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  #1001  
Old 04-25-2014, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I bought Minecraft because I wanted to give it a second chance. My video card can't handle it. WTF.
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  #1002  
Old 04-26-2014, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I still haven't finished DS2. I've tried very hard to enjoy it like I did the first one, but I keep going back to DS1. I'm not even sure what it IS that just doesn't live up to the first game, and while your post makes a few of those points for me, I still can't come up with "THE" reason.

It's just not as good and while I will finish it, because it IS good, it's just not... I don't know, not quite what I wanted? Meh. I think I just held it to the standard of DS1 a little too hard and when it wasn't everything that Dark Souls was I was disappointed. I guess you can't catch all the lightning in a bottle every time.

Now that I think of it, it was a really unfair standard and almost impossible to recapture.
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Old 04-29-2014, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

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I still haven't finished DS2. I've tried very hard to enjoy it like I did the first one, but I keep going back to DS1. I'm not even sure what it IS that just doesn't live up to the first game, and while your post makes a few of those points for me, I still can't come up with "THE" reason.

It's just not as good and while I will finish it, because it IS good, it's just not... I don't know, not quite what I wanted? Meh. I think I just held it to the standard of DS1 a little too hard and when it wasn't everything that Dark Souls was I was disappointed. I guess you can't catch all the lightning in a bottle every time.

Now that I think of it, it was a really unfair standard and almost impossible to recapture.
It definitely does not recapture all the magic of the original, and I also have trouble putting my finger on exactly why that is. I actually like nearly all of the specific differences, so it's very frustrating to try to articulate why the whole doesn't work as well. The best I can do is to sort of vaguely gesture at two broad weaknesses.

The first is the already mentioned level design. Dark Souls had a very strong sense of place. Different areas fit together in ways that made sense, and I came to know Lordran like a familiar neighborhood. Drangleic doesn't really make a whole lot of spatial sense, and once you've traveled a given path once, there's rarely a reason to revisit it, since you can just teleport to wherever you need to go. It's less a virtual place and more a series of individual levels separated by loading screens. I can't even begin to explain how the different areas are supposed to coexist. I'm in a giant windmill, and somehow I take an elevator up and all of a sudden I'm in a castle surrounded by an ocean of lava? Is No Man's Wharf supposed to be below sea level? Bonfire placement is wonky, too, which kills the risk vs reward factor of pushing on looking for the next resting spot.

Then, second, a lot of things just feel recycled. I dig that the setting is far future Lordran, and I dig the endless cycle of death and rebirth implied by the story, but a lot of stuff from the first game just shows up for no reason, and it comes off as lazy and sloppy. Hasn't old Crestfallen here done his time? Do we really need the exact same dude moping around the hub town of every game? Levels are oddly recycled, too. Here's the Anor Londo level. Here's Blight Town (although, to be fair, the Gutter is one of my favorite levels in the new game, and the one place where I really enjoyed the new torch mechanic). Remember the Bell Gargoyles? Here you go! Speaking of bells, we'd better get a couple ringable bells in there, even if they don't do anything and aren't central to the setting like the Bells of Awakening were.

I guess I feel like this is the series' Return of the Jedi. It's not bad, but nor is it great. It's a decent installment that plays it safe instead of stretching its creative muscles, and falls short of the sublime beauty of The Empire Strikes Back.
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  #1004  
Old 05-04-2014, 01:33 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I've beat the game now and I think your post is right on the money. I won't spend the time in this that I spent in DS1... In fact I've already gone back to making DS1 builds and murdering people.
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  #1005  
Old 05-04-2014, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

Clash of Clans on my phone. It's taking fucking forever to level shit up now.
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  #1006  
Old 05-04-2014, 06:28 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I've been playing a lot of Diablo 3 again since the loot revamp and expansion release. I tell you, Diablo 2 would've been a lot less frustrating without hacks and mods if it had dropped items that 1) were actually appropriate for your level instead of only good to stash for the next character you leveled up, and 2) had decent odds of having appropriate stats.

