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Gaming experiences - good or bad

Jelle Klap
Bartender

Joined: Mar 10, 2008
Posts: 1777
    
    7

Following the recent movie and book topics, I thought it might be nice to discuss another form of entertainmen: games.
Tell us about your favorite gaming experiences and some of your most bitter disappointments (prequels/sequels allowed). Any genre or platform will do!
I'll start with a personal all-time favorite and likewise a major letdown.

The good
I've played too many great games in too many different genres, that I can't really pick a favorite among them, but one of the most memorable games I've ever played was Deus Ex.
Released back in 2000 for PC, it was my first experience with an FPS/RPG blend that had a fantastic story and which offered a lot of freedom to the player in terms moral choice, playstyle, and paths thru the various levels. It completely blew me away, and I must have played through it a half-dozen times. It still is a benchmark game for me.
Memories of Deus Ex unfortunately bring back memories of its sequel: Deus Ex: Invisible War. I had very high - maybe unrealistic - expectations of the sequel, and it did not deliver. For some reason the sequel did away with a lot of the RPG elements, complexity and stealth elements of the original, probably because it was much more console oriented. It almost felt like a generic shooter. Fortunately the latest installment, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, restored my faith in the series. It felt a lot closer to the original. Great prequel, great game.

The bad
Ok, so I technically already listed a big dissapointment, but for the sake of diversity I thought I'd pick an game from another series. I pick Black and White for PC. A strategic god game with a creature feature. Sounded great in theory, but it ultimately failed to deliver. I found the creature was more annoying than helpful, and training it just wasn't much fun. The constant nagging of the villagers made it hard to resist not leveling your own villages with a couple of well flung boulders. Something I did like were the gesture controls. Very original at the time, and they worked pretty well.

Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Ryan McGuire
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 18, 2005
Posts: 1010
    
    3
Jelle Klap wrote:Any genre or platform will do!


My platform of choice is my dining room table. The tables at the local Panera (bakery/coffee shop) a close second.

It's tough to pick a favorite, per se, so I'll list some top contenders:
  • Zendo - An inductive reasoning game for 2-5 players. I've played well over 500 games so far (maybe 1000, but probably not). The game is currently out-of-print, but the pieces are available separately.
  • My current new (last six months) favorite is Battle Line, a card game for two players.
  • As for "party" games, Cards Against Humanity (website more-or-less NSFW), has replaced Apples to Apples as my favorite.
  • In the "werewolf" genre, I just recently played Resistance for the first time and really liked it. However, it can be frustrating when you're one of the only sober players at that game. It led to some very "Cassandra" moments.



  • Maneesh Godbole
    Saloon Keeper

    Joined: Jul 26, 2007
    Posts: 10451
        
        8

    Jelle Klap wrote:...I found the creature was more annoying than helpful...

    Sounds like M$ office assistant


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    fred rosenberger
    lowercase baba
    Bartender

    Joined: Oct 02, 2003
    Posts: 11419
        
      16

    At the moment, a family favorite game is the Munchkin series. My wife, daughter (age 10) and I have spend many evenings laughing over the jokes in the game. Some examples:

    a weapon named "Gentleman's club" that is only usable by male characters. There is the complement version, the "Broad Sword".

    The western themed version has a card called "Get a Long Little Doggie" with a picture of a weiner dog, giving you an attack bonus.

    I could go on, but if I did I wouldn't get any work done today.


    There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    A must-buy for any PS3 owner (exclusive title): The Last of Us.
    This is by far the most gripping game I've ever played. In fact, after I finished it I had to play it again, and two more times after that, before I felt I was done with the characters Joel and Ellie and the post-apocalyptic game world they inhabit. The character animation and voice acting (in particular) in this game are simply amazing. Seriously, can't recommend this game enough
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Maneesh Godbole wrote:
    Jelle Klap wrote:...I found the creature was more annoying than helpful...

    Sounds like M$ office assistant


    That would be a great mod!
    Having a giant evil paperclip roam the land.
    "It looks like you're trying to enslave a people. Would you like help?"
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    I've only recently purchased a copy of X-COM: Enemy Unknown, because I was unfamiliar with the series and I was unsure I'd like the turn-based gameplay. Turns out I do! I think I've played more games in the real-time strategy genre then I have in any other, so the slow pace of the turn-based gameplay did take a little getting used to. There is a lot more emphasis on strategy though - long term and short term - and that's something I highly appriciate. Recommended!

