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Thread: What are you Playing?

  1. #6921

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Gourd seeds in Sekiro (which increase your number of heals) are generally found through exploration. I can't remember if any drop from enemies.

  2. #6922
    The Moustache Bandit Nolus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagomu View Post
    The curse thing isn't the biggest issue, but definitely the thing that brought it all crashing down. To me it doesn't matter that it doesn't actually do a whole lot. I was already frustrated with learning to play the game, and with the ways its systems just don't work for me. So after trying to put in the time and effort to learn it and get into anything resembling a comfortable groove, which was a huge demoralizing slog, the curse thing just came in like Nelson yelling "HA HA" to punctuate my misery.


    An aside on healing in From games:

    Hidden:
    Having engaged with it I'd say that I really don't like the healing in Sekiro. If I had to rank From Software healing mechanics, it'd be DS1>DS3>Sekiro>DS2>Bloodborne>Demon's Souls, of which I only liked the top two.

    What I really like about healing in Dark Souls 1 is that you always have the same minimum amount of healing items everywhere no matter what. It's a manageable amount that lets you make a good number of mistakes at any time, but the game can also be balanced around it so that it isn't being made easier because of it.

    DS3 nails the first part, but drops the ball on the second. Having an optionally growing number of charges tied to your character instead of specific bonfires means that you can end up at points where you have more or less heals than the game expects. It gets some extra points, too, though, for letting you allocate estus to magic depending on your build.

    Sekiro has those problems, but starts you out with only one charge so you really can't make mistakes and learn well, either. It is interesting that upgrades are tied to battles instead of exploration, but they are no less optional so the problem isn't solved. Pellets don't do much to mitigate, and introduces a new problem of being consumable, which might necessitate grinding at some point. They get some points back for being carried 3 at a time for balance purposes and not being all that important or uncommon.

    Dark Souls 2 has the same problems as Sekiro, except the upgrades are tied to exploration, so they're less likely to be found, and the consumable heal item is life gems, which you can carry any amount of, breaking the balance and making it easier to run out.

    In some ways, Bloodborne's healing system is almost as good as DS1's. It gives you a consistent amount of heals that let you make a good amount of mistakes in any encounter, but the game is able to balance around that. If that were all there was to it, it would be ranked second. Buuuuuuuuuuuuut the blood vials are consumable, so you can potentially run out and be forced to farm in order to get the amount of vials the game is balanced around you having. It punishes you for failing a lot, which - like in Sekiro - I find to be an infinitely shitty and frustrating thing to do to a player.

    Demon's Souls is all that, but without putting a limit on how many you can hold, so it's lacking that aspect of balance that Bloodborne had and requires you to grind if you want the ability to make mistakes and learn, plus also having no cap hurts rationing. It's just every single problem I've highlighted with the others, but together.
    I really did come to love DS1's Estus system. I would think about which bonfires were the most beneficial to "level" up so to speak. Most of them were near bosses of course.

    What I really disliked about DS2's healing is the sheer variety of the items. The stones/crystals were a nice enough idea, and I'd liked to see them better implemented, but some of the herbs were just redundant. There were multiple that gave a very weak health regen that I never used because if I wanted to save of Estus, I just popped one or two of my crystals. In contrast, the herbs that gave you more magic uses worked better and was an interesting middle way between stacking the same spell multiple times and basically-a-mana-potion-estus.

    DS2 had way too many items overall and I found a lot of them underwhelming. It's not that I used that many items in DS1 and DS3 (bug pellets and even Divine Blessings were unused basically the whole game), but at least most if not all had clear uses and their own place in the game. I've come to love the green blossoms and even the prism stones (especially when I found out what sound they made after being tossed down from 10 stories high). Mosses, of course, are a godsend if you're not a cleric or don't yet have that miracle.


