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Topics - Garwoofoo

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The Billiard Room / The Society has moved
« on: May 23, 2018, 07:35:10 AM »
Please come and visit us at our new home:

The Games Parlour / The Society has moved
« on: May 23, 2018, 07:34:22 AM »
Please come and visit us at our new home:

The Office / The Society has moved
« on: May 23, 2018, 07:32:55 AM »
Please come and visit us at our new home:

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - 20.18% APR
« on: April 02, 2018, 10:46:45 AM »

Monster Hunter World. It doesn't happen with many games but I've reached the point now where I'm perfectly happy to sit down and play this for entire evenings at a time without feeling that I'm trying to complete anything and without ever really getting impatient or bored with it. I've always got a little checklist of things I want to achieve, my level keeps ticking up steadily, there's a constant drip-feed of new things to do and it's just a really absorbing game that I'm nowhere near finished with yet.  A real solid gold classic, and possibly my favourite game of all time.

RiME. Forgettable Ico-alike that looks a bit like Wind Waker, rips off The Witness for some of its puzzle ideas, and plays like The Last Guardian without the cat-bird, including the nameless child protagonist and his wild flailing run. It misses most of the targets it sets for itself: it aims for enigmatic but lands somewhere around aimless, and the environment and architecture feels relentlessly gamelike rather than even beginning to approach TLG's immense sense of space. I'm halfway through the game now and I have no idea what the storyline is supposed to be or why I'm doing the things I'm doing - I'm pressing forward and solving puzzles because, well, there isn't much to do so I might as well do that. It's kind of calming and relaxing and not very difficult, so it's a good wind-down game, but I'll have forgotten it within days of finishing it I'm sure.

Pandemic Legacy. Board-games wise, we took a LONG break from this for various reasons (none of which were related to the game) but on picking it back up again over the rainy Easter weekend we've all become completely absorbed in it again and have played it four times in as many days.  I'm still amazed at the sheer cleverness of the whole thing, and the way it gently pushes you into making certain choices (ostensibly of your own volition) and then delights in pulling the rug from under you just as you think you're starting to get the hang of it.  It's an absolute masterpiece.


I've been keeping an eye out for the Switch port of Hollow Knight but it seems to be running into some technical issues in the last stages of development so hopefully it'll be out soon (and not be a mess).

There's a big new patch for No Man's Sky incoming and as usual I'm promising myself that will be the point at which I finally start to play it.  We'll see, I guess.

I need to get some new board games, but not sure what's new and interesting right now.  Where's cav gone anyway?


I'm developing a love/hate relationship with Fire Emblem: Awakening - I absolutely love almost everything about it (the writing and characterisation is particularly superb) but the permadeath mechanic is doing my nut in, especially given the AI's tendency to ruthlessly dogpile your weakest characters whenever the opportunity arises.  Several times now I've lost a character on literally the last round of a long battle and been unable to resist the compulsion to reset and do it all over again.  It means I'm making very slow progress.  But the game's clearly balanced around this mechanic (it would be laughably easy if you could simply gloss over a few deaths each round) so I feel I need to persevere.  Not yet a Bin, but might yet aggravate me enough to tip it over the edge (of the bin).

The Games Parlour / Super Smash Bros - Switch
« on: March 12, 2018, 05:14:22 AM »
I guess most of us have seen the teaser trailer for this now:

! No longer available

So what do we know?  Not much at this stage.

- It's coming out in 2018
- It will feature the Inklings from Splatoon
- The Link shown here appears to be the Breath of the Wild iteration of the character, whereas the previous two Smash games have featured the Twilight Princess version of Link.

Other than that... well, I guess we'll find out.

Now I've played a LOT of Wii U Smash Bros over the last few months; my boy's been obsessed with it and he's kind of dragged me in too.  I've only ever really played it as a knockabout party game but actually there's a hell of a lot of depth in there.  I've really gained an appreciation for the game.  So I'm very hyped for this release.

I am wondering what it will be, though.  If it's a Mario Kart 8 style re-release (the same game as before with a token amount of new stuff, sold at full price) I'll be hugely disappointed and will probably give it a miss.  On the other hand I don't really want to lose anything from the existing game - it's huge, 58 characters including DLC - so I don't necessarily want a full reboot either.

