Video game spotlight thread

  • The guaranteed-winnable minesweeper I've got is no fun cause it's too easy.

  • I am not saying that in is challenging per se (though I did get a sense of satisfaction from clearing the board without making mistakes); I just don't find losing when there was nothing I could do to even improve the odds frustrating.

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    You should have known this via telepathy.

    Someone's shoulder aliens evolved to a higher plane.

  • @FrostCat said:

    Someone's shoulder aliens evolved to a higher plane.

    No, they simply allowed you to perceive more of their objectively true nature.

  • @EvanED said:

    I'm not necessarily opposed to randomness... but for some reason, I find its manifestation in Minesweeper very frustrating.

    I think the key is: "good" randomness makes things harder but you can overcome it with skill. So FTL throwing tough enemies at you while skimping on the freebies and well stocked stores is painful, but enjoyable for me because you can try and overcome the stacked odds with your skill and experience.

    "Bad" randomness is when you just get instakilled or whatever, with no way to avoid it, like your Minesweeper example.

  • @EvanED said:


    Speaking of which...


    Hexcells Release Trailer – 01:00
    — Matthew Brown

    Something of a cross between Minesweeper and Picross. 30 or so puzzles for $3 (or less, if it shows up in a bundle or on a Steam deal). They're all hand-crafted and solvable, but not making for a long game - luckily, there's Hexcells Plus for $3 adding 36 new levels, and Hexcells Infinite for $5, with some more and the ability to randomly generate a puzzle (the handmade ones are nicer though).

    I've beaten the first game - it's not very challenging until the last few levels, but still a nice brainteaser. And the music is really good too.

  • I finished Guacamelee weeks ago. Today I felt the strange compulsion to install it again. Having 99%ed the game in normal mode I'm trying to finish it in hard mode (which is the rarest achievement according to the Steam global list, kind of weird since it doesn't seem that hard at the moment). Would recommend if you like 2D fighting games or if you're trying to find the game with the highest number of Mexican stereotypes.

    The only thing I dislike about 2D fighting games in general is how frustrating it can be when enemies can knock you out easily. Then you get knocked back, and because the invulnerability time is so short you are likely to get hit again before you can move away from them. But maybe it's just me.

  • @Maciejasjmj said:


    Looks neat, but not at that price. It's actually on sale now, with the bundle that includes all three games for 3.99 CDN.

  • @anonymous234 said:

    The only thing I dislike about 2D fighting games in general is how frustrating it can be when enemies can knock you out easily. Then you get knocked back, and because the invulnerability time is so short you are likely to get hit again before you can move away from them. But maybe it's just me.
    My only complaint about Guacamelee in particular (I don't know if I've mentioned this before and I'm too lazy to check) is that you couldn't block in place.

    Strategic blocking was essential to let opponents get close to you, but very frequently I would involuntarily dodge-roll right into spikes or lava or whatnot.

  • ##Dead State

    Let's not beat around the bush, I'll be straight to the point. It's an isometric "end of the world" zombie survival RPG where you have to go out and scavenge to get resources to keep your shelter going until you would eventually have enough to build things to improve the shelter and make it safe, like a garden for crops and fortified fences (to keep something out, I don't know what because I never got attacked at 2 weeks in).

    Going out to scavenge requires you to be sneaky and fight off against zombies (who react to noise more than sight) and looters (who react to everything and at significantly long range) and "coyotes", who are just more well armed looters.

    Sounds nice in concept, except...

    It seems that either it's a long, long, long drawn out process to get the materials and skill points to buy the skills so you can make the things you need (which you get skill points by "completing objectives", which they stopped giving out; you don't get experience points in this game, no "leveling up" in the traditional sense), except you can only upgrade the skills of the "you" character and "you" are the only one who can lead the scavenger party, so many things just have to wait to be built (like the previously mentioned garden) until you happen across a survivor with the right skill, and hope they don't need coddling once back at the shelter before they're useful (like the Japanese doctor who needed 13 days with another survivor to learn English).

