What games are you playing atm? V2

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iwansquall
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Just a short update because it is my birthday today.

I have been searching for open world games where I can simply watch anime while playing it. Some are ok, but mostly are balanced depending which one is more interesting. So I narrow down to 4 games which you can see in my previous immortal fenyx rising demo before. So I just chose Death Stranding and figure that why not? It is end of the month & salary come in anyway.

Lets just say, this game resonate with me way more than I thought it will be. You know Im type of player who like to plan my route whenever I collect some collectibles in open world map. I couldnt let anime running while playing this because I just immersed with it 100% percent, even though I just walking around delivering stuff. Already 20 hours in over 2 days and I just couldnt stop thinking about it (the only game I felt like this before what subnautica & prey).

Best part is definitely the birthday easter egg, seeing Madd Nickelsen just saying Happy Birthday to me is just Muah~~
Expect some super long review once I finished it. Since somehow this game have achievement on epic store, Im sure gonna pushed for 100%.
Especially since there is no missables & it not a exactly difficult games.
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iwansquall
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A masterpiece experience that is not for everyone.
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As I said before, I bought Death Stranding & playing over weekend to finally finish it after 4 days with total 50 hours. The usual review I made usually have 4 paragraph : short introduction, the good part, the bad part and conclusion. However, this time I really want to go much longer especially with non spoiler and non spoiler reviews. I will use spoiler tag so you dont accidentally see it.

Overall experience
The game is truly something innovative that make you think differently you play. While essentially this is just a simple fetch quest story, there are other elements in the game that made it unique. In order for me to explain, i will have to deep details especially some of the general gameplay loop in order to understand why i so fascinated by the game despite it is boring for most other people.

1. Terrain & navigation.
The terrain system in this game is really unlike any other game out there. In many games, terrain is usually is just place you can watch into, either it is a forest or big city. But in this game, the terrain itself is a gameplay. If lets say you know you have to cross a river, you need to bring some ladder to cross it or build a bridge. Even if you get powerful vehicle, you will have issue traversing rough terrain until you rebuild the road. And best part of this games? The deeper you are into the game, the more advance way for you travel around. Remember river you cant cross safely before? Just build a bridge and drive a truck and you can carry more stuff through it. The variety of terrain & encounter made it feel like you playing ever increasing challenging level (especially snowy mountain near the end)

2. Missions & experience system
This game doesnt have meaningful experience system. Sure you can get more likes from building road or completing delivery, but most of the times it just make able to deliver more goods. You dont have to worry about building correct stats, just you need to learn to your tools at disposable. Unlike many other games where money is important, this game have many hubs where essentially your private bank. If you run out of them, just simply get an order to deliver resource to place that you need. Additionally, the story mission are generally required to move goods from one to another place, which sometimes give you some story or cutscenes after big successful delivery.

3. Inventory management
When you play game with some sort of inventory management, generally there are just list of items in your menu. Sure you can wear some gears to change your appearance, not many game do this kind of gameplay impact for the way you arrange your stuff in your backpack (generally physic based simulator). And this physically became gameplay limit allow simple taking all orders and delivering them in one go (you still can use vehicle). But my best part (and worse part as well) is the inventory matter the most when you fight the enemy. The BT encounter for example, specifically designed so you cant simply bring 100 guns to the fight (you required to fall down & drop some of your stuff). Of course this added some tedious to part where you have manage your inventory in middle of battle (boss fights usually).

4. Multiplayer & online system
I cant emphasize how I love this system. The game have some interconnected system where other players' building can be use in your world. Since you are limited to carry stuff, this building usually your safe haven that other people already build for you. If you run out of resource, as i said before you can request it and hopefully other player will fulfill the request. I was afraid at first, because like playing MMORPG you fill you just started the world already so advanced with tools. This game will limit you based on your technology level, that you wont see bridge until you unlock them. When traveling to certain hub for first place, you have this only access, making it much personal challenge to traverse the area. Best part definitely when you have band of people who finally build the road system that made your traveling so much easier.