  3. #6923
    Voici La Chévre Wagomu's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foolio View Post
    Gourd seeds in Sekiro (which increase your number of heals) are generally found through exploration. I can't remember if any drop from enemies.
    Is it not the case? The one I found dropped from a miniboss, so I assumed it was like the beads. If that's the case, then its healing drops a few points in my book, but is still better than DS2.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nolus View Post
    I really did come to love DS1's Estus system. I would think about which bonfires were the most beneficial to "level" up so to speak. Most of them were near bosses of course.

    What I really disliked about DS2's healing is the sheer variety of the items. The stones/crystals were a nice enough idea, and I'd liked to see them better implemented, but some of the herbs were just redundant. There were multiple that gave a very weak health regen that I never used because if I wanted to save of Estus, I just popped one or two of my crystals. In contrast, the herbs that gave you more magic uses worked better and was an interesting middle way between stacking the same spell multiple times and basically-a-mana-potion-estus.

    DS2 had way too many items overall and I found a lot of them underwhelming. It's not that I used that many items in DS1 and DS3 (bug pellets and even Divine Blessings were unused basically the whole game), but at least most if not all had clear uses and their own place in the game. I've come to love the green blossoms and even the prism stones (especially when I found out what sound they made after being tossed down from 10 stories high). Mosses, of course, are a godsend if you're not a cleric or don't yet have that miracle.
    Being able to upgrade the DS1 bonfires was great because it gave you the choice of having more estus for each section and made you think about it. But also since there's a default amount of estus, the game could be balanced around that, so it theoretically shouldn't be necessary to kindle any bonfires. I did it for a few of the tougher bosses, and only ever up to 10, but the option to go further could be found for players having more difficulty than others.

    I never really engaged with fully consumable items besides antidotes when necessary. They seem to be a poor fit for a game centered around such difficult encounters, because you could easily wind up in a situation where you use one for an advantage, still struggle with a tough boss, then run out and get set further back than where you started. That's why I especially resent when the valuable healing items are consumable. I had a moment in Bloodborne where I got really close to beating a boss, but started with half blood vials, since I ran out while attempting her. I lost because I had run out of heals and got got right before I could finish her off, then had to spend the next couple hours grinding them back. Dark Souls 2 doesn't fully rely on life gems, but it's for that sort of reason why I dislike their use altogether (and this also applies to an extent to those other minor healing items in the game).

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  4. #6924
    The Moustache Bandit Nolus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagomu View Post
    Is it not the case? The one I found dropped from a miniboss, so I assumed it was like the beads. If that's the case, then its healing drops a few points in my book, but is still better than DS2.

    Being able to upgrade the DS1 bonfires was great because it gave you the choice of having more estus for each section and made you think about it. But also since there's a default amount of estus, the game could be balanced around that, so it theoretically shouldn't be necessary to kindle any bonfires. I did it for a few of the tougher bosses, and only ever up to 10, but the option to go further could be found for players having more difficulty than others.

    I never really engaged with fully consumable items besides antidotes when necessary. They seem to be a poor fit for a game centered around such difficult encounters, because you could easily wind up in a situation where you use one for an advantage, still struggle with a tough boss, then run out and get set further back than where you started. That's why I especially resent when the valuable healing items are consumable. I had a moment in Bloodborne where I got really close to beating a boss, but started with half blood vials, since I ran out while attempting her. I lost because I had run out of heals and got got right before I could finish her off, then had to spend the next couple hours grinding them back. Dark Souls 2 doesn't fully rely on life gems, but it's for that sort of reason why I dislike their use altogether (and this also applies to an extent to those other minor healing items in the game).
    I kind of like some of the consumables, it makes the gameplay more varied in some cases. I'm replaying DS3, and I had the idea of trying to use Alluring Skulls in the Deacons bossfight. And it worked! It didn't really feel gamebreaking, more tactical and crafty.

    I get what you mean, though. Having a large amount of consumable choices makes it harder to balance the game around them. They need a big enough impact to make them worth using, but shouldn't be too mandatory of you want to forgo them completely (like me in my first playthrough; I used maybe two Divine Blessings; I like to suffer sometimes).