I guess the ideal scenario would be for the game to use the existing Wii U game as a base, add in all the extra stages and modes from the 3DS version, and then have a load of additional content and characters on top.  I have no idea how feasible that would be.  It's going to be a long wait to find out.

The Games Parlour / The Next Next Gen
« on: February 13, 2018, 02:45:27 PM »
The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 came out in 2013 - we're now over four years into this console generation, traditionally the time when things start to feel a bit long in the tooth and everyone starts peering over the horizon at what's coming next.

So what do we think is going to happen next?  This is the thread for wild conjecture and unsubstantiated rumour.  We can all look back on this in a few years' time and laugh at how off the mark we all were.

Both consoles have had mid-gen refreshes, in the shape of the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro - so I wouldn't expect anything to happen too quickly.  My bet would be on 2020 for the launch of the next gen, giving both "pro" consoles a good innings of a couple of years at least.  It does feel like they're starting to supplant the base models, though.  Anyone who's tried to play The Last Guardian on a base PS4, or Monster Hunter on an original Xbox One, is probably aware that we're starting to reach the point in the gen where technical ambition is rubbing up against the limits of what the technology can do.

So - what happens next?  More of the same?

Sony are on a roll this gen, I can't honestly see the PS5 being much of a departure.  It'll target native 4K and (hopefully) have some actual backwards compatibility this time.  Other than that, business as usual?  They've realised that their strength is not just in the hardware but in the games, and they've consistently knocked it out of the park over the last few years with their first-party and second-party output.

Microsoft could go in any direction.  They completely flubbed the start of this gen and it's taken them two console revisions (the S then the X) to produce something that actually feels like a worthy contender.  The X is new so you'd expect them to be in no hurry to start the next gen; on the other hand it looks like they've almost given up developing first-party games (apart from Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3, what exactly do they have in the pipeline?) so are they prepping for an exit from the hardware market altogether?  I still wonder if their aim is to buy a big player like EA or Valve and then act as a super-publisher.

Is anyone going to try and contend with the Switch?  I'd love another Sony handheld but I can't see it happening.  A Microsoft handheld would be the size and weight of a housebrick.

PC gaming is fucked. Bitcoin miners have driven prices of RAM and graphics cards through the roof.  You'd only buy a PC nowadays for indie games, and everyone's playing those on the Switch anyway.


The Games Parlour / Your Games Completed of 2018
« on: January 25, 2018, 04:18:58 AM »
I refuse to believe that we're almost at the end of January and Mart hasn't completed a couple of dozen games by now.  Anyhow:

Batman: The Telltale Series

Broadly, exactly the same as every other Telltale title. What gameplay there is consists of one of three things: either an inconsequential story choice, or a QTE it's almost impossible to fail, or an insultingly easy "detective" section where you have to examine everything and link obvious items together. And it's all held together by the ancient Telltale engine that splutters and hitches on even the simplest of scenes and generally does its best to undermine what little dramatic tension the game has otherwise achieved.

So it's a little embarrassing to admit that, actually, I quite enjoyed this: the story isn't terrible, the voice acting surprisingly good, and the whole thing's pretty pacey.  At 90 minutes or so, the episodes are the perfect length, and I quite enjoyed taking the opportunity to play Bruce Wayne as a bleeding heart liberal and Batman as an unhinged murderous psychopath. 

At this point I'm not sure why anyone actually buys Telltale games - they're all the same, they churn them out on a production line and they all wind up on PS+ sooner or later - but as a freebie this is a reasonable way to while away a few evenings.

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - Octogenarian Edition
« on: October 01, 2017, 01:03:46 PM »

Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.  Well, I am absolutely loving this.  Part of it is the pleasure of having a top-quality, epic game on a handheld (and just like that, I'm sold on the concept of the Switch all over again, though this is a more than acceptable substitute for now).  But mostly it's just that it's a damn good game.  In particular despite being a few years old now, it does the whole open world thing incredibly well, populating those wide open spaces with a wide variety of places and people to discover and keeping you returning to old and familiar spots not to complete mindless drudgework but because there's always some new and interesting reason to come back there.  The characters are great, the voice acting is memorable, the combat system keeps things barrelling along at top speed and it's generally just a complete classic of an RPG.

(The 3DS continues to be an unergonomic nightmare, though.  In desperation I bought a ludicrous rubber clamshell for it which gives it enormous weight and heft, makes it seem almost bulletproof and leaves my hands smelling vaguely of condoms.  But it is more comfortable now for prolonged use).

