What games are you playing 2: The revenge

Into Indivisible now.

This is an incredibly charming game.

I played through the preview demo a few times, so the mechanics were no surprise. It hasn't changed much from the backer demo as far as that goes. It basically had no story elements and minimal voicework and was really just to show off gameplay.

Basically how it works is that you travel around with light metroidvania style traversal. You need specific items to open certain areas, and there's backtracking with hidden items and such that can't be reached until later in earlier areas. You are surprisingly agile from the start, with a dash and wall jump ability available immediately.

It reminds me of a Shantae game in some ways, though it is a very different thing.

Combat is real time turn based. Each character in your party is controlled by a specific face button [ABXY] with directional inputs affecting how they attack. Simple inputs so far, just hold up or down to do different things. I haven't run into any fighting game half circle inputs or anything like that yet and don't know if the game does that or not.

Each individual attack has a timer that fills once it's used, and you can chain and combo moves together using different characters. Generally, you'll want to wait until all of a characters available moves are full and then chain them to do the most damage.

You also have a "super meter" style bar for a bigger more powerful attack that is shared among all characters.

You also are fully healed between battles. Item management doesn't seem to be a thing as there is no inventory.

It's deeper than it sounds, as where an enemy is positioned matters as well. For example, the opening attack for one character might only be a ground attack that will miss flying enemies, followed by two other attacks that will hit enemies in the air. However, if you use a character that has a knockdown air attack first, then it will knock the flying enemy down enabling you to connect with that first attack with the other character.

You can block with individual characters using their attack button during an enemy attack animation, with more damage blocked based on timing your block closer to the attack. There is also a "block all" button, but the individual block stops a little more damage.

Boss battles include a mixture of the turn based and platform style gameplay in some cases.

The writing is very good and the characters are fun. It's got a nice Indian themed anime thing going for it. The opening animation was done by Studio Trigger, and it doesn't look that different from the in game animation.

Most of the game is voiced, and it uses still character portraits with different poses for most character interactions. It works well enough.

It's very well animated during gameplay, which isn't a huge surprise given that it's from the people who made Skullgirls. Overall the designs are neat, with characters, enemies, and settings looking interesting.

The music is also pretty on point as well so far. Again, going with that Indian fantasy theme, but also keeping some of that anime feel to it as well.

So yeah, this is completely worth checking out. I'm hoping this does well enough that we'll see more of it.
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Still playing Indivisible.

The writing follows a lot of tropes early on, but quickly becomes its own unique thing as the game progresses. The writing in this game is top notch, even though it seems like a somewhat standard plot early on. The character interactions carry the story through until the narrative itself opens up and becomes far more interesting.

It also has legitimate character development and does a lot of cool things that you might not expect.

The combat system is a weird hybrid of real time turn based and a fighting game. Which makes a weird sort of sense given the dev's last title was Skullgirls, which is a 2D fighter with a similar hand drawn art style. It's what sold me on backing this.

At any rate, you combo similar to how you do in a fighting game, you can get some extra hits with certain combos, and you can chain the attacks of multiple characters together.

You don't really see this until a few levels in, as early on your characters are limited to one or two attacks per turn each, but once you get three attacks and have some of the weapons, things open up a lot more.

It's also not nearly as complicated as it sounds, as all the inputs are either hold up and attack, hold down and attack, or just attack. It's just what they do and how you use them that varies from character to character, leading to some very interesting combinations.

At any rate, think like a fighting game when stringing together combos.

There's also an element of synergy involved between different characters and so far they all behave in very different ways gameplay wise. Some work really well together, others not so well. There are also a ton of playable characters, more than 20. Plus at least two more coming in a future patch.

The platforming that you have to do during some of the boss fights can be a bit frustrating, but it really helps a lot when you realize you can block any attack, and air recover to brute force your way through some segments. Also, the axe is your friend, as you can hang off a wall and time your next move.

The platforming itself has also gotten a little trickier, but is also very forgiving. Dying while platforming doesn't send you back to a save point unless it is during a boss. You just end up nearby at the last safe standing position you made it too. If you die during a platforming segment during a boss fight, you have to start the battle over.

There are some difficulty spikes, but none of them are huge. A battle can go bad quickly even against minor enemies if you miss a block, especially before you're in the battle state. However, it's never impossible to recover from.

Also, the save menu has an interesting mechanic. Each individual save slot represents 200 saves. So you can save continuously on the same slot and never have to worry about not being able to go back. You can use the other slots, but there is no need to bother with it unless you want to start a new game.

I'm really liking this game a lot, as it's a weird hybrid of Metroidvania, Real Time Turn Based RPG, and Fighting Game. It all works really well together as well.

Seriously, check this game out. Everything about it is better than it has any business being.
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Well-Known Member
Cookie Clicker. (Google it.)

It's a thing that you run while your browser is open and you make cookies.

Many cookies.

And grandmas. And cookie farms. And jungle temples. And spaceships. And other things I haven't discovered yet.

