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The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams/Snack World/Yakuza Edition

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Phaseknox
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The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams/Snack World/Yakuza Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:40 pm

Played: The Division, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint

Finished: Nothing

Playing: ?

I put some good time into Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, and I was really enjoying it for a while. It's like playing lone wolf in Ghost Recon: Wildlands, but with more story, characterization and in a new game world. The problem is that it's not as good as Wildlands. It takes place on a big island that's kind of same-y looking, and it's fairly empty except for bases, facilities and housing scattered throughout. Basically, there's not much going on in the game world itself and missions pretty much have you just traveling to bases and facilities fighting waves of enemies. The gunplay is satisfying, but since you don't have AI teammates like in Wildlands the enemy encounters usually feel unfair since it's just you up against a lot of enemies. This makes you have to be more stealthy and tactical a lot of the time, it's more Metal Gear Solid than Mercenaries. The way that it's structured it's more of a story driven action adventure game than an open world sandbox game like Wildlands. I like that it offers more story and side characters to interact with, but the core game isn't as fun as Wildlands. It also doesn't help that it's really buggy and janky. But despite all of this it's still somewhat entertaining.

I started playing The Division to check it out, and I have mixed feelings about it. It's basically an open city third person cover shooter with RPG elements, the problem is that it's strictly a cover shooter without any other gameplay elements. It's begging for melee (you can attack with the butt of your gun, but enemies have melee weapons) and stealth mechanics, but it doesn't have them. How a game like this doesn't offer stealth kills is beyond me, no matter the situation you have to go in guns blazing. And even though you can play solo, it definitely feels like it was meant to be played co-op because in almost every situation the enemies are plentiful and are bullet sponges. Part of why the enemies are bullet sponges is because of the RPG elements, you're supposed to grind for better equipment, gear and weapons. The concept of this is better than the actual execution. It also doesn't help that you play as a generic looking nameless voiceless avatar instead of an actual character. You can select from a few different faces and hairstyles, but none of them are very good - at least not for the female avatar. The best aspect of the game are the environment graphics, they're excellent. The attention to detail and lighting are some of the best that I've seen in a game. The gameplay is decent, but nothing that stands out. However, there's still appeal to the game and I'm somewhat enjoying it. Now I need to decide to either stick with it, or go back to Ghost Recon: Breakpoint.

Dreams, Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl Gold and The Yakuza Remastered Collection come out this week.
Last edited by Phaseknox on Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jfissel
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams Edition

Post by jfissel » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:16 pm

Finished: Nothing

Now Playing: Spider-Man DLC

Added to Backlog: Nothing

Current Backlog: 32 games

I'm going to be unpacking for a long time. :shock: Didn't play anything last week, not sure if I'll have time for Spidey DLC this week or not (but I'll try).

I also had no idea Dreams was coming out this week. And the Yakuza Remastered Collection is also releasing!
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams Edition

Post by argyle » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:52 am

Games added: Dragon Star Varnir, Pyre

Last week: Finished Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom, played Tokyo Mirage Sessions, Strider

This week: More of those two, plus Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl Gold comes out Friday

I saw a video talking up Dragon Star Varnir, then saw that it's pretty hard to find so figured I'd track down a copy sooner rather than later. Got my local GS to transfer one over from another store.

Monster Boy was very good overall, but it did have some rough patches - especially the volcano area, which really tried my patience. Felt like they didn't playtest that area enough - there were lots of puzzles there that even after you figured out what you had to do were VERY finicky to actually do. There was one that I tried for 30 mins to an hour before I finally gave up & looked up a video on how to do it, only to see that he was doing exactly what I had been doing. I just wasn't holding my tongue right I suppose. :? But the rest of the game was fun. I'd still rank it below Monster Boy: The Dragon's Trap remake, but still definitely worth playing.

Was flipping through my digital games & realized I never finished Strider for whatever reason, even tho I loved that game. Started it over since it's been so long since I played it last, and I'm still loving it.

Snack World: The Dungeon Crawl Gold - dungeon crawler for the Switch by Level-5 - comes out this Friday.

"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

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isthatallyougot
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams Edition

Post by isthatallyougot » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:16 pm

I finished up Spider-Man. Really great game. Insomniac delivered again.

I'm still playing MLB The Show '19 and Harvest Moon ToTT.

I also started Koudelka on the PS1. I always wanted to get into Shadow Heart on PS2, and I know this has some connections, so I started it up. Pretty good so far. Interesting blend of survival horror appearances and turn-based rpg battles. Seems like I'm going to dig it.
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Dragon kick your a$$ into the Milky Way!
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams Edition

Post by argyle » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:19 pm

isthatallyougot wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:16 pm
I finished up Spider-Man. Really great game. Insomniac delivered again.

I'm still playing MLB The Show '19 and Harvest Moon ToTT.