    Scavenging is OK, except you need 4 gallons of gas each day to keep a generator going, and it seems a single gallon of gas weighs 5 pounds, and eventually you need to go out further just to find things, which also has the problem that you run into less zombies as you get farther from the shelter and more the looters and "coyotes", who tend to be armed with significantly powerful guns when you'd have revolvers and double barrel shotguns, and maybe two people who are skilled enough to not miss every shot (not that skill matters, because you can whiff 80% chance to hit 3 out of 4 times).

    And, the cherry on top, the game crashes a lot. I had it crash 3 times when "going to sleep" on the 2nd, 4th, and 7th days (which, in total, would be after 4 hours of game play at most), then crashed in the middle of combat on the 14th day, and at that point I'm mostly giving up. If I do play it again, I'll start over and just use Cheat Engine to max my guy's skills out right away, but the game right now doesn't even feel worth that.

    A thing to note, the Steam page says reviews are "mostly positive", yet the whole first page of "helpful" reviews are negative. It honestly feels like this game is still a beta and still in need of rebalancing, though it has only been "officially out" for less than a month, but it was available on Steam's Early Access since early February.

  • @ChaosTheEternal said:

    zombie survival RPG

    @ChaosTheEternal said:

    I don't know what because I never got attacked at 2 weeks in

    Idea for today: a zombie survival game in which you spend months preparing for the apocalypse that never comes. Gameplay consists of avoiding bricks falling on your head while you're building a shelter, being careful to not trip and fall into the trenches you just dug, and avoiding barbed wire you fenced yourself in.

    Filed under: the only winning move is not to play

  • Planetary Annihilation

    Picked this up on Steam for $10 thanks to a tip from a friend. We used to play a ton of Supreme Commander.

    Basically it's Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander, in space, where you fight on the surface of multiple planets. There are ways to travel between planets, there's an orbital layer for spaceplane combat, and planets can even be moved or collide under some circumstances.

    It's somewhat simplified, there isn't much of a tech tree, your commander cannot be upgraded, and Mass was renamed to Metal (makes more sense).

    Overall the game feels very half-baked. Supreme Commander was a very polished game. This one felt like the devs got bored, quit, and sold what they had for cheap. Probably worth it for $10, but the UI is horrible and unintuitive, there doesn't seem to be a tutorial, the AI on the easiest skill level will spam you with hundreds of units within 5 minutes of starting the game, planets/battlefields are far too small (I loved the 81km maps on SC), there doesn't seem to be any factional differences at all, camera control is pretty tricky, and I personally have a very hard time identifying units because of the cartoony graphics.

    I'm glad I didn't buy it for $70 back in the closed alpha days.

  • Pixel Piracy

    From Re-Logic, the company that brought us Terraria. This is a "rogue-like" (meaning: the map is randomized) 2d side-scroller pirate simulation.

    Pros: really addictive gameplay, cute graphics

    Cons: awful pirate voice clips, dumb humor, pirates constantly spout catchphrases and never shut the fuck up, terrible UI, lack of useful guidance (both Rantis and I had a lot of trouble figuring out how cannons worked, for example), not very creative ship-building allowed

    The pros are barely edging-out the cons at this moment. Pixel Piracy is one of those games that's so frustrating because they got the core game mechanic perfect, then botched a hundred other little details. Still, I've played it maybe 10 hours at this point and want to continue playing, that alone puts it in the top 10% of indies I've tried.

  • Ziggurat

    Do you remember that video I did of Fancy Skulls? This game is basically that (or, for example, Paranautical) but done much, much better. Recommended.

  • I was excited when I learned some of the ex Troika guys were founding a company to make old-school RPG-s. But then came the announcement it's yet another zombie survival game. Then the delays, bugs and crappy screenshots. Then the botched release.

    Too bad. A lot of good RPGs are coming out now. No need to waste time with this, it seems.


    I didn't like it. Both "Tower of Guns" and "Heavy Bullets" are better.

    I'll try Fancy Skulls once I see it in a bundle and out of the preorder phase.

