The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Phaseknox
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The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by Phaseknox »

Played: King’s Bounty II

Finished: Nothing

Playing: King’s Bounty II

Added: The Division 2: Warlords of New York, Evil Below, Fairy Elements, Itorah, The Redress of Mira, Sword of the Vagrant, Twogether: Project Indigos, Valkyria Chronicles 4 DLC Bundle, Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, XEL

I’ve played a lot of King’s Bounty II, it’s packed with quests. Outside of combat it almost feels like a third person interactive story, because the majority of it is going around the game world talking with NPCs, doing fetch quests and watching story events unfold. Every so often you’ll be required to solve simple puzzles that almost always consist of activating objects in a certain sequence. There’s always a clue nearby to help you figure out what the correct order is.

The game world is fairly sizable, but compacted and dense with paths and roads to travel on so it’s not a big sprawling open world where you can just go anywhere that you want in it. It’s semi-open, but you’re pretty much stuck traversing paths and roads since you’re unable to interact with the environment such as climbing, or jumping/vaulting over things. Thankfully you have a horse and there are fast travel spots everywhere, because you only lightly jog on foot which makes the back and forth traveling (which there’s a lot of) somewhat slow.

I like the story and characters for the most part, the character that I’m currently playing as (Katharine) makes the NPC conversations more entertaining and humorous with her blunt, sarcastic and snarky remarks. Each of the three playable characters have different personalities, and their own dialogue. The problem is that the NPCs all have the same dialogue no matter which character that you play as, so sometimes what your character says and what the NPCs say don’t always align very well.

Speaking of characters, I started another game playing as Elisa to see how she is and she’s the complete opposite of Katharine. She’s a young and naive farmer’s daughter that’s a ditsy do-gooder. She somehow got it in her head that she’s the savior of the kingdom, and this leads to hilarity. Her dialogue is comedic in delivery, no matter the situation she’s almost always nice, positive and upbeat. And on the rare occasions when she does get mad, it’s childlike and cute. Despite already putting a lot of hours into the game as Katharine, I think that I might continue my new game as Elisa because I’m finding her personality a little more appealing overall.

As much as I’m enjoying the story and character interaction aspects of the game, the combat might make me stop playing it because it becomes somewhat cheap. The early game has you mostly fighting animals, bandits, guards and soldiers that are primarily melee enemies with some that are ranged such as archers, but later there’s more mages, necromancers, sorcerers, witches, wizards, monsters and supernatural creatures that are almost all ranged enemies that fire projectiles at you from a distance and use attacks and spells that cause negative effects on your squad that completely hinder their abilities and movement. The cheap aspect of this is that the enemies almost always get to attack first, so they can cause negative effects to my squad members and kill some of them before I even get a chance to do anything. I’m playing it on easy, but the devs are delusional if this is their idea of easy because it’s more like hard. And if it’s this hard already then I can only imagine how hard that it’s going to be later on.

I still think that those of you interested in the game should check it out, because I think that you might be better at this type of strategic tactical turn-based combat than I am. I usually struggle with all of the intricacies involved in this type of combat which is why I prefer more simplified versions of it, or at least easy actually being easy or closer to what I consider normal.

Games releasing this week
Aery - The Lost Hero
Amnesia: The Bunker
Bandit Brawler
Battle Grid
BlasterBeat
Bleak Sword DX
City Driver
Diablo IV
Espresso Tycoon
Greyhill Incident
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie
Loop8: Summer of Gods
Mask of the Rose
Minibong
MotoGP 23
Nocturnal
Pro Cycling Manager 2023
Raiden III x Mikado Maniax
Repella Fella
Riders Republic
Senses: Midnight
Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition
Tiny Thor
Tour de France 2023
Truck Driver - Heading North
Undead Citadel
Zombie Soup
Last edited by Phaseknox on Sat Jun 03, 2023 10:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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sonuckles
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by sonuckles »

I'm still in the middle of Tears of the Kingdom.

Been spending an inordinate amount of time picking out a new car IRL and work is pushing crunch on us for the next week so I haven't had much game time.

