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Coelacanth

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Coelacanth,
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I hope they’ll eventually release an official VR version. I don’t usually clamor for VR but this game seems so perfect for it.

Coelacanth,
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Impeccable taste, DS1 Great Scythe has such a fantastic moveset. Is it your first time playing?

Coelacanth,
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I hope you’re enjoying it, that first blind playthrough is quite magical. First half of DS1 is just a masterclass in level design. No other game has made me so excited to find a shortcut.

Coelacanth,
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I haven’t read the design docs for Van Buren myself, were there enough in there to actually build a game out of or is this project more fanfiction and educated guesswork?

Coelacanth,
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Probably won’t do a complete playthrough using this, but would be fun to screw around a bit as Letho and live out my fantasy of him being the protagonist of the next Witcher game.

Coelacanth,
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I’ve been mainlining Esports Godfather, which is the surprise hit of the year for me so far. The title is nonsensical and on the surface it looks like it can’t be good, but it’s been so much fun.

It’s a MOBA-themed sort of deckbuilder/autobattler/management game - which sounds like a hot mess but plays so much better than you’d think. At least after you get over the initial information overload.

I wish the AI was a little smarter, but even with the game being a touch too easy it’s incredible how much fun it is. Loads of cards and heroes to build synergies with and rotating version rulesets keeping things fresh even within a single run.

At just €16 on Steam I’d easily recommend it to anyone with an interest in the genre, and there is even a free demo that covers the first couple hours of a run.

Coelacanth,
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I suspect uncapping FPS would break physics and damage calculations. FromSoft are fond of tying those to FPS.

I’m not surprised about the rest either, though they really should start getting criticized for it in my opinion. No DLSS in 2024 is especially hard to excuse.

Coelacanth,
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For sheer versatility you can’t beat PC, so that is going to have to be my choice. Having flexibility between KB+M and controller, having access to mods and tweaks and (typically) having a wider array of graphics/performance options to tailor to your preferences makes for an unbeatable package.

That being said (and it pains me to say this given my distaste for Nintendo), I absolutely loved the 3DS. The dual screens were cool, it had good ergonomics for me and a nice weight in your hands and there was something very satisfying in the mechanics of flipping it open or listening to the click as you slam it shut. It’s just a really nice device to use.

Coelacanth,
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Can we not go after one of the few good guys in gaming? Please? If you want to hound someone Nintendo is right over there.

Coelacanth,
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This is why the game lost me to be completely honest. I felt like the type of storytelling changed into more of a Sunday morning cartoon type vibe where the gang always wins and nobody ever dies.

There was a point during the story (probably Post-ARR through the beginning of post-Stormblood patch quests?) where it felt like there were actual stakes and risks of consequences and the lives of beloved characters were actually in danger and I loved that.

But instead more people seemed to come back from the dead than actually die.

Coelacanth,
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For sure. Will probably be even more likely if the Elden Ring DLC does really well and further propels FromSoft into a true mainstream household name.

Coelacanth,
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I’ve played only Origins but this trailer is not doing a whole lot for me. Even visually I don’t like it (which is bizarre because I think Origins looks like shit and still I somehow prefer it). Don’t really like this art direction, personally.

Coelacanth,
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Impressive that enough people still care for there to be a backlash.

Coelacanth,
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That really is one of the biggest flaws of Civ. It’s so hard to find a breakpoint where the gameplay “feels good” but still is challenging. If you’re at a difficulty level where the gameplay is mostly intact, the AI is just too dumb, and if you bump it up it becomes a meta game of playing around the AI bonuses.

Coelacanth,
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I haven’t played 2 or 3, but calling DA:O bad is a bit of a hot take. What did you not like about it?

While the overall plot is fairly standard issue fantasy save-the-world fare, I think the execution and the RPG aspects were excellent. How the game really made your choice of origin matter was incredible to me, and I enjoyed several of the characters too.

It does look like shit though, I’ll give you that. I wish it was less depressingly brown-grey washed out looking.

Coelacanth,
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I don’t know, I never saw it as a meme but rather just shorthand in cases where no other term existed that efficiently communicated the genre or style of a game.

Do you have a replacement term available for Souls-like that sums up what you can expect of a game within that genre using two words or less?

Coelacanth,
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Nothing compares to getting into the flow when you’re playing Spy, I love some psychological warfare. Stringing together long sequences of backstabs and hide-and-seeks with the enemy team is so much fun.

The knife that hides backstabbed corpses and instantly disguises you as them is also super fun to use.

Coelacanth,
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I’m not sure if the above comment played on launch or after the Final Cut update, but there isn’t all that much reading in the game anymore. Almost all text is fully voice acted now. You still have to mentally absorb it of course, but I find it less taxing than reading, personally.

