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Old 10-11-2017, 07:53 AM   #451
Blastoise
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Originally Posted by Maskerade View Post
So, not worth it?
I'll let you know once I'm actually deeper into the game and have gotten to play around with the actual fortress/siege mechanics: the series has a really weird need to gate the main draw behind absurdly long intro/tutorial areas.
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Old 10-13-2017, 01:02 AM   #452
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Get!

Cuphead: I've been playing for like 2 hours and I'm very bad at videogames so I'm only on the second area.

Cook, Serve, Delicious 2!!!: Oh my god. So I think I've spoken about how much I love the first game, it was such a good timewaster when I was bored. This one is the first one but like amped up to stupid degrees. The new holding stations are a welcome addition, actually keeping me on my toes.

Playing

Persona 5: This is my second playthrough so I'm breezing by, I just did the 6th palace and I literally have no idea what happened but according to the Thieves Guild thing I was 4 levels ahead of average and now I'm 11 levels behind the average. Like sure Jan that's fine. (I know for a fact I'm a higher level than the last time I played. This is a fresh save but I remember doing certain things during the "last" palace --- as in not Mementos but the last mandatory story palace, that I'm already done at this point in the ga,e)
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Old 10-14-2017, 01:25 PM   #453
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Played: Tales of Berseria

I tried, I did! It was my first Tales game, and as I understand from online reviews, one of the best within its universe. But I just couldn't get into it - combat was repetitive despitw the steady inclusion of new party members, and cutting through hordes of stuff like a hot knife through butter gets old insanely fast. In 25h of gameplay, I didn't need to chuck a single restorative item. Also, maybe it's just a case of me having outgrown the genre, but I'll be damned of this game doesn't tick all the cliché anime character tropes out there. I don't mind a little anime angst in my RPGs, but when it's all you ever get from your protagonist, it stops working really, really fast...
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Old 10-15-2017, 06:32 PM   #454
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Get: Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions

I haven't touched minion mode and likely won't ever, as it's basically a Mario-themed Meownster Hunters from MH4U disguised as a strategy mini game. What I came for was the chance to play superstar saga on an actual console, and I have not been disappointed. Enemies have gotten a bit tougher, but in return, SEVERAL QoL improvements from the original are present. Can't get that A-then-B timing down in stardust fields? Now you can make both bros jump simultaneously with the X button, and you can even do this when the person in front is set to hammer or do some other action so that you don't have to switch them back every time you need to take the bros up a ledge. Advance Bros moves now manifest as separate "Super" Bros moves, so you no longer need to figure out how to actually trigger advances once you get them-they're separate moves now, at the cost of a little extra BP (Super Splash Bros will dock you six compared to four for regular). Bros attacks can be practiced while in battle as well, so if you find yourself struggling to master your new Super Move, you can practice right away.

Also the minecart mini game isn't a trashy timesink waste of effort anymore, though that might just be me actually having physical buttons more than it is there not being as many of the stupid trip rocks.

Overall very much recommend.
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Old Yesterday, 12:50 AM   #455
Blastoise
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I'll let you know once I'm actually deeper into the game and have gotten to play around with the actual fortress/siege mechanics: the series has a really weird need to gate the main draw behind absurdly long intro/tutorial areas.
PROTIP: Rush the main story missions until you hit Act 2 and get access to Domination. You can come back to the first two areas at any time, so you're not missing anything by skipping collecting elf bear asses until later.

Beat: Middle Earth: Shadow of Spider Tits (68 hours because I keep spending hours hunting down the perfect ork only to fatfinger the inputs and execute them instead, no it's you who has the problem)

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IT WAS HIS FORT IT WAS ALWAYS HIS FORT I NEVER WANTED THE FORT
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=(



Alright, let's get this shit out of the way first:

Stupid Sexy Shelob LOOT BOXES

I was on a media blackout for this game and even I heard about the fucking loot boxes. Polygon added fuel to the fire in their review by saying that the endgame missions (where you fight a series of fortress defense missions against ever stronger attackers) was structured to "incentivize" you to buy loot boxes, and given that the pre-release orc shopkeeper greedily rubbed his hands together while you were browsing everyone was expecting the worst.

It turns out that loot boxes are bad and dumb in a $60 game, but in a twist worthy of M. Night Shamalamadingdong Polygon are also bad and dumb at games journalism!

1. The Polygon reviewer probably blows all his money IRL on blow up dolls and My Little Pony sex toys

So the game has two currencies, Mirian (the "F2P" currency) and gold (the "P2W" currency, which you can also earn in tiny quantities from daily quests because WB is desperately hoping for the "first hit is free" effect used by F2P games). It's correct that you wind up spending a large amount of Mirian on upgrading your fortresses (about 14k-15k or so per fort, with four forts total to upgrade), but beyond that there are no actual meaningful Mirian sinks so you quickly accumulate huge amounts that burn a hole in your pocket and that you can use to smash the Skinner box lever once you hit endgame (I ended with about 90k, with the F2P boxes selling for 1.5k). The only way you'll be short of cash is if you buy loot boxes 24/7 and/or if you refuse to sell all the equipment drops you'll get like a hoarder refusing to part with his novelty McDonald's cup collection.

2. Sauron throwing hordes of orc captains at you is about as effective as throwing Skittles at a fat kid

Attacks against your forts are led by orc captains, which you can dominate like any other captain in the game (and you'll want to, because even at worst it's another body helping you fight one of the other 12+ captains you'll have to chew through to win). You can use these recruits to replace anyone who gets ganked, and it got to the point that I was using pit fights to cull the herd, level the captains I wanted to keep, and make room for more for the next siege.

