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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


So, went and quite literally beat the hell out of a red suited Yakuza psychopath, did the second (and I really hope last) Escort Battle - it’s a truly shit, shit idea - then the game went and gut-punched me with a couple of evil plot twists, a big cliffhanger and then, adding insult to injury, it slung me back to Kiryu!

To quote Herr Starr: Baaaaaaaassssssttttaaaaaaaaarrrrdddddd.

So, a good run on Yakuza 0 then.


Yeah I gave up on FFXV, which I probably would have been all about a decade ago. It just felt very tedious and not very rewarding.

I don’t know if Witcher had anything to do with that, but I don’t think it helped.


Had a quick blast of Far Cry Primal. Like the feel and look of it and spent an hour exploring the environment rather than playing the story. I already think I’m going to enjoy it purely on a find animal - hunt animal - skin animal - repeat level. Only down side so far is the weird colour strobing effect that seems to happen whenever you rotate your character’s field of vision.


For me, I’m inclined to cut FF15 a bit of slack because I think its structure - what relatively little I’ve seen of it - betrays its age. I’m expecting more of the new Mass Effect in comparison.

Back to Yakuza 0 - One of the things that stands out here is the way the story shows up the ugliness at the core of the Yakuza. Previous entries have had Kiryu, out of the life, but is sucked back into a world of violence and deadly politics, but you never really got anywhere near the sheer levels of violent psychopathy this installment shows. The difference? Yakuza 4 and 5 laid out Saejima’s back-story, that he and Majima planned a hit, they were over-ruled but Saejima still did it, killing 18 Yakuza in the process. In the earlier games, Majima lost his eye and was imprisoned. Here, we learn he wasn’t just imprisoned, but imprisoned in solitary confinement and tortured to the brink of death daily for defying his bosses. In previous games, the presentation was of a Yakuza chain of command, but here that chain is enforced by the most evil and sadistic thuggery going.

Similarly the hostess concept, which was shown from a consumer perspective - you go to a bar and spend time talking to a beautiful woman, while paying for all the tab. Now that, to me? Looks like an operation for suckers and it really is, but flip it around to those who run the operation? The sleaze and unease factors go through the roof. Sure, it isn’t prostitution, but it isn’t that far away from it either.

The two factors together really do a very good job of immersing you in this very edgy, dark and utterly fucked-up world of gangsters.


My chief complaint about BaW so far is that the path finding for Roach isn’t as good as the main game. It’s a minor thing but I’m far less inclined to auto run Roach.

And there are less waypoints.


I had trouble with Roach in B&W too! I thought it was just me.


No, it’s definitely not.

It’s just that the path-finding hasn’t been as rigorously coded as in the main game, and because there’s lots of hills and bridges and vineyards and so forth.

He also gets stuck on bridges occasionally which is frustrating. It’s one of those things that would have been fixed if they had more time to playtest, but they probably wanted the DLC out as soon as they could.

I do like that the region is largely inspired by Southern Europe, particularly Bordeaux and Southern France, which i’ve visited.


Still early days in Far Cry Primal. Only thing that’s really causing me grief are bears. Throw a spear at them? They get pissed off, charge and kill me. I leave them alone? They get pissed off, charge and kill me. Hit them with a club. They get pissed off, charge and kill me. Set them on fire with a burning arrow? Exactly the same only the fucker is a ball of burning rage and fire too.


Don’t fuck with the bears Bruce.


That has become very apparent.



@BenObiwomble , I’ve just arrived at Beyond Hill and Dale.

I gather, though, that unlike HoS and the main game, the choices here create an entirely different set of events that happens if you choose to find the Unseen?

That’s cool, but a little frustrating, because I can’t imagine reloading just to play that questline.

EDIT: Anyway, I’m going to save this part until tomorrow, because I don’t want to rush through it, and gather I’m nearing the end.


Looks fantastic doesn’t it? Hey wait, you went and clicked, didn’t you? Of course you did.