I also tried Spore recently. I feel like I want to like this game, but everything hinges on how creative you want to be/can be in the various stages of creature design, and you end up spending most of your playtime in that rather than actually playing.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:29 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

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I've beat the game now and I think your post is right on the money. I won't spend the time in this that I spent in DS1... In fact I've already gone back to making DS1 builds and murdering people.
How is going back to DS1? I've read a couple people saying that the controls feel muddy after playing DS2.
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  #1008  
Old 05-14-2014, 11:07 PM
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I've beat the game now and I think your post is right on the money. I won't spend the time in this that I spent in DS1... In fact I've already gone back to making DS1 builds and murdering people.
How is going back to DS1? I've read a couple people saying that the controls feel muddy after playing DS2.
Honestly, to me they feel better. Maybe that was part of my problem with DS2 all along? I'm not sure, but I do notice a crisper response to the control inputs with DS1, even now, just like I did when DS2 was new.

Stay out of the Parish and Blighttown on PS3 unless you want to be killed :heart:
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  #1009  
Old 05-15-2014, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

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I bought Minecraft because I wanted to give it a second chance. My video card can't handle it. WTF.
:wha:

How is that even possible? The game looks positively primitive. Actually, I probably shouldn't say that seeing as I never played the game. It's more that it looks like it would be gentle on graphics cards for the most part.
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  #1010  
Old 05-19-2014, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I got slightly bored with my Dark Souls 2 replay so, while sitting on an all night conference call over the weekend, went back to...


...wait for it...


Demon's Souls. It took a little getting used to, but I took out Phalanx on the first try and have since defeated the Tower Knight and gotten far enough through the Stonefang Tunnel to unlock the blacksmith without ever losing human form. It's interesting how much more refined the game systems have become over the course of the series, but how much of the core gameplay is already there in Demon's Souls.
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  #1011  
Old 06-06-2014, 12:27 AM
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Yup.
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  #1012  
Old 06-20-2014, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

Damn you! Now I must buy Wii U. Damnit!
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  #1013  
Old 06-23-2014, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

Hearthstone has been sucking way more time than I thought.
It's like magic online if magic online was balanced, free and fun.

The free to play aspect is quite nice and it's possible to use challenge gained gold to build a decent deck, destroying unwanted cards to craft better ones. There are 8 different 'heros' which have individual powers and cards specific to their decks. Right now I've been building a Warlock deck, which is the hero built around demons and self harm. At first it seems to be a strange choice, but the advantage gained through card draw (his power is to deal 2 damage to himself and draw a card) quickly makes up for it.

In a brilliant move there is also no in game chat system, instead you communicate with your opponent through a set of 6 predefined emotes.

I'm slightly too excited that the custom card back gained through reaching rank 20 this month (which is not hard) is rainbows. Both custom backs and gold cards are part of the semi-premium content, which luckily has no affect on game play besides aesthetics.
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  #1014  
Old 06-23-2014, 06:07 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

Yeah, I thought they did a good job with that. I haven't played much, 'cause it's not my scene, but I liked what I saw.
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Old 06-23-2014, 07:30 AM
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I took a break for a while and picked Hearthstone back up today- the mechanics are pretty smooth and the free-to-play is nice. I did have to go through a learning curve on deck building and card usage in game vs different roles and aggro vs control decks, decisions on what to build my deck around, viable combos, etc.
I still play infrequently and don't push too far up the ladder. I thought it was interesting though that casual play I would get hard losing streaks- sometimes playing a bad deck, sometimes a bad draw, but a lot of times just outplayed by someone... but in ranked because you just battle others close to your rank my win rate actually went up. Still just building decks from in-game gold, free-to-play all the way.

Arena I get my ass handed to me and it always seems like my opponent is playing an Arena deck where they got five legendaries, and I'm playing like a hunter deck with no release the hounds in the 90 possible cards offered during the selection process, and no legendaries. Whee.
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  #1016  
Old 06-26-2014, 05:10 AM
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So I tried this out since you mentioned it (and wasted a bunch of my time over the past few days).
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Hearthstone has been sucking way more time than I thought.
It's like magic online if magic online was balanced, free and fun.
It is free.

But I think Magic Online is fun. Balance... well, that depends on what you play on MTGO. I think MTGO would benefit from some kind of matchmaking system though. The combination of play skill and available cards makes it a little trickier - some people have a lot of money and not a lot of skill. But if you make an expensive, easy-to-play deck, it can still trump that. Some decks are so powerful that even in the hands of an inferior player, they'll be tough to beat. Burn decks are the prototypical example of this, but some like Lorwyn Standard Faeries were just beastly due to the raw power of Bitterblossom. Obviously a weak player with an expensive Faeries deck would have been beatable - if you have a decent deck. A strong player with that deck - it was pointless to play with anything but a tournament level deck and even then it was still favored.