  • I actually decided to go back and play it (super cheaty, as I mentioned, so my main character is maxed out) and I have to say:

    It's an alright experience hampered down with annoyingly bad bugs, a notable lack of the materials needed to make new items (the generic "parts" are used for building additions as well as repairing things in the shelter as well as building new gear or ammo for bows/crossbows), and boring combat that also has a difficulty spike when you first face off against "coyotes" and a difficulty plateau when you face off against military-armed survivors.

    The gun combat itself really could've been better if there was any sense of a cover or concealment mechanic, assisted by having people able to crouch or go prone (or benefit from cover when knocked down).

    As for some of the bugs, here's a list:

    • With your survival skill high, you get a dog companion (a 5th party member). You can't control it out of combat, and half the time, it isn't close enough when combat starts to ever act and help out (unless the action moves closer to the dog). Only the dog does that, not the rest of your party.
    • Enemies and allies will "desync" their location, so in combat, you'll have a square you can't enter because something is there, and in order to attack, you have to click on the enemy itself, which can be hard if the body is in the "fog of war" and not visible. In and out of combat, allies (mostly out of combat) and enemies (mostly in combat) will often end up "moving back" to where they started moving from, then run in a straight line to where they were headed, through all objects (like they're noclipping).
    • Speaking of clicking on things, due to the bad camera, sometimes when you want to click on an enemy to attack, if they are close enough to a lootable container, you will loot it instead. Thankfully, looting costs no AP.
    • Speaking of "costing no AP", switching one-handed weapons costs no AP (while switching off of a two-handed weapon costs 2 AP). Sounds like a good thing, except when I've had enemies that get stuck in a loop trying to decide if they want to do melee or ranged, and just keep switching their weapons back and forth.
    • Speaking of the "fog of war", the dog companion can't spot enemies in said fog of war, which makes it useless as a scout.
    • Speaking of no "cover or concealment", enemies with guns can fire through some solid objects (like cars), but when your character can act, you can't shoot back at them due to said solid object.

    Also, when I ended up playing it previously, I quit the game and it crashed then, and never had the error reporter show up (actually, two had launched), and I didn't notice until later, so my time in game on it in Steam is inflated.

    One thing I will say is kinda nice is, they have a decibel meter, which goes up with each attack made, and if it's loud enough, it'll draw enemies (mostly zombies, they'll react more often), though many will go "decibels don't work like that" if they saw it (as a full turn of gunfire can have the meter over 200 dB).

    I really, really would say it isn't worth it unless they can fix the bugs, and even then, get it on a great deal. It's not worth their asking price of $30, maybe $10.

  • AGDQ going on. Discuss.

  • I've seen that acronym on Twitter, I have no idea what it stands for. Discussed.

  • Awesome Games Done Quick

    Video game speedruns benefiting the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

    Recommended for this forum, TASBot "plays" Pokemon Red

  • Not a big fan of speedruns.

    I did, however, buy the Humble Bundle. If you use XSplit, the license for that is likely worth the bundle's cost alone, let alone the games that are in it.

  • @JazzyJosh said:

    AGDQ going on. Discuss.

    Whoah. Right as a started reading this, AC/DC (You Shook Me All Night Long) came on Pandora.

  • Sounds like you're on a Speedrun to Hell.

  • @hungrier said:

    Sounds like you're on a
    ( •
    Speedrun to Hell.


  • It's Happening!

  • For whatever reason, I started playing eXperience112 (AKA The Experiment for previous English releases) recently.

    It's a point and click adventure game, but.. it doesn't quite control like a standard games.

    1. The setting is a Science Lab on a Freighter. Your character spends most/all of the game behind a security desk.
    2. Instead of interacting with the environment directly, you have to guide Lea Nichols (who wakes up in the room your sole camera feed is watching) around this lab.
    3. Lea knows a lot more about what's going on then you do, although not everything.
    4. You also have to log onto the computer systems as various people in the game... which means you need to find their passwords. Oh, and find the passwords to their protected files.
    5. Lea gives you her info at the very start of the game... which makes sense since you otherwise can't access most of the security system.
    6. Rarely, the password is hidden somewhere in the lab that person works in.
    7. Sometimes, users have usernames and passwords of their subordinates in their protected files.
    8. Sometimes these passwords have hints instead of outright telling you what they are.
    9. Moving Lea around is done by... turning on lights (or opening doors) where you want her to go.

