PC/Console/Web game recommendations

Discussion in 'Games (and Other Interactive Entertainment)' started by Nachtfischer, May 21, 2013.

  1. Laukku

    Laukku Well-Known Member

    Rain World got a big update recently. For those who don't know it, it's an indie 2D platformer that has unusally intricate AI and procedural animation. It takes a really old-school approach to game design in that it is unforgivingly difficult and gives little guidance to the player, expecting them to figure the majority of the game mechanisms out by themselves (which is sometimes taken too far - a few controlling tricks and the karma system are never properly explained in-game). The update is supposed to make it more accessible by adding an easier mode. There's a lot of emergent complexity created from the interactions of the various beings in the ecosystem, and the AI and random placement of enemies make it particularly tough to solve; you don't really become "fluent" until after 20+ hours of experience. There are no exp gains or power-ups (aside from the karma flower and being able to make the slugcat glow in the dark at one point), and progress is completely dependent on player skill.

    Here and here's some video reviews.
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  2. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I haven't posted about it here yet, but I've been really enjoying the new Zelda game. It's easily the best one, but also just a strong artistic achievement in a lot of ways. And it also takes a lot of modern console stuff and does a pretty good version of it. But maybe the best thing about it is that the big, long, dumb puzzle dungeons seem to be gone. Instead, when there are puzzles, they're extremely short, and actually kind of interesting. This is the first Zelda with significant "edge case behaviors" - there's a LOT of interactivity possibility space and it's really non-linear. In short, it's a good toy. It's also extremely good looking - not just in the sprawling vista sense which people talk about, but also the character design and colors and stuff are the best for any Zelda game I think. It's just really great and I'm enjoying it a lot.

    Also, the switch is a pretty cool system! I've been playing it in handheld form a lot because of holiday stuff, and it really works well in that format. Between this and the new Mario being probably the best Mario (still kinda boring IMO but definitely the best one), Nintendo really is on top of stuff now.

    I was playing Zelda with my GF and I was showing her all the weird cool stuff you can do. She was like "actually do you feel a little bit frustrated by this? Like... they could have done this all along, and they just didn't?" And yeah, I totally do feel that way. It's super annoying that they didn't just do this. I'm reminded of that saying about how "the government will do the right thing after they've exhausted every other possible option". I don't know what it was that finally triggered them to want to do something good, but I'm glad they finally did.
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  3. Bucky

    Bucky Well-Known Member

    What are "edge case behaviors?"
  4. Nomorebirds

    Nomorebirds Active Member

    Generally speaking, little weird unexpected physics interactions. Stuff you can do that maybe doesn't feel intended, but naturally evolves from the rules the developer laid out (not a glitch).

    Good toys have a lot of "edge case behaviors". Stuff you can tell your friend about that maybe they never would have thought to do.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  5. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    Yeah, this Zelda just has more stuff you can do.

    I've now played a lot more and I've kinda gotten to the point of being like, okay, I kinda "get it" about the game. I probably could just stop playing but I feel like I "should" finish it. But I'm not really engaged that much anymore.

    The thing is, yeah, it has a lot of stuff you can do. And maybe later, you'll have to. But as it stands right now it's like... there's all this stuff, but you just don't really have to use a lot of it. Like the old RPG problem where you have all these weird spells that do weird things but really what you need is the fighter attacking and the mage casting fireball over and over again. It's not that bad but that's kind of a feeling I have. I just go around from temple to temple solving these puzzles which okay, they're better than most zelda puzzles for sure. But actually not by as much as I hoped. A lot of the puzzles are just like dumb who gives a shit tasks. Also, maybe I've mentioned this but I HATE puzzles.

    The one good thing and honestly one of the main things I look forward to in the game is actually the fighting. Some of the fights are really engaging in a weird way. And they're pretty hard. I think I did things in a weird order that made it really hard for me.
  6. Nomorebirds

    Nomorebirds Active Member

    I definitely I have the same feeling from Breath of the Wild, a lot of stuff to do, but you're never required to and it's almost never the best option to do fun physics stuff instead of just fighting bad guys. It feels almost like the game almost doesn't really want you doing too much, like you have to fight against the game to do anything actually interesting, and even then it doesn't accomplish much.

    The most fun I had was the starting area. I went into the cold zone before I had any cold gear, I had to make soup out of hot peppers to stay warm and not die, and I chopped down a tree and rafted across the river with it and got a much better sword than the one I had. It made me feel like I had used the mechanics in a clever way to get something I wasn't supposed to yet, but later in the game I stopped needing to do stuff like that, and also stopped finding places where I even could do stuff like that.
  7. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    How do you make soup?

    Also I didn't know you can raft on a cut down tree, that's pretty cool. The game is surprising me still but in little ways.
  8. Bob Shelline

    Bob Shelline Well-Known Member

    I've been enjoying Rain World, so thank you for that recommendation! I love the old PC game vibe of it all.
  9. Nomorebirds

    Nomorebirds Active Member

    I think it was soup, but it might have been something else. If you see one of those pots (or maybe it's a wok) on top of a campfire, you can drop ingredients into the pot and assuming the fire is lit it will cook a meal or elixir (food = meal, monster parts = elixir).
  10. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    I finished Zelda. Overall, it's the best Zelda game by a large margin, but it's still overall kind of ho-hum. Early on there's some exciting-ness to it but it kind of goes on for too long given how much content and kinds of interactivity and stuff there is. It basically is pretending that serious western RPGs never existed. Like, Morrowind for example, which isn't even close to the deepest western RPG, is so much more deep and interesting in terms of the kinds of crap you can do in the game. In Zelda I pretty much can do the following things:

    - Fight pretty boring easy enemies
    - Collect utter crap loot which is NEVER good
    - Explore (probably the best thing, but kind of knee capped by the fact that you're not going to find anything good or interesting)
    - Do puzzle dungeons (Fucking Suck-ass laborious tasks)
    - Cook up like 6 possible different foods. There's really very little you can do with this cooking system. There's a lot of variants on like very few actual things. I solved this system fast and then there was nothing else to do!

    Also, say what you will about Morrowind or any of those RPG's stories, they're not great for the most part, but at least they are SOMETHING. The Zelda story is like, shockingly thin and dumb. I mean, I actually kind of like it that it's so staying out of the way, but 1. it means it's definitely not a source of value and 2. it sometimes suggests that it's going to be more than nothing, and then it's nothing after all.

    Some thoughts on the ending:

    Maybe I'll write a larger article about the game later.
  11. keithburgun

    keithburgun Administrator, Lead Designer Staff Member

    So everyone's playing the new FTL dev game. Probably it should have its own thread. I'm waiting a few days to see what people say.

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