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RoHitman Reigns

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Just about finished in the Citadel. Notice there's a party member I haven't picked up yet, looks like a Salarian. Do I pick them up later?

Also how necessary is it to have a biotic on my fireteam?

Also, I'm glad the Council doesn't care that in the three hours Commander Commander Shepard has been on the Citadel there have been no less than five firefights. Though to be fair only the last one was her fault.

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Salarian team mate doesn't happen until the second game. I don't remember if it is the same character or not, though.

I recommend having a biotic on your team. You can live without one, but it will make things much easier.

 

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Rocket League Progression update with Rocket Pass Premium is my favourite thing right now because I'm actually no where as good as I should be and I play at a lower level where I'm good enough to get a lot of points. 

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Cities: Skylines is on sale over at Steam if anyone is interested. Quality game if you like Sim City.

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It's curious how series like SimCity, Rollercoaster Tycoon and Harvest Moon have lost their lustre, but other companies have produced different games that are faithful to their spirit. With Cities: Skylines, Planet Coaster and Stardew Valley all selling well without established licences, it's good to see that the opportunity is there for new IPs based on old ones to fill the void.

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I think for all three of those titles you can make a different case as to why they dropped off the map.

For SimCity, it was the long wait between titles, and also a forced focus on simplification and making it marketable to as many people as possible, and also connecting everything through an online platform. It basically alienated SimCity loyalists whilst also not appealing to non-fans because they're simply not into city builders. 

Meanwhile Cities Skylines just delivered what the hardcore city builders wanted, a strong supply/demand style city builder, but also an extremely detailed traffic simulation for people to really sink their teeth in. Cherry on top was full mod support that allowed people to pretty much make anything, or change anything about the gameplay itself. The devs in the meantime have focused on organically adding new features to the game, albeit that's been hit or miss because the base game was extremely well rounded as is.

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RollerCoaster Tycoon was the last franchise to die after the Tycoon boom, RCT3 was really good but the 3D wasn't well received by everyone (me included). Atari was circling the drain as a publisher, and as such the series lay dormant for close to a decade before Atari fucked everything up by releasing a disgusting MTX heavy mobile game that caused massive outrage in gaming circles. RCT: World two years ago was a dud too.

But the RCT3 dev never stopped developing, those guys went on to make Planet Coaster, and a little title called Elite: Dangerous. They used the profit gained by the latter to fund the former, and what they did was pretty much make RCT3 but grown up in every way, go balls out with the customization, and again rather than simplifying the game they focused on the same core values, whilst once more giving near full customization to the players... Some of the player made parks are simply stunning.

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Harvest Moon and Natsume has been relatively strong going even in recent years, but they've always missed out on one core market, and that was PC gamers. Also their recent titles have added lots of puzzle-ish elements to the series that kinda dilute the feel of what they're trying to do.

Meanwhile Stardew Valley's dev went full old-school and focused on all the classic parts of Harvest Moon, and adding more modern stuff (dungeon crawling) next to it. The sprites are simple, there's no real story other than what the people in town have to say, and they let you do whatever you want. And the dev released it on PC to a horde of eager gamers that wanted Harvest Moon on PC, and even gave it a very fair price tag of 20 bucks that made it affordable to a huge market of serious to casual gamers.

Also the dev has always been in contact with the player base, taking suggestions and adding stuff like Multiplayer and a plethora of other features to the game in the past few years. He pretty much saw a market and took it for his own. Again, it's about a dev knowing the userbase and instead of making things needlessly special, they kept it simple and went further from there.

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2 minutes ago, Apsham said:

Harvest Moon is a different story as well. The REAL Harvest Moon games, Story Of Seasons are still excellent quality.

Yeah, that too. There's like three franchises of Harvest Moon titles. Harvest Moon which has become super casual, Story of Seasons which is more about the life simulation, and then there's Rune Factory that's all about dungeon crawling and fantasy elements.

