Comics Creators

Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


I got together with some friends to play games last night. We bounced around between a few things - Injustice 2 (which is nice, but really not suited to local multiplayer with more than two people hot-seating controllers, with its profile and xp system), Snipperclips (tremendous fun) and Saturday Night Slammasters (a bit of a bemusement).
But it was the last game that I think had us all entertained the most: Tiny Toons Wild & Wacky Sports on the SNES. It’s a series of sports themed mini-games, which are fun or rock hard (sometimes both). There was quickly a sense of it being us against the game, despite the lack of computer characters and the fact it was technically a competition, as we attempted to get the hang of the games and hope that at least one of us got a qualifying score to allow us to move on. For a kids cartoon license game, there’s a surprising amount of quality in there and much enjoyment (and some frustration) to be had.


I will not be playing my ps4 for a while. Whilst playing Pyre this evening I got so pissed off with the a.i. ‘cheating’ I took a hammer to the controller. Now I actually can’t play anymore.


Well, you won’t do that again, will you? Especially as controllers aren’t cheap!

I’ve done some things in my time, yes, but not that.


But I bet that A.I. learned but good!


Initial satisfaction turned to regret which turned to, “fuck it, I’ve got better things to do than play video games that make me angry”

I think I was in a bad mood anyway having just finished reading The Return of Bruce Wayne which is hot garbage.


Your title remains true!
In regards to the Return of Bruce Wayne, anyway. I don’t think I’ll be playing Pyre anytime ever.


We finally finished Sonic Forces. It’s been a fun game for young players, and the infinite lives and much-reduced run-off-a-platform-to-your-death factor mean it’s a far less frustrating experience for them (and me!) than most 3D Sonic games.

Having said that, the bosses are much tougher than the regular levels, so there’s a weird difficulty spike every time a boss comes along (I had to do them all for the kids in the end).

Still, it’s lots of fun, very colourful, has an enjoyably silly pseudo-epic and cheesy story, and the extensive customisation options for the avatar character give the kids lots of opportunities for fiddling around the edges (and an incentive to replay levels to earn more accessories for them).

I think its biggest problem is that it came out in the same year as Mania, which is a much more fun game for adult fans (who will likely get bored quickly with the hold-boost-to-win gameplay of Forces). Still, it’s decent enough as a budget-priced game, so worth looking out for offers.


Been looking at the vids of the upcoming remake of Shadow of the Colossus.

Game looks amazing but it’s also - and it was picked up by the people doing the vids too - disturbing as hell. You have these colossi wandering around, minding their own business, doing nothing to no one and you come along and kill them. And it’s not quick either, no you stab them to death and their blood gushers out in a geyser spray again and again, as you stab them again and again.

It’s clearly the intent of the design to make you question the Faustian bargain made and it’s very effective, I’m just not sure I want to play that role!


It’s parhetic, but I have a lot of trouble being the bad guy in video games. Like I feel bad for doing terrible things to an NPC…


Did you never play it the first time around?


Dan Olson, a video essayist who concentrates on movies and video games did a great video about the morality of the original game last year:


Nope, wasn’t sure it’d be a good one for me.


I’ve been playing Wario Ware Touched the past few days. It’s my first Wario Ware game and while I knew to expect a string of microgames, I was still somewhat surprised by it.

It struggles to shake off the initial feeling that it’s quite shallow. If you go through the story mode (such as it is) most of the games you play are shallow to the point of trivial. They’re broken up by the input function needed - one group is all based around blowing into the microphone, one about dragging things on the touchscreen, another about doing circular motions - and while that segregation helps with the processing of the rapid fire way they’re thrown at you, it makes for some monotonous gameplay. The whole thing feels like an extended tech demo and it only begins to offer anything approaching depth (and in some cases challenge) when you’ve completed the main body of it.

