The Chatterbox > Gaming

2021 Backlog Report

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1. The Outer Worlds

NEW YEAR NEW THREAD, heard this game was on the shorter end, so a good game to kickstart the year with. Had a 6 month hiatus from game 9, to game 10 last year, would like to watch a little less youtube and play a little more game/do something else productive. We'll see how that goes.

Fallout in space basically, dump the 50's aesthetic, with a western meets flash gordon aesthetic, with that bethesda open world vibe albeit smaller and more concentrated, and you got the outer worlds. Honestly not a big fan of the aesthetic, not knocking the game for it, but just not my cup of tea, it does work with what they're selling though. Started with a "stealth archer" build, found out the shooting is absolutely atrocious (playing on ps4, so that may be a factor), read that allies and diplomacy are actually really good in this game, started a new character.

Max leadership, max diplomacy, my character may have killed less than 10 things in the entire game, the rest was companions...they wreck house...seriously. Very refreshing change of pace for a game of this type, essentially a diplomat who can talk myself out of anything, and when I need to murder, I got two beefcakes with machineguns that are damn near immortal and make things into red mist before anything gets near me. This is one of the few games I can think of where points into speech doesn't feel wasted at all.

While I wasn't crazy for the universe, or aesthetic, the writing was entertaining, and it did feel like it went its own path not trying to be fallout 5. Very solid work by Obsidian, glad to see their original games picking up steam.

I played through the first section of the Outer Worlds on PC and thought the shooting was…okay. I'd say it's easily better than the first-person Fallout games, but it kind of lacks the punchiness and visceral feeling of something like Cyberpunk or DOOM. It's serviceable, at least. I didn't have any issues with it, but it wasn't anything special.

If I played on PC the aim issues may have not been as bad, but on ps4...yeah no.

2. Dragon Quest VI

I have been talking about beating this game since...near last February? But at a cost of...over $200.00 usd, used...fuck that. So I bought one of those err R4 devices... because yknow...if a man wants to play dragon quest 4, 5, and 6 on the ds, it will cost literally around $600, and yknow...fuck that.

That said, I did try to play the android version back before covid (I remember playing it in a restaurant) and as well received as most of the dragon quest mobile ports are...I really really really CANT STAND touch controls. Do they work? Yes, do I want to use them for a 25+ hour long game? No, I do not. Then I started again in July or something...and...Didn't really PLAY the game till...two weeks ago?

Game itself, pretty mixed bag. It's got some charm, it's got the Dragon Quest tropes I have come to expect having beaten a few of them now (the mermaids who always speak in rhymes in dragon quest 11, didn't know they did that in past games). It has a "real world" "dream world" theme to it, where you traverse through both worlds, and it gets pretty confusing knowing "ohh I gotta go to the dream world version of x town, or y town is in the real world", so it is what it is. There is a job system like final fantasy 5, or many other games with a job system, but they don't even give you the option of having it till ~1/3 through the game, which would be fine...if advancing in jobs wasn't limited by the level of enemies in any given area. Say you level up pretty decently beforehand, well you just fucked yourself for advancing in jobs because you won't have access to higher level areas till later and thus can't get new abilities...kinda shitty imo, and I think dragon quest 7 does this too...not looking forward to that one.

Last gripe though, isn't specific to this game, but games in general what do this. Say you got a 6/10 difficulty game, get to the last boss, and it's now a 12/10 difficulty game. The fuck does that do besides piss people off? You go through the "final dungeon" get to the "final boss" beat him, now you fight his SECOND FORM, takes a lot more time and effort but you beat him, now for the THIRDDDD FORMMMMM after your resources have been drained, no save points in the dungeon, no health/mana refils, game over means dungeon over again. OK WHATEVER, last guy is hard, he has 3 parts head and two hands. I'm gonna kill the dead...hand casts kazing (100% chance of reviving target with 100% health)...shit ok I'll kill that hand, barely hanging on but I can do this. OTHER HAND CASTS ZING (50% chance of reviving at ONE HUNDRED PERCENT HEALTH) and it works...alright I can't win anymore, no more mana/items, ILL RESTART. Do that whole bullshit over again, get to third form, KILL LEFT HAND FIRST and try to burn the other befo- IT REVIVES AGAIN FUCK THIS GAME, restart, do it again, fail, drunk rage, almost break things, blabla, im acting like a child at this point.