  5. #6925
    Voici La Chévre Wagomu's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolus View Post
    I kind of like some of the consumables, it makes the gameplay more varied in some cases. I'm replaying DS3, and I had the idea of trying to use Alluring Skulls in the Deacons bossfight. And it worked! It didn't really feel gamebreaking, more tactical and crafty.

    I get what you mean, though. Having a large amount of consumable choices makes it harder to balance the game around them. They need a big enough impact to make them worth using, but shouldn't be too mandatory of you want to forgo them completely (like me in my first playthrough; I used maybe two Divine Blessings; I like to suffer sometimes).
    I kind of wish items could be replaced with low grade spells (most/all builds capable of using them) that you could choose to allocate in some amount of cantrip slots. That way, you would have a naturally limited amount of uses that could never be fully expended and would be replenished for each new encounter. Then the game could be balanced better around it, too, instead of never being sure whether you had access to those things or not.

    The effects can be interesting and bring out more aspects of the game, like engaging with elemental weakness or enemy ai, but I've always felt that the way From games punishes you so harshly discouraged me from experimenting with anything I could really exhaust. If an enemy can suddenly kill you in one shot while you're in a position that doesn't let you avoid them, then anything you've consumed to get to that point is suddenly and unpredictably wasted. As a result, I truly never used anything. No papers/resins, status heals (minus a few poison heals and one of those curse heals in DS1), allures, marker stones or anything (except I guess the ones you consume for souls, which almost don't count since they're just another form of a different resource). I don't dislike the experience that I had, but there were definitely moments where people told me I should be using one of those things to get past a tough boss, and I was just not confident that I wouldn't waste it.

    Semi-related, this vid touches on a lot of these sorts of issues (as well as points out some of the parts that succeed, and a bunch of unrelated points):


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  6. #6926
    The Album Guy Nobodyman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Been playing all the games I never played before on the Castlevania Anniversary Collection.

    Castlevania: The Adventure - Goddamn, did they even playtest this game? It's stupidly hard in that demands absolutely precise platforming. And the control's are stiff even for a Castlevania game. Far better to the remake, which, from what I can tell, actually has no resemblance to this game.

    Belmont's Revenge - Definitely an improvement over the first GameBoy game in that it's at least playable. That is until you get to the last few levels and the bosses become ridiculously unfair.

    Castlevania Bloodlines - Yep, this is a solid Castlevania game. Doesn't offer much in terms of innovation, but it's good.

    Kid Dracula - Starts off as a pretty easy kid's game, but then the last few levels take a huge step up in difficulty. The boss of the sixth level is just stupid.

    Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - About half an hour into this one and, yeah, it's just as unintuitive as I was led to believe. I mean, I guess it's fine if you have a guide helping you.

    All I can say is thank god the Anniversary Collection has a save state feature or I'd never make it through these games.

  7. #6927

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobodyman View Post
    All I can say is thank god the Anniversary Collection has a save state feature or I'd never make it through these games.
    It's funny I can beat the Dracula X Chronicles without any issues and yet I could not beat the original Bloodlines with Richter for some reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiq View Post
    I've often wondered about that myself; seems like being supported by people who only want you there so the world can end in fire (with you going to Hell in the process) would be somewhat off-putting
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  8. #6928
    Discovered Stowaway thegab's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagomu View Post
    I kind of wish items could be replaced with low grade spells (most/all builds capable of using them) that you could choose to allocate in some amount of cantrip slots. That way, you would have a naturally limited amount of uses that could never be fully expended and would be replenished for each new encounter. Then the game could be balanced better around it, too, instead of never being sure whether you had access to those things or not.

