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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


This is a lovely, celebratory article.

Half-Life falls in a period where I wasn’t following video games that closely, although I’ve gone back and had a go on it in the years since. It feels like it was an important game that changed things quite a bit.


I got that for my kid a while back. Thought it would be fun to play with her. But the second player feature is terrible, and the damn game actually gives me motion sickness :rofl:.


Has anyone heard anything about Lego Dimensions servers shutting down? I’d like to buy a few new kits as Christmas presents for my boy, but am worried that they might turn into expensive paperweights if they can no longer be used in a few months. Anyone know what the score is?


Last I heard, WB were going to continue to provide server and customer support even though they’re not producing the games and packs any more.

To be honest, the only online support you really need is downloading updates for certain packs. Everything else is playable offline. Until we hear differently, we can assume that those update downloads will continue to be available.



Did anyone played the recent Call of Cthulhu? I wanted to, but then looked that reviews are not exactly raving.

I remember still CoC Dark Corners of the Earth. One of the scariest games I ever played and it nailed Cthulhu mythology perfectly, while telling self - containing story. When shoggoth appears, I had probably the toughest time in video games. So much that I think kids should steer away from computer screen then. Too bad it did great critically, but sucked commercially, leading to cancellation of the sequel.


Yeah the reviews convinced me to wait until it was much cheaper before getting it. Especially when there’s also the Sinking City coming out soon.


Having been too slow on the Amazon £15.99 price first time around on Sonic Mania Plus, I just did a sonic dash to grab it just now!


Got Rocket league forbthe switch as had discount over the weekend.

Fantastic fun game, the boys love it. We’ve all been in hysterics at some of ineptitude at trying to get a giant ball into a goal using cars.


While I had my GameCube out to play Paper Mario, I put Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance on too. It’s about 15 years old now, but I think it really holds up. The multi-style fighting system - using motion capture of real martial artists - is more credible and interesting than the early 2D games and the burgeoning interest in telling a more complex story in the game, now that the series is free of the need for immediacy and simplicity of arcade gameplay, is good (if a little text heavy here).

I also finally managed to unlock everything. The game has a ridiculous number of “koffins” to unlock in the “krypt” - 676 in fact, ranging from AA to ZZ. You earn koins to unlock these through gameplay, but for some reason, someone at Midway thought it’d be a great idea to have not just one type of koin, but six kurrencies (I don’t know if that’s meant to have a k too, but it’s a fair assumption). Four of these are rewarded interchangably through arcade and Konquest mode, while the other two can only be won from the mini-games that turn up when you’re playing arcade and versus for extended periods. It means that it’s a real ball ache to get the right type of koins. Even when I loaded this up, I had next to nothing of most kurrencies, but over 2000 of the ruby koins, which I didn’t need any more. There’s no way to exchange them either. But I finally managed to get the koins I needed and unlock everything. There wasn’t a huge amount left of particular interest, but the full range of “kontent” the game offers is pretty impressive, especially the design documentation that openly shows how laissez-faire they are about coming up with new characters, starting from fairly hacky ideas like “female Sub Zero” etc. I think it works fairly well.

Somehow, playing that has left me hankering to play 2011’s Mortal Kombat 9 again. I’ve set my Xbox 360 up for the first time in I don’t know how many years. Man it’s loud. That fan sounds like it’s powering a steam train! Also quite weird adapting back to the Microsoft button layouts of A, B, X and Y after so long using only Nintendo’s. Anyway, MK9’s pretty great and I’ve found myself getting right back into the groove of arcade mode, whetting my appetite for Mortal Kombat X when I get a PS4 soon.


I thought this was a lot of fun. The story mode of both 9 and X was surprisingly good.


Yeah, I rewatched the story mode of 9 on Youtube (couldn’t be arsed to replay it all) and it really holds up. Netherealm have been consistently building up their story mode concept since Deadly Alliance, and it’s been a smart adaptation to home consoles after losing the arcade home of the earlier games and I think a good reason why Mortal Kombat’s been chugging away steadily for 25+ years now whereas Street Fighter disappeared for ages. As much as these games thrive on multiplayer (and online helps with that) a good single player mode really helps bolster the experience and is the main appeal for me.


Me too. Local two-player one-on-one is essential as I mainly buy the MK and SF games so that me and a good friend of mine can have a few rounds on them every now and again. But it really helps to have a decent story mode to go along with the standard solo arcade modes (which are fun but can be a bit dull and repetitive).