    It's a bit weird, but it kinda works.

    The game can be a bit crashy, but I've never had it crash twice in the same place. Also, the game auto-saves quite frequently.

  • It happens every year.

  • That doesn't stop it from Happening!

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ben_lubar said:


    Thanks for reminding me of that movie, you jerk!

  • @powerlord said:

    For whatever reason, I started playing eXperience112 (AKA The Experiment for previous English releases) recently.

    Got this game years ago for like $5 from the bargain bin. One of the best hard copies in my collection, with a nice full-color artbook and instruction booklet.

    The game itself was weird, though. I'm not good at point-and-clicks, and this one was additionally hella confusing.

    Not bad, though. Just somewhat obtuse.

  • #Rocksmith 2014

    Somehow, it works. That's one of the most surprising things about this game - all it takes is a regular jack-to-jack cable, prooperly configured line input, and a crack-thingy so that you don't overpay for a special Ubisoft-licenced cable which actually isn't needed at all.

    Oh, and a real guitar/bass - but that's kinda the point.

    The core gameplay is basically "Guitar Hero on steroids" - you get a stream of notes scrolling down the virtual fretboard and you need to hit them at the right time. The color and height indicates the string you need to hit, and the horizontal position indicates the fret. The camera pans and zooms along the fretboard as the song plays, so there's usually no need to strain your eyes.

    It's decent, but it doesn't always work perfectly. First of all, if you're just starting to play the instrument, it can be quite tough to pay attention to the screen instead of your hands - basically, either you learn to play the song mostly by heart, or you need to already have your muscle memory trained well enough to know where the frets are on your guitar. Second, the sound recognition isn't perfect. It mostly works for your "advantage", though - it's easy to accidentally ace a song when in reality you're totally lost and just whacking strings.

    Which wouldn't be the problem, if it wasn't for the somewhat odd difficulty system. In general, the better you play, the harder the song gets - at first you're just approximating the bassline or a solo, and it gets tougher and tougher until you get to play the song as it was intended to. Some of the songs get really hard later on, though, and due to the leniency it's easy to put a song you like way above your skill ceiling.

    Other than the basic learning mode, there's also score attack (you get to pick the difficulty there, but play badly and you're out), session mode (where an AI band plays the fully generated backing track for you, and you get to jam with them in a chosen scale), some weird arcade-style minigames (slide along the string to make a ninja jump from one column to another, shoot ducks by playing right frets, that sorta thing), and a multitude of simulated effects, amps, speaker columns, and EQs that I'd appreciate more if my bass didn't just barely work.

    Overall, despite the shortcomings, it's still fun. And at least doesn't get you laughed off for playing a plastic 5-button guitar.

  • I've been thinking about buying that for ages. How do you do it without the Ubisoft cable?

  • You just plug it into your line input and scour the Internet for a crack. Owe it to Ubisoft for ripping off $50 for what's probably just a regular guitar cable with an USB interface and probably some DRM bypasser.

  • Yeah I'm normally against piracy, but I agree it's dumb to charge for (what amounts to) a dongle when you already pay $60 for the software.

  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Which wouldn't be the problem, if it wasn't for the somewhat odd difficulty system. In general, the better you play, the harder the song gets
    That's actually pretty cool... I wished for something like that back when I was playing DDR a lot.

    I've considered Rocksmith too, but that was only a short time on my swing back around to picking back up the cello, so I don't have time for another instrument.

    Also: note that I've seen the game for sale on Steam, I think for pretty cheap. It doesn't come with the adapter obviously, but you could consider waiting, picking the game up for cheap, and getting the official adapter too instead of paying a lot for the game itself, if you have any compunctions (moral or practical) about fashioning your own dongle.

  • @EvanED said:

    That's actually pretty cool... I wished for something like that back when I was playing DDR a lot.