And cookies. Billions on billions of cookies. It's addictive in a "I'mma watch a couple of shows on Netflix and check the tab with Cookie Clicker, see what's happening there, maybe upgrade the efficiency of the horde of grandmothers I have making cookies" way.
Postal 4.

It's early access. The game isn't anywhere near done.

The game is in an Alpha state currently. It is playable, but there's a lot missing and it's clearly just a framework.

The are is there, you can fully explore it, there are NPCs wandering about.

However, their AI is very basic. No one seems to have "ownership" of anything giving you free reign to go pretty much where you want. Well, not entirely, some NPCs seem to be tied to their homes, but businesses don't have owners or employees for the most part. There are no cops wandering around, and after about an hour I've not seen any more aggressive NPCs that harass you the way that certain NPCs do in Postal 2.

There is a lot of empty space as well. It is neat to wander around and check out, but there does seem to be a surplus of pointless area.

Weapons work and it's a mildly fun sandbox in the current state. As I said though, it's very basic and there isn't much to it.

Lots of bugs, terrain issues, and various other problems are present.

If you want to play Postal right now, go play Postal 2.

If you want to bug test Postal 4, want to keep up with and support the development, and don't expect anywhere near a finished game, then Postal 4 is a relatively safe bet for an early access title given that Running with Scissors is the developer. It is unlikely to be abandoned and they've got a good track record for being reliable as developers.

It's not anywhere near done though, and this is about as early access as early access can get. It'll probably be a year or two before the game is actually out of beta given what I've seen so far, as the game needs a lot of work.

Postal 2 will give you a better and more complete experience, but Postal 4 is neat as a novelty for now. Having access to it in the future and watching it grow into the finished game will be interesting, but if that doesn't sound like something you're into, just wait for it rather than jump in now.

It was cool to run around in and mess with for a short while, but I probably won't be playing it again for a while.
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Earth Defense Force Iron Rain.

So, another EDF game was released on PC, and yet again I had no idea and it just sort of showed up. It's a spinoff thing and not a main entry title.

As usual I am going for a hardcore solo playthrough. I managed for EDF 5, so I think I can handle this as it seems easier so far. I think I read that it has around 50 levels [66 with DLC, not counting the practice areas, which you need to visit to collect a few drones, but aren't really levels], so it's half as long as EDF 5. "Hardest" is available right away, not sure if a higher difficulty unlocks once it is finished or not.

A lot has changed so I'm not entirely sure how unlocks work just yet. It's prettier than the last game at least and seems to have even more modernized controls. They seem to have scrapped the timing based reload mechanic as well.

There is also an "overdrive" system, which basically ups your fire and reload rate by quite a bit and gives you infinite stamina for dodging. You can only use it once per level, but it is a fairly powerful buff that can get you out of some sticky situations.

Weirdly, you can strafe faster than you can move forward.

You seem to get currency of some sort [four of them actually] in game, which is then used to buy weapons. Not sure how weapon drops work as I didn't find any in the level, but still managed to unlock several after finishing one.

This does make it so that your loadout is more limited, as the crystal type currency is a lot slower to gather early on.

On the plus side, it seems like any class can equip any weapon this time. So you can pick your favorite playstyle and still use any weapon you want. You also switch classes by switching gear rather than moving to a new character, and have the option to be male or female in any class.

Another nice QOL feature is that there are far, far fewer stunlocking enemies and things that blind you, and spider webs also aren't nearly as dangerous or annoying to deal with. This contributes to the game being easier as well, so it's not all for "bad" reasons.

Health upgrades also work a bit different, with you buying them with the easiest to get currency, which is coins rather than gathering them from the battlefield in drops. You need all four currency types to buy weapons it seems, but just coins are needed for health, which caps off at 10k.

You also have a lot of character customization options, which is nice since it's an online focused game. There are also DLC weapons and a few items. I bought those and it didn't come to much, especially since everything is on sale right now. You don't automatically unlock them just by buying them either, still have to unlock them in game, and they are expensive so you won't be able to just buy your way to an easy victory with them.

There are also a bunch of outfits you can buy as DLC, and I don't care about that and never will.

You can also buy currency, which I also have no intention of ever doing. EDF was always grindy, and this one doesn't seem any worse in that regard. I don't think they bumped up the "frustration" factor just to force people to buy currency. At least it doesn't seem that way yet.

I will say that you do have to buy new weapons though, and don't just have them once you get them in drops. This isn't really a bad thing, but does mean you need to be more selective about what you're unlocking and using as you can't just try everything out. It may be worth buying a lower level weapon if a "special type" has some weird quirk that doesn't fit your playstyle. A higher rank doesn't automatically mean a better weapon.

So far, the microtransaction presence here seems unintrusive on the whole, sort of like it was in Devil May Cry 5. Though I'm holding back on saying that for certain until I see how this currency drops later in the game. As long as I can always afford to keep a decent loadout without having to grind an unreasonable amount compared to other entries, I won't complain.