Two days later, I think I should stop drinking, be cool and try again. This time open a word document, to track the damage I do to both hands, so I can get them down to kill them in one turn so they cant revive eachother (full health rez is almost like the boss gets a second chance but your mana is still empty), accidentally kill the left one too early...two turns go by, ai DOESNT RES, kill other hand, super lucky, burn head, boss dead, extremely long end sequence, FIN DONE. I'd say fuck this game because of that, and yeah, fuck this game, but it was alright I guess.

It's a step up from 2, it has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a dragon quest, but it's got more cons than pros imo. Not a bad game, but kind of hard to recommend when there's better options out there. I am very happy to have this one over with, been on my mind for almost a year now.


3. Doom Eternal

So...remember Doom (2016) being like really good, like, really really good? Despite the positive reception Eternal got, I was a bit skeptical, then like I played the game.

I don't remember the last time my heartrate went up so high from playing a videogame. This is a hard game, a very hard game. This game gives you a lot of tools, and expects you to use ALL of those tools, or it will kill you. Just listing what the doomguy can do in this game at any one time is uhh...double jump, he has a dash with 2 charges that recharges VERY FAST (a second, second and a half?), super shotgun has a grapple which you can use to sling yourself around, frag grenade which can be upgraded to re detonate on kills and upgrade for 2 charges, frozen grenade on A SEPERATE COOLDOWN from frag which freezes things in place and they take more damage, flamethrower which gives you armor from kills, glory kills are back and do 2 of those to charge your melee for a "blood punch" which does a ton of damage and good for breaking enemy parts, great for super heavies, chainsaw returns to give you ammo which you need since your max ammo is I think less than half that it was in 2016 which really sucked but the last pip of the chainsaw will recharge in ~20 or so seconds making ammo not that big a deal, crucible sword which is a one hit kill on everything with finite charges "cough" sans marauders "cough"...and all of your guns which have 2 mods each and you can swap super fast...

To compensate for the player having so many options, they throw what feels like twice the enemies at you from the last game, and they are all more aggressive, and do more damage...For example the first boss in this game, the doom hunter. He was pretty hard, and I felt pretty good when I beat it...then without warning, they immediately dump you with no checkpoint to another arena with TWO doom the same time...ohh boy...then that enemy becomes a normal enemy in later levels...yep. Something about the game screams git gud, and I mean this in a positive way. Very fast, very frantic, and very fun when you rebind all of your keys and figure out how to play. Protip, bind dash to a mouse thumb button so you can dash in any direction easier, L ctrl is fine, but dashing left is awkward with the default setup.

Funny side thing, in the first third of the game I was relying on the plasma rifle hard. It feels a lot better than it did in 2016, then after I got the ballista/super shotgun, I don't think I wasted my cell ammo on this for the rest of the game. It is a great gun, but super shotty/ballista combos are incredible, and I almost think the game is impossible to beat without mastering the combo. Turn an arachnatron or mancubus from a serious threat into a joke, it's a game changer.

I could splurge about the game for a while, but I shouldn't be writing an essay, so I'll end at a few of the cons and wrap up.

-the platforming for the most part feels good, it breaks up the action, but sometimes its hard to know where to go, and you end up eating cheap damage from it

-the extra lives system that they added to this game because it was a lot harder than 2016 REALLY DID HELP, but, kinda feels like a "rich get richer" style system because lives are lost permanently THROUGH if you rebind your keys (which you should) and trying to adjust, and eat a death...reload checkpoint, that life is gone baby. So the extra life system while helpful, made the game actually a lot more stressful than it normally would be, say you have 2 lives, and lose them both to a you really have to git gud because you just lost your 2 chances and have one try for your second attempt. Feels like a system to help people who are a bit above the curve, while being mentally degrading to those who aren't gifted in the fps genre. Thankfully after I got a hang of the game the bosses were all single attmepts, but...

