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So whatcha playing? - A Thread For Chit-Chatting About Whatever Game(s) We're Playing At The Moment

Isator Levie

Registered User
Validated User
What's the latest happenings in your Xenoblade game?
Well, the very latest is having a look at what all of the available challenges in the arena are like, but mostly just preparing my inventory a bit for going into New Game+.

I'm going to hold off for a bit on that one, though, to devote more attention to Torna-The Golden Country.
 

Dragonlover

Registered User
Validated User
I took advantage of the Paradox sale the other week to grab the CK2 dlc I didn't own and started another run in that. Currently trying to form the Empire of Britannia, but I just lost Scotland and haven't had the heart to go and continue recently...

... I also got a little bit addicted to Slay the Spire as well, which didn't help. Slay the Spire, for those of you that haven't seen it, is a fusion of rogue-like and deck building card game where you have to climb the titular Spire one floor at a time, beating up bad guys as you go. A mate recommended it to me and it was a tenner on Steam, so I figured "hey why not" and have sunk over 50 hours into it.

Dragonlover
 

empulsive

40-something POC Nerd (he/him)
Validated User
Well, the very latest is having a look at what all of the available challenges in the arena are like, but mostly just preparing my inventory a bit for going into New Game+.

I'm going to hold off for a bit on that one, though, to devote more attention to Torna-The Golden Country.
(Please feel free to point me at google or wikis if I start asking too many questions, I won't mind at all. :))

So, I've totally lost track of the series since, like, forever. What's Xenoblade like? What pops into my head when I think about is is gorgeous if a bit stereotypical JRPG art in a third person perspective, with a small group of party members who are all there with you, commenting and being catty, and active, action combat with pause for major abilities and inventory management during the action? How off am I?

What's Torna? Oh, and wait, are you playing Xenoblade 1 or 2? Probably 2, I am guessing.
 

Njorhg

Active member
Validated User
I just picked up CrossCode, which is a game that recently saw its full release after having successfully been crowdfunded a few year ago.

CrossCode

A retro-inspired 2D Action RPG set in the distant future. CrossCode combines 16-bit SNES-style graphics with butter-smooth physics, a fast-paced combat system, and engaging puzzle mechanics, served with a gripping sci-fi story.

CrossCode is all about how it plays! That's why there is a free Steam demo! Go give it a try! Take the best out of two popular genres, find a good balance between them and make a great game. That’s what CrossCode does. You get the puzzles of Zelda-esque dungeons and are rewarded with the great variety of equipment you know and love from RPGs. During the fast-paced battles you will use the tools you find on your journey to reveal and exploit the enemies' weaknesses and at the same time will be able to choose equipment and skills for a more in-depth approach in fighting your enemies.

[video=youtube;zuN-5yxwogU]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuN-5yxwogU[/video]
I think it's pretty great, even if I have only touched the early game. It combines a lot of genres that I enjoy. The animated pixel art, as well as other effects, manage to feel both dynamic and fluid. Thus far I find the game to play well at all levels. It promises between 30 and 80 hours of gameplay, which doesn't surprise me as the game seems exceedingly expansive.

It's difficult to describe what the game does exactly, but it's something akin to Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana meets modern indie games like Enter the Gungeon or Wizard of Legend, and with more story. The progression tree is reminiscent of grid systems, like Path of Exile's, but with 5 subgrids.

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/09/20/crosscode-review/
 
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empulsive

40-something POC Nerd (he/him)
Validated User
More in some ways, less in others? There's a genuine sense of excitement again in gear drops and random vendor items, rather than constantly churning through hoarded items that are almost certainly better than anything that might drop at-level. On the other hand, not having overpowered weapons and armour means I'm finding out which parts of the game are excessively slow or grindy and that's less than fun.
Yeah, I know what you mean. I bet those janky bits are ameliorated a bit thanks to your experience with the game, though. I found this last run through of Mass Effect 2 went ridiculously smoothly because I knew how to get past the stuff I didn't find fun as efficiently as possible.

I took advantage of the Paradox sale the other week to grab the CK2 dlc I didn't own and started another run in that. Currently trying to form the Empire of Britannia, but I just lost Scotland and haven't had the heart to go and continue recently...

... I also got a little bit addicted to Slay the Spire as well, which didn't help. Slay the Spire, for those of you that haven't seen it, is a fusion of rogue-like and deck building card game where you have to climb the titular Spire one floor at a time, beating up bad guys as you go. A mate recommended it to me and it was a tenner on Steam, so I figured "hey why not" and have sunk over 50 hours into it.

Dragonlover
Oh man, these two games are hella fun, yeah. My last CK2 game was a bit of a gimme after bashing my head in various "fun" situations on the Continent. Decided to unite the British Isles under the rule of a different Irish count than usual. The granularity of difficulty options and settings in the game setup screen really helps, I feel like I'm playing exactly the game I want every time.

