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Video games thread - "What are you playing?"


Took Chinchurro Fort tonight. It only had four defences so easy, right? Wrong, it had about 5 Brigs supporting it and weather.

So, took out one defence with mortar, then took out a Brig, boarded it, repaired the Jackdaw, took out another defence, took out two more Brigs, took out another defence, boarded one of the Brigs, repair follows, two more Brigs turn up plus Schooner - that gets blown to crap, took out the last defence, take out the Brigs, I board the ships, use one for repair, two go to Kenway’s Fleet.

Go to the Fort, where the game cheats to the max by having three Brutes in one spot, with one hidden in the camera blind spot! I apply a Rincewind Strategy, get the hell out of there, go back and sneak shoot the Brute bastard in the head instead.

After all that, with all the resources taken, the sheer amount of ships blasted, I had enough to get the first Elite upgrades! Nabbed the hull armour and chase shots. Still need a few others, which will take some time.


I’m still playing Conan Exiles. The big patch they were teasing went in this weekend and something that looked innocuous, making fighting mobs “more meaningful,” has changed the complexion of the game.

Mobs are harder. Supposedly they are worth more XP boost, but no XP boost is worth dealing with Cimmerian berserkers with star metal weapons. They’ve also thrown in random elite mobs in some of the roving field critters. Elite hyenas are pains in the butt. An elite bear slaughtered a rhino pet and almost killed our clan.

Edit: Oh and the aggro radius has been increased by ALOT. I’m running by and the nearest wolf is a speck on a hill in the distance. The fighting music turns on, I turn around and the wolf is running at me…


After clearing up some side-quest stuff in the east, I drifted west and made a start on the areas from Red Dead Redemption 1 in RDR2 last night, arriving in Blackwater. I didn’t recognise it as I went in. “Wow, so much is different before the first game,” I marveled. Then realised it’s because my mental image of Blackwater is actually of Thieve’s Landing and I remember nothing of Blackwater. Which, considering I played RDR1 in full twice, is pretty bad.


So, took the fort of Navassa tonight in Black Flag.

This bastard had 9 defences, it took all 20 mortar shots and a pile of cannon broadsides and precision shots to take them out. However, I was strategic enough in my sailing to evade detection by enemy ships while bombarding the fort and avoided a good few of the fort’s attacks too.

After that, went after some treasure chests in a restricted area - killed a couple of Frigates and the restricted area vanished! During the fight there were 3 Pirate Brigs in the area too, so that helped. Taking on the Frigates was insane - mortar, cannon shot, cue 3 weak point precision shots, another cannon hit, 3 more precision shots open up - ship’s dead in the water, move onto its friend… The graphic display of the Jackdaw inflicting bloody mayhem on the target is quite something.

The only downside is combat remains far too gentlemanly an affair for who I am told Edward is! He is not going to walk across a deck not attacking anyone, nor will he, if a fight starts be all Queensbury rules and no low blows. It’s idiotic that I can’t just kill people by slashing them in the head. That and the way the health is, you get a couple of hits because the combat is so opaque and you better leg it to regenerate quick. Too often the controls lack precision - it’ll be: Kill that gu - oh, you;'ve decided to run by him. Ok, shoot that guy, why is the target over there? Bugger, target’s thrown grenade instantly. Combat should be this epic fun slaughter but it simply isn’t. It should be the same as ship combat, get some upgrades, go to town but even with max health it’s very easy to get killed. I’m sure if you happen to have the perfect reflexes to hit the exact right buttons at the exact right moment, then yes, you will be immortal, but if not? You’re instead very, very mortal.

Still, most of the map is freed up, all the Legendary ships revealed - not that I’m taking those bastards on - just two forts remain.


Well, now one fort remains, but it looks like it’ll be a bastard to take given how tonight’s fight with Fort Charlotte went! Technically, it only had 5 defences but each was about double the strength of previous forts. It also had weather based defences with rogue waves being a regular. Still, took it out.

Also, with a bit of fort assistance, took out my first Man o’ War! Damn, those ships are big, scary bastards. It’s even worse when boarding, as unlike Frigates and Brigs that have two victory conditions, Man o’ Wars have three! Including destroying the flag, which on a Man o’ War is really, really high. Due to the size of the ship relative to the Jackdaw, you can’t use the swivel guns to get a few quick hits either.


The epilogue for Red Dead Redemption 2 is dragging on so long I’m expecting it to end in the year 3023 starring cosmonaut Hugh Martian.


Finally, finally, I have finished Red Dead Redemption 2. Or as much of it I can be bothered with, at least. As the end just kept on going, I kept on revising down how many of the side-quests I actually wanted to stick with.