Story & spoiler part
The story can be synopsis with simple words. Intriguing & confusing. It made me wonder why or how the world became like that. You will met several characters throughout your journey, and play important roles for most of your travel. Each of the network hubs you need to reconnect all have their own quirky story & unique stuff.

The game also play around symbolism alot. Most specific anything that have to with connection or rope. A strand is a like piece of rope while stranding it about getting lost. Connection is more about to rebuild the nations & bring people close to each others. A network connect will allow information to spread faster, thus improve many things in daily life. There are still couple of things like life & death that I would say Im also no 100% understood it. Perhaps I should spend some time reading the whole Death Stranding game meaning.

I will reserved some spoiler-ish story side below.
► Show Spoiler


Conclusion
Death stranding is a masterpeice experience. A game that I cant put my controller or shift focus to anything else. A game that despite I already finished the story, I still want to try 100% it, because I enjoy the gameplay loop so much. It kinda remind me crafting survival or farming sim, where every upgrade improve your efficiency much more. Sure the game have some issue that sometimes made me rage, but nothing come close to the feeling of playing this game. If you think what I wrote interested you, then you should give the game a try.
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Prime_Evil
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Necromunda : Hired Gun

A subset from the Warhammer 40K universe, this fps has its merits (fast action, think Doom or Apex Legends) but unfortunately the sound mixing and especially the story, which might i add ends in a very anti-climatic way, both of those arent really that great.

You will also see a lot of low-res textures in the environment even on max settings. Occasionally, though very rarely you will have a few frame drops. I was having constant 120 fps with v-sync on just to get drops to 70 fps when i guess the engine couldnt handle all the particle effects going on, idk. In any case when they happened it was only for about half a sec. But yeah they are there regardless.

You play as a hired mercenary (hence the name) who has a cyber mastiff as companion that helps you in combat. Again it's on the Warhammer 40K universe, but aside from a few bits of lore here and there it's not really that much delved upon. It's like it's own thing at times, except with bolter guns. You will be fighting several gangs in Necromunda, but each of them don't look that much different from the other and that's a shame.

It's an ok game, not bad not great. I'd still recommend it due to it's sheer frantic action.
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Anonymous:
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Reached a wall in PoE. Was in the middle from lvl 92 to 93 and got hydra map. So went to try it - got recked by boss - not one shooted but still a lot of damage which i could not avoid and my dmg was not fast enough. And after that i went to try Sirius - second time overall in my PoE experience, got him int last phase where this windmill spining crap is turning and boss dissapears and beams out of nowhere. So yeah, that did not end well, back to zero xp at lvl 92 and really bored with it. This will probably be my end point in this ladder.
Tried cyclone char a bit, did not enjoy it, switched to that shatter/split steel build - also did not enjoy it compared to last time. Tried lighning ball char - dmg good but very boring stuff.

Currently playing free games on steam and waiting for Homm3 sale on gog.
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Prime_Evil
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WoW TBC (private server, im not giving daddy Kotick money each month). Just reminiscing what was the best expansion in WoW for me back in 2007. WotLK came and that was ok too, despite the very annoying powercreep and death knights overpowering pretty much every other class because "nEw hErO cLaSs gUyS" , but i'll always have a soft spot in nostalgia for TBC.

Playing blood elf female (like any self respecting degenerate does) Mage , and just hit 61 in Outland.
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The last Spell

An early-access turn-based strategy/hero defense game.

The story is well told so far. It has a certain grim athmosphere to it. Essentially it's like this: a new destructive magic was created, by which the annihilation of towns and cities can be done within seconds. Then many magicians cooperated together to cast the last spell, to get rid of all magic altogether. And while this spell is still charging, you need to defend the magic circle.

