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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:53 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 5:47 pm 


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StarCrawlers

A recent patch allows you to freely select holiday events without having to wait for the system date to hit the right date, or just to disable whatever the current holiday event is. I didn't have a chance to do the Halloween event before because it was a bit buggy, looks like they ironed out the patch. Was in permadeath mode in second highest difficulty and gave the Halloween quest a go...

The quest was amusing, looking pumpkins for candy that provides a ridiculous number of "until end of mission" passive buffs. The mini bosses had some distinctly new tricks though, such as summoning enemies on their turn even when Stunned or randomly summoning enemies when taking damage. Nothing too crazy until I tried the boss though...

...and nearly got destroyed. Massive health, and every turn it has a full party Fear effect that essentially Stuns using a check for a status ailment that isn't used elsewhere in the game. I should have clued in to why the Halloween shop sold those 20% Fear resist accessories, oops. Didn't have any of them, only had a few passive Fear resists from Halloween candies going, so he kept denying my team turns as I tried to whittle him down. My Engineer's constructs thankfully resisted Fear, but on top of each turn triggering an automatic Fear on everyone, he also had stuff such as debuffs where for 1 turn attacking him caused a character to be injured, meaning my precious few non-Fear'd turns often risked hurting people. Lost my poor Cyberninja when he was down to 8000 of 62000 health left but barely scraped by. Got a decent shield out of the quest, but the permadeath means I had to re-recruit a new Cyberninja and lost all the gear on the old one. Oof.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:55 am 


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Thanks Shelcoof for the Aggelos recommendation.

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Picked up the physical Switch version the other day, and this game is very good. It honestly feels just like what Wonder Boy in Monster World should have been (and honestly kind of what Monster Boy should have been, also). Similar atmosphere and overall structure, but much better level design.
In fact, the level design is probably the highlight here, it's incredibly creative and fun. No challenge overstretches itself, and dungeons are always constructed in a way that despite being fairly large, you never go very far into them, and can essentially reach the boss very farst from the entrance, once you gain access to them. Which is necessary, because the bosses are crazy hard, and kill me a lot. I'm playing on Hard difficulty, and not regretting it.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 4:29 pm 


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i've been playing the Nioh 2 beta the past couple of days. Jesus this game is brutal (haven't played the first nioh)! I haven't been able to beat the boss of the first mission yet...

this is definitely a maximalist style of game design. the amount of systems to get your head around is pretty silly, the stats are baffling and then you add that to a very technical combat system and diablo-esque loot. it's nuts.

i feel like i'll probably really enjoy it once things start making sense though.

-edit- not sure if there is something i'm missing, but it feels basically impossible to fight the boss when it goes into the 'dark realm' or whatever it's called. even if i'm getting a perfect ki pulse after every attack i do i still just end up running out of stamina whenever i have to block or dodge anything, then i get completely wrecked. i've even unlocked the ability which gives you 25% better ki regeneration in the dark realm, but it just runs out so fast and fills up at a snails pace. i don't get it.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 10:50 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
Thanks Shelcoof for the Aggelos recommendation.

I'm playing on Hard difficulty, and not regretting it.


I also had a very good time with this game, but must say I fear your choice of Hard on the go.

On my 1st playthrough I did the same thing and was forced to give up around midgame (after Fire Temple iirc). Hard difficulty seems to only consist of ennemies hitting very hard and you having very low power. Some mobs by Fire Temple and beyond have attacks which seem undodgeable, or luck-based, meaning a single mob can kill you without you being able to react to it. And the boss fights were also a luck affair to me in Hard mode. The leveling system could make a little difference if the firepower and defense you gain were significant, and if the levels were not capped at 20.

After switching back to Normal, the game became a little more enjoyable, but unfortunately too easy. Mobs do not pose a real threat, and all bosses can be killed by mashing attack during the (long) invincibilty frames you are given after being hit.

TLDR : Aggelos is good, but Normal Mode is too easy, and Hard Mode is too hard/unbalanced (and I'm not whining, I cleared all Souls games blind).
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:11 pm 


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There's a free demo of Aggelos if anyone is interested. Played through it several times and even attempted some speedrunning (18 minutes was my record iirc). The game is very good and I'm really looking forward to buy it next time it goes on sale.