Edit: Phase, you've got my interest piqued with Kings Bounty 2. What platform are you playing it on? I'm always down for those lower budget Euro RPGs (like Risen, Divinity, and Arcane), and I see it's $10 on Steam right now. If it's Steam Deck compatible I might nab it to play it sometime in the future. I did enjoy the Disciples games (which is basically K-Mart brand Heroes of Might and Magic) and it looks like Kings Bounty is pretty similar.
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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by Phaseknox »

sonuckles wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 7:11 pmPhase, you've got my interest piqued with Kings Bounty 2. What platform are you playing it on? I'm always down for those lower budget Euro RPGs (like Risen, Divinity, and Arcane), and I see it's $10 on Steam right now.
I’m playing it on PS4. It’s a mid-tier AA Eurojank medieval fantasy RPG similar to the ones that you mentioned such as Arcania, Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga and Risen which I also really like. I’ve always been a sucker for these types of third person European RPGs. They might be somewhat low budget and rough around the edges, but they’re full of charm. This one does seem to have had a slightly bigger budget than these games usually have, and it’s not all that janky. I actually haven’t encountered one bug yet which is surprising.
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sonuckles
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by sonuckles »

Speaking of jank, one of the most frustrating things to me is how Arcania doesn't seem to work on PS4. It skips most of the cutscenes for some people, but work just fine for others. No rhyme or reason. I was really hoping to dig into that game on there. C'est la vie.
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by argyle »

Games added: Diablo 4, Street Fighter 6

Last week: Finished Battletoads (latest one), played TotK, Diablo 4, and a little SF6.

This week: Same.

Tears of the Kingdom continues to be amazing. Battletoads was a weird game. I was using it as my game to get a daily achievement for the Bing reward points - it worked well for that because it spit them out pretty regularly (at least one at the end of every level, and very often more than that). The first half of the game is what you'd expect, a Final Fight-style beat-em-up that's OK. I would probably think a little better of it if I hadn't played the awesome TMNT: Shredder's Revenge last year - the current high water mark for beat-em-ups IMO - but Battletoads is still decent. But at about the half-way mark things get really odd. You know how many games of this nature have a different style level or two to break things up? Well, every level past the half-way mark is something other than a beat-em-up. Platformer, rhythm game, shoot-em-up, some weird thing I can't even describe - but never again does it go back to beat-em-up. Bizarre. I may see if there's another easy achievement or two I can squeeze out of it, but the credits have rolled & I'll be moving on soon.

Tam & I have been playing Diablo 4 last night & today, and it's fantastic. Can't wait to sink more time into it with her.
"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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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by Phaseknox »

sonuckles wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 11:22 pmSpeaking of jank, one of the most frustrating things to me is how Arcania doesn't seem to work on PS4. It skips most of the cutscenes for some people, but work just fine for others. No rhyme or reason. I was really hoping to dig into that game on there. C'est la vie.
I originally played Arcania on Xbox 360, but I got it for PS4 and traded in my Xbox 360 copy. I haven’t played my PS4 copy yet, but I was looking forward to the improved graphics, performance and extra content when I decided to play through it again. I won’t be happy if it’s broken, especially since I don’t have my Xbox 360 copy anymore.
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sonuckles
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by sonuckles »

Phaseknox wrote: Sun Jun 04, 2023 1:40 am
sonuckles wrote: Sat Jun 03, 2023 11:22 pmSpeaking of jank, one of the most frustrating things to me is how Arcania doesn't seem to work on PS4. It skips most of the cutscenes for some people, but work just fine for others. No rhyme or reason. I was really hoping to dig into that game on there. C'est la vie.
I originally played Arcania on Xbox 360, but I got it for PS4 and traded in my Xbox 360 copy. I haven’t played my PS4 copy yet, but I was looking forward to the improved graphics, performance and extra content when I decided to play through it again. I won’t be happy if it’s broken, especially since I don’t have my Xbox 360 copy anymore.
Your mileage will definitely vary. I've seen posts of people saying their copies worked just fine from start to finish. On that note I was able to get Arcania running on Steam Deck last night with no problems. No idea if I'll really start playing it, but having it portable helps its chances.
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jfissel
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by jfissel »

Finished: Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy

Now Playing: New Super Mario Bros 2, Tchia

Added to Backlog: Tchia, Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

Current Backlog: 44 games

Finished up Layton and then started NSMB 2 on the 3DS. Also bought a few PSN games on sale, started Tchia.
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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by Phaseknox »

jfissel wrote: Sun Jun 04, 2023 2:56 pmstarted Tchia.
How is it?
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canedaddy
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 283: 6/3/23: Diablo IV Edition

Post by canedaddy »

jfissel wrote: Sun Jun 04, 2023 2:56 pm Added to Backlog: Valkyria Chronicles Remastered
Nice! Is that your first taste of that series? VC is among my favorites.



Played recently: Octopath Traveler II

Finished: nothing

Added to backlog: nothing

Current backlog: 31


Still having fun with Octopath Dos. So much of it is top-tier... the combat and all of the production values are superb... but it's not really coming together yet, and I'm not sure it will. Is this just eight people helping each other out in their various stories, or is there an overall enemy/force you're working against? There's not any hint that it's the latter, and I'm pretty far in. We will see.
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