What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:08 pm

Have now finished the storyline for Pokemon White 2. Post-game is a different matter, as I have not nearly explored the entire post-game in either Platinum or White 2. Ghetsis is the sort of utterly evil villain that makes you love to hate him (and very challenging to fight!), Colress's concept was pretty fascinating, but after defeating Ghetsis, the Elite Four and Champion were a bit anticlimactic. Definitely Black/White/B2W2 have some of the most interesting plots, though.

Other than that, I've been playing a lot of Kind Words (anonymously exchange letters with real people, mostly about worries or struggles people are going through). Simple but great game (that really stretches the concept of what a "game" is); at a price of $5, it is definitely worth checking out if the concept interests you.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby shooraijin » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:35 pm

How does that work, exactly? What makes it a game?
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

I could still be champ, but I'd feel bad taking it away from one of the younger guys. - George Foreman
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:02 pm

Here's how it works:

At the beginning of the game, you are asked what your name is, and whatever name you give the NPC mail deer (Ella), any letter you write will be signed with only the first letter of that name. The interface shows a character who is sitting in a bedroom writing letters, and there are basically three things you can do.

1. You can make a request about something you are struggling with, asking for advice, or just asking a question (some people make "smalltalk requests" like "How was your day?"). Other people can view your request and answer it if they choose.
2. You can view the pile of requests other users have made and answer them.
3. You can write a note of encouragement on a paper airplane, and send it flying through everyone's room.

You can also decorate your room, but this is not a main aspect of the game.

There's some explanation somewhere I think on the developer's website about how requests get sorted; basically they're sorted with the newest requests and requests with fewest replies on top, so those are the ones everyone sees first. For the most part, this seems to ensure that everybody gets multiple replies to their letters (though I don't know if that is the case for the occasional letters not written in English.)

It's also worth noting that when someone replies to your request, you cannot write any kind of reply back to them (as a safeguard against predators and trolls). However, everyone starts the game with one sticker, and you can send people stickers as a thank-you if they answer your request, and you can also put stickers on letters you write answering other people's requests.

Collecting stickers (which you can also use to decorate your room--when you use them to decorate, they turn into plushies, figurines, and things) is actually about the only game-like aspect of the game, and obviously, that's not the main point--the point is to say kind things to people. So, if someone wanted to say that Kind Words is "not really a game," I wouldn't argue with them. It's a "video game" in the sense that it is a video-based media, and it is interactive, so that just happens to be the most convenient label to say what it is.

That all said, this all comes across way easier by watching the game in action than by reading about it (if a picture's worth 1,000 words, is a video worth 10,000?), and there are plenty of YouTube videos out there reviewing the game. For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln2E4qn ... imeToGrind

This one is short and sweet, but still covers all the main aspects of the game.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby shooraijin » Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:56 pm

How interesting. Hopefully it's well-adjusted people "playing."
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

I could still be champ, but I'd feel bad taking it away from one of the younger guys. - George Foreman
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Rusty Claymore » Sun Feb 07, 2021 4:04 pm

Working on getting the platinum Completion trophies in the Dark Souls series. On DS2 currently. Has not been proliferating kind words...
Also playing Star Wars Squadrons on PSVR. (The involuntary creepy grin conjured by sitting in the virtual cockpit of a Y-wing probably means I needed more reality in my developmental years...)
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:47 pm

I think since last time I played around some in the post-games of both Platinum and White 2. (In White 2, I've now explored all the areas, routes and such, that there are to explore. There's still plenty to do, but it is debatable whether I will ever finish either post-game to 100% completion.)

I also started playing Illusion of Gaia, which I'm enjoying so far. Very interesting concept about exploring various ancient ruins and collecting artifacts--my first time playing a game that had Inca ruins as a dungeon. Really neat.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby shooraijin » Mon Feb 08, 2021 4:24 pm

That makes me think of the old DOS game Inca, though I'm now horribly dating myself.
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

I could still be champ, but I'd feel bad taking it away from one of the younger guys. - George Foreman
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:25 pm

shooraijin wrote:That makes me think of the old DOS game Inca, though I'm now horribly dating myself.


*checks Wikipedia*

Wikipedia wrote:The game describes the conflict between Incas and Spaniards in a sci-fi, space opera setting.


That...sounds like a really fascinating premise.

Interestingly, Inca was released in 1992 and Illusion of Gaia was released in 1993, so we are talking about the same general age of video game. Still to this day, that era of games really hits the spot for me. Nothing to be ashamed of.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby shooraijin » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:05 pm

The game is pretty shallow, and instead of trying to pick a genre ends up trying to do all of them not particularly well, but the graphics and soundtrack were pretty good. The strongest parts were the mazes and spaceflight sequences; the weakest were the token attempts at point-and-click adventure.
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

I could still be champ, but I'd feel bad taking it away from one of the younger guys. - George Foreman
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Davidizer13 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:23 pm

And now I have an excuse to post this ridiculous thing:

https://youtu.be/TqgZFiUrVDY

What am I playing? Well, I'm still pushing through the later stages of Persona 3 Portable. Given the current situation of the world, this is probably either the best or worst time to play it. A mysterious illness is pulling society apart, and at the point I'm at in the game, things are at the breaking point. No real-world parallels here, no surer!