In other news, I'm still playing Dominions 4 and now considering starting Ultima IV. I was thinking of playing the SMS version but I'm going with the PC version with xu4 update for a more authentic experience, even if it's uglier and more cumbersome to play.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:22 am 


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guigui wrote:
I also had a very good time with this game, but must say I fear your choice of Hard on the go.

I'm on the final dungeon, and while I'll admit I also kind of fret the choice, it's been very rewarding so far.

There were some occasions where the game was almost a wall, but so far I've been able to find my way through. I don't recognize what you're saying about some enemies seeming random - it's consistently felt like my own fault whenever I got damaged - but the bosses can be a real pain. I only beat the air temple boss through what seems like an exploit (going to the far left of the room and tanking damage as I wailed on one of them), and the two large bosses needed to open the door to the final dungeon had me stumped for a while.
After tons of deaths to them I eventually got them down to the point where I could beat them without needing either herb nor a potion though, and the feeling of finally taking them down was pretty blissful, almost like a really tough Souls boss.
I'm worried about what the final boss will be like though...


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:43 pm 


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Made it to stage five in Xeno Crisis sans continues. Made it to stage six after spending one. Stages three, four, and five seem MUCH harder than six.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 12:52 pm 


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Sumez wrote:
guigui wrote:
I also had a very good time with this game, but must say I fear your choice of Hard on the go.

I'm on the final dungeon, and while I'll admit I also kind of fret the choice, it's been very rewarding so far.

There were some occasions where the game was almost a wall, but so far I've been able to find my way through. I don't recognize what you're saying about some enemies seeming random - it's consistently felt like my own fault whenever I got damaged - but the bosses can be a real pain. I only beat the air temple boss through what seems like an exploit (going to the far left of the room and tanking damage as I wailed on one of them), and the two large bosses needed to open the door to the final dungeon had me stumped for a while.
After tons of deaths to them I eventually got them down to the point where I could beat them without needing either herb nor a potion though, and the feeling of finally taking them down was pretty blissful, almost like a really tough Souls boss.
I'm worried about what the final boss will be like though...


Great achievement here, congrats. I guess I could not stick enough to Hard Mode to get that sense of Souls accomplishment. I'm also unsure how you can tackle the last boss, lots of jumping, dodging, ennemies on screen here.
I beat it in Normal by tanking each hit with a bubble power, then mashing like a stubborn during invincibility frames. Fuck pride.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:21 am 


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Stevens wrote:
Made it to stage five in Xeno Crisis sans continues. Made it to stage six after spending one. Stages three, four, and five seem MUCH harder than six.


Stage 3 is tricky as it starts mixing in a lot more of the random spawns & burrowing enemies that you have to keep your eyes on vs. the first two stages which are much more focused on enemies entering the screen via predefined entrance points. Enemy prioritization becomes much more of an issue here as you have to figure out whether to target the tough + projectile-bearing flyers, projectile-based burrowers, land-based jumpers or land-based lobber types first. Personally, I tend to prioritize the flyers and the worms; you can keep some worms on the screen but they become overwhelming if you let too many spawn. The jumpers aren't really an issue until they get leveled up in stage 5 and the lobbers' firing rate is generally slow enough that it's ok if you let them get a shot or two off as long as you're paying attention.

Spoiler: show
At least there's no boss on this level so it's ok to be pretty liberal with grenades, not that they're too great vs. the worms.


I actually find ST4 to be pretty chill compared to ST3; even the boss is relatively manageable (honestly, I think he's easier than the ST1 boss). I will say it depends on which version you're playing; ST1 boss is easier on modern platforms vs. the MD, and the little rotary jellyfish enemies have a lot more armor on modern platforms and basically necessitate a roll attack whereas you can pretty much just shoot them on the MD. For the floaty dodgy brain guys, it's ok to pepper them with some shots to get them out of your way, but melee is a much more reliable way to dispatch them. I recommend deprioritizing them unless you have an opportunity and pretty much just treating them like obstacles otherwise—the regular Xenos and other enemies are a much more immediate threat.

ST5 is hard no doubt as it's basically ST3 hard mode. The boss isn't too terrible, but having enough health to make him manageable is a challenge.