The book-like nature of it is spot on though; it’s better to treat it like an interactive novel where you choose the order in which you read its pages than as a traditional RPG.

Don’t be afraid to pick wild and weird dialogue options, and especially don’t be afraid to fail at things. The game pioneered a “fail-forward” design philosophy

Coelacanth,
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I think my favourite low-int detail was in Fallout 2. You come across the tribal Torr early on in Klamath and he speaks in grunts and broken sentences just like that if you talk to him with normal INT or above. However, if you talk to him with low INT the conversation completely changes into long eloquent sentences with advanced vocabulary for both him and you, matching the dialogue options unlocked at 10 INT. Amazing.

Coelacanth,
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Played a lot of Wuthering Waves since it launched. It’s a tricky one because it has a lot of flaws and weaknesses, but at the same time the core is actually really solid.

The combat feels amazing, and that really is the big selling point here. Parries and perfect dodges feel great, the bosses have fun movesets and the pace is fast and fluid with lots of tech like animation cancelling and character swapping. The character gameplay design is also excellent, with each character having a unique feel and playstyle, and a unique way of building and using the Forte gauge.

I wish the main story wasn’t complete garbage, but hey ho. At least there is a skip button. Even the good characters (like Aalto and Encore) feel out of place and too goofy in a supposedly post-apocalyptic setting. Funny enough some unvoiced side quests have been better than the main story by a long shot (I’m thinking of Eternal Concert, for example).

Also the localisation is insultingly bad and it definitely seems like Kuro actually disregards the importance of non-chinese regions to the point of not employing a single foreign language speaker even to their localisation team. Even their announcements are worse translations than Google translate, and it’s the same for all languages. You’d think they’d at least care about the JP translation. Puzzling and almost offensive.

Still, the game is mechanically satisfying enough to have me hooked for now. And it’s free (and very F2P friendly at the moment).

Coelacanth,
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I do agree that a lot of the find-the-symbols puzzles felt like an afterthought, but overall they didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the game. The story and presentation were fantastic and I thought the blind trial was extremely well done and one of my favourite video game levels.

Coelacanth,
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I had a lot of good times and even more bad times with DotA over the years, until I finally freed myself from it years ago.

IceFrog being behind this backed by Valve bodes well, and I think the premise of an FPS/MOBA hybrid has promise, despite the market being insanely oversaturated already.

I’m not really interested in competitive games these days, but I hope it’ll be good to watch at least. Following The International was fun even after I quit DotA.

Coelacanth,
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I could be mistaken, as I don’t really play competitive games anymore. I thought between Overwatch, Valorant, Apex, The Finals and what have you there was lots of stiff competition.

Coelacanth,
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Interesting. So the side content is mostly uninteresting, I take it?

I still have only played DA:O, which I really liked. I still haven’t played the sequels, would you say they’re still worthwhile or is it for the best to leave the story at the end of Origins?

Coelacanth,
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Thank you for the extremely comprehensive run-down! I don’t think I’ve ever had it laid out so clearly before.

I think I’ll keep them on my tentative “to-do” list, but maybe not at the highest priority. I loved Origins but with how it ends I don’t have a super pressing need to continue the story immediately. There are so many good games out there, and more keep being released. It’s hard to find time for all of them. I’m really looking forward to Hellblade 2 next.

I think I will get around to them at some point, though. Exporting my save through all three games and seeing callbacks and consequences does sound interesting, and I’ve heard that is something that does happen.

Coelacanth,
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I think DS3 is great in its own way and has some awesome areas, but it’s hard to compare anything to the first half of Dark Souls. That level design is just something else.

What I like about DS3 compared to ER is there are a lot less delayed attacks and fakeouts. I get that FromSoft needs to constantly up the challenge but it makes it harder to get the same kind of enjoyable combat flow, at least for me. DS3 has some bosses that are just so enjoyable, even though they’re not super hard.

Oh and, don’t know if you’ve done them yet but the DLCs should be more challenging than the main game, if that’s what you’re after.

Coelacanth,
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I think OWB is many people’s favourite, and Honest Hearts is certainly the weakest DLC. It does have some cool lore and story bits to it though, and the environmental storytelling with the survivalist is very neat. And I think Joshua Graham is a great character.

I hope you come back and do Lonesome Road too, I absolutely love it and think the level design and environments are outstanding.

Coelacanth,
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Having the exact same experience, though I’ve only barely started the PL storyline. The rebalance and revamped perk tree has created so many cool builds and so many fun ways to play. The game is just a joy to play honestly.

Coelacanth,
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I’m so excited for this game. I thought the first game was really interesting and did really well with a limited budget, and really showed a lot of potential.

Hopefully a bigger budget, bigger scope and expanded combat can have this game really blossom.

