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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


I’ve still been plugging away at FF VI the past few weeks. I’m at the point now where I think the only thing left to do is go to the final area, Kefka’s Tower, so I started that tonight.

So, first surprise is that you need to field three parties. Of the 14 player characters, I’ve 2 who are amazing, 6 who are pretty good and then the rest, 2 who are ok and the rest who, for whatever reason, didn’t really take off. Strago, for instance, learns magic from seeing it in battle, which is great, except you don’t get him that long before the mid-game break, where you lose everyone, and I got him back last almost in the second half. So he’s already under-levelled, let alone light in powers. I’m not desperate to grind, so I didn’t bother with him. Same with Gau, who learns special moves in a certain area where you don’t get XP (all the grinding, none of the reward) and Relm, whose special ability has a game breaking bug that I’ve decided to avoid.

Anyway, I made three parties, spreading the weak out with the strong, and went in. And yeah, there’s definitely a sharp increase in enemy strength. I ended up dying in a fight with a returning mid-boss, losing an hour’s progress (you keep XP gains, but not magic ability gains or items, annoyingly). I went back in, thinking to do a small sighter run, get a few items, run off, save. Except I managed to get killed again (even more quickly) by some random enemies that, for some reason, got three attacks each before I even got one for my guys.

So I guess I’ll have to either find somewhere to grind or just keep going to the tower until I stop dying.


I’ve just developed the fulton extraction balloon in MGSV that lets you extract child soldiers from the combat zone. Their screams of terror as they’re whisked into the air makes me chuckle every single time.


I got caught by the same trick in FFVII many moons ago. Focused on a super tough trio and then the final section has you split the party and some of them were quite rubbish. I managed to get through by the skin of my teeth without grinding though.


Fultoning is hands down the best part of that game.


Yep, sneaking up behind tanks and whisking then away always makes me laugh. I recently discovered you can extract yourself by hopping onto the top of a cargo container and attaching a balloon to it. It’s the game that keeps on giving, even after 129 hours of game play.


It’s doubly annoying for me because I used to have a slight obsessive quality with RPGs where I got so side-tracked in levelling up all my guys - regardless of how necessary or useful they were - that it took me ages to get through them. It dogged me playing Pokemon Blue way back in the day and meant I spent so long grinding in the randomly generated dungeons of Disgaea that I’d forgotten most of the story by the time I got around to finishing it.

So I pointedly stop myself from doing that now, avoid grinding as much as possible, just focus on the characters that are useful (which is especially worth doing in the newer Fire Emblem games, where you get like 40 odd units). And it turns out here I should have been doing it for once.


Wow, hell of a good run tonight.

First, I did some serious building on Ankh-Morpork (base 2), really like how it turned out.

Next, having spent ages trying to find a tech merchant that sells S-class pulse engine upgrades, I hit two systems in sequence that do! So I bought three of the things, the ship is boosted and I can still get three more! Not only that but cannon and shield is maxed - it’s a great little ship.

The one negative was trying an ‘assault the freighter’ mission, as it doesn’t tell you which one to hit. Plus the game throws sentinels at you! Which is practically a death sentence. In contrast I’m far better at freighter defence.

Finally, I found the crafting formula for Iridesite. This is a big deal as it was the last piece of one of the big, super-cash devices so tomorrow I can start mass-producing the things and then flog them for a crazy amount of cash!


Woo, Final Fantasy VI done. I didn’t have to grind much to progress in the end. I rejigged my teams so that the one led by Terra (my strongest character) faced the sub-boss Atma, which made a save point I could relat from. A few hairy moment for my third string team, but I made my way to Kefka with no real trouble. Even he proved not much of a challenge, going down on my third attempt. You have to order all 12 of your party so that between the four stages, any dead are automatically replenished. On my first go, I over-estimated how many would die, so put my heavy hitters at the bottom of the list and didn’t get near them before reaching Kefka. Second time I got wiped out by a fluke magic attack. On the third, I had a better order and ended up demolishing Kefka with Celes, Terra, Sabin and Gogo.

Overall it was a fun game. No Chrono Trigger, admittedly (though you can see some of that game’s inspirations in here) and the second half feels a bit shapeless, but entertaining overall.


After 130 hours I thought I had completed MGSV as the credits rolled after the mission Sahelanthropus only for the game to pop up with “Chapter 2”!


Are you sure it’s not a homage by Kojima to ‘your princess is in another castle Mario’ ?

Over in NMS, I did some serious base remodelling in Ankh-Morpork, very happy with how that turned out.

I also have nearly got my A-class super starship all geared up and it’s a beast of a ship, pretty certain even Vader would take a look and decide not to take it on.

Had the lucky run to end them all. The way crafting recipes work is you raid a manufacturing facility, solve a puzzle, get random recipe. The set I got earlier was insane - all the major pieces I needed to craft the super tech devices that sell for 15-18m units each. I’ve currently got 14 fusion igniters to offload, which will probably crash the galactic market. This lot alone will probably rack up 150-200m. If I ever find it, I might actually now have the funds to buy that S-class dreadnaught.