EDIT: Can confirm that drops do indeed improve enough that it's not too bad. Larger enemies drop more, and color types seem to be based on what type of enemy drops them. This means they are easily farmed once you find a level that has enemies that drop lots of certain colors.

Coins you get just based on your rank and build up quickly, it's the crystal currency that really limits what you can buy. I can tell I'm going to have to grind a bit later on, but that's normal for an EDF game.

This seems to have a bigger budget than other EDF titles, and seems to be targeting the west. It has more polished visuals, but the gameplay seems...slower I guess?

It's better than Insect Armageddon by far, but still seems pretty niche. As a hoard loot shooter it seems pretty okay so far, but I'm only in the first few levels.

To its credit, after the opening missions, I was able to buy an interesting laser sniper rifle right off the bat with what I had gathered. So there's that.

Again, I'm still early on, but it doesn't seem any more grindy than the last few I played. The multi-currency system seems to be the weirdest addition, but I should be able to max out my gathering with the old "leave one bug alive" tactic. Just leave an ant or something alive, preferably away from any surviving squad, and just run around collecting loot. Kill the last remaining bug to trigger the next wave, and keep doing that until you finish the level. Not particularly difficult.

This seems to be an EDF game that was made to be more accessible and modern than the main franchise. It also seems more "international" where as previous EDF games mostly take place in Japan. I'm thinking it will still get hard fast, but won't be nearly as difficult to solo my way through as EDF 4.1 or 5 were.

Should keep me busy until Outer Worlds comes out anyway.

EDIT: Probably not. While fun and somehow managing to keep the spirit of an EDF title, it is considerably easier. I managed to get through fifteen levels without a single death, and I only have one A ranked weapon and two B ranked, so it's not like I'm blasting through everything more easily than intended.

I doubt this game will take more than a day or two to finish unless there's a massive difficulty ramp.

The game actually seems more balanced weirdly. Weapons aren't as overpowered, but are pretty universally effective. You also have less to deal with at once and it seems to be trying to provide a smoother difficulty curve rather than the spikes that EDF usually has in it.

Enemies are easier to avoid, tend to shoot less crap at you, stun lock less frequently, and dodging is more effective. In fact, you can generally move around easier in this game than in most EDF titles. Not that it was particularly hard before, everything is just smoother, making avoiding damage easier to do.

I've yet to see a huge massive swarm on the scale of even the first area of EDF 5 yet, and the game tends to throw smaller amounts of bigger tougher enemies at you. There are big swarms in the game, it's just not nearly on the same overwhelming level EDF proper games throw at you. They also tend to come in more distinct waves.

In previous EDF titles I could set off other waves of enemies by wandering too far into a level, here they seem to be exclusively triggered by killing off the previous wave. Arenas are also smaller with a lot less running around across a huge map.

Flying enemies aren't nearly as much of a pain as they were in main line EDF games. They move slower, don't take as much damage, and are generally easier to deal with.

Healing is easier due to how items work. Heals still drop from enemies on top of that. It's generally harder to die as long as you're paying attention.

It's good, but kind of EDF light for the west it seems.
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I've figured out something that has been low key bugging me while I play EDF IR.

It sounds like my squad is an older knock off version of the kids from Captain Planet.

I also cared even less about them than I did the squadmates in other EDF games. Not just because the AI is so bad, it actually killed me less than it usually does.

They did try to give them more distinct personalities and make them actual characters here, but they always spoke over the radio, which made them seem like they weren't there with me and made it harder to distinguish them from every other NPC. I had no idea what voice was supposed to be what NPC around me.

There's also the fact that you're the only one with a callsign, which is weird and further distances you from everyone else.

In other EDF games, other soldiers are more generic, but actually talk off the radio and you can distinguish which NPC is talking and where they are. It made them seem more "present" I guess, and this game lacks that entirely. So despite being actual characters, albeit rather shallow ones, they actually seem less like they are fighting with you than the NPCs in the other games.

In an unrelated note, one of the armors lets you ride the giant bugs for a short while, which is nice.

You seemingly unlock everything you can for purchase after playing through a level once. Replaying just gains currency, not additional weapons. That's both nice and not so much, as it's not really a loot shooter anymore, but also means you're not relying on RNG as much.

This is much more simplistic than previous EDF games on the whole. Not nearly as difficult either. It likes to throw smaller groups of bigger enemies at you rather than huge swarms of smaller ones. The swarms it does use are also considerably smaller than main line EDF games. While you do face a lot of enemies, and it escalates as the game goes on, it never feels like the seemingly unending waves of other EDF games where the enemies are simply everywhere around you.

I mean, it's still a lot compared to other shooters, but it is never the hoplessly overwhelming hordes you'll see in other EDF games.

It does look nicer overall, but seems to have sacrificed scale for that somewhat. On the one hand, that means less running around a huge empty level, on the other hand, it means everything feels smaller.