ST6 I agree is pretty doable, although I find myself constantly stepping in acid blood trying to pick up stuff or losing items because I'm waiting for the blood timeout. Wish the devs had tweaked the item placement relative to these blood pools a bit more. I do find the boss here pretty challenging for the last third or so of its lifebar but the pattern is dead simple, it's just a matter of nailing the execution.

I know you haven't made it to 7 yet, but the challenge there gets ramped up quite a bit with some upper-tier enemies. If you're going for 1cc, you're almost certainly maxed out at this point so I would recommend avoiding side paths as much as possible and just going towards the main objective; there's no use for the extra dogtags anyway.
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Last edited by it290 on Wed Nov 06, 2019 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 9:48 am 


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The way you talk about this game, it really sounds expertly designed :O
Man I hope they start shipping soon.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:27 am 


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Still chugging away at Atelier Firis, and it's certainly one heckuva time sink; not sure exactly how many dozen hours I'm in, but it's still keeping the breadcrumb trails coming, and I'm still OD'ing on carbs. :P On the downside the interface sometimes makes it more difficult to keep track of everything or find a piece of info you need than it should be, but on a brighter note the more I play the more I'm enjoying the music, which I've found pleasant and varied throughout.

I'm also taking an occasional foray into The Ninja Saviors whenever I need a quick (and jarring) change of pace; feel free to laugh at my misadventures in that game's dedicated thread. :P
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:44 pm 


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it290 wrote:
Stage 3 is tricky as it starts mixing in a lot more of the random spans & burrowing enemies that you have to keep your eyes on vs. the first two stages which are much more focused on enemies entering the screen via predefined entrance points. Enemy prioritization becomes much more of an issue here as you have to figure out whether to target the tough + projectile-bearing flyers, projectile-based burrowers, land-based jumpers or land-based lobber types first. Personally, I tend to prioritize the flyers and the worms; you can keep some worms on the screen but they become overwhelming if you let too many spawn. The jumpers aren't really an issue until they get leveled up in stage 5 and the lobbers' firing rate is generally slow enough that it's ok if you let them get a shot or two off as long as you're paying attention.

Spoiler: show
At least there's no boss on this level so it's ok to be pretty liberal with grenades, not that they're too great vs. the worms.


I actually find ST4 to be pretty chill compared to ST3; even the boss is relatively manageable (honestly, I think he's easier than the ST1 boss). I will say it depends on which version you're playing; ST1 boss is easier on modern platforms vs. the MD, and the little rotary jellyfish enemies have a lot more armor on modern platforms and basically necessitate a roll attack whereas you can pretty much just shoot them on the MD. For the floaty dodgy brain guys, it's ok to pepper them with some shots to get them out of your way, but melee is a much more reliable way to dispatch them. I recommend deprioritizing them unless you have an opportunity and pretty much just treating them like obstacles otherwise—the regular Xenos and other enemies are a much more immediate threat.

ST5 is hard no doubt as it's basically ST3 hard mode. The boss isn't too terrible, but having enough health to make him manageable is a challenge.

ST6 I agree is pretty doable, although I find myself constantly stepping in acid blood trying to pick up stuff or losing items because I'm waiting for the blood timeout. Wish the devs had tweaked the item placement relative to these blood pools a bit more. I do find the boss here pretty challenging for the last third or so of its lifebar but the pattern is dead simple, it's just a matter of nailing the execution.

I know you haven't made it to 7 yet, but the challenge there gets ramped up quite a bit with some upper-tier enemies. If you're going for 1cc, you're almost certainly maxed out at this point so I would recommend avoiding side paths as much as possible and just going towards the main objective; there's no use for the extra dogtags anyway.


Great write up, you really do XC justice. Sometimes I wish I posted more in depth things regarding mechanics and design, but I feel lots of folks here do a better job than I could. Also lazy:D

I think I was maxed out after stage five, but that makes sense. In the early go I cover every board I can (this makes stage three pretty long), but it helps obviously. Also glad to hear it ramps up towards the end.

I'm sure in time people will be going for default runs, but in all honesty not having power (it's the first thing I max out) turns some enemies in the early go into sponges. Max power makes things much more manageable. On the flip side no power ups means less boards. Presumably people will want to take the shortest route through each stage.