While we’re on the subject of beat-em-ups, did anyone check out the new Soul Calibur? Any good?



Anyone playing red dead 2 online beta? I played a bit last night. Just as I was completing my first free roam mission, the typical go fetch this and bring it back, the game crashed :rofl: It’s a beta, so I was only mildly annoyed.


If any online play is going get crashed due to sheer demand, it’ll be RD2.


Well, I’m taking a break from No Man’s Sky as I now have:

  • 10 bases
  • 1 S-Class multitool, upgraded to the max
  • 6 S-Class ships - 2 fighters, 2 haulers, 2 exotics - 2 are fully upgraded
  • 1 S-Class 34-slot freighter / dreadnaught
  • 30 frigates - thought it was more but nope, it’s 30 - and you can’t release ships once bought.
  • 890m units

There’s nothing left to do save missions for nanites to get the upgrades for the ships, that’s it. That said, I have hit 300 hours on the thing, the bulk of that being since July 2018.

The big weakness of the game remains its reliance on random generation of ships. You get the S-class ships by finding a good hunting ground, then reloading the save until it turns up and you hope you’ve the money to buy it. Ditto crafting recipes, which are the gateway to making masses of cash, you get those randomly from manufacturing facilities.

So I moved onto Sonic Mania Plus.

Sadly, this does not work for me. I did not see it coming, I did not expect but nonetheless it is what it is.

The big flaw of the game is in putting bosses at the end of every level, they function as hard, nasty wall that just looks and feels artificial. The games didn’t always do this, some levels didn’t have bosses and were better for it. At the same time, the signposting on a couple of the bosses is dire. Very true to the 1990 game design? Yes, but it’s not 1990 anymore. The Puyo-Puyo boss wasn’t bad, but the next one, Studiopolis 1 was awful. It’s fast scrolling with a load of robots and Eggman in the background, which distracts your attention from the foreground. You’re supposed to avoid the red rockets and somehow hit the blue. The problem is there’s too much going on in the screen, both fore and background that I just can’t focus to see the rockets, never mind dodge. And the screen scroll speed further inhibits your movement. Add to that you have one attack move, jump, which the rockets are impervious to and it’s an awful boss that kills the game for me. You got past it? Ok, how nice for you.

The other thing you might have done on the older games but you won’t be doing here is holding onto your rings. Instead, it’s get hit, grab rings, keep running. The levels are far more intricate, but part of the fun of the games is being able to remember the flow of them - these are too big to do that, which amps up the difficulty.

So, selling this to somehow else who will have more fun with it.

Returned to Yakuza Kiwami 2. I had forgotten how much fun it was, beating up the truly deserving. Nabbed a few upgrades, will start the plot running once more later.


Did a chunk of the main plot in Yakuza Kiwami 2 and it ended up being a combination of the great and the awful.

The great was the trip to Omi Alliance HQ, which went the way I expected - walk in, fight your way out. For the most part, that was well done with Kiryu beating the crap out of everyone. The one weakness were the guys holding chairs and whacking you when you get close. Why? One of them I throw a hand grenade at! Result? Health bar reduction, but the guy is still just standing there. Nothing touches them, nothing hurts them - the game should have Kiryu doing a run-up and then a swift boot to the nuts, but nope.

The awful was the Ryuji Goda boss fight. Now, it is expected that the boss will be harder than its underlings but this was dumb. The “challenge” offered by Goda was composed of:

  • Unstoppable combo attack after you hit a few times - you cannot interrupt this either, he feels no pain. (As the fight goes on, he gets more moves added to this super combo)
  • Predictable dodge
  • Arbitrarily blocking your hold and heat moves once you’ve hit him enough

It all adds up to the game having you take him out with a super heat attack because there’s no way to take out the fucker. Now maybe, maybe, that was OK a decade or so back, but this is a game remake. Someone should have improved this a lot because as it was? Kiryu tears through the goons and then has a difficulty spike with Goda that is laughably blatant and transparent. It was a terrible boss fight.

The game then followed that up a short while later with a ‘get person to clinic before health runs out’ minigame that was also awful.

Were it not that the way the game spins its story, with the characters it has, is superb and beating up goons so much fun, these sequences would have done more damage to it.


Tried RD2 online again. I couldn’t even walk two building lengths without getting in a pointless gun fight. Dude just starts shooting me. So I kill him. And then someone else shoots me in the back. I just wanted to get my horse from the stable. So I turned it off and got back to work.


Definitely sounds like it’s from the same people who brought us GTA Online.