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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


I found the platforming in Doom much, much trickier (i.e. annoying) and no one here complained about that. Then again I think I was one of the few who didn’t care for that game.

I am currently playing D2 and I am enjoying it – it’s a cool steampunk world that’s nicely realized. And just like the first one I do like that you can play the game in various ways ( and there really isn’t much platforming). That said I’m finding it a little boring – there’s something missing from the game. So I’d say if you skip it, you’re not losing out.


Yeah, I’m towards the end of it, and would say it is OK, but not a must play game by any stretch of the imagination.
There is one level in particular that is very well designed and realised, and quite original. The rest is pretty by the books.


Are you talking about Dishonored 2? If so, which level? (The time travel one?)


Yes, exactly.
I thought that level was very well done. The level was designed so it was largely impossible to finish using standard stealth techniques. You had to suddenly change approach to use the time slip mechanic. It was a lot of fun.
The level design throughout the game.e was actually pretty solid, but that level in particular, given it was actually two levels on top of each other, was an achievement, and no something I’ve come across in other games.


I haven’t played Dishonored 2 but I love the use of time travel in games where you have to play with cause and effect to solve problems in multiple time periods. Day of the Tentacle is probably the classic example, and there was a simple but effective time-travel mechanic in Sonic CD too.

I’ve recently been playing through the Doctor Who level of Lego Dimensions and there’s lots of stuff in there where you have to visit different time periods and make changes to give yourself an advantage in the future where you’re fighting the Daleks.

How is it implemented in Dishonored?


You have a timepiece that allows you to shift between present day, in a ruined mansion, and 20 or so years in the past when the mansion is functioning and populated. Its largely a stealth game, and there are some obstacles, collectables and enemies that can only be effectively dealt with by switching back and forward, and, in some instances, acting in the past to change the present.


Yeah, Ross covers it. As he said earlier, it’s just one level. I think if the game had done more of that stuff it’d be much better. I like it, but I don’t think it’s essential by any means (and I prefer the first one).


OK, for anyone who has Inquisition and hasn’t bought The Descent DLC - here’s a tip: Don’t.

Oh, it started off OK, then it’s first mission is throwing you at an Alpha Ogre who’s immune to just about everything - so a long slog fight results. What follows suggests this will be a good, a big, mad fight against darkspawn that you end by blowing up the entrance they issue from.

After that, it’s all downhill, with a fight with another Ogre, fractionally easier than the Alpha type, but he has loads of help - turns out you can’t progress the scene until all enemies but one is in a wall! Solution? Respawn and re-kill the lot! Not impressed by that at all. Also, get a lot of enemies active in DA:I and the targeting fails completely and you really need that to work here.

So got past that, got to the next bit whereupon it took a sword to its throat and severed its lifeblood all over the place! Why?

  • It throws you in a locked dungeon that you have to complete - without warning. You cannot save nor retreat and while there are supply caches, they are in the most stupid locations.
  • It overloads you with enemies that are your level, thus you die quick.
  • It sets up a structure where you have to kill certain enemies to progress. The problem with this is that the speed that the game spawns extra enemies is dumb, the difficult goes through the roof and it’s not at all enjoyable.
  • Somehow, I got to the final point but had to retreat and hunt for one of those damn caches, so receiving the final insult, after about 70mins of utter shite, the boss vanishes and can’t be killed. Solution? Re-loading! Yeah, fuck that.

It was one of the worst sections of a game sequence I’ve ever seen, mostly due to the speed and level of the spawning.

So yeah, absolutely awful - do not buy it.


I got my N64 out of the loft today. I’ve been putting off going through my old games on it for ages. I think the reason is because I knew on some level I’d be disappointed with them. In the N64 era my brother bought all the good games and I got the dregs. Mostly wrestling games and boy do they not hold up.

The most interesting crap game I’ve got is Mace: The Dark Age, which is a shlocky one on one fighter from Midway. It feels like a half-baked Mortal Kombat clone (which is odd coming from the same dev) and plays terribly. But it’s got an eclectic, gleefully mad cast of characters and it’s the kind of mid-budget “throw it at the wall, see if it sticks” game that we don’t get any more, where the design process was mostly “I just saw a load of martial arts movies”, rather than someone slaving over creating a fully realised universe. It’s a shame there isn’t a space for those kinds of games outside of the indie scene any more.


Because I am a spectacularly bad loser, decided to spend quite a bit of time and a major of resources into experimenting with new gear - with damage modifiers for Darkspawn.

I then returned to the area I spent over an hour on before and tore everything in it a new arsehole, with sides of dismemberment, impaling, beheading, general maiming, frying, freezing, burning with the odd bit of dispelling thrown in. It was utterly nuts how fast enemies died - it was also utterly glorious.

The subsequent section, however, show just how unbalanced it was and what a major spike of difficulty it is. As, after that, with new enemies turning up, I’m still going through them with ease. It was mad.

Cue the end-of-DLC boss and it’s another frigging difficulty spike, even higher than that infamous mid-point one. This time it is a boss who does one-hit KOs or hits you off the platform for near instant death. It sounds cheap? Damn straight it is. Playing fair I got it down to about 25% health, then it just kept whacking off the platform. There is but one solution for cheap bosses - Death by Cheese. This one works by you getting knocked off the platform and not moving at all when you get placed back on it - by staying put the boss can’t hit you but you can hit the boss. So did that, took a few minutes but it died.

So 2 DLC down, Trespasser remains. So far, I’d rank Hakkon way above Descent - they do share similar flaws, overpowered enemies, spikes without warning but at least Frostback Basin was more interesting to explore. I did like that you could order the building of hugely intricate bridges in the Deep Roads to access new areas. That was smart.

Should you consider it? Depends - are you willing to cheat to win because I see no fair way of taking the final boss out. And if you buy it you better be prepared to do Batman-level preparations.


Wait, what?


Wait, what?


Look, it was rock hard, OK?

(More seriously, there’s a missing word - should have said: ‘whacking me off the platforms’ ended up taking about 20 falls to kill it.)


Actual phrase ‘you can cheese the boss’, turned up in a guide when I was looking for a way to screw it over.


Downloaded my kickstarter copy of Friday the 13th last night but haven’t had a chance to try it out yet.


How is that Telltale Batman?

Is it worth it?


British posters of a certain age might be interested in the latest episode of Checkpoints podcast, which is (mostly) a long interview with Violet Berlin about her career and video games stuff. It includes some exciting news about the new Micro Machines game.


What is the news? Is she in it?


Listen to the podcast!


To be honest I’m not that desperate to listen to a long podcast just to find that out (I like her but I just don’t have the time right now).

I’m planning to buy the game though so no doubt I’ll find out eventually.