And Slay the Spire took over all my game time for a solid two weeks when I first bought it. Haven't made it past the second Boss yet, because I'm not very good at the game, but I still enjoy playing it every so often. I always start it up, thinking I'll just play it for a few minutes while waiting for something else or whatever, and then a few hours end up flying by. It's great.
 

Ulzgoroth

Mad Scientist
Validated User
I just picked up CrossCode, which is a game that recently saw its full release after having successfully been crowdfunded a few year ago.



I think it's pretty great, even if I have only touched the early game. It combines a lot of genres that I enjoy, and despite the retro-style animations and other effects both manage to feel dynamic and fluid. Thus far I find the game to play well at all levels. It promises between 30 and 80 hours of gameplay, which doesn't surprise me as the game seems exceedingly expansive.

It's difficult to describe what the game does exactly, but it's something akin to Legend of Zelda and Secret of Mana meets modern indie games like Enter the Gungeon or Wizard of Legend, but with more story.

https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/09/20/crosscode-review/
I backed that, I think. At any rate, I've had it parked in my library for ages and I really should play it now that it's hit release.
 

R-90-2

Can it be SNEK TIEM?
Validated User
Gone back to doing my second playthrough of Romancing SaGa 2, and taking some of the roads I didn't travel last time, like actually doing things correctly and winning the boss fight against the volcano. I've defeated up Bokhohn, but the choices on the remaining members of the Seven Heroes are thorny. I don't want to fight Rocbouquet because I don't want to have to deal with berserk Noel a second time, I don't know where Dantarg is at the moment, which is scary. R&D and citybuilding are coming along nice, and while I've lost four Emperors so far, there are always more where those come from.
 

empulsive

40-something POC Nerd (he/him)
Validated User
Gone back to doing my second playthrough of Romancing SaGa 2, and taking some of the roads I didn't travel last time, like actually doing things correctly and winning the boss fight against the volcano. I've defeated up Bokhohn, but the choices on the remaining members of the Seven Heroes are thorny. I don't want to fight Rocbouquet because I don't want to have to deal with berserk Noel a second time, I don't know where Dantarg is at the moment, which is scary. R&D and citybuilding are coming along nice, and while I've lost four Emperors so far, there are always more where those come from.
*blink blink* I say, that all sounds all sorts of awesome. Tell me more of this Second SaGa of Romancing...?
 

R-90-2

Can it be SNEK TIEM?
Validated User
*blink blink* I say, that all sounds all sorts of awesome. Tell me more of this Second SaGa of Romancing...?
Okay!

Romancing SaGa 2 is a JRPG by the creators of Final Fantasy, but the SaGa series has always been kind of a back-bench franchise to the 1st-stringer games. The basic premise of the game is that Long Ago in the Ancient Times, there were Seven Legendary Heroes who saved the world from almost endless hordes of monsters, but disappeared soon after their victory. Some time later, the peace that they won is beginning to falter and the world is falling into turmoil, but the Seven Heroes have returned- but the heroes who fought for world peace now want a piece of the world, so they have begun carving up the land to rule over it as immortal god-kings. So, it's up to you as the Emperor of Avalon and his successors to unite the continent, marshal your resources, and develop the weapons, magic, and skills required to raise a band of warriors that can challenge and defeat the Seven Heroes.

It's a highly unusual JRPG in ways aside from being a generational game, as first, the game is actually fairly open-ended- the only time scenario order is locked in is during the prologue and the final generation, and second, a lot of the real costs are macro-level things. It's very rare that you'll actually go to a shop and buy a piece of equipment for money (shops don't even charge if they're in territory you control), as all of the real costs are in research and development for new weapons and armor altogether, developing new magics, and even city building, like magic institutes or universities. you don't recruit individual party members, but other classes for your party that devote themselves to the fight. Also, each of the Seven Heroes kinda plays by their own rules. Bokhohn, for example, was the strategist of the Seven Heroes so he's not the toughest to fight but he's really hard to get to in any practical way, so the way to bypass his defenses is to build a university to attract smart people and have them come up with a way to get you in there. Dantarg can show up in three or four different dungeons because he's mainly interested in powerleveling.

Because the game is concerned as much with macro-level domain management as tactical management, has permadeath for characters (but plenty of recruits), and has random encounters over time, it's not so much like a Final Fantasy game as it is almost like a fantasy X-Com where your primary enemies are the (White Wolf) Exalted.

The problem with it is the same problem with many SaGa games in that some of the central mechanics, like Tech sparking, are a bit too obtuse for their own good, but the game is really, really off the beaten path as far as '90s JRPGs go.

It also has probably my favorite boss track from a 16-bit RPG, Seven Heroes Battle:

[video=youtube;xI1TyRlgtIk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xI1TyRlgtIk[/video]
 
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empulsive

40-something POC Nerd (he/him)
Validated User
Okay. Now everything you said the first time makes more sense. This game sound ridiculous but in a good way, and totally doesn't look at all like what I expected, but in the end it couldn't look any other way, I think. :)

(Also, Dantarg is a weird looking dude.)
 
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