Also, the Pokemon TCG adaptation for the Game Boy Color. I've discovered that I've got a soft spot for CCGs, and this is the way to do it without going broke chasing down rare cards - more money to spend on the real hobby, Battletech.

Speaking of which, I've got a MegaMek campaign brewing in the background. It's an unofficial Java adaptation of the old tabletop game Battletech, and there's an add-on that allows for campaign play, to be used with physical gameplay or against a computer opponent. It's surprisingly deep for something kind of just hacked together based on rules barely anyone touches (even players of the tabletop game - my group just does one-off death matches for their games). But it's got tons of opportunities for emergent play, weird stuff to happen and virtual dudes and robots to get attached to. And it's free!
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:44 pm

shooraijin wrote:The game is pretty shallow, and instead of trying to pick a genre ends up trying to do all of them not particularly well, but the graphics and soundtrack were pretty good.


Yeah, I also noticed when reading about it that the execution was so-so, which was why I said the "premise" sounded fascinating. ;) I think I can say with confidence that I have never read, seen, heard, or played anything that was from an Inca POV.

shooraijin wrote:The strongest parts were the mazes and spaceflight sequences; the weakest were the token attempts at point-and-click adventure.


You know, I think the more I hear about this game, the more I think that Coktel Vision and Quintet (developer of Terranigma and Illusion of Gaia, among others) were spiritual sibling-developers, and if there weren't such a thing as language barriers, they should have all gotten together and had a party, and probably would have gotten along fabulously.

The reason is, this description really reminded me of something I heard about one of Quintet's earlier games... *looks it up* ActRaiser, which apparently combined "traditional side-scrolling platforming with urban planning god game sections" (thank you Wikipedia). It's a different kind of weird combination than Inca, but the fact that it is a weird combination of different game styles struck me as a similarity.

And coincidentally, Illusion of Gaia also has some South American flute music . . . though not in such high audio quality as Inca's soundtrack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0swTf2 ... pository16

Davidzer13 wrote:And now I have an excuse to post this ridiculous thing:


That was some pretty good music until the English singing came in.

(Also: I went ahead and listened to the whole soundtrack after Shooraijin mentioned it; it was pretty good, though not quite energetic enough to make a good soundtrack for me to listening to while working, so it was back to the Black Mages after that.)

Davidzer13 wrote:It's an unofficial Java adaptation of the old tabletop game Battletech, and there's an add-on that allows for campaign play, to be used with physical gameplay or against a computer opponent.


It really is amazing what kinds of things fans will create.

And by the way, welcome back and nice to see you around.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby shooraijin » Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:19 am

The Inca soundtrack is actually redbook audio you can play in any CD player. I'll have to have a look at ActRaiser. That certainly does sound like a ... different combination. :)
"you're a doctor.... and 27 years.... so...doctor + 27 years = HATORI SOHMA" - RoyalWing, when I was 27
"Al hail the forum editting Shooby! His vibes are law!" - Osaka-chan

I could still be champ, but I'd feel bad taking it away from one of the younger guys. - George Foreman
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Davidizer13 » Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:03 pm

shooraijin wrote:The game is pretty shallow, and instead of trying to pick a genre ends up trying to do all of them not particularly well, but the graphics and soundtrack were pretty good.


Kaori wrote:You know, I think the more I hear about this game, the more I think that Coktel Vision and Quintet (developer of Terranigma and Illusion of Gaia, among others) were spiritual sibling-developers, and if there weren't such a thing as language barriers, they should have all gotten together and had a party, and probably would have gotten along fabulously.


Yeah, in the case of Coktel, you gotta love that early era of CD games. Wanna put a 3D space shooter in your adventure game? How about a light gun shooting gallery with FMV space conquistadors? Go right ahead! And we even have space for a poorly-translated vocal song! Is any of it good? Er...well...if you're a B-level developer, if you can't do everything well, do it with gusto.

I found out about Inca in a book that did capsule reviews of as many point-and-click adventures as they could, and Coktel Vision was out there trying goofy things, like some seedy game where the game was framed in silhouettes of women, or the Goblins games where you swapped between people with different abilities and had to use them together. Again, if you couldn't keep up with LucasArts or Sierra, you had to make your own niche!

Terranigma's been one that's been on my list for a while, again because it's so unique and weird when compared to everything else. Seeing that upside-down overworld and the song that played with it grabbed me, I just have to sit down and do it sometime.

Kaori wrote:
It really is amazing what kinds of things fans will create.


A lot of wargames play well with computerized versions. Classic Battletech happens to be based around discrete hexagojal spaces (versus something like Warhammer, which is based on measurements and have a bit of fuzz inherent to it), so it's just a matter of having the computer do the bookkeeping and the dice rolls. And there's a lot of bookkeeping in Battletech, especially as you pile on the optional rules, and even more so when you do the full campaign rules - most people doing it for real groups do a whole lot of fudging to make it fun versus just crunching numbers. Plus, the obsession most people in the hobby have to have to play games like that also leads them to do stuff like make computer programs to do the work for them!
Kaori wrote:And by the way, welcome back and nice to see you around.