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21 minutes ago, Jasonmufc said:

Again, it's about a dev knowing the userbase and instead of making things needlessly special, they kept it simple and went further from there.

That's the thing that strikes me most about the current state of affairs. There's an appetite for modern versions of building/creation games, and I feel as though they thrive when they're made by, and published under, people who realise that the people asking for them want the essence of the games to be the same, albeit perhaps with a few modern conveniences that come with technological advancement.

While we're talking about a different genre, I'll be interested to see how a new Timesplitters pans out, if it happens. Of the old Free Radical team, I think only one member (the audio designer) is still there (although it's called Dambuster Studios now). The people calling for the return of the series want it to remain true to what made the originals fun, but could be those in Koch Media pushing for a new version to adopt some of the aspects of modern shooters. In and of itself, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but you can end up doing yourself a disservice by straying too far from what made a series tick to attempt to reach a wider audience.

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I think the thing is that there's a clear market for all sorts of strategy and simulation/tycoon type games, the market never left. But the business got bigger and bigger and as a result the major publisher simply don't see the type of money in such projects that they expect in any of their projects.

Major pubs like EA/Activision/Ubisoft/etc. are only interested in delivering spectacles that doesn't just cost a lot of money to develop, but will rake in a huge amount of money. The pure bottom line be damned, they got a reputation to uphold of every game they deliver being some sort of mind-blowing experience (even if it isn't). Big gaming publisher have become very much like big movie studios, where everything needs to be a blockbuster or Oscar winning title.

In the absence of the major names not investing into that field anymore, small timers have stood up. Either people from defunct studios taking a gamble by fundraising (ex. Pillars of Eternity) a 'niche' title together. Or tiny teams (or a singular person) creating something for themselves (Minecraft, Stardew Valley). Every time the market is there, people make millions or even billions in the case of Notch/Minecraft. But the major publishers aren't jumping into the niche market anyways, because again, all they want is blockbusters and indie titles aren't interesting for shareholders.

I mean Stardew Valley has sold 3.5 million units, which at 20 bucks a piece is 70M (of course lots were sold in bundles or on sale, but still). But 70 million is still peanuts, even if the gross profit compared to its development costs are astronomical.

It's weird, but I like the market as it is right now. There's smaller devs focusing on delivering a focused product for a smaller demographic, and there's major devs chucking hundreds of millions into boondoggles looking for the next smash-hit IP to be milked into oblivion... And between the cracks there's smaller AA/AAA devs making genre-defining masterpieces, like Guerilla with Horizon: Zero Dawn, or Naughty Dog with Uncharted/TLOU.

It's really a golden age of game development, of course, if you ignore all the utter trash that is still shoved onto the mobile market, facebook, or even Steam. :D 

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I really want another Transport Tycoon Deluxe. I still play the OpenTD version of it. 

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56 minutes ago, Jasonmufc said:

Major pubs like EA

Quote

The pure bottom line be damned, they got a reputation to uphold

 

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I mean - everything aside about EA memes and stuff - they were still the 8th largest studio for publishing revenue and that list is flooded with non-traditionals like Google and Apple at this point. They're still the go to for a lot of companies looking to license their products so in that sense, they've still got one hell of a reputation. Plus they still just flat out have good games under their belts for better or for worse.

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I was talking more in a sense of reputation in the way 'normal' gamers and people look at EA. As bad as their business practice is towards consumers, they make money and they make blockbuster titles. They own a monopoly on all major sports titles except the NBA, and year in year out they make disgusting amounts of dollars.

For all intents, when EA announces an upcoming game, gamers listen, Investors listen, and they make a lot of money. They fucked up more things than any other publisher combined, but ultimately they're still the biggest player on the market when it comes to selling units and making bank.

