's happened to me in Morrowind however. o_o
Only waking up nearly every day with an assassin in the room cutting me open

Did you ever check out my Oblivs pacifist playthrough? https://youtu.be/prX3mHA5RKQ
I can't quite recommend it anymore tbh, the abridged version is still an hour long, I've been thinking about re-doing it as a narrated supercut like my King's Field vid.
..so it's something actually watchable for a modern human with responsibilities. xD Although it'd still exceed 20 minutes probably..
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:45 am 


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Sumez wrote:
The world is less varied and interesting than Oblivion. It's all identical snow fields, and instead of crazy-ass demon realms we just get dragons this time.


Aahaha, what kind of Nord are you!!??

For my money, Skyrim's world as varied as Oblivions.. I was impressed how they still had that variety of cold climates.
In Oblivion you get basically all forest, some fields, Blackwood swamps *look* cool. Then the mountains up north which suck compared to Skyrim's. The 'crazy ass demon realms' are just hell flavoured dungeons really, they're procedurally generated as any other dungeon and get real old real fast.

Skyrim has Tundra, Snow Covered Taiga, Evergreen forests Glacier, autumnal forests, big open moors, some Marshlands, and the Craggy rocky passes down near Markath.
(see that mountain, you can climb it! :lol:)

Edit: I just remembered Oblivion's Shivering Isles expansion kinda smashes it, in terms of crazy worlds. but that's okay because Sumez doesn't play DLC or expansions :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:55 am 


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You haven't really played Oblivion if you haven't bought shiny horse armor DLC.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:59 am 


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It's a tribute to the crustiness of this fucking forum if people can still complain about that lmao
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 10:00 am 


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I have no idea, I'm just aware of the meme. The game is completely fine without "microtransactions".


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 2:39 pm 


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I enjoy them all to some extent, but I admittedly skip Arena because it simple seems too janky and incomplete. Even Daggerfall I usually give up on as it's simply too big, filled with soulless, copy/paste areas and infinite labyrinthian dungeons. I love the look of the game but hate how even the towns are overwhelmingly huge but with little substance.

Skyrim though feels like the one I never want to go back to when I think of the series, though. As Sumez pointed out, the dragons of course get annoying, but my big hang up is that you just start off as this Chosen One character. Just seems like there's no RPG in it; you're just a bad ass who shouts shit at dragons from the get-go. I want to start off penniless in a prison and slowly get involved with something, not be thrust into a world-changing event. Still, easy to get lost in like the others and I love how good the world looks, but I dunno, just never feel like going back.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2020 5:03 pm 


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I've been playing a lot of Mortal Kombat 1 on fightcade. It's more popular than one might expect over there. Simplistic by today's standards, but still good fun.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:16 am 


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Ajora wrote:
I've been playing a lot of Mortal Kombat 1 on fightcade. It's more popular than one might expect over there. Simplistic by today's standards, but still good fun.


How has latency been for you? I was playing some SF2 a few months back and it got kinda janky when playing with people overseas


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 12:28 am 


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Gaming with someone on Fightcade who is overseas is usually going to be very high latency. I've had games with people in South America that have been quite playable, but overseas is generally unreliable unfortunately, especially for games that were not designed for high latency in mind (such as Phantasy Star Online which was optimized for playing well even with high ping).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:09 am 


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If MK1 and Midway's other fighting-themed games got something right (see also Wrestlemania), it's impact and viscerality. The latter's screen rattle and ugly *CRACK* when some poor prick eats a steel chair won't age. NBA Jam's dunks and fouls much the same. I remember Mark J. Turmell stressing this in a development retrospective, they wanted you to feel it in your chest from across the room. I always find time for those games with old MK-loving buddies, even if we usually move onto Smash TV (you'd never see one of those games without an STV next to it in our little joints BITD, I wonder if it was some distro twofer with it being slightly earlier).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:06 am 


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Been awhile since I played MK, but I just bought Mortal Kombat 10 during the steam fighting game sale.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:41 am 


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solidus wrote:
Ajora wrote:
I've been playing a lot of Mortal Kombat 1 on fightcade. It's more popular than one might expect over there. Simplistic by today's standards, but still good fun.


How has latency been for you? I was playing some SF2 a few months back and it got kinda janky when playing with people overseas


Pretty good, usually. The game doesn't have any complicated inputs or timings, so a little bit of lag doesn't hurt the experience that much.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 8:22 am 


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floralcateyes wrote:
Elona is indeed quite fun. Been meaning to get back into it, as I never got very far (corrupted save files are the worst, and if your laptop consistently crashes from Elona, despite multiple repairs, you should probably upgrade). Surprised it wasn't brought up in that conversation about rougelikes supposedly lacking creativity.

I know some people look down on the possibility of endlessly grinding. But IMO it's part and parcel of the sandbox. Game lets you do, be, and associate with ridiculous things, might as well let a little girl on a talking bike stomp all over a giant dragon (whose meat is then cooked on a paper barbecue and fed to a goose that shits out a coin).

