My first update in like 8 months or so
May 14, 2021

So, what am I playing now? And why am I asking myself then when I plan to type it up anyway?

Shadows of Mordor: Like with most games based around stealth, it took a little while for me to get into this one. But when I did, it's become an addiction where I run around and terrorize Orcs for no reason other than because I can. I'll play for a few hours and not advance anything related to the actual plot. Might do a weapon quest or a couple "free people" quests and collect some relics and stuff, but I'll spend more time finding fun ways to slaughter Orcs.

Trails of Cold Steel: I like this game, but it does remind me why I've had struggles with JRPGs in recent years. So, so, verbose. I can play for 2 hours and spend 1.5 of that total scrolling through dialogue. And I get the idea that it's not like anything will truly be resolved here and I don't know that I have it in me to put in the 400-500 hours it'd probably take me to get through all four games. Oh, and what is up with the guy who is the main antagonist for much of the game dying off-screen where you find out about by another villain giving a "Oh yeah, he's dead" speech? But I'm in the field study for Chapter 6, so I have to be done soon, right?

Lords of the Fallen: Low-budget Souls wanna-be. Clunkier than a FROM game (the roll just feels off in comparison), but I've fallen (heh) in love with their formula enough that I'll likely enjoy a lesser clone more than I would a higher-quality game in another genre. Just started this one. Beat the first boss and have been walking around the rampart area you do afterwards. Not overly tough due to how you can kill enemies and recharge at the checkpoint with nothing coming back (unless you die, go to another area or quit the game), so you can take out enemies, heal up and then resume killing. Unless you, say, go down into a tower, encounter a giant spider and find out it's a lot stronger and tougher than the guards and zombies you'd been fighting.

Dragon Age II: I gotta do it sometime, since I played Origins and own Inquisition. I love the world-building and setting and characterization and then enter combat and find I'm playing Generic Stupid Action-RPG #34598406678. At least it's pretty easy other than an occasional boss-level fight I have to reload a time or two on. Finished Act 1. The Rock Wraith had me for a bit. Then I finally got around to setting up self-healing tactics for my allies and that was the end of that.

Avernum 2: Crystal Souls: Been too long since I did an Avernum game. I love the freedom and how the world is basically the same as in the first game, but with changes to show the passage of time, as well as the Empire's invasion. Was worried a bit due to the game starting out fairly linear, but after a bit, things open all the way up like the first game was.

Turrican: Figured I should play something in this series at some point. Damn! Culture shock after all the more modern action titles. Enemies are small and erratic and your life goes down quickly. Have to make blind jumps all the time, stuff careens into you from off-screen. This is some unforgiving shit! Gotten through the first two levels via blood, sweet and lots of tears. Only 9-10 more to go!

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jerec jerec - May 14, 2021 (09:54 PM)
With Cold Steel, the first two games form an arc (with III & IV being their own). The off-screen death of G is weird, which is a consequence of having this game's timeline overlapping the Crossbell duology...
Genj Genj - May 15, 2021 (01:27 PM)
Lords of the Fallen is the worst Souls-like I've played and I've played unpatched Hellpoint. Clunky, awkward combat. Super ugly art style too. The Surge 1 & 2 are significantly better efforts from the same developer.

Mordor was the best Assassin's Creed I'd played until Ghost of Tsushima came out. War is complete trash.

I rushed through DA2 right before Inquisition came out because unfortunately their stories are linked. I really disliked 2 and playing it really didn't enhance my playthrough of Inquisition other than knowing who Varric is. Sadly I didn't play the DLC that is actually kind of important to a big reveal in Inquisition. So ugh, make sure you play the DLC I guess?

I've had Trails of Cold Steel 1 for 2 years and I can't bring myself to play it after reading it was like 60 hours.
overdrive overdrive - May 17, 2021 (05:38 PM)
Jerec, well, unless PS Now adds III and IV, I'd guess that the farthest I'll get is II, if I play it. Right now, I'm pretty cool/lukewarm on the concept. There's just something that isn't clicking with me. Might be the length of a game that's one portion of the overall story or it might be that overlap you mention, as this is my first Legend of Heroes or whatever it's called game.

Genj
Lords of the Fallen has one real saving grace: that you can go back to checkpoints at any time to re-heal and it doesn't cause enemies to respawn. But it just feels clunky and the first two bosses haven't impressed me. Already forgotten the first one and the second one was pretty dull with how he put up shields every time you hurt him a bit and you'd have to fight regular enemies to start fighting him again.

I did buy the DLC for DA II. For Trails, it's 60 hours probably if you just breeze through the main stuff, but there's a lot of story-telling and stuff where you can get little personal plot advancements for all sorts of side characters by talking to them throughout the game and that can really drive up the play time. Fleshes out people and stuff nicely, but, man, it can be a drag when you wind up playing for a couple hours and wind up getting very little done as far as fighting stuff or making it to dungeons.

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