Definitely keep a couple of saves back, including from the point of Take The Castle, as that’s your divergence point.

And yes, you are near the end.


Well, I haven’t done enough of it to feel like it’s a huge deviation at this point, in terms of graphics.

Based on your comment, I was expecting something a bit more stylised like the Painted World in HoS.

I just played up to the Wicked Witch and stopped.


Ah, wait until you get out of the forest…



A change to my Far Cry Primal game play. Avoid bears. Shoot flaming arrows at yaks instead and roll about laughing as they run about in terror setting the entire world ablaze.


I vehemently disagree with most of that list, but I agree entirely with his assessment of Phantom Hourglass. Just some really bizarre decisions made with that game.

My list (of the ones I’ve played enough) would go:

  1. Phanton Hourglass
  2. Majora’s Mask
  3. Link’s Awakening
  4. Twilight Princess
  5. Link Between Worlds
  6. Ocarina of Time
  7. Wind Waker (HD)
  8. Link To The Past

I’ve only had very quick goes on the NES ones (and not felt compelled to really dive into them). The Oracles and Minish Cap passed me by at the time and I’ve not managed to pick up copies yet. Same with Skyward Sword (which came out when I’d lost interest in the Wii). Given how much I disliked Phantom Hourglass, I’ve not bothered with Spirit Tracks. I’ve no interest in Triforce Heroes and it seems odd that Kotaku guy would put it on his list while excluding Four Swords.


So, I finished Blood and Wine.

A couple of thoughts:

  • There’s still tons to do here, and my goal over the next few days is to clear out any remaining contracts, Hanse bases and Vinter quests. I have a greater mission of upgrading the Enchanter in Oxenfurt to Master level and adding slots to Aerondight so I can Enchant my equipment with the crazy stuff. I’d also like to get the Undying perk, but that’s a ways off - I need 7 ability points and I’m sitting at level 53, so it might be a bit unrealistic to think I can get that many levels.
  1. The graphics are good, but I’m not as in love with them as you, @BenObiwomble. There’s a huge lighting difference between Toussaint and the rest of the Northern Realms which is pretty noticeable if you jump between Velen and Beauclair (like, if you’re trying to get items enchanted). I enjoyed the Beyond Hill and Dale mission, and while it’s a very impressive engine, it’s not quite the standards of the Fox Engine or Naughty Dog’s in-house engine, or a handful others I could mention. With that said, it’s pretty amazing graphics for an RPG, which generally has to do a lot more work in terms of world-building and modelling.

  2. The enemies in Blood and Wine are much more challenging - particularly the boss-fights, which involve lots of Vampires . The final fight felt like something lifted straight out of The Blade movies, or Dark Souls and managed to be equal parts fun and challenging.

  3. The story is interesting enough, but I don’t think there’s anyone here that compares to Olgeird von Everec in terms of complexity. The Duchess, Syrana, Detlaff and Regis are all compelling enough, but much of the joy here comes from the southern European style region, the fairy-tale tropes, and the goofy pomposity of the knights errant.

  4. I very much enjoyed the final, post-credits bit, which for me was Meeting Yen at Cordo Bianco and essentially retiring. - Geralt and Yen have such a sweet relationship and they’re both very full and different characters with rough edges that makes their love somewhat believable. Everytime there’s dialogue between the two you have to appreciate how well they bring it to life. .

  5. Editted to add: A fun detail was Gullarme, who you do a quest for early in the DLC - I found him post-game Drunk off his ass, because I had opted to free Vivienne from the curse herself, and so he didn’t take it on. I thought Geralt had a good message for him at the end of that quest which was, “If you love someone you have to be prepared to set them free.” but Gullarme just sooks about and gets drunk .


You realise there’s New Game Plus to still do, right? And I don’t think it’s your standard version either, there’s talk of new armours and so on.

I skipped the final boss, as by then I’d decided I didn’t like the Duchess so screw her.

Did you do the Witcher contract where it turns out the wife is screwing a farmhand because her husband’s an utter arse and you can decide to back her or him?