In the interim? Well, there’s frigates to recruit, pirates to kill, freighters to defend and now I’ve got a super hyperdrive, plus system scanners, I can be far more selective about the systems I go to. Along with taking a black hole shortcut or two.


I was going to ask where you were up to in the story.
It’s not over yet, Snake!


All this chat about MGV reminds me I need to actually play it some more.


I am playing the original arcade, good old fashioned


Man I am too slow.I have no reflexes… :smile:


It’s hell getting old! :smile:


Finally worked out how the Freighter Rescue missions work: Each system spawns one unique type of Capital Freighter, you fly in, kill the pirates, but the ship class can vary. So, I did it a couple of times - first one gave me a B-class vessel, the second time it was A-Class. By the same mechanism you can run the dice rolls until the you get S-Class and the number of slots wanted, but it’s still partly luck.

Even so, by this method, I nabbed myself an A-Class Imperial-Class Capital Freighter for 13m units, as my existing freighter covered the 90m rest of the cost. Kind of a shame I can’t own multiple freighters and build a fleet of Star Destroyers - then again, this is damn cool:


So, I was wrong about my freighter - it was not the Imperial-class aka medium-size, nope, it’s a Dreadnaught-class super monster, different colour but same type as this:

The one potential problem this gives rise to is: Do I stick with, as it’s an A-class ship, or continue chancing for the very elusive S-class? Thing is, freighters overwrite each other when bought, so there’s no point building an elaborate freighter base until I have one that I won’t change.

EDIT: A short while after typing the above, I rolled the dice a couple more times and, on the ‘last try before I give up’, I found what I was after. Not only was it an S-Class dreadnaught, but it was a 34-slot version, the max number they get. It cost me, even on a part-exchange basis, 106m units.

In response to that, there was only one thing to do - I offloaded 5 stasis devices and 7 fusion igniters (I still have 30 in storage to crash the galactic economy with) for about 212m units.

What does this open up in the game? Building up the ships, building a freighter base properly, building the fleet - I have 3 frigates, I can recruit up to 50.


I expect you to be an inter-galactic powerhouse before very long.


Inter-stellar maybe, but the size of the galaxy rules out inter-galactic.

I’m certain doctoral students are preparing treatises of existential philosophy on NMS, as you could spend your entire life playing it and still only see a fraction of its 18 quintillion planets.

That said, the game is repetitive, the same things come up time and again, whether it works depends on what you want to do in response to what it offers and the value you get from that. For me, the idea of amassing credits to buy ships and resources, raiding facilities to acquire crafting receipes, designing bases and then adding bits onto them, in any location, on multiple planets, with a teleport network - yeah, it worked for me quite nicely.

It’s not a particularly demanding game for me either - crack the crafting and upgrades and you’re pretty much set. Combat on the ground isn’t but in space a fully tooled up ship is fun.


Well, with just under 200 hours, I’m around the 190 mark, on the clock and a moderate Freighter base built, 5 planetary bases of varying nature, all Exocraft got and fully kitted out, nabbed my first S-class ship earlier, a S-Class, max 34 slot, max size Capital Freighter, a fully kitted out pirate-killing A-class fighter Darth Vader would be envious off, a kitted out S-class Multitool and the crafting recipes to enable 15m value items to be crafted, but I already have 313m in the bank and the 30 odd of these items would give me that 2-3 times over… I think it’s finally time to pause playing this.

Sadly, there are no Freighter Hyperdrive upgrades yet. The Freighter base building is too restrictive compared to the planetary options. And missing the opportunity to place large windows or forcefields in the Freighter base so you can see the stars is just criminal but, who’s knows? In time that may well happen as Hello Games keep adding stuff on, week by week, month by month.

So, the new stuff I finally saw as worth doing wasn’t quite what I hoped. At the same time I’ve visited or warped to about 80-90 systems. The main plots of the game are done, save for the ‘get to the centre of the galaxy’ but I’m sceptical as to how worthwhile that is.

The frigates? You send on expeditions, they bring stuff back - probably of greater use and value when you don’t have 300m in the bank. For all that building that fleet sounds good - and it’s apparently 30, not 50 frigates - again, it’s limited.

The new stuff they’ve done on the Exocraft is excellent - you build them all on one planetary base, you build summonng station elsewhere, base or no and you can warp any of the vehicles when you want to. That will change the game in a positive way for a lot of people, much as the Next update did. Another small but excellent change is if your base has a landing pad, your ship gets placed there automatically. Doesn’t sound much but landing pads launch your ship for you so saving thruster fuel.

So yeah, there’s a huge amount to explore, but I don’t think I’ll be getting much out of it because I’ve pretty much done it all. At least for now. And I do have a few other games I either need to return to or start.

It is going to be interesting to see what else Hello Games adds on to ths over time.

Stuff that’s left? Well, there’s building a racetrack for exocraft, but that can wait. I did have another unrealised base design, that can wait too. Would be good to build a cuboid base, but don’t feel any pressing urge to do so. No, it’s definitely time to put this one on pause.


146 hours into Metal Gear Solid V and I’ve finally been able to dress The Quiet in an outfit that doesn’t make her look like a stripper.

That said, as soon as I’d done that there was a cut scene that had her strip off the few items of clothes she was wearing and dance about in the rain.