    It's a bit hit-and-miss. What's good is that instead of ramping up the whole song, you level individual parts - so you can still have a somewhat easier solo while playing the riff as it was intended to be. The problem is that it's a bit too easy to put the song difficulty above your actual skill level, and AFAIK you can't really bring it down (except for score attack or working around via the Riff Repeater).

    @EvanED said:

    Also: note that I've seen the game for sale on Steam, I think for pretty cheap.

    Yep, that happens quite often. The cable, however, pretty much never does - and for that matter, neither do the DLC, which are a bit on the expensive side.

    @blakeyrat said:

    Yeah I'm normally against piracy

    Is it really piracy? Granted, it's Ubisoft, so you probably break the EULA in 20 different ways just by playing the thing, but from the moral point of view I hardly see the issue.

    It's not even a dongle in that not having one doesn't actually make your copy illegal, since you can pick the game up legally without the cable. It's an accessory, except the game doesn't start without it without workarounds.

    I mean come on. Even Guitar Hero let you map the keyboard if you wanted to play it FoF-style.

  • @FrostCat said:

    [Happening] Thanks for reminding me of that movie, you jerk!
    I've got a friend that hated the movie just as much, specially because of the ending, but personally I found it mildly entertaining.

    Filed under: Zooey

  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Is it really piracy?

    Maybe read the other sentences in my post. You dumb fuck.

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Zecc said:

    I've got a friend that hated the movie just as much, specially because of the ending, but personally I found it mildly entertaining.

    It wasn't bad, but the ending was a copout, and the idea was implemented poorly. It was basically the anti-In the Forest of the Night.

    @Zecc said:

    Filed under: Zooey

    Ugh. Does her name rhyme with Zoë or suey?

  • But this year it doesn't have awkward scheduling and all 16 teams will be at the main event. Should be better than TI4.

  • Got this for $40 with the cable a month ago or so and it's nice. Also just got the Jimi Hendrix pack for free :3. Replaced my strings with these[1] even though they're not necessary and are probably a crutch.

    Also I still need to fix the intonation of my strings 😕

    [1] Much cheaper on Amazon. Only using 9's because I own one of these I got for ~$120 somehow.

  • @blakeyrat said:

    Maybe read the other sentences in my post. You dumb fuck.

    Look, normally when people claim they're "normally against X, unless it's Y", that implies they consider Y an example of X. Otherwise, why even bring up X in the first place? That makes no sense.

    Therefore, your sentence as written is normally understood as "in this case, it's still piracy, but justified".

    You twat.

  • @JazzyJosh said:

    Replaced my strings with these

    I've heard those strings aren't really good, and it's hard to look at the guitar while playing anyway. But hey, what do I know, I only have 4 strings to care about.

    @JazzyJosh said:

    own one of these

    Huh. My girlfriend has a Squier Bullet, except without any of the Rock Band gimmicks. It's rather meh, but has a pretty good price to quality ratio.

    Feels cheap, but is cheap too.

  • So I got mine when I was at college. Basically the closest city was ~1 hour away but there was a Best Buy only ~30 minutes away somehow, and in the years since it the guitar was released, no one ever bought it.

    I was honestly surprised to find it at all because it was never really easy to get and it was at an out of the way location. I think I could flip the thing and make money actually, especially if Harmonix gets around to releasing a new Rock Band game.

    The main problem with the guitar is the neck is extremely flexible since the innards were scooped out and replaced with electronics. I think if you intentionally push the headstock you'll go down a half step.

  • I've been enjoying Paranautical Activity. The game that got temporarily pulled from Steam when the developer tweeted "I'm going to kill Gabe Newell". It's a very fast paced old-school FPS with some roguelike elements (i.e. random items and exploration). $10 might seem like a bit too much but if it goes on sale I recommend getting it.

  • Game is boring, creator is a HUGE a-hole (long before the Gabe Newell thing), don't give his ass money. We do not want jerks like him being successful in the industry.