On the other hand, there are some interesting new ideas here, as well as some much needed quality of life changes that I'd like to see the franchise overall adopt, such as weapons being universal, armor being gear rather than a class, and more modern controls.

This is a very westernized EDF game overall. Which isn't bad per say. It's kind of like the US Godzilla franchise in a lot of ways.

EDF Insect Armageddon being the 1998 Godzilla movie everyone wants to pretend doesn't exist, and this one being more like the 2014 Godzilla film. Sure it looks great, but there is less of the things you want to see than in the campy rubber suit movies. When it is there, it's great though.

EDIT: There is an irritating problem later in the game. There are pillars that if you shoot them will create a large explosion like field of energy damage. This does a ton of damage and is an instant kill if you don't have several thousand health.

The problem here is that the AI shoots everything all the time. It shoots at enemies sure, but it also shoots at nothing, it shoots when the level is over and all the enemies are gone, it fires at the stupid pillars that it repeatedly tells you not to shoot.

It doesn't make the game impossible, or even that much more difficult. However, you do need to pretty much retreat out of range immediately on any level that has these things because the AI will constantly set them off and kill you. This pretty much forces you to cheese these levels and not play them as intended, and it is a little frustrating to deal with for a bit.

EDIT: Finished, twice. Once on hardest, and the other on the difficulty you unlock after beating it. The second playthrough was extremely easy as I had plenty of nice weapons from my previous playthrough. This really is a lot easier than a main line EDF title.

Final verdict, wait for a sale when it is dirt cheap, otherwise just play EDF 4.1 or 5. It's not a bad game and is fun, but is a lesser title due to an overall lack of true EDF gameplay. There are moments of it, but overall the game just doesn't escalate as quickly, and you never have those massive overwhelming hoards. Big ones later in the game, sure, but never on the scale of even the earlier levels of previous games in the series.

It also never reaches that "humanity is getting its ass kicked and is nearly brought to extinction" level. I think they try to do something like that, but fail at it as the EDF pretty much wins for the entire game. Where as in previous games your squad is pretty much the only one not getting their asses handed to them on a regular basis for most of the game, you're winning battles, but the EDF is usually losing the war. It lacks that sense of hopelessness that sends humanity back to the stone age and leaves your character a figure of myth.

As I mentioned, the game sacrifices graphics for scale. It is worth playing at some point for fans of EDF as it does some interesting things, but is not a "you must play now" game. Wait for it to be super cheap, and don't waste your money on microtransactions, you don't need them. [Outside of the DLC levels if you want the extra 14. The weapons aren't horrible either, and are cheap, but you don't need them.] Again, I'd liken the microtransactions here to DMC 5, in that they can easily be ignored and have no real impact on the game.

EDIT: I've found out that weapon unlocks are based on the number of specific enemy types you kill, not what level you finish on what difficulty, though that will often correlate anyway. This usually means you'll unlock most weapons as you play the game normally on a single playthrough, but some of the higher level ones will require playing certain maps that have certain enemy types multiple times.

It also means you can grind for high tier weapons pretty easily by replaying certain levels a few times. Some enemy types only show up on higher difficulties as well.

This also means that once unlocked the highest difficulty will have long stretches where you don't unlock anything on a second playthrough.
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Dragon Quest XI.

I've had this for a while and picked it up not long after it released, but kept putting off starting it so often that I kind of forgot I even had it.

I was going through my Steam list after EDF IR and noticed it was listed in my uninstalled games. Which is another thing that contiributed to me forgetting I had it. I usually have Steam set up so that only installed games show up and I normally install them right away. Somewhere along the way DQ11 was uninstalled, or I never installed it, not sure which.

Playing in English will be weird. I'm so used to having the option to switch to Japanese in JRPGs that it's odd to not have it. I pretty much never watch anime or play JRPGs in English. The game only has one language track, and it's English only. Apparently the Japanese version doesn't even have voice acting in it, as Japanese DQ fans are used to text only.

I suppose I could turn the voices off entirely, and probably will if it bugs me too much. Everything has subs anyway. So far, the VO work has been pretty good, but I've only just started.

The last DQ game I played was DQ9, and I've played several of the 8 and 16 bit era games, so I'm not unfamiliar with the series.


Well-Known Member
If you have a Switch Dragon Quest XI on that has Japanese voice acting as well as extra content that the PS4 and PC versions don't have.
If you have a Switch Dragon Quest XI on that has Japanese voice acting as well as extra content that the PS4 and PC versions don't have.
If I didn't already own it, I'd probably get that version. I don't think that it's worth buying it again, especially since I'll probably only play through it once.

Maybe if I find it on sale for super cheap later on, and only if there isn't something I'm interested in that haven't played before at around the same price.


Obsessively signs his posts
Staff member
If you have a Switch Dragon Quest XI on that has Japanese voice acting as well as extra content that the PS4 and PC versions don't have.
Can you tell me if the switch battle music has the full orchestra? I stopped myself from getting the PS4 version when I found out that it was 8-bit.

