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bigsocrates

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Wow the state of driving games is...not good right now. For the casual fan who plays 1 or 2 a year it's alright, but the vast majority of games are niche, low budget, or just plain bad.

In the old days we'd get like 10-15 high budget titles per year. They weren't all great, but lots of them were. Now we get bare bones games like Destruction Allstars or outright garbage like Taxi Chaos.

What I'm saying is...Ubisoft needs to remaster Driver: San Francisco!

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bigsocrates

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Hellblade is a really interesting game for a lot of reasons. Not just because of its design history but because of how stripped back the whole experience is. There really are only a few things to do in that game, which is like 8 hours long, and the storytelling and other aspects are so limited and stark that it makes the whole thing feel otherworldly. It works perfectly with its themes, of course, and it's rare to see a game that threads that needle of tying its weaknesses into its narrative and themes to turn them into strengths.

I'm really curious about what they're going to do with the sequel now that they've been bought by Microsoft and don't really need to worry about funding in the same way. It has seemed from some of the trailers that the game might be a bigger blown out version and...I don't really think I want that. We have so many games like that, and Hellblade's combat wasn't good enough to go toe to toe with Devil May Cry or Bayonetta. I hope they keep it smaller and intimate. Some more variety would be nice (the combat got really boring and searching for runes was never that fun) but I don't want massive action filed cut scenes, tons of characters, etc..

Honestly it's not a game that even needed a sequel. A spiritual successor of some kind would be more appealing. Senua was good as a character but I liked the idea of that being all we saw of her story. It felt pretty complete.

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@slag: That's not my full natural grip because I was holding it with one hand, but yes I need to slide the grip lower on the handles. The issue is that I run out of horn if I do it that way, but the real problem is that the controller's "shoulders" are tilted in too much for me. I do better with a boxier controller that forces my wrists into a more natural position. I do intend to change my grip and see if that helps.

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I think there is a business reason for the Fire Emblem (and arguably the Mario) pricing, even if I don't endorse it (either as a business practice or, of course, an art preservation practice.)

Basically these companies, and especially Nintendo, have a lot of data on how retro games sell on digital storefronts at this point. I think that what they've seen is that a lot of people will look at a game and remain on the fence about it indefinitely. They may want to play the first Fire Emblem on some level, but they're not going to buy it until they want to play it, or it goes on sale, and that means it doesn't sell well. Nintendo is trying to force people to make that decision in a limited time window, hoping that many fence sitters would rather buy it with the possibility of playing it later, rather than just letting it linger in some wish list indefinitely.

The same sort of dynamic is at play with the Mario games. You might want to play Mario Galaxy on the Switch (and it plays great in docked mode) but do you $60 want it? Nintendo is forcing you to make that decision.

Is this a good business practice in terms of long term profit? I have no idea. Is it consumer friendly? Absolutely not. But it has a logic to it.

I think it's crappy that Nintendo is willing to treat its games and most loyal customers (the kind who might want an ancient Fire Emblem game) this way, just like I think it's insane that you can't play Galaxy with motion controls on the Switch Lite, but it's how Nintendo loves to roll. They make a lot of great games but they kind of hate their customers.

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I appreciate all the advice. I think it's interesting that a lot of the people who've had issues say that the problem is that their hands are too small. I actually have kind of big hands and always hated the Dualshock because it felt tiny in them.

No Caption Provided

I don't think the issue is that the Dualsense is too large or heavy (I am one of the few, the proud, the ex-Windows Phone users who had a Lumia and really liked it), though that certainly may be the case for others.

After thinking about it more and playing around with my grip a bit, I think the issue may relate to my default grip being in a position where the triggers and shoulder buttons are too close to the knuckle on my index finger. I think this reduces leverage and combined with the haptics and games that require you to jam on those buttons may be causing the strain. Other controllers put the shoulder buttons and triggers a big closer to my fingertips, so I am going to try shifting my grip so that the triggers and shoulders are closer to the tips. But first I'm going to take a break from the PS5 for a bit to make sure that I'm fully healed up. I'll also try some of the stretches and exercises recommended here.

Thanks duders. I'll let everyone know if my hands cramp up and fall off the next time I try to swing around Manhattan.

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@cikame: Void Bastards has pretty substantial progression too. The main "story" of the game has you gathering components to build stuff and if I recall correctly you keep whatever you've completed, so it's really more of a "die and get a new character" game than any kind of true Roguelike. You aren't expected to collect everything with a single character.

It's sort of like Zombie U. IN SPAAAAAAAAACE!

I liked it.