Overall, it’s a very good, but it’s too big for its own good. The epilogue especially is way too self-indulgent. I think if it had been released later, as DLC, when people had had some time away, it would be looked at more fondly, but as it is, it feels a bit like Return of the King, where it just won’t bloody stop.


Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Well, I really hope this improves because the first five chapters are not good.

The opening is damn good, with an amazing high speed water chase. It’s after that the wheels go off with a really crappy kiddie Nate sequence that has stealth bits. Yay.

This is followed by a prison fight where it’s hard to tell which bit is you playing and which is mandatory cutscene. The fight system is also shown to be far, far too find of QTE bollocks. There’s a good enough intro for the climbing and jump mechanics, but it’s still a bit too reliant on unclear signposting and instant death dead ends.

There’s another fight, in which despite playing on easy, Nate also gets killed in a QTE sequence no less. Easy is supposed to be, you know, easy? There’s then a chase / escape sequence that the game director thinks is a movie so its shaky camera all over the place! A static camera would have supported the game as a game.

Jump forward 15 years and Nate’s on an underwater dive that ends up being another load of QTE bollocks. There’s nothing in the whole ‘player actually doing it’ bits that wouldn’t have been better as a cutscene. Cue Nate’s normal life, with a mandatory Crash Bandicoot level that’s total arse.

Sam turns up and the story of how he gets out of prison wasn’t bad, but neither was it great.

So far, it’s only the graphics and the voice acting combined with the cutscenes that are keeping this going. Hopefully Chapter 6 improves things.


From memory, I felt like it warmed up quite a bit around chapter eight and then really opened up around chapter ten. I remember the early chapters feeling almost like an extended tutorial.

I also remember it looking amazing, although it perhaps wouldn’t look quite as impressive today given what has come along in the meantime.


Nope, graphically it still stands up to newer releases. The water chase opener matches or exceeds almost anything - for a game 3 years old to look that good is impressive.

This is a good summary.


It’s a really fun game, Spider-man PS4, but I think apart from the thrill of swinging around the city the big draw for me was the attention to detail; the character touches and costumes and checklist items. The story was fine but the gameplay in terms of combat was a bit of a drag by the end. While I loved it, I pretty much stopped playing it once I finished the story.

I’ve given FarCry 4 ($4 pre-owned) a rest for now, and have moved onto FIFA 18 ($12 pre-owned). It didn’t come with an instruction booklet so my initial run through the menu had me thinking that just picking a team and playing a season wasn’t immediately available.

As a result I started the “Story” mode, which is new to me (not sure if it’s been included in prior versions; I haven’t played FIFA in over 10 years) - I skip the cut scenes and can’t really be bothered with the customisation and all that, but it does add a really cool extra element to matches.

While you control the whole team as normal, the story character is highlighted on field and he has specific objectives each match (score a goal, assist a goal, get a rating of X), so you’re forced to be more mindful of specific players. If his rating during the game drops too far below the target, he’ll be subbed off and the rest of the match is fully simulated (you can watch it still if you want - I don’t).

I’m a bit surprised that despite the massive size of games these days, that the commentary is still so repetitive, and the load times between sections are a tad excessive.

My favourite sports game remains International Superstar Soccer on N64; it certainly bent the rules of the sport - i.e. a player would get three yellow cards before a red, and the slide tackles were brutal.

The game would let you - and I would oblige in - slide tackling the goalie when he was taking a goal kick, to the point of injuring him. I’d take out both their goalies and that team would have to sub on a non-goalkeeper to cover the net.

I’d skilled up my custom players to the max, to the point that my own goalkeeper would make a fell-length run of the field and score goals himself. He was a higher goal scorer than other teams’ strikers. There were times where the opposing team had to forfeit because they’d lost too many players to injury.

ETA: It was definitely one of the funniest games I’ve ever played. The player celebration animations were great, and you could have your goalie turn around and punt a goal kick directly into your own nets - he’d then collapse on his knees, sobbing at the own goal.


So Chapters 6 and 7 of UC4. I’m starting to think time has not been kind to this, that the advances of the last 2-3 years have rendered it far more anachronistic in its style and approach.

On the other hand, there is some bloody stupid stuff in here - like the game prompting me to ‘wall run’ but not how to do so and no control listing. I’ve found it difficult to tell what I can and can’t interact with. Sometimes the solution isn’t something I can see but dependent on walking to a point to trigger Sam - who I’ve decided I despise as a waste of space. When I could work out and execute the route it was very good but that happened only a minority of the time.