Can you tell me if the switch battle music has the full orchestra? I stopped myself from getting the PS4 version when I found out that it was 8-bit.

It does. I looked up the differences between the switch and other versions, and that was one of the big selling points. You can switch between the orchestrated tracks and midi tracks as well.

There are also other quality of life changes, such as being able to use the forge anywhere instead of just at save points.

The Switch Version is the one to get if you don't already have the game. It's pretty much the definitive version of the game with the exception of a small hit in the graphics department, which is mostly just the resolution.

As I said, if I didn't already own DQ 11, that would be the version I'd get.

While some of the features are neat, it's not quite enough to get me to buy it again, at least not at full price. Maybe on sale one day, if there's nothing else I want that I haven't played before that's discounted as well.
The Outer Worlds.

It is not available on Steam for PC, but you can play it through Microsoft's PC subscription service if you don't want to buy it from Epic without waiting on the Steam release. It also appears to be DRM free on Epic. I was able to move it to another drive and launch it without the EGS launcher active.

I've been playing for a few hours now and have a decent handle on the game and what it is all about. I haven't noticed any bugs at all so far.

It is pretty much Fallout New Vegas meets Mass Effect. Combat is a lot more Mass Effect than Fallout, but not a cover shooter either. It's functional and fun, but not terribly complex. It has a distinctly Fallout sense of humor that also reminds me of Hitchhiker's Guide in a lot of ways.

I really like that they actually gave the NPCs in the game a somewhat unique dialect rather than just lifting real world accents. It's a really neat touch that adds to the game more than you might think as it helps with the illusion that the system the game takes place in is a colony that has been isolated and has developed culture of its own over time.

Companions are interesting so far. I only have two at the moment, but they have a lot of unique dialogue. They level up and gain perks, as well as buffing your stats. They also provide additional carryweight. You don't need to manage their inventory as it just adds additional weight to your capacity when they are in your party. You can provide them weapons and armor, but that's really all the inventory they have.

Each area is an open space, but it's not an open world game where you can go anywhere you can see. I've yet to run into an invisible wall, but usually something blocks you from wandering out of an area. If you've played KotOR or Mass Effect, you probably have a pretty good idea how the different locations work.

Areas are smallish, but densely packed so far. I'm only in the second area after the first planet. It's not a huge chore to walk anywhere, but there's a fast travel system that I haven't actually bothered with yet. I probably will later, but currently it is better to travel from place to place manually to gather resources and gain XP along the way.

Exploration is rewarded. I've found some nice weapons and have a huge supply of ammo and healing without ever needing to buy either. You do pick up a lot of stuff, but it's not Fallout levels of junk collecting where you can pick up anything that isn't nailed down. Interactable objects highlight when you get near them similar to Bioshock. Usually, if there's a corner or nook, there's something there.

Weapons and armor degrade and need to be repaired, and you'll find plenty to scrap and fix them up with. You just break down weapons to gain materials and don't need weapons of the same type to repair what you have. I've yet to have any difficulty keeping up with this, as it takes a while for things to degrade. Especially if you find "pristine" gear, which doesn't degrade as fast.

There's lots of upgrades that add effects to weapons, but they cannot be removed once placed on a weapon. Fortunately, you can also "tweak" a weapon for a set amount of money, which bumps the level of the weapon up so you can keep using a favorite one for as long as you'd like if you're willing to invest in upgrading it. It does get expensive fast though. On the other hand, raising a lower level weapon up results in a more powerful weapon than raising a higher level one does.

The leveling system is also interesting. You get a perk every couple of levels that provides a buff to something. It's similar to how they work in Fallout.

Plus attributes, which are equivalent to SPECIAL points and work like most RPG attribute systems. Strength, Intelligence, etc...

However, your skills for checks work a little differently. You get ten points per level. Each skill is separated into groups. For the first 50 points in each skill, you put the skill points you gain into a group of skills rather than the individual skills.

After level 50, you must level each skill individually, up to lvl 100.

For example. Hanguns, Long Guns, and Heavy Weapons all fall under the Ranged category. Up to lvl 50, you can put a point into Ranged rather than each individual skill which will level all of them up by one point for each skill point. So, if all three are at lvl 20, you can bump all three up to lvl 30 with only ten skill points. After they reach lvl 50, you must then raise each individually using one skill point per skill you want to raise.

Dialogue and quest options are also pretty varied. There's a ton of choices to make and I've yet to feel like I'm being railroaded into saying "yes" to everything. "No" is a very real choice you can often make in this game. You even have factions here and the game actually makes you choose between factions at some points. Helping one faction will often harm your reputation with others. There is usually a way to keep both happy as well, but the option to side with one or another is there, and you can even make them hostile if you upset one enough, though you do pretty much have to actively try to do so.

It even has idiot dialogue options if you make a low intelligence character like the old isometric Fallout games.