Coelacanth,
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This is the correct answer I think. They’re also not interested in releasing sub-par games, and again like you say they don’t need to release games at all to make money anymore. So if they’re not that interested and haven’t come up with anything conceptually/mechanically that reaches the high bar they’ve set for themselves, it makes more sense to scrap/postpone.

Their reputation is much more important, and they’re just not going to half-ass Half Life 3. It will come out when they feel they have something truly extraordinary, or it won’t come out at all.

Coelacanth,
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Started playing Phantom Liberty today after having finally finalized my modlist. Still hunting down the source of some crashing, but still.

Haven’t played Cyberpunk since 1.63, and I am loving the changes so far. Very cool builds available with the perk tree changes, I can already tell I will probably do another full playthrough with a different build once I’ve ran through Phantom Liberty. Right now I’m playing a Tech/Body/Reflexes spec going full into explosives, combined with Sandevistan, Kerenzikov and all the dashing/mid-air stuff. It’s definitely a lot of fun, bouncing around the battlefield like a Gummi Bear on speed while everyone around you explodes and burns.

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut PC cross-play and system requirements revealed (blog.playstation.com)

Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is the first PlayStation title on PC that uses a new PlayStation overlay, which includes your Friends list, Trophies, Settings, and your Profile. This feature is available on Windows PCs and will be accessible from the in-game menu or, for keyboard players, by pressing the “SHIFT +F1”...

Coelacanth,
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I think this has to be in the contention for most overrated game of all time.

Before you grab your pitchfork, I’m not saying it’s a bad game. It’s fine. The combat is solid, the boss fights are fun and it’s very pretty. Was very well optimised too, ran like a dream on an old, fat first gen PS4.

It’s not the greatest game of all time though, or anything close to it. The open world is your garden variety UbiSoft style, the tone and the writing is all in a stoic monotone with only crumbs of Kenji to break it up, and the quest design is uninspiring at best and awful at worst. On top of it all the game is way too long considering those flaws.

I know it’s been hyped up, but I still recommend waiting for a sale.

Baldur's Gate 3 actors reveal the darker side of success fuelled by AI voice cloning (www.eurogamer.net)

The cat is out of the bag and despite many years of warning before this and similar technology became widely available, nobody was really prepared for it - and everyone is solely acting in their own best interests (or what they think their best interests to be). I think the biggest failure is that despite there being warnings...

Coelacanth,
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Don’t know if just me, but this spoiler tag doesn’t work on either Sync nor Boost.

Coelacanth,
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I’m actually happy to hear that. I was afraid it would take too much inspiration from the Bethesda games, but sounds like maybe they looked more at Fallout 1 and 2, which would be just what I hoped they would.

I’m excited to give it a chance now.

Coelacanth,
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I think Uematsu is the absolute GOAT, but XV had a great soundtrack. Not on Uematsu level of memorable, but still very good.

The leitmotif work with Valse di Fantastica/Sunset Waltz/Dewdrops at Dawn always was my favourite, but Ardyn has a nice theme too. Loved when the second version of his theme came in towards the end of the game.

Coelacanth,
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Definitely will check out this round of testing. I’ve had my eye on this project for a while. Great to see the progress made despite switching engine.

Coelacanth,
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Fought him before the patches as well. I thought the fight was absolute bullshit and cheesed it with plague breath.

Never came back and tried him after the patches.

Coelacanth,
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Still completely and unhealthily obsessed with F1 Manager 2023, nearing the end of my second season as Aston Martin. Hard/Hard difficulty has felt about appropriate thus far, at least on a team starting in a good position like AM. I was sweating at the start of this season since the board expected me to get second and I started the year a little slow, but it looks like I will pull it off. Still couldn’t touch Red Bull or Max this year, though I have taken a couple of race wins.

The development race has been tight so far, with Mercedes roaring back after a dismal 2023 season and Red Bull refusing to let me outdevelop them.

It’s a little sad that the first two installments didn’t sell well and F1 Manager 2024 looks like it will be the last entry in the series. Sure, the game has its issues, but there are a lot of good things here too, and a lot of systems that could be refined with time. I didn’t play F1 Manager 2022, but it seems like a lot of the problems with it were addressed in 2023, as well.

Overall, I still recommend the game if you’re an F1 fan, especially if you can find it on sale. You probably have to at least like racing (if not F1) to enjoy it though, as the main draw here is the race-day experience.

Coelacanth,
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How fun is this game without a friend group that also plays it? I’ve seen some clips, but most of the fun seems to lie in squad based gameplay.

Coelacanth,
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That’s about what I figured. I’m not that great with strangers, and English is my second language. I’ve tried other squad based games that rely on voice comms to be enjoyable, and I only really enjoy them when playing with a group of people I’m comfortable with.