Then there was Chapter 7, which I ended up hitting an online walkthrough three times over because the level itself was utterly opaque about where to go - the ‘hint’ option either wasn’t active or even pointing in the wrong direction to where I needed to head in. Oh and the “stealth” ? It’s a joke, a bad one - to tag enemies it says hold L2, but as soon as I do so, Drake stands up out of cover - so I can’t tag them, while in cover - something that Assassin’s Creed Black Flag was doing in 2013. In the end, once I had a gun, I threw “stealth” away and just shot everyone - even that was all that due to some enemies taking far too many shots. Then later, there this big fight in the ballroom, I get ambushed by about 5 enemies and went ‘fuck it’, let Drake get shot to death, I just didn’t care anymore - this was a level with Sully too. Not even Sully can save this level.

And then there is the fake ‘boss’ fight with Nadine that was grand farce. There was nothing in that that wouldn’t have been better as a cutscene. It’s a fight you can’t win, the entire deck is stacked against Drake so just do a damn cutscene already.

Sure, the levels in UC4 are bigger but is that really better? For all people complain about quest indicators, on a big, open level you actually need that - especially in a goddamn stealth area, but UC4 just doesn’t have it. At least, not consistently nor reliably, which is the other problem - do I trust the game to actually let me jump to what I think is a ledge over there but might be a 10-foot-drop-of-instant-death?

Looks like the good levels might be around the midpoint of the game, Chapters 10-12, so might persist to get to those. It’s a 22-chapter game, I’ve done a third of it and that third isn’t very good. Just about every series that went from PS3 to PS4 did some changes to respond to the new possibilities but Naughty Dog? I’m not seeing it, it just isn’t there - yes, it looks incredibly nice, but so do the new Assassin’s Creed games and they’re more fun to play too.


Decided to play something more fun so booted up Tales of Vesperia.

Way back when, this was a XBox360 exclusive in the west, Japan had a PS3 version but it was never translated. This was a shame as lots of people didn’t get to play it, when it’s the missing link between Tales of Symphonia and Tales of Xillia, with bits of each. It has the map style of the former but the enemy link encounter of the latter too.

Did the intro last night, did the rest of the intro and got out into the world tonight. Have three characters in the party, got a couple of skills learnt and encountered the weapons system, which has a lot of potential.

The remaster has made a decade old, prior generation game look as good as it can too.

EDIT: Also accidentally chose the Japanese voice track on tonight’s go - it’s actually very cool, can see why it’s wanted on translated JRPGs.


You think it’s bad so far? Just wait till the epilogue.


What’s so awful about it then?

In other news… Can someone tell me why Devil May Cry 5 is so damn good? Everyone is raving about it but each time I try the demo I have - well, I don’t end thinking I must buy the game which I really should do.

I just tried the demo again, but it does an awful job of selling the game. I’ve downloaded the demo twice, each time I’ve got to the boss - no matter what I do, I lose - result? I don’t want to buy the game if it’s that fuckin’ hard.

But it’s not just that - this time I tried both the Normal and Auto settings. There should be a way for me to be able to do the moves I’m doing in Auto in Normal, but the game gives me no way to work it out. Where is the launch move? Do I have it? If so, how do I use it? Zip. Even on Auto the end boss still kills Nero.


What’s so awful about it is that it is freaking awful :joy:.
I actually really liked the game, and didn’t even really have a problem with the not so amazing beginning. But the epilogue was just a complete waste of time.
Spoiler alert (I don’t know how to blur this out so stop reading if you care): you play as his daughter in the epilogue, and you just wander around and look at his crap in the house, and that’s pretty much it.
There is some really cool shit in that game, but skip the epilogue if you get that far.


I haven’t completed the game yet, but hanging around in Nate’s house has been the best level by a mile.


Isn’t the DMC franchise a hack and slash thing? Those games are tough, because you REALLY have to like that type of gameplay. I suspect DMC5 is just very good within that genre, but that doesn’t mean you’ll like it…

Ha! I just realized I’ve got one of those DMC games in my library, don’t know which, I think it’s a remake of the 1st… I’ve never bothered with it… =P


Here’s the thing though I’ve played DM3 and DM4, plus the Bayonetta games. Enjoyed them a lot so I really ought to be liking DMC5 more than I have.

It’s possible the demo is set on a higher difficulty than I’ve played it at - so might not be representative of the final product.

When on a tear, it can look amazing - trails of burning sword slashes in demon flesh, shotgun to the head, another slash them - it can look great. The demo just doesn’t want to give much away.


That might be why… well if you enjoy that type of games maybe check it out on YT or something, it does look pretty fantastic in terms of graphics and that kind of hyper-frantic anime action. Plus apparently there are 3 characters and plenty of stuff…