I also started Koudelka on the PS1. I always wanted to get into Shadow Heart on PS2, and I know this has some connections, so I started it up. Pretty good so far. Interesting blend of survival horror appearances and turn-based rpg battles. Seems like I'm going to dig it.
I loved the first 2 Shadow Hearts games on PS2 (the third one had a change of characters & tone and I couldn't get into it). I learned after the fact that Koudelka was related to them, and always wanted to go back & give it a go.
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

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isthatallyougot
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams Edition

Post by isthatallyougot » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:47 pm

argyle wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:19 pm
I loved the first 2 Shadow Hearts games on PS2 (the third one had a change of characters & tone and I couldn't get into it). I learned after the fact that Koudelka was related to them, and always wanted to go back & give it a go.
I've got all the Shadow Hearts games in my backlog and figured I'd better play them sooner or later. :P

Anyway, I'm about 3 hours into Koudelka, and I'm really enjoying it. Yeah, it has the cheesy voice work from the era, but it's a really interesting turn-based, survival horror rpg. Very nice so far. I'm pretty sure it was made by ex-Square talent too.
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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams/Snack World/Yakuza Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:53 pm

I played quite a bit of The Division because I got into it for a while, but came to realize that it's a huge grind/time sink and decided to quit since I was playing it for hours without making much progress. Each mission and side mission has a certain enemy level, so you're not supposed to do them until you're at the same level or higher - but you pretty much need to be higher. And in order to gain levels and better equipment/gear/weapons you need to grind the repetitive side missions over and over which becomes redundant and tedious.

The game in general has a somewhat arcade-y and archaic design structure where all that you really do in it is shoot wave after wave of enemies until you reach a boss. I found this to offer some classic third person shooting charm which I found appealing, but there's also no denying that it's repetitive. The city environment is also somewhat redundant in both look and design as it's all similar looking buildings around you with you basically traversing same-y looking streets. There's interiors as well, but they look similar too. Everything looks realistic including the weather effects, but there's not much variety to it all - at least not what I played.

If I didn't have so many other games to play then I would have been more compelled to stick with it since I was enjoying the classic third person cover shooting nature of it along with its progression system, but the grind of it is too time consuming and I have other games that I would rather be putting that time into instead such as...

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, which I started playing again and am really enjoying. One thing that was turning me off a bit when I was playing it before is that I couldn't invert the camera for the airplanes, helicopters and drone, but I discovered that you can map the controls however you like and it has made a difference since it's hard to fully enjoy a game if the controls feel off. The game world is really big and open packed with content, and the mix of stealth and shooting combat is fun. There's also an incentive to explore as there's loot everywhere, and it's usually good. The game is really clicking with me now, and I plan on sticking with it.
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jfissel
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams/Snack World/Yakuza Edition

Post by jfissel » Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:59 pm

That doesn't sound like much fun, Phase. Do you know if The Division 2 is different in that side quest grinding aspect?
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams/Snack World/Yakuza Edition

Post by argyle » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:22 pm

The Division 2 is a *much* better game. It's also $5 this week at Gamestop (or $4.50 used) so there's really no reason not to pick it up if you're interested at all, especially since the story doesn't really matter much anyway.
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

Image
User avatar
Phaseknox
Posts: 452
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:20 pm

Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 110: 2/8/20: Dreams/Snack World/Yakuza Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:23 pm

argyle wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:22 pm
jfissel wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:59 pm
That doesn't sound like much fun, Phase. Do you know if The Division 2 is different in that side quest grinding aspect?
The Division 2 is a *much* better game. It's also $5 this week at Gamestop (or $4.50 used) so there's really no reason not to pick it up if you're interested at all, especially since the story doesn't really matter much anyway.
I was having fun with The Division despite its repetitive nature, but the required grinding of it was too time consuming. It wouldn't have been as bad if the side missions were somewhat varied, but they were basically the same few ones continuously repeated. From what I understand The Division 2 is improved over the original in almost every way, I just wanted to play the first one to get a handle on what was going on since I was pretty lost when I originally started The Division 2. But like argyle said the story doesn't really seem to matter much, it's just there enough to drive the gameplay. $5 for it is a steal, and it's only $3 for a digital copy right now as well.

I stopped playing Ghost Recon: Breakpoint because I'm not in the mood to play it for 100+ hours right now. I've heard that people have been putting that much time into it, and I believe it because the amount of content in it is staggering. Also, it's been a lot of traveling across long stretches of the game world to reach a mission point which is usually a facility packed with enemies and turns into a firefight against what seems like endless enemies especially if they call reinforcements. The gameplay is solid, but they go overboard with the amount of enemies that you have to fight just because the game can be played co-op. Why can't developers do a better job of balancing the amount of enemies that you have to fight in their co-op games when playing them solo?
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