    Edit: I've updated to the Commander Edition with Enemy Within, which adds some very nice features to the game, like updated maps, gene mods, cybernetics and a new faction. Recommended++
    Henry Wong
    author
    Sheriff

    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 18896
        
      40


    I really liked Enchanter when it first came out. It was a text based from Infocom. I guess sort of like Zork, but with magic. This is surprising because I didn't like Zork.

    These days, I try to limit the games that I play. Currently, the only series that I track, playing almost every new release, is the legend of Zelda.

    Henry


    Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Henry Wong wrote:
    I really liked Enchanter when it first came out. It was a text based from Infocom. I guess sort of like Zork, but with magic. This is surprising because I didn't like Zork.

    These days, I try to limit the games that I play. Currently, the only series that I track, playing almost every new release, is the legend of Zelda.

    Henry

    Text-based adventures are a little before my time, I'm sorry to say. Would like to have played and enjoyed them. Not too late for the former, but way too late for the latter, I think. The closest I've played to text-based adventures was the original Leisure Suit Larry, which was I thought was pretty awesome. It sparked my interest in adventure games, of which Grim Fandango is still my favorite. Sigh, I miss adventure games.
    Gregg Bolinger
    GenRocket Founder
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 11, 2001
    Posts: 15299
        
        6

    I don't really play video games anymore. Tabletop games are way more engaging for me and it is truly a family affair for us. This is an older picture as our collection has grown a bit since, but it is a good indication as to the games we like to play.



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    Ryan McGuire
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Feb 18, 2005
    Posts: 1010
        
        3
    Gregg Bolinger wrote:I don't really play video games anymore. Tabletop games are way more engaging for me and it is truly a family affair for us. This is an older picture as our collection has grown a bit since, but it is a good indication as to the games we like to play.


    Very nice. The Alhambra Big Box is next on my list of "major" purchases. Apples to Apples: nice. Small World: I think the expansions are worth the money. Ticket to Ride: more fun that I thought it was going to be given how relatively simple it is.

    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Gregg Bolinger wrote:I don't really play video games anymore. Tabletop games are way more engaging for me and it is truly a family affair for us. This is an older picture as our collection has grown a bit since, but it is a good indication as to the games we like to play.

    I love tabletop games as well! Unfortunately I really don't get to play them at all anymore. My favorite was always Monopoly. Something about handling large amounts of cash that somehow appeals to me
    We had an ancient version of the game with bills that ranged from 1 to 500 guilders (old Dutch currency). You could buy the most expensive street for a measly 400 guilders! I think the game is still sitting somewhere in my attic, collecting dust...
    Robert D. Smith
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 04, 2013
    Posts: 144
        
        5
    When I think gaming experience, I immediately think online gaming. I began online gaming in 1985ish when Island of Kesmai released on Compuserv. The game was a typical hack-and-slash ASCII game. While the gamewas enjoyable, it was the community that kept us playing. At 8 USD per hour, the community was made up of professionals -- doctors, software developers. We even had one guy playing that was with the Dallas Symphony. Unlike today's gaming with is moving to the free-to-play, microtransaction system, we didn't have a griefers whose sole purpose was to ruin the community for everyone else. The games were harsh, then, and you needed other players help.

    As for the non-online gaming; I have played and owned more games and systems than I could name. As I recall, there were three games in the Enchanter series of games. And when Pool of Radiance was released, the face of gaming really changed; 2d iconic graphics. The first combat flight sim game used 15MB, back with computers were still being sold with 20MB harddrives. And it's only gotten better. I was checking out Watch Dogs -- my first thought was the trailer was live action and not graphics.

    As far as table top gaming, I guess Risk and Warhammer (fantasy and 40k) were about it for me. the wife bought a board game called Sequence. It was a simple pattern matching game using face cards. I really enjoyed the game - right up until she figured out I was losing on purpose. I tried to explain that the game wasn't that challenging for me, and that it took a great amount of effort and creativity to lose while maintaining the appearance of trying to win. As I recall, that's when she beat me with the board. (yeah, okay, not one of the smartest things I've done, but I enjoyed playing and wanted her to enjoy it by not losing every game).