I think I'm a pretty good player but I don't spend enough money or time to construct really good competitive decks. I could get better cards through trading, but I don't feel that I'm great at that/it takes awhile to find people who will make favorable trades.

But if you play in drafts, then you have pretty good balance. Which is why that's the only competitive format I really play. It's definitely a lot more expensive than Hearthstone though. MTGO drafts are relatively competitive though, I have to say. I do alright, but when I go play at local stores, the difference is huge. I've won the last three times I've gone (last time I went, I went 10-0 with my sealed deck).

As for fun... well, this game is pretty good. But it definitely seems a lot shallower than Magic.

You have only one kind of permanent. You have little you can do to interact on the opponent's turn, and even then a wary opponent will ferret out your secrets. Creatures only can attack or have triggered abilities. Since you directly attack all creatures, you have to rely on taunt in order to protect utility creatures, significantly reducing the design space for utility creatures (although they could give a utility creature stealth... which could be really annoying).
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I thought it was interesting though that casual play I would get hard losing streaks- sometimes playing a bad deck, sometimes a bad draw, but a lot of times just outplayed by someone... but in ranked because you just battle others close to your rank my win rate actually went up.
Yeah, I had the same experience. They might as well just change it to "rank matched" vs. "totally random". Alternatively, they could balance this by keeping a hidden lifetime ranking which is used for casual matchmaking.

I read that since ranks get reset every month "season", ranked matches won't necessarily be easier early in the month.
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Arena I get my ass handed to me and it always seems like my opponent is playing an Arena deck where they got five legendaries, and I'm playing like a hunter deck with no release the hounds in the 90 possible cards offered during the selection process, and no legendaries. Whee.
I think they have some balance issues there. As far as the claim that MTGO is less balanced than this game... well, not sure that applies to Arena vs. Magic drafts.

In a Magic draft, your opponents are drawing from the same pool of cards. Definitely your opponents can get lucky by opening some bombs, but after the first few picks of a pack, the random advantage decreases. Also, after you've settled into a color, you may have to pass up some bombs that come your way because they don't fit in your deck (or you might burn a pick on them because you just want them - then your deck suffers).

The Arena does not have this balancing factor. So you could go up against someone who simply saw a much higher quality pool of cards.

The other factor that I would guess leads to an imbalance is the fact that you get to play your Arena deck indefinitely until you get 3 losses. Well, you know what that means. The luckier you got in the drafting portion, the easier it will be for you to go many games without losing. If you get unlucky, or made poor decisions, you will be eliminated quickly. Hence if there are enough cannon fodder players joining the Arena to sustain it, the quality of decks that avoid elimination will be pretty high. Of course, eventually these ridiculous decks will randomly face each other, so they can't go on forever.

At least, relative to the price of packs, the rewards seem decent. I only won one match my first time in the Arena (my opponents had some pretty huge bombs), but I still got a pack + a little bit extra. So the difference between applying the price of admission to packs was less than a full pack. I assume with two wins, you break even or better.

My long play history with Magic did make this relatively quick to pick up, however. The only issue I'm having at the moment is figuring out the balance of creatures to spells and the mana curve. I have that pretty well figured out in Magic, but the dynamics are pretty different in this game. It seems you have to be much more creature heavy since the combat mechanics make it much easier to ensure that a creature dies. Whereas in Magic, one of the biggest lessons a beginner needs to learn is not to block all the time, because board position is often more important than 2 or 3 life early in the game... you don't get the option to keep your creatures alive in this game.

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  #1017  
Old 06-26-2014, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

Yeah I can see Hearthstone being a bit different given how heavily turn based it is, compared to Magic (I should say I played Magic Online when it first came out and then quickly gave it up, so I haven't seen it in quite awhile).

The arena is an interesting crazy random crapshoot, I do wish there was a third option of play that forced you to choose from a small constant set, or even pre-created decks so that it was more about skill than random luck. The arena doesn't go on forever, after 12 wins you are given the top prize and booted back to the start, so a lucky card draw doesn't go on forever.