To do that, you have 3 randomly generated heroes at your disposal. Unfortunately, the skills depend on weapons like they do in Guild wars for example. So you only have the 2 passive skills and the general stats randomly generated. It doesn't have that much impact on the game, since with a few lucky level ups you can make up for most of the things pretty quickly.

You also can equip your heroes, build up the town, destroy existing ruins with your workers and so on.

Conclusion: I haven't played much yet, but there are already a couple of issues I found.
1) The first round is gated. You only get 500 of the purple resource, even if you got to night 6. Don't waste your time there and abondon it quickly, so you can get more of that purple resource (over 600 every night) from the 2nd round onwards.
2) Some permanent unlocks have a really strong impact on the game. Too much in my opinion. For example there was an unlock where every hero starts the game with 5 action points instead of 4. So basically you do 25% more damage. Another unlock makes the mist claim more land only every 2 nights instead of every night, which prolongs the game by up to 50%. Another one allows my heroes to start with 5 more mana, a 50% up. These kind of unlocks are too strong imho. Because that way it will feel very slow in the first few games and may drag on too much.

It's still a good game concept. And the game is indeed strategic and cleverly made. I think if you liked Heroes of Might and Magic 3,5 and 7, you'll probably like this game, too.

It's still in early access, so be aware that maybe not all the things that are currently in the game will remain in the final product.
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iwansquall
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The End of long journey
Final Achievements today result
► Show Spoiler

Total time for completion : 120 hours (50 for whole story mode, + few hours extra for AFK & writing anime review).

The late grind stuff
I would know that my journey for 100% achievement in Death Stranding in will be something that long, tedious, and yet it is perfect candidate to play while i was watching anime (hence why you saw many rapid new anime reviews in last couple of days). However none preparation for what deeper understanding i got from the game until today, when I finally watch from Death Stranding interpretation & analysis. But first, I need to mention some of the core acitivity.

Late game grind for Death stranding involving 1 key important part, delivering stuff efficiently & quickly. In order to do that, the first I did is to complete all of the road network exist in the game. This is key important as it allow for smoother ride with bigger haul. 2nd is I need to explore & find all other optional NPC, usually very tricky to be convinced to join the network. Thus, the challenges around delivering stuff & doing some side quest of hunting stuff for them, usually laying on the floor (the item is randomly drop into the world by some world reason.

One extra mechanic that I have fun with is called "Zip-line". It is basically a building that you allow to move from 1 building to another building quickly, useful for climbing tall mountain. And you can setup very vast network of this zip-line to allow move from one end of the map to another end, in merely minute. I spent most of the times setup a perfect route while balancing the amount of buildings which limited by your reputation level. In the end, it paid off for some of the tough delivery job.

However, as I much as I love death stranding, I cant be that ridiculous to spend until I perfected all deliveries request (800 of them), a simple mistake, a second too late, or not setting up proper zipline, will cost you whole ranking. Thus Im just happy with just 100% achievement (i got 160 perfect delivery at the end). The game also became much harder in late game with building are getting deteriorate overtime, making it harder to maintain hundreds of buildings in end game. In fact, i just barely have enough resource when i was sprinting last achievement as couple of my zipline stopped working.

The usual collectibles stuff
If you read many of my other games review, you will know that Im type of person who collect stuff as long I enjoyed the games & able to track them. Death Stranding is no exception, except it can only be done in late game because it have some requirement like reaching level 5 ranking with certain NPC to obtain email regarding collectibles location. Despite I unlocked all other technology in the games, I make an effort to just focus on walking and enjoy the view while I planning the route to pickup each collectibles (only fast travel to change map).

The end of to journey is something sweet especially there many nook & cranny of places that dont even explore since it wasnt part of main roads. Even foes also not safe from me as I packed my weapons like crazy to beat the hell up of each enemy camps. All those enemy was complete nightmare in the beginning of the games is now just a punching bag despite I played on very hard difficulty. But alas, there isnt much rewards from beating of them endless though (no experience).