The other notable thing is the music. There are some nice tunes in here, but they’re all forced into this rigid rhythm with repetitive refrains, some of which are really unusual. If you’re replaying a character’s section, between every block of games, you get this odd, strangely mournful little piece that plays over a weird little vignette almost of the character. It’s incredibly ear-wormy, not just on its own, but as a whole string of music. I feel like I’ve been subtly brainwashed, as it loops round in my head incessantly.


Thanks for the vid, just watched it.


Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition on PS4, it was on offer for under a tenner so that’s a gamble I feel happy taking.

So far, it’s proven to be a very different game to anything I’ve played previously. Quite smart too, at least so far - only done the tutorial section and have just started exploring Cyseal.

Talking of which, this has an Explorer setting, which is much easier than the Normal mode. It’s interesting that these are becoming more prevalent in games, which in turn helps them become more widely popular. You still have the likes of the Souls / Nioh games for those who want a traditional, hard-as-nails, hand-you-your-arse video game that evokes the Dara O’Briain joke, but it looks like games are moving away from that and offering more accessibility than they used to.


I’m currently playing, or rather stumbling into, Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume on the DS. It’s a strategy RPG spin-off from the main Valkyrie Profile series, of which I’ve played about a third of the second one twice. What I didn’t realise about VP when I first played #2 is that it’s all about sacrifice. Through the game your party grows as you find stray Einherjar - Norse warrior spirits. My tendancies with JRPGs at the time, thanks to Pokemon, was to get everyone and try and level them all up, but VP really wants you to level them a bit and then release them, for which you get a reward. The disadvantage is that you lose party members who are potentially useful in combat.

Covenant of the Plume takes this idea up a notch. Whereas VP2 gives you four main characters that stick with you, Plume has only one, Wyl. After making a deal with Hel, he has the ability to super-power any of his party members for one battle, making them massively OP, but they die permanently at the end of it, in exchange for Wyl getting a new permanent ability. What makes this a harder choice than in VP2 is that you really don’t have as much roster depth to compensate for it, at least not as far as I’ve got. I’ve just picked up my fifth party member but had to sacrifice another to get through the battle. The guy I sacrificed is the only one who knows magic and the healer of my group. I am rather screwed going forward.

But the reason I had to sacrifice him is the game’s other interesting system - sin. In combat, after you deal enough damage to kill an opponent, it’s possible to keep attacking and go into overkill. Doing so racks up sin points, which get you item drops. What complicates this is that Hel wants you to get sin and sets target amounts for each battle. If you meet the target, you get rewarded. If you don’t, you get told off and the next battle features a high-powered wraith (of a former party member) thrown into the mix and who you must kill. In this mission just gone, the only way I could kill the wraith was to power up and sacrifice one of the other party members (which does handily fill your sin quota). I can see it being a frustrating system through the rest of the game.

Beyond that, it’s a fairly decent strategy RPG. There are similarities to Disgaea in that the positioning of your characters as they attack can be exploited for repeat team-attacks, though this becomes less a bonus and more a necessity of combat quite quickly. The music and voice acting is quite nice and the character art good if a little anti-sceptic. It is a bit annoying with restricting your ability to save though and, as I discovered only from looking for tips on this last battle, it turns out it’s got a distinct three path branching story, which it doesn’t really tell you about and which have arcane requirements to not bounce between. It seems to be a game with a lot of depth and replayability to compensate for its occasional opaqueness and strict difficulty.


I’m 33 hours into Assassins Creed Syndicate (the Victorian London one) and I’ve two observations: 1) running around, climbing buildings, jumping from them and stabbing dudes never gets old (that’s probably accounted for 30 of my gameplay hours) and 2) does anyone still give a shit about the modern day storyline because I sure as hell don’t.


I think this has always been true since the start of the series and will always be so.


The crazy thing is they even carried that over to the movie!


I didn’t really mind them as a framing device in the first handful of games. My main issue is the fact that I’m supposed to care about the post-war Desmond team despite the fact I only interact with their story through cutscenes. It also doesn’t help that the main duo are shittily written hacker stereotypes of smart action female and sarcastic cunt.