Really wish there were more games like it. Seen GearHead recommended to Elona fans as another open-world/sandbox rougelike, but have yet to try it.

Yeah the grind can be as bad as a Korean MMO if you let it, but there's no reason to play that way. Just do whatever seems like the most fun at the moment. If you don't care about adventuring and instead want to become the greatest farmer or musician in North Tyris, the game will 100% support that. The main quest isn't a big part of Elona. The main reason to even bother with it is to get that sweet, sweet palmia pride ring from Erystia. There's certainly little reason to grind your stats up to 20x what you'd need for the final boss so you can defeat the gods of Irva. But the option is there for those who want it.

There are a lot of ways to get ahead by working smarter instead of harder. Don't farm for hours for a good suit of armor, go get a worthless suit made from glass and use change material scrolls on it until you roll adamantium. Don't grind for hours until your stats are high enough to face the next boss, go get a pokeball and use it to catch a gold or silver bell (Elona's metal slime analogues) and arm your bell with a machine gun or laser pistol. Its overwhelming speed will give it a devastating offense even if each shot isn't particularly powerful or accurate. Give it some life-boosting armor and its insane natural defense will make it invincible too. Bad accuracy is a serious problem early on. You could just endure it until you've trained your weapon skill, but a better approach is to learn hypnotism at character creation and then stab everything in their sleep. You can defeat enemies way above your level if you curse some liquor and then force them to drink it.

I love Elona's completely insane world. Money is god and killing beggars isn't even illegal. Drunks and prostitutes fight to the death in the streets in broad daylight and no one cares. Not only can you play as a farmer golem riding a talking motorcycle, that's one of the more powerful builds. You can play as a fairy and marry your pet bear, and your child, a snail, will become the next protagonist. You can buy a slave for less than a day's wages and a horse for a bit more, and then use your genetic engineering machine to add the horse's genes to the slave, turning them into a sort of artificial centaur. The greatest crime you can commit is setting off a nuclear bomb in an inhabited area. The second worst is failing to pay your taxes. You will be shot on sight if you don't pay your taxes. Sometimes a town gets infested by xenomorophs, and you'll be trying to do business with a shopkeeper when an alien suddenly tears its way out of his body and you have to run for your life. Importantly, a lighthearted and jovial tone underlies all of this chaos and madness.

A few of the bigger Japanese variants have been translated into English, and I recommend playing one of those over vanilla Elona. Going by your mention of the goose, you must already be familiar with Elona+. Got mixed feelings on that one. It has a lot of good points. There are several times more monsters, towns, artifacts, and quests than in the original. The main quest is so much longer that you should be ready to face the gods' first forms by the time you're done. One of its biggest improvements is how much faster and more pleasant the rough early game is. Learning your first new skill in vanilla costs 15 platinum coins, and they keep getting more expensive after that. In Elona+ the first skill costs 5 and they max out at 15. Doesn't take long at all to get your important skills online, and then you can get to the real game. The problem with Elona+ is that its focus is mostly on combat and grinding, and those aren't what make Elona good. It's less chaotic. NPCs aren't nearly as willing to pick fights for minor reasons. If a monster somehow gets inside of a town, all you have to do is leave for a little while and it'll despawn. It's funny in vanilla when a drunk tries to flirt with one of your teammates, and they get annoyed and pull out their shotgun and blow the drunk's head off (and then the guards hold you responsible for the murder). It's funny when you're studying a new magic book, and something goes wrong and you accidentally summon a dragon right in the middle of the city, and it goes on a massive rampage, slaughtering hundreds, until 20 hours of game time later, when you're finally ready to take it on. Neither of those happen in Elona+ and that's a shame. The author really wants you to grind the old fashioned way, without using tricks to speed things along. He's got an irritating habit of nerfing the most effective builds and techniques. Seems like he wants everyone to use his preferred set of strategies, but that contradicts the point of a sandbox game.

The other major variant you can play in English is Omake Overhaul. Its descendant OOMSEST (Omake Overhaul Modify Sukutu Edition South Tyris) is my favorite version of the game. Doesn't have near as much content as Elona+, but it better maintains the sandbox spirit of the original and its changes are far more consistently for the better. You can run into teams of NPC adventurers in dungeons and team up with them against the boss. Or just let them kill the boss on their own and take credit for it. Or arrange for them to meet a tragic accident and claim their high level equipment afterwards. Monsters infight against different types of monsters, always a great feature. Random dungeons are way more varied. My favorite are the "zealot" dungeons where every NPC allies with others who follow the same god and tries to kill everyone else. Really dangerous place to run into a high level adventuring team. All the insanely overpowered exploits from vanilla were left in, and the new content even added some new ones. It's left to the player to decide whether or not to use them.

Couldn't get into Gearhead but I only tried it briefly, a long time ago. I remember that it lifted its conversation system from Elona (or is it the other way around?) where NPCs have a certain amount of patience, and you can talk to them until it wears out, and every time you talk their opinion of you goes up or down depending on your charisma.