What I learned from Death Stranding
I cant say much other what I said from earlier review, but after watching 7 hours analysis of Death Stranding, it made able to understand and enjoy more the theme of the game. The commentary of our vile social network toxicity, to losing human touch from automation, to lead life in isolation because fear of other people. The each character theme & exploration of their concept in the game kinda remind me to have hope in humanity (especially with our current pandemic). The concept of doing mundane stuff in order to help other people. And best part, how Death Stranding represent Hideo Kojima journey in making a new game after his departure from Konami.

I might dont enjoy much of other Hideo Kojima games or maybe some of his quirk, but I found that death stranding are truly remarkable from gameplay perspective & cinematic experience. Not many game that make my jaw dropped in awe and retained in memory for long time, and I probably have maybe less than 10 games that give that kind of feeling to me (final fantasy viii was one of it, dont ask why)




Im probably will take slower time with gaming for next couple of days. I just want to get back to my normal routine as I have been burning & grinding to death stranding (120 hours in like 10 days?) but i didnt regret unlike many other games.

In mean while, I will share several youtube video that I feel related to what my experience with death stranding.
► Show Spoiler
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Prime_Evil
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not much time for gaming now, but starting Mass Effect Legendary Edition in the weekend.
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iwansquall
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Last push before the long waited sequel eh?
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Im doing the unthinkable again and replaying Borderlands 2 with my friend again after several times in many years. Since handsome collection is super cheap, we managed to clear all the DLC together, except this one since it was super expensive (15 usd, but i got free during promo)

The story picked up immediately aftermath of main campaign. With death of their leader, the team are in shamble & chaos while living in peaceful situation. But nothing prepare them for a straight assault from coordinated military led by a guy who want to control the planet using power of plant. Everyone have to evacuate, thus begin the player journey to prepare a plan to take back their home. The game mostly only add some QoL improvement but didnt add much in term of new game mechanic.

The problem with this DLC is, aside from the price, the whole felt like a small scale adventure despite supposed to be serious. The evil villain is a typical "HAHA IM GONNA CONQUER THE WORLD" made me dont care about him, despite being annoying final story boss. At least Im expecting a proper story flow since this was supposed to bridge the gap between Borderlands 2 and 3, but it still fail. I left to many unanswered questions, mostly related to what is ending in vault, the galaxy map & the mysterious person in Borderlands The pre-sequel.

I suggest just skip this, even if it free, I feel like it didnt have any uniqueness or comedy like other DLC. Granted I would love for more serious story tone, but even that feel flat at the end. Perhaps just read synopsis or review. Oh, i forgot to add genre & duration to the image, i think it took me 4 hours to clear by rushing all main story.
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iwansquall
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War...huh... yeah.. what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
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After modern military fps dominate & saturate the market, the game finally going back to the traditional route of world war 2. The question is, can it be any good?

This game is trying to reinvent the formula. Not more fully regen health, instead you have to rely on medkit. Your named allies also can help you replenish stuff like medkit, ammo, grenades, ability to spot enemy and to mortar on the enemy. They went from all major event throughout world war 2, from invasion on Normandy to the battle of Rhine. Instead on focus more bigger narrative / war in the general, it is more personalized with cast that can be memorable, and feel like real friends.

However games is not all shiny. Despite being decent with the graphic, i never care about any of the character in the games. Sure there is several dramatic moment & good gameplay section (playing as spy in french) is breath of fresh air, but anything about main protagonist is just boring. The tense between following order or keeping your man alive is nothing but just cheap for drama. Stealth section mostly meh, but most outrageous probably the vehicle section. You drive tank with terrible slow control, and plane uncontrollable on mouse. Thankfully i have controller for that.

Ok, most boring campaign probably abit too much. But i had problem to start and to keep playing this game. Even after finishing this, i still feel like earlier Call of Duty games have much more memorable scenes than this. And i got this game for "free" (part of humble monthly subscription), still felt like waste of time.