    High school and the military the game of choice was Spades and Hearts. Got into the PnP DnD games when I was attached the sub.

    Sheesh -- with all my gaming, it makes me wonder where I found the time to learn to program, let alone stay married.


    There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them. Ray Bradbury
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    I don't much enjoy or play multiplayer anymore. Used to play online a lot, mostly Counter-Strike, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault and various Command & Conquer installments. Having some jackass from half way around the world scream profanities at anyone and anything he crosses virtual paths with, or otherwise ruining the game, no longer qualifies as entertainment for me. I find the problem with multiplayer, ironically, is other people. I am still pretty excited about the upcoming Elder Scrolls MMORPG, so I'll probably be given that a try when it's released.
    Pat Farrell
    Rancher

    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 4659
        
        5

    I played adventure/zork in its early form on PDP-10 machines in the mid-1970s.

    I'm too old to play first-person-shooters. Don't have the reflexes needed.

    I play some RTS games. Current favorite is Starcraft 2, play on the ladder against ranked folks. I'm terrible at it, been in the "bronze" league for many seasons. [in Starcraft 2, bronze in the lowest league for the worst players. You are supposed to graduate out of it quickly]
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Modern RTS games are too complicated for me. There's so much to keep track of all at once, my brain can't handle it
    There's build order, base layout, economy, unit micro (especially with special abilities), scouting, tech-trees for multiple factions...it's just too much.
    Pat Farrell
    Rancher

    Joined: Aug 11, 2007
    Posts: 4659
        
        5

    Jelle Klap wrote:Modern RTS games are too complicated for me. There's so much to keep track of all at once, my brain can't handle it


    Yup. You can play without the nano-second reflexes, which is good for old dudes like me. Of course, the serious players use both brains and nano-second reflexes.
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Pat Farrell wrote:
    Jelle Klap wrote:Modern RTS games are too complicated for me. There's so much to keep track of all at once, my brain can't handle it


    Yup. You can play without the nano-second reflexes, which is good for old dudes like me. Of course, the serious players use both brains and nano-second reflexes.


    Yeah, some people are just a little too insanely fast for me.
    Scott Halepaska
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Dec 26, 2006
    Posts: 27
    Jelle Klap wrote:A must-buy for any PS3 owner (exclusive title): The Last of Us.
    This is by far the most gripping game I've ever played. In fact, after I finished it I had to play it again, and two more times after that, before I felt I was done with the characters Joel and Ellie and the post-apocalyptic game world they inhabit. The character animation and voice acting (in particular) in this game are simply amazing. Seriously, can't recommend this game enough


    I bought this game because of this suggestion and reading some reviews. It is pretty amazing.
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Scott Halepaska wrote:
    Jelle Klap wrote:A must-buy for any PS3 owner (exclusive title): The Last of Us.
    This is by far the most gripping game I've ever played. In fact, after I finished it I had to play it again, and two more times after that, before I felt I was done with the characters Joel and Ellie and the post-apocalyptic game world they inhabit. The character animation and voice acting (in particular) in this game are simply amazing. Seriously, can't recommend this game enough


    I bought this game because of this suggestion and reading some reviews. It is pretty amazing.


    Yep, it's most definitely my pick for GOTY 2013.
    I bet a LEGO version would be pretty cool as well

    Jim Venolia
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 07, 2013
    Posts: 154
        
        2

    I'll need to try The Last of Us again, I didn't get into it at all. Think I made it to the second chapter.

    My favorites of all time are Total Annihilation and Thief 2. Dishonored was pretty danged good too.

    It's a no-brainer. We just need to take it to the next level to turn this into a win-win situation. The best practice is to get rid of the low-hanging fruit first. Ping me with an agenda so we can go flag up on this thing
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Jim Venolia wrote:I'll need to try The Last of Us again, I didn't get into it at all. Think I made it to the second chapter.

    My favorites of all time are Total Annihilation and Thief 2. Dishonored was pretty danged good too.