    The effects can be interesting and bring out more aspects of the game, like engaging with elemental weakness or enemy ai, but I've always felt that the way From games punishes you so harshly discouraged me from experimenting with anything I could really exhaust. If an enemy can suddenly kill you in one shot while you're in a position that doesn't let you avoid them, then anything you've consumed to get to that point is suddenly and unpredictably wasted. As a result, I truly never used anything. No papers/resins, status heals (minus a few poison heals and one of those curse heals in DS1), allures, marker stones or anything (except I guess the ones you consume for souls, which almost don't count since they're just another form of a different resource). I don't dislike the experience that I had, but there were definitely moments where people told me I should be using one of those things to get past a tough boss, and I was just not confident that I wouldn't waste it.

    Semi-related, this vid touches on a lot of these sorts of issues (as well as points out some of the parts that succeed, and a bunch of unrelated points):

    I wouldn't want to completely get rid of consumables though. Having to plan and grind for an item to increase chances or just being SOL and not have anything besides flasks add an aspect of unpredictability that I love to hate.

    Sekiro: I never felt stupidly powerful even endgame which was a contrast from Dark Souls. No shame in spamming block until you get the timing down better. It was definitely a game I progressed through inch by inch. It helps to look up "how to cheese" videos for any section/boss of the game. No shame!

    I have yet to beat the ending with that 4 staged boss. My 2 playthroughs I'm just too burnt out to die a hundred times on him until I somehow beat him. 2nd playthrough I did cruise through pretty easily, so maybe ill beat him next time.

  9. #6929

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    I just love Sekiro for doing away with all the equipment and "builds" crap and letting me control my play style through which tools I decided to use and which skills I prioritized. Bloodborne got partway there but still had annoying armor juggling and level up stat prioritization. Here I am directly rewarded for beating bosses, exploring, and doing side content. And for me, the rewarding play style was for the most part to ignore everything and focus on parrying and attack patterns. I never cheesed a boss and my victories felt amazing. Well I guess I abused Ichimonji Double at every chance but that's hardly a cheese. Compare that to something like Nioh which I immediately dropped when I realized it was just an equipment management simulator.

  10. #6930
    The Moustache Bandit Nolus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wagomu View Post
    I kind of wish items could be replaced with low grade spells (most/all builds capable of using them) that you could choose to allocate in some amount of cantrip slots. That way, you would have a naturally limited amount of uses that could never be fully expended and would be replenished for each new encounter. Then the game could be balanced better around it, too, instead of never being sure whether you had access to those things or not.

    The effects can be interesting and bring out more aspects of the game, like engaging with elemental weakness or enemy ai, but I've always felt that the way From games punishes you so harshly discouraged me from experimenting with anything I could really exhaust. If an enemy can suddenly kill you in one shot while you're in a position that doesn't let you avoid them, then anything you've consumed to get to that point is suddenly and unpredictably wasted. As a result, I truly never used anything. No papers/resins, status heals (minus a few poison heals and one of those curse heals in DS1), allures, marker stones or anything (except I guess the ones you consume for souls, which almost don't count since they're just another form of a different resource). I don't dislike the experience that I had, but there were definitely moments where people told me I should be using one of those things to get past a tough boss, and I was just not confident that I wouldn't waste it.

    Semi-related, this vid touches on a lot of these sorts of issues (as well as points out some of the parts that succeed, and a bunch of unrelated points):

    Interesting video, although I have to disagree on some of his points on Dishonored. I actually enjoy going stealth in that game more than killing and jumping around, and I do think the game shines in these circumstances as well.

    The first two Thief games (The Dark Project and The Metal Age) actually had a pretty easy and effective way to discourage hoarding. Every mission begins with you being given a set of resources that you can chose to add to by buying more from the shop. Aside from the very first missions, the amount of gold you can spend depends on how much loot you got in the previous mission. You can't, however buy everything from the shop, even if you found every little piece of loot. The resources you get or buy for each mission is only for that mission (except for, of course, your equipment, like blackjack, lockpicks and mission/story items), so there's no point in not using them. You can even skip buying more stuff and finish the game with minimal consumables, well, consumed, but it's not going to be easy.