I'm sure someone will do it eventually.

Nice to see this game getting its due so far, it's being reviewed quite favorably. I really hope it does well for them.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:16 pm 


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Star Citizen

A friend hyped me up about this game. The tl;dr version: it's either a grossly mismanaged project that's a bug-riddled mess, or it's an outright financial scam. Do NOT spend money on this. They've already got several million invested in the game with nothing meaningful to show for it aside from a buggy tech demo.

The first hiccup was discovering my computer, that has a high-end Nvidia 10xx card, fantastic CPU, etc, came up with warning messages about running it due to only having 8 GB RAM. Apparently minimum requirement is 16 GB, which I flat out wasn't expecting since comparable open universe games have 8 GB as recommended, many PS4 to PC ports on Steam I have run flawlessly at high settings, etc. Even in the game's much smaller, first person shooter deathmatch mode, it was hiccupping when doing something as basic as firing a gun. This suggests that it's suffering from programming bloat and has essentially no optimization done whatsoever. My fault for not checking the minimums before buying it, but the game still mostly ran decently if a bit choppily, aside from intense slowdown at one or two dense spaceports. Most of my problems with the game ended up being issues other people have had and don't appear to be the fault of my system specs.

That being said, it did run, and aside from a bit of choppiness here and there (probably due to moving tons of assets in an out of virtual memory on the hard drive) it was playable. Had one issue where running into my friend literally killed him, perhaps due to jitteriness confusing the game engine about my velocity? The last time I played a game where simply running too fast into a wall hurt was System Shock 2, where too much Quickness + using a speed booster could do that (which isn't super fun if you get hung up on something).

The actual piloting itself isn't too bad once you're actually in a ship, but it's missing a lot of quality of life features, along with having tons of glare and light effects on the windows when looking out of a ship - you can barely see anything without some kind of distortion effects. The screens on ships you have to interact with are also obnoxious about glare effects, making them absurd to read. In one case, I was in a remote turret backseating with a friend and in the turret view there's absolutely no target information, and the screens when in the seat view were largely superfluous information. It's a far cry from the glory days of Wing Commander: Privateer where the interface was simple, crisp, and always legible, or current gen games such as Elite: Dangerous which has far more easily visible cockpit interfaces. Your suit presumably has an elaborate HUD, but all of the details such as when your landing gear is up or down, when your engines are online, etc, are all on the tiny ship console icons itself. The HUD doesn't offer a space for convenient quality-of-life messages providing feedback on what the player is interacting with to see if it responded correctly.

The main problem is for a game in such lengthy development, it appears that development is focused mainly on its website, specifically its shop (where there's a joke that it's the only thing that ever works reliably) where it asks players to shell out absurd amounts of cash for ingame items, presumably to support the game but also looking suspiciously like pay to win setup. It doesn't have any real meaningful persistence yet aside from items you've purchased, where it thankfully allows you to recover your ship for free with an insurance policy if you've glitched out and lost it or such. If you die, or have to exit the game, you respawn at the last space station you were at. There's no way to log out and despawn your ship and respawn where you were at (with something like a 5 minute log out timer so you can't just log out in the middle of combat). There's also no way to revive another player like a bleeding-out system when running around in first person. My friend suggested I try shooting him to see how much damage something did. Out of curiosity I tried the melee, rifle-butting him. It instakilled him, without any way to revive him where he was, forcing him across the galaxy to a space station. There's no way to provide emergency recovery in the first person mode to a dead player suffering what should have been a bump on the noggin inside of a heavily-armoured spacesuit, such as a 60 second emergency first aid/resurrection thing common in other games with a mechanic where someone injured doesn't die unless they're cared for quickly.

Remember, this is a game that has, apparently, been in the works since 2011 and it doesn't even have basic stuff in it yet. Is their dev team all hype and no substance? Is it all graphical assets they're working on?

The worst part of the game is the constant bugginess of everything. I consistently ran into issues that my friend was like "oh yeah, it's a known bug, don't do that". These include:

• Picking up rocks or interesting plants you can interact with in caves will create a bug where it's impossible to open your primary suit interface menu with comms, equipment options, the map, etc. I was warned in advance about this but like a schmuck I assumed that the risk of it triggering was minimal. It looks like when the bug triggers it's moving the interface to the top left of the screen outside of where your mouse cursor can move. I can't remember how I fixed this but I think it involved exiting and re-entering the game, which shunted me off the planet I was on and back to a space station, so hardly an actual fix.