I expect the game dynamics to get more complex over time, it is still a pretty new game after all. Coming soon will be a player vs AI set of quests that will also introduce new cards, mostly focusing around deathrattles.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:36 AM
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Yeah I can see Hearthstone being a bit different given how heavily turn based it is, compared to Magic (I should say I played Magic Online when it first came out and then quickly gave it up, so I haven't seen it in quite awhile).
Oh, that's forever ago.

The client is currently much better than it was 9 years ago (when I first signed on). I've rarely had it crash on me since they replaced the old one. It still needs some work. Actually, they should be changing over to a new client pretty soon. It's been in beta forever (since 2012!). You can get the new client if you prefer instead of using the old one.

But the core mechanics of Magic remain, so the client doesn't really affect it if you don't think the game itself is fun/balanced/affordable.
Quote:
The arena is an interesting crazy random crapshoot, I do wish there was a third option of play that forced you to choose from a small constant set, or even pre-created decks so that it was more about skill than random luck. The arena doesn't go on forever, after 12 wins you are given the top prize and booted back to the start, so a lucky card draw doesn't go on forever.
Well, that's good. It still seems that would bias the deck quality to be relatively high though...

A lifetime ranking system would help for that too, so it could avoid putting a new player entering the Arena for the first time against an experienced player.
Quote:
I expect the game dynamics to get more complex over time, it is still a pretty new game after all. Coming soon will be a player vs AI set of quests that will also introduce new cards, mostly focusing around deathrattles.
Yeah, if they continue to introduce new cards the strategy could get deeper.

I'm currently sitting on an Arena deck I went 2-0 with earlier today (I went Hunter and got 4 Buzzards and 2 Hyenas plus some various other goodies, so it's pretty synergistic and I can recover from a board wipe pretty quickly if I play my cards right). I'll reserve judgment on how easy it is to earn new cards until I see my rewards for that.

So far my approach to getting the right mana curve is to let the client fill out my deck automatically, then switch out cards by mana cost. It sometimes chooses strictly weaker cards, e.g. picking the 1 mana, 2/1 Murloc Raider (no abilities) over the 1 mana, 2/1 Abusive Sergeant (beneficial battlecry). But I trust it to at least balance the mana costs decently.
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  #1019  
Old 06-28-2014, 07:40 PM
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I do wonder just how old/mature some of the people I play against are. Is it just me or do a lot of people 'concede' rather than allow you to deal a death blow. Most of the time it happens on their turn once they realize they can't win, but recently it happened in between hitting them with one minion and hitting them with the final minion. It's fascinating, as if conceding is somehow better for their fragile ego than actually being 'beaten' even though it's in effect the same thing.

Edit to add: After reading a hearthstone thread it does seem like it's an attempt at final 'punishment' for winning. Justified as 'you're wasting time' , 'by playing out a whole hand you are being a dick, so I will be a dick back, but my dickishness is justified' oow and my favorite is 'allowing them to deal the final blow instead of admitting defeat is unsportsmanlike conduct!'

Maybe it's this way in many other games too, but I've found it interesting and funny.

Last edited by Ari; 06-28-2014 at 08:01 PM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:55 PM
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I'll concede if it becomes obvious I can't win, I consider it the same as conceding in chess. I once conceded in the middle of my opponent's turn, but in my defense they had a truly obnoxious deck, and they were dragging it out, pecking me with all the little stuff first instead of just delivering the coup de grāce.

ETA: I had an opponent kill themselves once, when they knew it was over. They used their hero to attack a minion that would finish them off. I decided I could respect that.
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  #1021  
Old 07-11-2014, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I don't think this really counts as a video game, but I downloaded Hearthstone. I am lousy at card games. I don't have the patience for it.
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Old 07-12-2014, 05:19 PM
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And now it's time to be king of this banana stand. Downloading Tropico 5. I've been meaning to get it and I guess today's the day.

Edit-aaand I need to update my graphics card for this. Fuck you. I can run DirectX 11.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
I do wonder just how old/mature some of the people I play against are. Is it just me or do a lot of people 'concede' rather than allow you to deal a death blow. Most of the time it happens on their turn once they realize they can't win, but recently it happened in between hitting them with one minion and hitting them with the final minion. It's fascinating, as if conceding is somehow better for their fragile ego than actually being 'beaten' even though it's in effect the same thing.

Edit to add: After reading a hearthstone thread it does seem like it's an attempt at final 'punishment' for winning. Justified as 'you're wasting time' , 'by playing out a whole hand you are being a dick, so I will be a dick back, but my dickishness is justified' oow and my favorite is 'allowing them to deal the final blow instead of admitting defeat is unsportsmanlike conduct!'

