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Jaybird

Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Autolukos
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    says:

    XCOM 2 is quite good.Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Autolukos
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      says:

      I’m rusty and/or this game is harder than the last one. Might be the time element and the general lack of ability to be patient and methodical.

      I had to disable the action cam. Too many reaction shots and camera angles. I wish there was some sort of quick move option for disabling or abbreviating the various animations so we could get through turns quicker.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Autolukos
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      says:

      I like the story. The Shen arc was a bit touching, I figured all along that Central would become “Colonel Boomer”, and I suspect we’ll get some closure on Vahlen later on. I do wonder why they spent twenty years trying to unfreeze you since canonically you lost the XCOM1 war in two months…

      I wish they’d been able to get the same voice actor for Central. I suspect I’ll get used to it, but it’s still jarring, especially now that he’s in your ear all the time.

      Either the system requirements are insane or there’s a crippling bug in the graphics subsystem. I don’t expect to be able to run well on the highest settings, but my framerate isn’t even great on good settings.

      I also had a crash to desktop and a full system lockup in four hours of play.

      As for the gameplay – it’s XCOM. I’m not in love with the timed missions (don’t hate them like 105% of the population seems to), but I understand that they’re because creep-overwatch-creep was the only way that wouldn’t get you murdered at above-average difficulty.

      I like the idea of the concealment mechanic, it really brings out the feeling of hit-and-run as opposed to slash-and-burn. It just doesn’t seem right to be dashing in the open while retaining concealment (but I don’t see how to succeed in some timed missions otherwise). And I haven’t yet developed a feeling for how close you want to get before setting your trap, especially with pods that can patrol.

      More impressions tomorrow, I expect.Report

      • Avatar Autolukos in reply to El Muneco
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        says:

        I really liked the implication that you lost the war (which most of us did the first time, I suspect) but have been refighting it ever since in a simulation.

        The stability and performance are problems for me as well. I can smoothly run the recent games I’ve tried at high settings (most recently Fallout 4), but this one stutters a bit and has crashed a couple of times. The mission loading times are particularly brutal.

        In gameplay terms, I think they leaned a bit too much on turn limits, but I do appreciate there being a mechanical incentive to assault alien positions.Report

    • Avatar Fish in reply to Autolukos
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      says:

      I’m only a few hours in and I’m still trying to get the feel of the new-ish interface. I like what they’ve done to the game, but right now the story feels a bit railroad-ey. I’m also playing on Normal difficulty after having just played XCOM on Classical, so it feels a bit too easy (though I suspect that’s soon to change).Report

      • Avatar El Muneco in reply to Fish
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        says:

        Wow. I’ve stepped down to Veteran (level 2 out of 4) and I still have a ridiculous time getting out of a mission without any damage. Maybe this is the new normal, but given the old game it still feels like a failure. Full cover is the new half cover, and if you are in a possible line of sight, hunker down…

        And I’m still getting graphics glitches on a regular basis – doesn’t seem to be connected to my graphics settings since any change, including more intensive, clears them up. Haven’t had an actual crash in a day or so.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko
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    says:

    You just can’t replicate the mental flexibility of a human game master and a human player on a console. Necessarily, the designer has to script out a limited option tree of ways it might go. If you and I were tabletop RPG’ing, those philosophical discussions, or endings you might not have thought of but worked out on the fly, in reaction to my moves as a player, might have done all sorts of things that just aren’t going to be possible n a console — precisely because it all has to get scripted out and written in a pre-set, broadly-appealing, and most of all finite set of story paths.

    Way back in the day there was a tabletop RPG called Gamma World that was, essentially, D&D in a Fallout setting. I don’t think it ever got updated. But there’s no reason you couldn’t do a tabletop RPG today if you can’t get hold of a late-80’s Gamma World rule book. So this is an option if you want to explore it that way.

    Another thought: sociologically, the Commonwealth is basically the Wild West. Arizona in the 1870’s. Not much by way of law or governmental institutions, but you can see that these are beginning to coalesce; some economic activity and interdependence underway but still a heavy need for self-reliance; nature still untamed but mostly manageable after mastering some skills and gathering some tools; lots of lawless people running around that need restraining. From an RPG perspective, doesn’t much matter what the tech level or setting is — ancient, fantasy, steampunk, scifi. That’s a good mix of elements to have lots of action and adventure.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko
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      says:

      I’m not even asking for that sort of thing. I’m more just asking that we be allowed to tell the people giving us missions to pound sand and argue “no, I think that (faction) has the best plans!” (seriously, this is two trees per person you’re yelling at) and then, when asked to justify, come up with three reasons and a “wait, maybe you’re right” option.