    I've played so many great games in so many different genres that I find it impossible to pick an all time favorite. Though if I were to make a list then Thief II: The Metal Age would be ranked very highly indeed.
    Liked it even better than The Dark Project, but sadly the third installment was underwhelming, except for Shalbridge Cradle, that level was awesome. I'm also sceptical about the upcoming reboot of Thief.
    As for The Last of Us, I got hooked on it bad. Couldn't stop playing and finished it four times in a row: Hard, Hard+, Survivor and Suvivor+. I highly recommend not playing on a lower difficulty setting than Hard., and even then turning off Joel's focus ability.
    Scott Halepaska
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Dec 26, 2006
    Posts: 27
    Jim Venolia wrote:I'll need to try The Last of Us again, I didn't get into it at all. Think I made it to the second chapter.



    Keep playing, it is worth it. There is a scene with some giraffes(!?) late in the game that is about about as good of a couple minutes as you will see on your TV. It is really incredible.
    Robert D. Smith
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 04, 2013
    Posts: 144
        
        5
    Scott Halepaska wrote:
    Jim Venolia wrote:I'll need to try The Last of Us again, I didn't get into it at all. Think I made it to the second chapter.


    Keep playing, it is worth it. There is a scene with some giraffes(!?) late in the game that is about about as good of a couple minutes as you will see on your TV. It is really incredible.
    I watched this game develop, and was looking forward to playing it. When it finally released, though, I wasn't in a position to spend the 60 USD. Figured I would watch some of the early game walkthroughs to see what others thought of it. I ended up spending eight or 10 or however many hours it took just to watch the entire walkthrough. The story was (is) that compelling, Waiting to see if Santa thought I was a good boy this year, or if I need to pick it up myself after the first of the new year.
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    The Last Of Us' DLC 'Left Behind' is scheduled for February. It will focus on Ellie and her friend Riley, and presumably how Ellie got infected. I hope it will be a solid addition to this epic game, but I'm not so sure. Joel was the main focus of the original game, and he won't be a part of this story, so I wonder how they'll handle combat, if at all. Before she left the quarantine zone with Joel, in search of the Fire Flies, she had never had to kill anyone, maybe a couple of infected, and didn't seem to have ever encountered hunters or other nefarious survivors. In fact she never strayed far at all from the quarantine zone. So who or what will we be fighting, or running/hiding from? Perhaps Marlene will play a prominent role as a replacement for Joel...
    Oliver Casson-Gary
    Greenhorn

    Joined: Feb 03, 2014
    Posts: 2
    If you can deal with the action of an FPS and love heist flicks like Heat or The Town, Payday 2 was a personal favorite of mine in 2013. Relies heavily on co-op and teamwork is essential if you are trying to "sneak" some missions and so far the developer has been generous with DLC, seasonal map packs, masks and weapons.
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    I bought The Last Of Us' DLC "Left Behind" the day of its release and finished it in about 2,5 hours. It's was a pretty damn great 2,5 hours, let me tell you. Afterward I played through it again, and after that I had to start my sixth run of the original, which I just finished. What an absolute masterpiece.
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Just ordered The Stick Of Truth, and as I'm a huge South Park fan, I can hardly wait!
    I've heard good things about it. Sadly the European version has fallen victim to censorship in a few scenes. The way they censored it is reportedly completely hilarious, so I'm not too bothered.
    Eeeexcept that I kind of am. Seriously, it's rated PEGI 18 for a reason. Take you censorship and ***CENSORED***.
    Samuel Bird
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jul 19, 2013
    Posts: 96

    My favourite video game of all time would probably have to be either Starcraft 2 or Warcraft 3 (yes, there's a blizzard theme) but I don't play much nowadays. Instead, I too like to play board games. My favourite tabletop is currently Munchkin because I think expansions that you can buy are brilliant. Aside from that, i would probably recommend the Arkham games to anyone but I found they make me depressed after a few hours of darkness, insanity and serial killers. I did in fact play some zork on an emulator because it was before my time and it was surprisingly engaging-I would recommend trying it out. What is the worst that can happen?
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Finally decided to get a PS4 and I just pre-ordered it! The Last of Us: Remastered bundle edition, of course
    I guess I'm now officially a fanboy. I mean I was already, but now it's official. I'm having T-shirts printed and everything...
    Joe Ess
    Bartender

    Joined: Oct 29, 2001
    Posts: 8927
        
        9

    fred rosenberger wrote:At the moment, a family favorite game is the Munchkin series.