Cuphead.  Fucking hell this is hard.

Slime Rancher.  By some distance now my game of the year, because playing it makes me happy.  It's a beautiful, charming, relaxing little gem of a title.

Everybody's Golf.  There's not quite as much variety or challenge in here as I'd hoped, but a quick 9 holes fits into my daily routine quite nicely and I'm definitely having fun.


As above, I think I'm now in the "want a Switch" category.  There are several games on it now I want to play, and a couple more that I want to check out, plus several multiplatform titles that I think would be ideal on a handheld.  Chances of this actually being available around Christmas, do you reckon?

Assassin's Creed: Oranges, as per last month's update.


Sacked off Horizon Zero Dawn, a game where all its undoubtedly high quality parts didn't quite add up anything that would hold my interest.

The Office / Password reset problem
« on: September 11, 2017, 05:23:59 AM »
Quick shout for help: Mart is apparently having problems resetting his password as no emails are coming through from the forum. Is anyone (miskie?) able to look into this and see what's going on?

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - Septum Piercing
« on: September 09, 2017, 04:45:05 AM »
Bit late this month, sorry about that.  Now I know all you cool kids will be like PLAY: Destiny 2! BIN: Destiny 1! but as usual I'm playing a load of weird stuff no-one else is so at least I've got something to talk about.


Slime Rancher.  I think this is a really great game, a proper overlooked gem of a title.  It's got elements of Stardew Valley (building up a ranch, populating it with slimes and maximising your profits) mixed with a bit of Minecraft (exploring your local area and gathering resources).  It's really gentle and undemanding to play but just when you think it's really simple and there's not much to it, additional layers of complexity unfold and there's actually far more to it than meets the eye.  It's adorable too.

Everybody's Golf.  Which is, oddly enough, almost identical to every other Everybody's Golf game.  In single-player mode at least it's the same slow grind through tournament matches and versus players to unlock different courses, and it plays much the same as previous instalments, so right now I'm not getting much out of this that I haven't already seen in, say, the Vita version.  There's more to it once you venture online so maybe that's where the fun really lies - and I am enjoying it a lot, so there's that - but somehow I expected more innovation than I've seen so far.  I also admire its dedication to using all the latest graphical techniques - I'm playing in native 4K with HDR - yet still looking basically terrible.  You've got to respect that.


Starting to get hyped now for Assassin's Creed: Origins which is looking pretty tremendous.  As a fan of the series I'm pretty much guaranteed to be day one on this one, though I'm a bit wary that it'll be buggy initially as all new-gen AC games tend to be.

Still want to get the Final Fantasy XII remaster too.

That Mario & Rabbids thing looks pretty good.  That's two games I want on the Switch now.  It's getting there.


I think I'll probably put Grand Kingdom on ice.  It's good, but it requires huge amounts of time to get anywhere and doesn't really deliver the kind of rewards you'd expect from that kind of dedication.  Strangely enough it's the kind of game I wish I had on my phone - it suits regular play sessions very well - but as it stands I think I can probably use my time more productively.

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - July Can't Think Of A Pun Edition
« on: July 05, 2017, 04:32:55 AM »
Is the reason no-one's done this yet because there aren't any decent puns for July?


Elder Scrolls Online: Not a great MMO but an absolutely fantastic single-player RPG that just happens to other people running around in it.  It's undemanding, full of interesting little stories, hasn't once in dozens of hours fallen back on the old "collect 12 boar testicles" trope, is mind-bogglingly huge and I haven't even got the Morrowind expansion yet which was the reason I bought the game in the first place.  This hits the spot for me exactly in terms of relaxing evening gaming and I'm genuinely surprised how much I'm enjoying it.  It's up there with Skyrim and Oblivion for me, easily, for mostly the same reasons too.

LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4:  It's all Harry Potter all the time in our house at the moment and this marks the first time that the boy's interests have coincided with the LEGO games franchise (can't get him into Star Wars, and he's not into superheroes either).  Unsurprisingly he loves this, and I must admit I'm impressed at just how good it actually is: real love for the source material, some genuinely funny jokes and some very cleverly-designed levels with loads of secrets and stuff to unlock.  With the amount of LEGO games they churn out, you'd expect them to be way more formulaic than this, but it's superb.