3. Just because you pulled a Legendary Orc from a booster pack doesn't mean it's not a Wood Elemental

Orcs come in rarities, because of course they do. The difference is that Epic and Legendary captains roll unique skills not available to their more common counterparts: epic captains get one, legendaries get two.

This doesn't guarantee that the legendary captain will roll something that's all that useful (Poison/Fire/Curse Warder, woo) or that you won't get shitty weaknesses (yay, Fire Warder on a captain that's mortally vulnerable to fire!). Common captains with good/decent abilities will wind up being your Lightning Bolts: deeply unsexy, but a useful backbone to build around.

Also, if you only care about the story (and not the goofy competitive online siege mode), then finding good captains gets easier since you can ignore any weaknesses that the AI is unable to trigger (e.g. Stealth, Executions, etc.).

4. That said, loot boxes work against the game's raison d'etre (or, Loot Boxes:Shadow of War::Polygon:Games Journalism)

This is Golm:

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I beheaded Golm in a story mission only to later have him jump me while I was in the middle of another fight, his head crudely bolted back on to his neck. He wound up getting his revenge, as he caught me in a hairball and I was too dumb to run. Liking his pepper, I hunted him down, dominated him, and made him my bodyguard, and after taking the region's fort I made him Overlord. He eventually died in a pit fight to some random orc, a victim of the leveling grind. Go with whoever is orc god, you crazy bastard.

Early in the game I also ran into a grunt Olog (whom I don't have a picture of, alas) who killed me and broke my sword, taunting me as I bled out. Mad about having my sweet sword broken, I hunted him down and had my revenge. Then, while going about my business, he hunted me down, this time crudely stitched back together by orc surgeons and bragging about his immortality. I wanted to add him to my crew, but he wound up killing me and getting promoted to warchief, leveling up in the process and out of my ability to dominate him. Deciding I wanted the fort more than another lackey, I subverted his bodyguards and had them lead him into an ambush, and after a grinding 3v1 human and orc on olog gangbang he was finally put down for good.

This is some duder I got out of a loot box.

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He has good abilities, and he looks cool I guess. To quote Achewood, this orc is like a perfectly adequate used car that I sold to a complete stranger.

So really, ignore the fact that Polygon reviewers spend thousands of dollars shoving Pinkie Pie figurines up their rectums: loot boxes turn the Nemesis system into a random orc generator, which is not where the system's strengths lie.

Holy shitballs, a segue into Nemesis system chat

So, I don't think it's a stretch to say that Monolith/WB realized they had something special on their hands with Shadow of Mordor (even if a lot of it was more potential than something concrete: I went back and played through SoM again earlier this year and was struck by how perfunctory the Nemesis system was with a couple years of hindsight and distance). That said, I'm not sure they entirely know what to do with it, because Shadow of War alternates between working in harmony with the Nemesis system and trying its damnedest to fuck it all up.

The biggest change is that the Nemesis system is--for lack of a better term--more proactive: in Mordor you had to babysit the fucking thing to really get anything out of it, whereas in War it will make itself known in various and sometimes surprising ways. You'll sneak up on a captain's duel hoping to interfere, only to be jumped by another captain who was stalking you the entire time. Captains will get word of you interrogating worms for their weaknesses and hunt you down instead. You'll call for your bodyguard only to have them reveal that they're betraying you because you're a boring white dude tied to the spirit of the biggest dickbag elf outside of a 40k Dark Eldar sourcebook. And you'll be ambushed by an orc who's extremely mad that you put way too much poison in the grog ("haven't you heard of supersaturation?").

Also, there are orc bards, who wield lutes like El Kabong and speak in verse. Poorly.

Mordor was at its best when it was letting goofy little emergent stories like this emerge, and War throws more events and flags into the mix to see what comes out. The game paces them well enough that they don't generally wear out their welcome, but they keep things from becoming too rote as you traverse the overworld and keep you on your toes, since the game is harder than SoM and learning how to manage hairballs when a pissed off captain arrives to get revenge for his blood brother adds a sense of danger that was missing in the first entry.

This is, IMO, where part of the animus against Act IV (where you hold the line against Sauron in a series of fort defenses) comes from. A major part is that it's grindy as fuck (a total of twenty defense missions without much else to break up the repetition, and later missions require you to cut through 5-6 warchiefs with 2-3 bodyguards each), but the other part is that it's like a Dynasty Warriors game* with only generic captains that got one mention in Romance of the Three Kingdoms: you haven't met the attacking captains before, you never will again, and it's hard for a captain to leave much of an impression when you still have to cut down 10 of his buddies to win. The fact that the optimal strategy is to hang out inside your fort, leveling captains through pit fights and only rarely venturing out because you have to help one pet a Caragor or whatever also means that the Nemesis system doesn't really have any opportunity to throw an interesting or memorable situation at you.

The rest of the game follows this pattern: when it plays to the strengths of the Nemesis system (one mainline quest ends with you fighting the zombies of captains you'd killed up to that point, which for me included the sad sack I had shamed down to level 1 to fuck with him simply because I could), things are awesome. When you're following an NPC who's talking like you've done in Assassin's Creed a million billion times, it sucks ass.

(And the DLC sounds like it's going to be the same type of story missions about NPCs you don't care about while more or less ignoring the Nemesis system like Mordor's did, so lol)

tl;dr if you liked the Nemesis system in the first game, this is worth a look. If you thought the series was the child Arkham Asylum and AssCreed left in a dumpster, pass.

*
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It's also a bit like Dynasty Warriors in that late game captains have few (if any) weaknesses to exploit: like Dynasty Warriors it can become tedious to try and chip away at a captain's health because they are immune/block nearly everything you can do and you don't have any real options to open them up.
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