The flaws system is neat. If you take enough of a particular type of damage without it killing you, you'll have the opportunity to gain a flaw, which is a specific negative buff related to what has been hurting you. Whether you take the flaw or not is optional. For example, trip enough mines and survive, and you may get a "permanent concussion" condition, which lowers your perception. Or if the dog like creatures on the first planet do enough damage to you, you may gain a phobia of that creature, which results in reduced damage given and increased damage taken from it.

So yeah, definitely play this, even if you insist on waiting for the Steam release, don't miss it. Like I said, it's New Vegas meets Mass Effect in all the right ways so far.

It's better at being an RPG than Fallout 4, though not as large. It probably won't take long if all you do is run through the main quest, but if you're doing the side quests, and you should be, then you're looking at a decent chunk of gameplay. It also has a lot of replayability with various interesting builds you can make that will have different outcomes.

EDIT: A neat thing I discovered is that "charisma" skills have an impact on combat and are not just used for skill checks. Having a high intimidate skill will make enemies run away and cower more frequently, having a higher persuade can mean some enemies will target your companions or even other enemies before they target you.

Everything about this game is polished and well thought out. The writing is great and doesn't feel forced, the combat is tight, I've still not run into any bugs, and it is easily one of the best RPGs of its kind ever made.
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There are tons of pulp sci-fi references in the Outer Worlds, some rather obscure. I just ran across a Harry Harrison "Stainless Steel Rat" reference.

A lot of stuff persists in the game as well. A fair amount of areas will remain cleared once you finish them. There are still enemies and such that respawn as well, but a lot of stuff just stays cleared. It's not all interiors either, as an area on one of the first area maps outside of a building has remained cleared since I eliminated all the enemies there after several hours.

I also think NPC conversations are entirely unique. I don't recall hearing random dynamic conversations the way Bethesda games do it. I'm not 100% sure it's all of them, but most of the NPC conversations I've come across in the world have been unique and situational. Usually worth listening to as well.

There is a fair amount of NPC chatter in the games as well. It's not as constant as something like Skyrim, but happens often enough that the world doesn't seem full of mute people. I think each group has at least a few conversations they can have, some more than others of course. They do eventually repeat, but work well for background as you're not likely to actually stand around and listen to any of them more than once, if at all.

For example, there's a pair that has several interesting conversations outside of a bar in the first area of Monarch you'll visit.

It's a nice touch that I think actually works better than the random RNG conversations in something like Fallout that are very simplistic seem to be about nothing. In Outer Worlds you'll hear conversations about sports teams, other people that live in town, people talking about work, political and religious conversations [about fictional factions], and other more interesting mundane daily life conversation.

Companion conversations are also a lot more robust than in Bethesda games. They have a lot of unique dialogue depending on who is in your party. They also chime in when you're talking to other NPCs fairly frequently.

Everything about this game feels like it does what Fallout does but better, kind of like New Vegas did to Fallout 3, but without Bethesda breathing down their necks to rush the game out. It feels like a flex at Bethesda and karma for that whole metacritic thing where they withheld bonuses due to a one point difference in review score averages. It's polished, much better written, colorful and great looking, mostly bug free, and "just works".
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Borderlands 3, been putting it off because of other games. Indivisible and Outer Worlds mostly.

I'm liking the game part. A lot of quality of life improvements, better movement, you don't have to manually loot stuff like ammo and money in crates once you open them anymore, the guns are even more interesting and the new alt fire system keeps things fresh, slag is gone and replaced by cryo damage, and the abilities are all decent.

I always do a siren playthrough first, and I like her skill trees so far, even though I haven't unlocked much.

The story is stupid, most of the characters are obnoxious, and it's not as funny as BL2 or even the Pre-sequel to balance that out. Mostly because the villains suck.

Still, story takes a backseat in a loot shooter anyway, and BL3 does what Borderlands does best very well with a lot of the kinks of the more clunky mechanics of previous games ironed out. Out of all the BL games so far, this one feels the best to play mechanically speaking.

I'm also really liking the new weapons system so far. I found a shotgun that is also a sniper rifle when you use the scope, and a pistol that has an alt fire that shoots rockets, some machine guns can switch between burst and full auto, etc... The guns have various interesting alt uses and it does add something to the BL formula, which is nice.

Vehicle customization is also now a thing, with various parts and such. You get parts by stealing vehicles, and can hijack vehicles now.

More variation in enemy types, at least initially, there are female raiders this time. A fair amount of them too.

If you like Borderlands, it's more of that, but slightly less charming. Gameplay wise it's pretty much all been improvement so far, but I've only just started.

Outer Worlds is easily my game of the year. This is good, but a lot more flawed, especially in the writing department, which was never really the strongsuit of Borderlands to begin with, but it does lack the charisma some of the characters in the other games had to make up for that.
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The villains in Borderlands 3 suck.

I can see they were going for a Handsome Jack kind of thing where they taunt you through most of the game over the echo. Those parts aren't too bad as it is easy to ignore when they are chattering over the echo, but in the story cutscenes they are in your face and more an annoyance than anything else.