And in the example I was giving, EA doesn't do small time, not like they used to in the past. They do major franchise titles, and major triple A IP's that may or may not become the next best thing. Their entire business reputation is built on it, and their entire gamer reputation is built on it. People have a good laugh at "EA BAD!" memes all the time, but even hardcore gamers ultimately buy EA titles because through all the shit there's plenty good they've released in the past years.

I think the biggest change in the past decade or so is the rise of indie AAA, or as close to indie as you can get. Developers that produce AAA titles but not for a mainstream audience. Naughty Dog, Guerilla Games, CDProjekt, and Rockstar Games (although the latter is slipping into EA territory with their shark card bullshit). Developers who develop big time blockbuster titles, but the type that ultimately get mainstream attention because they're genre-defining rather than being specifically made for the lowest denominator. Especially for the first two it has mostly been Sony bankrolling them for their own library, but those studios still make a very small range of franchises (in some cases, only one), and they all tend to be console pushers.

CDProjekt of course being everyone's beloved developer right now, and for good fucking reason too.

But yeah, I still reiterate my point that it's a golden time to be a gamer. There's a niche for everyone, whether that's grand strategy, sports titles, (sim) racing games, adventures, RPG's. I think the only part of this century that had a denser rate of classic titles is 2004-2007, but I think nowadays there's just more choice for everyone. Whether you like to dig up dirt in Stardew Valley, take over the world in Europa Universalis, be a legendary sportsball player in any of the sports titles, or anything else.

Then on top of all that, but not included in all this, is the golden age of boardgaming that's also ongoing.

With the internet being so widespread now, and platforms like Steam being all grown up, it's become easier than ever for a genre to find a player base, and a player base to find their game.

Edited by Jasonmufc

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Would anyone recommend Academia: School Simulator? I just noticed it's on sale and I remember a youtuber gamer I like making it seem fun a while back.

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Just played through Guacamelee. That was an enjoyable game, with some challenges in there. I dug it! Not enough to go through it again to find those orbs for the good ending (thank you, youtube). And really, that's likely the first Metroidvania game I ever beat.

 

Also, apparently I made the top 1600 for time . 

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Seriously considering buying a whole new PC just to play XCom 2 (and maybe other stuff).  I have a friend who can build it for me, and I'm gonna give him the run down of what I need and let him tell me what I should get based on that... I literally have no idea what it will end up costing in the end, probably more than I should spend.

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Well now is a better-ish time than a while back to get a card that'll last you with the new cards coming out and the bitcoin mining bullshit dying down a bit.

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kCOHtEY.jpg

For those wondering, my Paragon is at that level because I helped the Feros colonists.

My Renegade is that level because I killed them all after.

Commander Commander Shepard may have some issues.

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When most people go the arcade, they win a stuffed animal.

Commander Commander Shepard goes to an arcade, wins a fucking planet.

(And an assault rifle that was objectively inferior to the ones my shore team uses)

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Into The Breach is great. I'm a big fan.

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3 hours ago, RPS said:

Into The Breach is great. I'm a big fan.

Veeeeeeery tempted to grab it on Switch, seems perfect for that format.

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5 minutes ago, Apsham said:

Veeeeeeery tempted to grab it on Switch, seems perfect for that format.

it is. 

I bought it on PC but it's so much better on Switch. Because the stakes are so high, it's nice to boot it up, do one mission and quit. You can technically do it on the PC, but so much easier to do on Switch.

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Finished ME1. Pretty good time, but I have two major issues. Assuming spoilers aren't necessary here...

1. I nominated Captain Anderson and he says "Shepard's right, humanity needs to take control". Only no, that is not what Shepard said at all, Shepard hated the Council but believes in working with aliens. She likes aliens! And in at least two cases, loves them! But the game kept equating anti-Council as = anti-Citadel which was not consistent with what I was doing. You just made THE LIST, Anderson.

2. Okay, Joker is really good at doing Mako drops. That's totally believable. But in at least two cases the Mako is picked up from indoors. How the HELL does that happen?

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