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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


There’s also this little game coming out in a couple of months. I’m sure this trailer has already been shared in one of these threads but the range of characters (Cosmo!) and worlds in it are…tantalizing.


For a game to keep an eye, this is one:

(@Jim I know games ain’t really your thing, but this one I think you might be intrigued by)

There’s also going to be Yakuza Kiwami 2, which will presumably re-make the second game along the lines of the way they did the very-soon-to-be-out here first one.


I agree on getting the first one. It’s a decent bit of fun. A bit of Assassins Creed and a bit Arkham Asylum - lots of running about picking random fights with groups of enemies, stalking them and jumping on them from on high. There’s a game of the year edition out or a main-game-only version should be sort cheap.

As for microtransactions “blighting” the second game I think that might be an overexageration (though I do say that without actually reading any articles on it). I mean generally speaking the things on offer in these transactions are usually loot you’d get through exploring the game and actually playing it. It’s not as though they lock off areas of the game or anything.


The smartest criticism I heard of the defence that it doesn’t stop you playing the game without it was: If it’s so good, why offer a short cut at all?




Well… Yeah.

Back to FFXV and had a far better go today overall. Though there are times when the game just can’t help itself, like when I’m whacking the crap out of a Gigantoad and the camera rotates to put a tree in the way of my line of sight! Have to admit that, now there’s a good amount of superiority, not even the Imperials numbers help them much - my gang tore through two lots with ease today.


Finished Chrono Trigger this evening. I managed to get the good ending. Upon looking at all the others online after, I discovered that the one I got way back when on the SNES (Lucca and Marle perving on all the guys) is one of the weird ones you get for finishing rhe game at an odd moment, which means I must have missed out a huge chunk originally.

Anyway, really great game. Lived up to my memories of it. The soundtrack especially is brilliant.


Another mixed session on FFXV but generally more good than bad:

Did a quest for the weapon shop, that was quite good except on the way got ambushed by low-level that had a one-hit KO move - which this game seems to give to quite a few low-level enemies, which makes little sense. It all happened amid trees so I didn’t even see it, just that Nict’s HP meter went instantly to zero. So popped a potion then killed them.

I remain irked by the game’s “tutorials” - doubtless they wanted to avoid doing these as set at the start of the game but I’m not convinced the replacement works, especially how they trigger which seems random. It’ll do something like bring up an instruction to warp-strike to set up a chain attack, but after I’ve just done a warp-strike which the game tells you is best done from a distance. So triggering the instruction afterwards where I’m too close to the enemy for it be practically effective is dumb.

Went and did the Deadeye hunt. Now this should have been an epic spectacle, a superb set-piece the likes of which you’ve never seen. Initially it lived up to that, with an excellently creepy intro and excellent design on the Behemoth bastard. You thought FF13’s Behemoth’s were bad? Not compared to this monster. Unfortunately that was the high point as it then did a stealth minigame of following Deadeye back to its lair without being detected. It was total arse. It then followed that with a ‘walk into middle of beast’s lair to be ambushed’ instruction. And then, for a hat-trick of awfulness, it did the instruction of ‘use fire magic to blow up these explosive that happen to be present’. The problem with that? Deadeye rarely went near them, by the time I targeted him and blasted, the boom was never big enough to set off the barrels, yes, they were the most stable explosive barrels you’ve ever seen. Even if I did get him, it didn’t do that much damage - so instead opted for my Lv 30+ party just beating the hell out of his Lv 15 arse. Woefully unsatisfying and a total fiasco, capped with an unclear exit from his lair

What followed was far better - Chocobos! Got to run around with one of those. Granted the ‘take photo of Chocobo’ quest was utter crap, for it wasn’t actually a photo of it, which you have the ability to do, but instead chasing down the Cocobo to trigger a cutscene. The two ‘find Chocobos’ missions were far more fun, not least due to the quest indicator actually leading me to them and not a damn search circle. Riding Chocobos in this game is incredibly fun, but it didn’t quite make up for the dreadful quest to unlock them. (Deadeye)


Finally finished Sonic Mania with the ‘good’ ending’ tonight - the final final boss is a bit of an arse but not bad when you work out what the attack patterns are. The ending itself is quite underwhelming though, and there’s a hint that it could tie into the upcoming Sonic Forces, which would be a shame - Mania is such a great standalone sequel to the original four that it doesn’t need to be shackled to the new games.

Anyway, on to my Knuckles playthrough next. I’m already finding the early levels quite different to the Sonic playthrough, so I’m hopeful that there are still plenty of surprises left to uncover.


I forgot to say earlier that my copy of Yakuza: Kiwami is on its way and will probably proceed to hog my gaming time for the foreseeable future.


I finished Uncharted tonight. If I can finish a game in a week then it has to be a really short game, although I was a bit more laid up than usual with a broken toe.

In general I liked it, although I also agree with the critics that say if they’re going to keep making Uncharted games then they need to change it up for the next one. This one was occasionally a bit too much of the same but there were some incredible environments and it had a final chapter that stands up there with anything the series has done.

Up next: I’ve got Persona 5 coming in the post on Thursday. God help me.


Yakuza Kiwami

On the one hand, everything you would expect is here - involved cut scenes, good characterisation, no shortage of punks to beat the crap out of.

However, it did make a couple of mis-steps:

Essence of Kiwami - A good idea but the game doesn’t explain that you have to have the move unlocked for each style in order for it to be triggered in a boss fight. So I had Majima in this state, but no Kiwami prompt - and after the crap he pulled earlier I wanted to feed him his balls while strangling him with his own intestines.

