Ruiner II

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  1. Yep, Civ. I actually ended up splurging on the DLC which hugely expands diplomacy (a UN-type world regulatory board can form and vote upon various things), natural disasters, climate change, etc. The depth of the game is just ridiculous. I'd say it's hard to learn in the sense that I've played about 25 hours in the last week, completing three or four civs, and have yet to win a game or really come all that close, but I certainly didn't have a hard time learning the mechanics of the game well enough to enjoy myself--the devil is in learning how to best strategize for both short-term and long-term. Plus even if you lose, you can keep playing indefinitely, so after I lost to Germany in the space race I just put everything into developing nukes to make them pay. Compared to something like Crusader Kings II, which I picked up a loooong time ago and gave up on pretty quickly, it's a walk in the park.
  2. Update: this game is a damn disease. It takes everything in me to not keep playing it indefinitely. I haven't caught this sort of addiction to a video game since I was a boy.
  3. Also, thanks for sharing the tips. I've actually played Don't Starve on PS4, I had a lot of fun with it but I don't think I really got too far into the depth the game has to offer. I just snatched up several of the games on my wishlist for the autumn sale, and I'm having a way better time with Civ 6 than I expected. This game kinda rules, dangerously so, even.
  4. - Really, Shawn Spears? He was really good in the Youtube videos during the Cody feud but man, he has not done much for me since. He's certainly a solid worker at a technical level but he seems like he still just hasn't figured it out at a psychological level--he rarely looks really comfortable with his character (his approach seems to be 'look stoic and move very slowly'), his matches are generally the low points of whatever show they're on, and he's the one guy who seems happy to remind everyone of his lackluster WWE run with the 'ten' taunts. I don't hate him but at this stage of his career, he seems like a guy destined to be slotted pretty low on the card unless he has some kind of awakening. If nothing else, I think he needs to pivot from working as a sociopathic heel because it really doesn't suit him--maybe a more lively, cocky heel character or a return to being a scrappy babyface would give him something he's more inclined towards. - But speaking of guys who have looked like stars, Scorpio Sky has been a real revelation. I haven't laughed so often at a wrestling segment in a long time as I did during his promo with Jericho. - And speaking of Jericho, I had doubts about him as champion as a guy who's well past his prime in the ring, but goddamn has he made me feel like a fool. He's the only guy who ever should have been the first champion and he's the MVP of AEW Dynamite's first year and I don't think it's close. I may be a bigger fan of guys like Pac and Moxley, but Jericho is doing such wondrous work getting the show, the championship, and the guys he shares the ring with over as big time. His segments are consistently entertaining as hell, he helps to get the crowd fully behind his opponents despite being far more famous than they are, and he's also gotten his entire stable over. This is some of the best work of his career and I did not expect that from a guy who's pushing 50. - Who challenges for the title next on PPV is tricky--in the pecking order, you'd think it must be Moxley or PAC, and PAC is a heel. At the same time, part of me thinks that it's too soon for Moxley to be going for the title unless he's going to win, which it's also too soon for. I guess you could do Omega again if he beats PAC tomorrow, but it's also a mistake to have him come up short against Jericho twice inside of year, especially since it's the rubber match. Looking at the rankings (which are a fabulous idea, though they should really post them on their website instead of just tweeting them out every week), you've got PAC, then Moxley, then Cody (who probably shouldn't be ranked if he can't challenge for the title), then Hangman, then Omega. So there's really no other option. EDIT: Also, on rankings, it shows the state of the women's division that you have only two women with winning records in your top five--and one of them is green-as-hell Britt Baker. Now I'm fine with the women's division not being featured heavily if they don't have the roster depth to make it good (and as it stands, the women's matches usually are the worst part of the show unless Riho is involved), but it's a bad look so they should really sign some more, better women. It'd obviously be ideal if they could nab someone like Sasha when her contract is up, but that's going to be a minute so there's gotta be better indie and international talent than Allie and Nyla Rose.
  5. It's fan service if they don't want to make the game--if the sole motive is because the audience wants it, where's the passion? You get a game that could never possibly live up to the hype behind it. Sequels made out of obligation aren't typically that great.
  6. The Allin vs Mox match this week fucking ruled. I want those two on PPV. Not to take away from the other great wrestling that happened on Wednesday, but those two had a sort of intensity and cool factor you never see anymore. Darby Allin is becoming a star in real time before our eyes. Also, holy shit that finish.
  7. While I'm not going to shell out for VR just to play Half Life, it's up to Valve (or any developer) what they think is the best for their IP, regardless of what the fans want. Corporate greed is obviously a bad thing, but going too far in the opposite direction with fan service isn't THAT much better.
  8. In unrelated news, I've been foraying a bit into the world of top-down-style PC games, to play on my MacBook which isn't equipped to handle most triple-A titles but can easily handle more text-driven fare. What I've been on lately is this game called Sunless Sea, where basically you captain a ship that you take on voyages out into the abyss and visit islands and ports where you get involved various story threads, recruit officers, and carry out odd jobs (usually deliveries) to earn currency, which you use to upgrade your ship, buy supplies and fuel, etc. It's also a pseudo-roguelike game, where if you die, you have to create a new captain who starts back at London, with the map reset, and your new captain can have a relationship to your last captain in order to inherit different things to carry into your new run. An excellent mechanic, because it adds a great deal of weight to decisions you make the further into the game you get. Do you have enough fuel or supplies to keep going, or do you turn back? Do you pick a fight with this giant crab, or burn extra fuel to quickly escape? If you run out of supplies, your crew often turns to cannibalism. Running out of fuel means being stranded in the sea unless someone rescues you, for either a steep fee or they get to keep your ship and everything in it. There's lots of little things like that that make it a gripping experience. @pen, any recommendations for these sorts of games? I've already added Civ V, Balder's Gate, Tyranny, Fallout 2, Darkest Dungeon, Divinity: Original Sin 2, and some Total War games to my wishlist.