• The sidearm pistol I started the game with and was equipped with in the menu was not selectable with the 1 key until I'd spent several minutes fiddling with it unequipping it and re-equipping it until it miraculously worked. Or it started working when friend handed me a rifle and I equipped that, and then was able to switch to the pistol. I'm not actually sure what fixed it.

• There's a mantling system where you can attempt to climb into objects, but it's wildly inconsistent. Some tables only work from one side, and several ledges in caves only allowed climbing if standing in a super specific spot with a tiny error tolerance. Unlike Gears of War or Vanquish which give you icons showing when you can do specific interactions with objects, the game doesn't show when you're in a specific "hey you can mantle here" and unlike System Shock 2 the mantling doesn't appear to correctly trigger if you make a small running jump at a ledge. It's very unforgivingly implemented and I thought at one point we were stuck in a cave due to a ledge that absolutely could not be mantled onto except at one spot we eventually trial and errored into being able to climb out.

• My friend had a physics bug when he was attempting to hop into my open cockpit in space and his movement locked up until I got close enough for him to interact with the ship cockpit again.

• I ragdolled multiple times when doing fairly basic stuff. The game does not gracefully handle anti-gravity suit flight into gravity zones (inside a ship bay, over a gravity pad). Trying to go from suit flight to landing on top of a pad, the top of a docked ship, a piece of pipe, all ragdolled me on landing in spite of the transition drop dealing little or no actual fall damage. Also happened in a cave with full gravity when going off a ledge while in a crouching/prone state. The ledge was clearly there to be climbed back up, but apparently no graceful way to descend it. The game doesn't simply put you in a controllable standing state when you start falling it seems. This appears to be a widely known problem with the physics as I found multiple complaints about it elsewhere on the official forums.

• Attempting to get back into a ship by means of the elevator (just a flat platform that lowers down) also ragdolled me because apparently it doesn't have an animation where you "stick" to the elevator when it's rising. Eventually I got in via luck but it woulda been easier to hover above the entrance and have friend hit the in-ship switch. I also tried manually flying into both the elevator opening and a larger cargo opening, and both were ragdolling me when gravity kicked in, making me fall out.

• We attempted a "find a lost person" in a cave, and had absolutely no success finding this person. As I discovered in a later Youtube video complaining about the current 3.7 version of Star Citizen, apparently caves are very basic, pretty much all look the same, and the missions sometimes bug out and never spawn the person/dead body you're looking for.

• My cockpit at one point decided to repeatedly open and close on its own. Bugginess with some of the cockpit behaviours are known apparently.

• The game is really finicky with some objects in terms of how close or how far you need to be to interact with it. This mostly applies to ship's elevators and entrances. Buttons on other objects were mostly painless.

• Missions are very bare-bones. AI for enemy ships is "functional" at best and apparently was atrocious for a long time, and absolutely zero hostiles or meaningful interactions in the environment when on-foot exploring a planet. In at least one new set added, cave exploration, there are apparently issues (that we may or may not have experienced) where the mission objective never spawns correctly.

This is a post about the game from someone else in 2018:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
It's more accurate to say it's in a very early alpha stage, like maybe 20% of the way to being an actual full alpha version of the product where all the core gameplay loops are in place and testable. Right now all they've got is ship-to-ship combat (due to be overhauled "eventually" because it's borked beyond all reason), picking up boxes (mostly functional, though the box will occasionally vanish or never appear, and you may not be able to deliver it), a very very rudimentary "tier zero" implementation of mining (a mining laser to get chunks of ore you can sell, no other use for it yet, oh, and it's only available on a single ship which you currently can only get by paying cash money for), and if you put a lot of effort into it you can sometimes get a bunch of other players together and pretend to have a race, or try to jam as many people into a single ship as possible, or have gunfights on barren moons for fun.


My advice to anyone looking at Star Citizen in 2018 is do not under any circumstances buy it until it is done and released. This is a crowdfunded project that's already racked up $190m -- if they fail to make the game they've promised, it won't be because you didn't give them forty bucks today, it'll be because they simply can't do it at all.

