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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


The generally good reviews for Prey make me feel like I’m just not understanding it.


I’ve heard a couple of people say the demo isn’t representative of the full game, and it gets more interesting later.

In which case, maybe they should have used a more interesting section of the game for the demo!


You might have some trouble getting Space Station Silicon Valley to run on your SNES.


oops. N64 of course.


Found this interesting as a non-gamer. It contains SPOILERS - but Charlie warns when they are coming up. The important factor is he says several times that the extra features are all accessible through normal game play, that they unlock as one plays. These are the same features as the $100 version (where, I guess, you pay to unlock those features earlier). Lots of game-play techniques I just ignored.


Dragon Age continues to be fun:

  • Killed the High Abyssal Dragon - and it was quite a satisfying fight, similar to the Storm Dragon I took out in Exalted Plains a couple of days back. These are not easy, but equipping Bull with a 300+ damage greatsword that I slung a Superb Dragon Slaying rune onto did even it up. And I now have a Dragon expert at Skyhold.

  • Cassandra was caught reading, well, it was basically porn. You never get any dialogue to that effect, but it’s basically 50 Shades, written by Varric. The quest was hilarious.

  • Got Bull’s loyalty quest active, not yet done.

  • Did the Knight’s Tomb quest, which was a bigger undertaking than I expected.

  • Vivienne’s quest had some weird dialogue options, but was mostly OK. Did like the title ‘bring me the heart of snow white’.

EDIT: Tried the Dishonoured 2 demo… It didn’t last long.

Now, the chances of my liking it given how I found its predecessor, well low would be charitable but honestly, who the hell thought first-person platforming is ever a good idea? Really hate it whenever it turns up because, due to it being first person, it gives me no way whatsoever of gauging the jump or the distance, my location in the environment relative to the jump distance, basically all the little bits of info you need to make a jump.

So, yeah, it died fast and nasty but they get points for issuing a demo at all.


I got Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia yesterday. Much like when it was announced out of the blue in February, it was something of a pleasant surprise, as I had completely forgotten about it and my pre-order for it.

It’s a really nice game (so far) and I’m surprised how well it works given it breaks some of the tenets of how Fire Emblem works. There’s no weapon triangle, to start with. This is actually quite freeing, as it means less worry about taking scissors to cut all the paper and instead just using which troops you want. Along with this, fliers aren’t immediately made mincemeat by all archers, which makes them more useful and archers have a much better range of attack, 1-3 squares, rather than just 2, making them much more versatile.

Another item change is that the traditional system of equipping weapons is gone. Each character can hold one item, whether it be a weapon, a shield or a vegetable (to eat and regain HP). Not having a weapon equipped means that they use a generic default, whereas giving someone, say, an iron sword gives them some stat buffs and, as they use it, learn “arts”. These are Echoes’ equivalent of skills from Fates and Awakening and are tied to items rather than class. None of them seem to passive and they all cost HP to use (as does magic and healing now). It definitely creates an interesting dynamic.

One clear improvement, rather than alternative, over the previous games is that there’s much more voice acting. Pretty much every bit of dialogue is fully voiced, including the support conversations, which makes them much more lively. I suspect there’s room for this because the game’s not quite got the breadth of Fates (I assume it hasn’t, anyway) but I think it’s a great trade off. The soundbite vocal style of the previous games wasn’t terrible, but could get a little wearing at times, whereas here, the characters get to be so much more endearing, especially Alm, whose VA is great.

The only real problems I have with the game are to do with extras. The Amiibo compatibility is a bit naff. You can use the new Alm and Celica amiibo to unlock extras dungeons, I think (not got either of those) or you can use any other Amiibo to summon an “illusionary fighter”. These cost a decent amount of HP and last only a turn (and they act independently, rather than under your control). Using a Fire Emblem Amiibo summons a shade that looks like that character, rather than a generic fighter summoned by any other Amiibo. It’s a bit pointless though - they essentially steal XP from your proper characters, the ghost like design mutes the thrill of summoning favourite characters like Lucina and given how much HP they cost to summon, you probably won’t be able to afford to summon one if you really need it.

The other extra problem is DLC. There’s a season pass available from day one and it costs £40. £40! That’s more than I paid for the full game. If you got the premium limited edition and wanted the season pass, for the full Echoes experiences, you’d be looking at £115. It’s extortionate.


Went and duffed up Corypheus, and his little dragon too.

Neither fight was that stellar, with him basically moving to a high point and doing a red laser attack that was as cheap as it sounds. Beyond that, he didn’t give me much trouble. The dragon was a bit more difficult and the so-called Life Ward kept failing to work - the biggest criticism I have of the game is relies too much on nerfing healing for difficulty, which is a staple of RPGs.

The far better execution was in the aftermath as you see what happens after. For me Leiliana became Divine plus other bits and pieces, not sure how they’re derived, but it was done well.

Next 3 DLCs begin.


Ryse:Son of Rome

I saw lots of negative press for this at release but it was free on Xbox live so decided to grab a copy.

Due to a ridiculously long download time (more to do with my internet provider than the size of the game) my first experience of the game was the gladiator multiplayer (which can be played solo).
As I had played none of the game I had no clue what the controls were. I soon found what I thought were a light attack and heavy attack and a dodge button. I also found a button for showboating.
Each arena battle is made up of a combination of events (kill the archers, hold a location etc) that you must survive. I was lucky at this point to make it into the second event where I was always slaughtered by the enemy onslaught.
Eventually the main game was downloaded enough that I could start it. I played through most, but not all of the turorial elements before the game again stopped while waiting for the download to complete.
The main game is very linear and full of essentially qte’s. I will get bored of this very quickly. Combat feels like the Arkham games and is quite smooth with a good variety of different opposition types. The execution kills, triggered when prompted and then a series of qte button pushes, are brutal and graphic. They for the theme well.
Overall Ryse will provide a few hours fun but the story is already striking me as overly cliched and I’m pretty certain I know how it is going to end. I will probably get more out of solo playing the arenas than the story.