Coelacanth,
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What metric are we using? The developer whose games I like the most? The developer who treats their employees best? Or treats their customers best?

Valve has produced mostly bangers, seems to treat customers well and is by all accounts a great place to work. They’ve also been pushing development for gaming on Linux. Hard not to go with them, even though it’s debatable whether they could be classified as a game developer anymore. But that’s fine.

Remedy deserves a shout-out for sticking to their guns, and continuing to produce weird artistic games that push the envelope in the AAA space.

I’m not as high on BG3 as most people (though it’s obviously a great game), but Larian also belongs in the discussion surely. I only ever hear good things about them.

Finally, the developer who inspires me the most is probably Lucas Pope. I love his ability to think outside the box and find entertaining gameplay loops in seemingly mundane things, but moreover I am just so impressed by how multitalented he is. I still can’t believe Obra Dinn was a one-man production. I love his artstyle and the music he makes as much as the games themselves.

Coelacanth,
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It’s so curious, I swear I heard “boomer shooter” used to refer to another type of FPS… But then again I guess the definition has changed. What term do people use nowadays for slow FPSes that are more tactical, rather than twitch-reflex reliant, like ARMA?

Coelacanth,
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Makes sense. And I have heard those terms before. I guess i just need to update my internal definition. All this time I thought boomer shooter meant “slow FPS for old folks who can’t keep up in Valorant anymore”. Which is a group I probably belong to myself, to be honest.

Best sidequests in the Fallout games?

I’m doing a playthrough of 3, New Vegas, and 4. Mostly focused on beating the main quests and the DLCs but I want to make sure I hit the best side quests on the way. I’m making my push to finish 3 right now and I’ve finished the DLC, Oasis, cannibals, vampires, ant quest, the other ant quest, and a bunch of stuff I’m...

Coelacanth,
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Fallout 2 is basically a mediocre main story existing as an excuse for you to wander the desert and stumble onto all the phenomenal side quests. The murder investigation for the Wright crime family might be my favourite, but all the intrigue in New Reno is so good. And that’s not even getting into the crazy Scientologists and their space ship, a shotgun wedding, uncovering the origins of Jet, becoming a pornstar…

Coelacanth,
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Fallout 2 is one of my favourite games of all time, but it is OLD. By that I don’t mean its graphics are ugly but rather the design philosophy is old school (some might say outdated). The stats and skills and perks are not balanced (some really suck and it’s very possible to gimp yourself). There are some unintuitive puzzles and interactions you might need a guide for. Most of all though it’s HARD and unforgiving. Save constantly and be ready to reload. The start sucks. Be prepared to hate the first hour(s), when you have to walk through the desert with just a stick and fight off brutal random encounters.

It eventually opens up, especially when you get access to a certain Highwayman, and becomes fantastic. As for Fallout 1 or 2, it’s mostly a matter of preference. 1 is much shorter, smaller in scope, but also has a slightly more serious tone. It leans a little more into the whole harshness of the wasteland thing. 2 is much bigger, with so much more you can do in it, but it’s also goofier. It leans more into the Fallout humour, pop culture references and sometimes just absurdity.

Also, look for some mods. I always recommend Restoration Project, Updated at a minimum, it’s a combination unofficial patch and cut content restoration that is very unintrusive. I have a couple other suggestions if you’re not against a sprinkle of mods. Most are on Fallout 2 Nexus I think. Mainly convenience stuff. There is a FANTASTIC Talking Heads mod that perfectly captures the original artstyle, but it’s obviously not vanilla. Same for the fan made voice acting mod.

Lastly, you can’t talk your way out of the final fight in Fallout 2. I just want to save you from frustration, since you can talk your way out of most other situations. Don’t brick your save by investing nothing into combat stats.

Phew, sorry for the rant. I’m really passionate about this game.

Coelacanth,
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Great! Did you finish 1? The two games are narratively independent, but there are references to events and things from 1 in the sequel.

Any combat skill that is a good go to OP one? Im usually most interested in speech skills, maxing them before anything else.

Stay away from Throwing unless you install a combat rebalance mod. All other combat skills are viable, through some peak at different times. Melee is great early but falls off a little bit. Still viable all game though. Unarmed can be great, there are some awesome Unarmed-only perks, but you can raise it to like 100% for free if you want to min/max. Big Guns and Energy Weapons are great late and very fun, but it might take a while to find one. Small Guns is the easiest way. You’ll find plenty of them early, and the late game options scale well.

I recommend starting with high INT, tagging Small Guns, Lockpicking and Speech and going from there. If you want more build advice just ask. Also the Nearly Ultimate Fallout 2 Guide is basically the Bible when it comes to looking up solutions to frustrating problems. It contains basically anything you could possibly want to know about the game. Tons of spoilers though, of course. So beware.

Coelacanth,
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Anytime!

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