    This solution doesn't work for every game though, because you need a level/mission system for that. Something that the Fromsoft games don't really have.


  11. #6931

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Been going through Valkyrie Chronicles 4 months after originally buying months ago.

    And man are there any worse written characters in the game besides Raz & Riley?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiq View Post
    I've often wondered about that myself; seems like being supported by people who only want you there so the world can end in fire (with you going to Hell in the process) would be somewhat off-putting
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  12. #6932
    Voici La Chévre Wagomu's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by thegab View Post
    I wouldn't want to completely get rid of consumables though. Having to plan and grind for an item to increase chances or just being SOL and not have anything besides flasks add an aspect of unpredictability that I love to hate.
    That's all well and good if you run out of something in the middle of the fight and have to deal with it on a given run. I took on the back half of Nameless King with a sliver of health and no more estus, and it was a rush. It's different when you're in the middle of a tense encounter, run out of items, and are then expected to spend several hours grinding to have a chance to start the fight again on the same level that you started it before.

    Boss encounters are the culmination of both the narrative and gameplay for a given section of a game. It sorta kills the mood when you need to call time our for a few hours to pick up bottles.

    Sekiro: I never felt stupidly powerful even endgame which was a contrast from Dark Souls. No shame in spamming block until you get the timing down better. It was definitely a game I progressed through inch by inch. It helps to look up "how to cheese" videos for any section/boss of the game. No shame!

    I have yet to beat the ending with that 4 staged boss. My 2 playthroughs I'm just too burnt out to die a hundred times on him until I somehow beat him. 2nd playthrough I did cruise through pretty easily, so maybe ill beat him next time.
    Learning the cheese tactics and spamming block all the time doesn't sound fun for me. Ideally I would have loved to engage with the game on its own terms, but unfortunately it didn't seem to want me to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Foolio View Post
    I just love Sekiro for doing away with all the equipment and "builds" crap and letting me control my play style through which tools I decided to use and which skills I prioritized. Bloodborne got partway there but still had annoying armor juggling and level up stat prioritization. Here I am directly rewarded for beating bosses, exploring, and doing side content. And for me, the rewarding play style was for the most part to ignore everything and focus on parrying and attack patterns. I never cheesed a boss and my victories felt amazing. Well I guess I abused Ichimonji Double at every chance but that's hardly a cheese. Compare that to something like Nioh which I immediately dropped when I realized it was just an equipment management simulator.
    In Dark Souls/Bloodborne, I honestly just ignored armor/weapon experimentation and just zoned in on one thing throughout the game. Claymore only melee light rolls in Dark Souls 1/3, Hunter's Axe 2hand only in Bloodborne. That didn't bother me so much as paralyze me with options a bit and make me uninterested in trying new things. Those systems do have a lot of redundant parts that are good to strip out, and I do appreciate that Bloodborne and Sekiro cut out the fat, but Sekiro threw away my favorite cuts of meat, too.

    Sekiro focused on the parry-based gameplay, which is something I'm not interested in, nor good at. I can't fault that style of gameplay for existing, but I just personally find it tedious and boring. I prefer approaching enemies with a loose, improvisational style, which is something that the Dark Souls games mostly reward, but Sekiro demands way more specific actions at specific times so it really frustrates me. I have a lot of other issues with the gameplay in Sekrio, but that fundamental issue with the playstyle is what makes all those issues land so much worse.

    Souldborne combat isn't perfect, and I have plenty of issues with it, too (especially in Dark Souls 1), but it's a lot more fun and approachable to me. I love that I can tackle encounters in any way I want and try out any dumb idea I have. I hardly ever felt like I cheesed a fight, too (besides some of the bigger enemies that can be safely hit from behind), and found most of them pretty challenging. People say Bloodborne is more fun if you parry, but I felt the exact opposite and really enjoyed trading blows with its creatures. Parries definitely aren't for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolus View Post
    Interesting video, although I have to disagree on some of his points on Dishonored. I actually enjoy going stealth in that game more than killing and jumping around, and I do think the game shines in these circumstances as well.