      I’m not asking for particularly nuanced.

      In a sense, I’m asking for the option of *LESS* nuanced than “playing both sides until I make up my mind”.Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Burt Likko
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      says:

      School Days did a great job of being open-ended, and a “write your character as you make your choices” style play.Report

  3. Avatar Marchmaine
    Ignored
    says:

    It was the one frozen guy who showed up and started throwing apples everywhere.

    I was never a devotee of the genre, so this was my first fallout game – the first of this type of game, period. On the plus side, the world is very engaging from a mechanics/exploration point of view. This was something of a revelation to me. But…

    I drifted away around level 20 because rather than feeling like I was rebuilding civilization, it started to feel more like a homeless person murder sim; and that wasn’t really the game I was after.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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      says:

      I drifted away around level 20 because rather than feeling like I was rebuilding civilization, it started to feel more like a homeless person murder sim; and that wasn’t really the game I was after.

      Yeah, I can see that. I joked to Maribou that, halfway through the game, I’d killed more people than the war that started this whole wasteland.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird
        Ignored
        says:

        The trophy for killing 300 people is called “Masshole”.

        I’m looking forward to the next patch — settlers will now have an icon (when viewed) indicating what they do (scavenge, farm, vendor, provisioneer) and stringing wires no longer costs copper. Which is great, because I’m always super low.

        The whole game does kind of make me want to play Skyrim again…..

        And I picked up Besiege (early access game) on Steam — it’s part of their Lunar New Year sale. You basically make siege weapons and attack castles. Except by “make siege weapons” I mean you “create from scratch engines of death” and by “attack castles” I mean “you get to try it out”.

        You can design trebuchets and catapults, but given you can ALSO design some sort of weird walking threshing machine with a flamethrower, why would you stick with boring catapults?Report

  4. Avatar DavidTC
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    says:

    The ‘settlements are under attack’ quests are particularly silly considering that, if you’ve put up enough weapons, they win without you really doing anything if you show up. But if you don’t show up…they lose and a bunch of their stuff is destroyed.

    Of course, as some of the raids scale with level, that doesn’t happen, and in fact you end up with insane amounts of high level super mutants running around.(1) Other times, you get 6 low-level raiders.

    I feel like there’s some entire different game with the settlements that gets to about 75% of where it needs to be, and then just stops. With the current mods, you can get it up to 80%, but the mods are seriously hampered by the lack of a GECK causing lack of code behind them.

    Once modders get the ability to code, I confidently predict that a good 50% of mods will be settlement stuff.

    Meanwhile, until then, I’ve moved on to Tomb Raider, and just beat that, and am at 93% done with everything. And after that, I’ll play with the interesting-looking Endurance mode that is perma-death and requires constant resources moving from place to place, which I tried the Tutorial of and it seemed interesting. In concept, it seems rather akin to Don’t Starve.

    1) Okay, I know it’s a Fallout game and they all have super mutants, but is anyone else bothered by the fact we *shouldn’t*? Super mutants are not naturally occurring, they were made in a lab in California. In Fallout 3, someone was making them in DC, and the ones in Fallout NV had migrated from California.

    In 4…they just exist? Sure, the Institute has been *experimenting* with FEV, but, no matter how evil the Institute is, I refuse to believe they’re making super mutants and generally letting them loose. Where the hell are these guys from? Did they wander up from DC?Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to DavidTC
      Ignored
      says:

      I don’t know if it’s said explicitly, but it’s hinted that the Institute is the source of the Commonweath’s mutie problem. It makes no sense for them to release mutants to the surface, but none of the Institute’s motivations make any sense to me.Report

      • Avatar DavidTC in reply to Hoosegow Flask
        Ignored
        says:

        I can see the Institute making super mutants, in fact, we know it is thanks to plot reasons. The Institute will experiment with anything.

        What I can’t see is them making anywhere enough quantity to explain even one building full of super mutants.

        In fact, I’m having trouble figuring out why they’d release *any* of super mutants. I mean, having those guys running around directly conflicts with the experiments we know they *are* playing. What if these super mutants go around killing their own replacement synths!Report

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