Maybe it's this way in many other games too, but I've found it interesting and funny.
Sometimes I go ahead and complete the turn and let the person deliver the death blow, but a lot of times once I know I'm defeated I just concede. The reason for this is 50% or more of the times I give someone the opportunity to deliver the death blow they delay- wait 10-20 seconds before acting- run a bunch of taunts- or they trot out all the rest of their cards, etc., instead of just killing me off. So I'm fine with someone conceding just to be done and move on to the next game, and I concede rather than wait for the death blow about 80% of the time.

I played a straight-up troll the other day who would take their action early in the turn and then run out the clock to the last second- every single turn (except for the final turn when they conceded). Psych warfare.

I like the Naxxramas card additions and new content, though I haven't built a deck to try to defeat the villains on hardcore yet, and I'm saving up in-game gold to play the newer quarter. Some of the new cards are underwhelming but a couple are getting heavy rotation and work into combos really well.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

Indeed it's annoying when people sit there instead of finishing it and there are certainly times conceding makes sense, I've just been surprised at how common it is, especially in between one blow and the death blow.

I generally never concede, but will certain fall on my blade if there's no other options (using a hero weapon to attack a giant taunt, etc.) Sometimes if it's been a close match I'll take a full turn before dealing the death blow just in case I wasn't paying attention and something triggers and screws me, but it's always a hasty turn.

Some of the new cards are quite interesting and it's been cool to see the new combos and failed attempts (yes mage, spend 4 mana trying to crack your egg to get a 4/4 for 6 total mana so I can destroy it...) it's also got me running more silences (well any silences) than I used to.
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Old 09-04-2014, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

L.A. Noire

I bought this more than a year ago. I couldn't play it at the time because it was a crappy port from console to PC. It's still a crappy port but I found some switches that dealt with the problems I was having. It doesn't help that my PC hasn't changed much since I first tried it and even then I was scraping by with the just under recommended specs.

Three years after release it's easy to forget the technological achievement the game represents. The face capture of real people so that the hook of the game could work. Even with settings reduced, I think it's still a nifty trick. It's a shame that I mostly stink at the chief gameplay element.

It's 1947, Los Angeles, California. You take on a role as Cole Phelps, policeman, husband, father and returning war hero. You search crime scenes, interview witnesses, chase suspects and yell at people when you choose the wrong response. It's jarring and hilarious when a little old lady tries to shade the truth and you threaten her with obstruction in the loudest voice possible.

Anyhow, aside from walking around crime scenes waiting for the magnifying lense to appear (indicating you maybe found an important clue), you get to question people and pretend to be a human lie detector. When Cole Phelps pulls out his notebook and asks a POI a question, the person (witness or suspect) answers and you have to determine if they are telling the TRUTH, if you DOUBT what they have to say or if you caught them in a LIE. The sticker is DOUBT and LIE look the same, the only difference being you have to back up an accusation of lying. Sometimes I'd do okay. And then there were times when I was just so crap at it.

Fortunately, I was never bad enough to get a 1 star rating. My worst is 2 and it only happened twice. The second time was a weird bug. I had two suspects and I had to accuse one of them of the crime. I wanted to point the finger at one guy, but the game didn't give me that option. So when I accuse the only guy I could, it was the wrong answer. I'm still p mad about that.

There's sort of an over arching story running throughout the game, but I didn't necessarily care about it. It does involve Phelps hiding or running from some war troubles, but most of it involves other men he knew from the war doing things. I probably shouldn't tell you that it's more like a serious treatment of the Big Plot from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Which I only just thought about. But it does.

The smaller stories of individual cases or desk-arcs played out better than the big story. If you haven't played the game or watched any videos, I do want to warn you about the graphic nature of the Homicide Desk cases. I'm used to the PG+ rated games or more stylized types of violence. I'm not even used to paying attention to the ratings of games. LA Noire is rated as M17, which I don't know any parent would want their babbys to play. But there it is. Which, how terribly American am I, right? I'm pretty much murdering scores of people by shooting them in the face ("justifiably") but a little corpse nudity bothered me.

Here's a Playlist for all of the missions.

I was using that to critique my own performance. When I was done with a session, I'd watch the corresponding videos to see how it was supposed to be done.
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