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@justin258: That's a possibility, though I don't recall feeling any particular pain while working out (though those injuries can pop up later) but I'm not sure why the Dualsense in particular would be exacerbating it. There are a lot of possibilities, but I think it might just be something about the way the controller fits in my hand. It's just strange because holding it feels perfectly comfortable.

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@zombiepie: I don't know where you get the idea that I think the games are unworthy of preserving based on what I said. I said things like "everything should be archived" and ended my comment saying I wished they would be preserved, so that's a strange position to draw from my comment.

My point about them being disposable was that was why the companies themselves don't care. I think you're wrong about companies not making games with the plan of it being preserved for the long term. Not via emulation, of course, but for the opportunity to resell it later down the line. In the early days of games nobody preserved anything (just like the early days of film) but now that remastering and remaking are big business I think a lot of stuff is getting relatively carefully archived. Square Enix knows that it will sell Octopath Traveler on some future platform once enough time has passed for there to be nostalgia about it, so I'm sure they're carefully preserving everything. Activision and now Bungie have left the Destiny 1 servers up for almost a decade probably because they don't want people to think about Destiny as disposable even though I doubt the first game generates any substantial revenue for them.

These mobile games often aren't thought of in the same way and as I said are specifically designed not to be thought of in the same way because they want people to feel constant FOMO pressure on them. The idea that the game will eventually go away is just another reason to spend now.

I also don't think what makes them hard to preserve is that they're disposable. What makes them hard to preserve is that they run a bunch of stuff on the server side. You can preserve the game files but you need to either get or sort of back engineer the server code to make it run as intended (or modify the code not to need to hit the servers.) It's not like preserving snake or solitaire where you just need the files on your computer or phone and then either the hardware or an emulation of it.

Things like WOW can get preserved with private servers because they had a massive audience of extremely dedicated people who want to live in those worlds, but since these games are viewed as disposable there isn't the same impetus, even without the added layer of difficulty of having to emulate older phone hardware.

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It's not a time thing for me. There are lots of timesink games outside the roguelike genre. The Yakuza games are long and often push you into random side stories that don't matter that much, and of course we know how Ubisoft style open world games love to waste your time. For me it's that the Roguelike genre sacrifices many of the tools that games use to stay compelling (like story and level design variety) and don't really replace them with anything.

I am not a huge roguelike fan in general but I have really enjoyed a few of them and I've rolled credits on some (not just Hades but also games like Undermine, Rogue Legacy and Immortal Redneck.)

For me it's all about the moment to moment gameplay in a game like this. A game really has to pack in some incredible gameplay hook to justify the roguelike structure because roguelikes lose the advantage of great level design and generally things like story progression and character that keep most games fresh and pull you forward, so other things have to carry them.

A roguelike with great gameplay is a lot like an arcade game but longer. If you're old enough to remember arcades and arcade style games, you played those just for the fun of playing (or, I guess, high scores) and always had to start from the beginning once you run out of quarters or lives/continues in console versions. That was still fun. So are great Roguelikes.

I play the daily challenge for Monster Train almost every day while walking on my treadmill and I absolutely love it because that gameplay clicks with me on a deep level. It's not about progression (I have all the unlocks) or story (there isn't any) it's just about the fun of playing, the same reason I still boot up Tetris or Robotron 2084 from time to time.

Hades is probably my favorite roguelike because it puts story and character back into the mix, and even incorporates the roguelike elements into those things in a way that makes it feel essential and not like a compromise. It also plays great and has the gameplay hook of the various boons and weapons radically altering your playstyle in a way that feels fresh. You don't mind playing the same levels over and over again because you're getting story hooks, and getting to experiment with different builds that really feel different, not just slightly stronger or weaker.

Something like RAD just feels boring and repetitive, despite what I think are really great aesthetics, because the gameplay is just so-so and there's no real meaningful progression so you don't feel like you're pushing further, just retreading old ground. Curse of the Dead Gods plays better but can easily ruin a run if you get a bad curse, and doesn't do enough to make games varied through the gameplay.

It's not the number of items they have it's how much they affect the gameplay.

I played a little Scourgebringer and in my view it suffers from these issues. The moment to moment gameplay is...fine and would work in a game with interesting handcrafted level mechanics and some story, but it's not spectacular, and the items and drops don't radically mix things up so it just gets monotonous.

I think that's why people who love really challenging games tend to like roguelikes too. For them the challenge IS the hook, and it makes the moment to moment gameplay super fun. For the rest of us it just compounds the monotony as you run through the same areas over and over to bash your head against the boss.