Wipeout: Omega Collection: Nearly finished Wipeout HD which remains my favourite in the collection (not keen on some of the extra modes in Fury, and 2048 is just too damn hard for me).  I'm on the eighth section which is basically the point where everything goes full speed and I just bounce off of walls and hope for the best.  Anyway, this re-release is a technical marvel and a marvellous slice of retro fun - now let's have a new game please.

Pokemon Go: The new gyms revamp has completely revitalised this game - they've done a great job of making it more interesting, ensuring the gyms are less stagnant and also making the game more sociable.  We ended up in the middle of a massive group of kids and adults trying to take down a 4-star Lapras in the local park on Sunday afternoon and it was great fun.


Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age: The original release of this continued the tradition of releasing great FF games on outdated hardware at the exact point everyone was moving onto the machine's successor (FFIX did the same, releasing on the PS1 months after the PS2 was already available) so I never gave it the time it deserved.  Looking forward to this handsome-looking re-release.

Planet Coaster: OK not so much a "want" as "want to find the time to play" as I picked this up in the Steam sale and it looks absolutely lovely.


Can't think of anything specific, gaming-wise - been playing the same stuff for a few weeks now and still thoroughly enjoying it, so I'm happy to trundle on.  I'm not going to get to the end of Elder Scrolls Online in any lifetime soon, at least.

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - April Foolishness
« on: April 01, 2017, 03:57:37 PM »

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.  I'm making very slow progress on this because I've been playing it through with my son watching me, and he's finding it so utterly enthralling that I feel guilty even considering playing it without him.  It's a fantastic game to play with kids, not just because it's like the greatest fairy tale over told but also because it's so incredibly logical in the way it's put together - the answer to "I wonder if this will work?" is almost always "Yes, of course it will".  He's never seen a Zelda game before, and my only concern is that all the others will seem like a bit of a disappointment after this enormous, beautiful, open-ended all-time classic.

So I've been playing The Lord of the Rings Online, which actually gives quite a lot of the same sense of wonder and exploration as Breath of the Wild, even if gameplay-wise it's very different.  It's another huge, beautiful, open landscape to get lost in, where small discoveries can take on huge importance.  I really like this, and the respect it shows to Tolkien's lore continually surprises me.

Also, Final Fantasy XV which I've just started and is just totally batshit.  Fair play to the series for not resting on its laurels, but this schizophrenic tale of a bunch of boy band rejects going on a road trip (while periodically getting out their car and whacking things with huge swords) is really quite spectacularly nuts.  I'm quite enjoying it so far.


Persona 5.  Ordinarily I'd assume the absolutely rapturous reviews are a bit over-egged for the current critics' darling, but having absolutely adored both Persona 3 and 4, I'm confident this will be quite something.  I genuinely do wish it was on the Vita though.

Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 which I've decided I do really want to play after all.  How I'm going to fit six lengthy JRPGs into my schedule remains to be seen though.


The Xbox One which is now purely a Rock Band machine, has been relegated to the back room and probably won't ever get used for anything else ever again.  It was always a poor relation to the PS4 but now, with the PS4 Pro giving a good impression of being a generation ahead and Sony's exclusives firing on all cylinders, it's like it barely registers any more.  How Microsoft think they're going to turn it around with Scorpio is anyone's guess.

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - Febrile Convulsions
« on: February 02, 2017, 04:31:16 AM »

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.  Spectacularly beautiful, impossibly lavish and really quite dull.  Every game in the Uncharted series has upped the story to gameplay ratio and it's now very much to the series' detriment.  The first game, for all its faults, was recognisably a third-person shooter/platformer strung together by nice cutscenes; this fourth instalment is like a CGI movie that occasionally pauses so you can press a few buttons and make it carry on.  I'm enjoying the spectacle of it all, but that's really about it.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  Picked this up again after a few months where the Wii U was disconnected and I'm nearly at the end.  I've really enjoyed it but it has the weirdest pacing ever.  This Director's Cut edition sticks the standalone (and pretty lengthy) Missing Link episode in at about the 90% mark, literally just as you're heading off to face the final boss, and manages to completely kill the game's buildup to its own ending.  Narratively it works but in terms of gameplay it's utterly bizarre.  Still, great game, and the Wii U version is tremendous.