So, Dragon Age: Inquisition: Jaws of Hakkon DLC…

On the whole this has been pretty good so far.

Not without its flaws, I took on a load of Avvar, having previously killed groups of them, but this lot pulled a nuke out of their arse and near wiped my lot out - the Rincewind strategy was swiftly deployed. Turns out the fuckers have a super-kill debuff move. Other irritants are placing hidden items and having the radar pick then up vertically! That’s a pain, but that’s about it so far.

The area is well-designed, with swamps and low valleys, mountainous regions, ruins and mysteries a-plenty. Whatever else you might say about Bioware, they didn’t just shoot this out of their ass - some care was taken on setting this region up - it’s large and intricate. Biggest success so far? Taking out a Rift that threw out 4 Lv 26 Pride Demons - which was a scary prospect until I deployed Mark of the Rift to near-kill 3 of them.

The camps this time are huge, intricate treehouses that are very cool - first time you set one up you end up with this massive complex. It’s great.

Also, had enough shards to finally finish that temple in Forbidden Oasis, so did that too - the hardest thing was finding - or rather getting to - the entrance.

Done a good few sidequests, one of which gave me another agent for the Inquisition.

So, so far, so good.


I just recently beat Jet Force Gemini (N64) starting from a new file…and last night I restarted Donkey Kong 64 from a new file…what have I done o___O


Why the hell did I decide to go with another Rare game where collecting is the name of the game? Ha. So. Much. Collecting.

Banjo Kazooie is still my favorite Rareware game I think. It had a solid balance of collecting/gameplay. DK64 is going to be effin’ redundant, but oh well. Still fun.


Well I’ve finished up Andromeda today.
In typical bioware style the end game is very well done as are a lot of the loyalty missions and character arcs for your crew.
One criticism is that in the last part of the game, once you are done with the more open world aspects, you are left with a series of mainly loyalty quests and other narrative quests, all of which are interesting, but which involves a lot of planet hopping. That means a lot of watching the same cut scenes of the tempest taking off and landing. Not fun .

Overall I think this was a great game. Totally in line with the others. Mass effect 2 was the best game in the original
series for me, due to the string crew and characters, and this is very much along those lines. I enjoyed it more than ME3.
There are actually a few big story arcs started in Andromeda, which were clearly set up for another trilogy or sequel. Specifically the identity of the benefactor, the death of Jean garson, the origin of the Angara, purpose of the remnant and origin of the scourge. Sadly, based on recent news that ME development is shelved for now, those may never get the closure they deserve, as all were interesting starting points.
Personally I think this game got a really bum wrap from reviewers and fanboys. The patches fixed all the major bugs and improved the graphical issue immensely. The story and characters are engaging. The combat, while not tactical enough for an RPG in my mind and a bit repetitive, is still lots of fun.
I’ll be interested to see what you all make of it when and if you play it.
Next in line for me is a change of pace with rise of tomb raider and the end of dishonoured 2, which i shelved for Andromeda.
Then I shall try this Witcher game you all keep going on about :grinning:


I’ve decided I should finish Inquisition before starting this, which is going well enough so far.


I forgot how much I liked “Inquisition.” Then I ran into this on one of my Youtube playlists and was reduced to tears again.

“The Dawn Will Come”


I’m still playing Fire Emblem Echoes and still really enjoying it, especially the art and presentation. I decided to have a quick look at the art style of the game it’s a remake of, Fire Emblem Gaiden (which was on the NES in about 1991) and the redesigns are pretty excellent.

This is Clair in Gaiden’s manual (she has blue hair in the actual game).

And Clair as she appears in Echoes.

Alm from Gaiden:

and Alm as he is in Echoes


Wow they’ve changed her horse a lot.


So Jaws of Hakkon is done save for the final boss.

What else? OK, let’s see:

The Good: Four, four dead dragons, hahahahah. Including the one that guards the Skull in Empris de Lion!

The Bad: The Old Temple section - what idiot thought it was good to do a fast depleting warmth meter and place black braziers on black floors in dark hallways? It was a pain in the arse section, which was made worse by adding in battles and then to top it all off, boss battle. One that was hugely irritating because there’s the warmth meter, the boss can put the fires out AND has an infinite goon supply. It was crap.

Maybe Hakkon will be a better boss, but as he’s also a dragon, it doesn’t bode well.


I just used Batman to pilot the TARDIS into Mount Doom. I don’t know what anyone else is playing but I doubt it’s half as fun as that.


That does sound awesome.

EDIT: In other news - Lv 27 Ice Giant - Utter bastard. Just about managed to kill the thing, did give the new armour and weapons a substantive test too. Loot from it was kind of rubbish too.

EDIT 2: Went and decked Hakkon, not quite as cheap as the Ice Giant but still far too reliant on camera viewpoint obscuring his position, flying up out of range taking potshots and landing on the party. All in all, a crappy boss fight that was nowhere near as epic as should have been considering you’re fighting a God-Dragon!

On the other hand, taking out a Lv 25 dragon means I ought to be able to take out that Lv 21 pair in Empris De Lion.

EDIT 3: Well, this was unexpected - all the dragons are now dead by my hand, including a Lv 23 Fire Dragon that I took out with… Fire. Talk about making that last one harder - oh and double digit numbers of dragonlings were dead by the end too. It is fair to say the dragons I still think could have been better - the limb targeting doesn’t seem to do that much, could be so much more. Each fight boils down to an endurance contest - can you hit the dragon harder than it hits you before your healing potions run out.