-Marauders. This specific enemy was cause for much butthurt on the internets as one of the few flaws to doom eternal. This enemy is straight up harder than the bosses in this game. In a vacuum, the marauder is ok, it's like a duel between you the slayer, and a near equal...but...they really break the flow to the combat. These guys are like the doom slayer, they are very fast, very small (hard to hit) also they are immune to damage straight up, if you hit them with anything, they block it, and summon a cyber ghost wolf thing to fuck you up. Get too close, they shotgun you, get too far, they axe laser (whatever it is) you, say fuck it and get out of dodge to try to kill the other enemies first, THEY RUN AFTER YOU VERY FAST SO YOU BETTER TRY AND BE FASTER. What you do is have to get them in a goldilocks zone too far from shotgun, too close for laser axe where they go for a melee windup, their eyes flash green, and you got about half a second to hit them. If you play like a normie and just go full auto for a bit, it's going to take forever to kill them. These guys force you to (preferably get the quick weapon swap skill, and preferably NOT play the console version) to do more advanced stuff like weapon switch combos. They flash green, you immediately super shotgun to stagger, instantly swap to ballista to shoot, and if you're fast enough swap back to super shotgun for another blast, if you're too slow, he'll block it and summon a wolf. Do that like 3-4 times depending on your aim, and it'll stagger for a glory kill. BY THE WAY THERES USUALLY OTHER ENEMIES TRYING TO MAKE YOU DEAD WHILE YOU DANCE WITH THIS MAN, so have fun. You could just use the bfg to kill him...except he's immune, you could just use the crucible and its one shottting doom hunter/cyberdemon/archvile powers....HES IMMUNE, you gotta play HIS game at HIS pace. The only enemy in the game that forces you to play his game, totally changes the flow of combat for the worse imo. That's enough butthurt though, there's like probably less than 10 of em in the whole campaign (hurt me plenty, im not good enough to play ultraviolence) so while they suck, more than half of em spawn in areas with not a whole lot of other enemies so they are "managable".

Minor cons aside, this is a very fun game, they take what the last game did and went bigger badder and more badass the whole ride. Rebinding my keys and learning the art of the weapon swap (seriously look up high level gameplay of people playing master levels or something, the gunplay is unreal), kinda has me hoping more fps start to adopt this more classic arena fps style of play. I can't recommend it enough to anyone who enjoyed Doom 2016, it has exceeded expectations. Some of the best movement and gunplay I have experienced in an fps.

Pretty much my only complaint about Doom Eternal was the "try again, loser" platforming. It feels fantastic when you're leaping over giant chasms with a clear end goal or direction, but having to do what occasionally feels like mid-air puzzle solving is a bit bleh. I was kind of ambivalent to it in the long run, I guess.

I honestly didn't mind the marauder all that much. I felt that the game mixed him in with other enemies gradually enough that I was able to work out a good rhythm (shoot the background enemies, see the green flash, and then quickly pelt the marauder). I'm sure I'll change my tune when I start doing a UV run, they seemed alright to me in HMP. That said, I do agree that the BFG and crucible should be able to damage him regardless of his state. I kinda feel that the resources for those two weapons are limited enough that giving the player the option to use them to down swathes of demons or use them to deal with a marauder would have been a good middle ground.

One other thing that I really wasn't crazy about is the way the game handles slayer gate keys. The game tells you that you can turn on cheats to go back and collect missing things, but last time I played they didn't mention that slayer gate keys were an exemption. I get that they want you to do the slayer gates without cheats, but couldn't they just temporarily disable cheats when you enter the gate or something? Or, at the very least, let you know that you couldn't collect the keys? Seems like a really odd oversight to me.

Still, I don't think I've played a game as fast and frenetic as Doom Eternal. I can understand why some people wouldn't like it do to its unrelenting intensity, but I seriously love it.

Also, I think I'd be remiss in not bringing up just how awesome the underlying game engine is. The game seems to run crazy smooth regardless of what you're running it on. I suppose it makes sense, given that the Switch was a target platform of both 2016 and Eternal, but I think it's still safe to say that id has solid engine tech on lockdown. Kind of a shame they don't license it out anymore. If it had adequate tooling it would probably be solid competition for Unreal Engine 4.


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