Darkest Dungeon.  Love the style and gameplay but the relentless difficulty (and randomness) is demoralising.  I tend to find this with all roguelikes - I quickly hit a point where I'm just spinning the wheels and dying over and over, and then I get pissed off with it.  I'm not quite there yet with this, but I can see it happening.


A PS4 Pro - happily with a birthday just around the corner I may not have too long to wait for this. I've put both The Last Guardian and Final Fantasy XV on hold until I have a machine capable of running them both properly.

Resident Evil VII - love this series and this looks like a real return to its roots.  Couldn't be happier about that.

Gravity Rush 2 - still not sure whether to revisit the first game in preparation for this but would very much like to give this a go.  It does have a faint whiff of "PS Plus in six months time" about it though.


Diets.  I've been given a (second) warning about my cholesterol levels from the doctor so it's been time to start doing something about my diet.  In general I've had no problem changing what I eat, I've enjoyed the variety, but I'm finding it a real struggle to eat a low fat diet without actually losing weight.  I don't need to lose weight, I get very gaunt in the face if I do, but all the low-fat options you can buy for e.g. lunch are aimed at dieting women who eat like sparrows and they're all about 150 calories.  As a result I'm just grazing constantly now, like some sort of rice cake-eating ruminant.

Building work. If news emerges of a serial killer in North London who's snapped and taken out a load of decorators, plumbers, electricians and builders, you'll probably have a fairly good idea of who that is.

The Office / Getting signed out?
« on: January 09, 2017, 03:31:52 PM »
Several times today I've come to visit the forum and found I've needed to sign in again using my username & password.

Is anyone else experiencing this?  Normally this never happens so has something changed behind the scenes?

The Games Parlour / Play Want Bin - Christmas Balls
« on: December 01, 2016, 06:02:57 AM »

Final Fantasy X-2 HD.  A strange, strange game - and not just in terms of its structure, which took me three attempts at the game to really get to grips with. For all its high camp and hotpants, there's a real air of melancholy running through this.  Turns out it's not really about the characters at all, and the main storyline is perfunctory - it's there to provide you with an opportunity to travel the land of Spira, and see what happens to a world once the big bad guy's been defeated and everyone has to get on with their lives.  Every little side-quest and every conversation adds to the sense of a world that's been cut adrift, where no-one really knows what their roles are any more and everyone's splintering into different factions, and suddenly Yuna's desperate posturing looks more like a mid-life crisis than a display of Girl Power.  It's actually really sad, more so as the game progresses, and that's not even mentioning the Creature Creator, an enormous game-within-a-game that has you capturing and levelling up fiends in order to find out their story and see heartbreaking little vignettes of loss and regret.

Pharaoh.  Retro gamers are the hipsters of gaming - there's something quite arch and knowing about playing old games, and usually it's only nostalgia that really draws people back.  It's not often that an old game comes roaring out of the past and grabs you by the short and curlies.  Pharaoh is that game for me, though - an ancient Egyptian city-building game from 1999 that turns out to be absolutely brilliant in every way that counts.  It takes all of 5 minutes to adjust to the graphics (which are chunky but full of detail) and then it's just all-consuming in the way that games of this genre so often turn out to be.  Loving this.

Overcooked.  Raucous, riotous multiplayer fun that's kept me, my wife and my son all hooked as we try and complete food orders without setting fire to the kitchen or serving people raw meat.  Getting three stars on each level is a real test of co-ordination and organisation.  Easily the best local multiplayer game since Towerfall.


Final Fantasy XV.  Well, I've got it, but the PS4 is packed away for the time being and I'm concerned by reports of poor frame pacing spoiling the experience.  Hate to say it: but I should have bought the Xbox One version.

Seafall.  The latest board game epic by the genius that invented Pandemic Legacy.  Looks absolutely immense.


Building work.  Oh god, it never ends.  Currently we're living in one bedroom, there's no heating or floor in the whole ground floor of the house and everybody's giving us the runaround.  Had hoped this would be done by Christmas but I honestly don't think that's going to happen now.

Ubisoft's customer engagement.  I played half an hour of Far Cry Primal just to take a look, and Ubisoft have been spamming me relentlessly with emails ever since (presumably due to UPlay/Ubisoft Club picking up that I've played it).  Welcome to the world of Oros!  Here are your free rewards!  Check out this DLC!  Here are your stats!  FUCK OFF FUCK OFF FUCK OFF.

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