What did he pull? Ah yes, the ‘this is a fight you can’t possibly win but we won’t tell you that instead opting to have the boss wipe the floor with you via unblockable super moves at a certain point’ - screw that. Just do a damn cutscene and be done with it.


Tonight’s Yakuza session - did a couple of boss fights.

One thing it made quite clear is you have to get the Kiwami techniques as soon as you can, as every boss has a health regeneration ability. The lack of that, combined with moron AI “allies” made the second boss fight more irritant than event. I foiled the health regeneration by continually punching him, but it would have gone quicker solo.

Still, running around a dodgy part of Tokyo, beating the crap out of an infinite number of idiots remains as satisfying as ever and I now have those Kiwami abilities.


Redout (PS4)

Da-amn, my eyyyeeeeessss.

Fuck, this is fast.

I haven’t even gone over 1,000 kmh so far, my best so far was 896kmh. The audio-visual aspect of this is superb and god only knows how it looks on the Pro. There’s also a whole lot of depth to the game which is deceptive.

The best way I can put it is old school racing, new school looks and it is, in every sense, heir to the likes of Wipeout and F-Zero but with far more emphasis on speed.

The display is quite, quite artful - the health and energy bar are displayed either side of your ship towards the centre of the screen, this focuses your eyes on both the meters, your craft and the track and nothing else, because you need that exact focus.

I did 5 events and had to stop or my eyes would have melted. To my surprise I got a 1st on the Last Man Standing event, which was certainly unexpected given how smart the AI is. Yet, as far as I can tell, the AI doesn’t rubber-band, so you can win, fair ‘n’ square, by being damn fast. There’s a huge amount of subtlety to the control scheme and I haven’t even used the boost yet, nor worked out how to do so. Given how fast it is, do I want to? Errr… Never mind the idea of tilting up/down to further boost speed.

The events I did were varied too: To a degree it’s your standard events, but with a twist thrown in here and there. From what I can tell you get XP and money on every event you do, as you go up levels, more stuff unlocks - so, while it has some quite brutal AI, you always get something out of an event and the game isn’t interested in locking away its content in a punitive sense. I get the sense that play it for long enough and regardless of how good you might be, you unlock it all.

You want an AAA game from an indie publisher? Something that looks incredible but is from a small company who have no interest in the usual moves of season pass, DLC and microtransactions? Buy this. We haven’t had a game like this in years and may not do so ever again, so support it.

It’s also a wonderful example of a quick pick up and play title, while offering lots to explore for those who want to go deeper.


Wow, just under 7 hours in and, as usual, the plot of Yakuza Kiwami has really got going, with Kazzy laying waste to numerous idiots.

For all that I can see that it could really irritate on higher difficulties, with far more rapid health regeneration enabled, the Kiwami mechanism is far more fun - once you have the moves. The resulting major mayhem you then watch Kazzy inflict on a boss is immensely satisfying.

It’s quite interesting playing this both on the back on Yakuza Zero and Yakuza 3-5. Kiryu and Haruka’s first meeting is particularly good, given what is seen of their later relationship and that Kiryu takes over Sunflower Orphanage.


I modded my original GameBoy Advance yesterday, so it now has a backlit screen. The difference that makes is marked, although it also feels completely natural to have it in there.

As I can now actually see my GBA games properly, I’ve started playing F-Zero GP Legend, which I picked up dirt cheap a few months ago. It’s the second GBA F-Zero, after launch title Maximum Velocity and it seems the much more complete package of the two. I never really got on with Maximum Velocity, it always felt bare bones and half-assed, but GP Legend immediately feels more legit. There’s a grand prix mode and time trial mode, as MV, as well as multi-cart multiplayer, but there’s also a full story mode (based on the F-Zero anime from the same period) and sort of mini-mission mode (things like "do this chicane in 8 seconds etc).

I was playing through a bit of Mario Advance (the enhanced remake of Mario 2 that was a launch title) last night, while making sure the modded unit worked properly. I’d forgotten how much they’d added to that over even the SNES remake. As well as hidden Yoshi eggs to find and special A coins in each level, there’s a load of voice acting thrown in too. Perhaps too much, because Mario and his friends just don’t shut up as you’re playing. It’s not just the usual jump noises (which are fine) but like, every time you collect a cherry, he’ll say “oo, lucky!”. Every time. And there can be groups of five cherries quite close together.


I got Maximum Velocity with my GBA. It’s my only F-Zero game and it still feels pretty bewildering. It was too difficult for me, age 7 but I remember playing it a lot. I didn’t realise another game had been released on the GBA.
I hope for a new one to be announced on the 3DS every time that I sit down for E3, but alas. Maybe next year?


I’d love a new F-Zero (Switch is most likely if on any console now, I guess), but I think Nintendo see their suppose of FAST racing Neo/RMX as a substitute.


So, tried my hand on the Alaska tracks - did 5 events before having to stop - and you do have to stop playing Redout due to the effects of your eyes protesting.

Utterly, utterly mad and inspired design, I’ve never played any racer quite like it. Oh and it turns out there is an Easy difficulty, which I’ll probably need.

It also really highlights my enduring dislike for open world racers because on those it’s not just racing, it’s navigating! Having a set course takes that irritant away and I can really focus on the racing, which is as it should be.


Back on Yakuza and after a quite smart and substantive Chapters 6 and 7, both involving some major fights, albeit of varying quality, Chapter 8 did a rather crappy mission in terms of signposting. In that there wasn’t any! No clues, no screen prompts, no hints of where to find location - nothin’. So having grabbed the answers from a guide, Kazzy returned to plan A: Beat up everyone, which he did.

Now I’ve got him fairly powered up, the fights are more varied due to an expanded set of offensive options - yes, there are defensive options, but in the main? Going on the attack always works.