Last edited by Vanguard on Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:58 am 



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Vanguard: thanks for the recommendation. My experience with the game has mostly been from Plus Custom (Custom mostly adds QoL stuff iirc), but I'll probably check out Omake Overhaul and its forks when I get back into it. Didn't even know about the nerfs and the focus on combat in Plus. And I'm more interested in the "do whatever" attitude of the game then its combat. Was already ignoring the main quest and just going for arbitrary goals (get all the nice rewards from the gods, build a multi-floor castle, etc.) while mucking about in the world, so the idea of a wilder sandbox seems fun.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 1:08 pm 


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Oblivion is utter shit. Couldn't even be bothered to finish it after buying it new near release and having put hundreds of hours into Morrowind.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:35 pm 


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Steamflogger Boss wrote:
Oblivion is utter shit. Couldn't even be bothered to finish it after buying it new near release



I bought it some years after release when all of the patches and mods were all there. It's a decent, playable game with a good assortment of corrective mods and enhanced graphics packs. Of course, it's basically a different game at that point, so I think your original statement still stands.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:36 pm 



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I liked Gearhead, although it clearly has rough edges. Wandering the big samey towns trying to remember which of the dozens of meandering procedurally generated NPCs is which is a pain, alleviated somewhat by noting down all their names and remembering to use the phone. The game doesn't log quests until you find a PDA. The personal-scale economy is nonsense because it's all so cheap compared to big hardware; your starting cash can easily cover effective gear and enough deluxe rations to never care about morale again, but whether or not you even see useful stuff for sale is down to luck. Some of the skills are incredibly niche, and there's some amount of annoying success-or-irredeemable-failure RNG skill check shit. It openly embraces savescumming so I recommend using that to experiment until you have an idea of what you're doing.

Gearhead 2 has procedural main quest generation which is interesting in concept, and wacky weapon/chassis designs that are entertaining to play around with, but overall it feels much less complete than the first game, and its spaceborne setting hurts the variety a lot - ground vehicles are nonexistent and many missions amount to dogfighting in the same empty space map over and over. There's not much sense of progression to it, whereas Gearhead 1 has a pretty good contrast in going from clueless idiot exploring the world with a dune buggy to cyborg monster piloting some hilariously impractical frankenmech cobbled together out of every vehicle you have access to.

Re: Gearhead's conversations, it also has alignment/personality/aspiration related interactions, but how much of an overall practical factor they are I've never been sure of. The game's full of semi-implemented ideas like that.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:34 pm 


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vol.2 wrote:
Steamflogger Boss wrote:
Oblivion is utter shit. Couldn't even be bothered to finish it after buying it new near release



I bought it some years after release when all of the patches and mods were all there. It's a decent, playable game with a good assortment of corrective mods and enhanced graphics packs. Of course, it's basically a different game at that point, so I think your original statement still stands.


Mods can definitely change things, Morrowind had a lot of fun mods that I experimented with after doing the game as released.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 2:37 am 


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If you want to play modded Oblivion, Nehrim is a pretty nice total conversion mod. Mechanically it's still Oblivion, but that awful level scaling system has been removed and the dungeons, items, and exploration are miles ahead of Bethesda's work.

Omake content:
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 10:38 am 


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ahah I've loaded my Morrowind save, Khajit Assassin/ thief dude.

I remember you guys giving me shit for not being able to wear boots :lol:
I'm in Aldruhn, can't remember what the fuck I was doing here and the journal is a mess. I guess i'll go through what quests I have but I do like hanging around one city and "living" there for a bit rather than fast travelling all over the world, it's a bit immersion breaking. Not that immersion breaking is that important to me..

I remember youze advised me to just jump everywhere to level acrobatics, but I'm worried that if i sleep i'll be fucking my character out of stat growth, jumping a lot means I've stored quite a few level ups, i think.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:19 pm 


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Vanguard wrote:
If you want to play modded Oblivion, Nehrim is a pretty nice total conversion mod. Mechanically it's still Oblivion, but that awful level scaling system has been removed and the dungeons, items, and exploration are miles ahead of Bethesda's work.

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How does it compare to OOO? I had a lot of fun with that one. I always enjoy returning to Oblivion and mods seem to be the best way to do so these days.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:01 am 


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It's a completely different game that doesn't take place in The Elder Scrolls setting at all. New world, dungeons, story, everything. As such you probably shouldn't be too cavalier about mixing it with other mods.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:15 am 


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Got Hyrule Warriors - Age of Calamity this week and it was a blast playing the story mode.
Now gotta go grind and finish the side quests.
One of the best musou games I've played (not that I've played a lot tho).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:23 am 


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Vanguard wrote:
If you want to play modded Oblivion, Nehrim is a pretty nice total conversion mod. Mechanically it's still Oblivion, but that awful level scaling system has been removed and the dungeons, items, and exploration are miles ahead of Bethesda's work.

Omake content:
Spoiler: show
Image

Image


Very interesting thanks.
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