    I got this for my boys for Christmas. It would probably help if they had some knowledge of other dungeon crawl games like Dungeons and Dragons because a lot of the cards play off those games. For example:


    That said, I have broken it out with them and the nieces and nephews on several occasions and it never fails to entertain.


    "blabbing like a narcissistic fool with a superiority complex" ~ N.A.
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    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Yay!


    [Thumbnail for 2.jpg]

    [Thumbnail for 3.jpg]

    Tim Cooke
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1132
        
      59

    I'm very jealous Jelle. I have that game on pre-order and I'm expecting it to arrive on Friday, i.e. the release date. You're a lucky so and so for getting it 2 days early!


    Tim Driven Development
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    If you haven't played it yet you are the lucky one, honestly. You're in for something very special!
    Dieter Quickfend
    Bartender

    Joined: Aug 06, 2010
    Posts: 543
        
        4

    The Last of Us is very good, but it didn't last long enough!


    As far as console games go, I'm big on BioWare games, from Baldur's Gate II : Shadows of Amn (my all time favorite PC game) to Dragon Age. If I'd recommend a fairly recent one, I'd have to say it would be the Mass Effect series, which must be the best game I've played in a past years. Also liked Demon/Dark Souls and Dragon's Dogma a lot.
    On PC I'm doing Football Manager 2014, which was a long time ago. I can tell I've aged because it gets boring much quicker. Still pretty cool though.

    And as for tabletop, my favorite must be Arkham Horror. It has a lot of RPG elements. With friends I sometimes play Magic: The Gathering, but I can't be bothered to spend that much money to get some decent decks. Munchkin is also extremely entertaining. So is Machiavelli.


    Oracle Certified Professional: Java SE 6 Programmer && Oracle Certified Expert: (JEE 6 Web Component Developer && JEE 6 EJB Developer)
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Yes Mass Effect is very good as a series, but I almost can't forgive the way the third installment wrapped it all up. Might be one of the most hated (by fans) ending to any game, ever. Still the journey to it is what counts and that's pretty impressive. Although I think it's a bit of a shame how they continuely diled down the RPG elements over parts 2 and 3. I'm curious what direction. ME4 will take in that regard and also about the new story and protagonist.
    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
    Posts: 61433
        
      67

    Here's a pretty good article on exactly what makes Dishonored one of my favorite games of all time.

    Dishonored works because it rejects the notion of there being a "right" way to play a stealth game.






    [Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    Dishonored is such a great game! One of my all time favorites in the stealth genre. Thief 2: The Metal Age is still my absolute favorite though. The DLC focussing on Daud was pretty good as well. I'm anxious to see where they'll be going with this as a series. Rumor has it they've been talking about opening up more of the world besides the city of Dunwall. I doubt Corvo will return, but The Outsider probably will. Those powers are just too much fun to play with, even if they make it a bit too easy at times. If you've played through the game on the "mostly flesh and steel" and "ghost" and "shadow" requirements in a single playthrough, then it really does become a challenge, and it's a lot more fun without super powers.
    Tim Cooke
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 28, 2008
    Posts: 1132
        
      59

    Talking about The Last of Us on PS4.
    Tim Cooke wrote:expecting it to arrive on Friday, i.e. the release date.

    It did not arrive yesterday as promised, grrrr to you Amazon UK.
    Jelle Klap
    Bartender

    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 1777
        
        7

    That's a shame, Tim. My PS4 bundle was supposed to have been delivered a day before it actually was. It was shipped in time, but the delivery was postponed, because...of reasons? I've been trying to tackle The Last of Us on the added "Grounded" difficulty, which is pretty darn hard. The ultimate survival experience, but NOT recommended for first time players. Enemies are more alert and agressive, there's no HUD which means no indication of health or ammo, supplies seem even more scarce. Sneaking around is vital, if you get in to a conflict with multiple enemies you run, or you die.
    I would recommend playing the game on the "Hard" difficulty setting the first time, though. It's really not that hardcore, but you do get the sense that you need to be mindful of the supplies you find. It just fits perfectly with the theme of the game. Avoid the lower difficulty settiings.
     
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    subject: Gaming experiences - good or bad