They didn't pull it off. Jack was at least a bit charming and had a sort of boyish delusion going on with his psychopathy. I don't know that I'd call him "funny" so much as he was arrogant without crossing the line of being an irritant.

The pair in this game are just obnoxious analogues for Gen-Z tools and internet follower culture. It doesn't really work. They aren't threatening and are just grating and somehow manage to sound even more entitled than Jack.

Jack did have some level of menace, even if indirectly. This pair really doesn't, despite actually being more powerful than him as a direct threat.

I think what it is really is that they hit a nice balance with Jack, and pushed things too far with this pair. Particularly the sister of the pair. Her brother is more subdued so far and is actually the more interesting of the pair. Unfortunately, she's the one who does most of the talking.

Still, that's like 2% of the game and isn't enough to ruin it. The gameplay part is an improvement, but the story surrounding it is not. Fortunately, story is not really what Borderlands is about.
While the story is nonsense and garbage, I can't stress enough how improved the gameplay part of Borderlands 3 is.

You will want to have played Tales from the Borderlands first if you ever plan on doing it. Otherwise a few things will be a bit odder than normal, and there's a major plot related death in that game that is relevant in BL3.

I really like the new weapons systems, it differentiates the manufacturers even more than before. The alt fire system really does a lot towards that, but they also have other neat features such as interesting passives and such.

Torgue is my new favorite type of gun again. That hasn't been the case since the first Borderlands. While always useful, they weren't awesome after the first game again until now.

The big upgrade in BL 3 aside from the updated weapons system, is the UI and movement upgrades. The game just feels better to play than the last few BL games. Mobility is better, verticality is more of a factor, and everything just seems to work smoother. Looting ammo and cash has never been easier, you just open a container and you'll automatically collect whatever you need.

The only thing you really need to grab manually are things like guns, shields, and other gear. You will be drowning in loot. It dumps more on you than any other Borderlands game has before. That's not a bad thing, but you'll quickly get to the point where you'll ignore anything that isn't a colored weapon or gear.

There are also the health pickups that certain shields spawn. You won't automatically grab those either, which is a bit weird and is a minor gripe of mine. They'll still help if you need them, but it would be nice if you just absorbed them if your health isn't topped off.ds

Another weird thing is the "social" tab in the main menu. It is not in your inventory, the system menu where you would exit the game. In that are there is an "e-mail" feature where you will periodically find loot you can grab. It's kind of out of the way and as far as I know the game never tells you about it outside of an "e-mail" notification that doesn't explain anything.

You can also hold a lot more eridium this time. You don't actually use it to upgrade your inventory and capacity like BL 2, that's done with money. This time it unlocks cosmetics from Earl, but can also be used in a special vending machine next to his lair that has very nice weapons with a unique modifier on them. So it continues to have a use even after you've bought all the stuff you can from Earl himself, which is nice.
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Finished Borderlands 3.

It's not nearly as bad as a lot of people say it is regarding the story and characters.

That is not the same thing as saying the story is good either, but it's not really any worse than the rest of the series outside of the first few hours. It's not Borderlands 2, but is probably actually better than the original Borderlands and maybe on par with the Pre-sequel once it gets going.

You don't see a lot of the more charming characters from BL 2. The new ones aren't as good, but aren't really any worse than other characters from the series. Tina and Torgue are both in the game, though neither has a major role. Tina is a quest giver, and Torgue is just the announcer for one of the death arena areas.

As I've mentioned before, if you plan on ever playing Tales from the Borderlands and haven't yet, do so before BL3. It spoils some major plot moments from that game. Nothing plot essential for BL3 requires that you've played TFTBL, but you will have a better idea of what is going on and what happened to certain characters. There are a couple of moments where the game seems to expect you to know who someone is, but there is enough exposition that gets you up to speed if you don't.

Lilith doesn't work as the leader all that well. It's not her VA's fault and she's fine in the part, it's just the character doesn't work in that role.

Most of the really annoying stuff is in the beginning. It takes a few hours to get going. Beyond that, it's just more Borderlands and no one is really any worse than characters from other games.

Chris Hardwick's character is probably the biggest offender. His dudebro thing gets old fast, but he only appears in small doses after his initial introduction. He does appear regularly in the main story, but usually only has a few lines over the echonet. You don't have to drag him along with you.

There are a couple of celebrity roles as well that were a nice surprise. I won't spoil them. They are some of the better new character parts in the game.

The villains are weak, but get better after a certain story point. They are never Handsome Jack by any stretch, but actually did grow on me a little. Unfortunately, that story point is about halfway through the game.

They did try to redo the Handsome Jack thing with one of the Maliwan villains, and don't pull it off. He's only present in one area really.

The girl didn't bug me much, she's a bit stereotypical, but isn't as bad as a lot of people say. She's got that fake "spunky irresponsible teen" from a sitcom thing going on. I never did get to like her much, but she wasn't as annoying as Vaughn and is more realistic as a teenish kid than Tina was. She probably won't be playable in the next game as one of the vault hunters, and will likely be an NPC.