Wait until they get to an actual honest-to-god retail release, then look at it and decide if it's a product that's worth your money. Right now, in September 2018, it absolutely isn't. Feel free to check out those Twitch streamers, but do yourself a favor: ignore the marketing spiels and optimistic discussions of what will "eventually" be in the game and just take a cold, honest look at what they are playing. The game itself makes a more eloquent case for not buying it right now than any person ever could.


This is a game that's been in development for over 5 years. It's missing tons of basic playtesting and bugfixes, which it gets away with by billing itself as being perpetually in an Alpha state, and having a fancy website with a slick marketing/promo campaign. It might as well be vapourware at this point, because there are far more functionally competent games out there that didn't require millions of dollars in backing to complete. I am fortunate I am out only 40 bucks on the game (money I should have spent on Earth Defense Force 5, oh well), but I feel genuinely bad for people who've sunk tons of money into this and received essentially nothing after almost a decade. And now big-money backers are desperately hoping the game will come to fruition and not make their investment look like a huge, colossal waste into a project that made massive promises it has no evidence of keeping, and has a still current shop where it asks players to spend $100 USD or more on buying ships to support the game (apparently the game wipes in-game currency earned and progress quarterly, retaining only shop items).

My friend expressed his disappointment to me that I was not enthused about the game. I don't frankly care about how far it's come along if it's taken this long and is still honestly trash. For the record, Space Station 13, a complex space station simulation that also does complicated physics interactions (for a 2D game that is), was built on a relatively terrible game engine and still feels more interesting without having had a million dollar budget. Star Citizen feels more like some kind of elaborate yet badly mismanaged project where all the focus is on making art assets. The idea of being on multi-person interactive starships is an exciting one, so I can see why there's so much hype for the game, but frankly the game's gone absolutely nowhere given the budget and the supposed size of the development team (and the very obviously large portion of the budget that's gone to marketing the game via videos and its slick website and not development of the game itself). The physics engine may be complex, but it doesn't feel particularly fun or polished, and the game itself qualifies as "barely playable". I feel bad for people who sunk more than the bare minimum into this game, but honestly, you're being taken for a ride.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:07 pm 


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I am terrible at Xeno Crisis. Always continue on the stage 1 boss, and have never made it to the stage 3 boss. Plugged in a second controller hoping that maybe the other player could join in and take over when the first player was about to kick the bucket (I recall an NES game or two allowing this...) but no luck :p Although having the second character there can be handy because they can spend all their ammo and cause ammo boxes to spawn continuously, and they can be revived over and over except at the boss. This is also when I noticed that the female marine has considerably faster movement.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:14 pm 


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She has faster movement to start, but the two characters can be equalized after a couple of upgrades.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:10 am 


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Ninja Saviours finally arrived this week, and after a quick play with each character, I settled on Ninja. He feels very satisfyingly OP. His shoulder tackle into stagger > throw/combo is very strong. As enemies started approaching front and rear, I thought to myself 'okay he'll struggle a little here', but then I was delighted to find out his nun chucks hit both sides! Throwing items also appears to be very strong. Made it to Jubei on my first play through. Have only played it a few times since and managed to beat Jubei once. The next stage the two big robot dudes destroyed me, so I'll have to put a little time practicing those parts. I like the game. The music is top notch and I love the animations with detailed sprites and backgrounds. Ninja unexpectedly doing a backward cartwheel just before a stage transition brought a beaming smile to my face. However, the first five stages feel very easy and I only felt the need to use a few moves to progress - one punch kill, one punch kill, shoulder tackle, throw etc etc. Maybe there's a depth I'm not seeing yet. Anyway, I hope to spend more time with this when I can. Especially looking forward to trying Raiden out.

In a departure from my usual tastes, I bought Sherlock Holmes: Crime and Punishments on sale at gog. Very much enjoyed the first case 'Black Peter'. The second case 'Off the Rails' was decent, but didn't have the options or charm of 'Black Peter'. Curious if the remaining cases will improve or if the first was the highlight.