    The first two Thief games (The Dark Project and The Metal Age) actually had a pretty easy and effective way to discourage hoarding. Every mission begins with you being given a set of resources that you can chose to add to by buying more from the shop. Aside from the very first missions, the amount of gold you can spend depends on how much loot you got in the previous mission. You can't, however buy everything from the shop, even if you found every little piece of loot. The resources you get or buy for each mission is only for that mission (except for, of course, your equipment, like blackjack, lockpicks and mission/story items), so there's no point in not using them. You can even skip buying more stuff and finish the game with minimal consumables, well, consumed, but it's not going to be easy.

    This solution doesn't work for every game though, because you need a level/mission system for that. Something that the Fromsoft games don't really have.
    That system in the Thief games does sound really cool. I love things like that, that both force you to consider which items you'll use and encourage you to play with what you've got. That's why I do like the idea of making items into some basic cantrips for From games, since you'd have to prepare your slots, but then you'd have them available for a given section/encounter.

    One thing that isn't stated in the vid, but is helpful for a lot of limited resource games is how death interacts with your inventory. In RE4, you have a limited amount of resources, but when you die you go back to the last checkpoint with whatever you started with. You can get into difficult low resource situations, but they aren't going to get worse every time you attempt a section. In From games, you get to keep items you pick up before you die, but you lose everything you lose, too. It really encourages grinding for too many items or using none, instead of making do with a limited amount. It's hard to just do what other games do and reset your items in From games, since they like to build in-universe narratives around their respawn mechanics (though they bend it a lot in Sekiro since there's no narrative reason for you to lose half your money, no way to recover it and no basis for what skill points are supposed to be). If they just dropped the pretense, I think they could easily improve that gameplay.

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  13. #6933
    The Album Guy Nobodyman's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Been playing Astral Chain. It has the way-too-many-combat-options-that-I-will-never-fully-utilize thing that always frustrates me. But even so, the game's going growing on me. I like the world it's set in and the story's pretty good.

  14. #6934

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Has anyone played the Avengers game? I love the Avengers so I was just wondering if it’s any good

  15. #6935

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    You know how I keep complaining that Jump Force wanted to be Manga avengers instead of it's own thing?

    Avengers ended up being Marvel Destiny, but without meaningful upgrades.
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  16. #6936

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxterdexter View Post
    You know how I keep complaining that Jump Force wanted to be Manga avengers instead of it's own thing?

    Avengers ended up being Marvel Destiny, but without meaningful upgrades.
    Awwwwwww man

  17. #6937
    21st Century Schizoid Man Johnny B. Decent's Avatar
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    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiebs View Post
    Has anyone played the Avengers game? I love the Avengers so I was just wondering if it’s any good
    It's not a bad game, but it didn't realize it's potential.

  18. #6938

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny B. Decent View Post
    It's not a bad game, but it didn't realize it's potential.
    I was really hoping for a great video game for the Avengers, I've been reading the comics since elementary school

    would you say it's not wort buying?

  19. #6939

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    Maybe in a few years and depending on what content and updates they release down the road.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ubiq View Post
    I've often wondered about that myself; seems like being supported by people who only want you there so the world can end in fire (with you going to Hell in the process) would be somewhat off-putting
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  20. #6940

    Default Re: What are you Playing?

    After being really off-put initially by the insect theming, I finally played Bug Fables and just got 100% last night. What an incredible game. Took me close to 35 hours total for all achievements, with everything being done on Hard Mode, and I even did some stuff that I'm pretty sure was totally optional like boss rush mode (which incidentally was the hardest thing I think. I did not go in with great item preparation and it came down to the wire at the end). The cave of trials was kind of a joke with my build; literally didn't use a single item until the last 4 battles, where I was forced to use a couple.

    Anyway great music, great characters and writing, great combat system.

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