There are some very annoying enemy types that are sort of mid-bosses called "anointed". They are purple, have nasty powers instead of guns, are huge damage sponges, and have invincibility phases. They appear in normal encounters and are always a pain. There are several variations of this enemy type as they are basically upgraded badass bandits.

Far too many "badass" characters have rocket launchers or other AoE weapons. It's more annoying than difficult.

They overuse invincibility phases, most bosses have them, as well as the anointed enemies.

I have heard there are rebalance patches coming soon that may address the issues with the badass and anointed enemies.

Save your iridium for the endgame. Don't waste it on the vending machine on Sanctuary. There's a point towards the end of the game where you'll encounter a character who can create guns for one iridum per gun. This is the best way to farm legendary weapons, but it will take a long time. They only spawn on your second playthrough, and will generally take about 30-50 iridium per legendary. It must be done at a specific point. Once you get the item from him, it won't spawn legendary weapons anymore. You must do it while he still has it.

The ending is dumb.
Lilith flies off to "ambiguously die" [IE appear in the next game halfway through as a "surprise"] and announces that the teenage girl is now the leader of Sanctuary because they've apparently bonded in maybe a month of arguing and being mad at each other, despite numerous other more qualified people. I get not handing it off to Tannis or Vaughn, but there are several adults better suited to the job.
Disco Elysium.

Went into this blind and I've only just started, and I've got to say I'm very impressed. It's an exceptionally different RPG, very artistic and cerebral.

It is not a game for everyone though, there is a ton of reading and most of your interactions involve dialogue either with yourself or NPCs.

This is an odd game and is very much going for that "games as art" vibe, I'm kind of loving it. It's an isometric RPG in the vein of Planetscape Torment, but very, very different gameplay wise.

It's very much rooted in tabletop play, with RNG deciding skill checks. I made a character, and literally died of a heart attack trying to grab a tie from a ceiling fan in the very first room of the game because of a failed check and a very low attribute score.

That kind of set the tone for how the game works. It's not a kill, loot, and quest kind of game at all.

You play a cop who wakes up after a night of binge drinking with your memory gone. You're investigating a murder.

I only know this because after I died there was a newspaper that had this information.

The thing is, the murder is not the main plot, or it doesn't seem like it anyway. It's almost like a side mission. It's something you should do, but you really just sort of wander around interacting with the world looking for interactable spots.

The game gives you no real direction as far as I can tell. It actually kind of reminds me of the Call of Chthulu tabletop RPG, but without the comic horror and insanity vibe. The game is very psychological in nature, but doesn't really focus on the mind the way Lovecraft horror does. I'm not getting a horror vibe from this game at all, but rather more a thriller suspense kind of vibe.

I don't get the impression that your character is insane, but I do suspect that you can create a character that is. I'm not sure you can make an outright evil murderous psychopath, but you can definitely go all in on a kind of artistic and out of the box kind of thinking character.

The skills aren't the usual assortment of "Agility, Strength, Endurance". Though there are attributes that are similar, they don't act in exactly the same way. They are mostly related to interactions with the environment and dialogue rather than combat.

You have Intellect, with skills like encyclopedia, drama, rhetoric, Psyce with skills like volition, empathy, suggestion, Physique, with endurance, pain threshold, shivers, and Motorics, with composure, savoir faire, perception. Those aren't all the skills, there are six for each category, but they are all similarly not the traditional types of RPG skills.

How many points you put in certain places impacts not only your skill checks, but the kind of interactions you'll have not only with other NPCs, but also yourself. It's a very odd and interesting mechanic.

This is very different, but in a good way so far. We'll see how it pans out.


Lurking upon the deep
Playing Pokemon Shield. Game plays like a standard pokemon game, but one improvement that made me almost spit out my mouthful of coffee when it was unlocked was being able to access my pc in the field to switch my team on the go, literally almost did a spit-take. And then there is dynamax battles, if your thinking about doing them, they drop loot like a mofo, rare candies and single use tms drop from those to make it really worth it
Playing Pokemon Shield. Game plays like a standard pokemon game, but one improvement that made me almost spit out my mouthful of coffee when it was unlocked was being able to access my pc in the field to switch my team on the go, literally almost did a spit-take. And then there is dynamax battles, if your thinking about doing them, they drop loot like a mofo, rare candies and single use tms drop from those to make it really worth it
Switch your team in the field!? What sorcery is this?! :p
Switch your team in the field!? What sorcery is this?! :p
Oh sure, switch 'em out in the field just to make it easier. /sarcasm

That's actually one of the best ideas I think they could have put in the games, honestly.
Oh sure, switch 'em out in the field just to make it easier. /sarcasm

That's actually one of the best ideas I think they could have put in the games, honestly.
I agree, but still, I never expected them to implement such a change. As for the difficulty level - nobody plays Pokemon for the challenge, except competitive against other people.