Shovel Knight quickly changed from a charismatic, stress free romp to something a little more demanding! I was somewhat caught off guard by this. Not that I don't enjoy this type of game, but I was looking for something to relax and chill with after playing Guilty Gear for hours. I'll come back to the game when I have a day to commit to it, as it certainly deserves my attention. Speaking of Guilty Gear, the new trailers have me hype! The gameplay looks like it has been simplified a lot and probably too much. Many folks are angry and disappointed.... But I'm a sucker for aesthetics, so I'm all aboard and will give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

Still chipping away with Fight'N Rage in an effort to get all the endings. Got the 1cc with F. Norris quite easily and have finished 3 of his endings. Great game to chill and have a beer.

Managed to circumvent the combine on stage 3 in Double Dragon II, but it is a right pain in the arse and terrible design. Can't do it consistently yet, and not sure i want to put the effort into it tbh. I'll see what the later levels hold before deciding.

Can do Blazing Chrome's stage 1 & 2 rather easily now, and on to stage 3! I like the game, and usually love these types of game, but something....something makes me not want to play it. I can't put my finger on it....is it too generic? Too similar to Contra? I'm not entirely sure, but it feels... kinda boring? Nothing really excites me about the game I guess.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:10 am 


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Man Leviathan, you're playing all the good games at once! Gotta chill that OCD and focus. I think Blazing Chrome is well worth perfecting if that's your bag. I wish the down jump mechanic worked like Contra but I can't fault it otherwise. I prefer the Metal Slug style frantic RnG but this one is great. Shovel Knight and Fight 'n' Rage are probably both more mechanically tight for their genres but Blazing Chrome nails the feeling. I guarantee you won't be disappointed with the ending if you see it through.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:02 am 


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Leviathan wrote:
Shovel Knight quickly changed from a charismatic, stress free romp to something a little more demanding! I was somewhat caught off guard by this. Not that I don't enjoy this type of game, but I was looking for something to relax and chill with after playing Guilty Gear for hours. I'll come back to the game when I have a day to commit to it, as it certainly deserves my attention. Speaking of Guilty Gear, the new trailers have me hype! The gameplay looks like it has been simplified a lot and probably too much. Many folks are angry and disappointed.... But I'm a sucker for aesthetics, so I'm all aboard and will give it the benefit of the doubt for now.

I've said this before, but I'll throw in a reminder here - after beating Shovel Knight, be sure to play its "New Game+" mode. That's where it turns into a true classic NES style action platformer.
It removes all the little issues I had with the normal mode - Enemies deal more damage, there are no healing items, only checkpoints before the bosses, and you don't need to chase money around to buy upgrades, because you already have the ones you need from the former playthrough.


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:38 am 


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Tonight I've been playing Dragon's Revenge (Genesis). What an odd little game, one with an undeservedly bad reputation I think. Yes this game is a mess, and no the music and art direction can't compare to the Naxat original, but it does have arguably superior physics and a lot of fun ideas, naff music and goofy sound samples. It's fun to play if a bit easy, and although the playfield layout isn't great I do think the special stages are more playable than MD Devil Crash at least—that game has you spending 50% of the time doing nothing in the special stages while the ball bounces into and shoots out of catapults that you have no control over, while this one has neat perspective effects and barbarian babes.

Mostly, though, I'm just curious about this game's story—how the hell did Tengen end up making this clone of a cult favorite Japanese video pinball game? What's the deal with Joe Hitchens, the lead art director who worked on Epic Pinball the same year? The game also has a weird hardware history as although I've owned 3 carts of this baby none of them have ever worked, there must have been some pretty subpar manufacturing going on.

This isn't a great game, but it is better than the other US-made pinball games on the console. Certainly worth a try if you like these 16-bit pinball games.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:44 am 


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it290 wrote:
The game also has a weird hardware history as although I've owned 3 carts of this baby none of them have ever worked, there must have been some pretty subpar manufacturing going on.


Interesting... seems the curse of Tengen carts isn't just Grind Stormer, then. I've heard of Gauntlet IVs packing up on people too. I wonder if it's something similar to the bad batch of capacitors that supposedly ended up in Game Gears around that time?