Aw, shucks. Us oldbies have to come poke the fire every once in a while.

shooraijin wrote: The Inca soundtrack is actually redbook audio you can play in any CD player. I'll have to have a look at ActRaiser. That certainly does sound like a ... different combination. :)


Dang, something else to miss from the CD era. There was this racing game my family had years ago where I think it did the same thing with Redbook audio. We found out you could take the CD out and swap it with any music CD, and the game would play tracks from it instead, so we'd listen to the Newsboys or whatever. We didn't think to put the game CD in a player, but it was like the game CD had, say, 12 tracks to randomly choose from. For a music CD that had more tracks, it would just pull from the first 12 and never play track 14.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Thu Feb 18, 2021 5:36 pm

Davidizer13 wrote:Terranigma's been one that's been on my list for a while, again because it's so unique and weird when compared to everything else. Seeing that upside-down overworld and the song that played with it grabbed me, I just have to sit down and do it sometime.


You should definitely play Terranigma! Sooner is better than later. ;) I don't want to rave about it too much lest I create an impression that's too fantastic for the game to actually live up to, but it was a great game and probably had the most impact on me out of any game that I played as an adult.

It never really struck me as a "weird" game, though the concept of recreating the world and civilization through your actions is certainly one of the more original concepts I've encountered. I didn't feel like there were any wonky transitions between differing gameplay styles (like is apparently the case with ActRaiser, which I haven't played); it was pretty much straight-up action RPG. But, maybe the reason I didn't find it weird is that I have played too many JRPGs.

Have any idea what the song was that you heard? Definitely, Terranigma had a good soundtrack with a lot of evocative tunes.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Davidizer13 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:14 am

Kaori wrote:You should definitely play Terranigma! Sooner is better than later. ;) I don't want to rave about it too much lest I create an impression that's too fantastic for the game to actually live up to, but it was a great game and probably had the most impact on me out of any game that I played as an adult.

It never really struck me as a "weird" game, though the concept of recreating the world and civilization through your actions is certainly one of the more original concepts I've encountered. I didn't feel like there were any wonky transitions between differing gameplay styles (like is apparently the case with ActRaiser, which I haven't played); it was pretty much straight-up action RPG. But, maybe the reason I didn't find it weird is that I have played too many JRPGs.

Have any idea what the song was that you heard? Definitely, Terranigma had a good soundtrack with a lot of evocative tunes.


Thanks for the recommendation! If I remember right, it was the Underworld theme that I heard. And maybe weird was the wrong word to use - "striking," maybe? Just the feeling that I hadn't heard or seen anything like it, so it immediately had my attention.
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Re: What Game Are You Playing Right Now?

Postby Kaori » Wed May 05, 2021 6:55 pm

Davidizer13 wrote:Thanks for the recommendation! If I remember right, it was the Underworld theme that I heard. And maybe weird was the wrong word to use - "striking," maybe? Just the feeling that I hadn't heard or seen anything like it, so it immediately had my attention.


This one, probably?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0wW2Du ... =TezuSound

It is definitely a nice piece of music.

Finished playing Illusion of Gaia. It was a good action-adventure RPG, and I would certainly recommend it. I felt in terms of skills/actions, it was an example of how sometimes less is more, and games can have really fun gameplay even with only a few buttons and a few types of moves.

There were also a lot of really neat environments, both dungeons and towns, that were highly imaginative and very fun to explore. I mentioned the famous historical ruins already, but some of the most memorable places in the game were entirely fantasy-based, like the underwater vampire palace, just to name one.

And it also didn't pull its punches when it came to social commentary or even SPOILER: Highlight text to read: character death, so although it did feel aimed at a slightly younger audience than Terranigma, and did feel slightly lighter in tone, it still tackled some serious topics.

Also played through Gris, which if you haven't heard of it is a game that tackles the subject of grief in a metaphorical way, as the title character travels through a world devoid of color, which gradually regains more and more colors as her journey progresses. It took me a little while to get into this--it started out slow, and initially it felt to me (though this is likely not true) like the symbols and images were kind of like some cerebral thing someone came up with by thinking about "What's a visual symbol to portray grief/depression?" rather than organically arising from the creators' own experiences. It also started out quite slowly (literally!). But as I got a bit further into the game, I found that there were some parts that really did resonate with me quite a bit. The gameplay (some light platforming and puzzle-solving) was not terribly difficult (the fact that even I could beat it shows that the platforming elements were definitely not "difficult" compared to other games), the music was good, and the visuals are stunning, so I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who finds the premise interesting.

...And in other news, I was also playing the Pokemon Platinum post-game again recently. There's so much to do with these games, I never really ever decide I am "done"; I just stop playing for a while, and pick up where I left off whenever I feel like scratching that Pokemon itch.
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