  • Recently, I started playing Town of Salem. It's a free to play browser game

    If you've ever played Werewolf or Mafia, you know how this game works already.

    Or you would if the game didn't have a bunch of additional roles.

    Will you be:

    • The Godfather, who kills (or orders the killing of) the enemies of the Mafia?
    • An Investigator, who searches peoples houses to try to find out what they do?
    • A Consigliere, a corrupt investigator working for the Mafia?
    • A Sheriff, who interrogates people and can tell who is and isn't suspicious?
    • The Framer, a member of the Mafia who makes people look suspicious and makes investigators think your target is a Framer?
    • A Vigilante, a member of the town who can choose to shoot someone at night?
    • A Witch, an evil loner who takes control of people?

    ...and those are just 7 of the 20 or so roles in The Town of Salem.

    Every town has between 7 and 15 players. Each day, the townsfolk can talk amongst themselves and vote to lynch someone.

    Will the town figure out who the Mafia are and lynch them before the townies all get killed? Will the Arsonist manage to incinerate everyone else in town? Will the Amnesiac remember what they were? Will the Medium ever not die on night 1?

    Find out in the Town of Salem.

    P.S. I've spent way too much time playing this in the last week.

  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Can't get there at work, but can you put together games with known other players? Like, could we to a TDWTF Salem?


    I played Werewolf in card form, with people sitting around the table, accusing each other. Great fun. Might try this.

  • Edit: I was wrong in my last post. Town of Salem currently has 30 roles with another 3 in development.

    Yup. You can create a Party in the Join Game screen.

    The only restriction is that it can't be a Ranked game.

    The game modes you CAN play in a party are:

    Classic, which uses these roles:

    • Sheriff
    • Doctor
    • Investigator
    • Jailor
    • Medium
    • Godfather
    • Framer
    • Executioner
    • Escort
    • Mafioso
    • Lookout
    • Serial Killer
    • Town Killing (Vigilante, Veteran)
    • Random Town (Any Town above (except Jailor) plus Retributionist, Mayor, Transporter, Spy)
    • Jester

    Town are italicized in the above.

    Note that these roles are filled top to bottom, so 7 players will have Sheriff, Doctor, Investigator, Jailor, Medium, Godfather, Framer.

    Side note: Classic is a good start for beginners, but if you're playing with experienced people the Mafia almost always loses.

    Any All. All roles are "Any". This means you have no idea what the distribution of player roles are. The only restrictions are that there's at least one Mafia and the unique roles can only have max 1. The unique roles are: Godfather, Mafioso, Jailor, Mayor, Retributionist, Veteran, or Werewolf

    Vigilantics: All players are either Vigilante or Witch. Your goal as witch is to control the Vigilantes to make them shoot each other or themselves. Your goal as Vigilante is to kill the witches. The game does 1 Witch for every 3 vigilantes or so (so 1 of every 4 players).

    Custom. The host sets the roles used.

    Now, you may have seen me mention Ranked earlier. Ranked always has 15 players and has the following roles:

    • Jailor
    • Town Investigative (Investigator, Sheriff, Lookout, Spy)
    • Town Investigative (Investigator, Sheriff, Lookout, Spy)
    • Town Protective (Doctor, Bodyguard)
    • Town Protective (Doctor, Bodyguard)
    • Town Support (Medium, Retributionist, Transporter, Mayor)
    • Town Support (Medium, Retributionist, Transporter, Mayor)
    • Town Killing (Vigilante, Veteran)
    • Godfather
    • Mafia Support (Blackmailer, Consort, Consigliere)
    • Random Mafia (Blackmailer, Consort, Consigliere, Disguiser, Framer, Janitor, Mafioso)
    • Neutral Killing (Serial Killer, Arsonist, Werewolf)
    • Neutral Evil (Witch, Executioner, Jester)
    • Neutral Benign (Survivor, Amnesiac)
    • Any

    You can fake a ranked game by selecting these roles.

    Next Town of Salem update is updating Ranked to remove the Any role and replacing it with second Neutral Evil role. This is because the devs found that Town wins too often, so they're altering the difficulty slightly.

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