Video Games You've Played Recently

We had the quarantine thread for this, but I’m interested in sharing my own recent games and also hearing what others have been playing. This can kind of be the ongoing thread like we have for movies over in Cafe Society.

I’ve been playing:

Dragon Quest XI - I beat this game with the full proper ending and it took me just under 73 hours. I’m not a “do everything” type person and this game was quite long. Anyway, it was also really excellent. I mean, it does deserve its place in the top 10 JRPG games of all time, at least of the many I’ve played. An all around great experience and if you enjoy JRPG games, this is an absolute must play. It’s as critical to the genre as Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII and X, and whatever other games you think of when you think of the genre. Stellar.

Shin Megami Tensei V - I’m actually just at the final boss of this game, but I think it is reasonable to comment. Amazing gameplay, but only an OK game to be honest. Zero character development and a very generic and bland story. No charm might be the way to describe it. I absolutely love the demon fusion system and the way this game is like “Pokemon, but for adults”, but it needs a solid story. I’ve played Persona 3 and Persona 4 and both were vastly better. Fun gameplay, really just not quite a great experience.

What have you all been playing?

I have a weekly Arma 3 night with my son, daughter and a small group of friends and acquaintances of my son’s. Usually get a squad of 6 to 8 out, it’s a hell of a good time. For context, I am in my 50s, everyone else is 30s to 40s.

Far Cry 6 is my casual play time game. It’s summer, in Manitoba, I am spending as much time outside as my work, allergies and rainfall allow, but I am slowly and enjoyably shooting my way through Yara.

I’ve been going through the Xbox game pass library lately.

Young Souls: a pretty fun side scrolling fighting type game. Finished it in about 20hrs. Kinda was sad when it was over. I tried starting it again on a higher difficulty, but I just couldn’t get into it again like I did the first time. I may try again at some later point though.

Grounded: An excellent survival type game wherein you play as a teen who got shrunk down to the size of an ant. You have explore the backyard and fight various bugs and harvest resources to keep yourself fed, watered, armed and armored. It’s still in pre-release though, so the story isn’t all there yet and there are huge chunks of unfinished yard. I put a few hundred hours into it with my friends, but we accomplished all there is to do currently. I’ll probably go back to it once it’s fully released.

Sea of Thieves: A fun pirate game where you and up to 3 of your buddies command a ship and look for treasure, or battle other crews and take their treasure. I had a lot of fun for like 150 hours, but my crew had different opinions on what was fun to them. One just wanted to go PvE and solve puzzles and dig up treasure and kill skeletons. The other just wanted to PvP and take on other crews. Eventually they both have up and playing by yourself, while doable, isn’t nearly as fun. Also, the only thing you can do with treasure is buy cosmetic stuff like clothes or fancy looking weapons or ship accessories that do absolutely nothing. I get why they did that, but after a while it’s kinda pointless.

Trek to Yomi: a very pretty black and white fighting game. It looks great and definitely feels like an old samurai movie. Unfortunately, the fighting system seemed real thin and I got bored with it after 5ish hrs. I really wanted to like it though.

Spelunky 2: like an off brand Mario brothers with rogue like levels. It’s really really tough. You can, and will, die in just a few seconds over and over again. But I found it pretty entertaining for a good 50 or so hours despite not making too much progress. Probably because I hate myself.

Dead Space: yes, it’s an old xbox360 game. But I found that it holds up well graphically. It held my attention long enough to finish it in just a few days. And I’ll probably try the sequels.

7 days to die: zombies meets Minecraft, what’s not to like? Well, for one, the graphics are pretty shite. Also the console version is like 3 or 4 yrs behind developmentally than the PC version. Also, it crashes like every 90 minutes like clockwork. And if you don’t delete your local save data before relaunching, you can find that everything you build is gone when you get back in. Anyway, me and my buddy still a decent amount of fun with it for a good 100 hours or so. But then we just sort of ran out of things to do. There’s no real goal other than to not die. But even if you do die, you just respawn. Maybe you might lose what you had in your pack, but that is often recoverable.

Generation Zero: An 80s swedish robot uprising apocalypse survival-lite game. Great atmosphere, complete with burned out 80s volvos and saabs littering the swedish wasteland. You have to find out what happened to society after you return from a camping trip (or some such,I forget the very beginning) and find that there are murderous robots patrolling the land. I really liked this game. The robots are scary and combat is satisfying. The story kinda ends meh, but it was still interesting. Spent a good 60ish hours playing it. I want to go back and finish up some new stuff I think they just added. I finished the story and I have yet to unlock the highest tier weapons.