  9. Death Stranding report: I'm enjoying the game, but it's not something I'd recommend to virtually anyone I know. It's certainly very flawed in some traditionally Kojima ways (too much exposition, cutscenes, convoluted-ass story) and some not so much (boring combat, occasionally janky mechanics) and I'd by no means put next to something like Resident Evil 2 or Sekiro in my GOTY rankings, but the core gameplay loop of planning routes and making deliveries, while upgrading your gear and connecting the network so you can help build roads and structures, is very satisfying for someone who's cool with a more laid-back, mellow kind of experience. I guess my best comparison would be to something like Red Dead 2--at the heart of it there's something really special, but the developer consistently get in their own way with it so what you get is just pretty good. Difference being, Red Dead 2 had a much more accessible story, and okay-ish combat that took the forefront so I think the audience at large was more forgiving of its flaws.
  10. The new Sonic model is sooooo much better, which leaves one to watch the trailer and ponder what exactly about the Sonic the Hedgehog games was screaming for a live-action buddy comedy adaptation in the first place. The games are wonderful, but it's probably for the best that technical limitations kept Sonic from ever having actual voice over dialogue. Speaking of which, anyone see the trailer for Scoob? Very, very bad.
  11. So what's the dealio with everyone here on that very divisive Moxley/Omega match? I thought it was a very good violent spectacle, which is what they had built to, but the barb-wire contraption near the end, as well as the mouse traps, were a bit silly and undermined the very real and uncomfortable violence of many of the other spots. Also, the glass should have happened way closer to the finish.
  12. I was a big Cody fan for much of his WWE run and had cooled off on him over the course of his indie run, but he's been great in AEW to this point and then that promo last night was outstanding. It felt like I was watching an all-time great promo that people will point to years from now. This man should never, ever be a heel.
  13. I'm not familiar with him though I have heard great things about the Fire Pro games. This sounds like my kinda shit.
  14. I've heard that the first several hours have a LOT of very long cutscenes, but not that the beginning of the game is one hours-long cutscene. My deal with Death Stranding, and Kojima himself, is that his writing has cool ideas but also plenty of bad ones, and he doesn't seem to know how to filter those ideas. And then there's the issue of his dialogue, which I do not like at all. On the other hand, he's also one of the most forward-thinking game designers I've ever been aware of, and the level of originality, depth, and attention to detail of his game design is something very, very few major studios have--I can only call to mind Nintendo and From Software for a comparison. (maybe CD Projekt Red? I didn't make it far enough into Wild Hunt to speak too much on them.) That's not to say I don't like anyone else--Naughty Dog is an example of a developer I love wholeheartedly, but their strengths lie a lot more at the surface level than what you see in a game like Breath of the Wild, Sekiro, or The Phantom Pain. So I'm happy he's around getting to do what he wants to do with a lot of money to do it with, and I'm happy to support it, because I'm sure I'll have a great time with Death Stranding that I wouldn't ever have with any other game, even if I'm also sure I'll spent a lot of time frustrated with the impulses Kojima is so, so bad at reining in. If there were more triple A designers pushing the envelope better than he does, maybe I wouldn't give him the time of my day (he REALLY does not respect the player's time) but that's just not the case. The Outer Worlds might be great, but everything I see from it makes it feel like something I've done before. That also goes for Fallen Order, anything Ubisoft puts out, Spider-Man, Borderlands 3, pretty much every big hyped up game that comes out lately. Other than Sekiro, I think the most refreshing experience I had with a game this year was Resident Evil 2--which is a remake. How does that work?
  15. I'm not going to dispute your lack of interest in the game, which I totally understand (I'm still getting it but I don't doubt it'll test my patience, which I admittedly have a lot of), but this seems like a very reductive statement. The traversal IS the gameplay, and it appears that it's pretty intricately designed in its mechanics and how they all work together. It might not be the type of gameplay you're into, but it's not like anything that isn't fighting doesn't count as gameplay. I watched a Giant Bomb video on it and they were playing a side mission in which you literally deliver a pizza. But because you're delivering a pizza, there are certain considerations--you need to organize your cargo in such a way that the pizza is not turned on its side or upside down. Failing to do this will result in damage to the pizza. Once you're delivering it, every decision you make must be informed by the nature of your delivery--keeping it dry, upright, delivering it in 30 minutes or less. This sort of wacky shit is understandably a turn-off for many, but it really established this as something I've gotta play, even if I do have to contend with Kojima's absurd overwriting. For a game on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum, I started up DOOM 2016 recently for the first time. That game epitomizes not wasting a second of your time, everything in every level is explicitly designed to be fun. I know it was a sleeper hit, but I wish that game had sent some shockwaves through the FPS genre and inspired some of these triple A developers.