I was deathly paranoid for a good five years that all my JP Tengen carts would die on me but after much hard slapping, it seems they're as trusty as any other. Oddball company in general, Tengen, though at least on the JP side they tended to produce amazing results.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 6:02 am 


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Yeah, I've had bad luck with Grind Stormer too. Gauntlet IV has been good to me, though. Not sure what the deal is.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:58 am 


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it290 wrote:
Man Leviathan, you're playing all the good games at once! Gotta chill that OCD and focus. I think Blazing Chrome is well worth perfecting if that's your bag. I wish the down jump mechanic worked like Contra but I can't fault it otherwise. I prefer the Metal Slug style frantic RnG but this one is great. Shovel Knight and Fight 'n' Rage are probably both more mechanically tight for their genres but Blazing Chrome nails the feeling. I guarantee you won't be disappointed with the ending if you see it through.

Funny you said this, as I was thinking the same thing myself during the week. Took your advice, and stuck with 3 games over the weekend. Almost completed stage 3 of Blazing Chrome but died to the boss. I very much like the game. I actually think I overdosed on the Contra Collection recently, so it doesn't excite as much as it should. I do think the bosses on the first two stages are fairly uninspiring though.

Practiced Jubei for a bit in Ninja Saviors, and I think I have found a reliable strategy to defeat him, but I accidentally killed him and couldn't practice it further. Same with the twin giants, where I may have found a safe spot. I'll test both again tonight. Continued on, playing the latter stages for the first time and got to last boss. Took me longer than I'd care to admit to figure out how he took damage, and I died when he had a pixel of health remaining. All in all a productive run, where I only died to Jubei and Banglar.

Ranked down three times in one sitting in Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2! I really should have stopped playing, but pride got in the way. Made it up again though over the rest of the weekend.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:57 am 


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Not playing it, but just notice that there's a Penguin Wars game on the Switch eShop! DLing as we speak, I love the original.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:30 pm 


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^ marc, it's available physically, too. https://readytodispatch.com/collections/frontpage
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:11 pm 


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Started playing Death Stranding last night, but was too tired to play beyond the prologue. According to whom you ask, it's either, the ultimate pleb filter or a glorified deliveryman simulator with a pretentious sci-fi story. The game has tremendous production values, I'll give it that, but I will never get Kojima's obsession with casting Hollywood actors in his games. I thought Kiefer Sutherland was fine in MGSV, but he was way too underutilized in that game


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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:15 pm 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
I thought Kiefer Sutherland was fine in MGSV, but he was way too underutilized in that game


I always assumed they must have been paying him by line, and that was all the dialogue they could afford.

I'm sure I'll enjoy Death Stranding, but I'm holding out for the inevitable PS5 version.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:30 am 


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Jonny2x4 wrote:
Started playing Death Stranding last night, but was too tired to play beyond the prologue. According to whom you ask, it's either, the ultimate pleb filter or a glorified deliveryman simulator with a pretentious sci-fi story. The game has tremendous production values, I'll give it that, but I will never get Kojima's obsession with casting Hollywood actors in his games. I thought Kiefer Sutherland was fine in MGSV, but he was way too underutilized in that game


Once you get a little further you'll have to let us know if there's an actual game there or not.
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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:22 am 


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Died 3 times in a run last night on The Ninja Saviors, 2 of which were eminently avoidable and another vs Jubei. Seems my strategy didn't work as I well as I hoped against the King of Fighters lookalike. Might just stick to the original 'toss enemies at him and use invincible attacks at other times' plan. The avoidable deaths came against the giant robot dude just before Jubei, where I was trying a new strat that didn't work. The other vs Banglar, where I missed the final health pick up before the auto scroll. Can definitely 1cc this soon. Jubei seems to be the big roadblock in a run.
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Last edited by BurlyHeart on Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: What [not shmup] game are you playing now?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:40 am 


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ACSeraph wrote:
I always assumed they must have been paying him by line, and that was all the dialogue they could afford.


I think there might be some truth to that theory. They probably only had him for fewer mo-cap/recording sessions than the normal voice actors in the game such as Troy Baker and Robin Atkins Downes. He's a mute for most of the game, but can be pretty talkative when he needs to during the very important missions and cutscenes. Hell the final set of tapes is pretty much Big Boss doing monologues. He even recorded dialoguefor the cut "Kingdom of the Flies" mission.

it290 wrote:
Once you get a little further you'll have to let us know if there's an actual game there or not.

Will do.


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