Monster Train: A weird deck building game that is oddly addicting. I have about 24 hours in it and I’ve barely scratched the surface of it. But I did get distracted by other stuff, so I haven’t played in a while.

A Way Out: More of multiplayer interactive movie than a game. And a real cheesy and predictable movie at that. My buddy and I got it done in just over 6 hours. And it was probably 2 hours too long. But still, it was different and interesting enough for those 4 hours. The last 2 were a bit of a chore though.

Citizen Sleeper: an interesting, dice/turned based rpg. A pretty decent sci fi story with interesting mechanics. Got it done in 10 hrs, which I think was the perfect amount for this game.

Escape Academy: escape room puzzles in video game form. Except for a few puzzles, it was pretty damn easy and obvious. My buddy and got it all done in 7ish hours.

Sniper Elite 5: I’m spending a lot of time on this. Up near 300 hrs so far. There’s something really satisfying about shooting Nazis in the nuts. There’s only 8 real maps. But they are really beautiful. Going through the missions is fun in itself, especially if you coop with your buddy, but the invasion mechanic makes it all the more interesting. When you get invaded, some internet rando joins your game as a Nazi counter sniper and tries to hunt you down. It’s fun to both invade and be invaded. Then there is straight up multiplayer with death match style games. I’ve barely played that yet tho.

I’ve played numerous other games too, but this post is long enough for now.

During the pandemic I bought a Switch. It came with a copy of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and then a friend gave me a copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I found ACNH very addictive… for about 6 weeks. Then I hit a point where I was suddenly bored with it. So I started playing Zelda BOTW, having never really been into Zelda so not expecting much and having nothing else to do and… I simply can’t stop playing. It’s sooooooo good! Each time I pick it up there’s something new to explore. I have yet to discover all the shrines and Korok seeds. I’ve defeated Gannon twice – he’s easy – and reset the game to play through from the beginning 3 times. The divine beast bosses are much more difficult than Gannon.

My kids keep telling me how old the game is and how crappy the graphics are. I remind them I grew up on the SNES so BOTW is outstanding to my old eyes.

Last fall Steam had a sale on their Tomb Raider games. Something like a dozen games for $40. I loved Tomb Raider when I was a teenager so took the plunge. I played through TR1 and TR2, and gave up halfway through TR3 – it had become repetitive. TR3 had been my favorite back when it was released but now I’m not feeling the love. So I pretty much play BOTW now. There’s a sequel coming out next year and I can hardly wait.

I also played all the way through the game. I don’t have time to do that very often. As a bonus, I used the Xbox Game Pass Beta app on my tablet and played it from there, the game was perfect for that.

Previously I did the same thing with the game Backbone. Both are games heavy on story, but with simple (yet pleasant) graphics, and no need for twitch skills or a quick connection. Ideal on a device with a smaller screen and less power, and you can then play it anywhere.

(I played much of Backbone in a hotel when I was on a trip out of state to attend a friend’s wedding.)

Coincidentally, I started F.E.A.R. yesterday which is also old as dirt in video games terms (2005). It’s… acceptable graphically. Nothing “good” but I’ve played enough low-rent indie Unity games with the same level of visuals in 2022 that I can roll with it. The enemy AI is pretty good, it has some spooky moments and the story is adequate to keep me moving along. I’m having some old school fun with it. My understanding is that the sequels aren’t really worth the effort though.

I’ve gotten back into The Division 2 which I had stepped away from for about a year since development on it had died out. Then, out of nowhere, they announced a new season of content and it’s actually been some of the best stuff they’ve done in a long while. Both the story progression and the missions have been fun. Although the ‘new’ missions use old maps, it’s well done and rather challenging. Since my gear builds are already pretty well established, I can just dip in as they release new things then move on while I wait for more instead of worrying about the gear grind.

I started Guardians of the Galaxy a while ago but got distracted after a day or two and haven’t gone back. But I really should: I was having fun, it looks really good and the story/characters have been solid so far. And the friends I have who finished it all speak well of it. Just need to dive back in.

Approximately how long would you say it takes to get through backbone? I’m looking for another shorter game to dive into between Nazi ball blastings.

I think total game time to do the main story and side missions is 6 hours, give or take an hour.

Right on. I’ll give it a shot tomorrow. Thanks!

Cookie Clicker - A clicker game, hence the name. What do you do? Well, you click the cookie. Use cookies you’ve collected to spend on upgrades and buildings to make cookies automatically on an industrial scale. I personally play the Steam version which costs $5, but you can play it in your browser for free here.

Sonic Origins - A new collection of remastered versions of Sonic 1, Sonic CD, Sonic 2, and Sonic 3 & Knuckles. I got it on Switch, and even though it has many flaws in its current state, it’s still satisfying to 100% these games.

Sonic Adventure - The first true 3D Sonic game, and often argued as one of the best. While it hasn’t aged well in several aspects, I still get a kick out of the game. I definitely like it more than Adventure 2, which I just couldn’t get into.

Recently I’ve played through all the Bioshock games (all of these are on the Switch) Portal and Portal 2, Lumo and Crysis.

Tunic - At first glance it looks a lot like Zelda, but it reveals a lot of hidden depth as you get further especially in puzzle and mystery design. The twist is that 95% of the game is in a language you don’t understand, and you collect pages of an old fashioned 80s to 90s style game manual that explains both the story as well as the game mechanics and UI. If you like Zelda style games, puzzles and figuring things out for yourself, I can’t recommend this game enough. Took me about 20 hours to finish it.

Battle Chef Brigade - A fun Iron Chef style cooking competition using a mix of a match 3 puzzle-based cooking and ingredient collection 2D platformer combat. There’s a tournament arc plot line that was decently fun tying each match together. For example, you might get a 5 minute time limit to cook a dish. You can hunt animals and monsters like dragons for ingredients, which you then use in the match 3 style puzzling. Took me about 10 hours to finish.

Webbed - A physics based 2d platformer where you play the cutest spider. Took me about 4 hours.

Civilisation 5.

(I prefer turn-based games. :nerd_face: )

Across the Obelisk - It’s like a development team sat down and said, “Ok guys, we’re going to make Slay the Spire meets Darkest Dungeon but multiplayer and better” and by and large they succeeded. My friends and I have been searching Steam for a multiplayer we can relax while playing, Gloomhaven was the old go to, but I think requires too much mental energy late in the evening after a couple of beers. AtO is perfect, you always know when your turn is coming up so any of us can take piss breaks as needed, but there is still enough ‘meat’ to sometimes require careful tactical planning on your turn.

Lovely game, always on the hunt for more games similar that scratch this particular itch for my friends and I online.

This game has the best-looking water I’ve ever seen in a game. Almost nothing else even comes close.

I’ve been putting a ton of hours into Wreckfest. Hadn’t played it in a while, but a few months ago they added a “points” system and online rewards that unlock cool new cars you can’t get any other way. This is my favorite racing game I’ve ever played, and I really appreciate that they continue to add new free content.

Currently I’m replaying Pillars of Eternity. Before that, I replayed Mass Effect 3 and Shadow of War and before that I played Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Long game, very good game. If you like JRPG’s, this is a really good one. Probably one of the most complex JRPG games I’ve ever played. 25+ hours in, the game is still popping up with tutorials to teach you systems.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun and took 55 hours to complete and I did not 100% it. Well worth your money.

I am on a ‘chill game’ streak at the moment.

As of today, I have more hours in Snowrunner than I do I Fallout 4. I did not think I would like Snowrunner, but I was talked in to playing it by a kiddo. It’s actually pretty awesome, at least until you get to the later DLCs where things just get freaking stupid hard. One thing I am doing differently with Snowrunner lately, is streaming sessions to my Facebook. Nobody really watches, I get maybe 7-15 each time, but I feel like I play better when there MAY be somebody watching.

I also have started up American Truck Simulator again now that the Montana DLC is out. Another great game to just spend some non-pressure time with, while still getting a feeling of accomplishment and exploring some okay looking landscape.

We also have enjoyed speeding around Forza Horizon 5. No real goals, you can do races if you want but you by no means have to. Better landscape than ATS.

I’ve really enjoyed playing the last Elder Scrolls Online. It’s a great mix of classic Elder Scrolls gameplay with some MMO features that add a lot of depth and replayability to the game. I’m also a big fan of world design and the variety of creatures you encounter while exploring. I had played it a bit when it first came out but hadn’t played in a long while. Recently I decided to come back to it and found that they had made a lot of great updates. The world is so beautiful and well-made, and the combat is really fun. I also like how there are a lot of different things to do - from questing and exploring to crafting and PvP… I also keep an eye on new nft games, I like what I see here, but haven’t decided yet what to play next.

im playing eq 1 and 2 … and I wish they could of made a 3 that could of mixed the open worldness of 1 with the here’s some quest and an option string to follow if you want of 2 … with 2’s QOL changes