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Other Games / Metroid Dread
« on: November 01, 2021, 09:16:38 pm »
So "the first new metroid 2D game in 19 years" came out a few weeks ago. Of course, since Metroid Fusion, we've had Metroid Prime 2 and 3, Hunters, Other M, Federation Force and the remake of Metroid 2, so it's not like nothing has happened with the franchise since then... but it's still a very meaningful addition. I have played through the game three times now. Once normally, getting 100% after beating the final boss, once again looking for places to "sequence break", and a casual speedrun on hard difficulty. And I have some thoughts that I need to get out.

Main one is that Dread is a sequel to Fusion in more ways than one. The emphasis is not really on exploration anymore. While the game doesn't spell out for you where you have to go, it has a tendency to close paths behind you as you go and leave very few options open at any given time. I don't mind that much that there's rarely more than one unopened door (or equivalent) at any given time, heavily pushing you towards The One True Path, but locking your options to backtrack for collectibles or just to check if you missed anything else than the obvious path in front of you is super annoying, especially when the "locking" comes unexpectedly, such as "random" pitfall blocks. The game only really lets you explore towards the end of the game. There are some occasions in which you can sequence break with clever/skillful platforming, placed there by the devs, but most are curiosities that don't last long before you're forced back to the main path. Some glitches allow further sequence breaking, but I don't know much about them.

That being said, movement is a joy. Controlling Samus has never felt better, you're zipping around at light speed, jumping, bouncing, sliding, etc., and it only gets better with additional upgrades. I believe it's this expanded mobility that really let MercurySteam go wild with the (few "true") bosses in the game, which are hands down the best in the whole series. Previous 2D Metroid games mostly had you trading blows with bosses, and while skill was still involved, it was mostly a check for how many missiles/energy tanks you had collected. In Dread, all boss attacks can be dodged, and with a bit of practice bosses can be beat without ever getting hit (the flipside, of course, is that any hit *hurts*, so you'll likely die a few times to each boss).

The EMMIs are fine. They're overall better than the SA-X, from a gameplay perspective, expecting quick planning and actual reactivity from the player, but they can also feel a bit unfair in that their placement is somewhat randomized. Luckily Dread checkpoints often, so they fact they instakill you is not too frustrating. They mostly test your capacity to exploit the level design to avoid them, so some feel more fun than others depending on how interesting the "platforming" around them is. I thought they were fun my first time around the game (though they seem to be polarizing online) as an occasional break of the usual gameplay, but on replays they get a bit boring since they're a bit too linear and there is very little you can do to optimize their sections. Maybe if their areas were a bit more open that would have alleviated the problem, but alas (check Rainworld if you want to see this concept pushed into a fullscale game).

For more general stuff, the game is obviously the best looking Metroid to date, by far. Music is just fine, not memorable but not bad. The plot (there is one!) is good enough with a couple of twists, and mostly references Fusion and (I think) M:SR. Loading screens between areas are long. One particular returning upgrade (grapple beam) gets some cool additional tricks, but unfortunately suffers from horrible inputs, often requiring 4 (!!!!) simultaneous inputs to use - I think the devs were aware of the issue, because you rarely need to use it precisely and quickly, but still, a different scheme would have allowed additional puzzles and platforming with it. The map is particularly useful this time around, quick check will usually tell you where to go if you've ever played a Metroid game before. Lots of hidden breakable blocks stopping progression, I only had to check a guide twice in Dread (even while getting 100%), and both were early on due to this problem, before I got in the habit of missile-ing and bomb-ing everything; I am very iffy about this.

Anyhoo, overall Dread is still a really good Metroid game, I would argue almost strictly better than Fusion. The fact that it's rather linear is more than made up for the fluidity of its movement and the quality of the bosses. Really the main issue with Dread is the price compared to indie alternatives (there is a before and an after Hollow Knight), but if the main thing you want from it is the progression from acquiring upgrades or want to know the next episode in the Metroid story, this is still a very worthwhile investment. I played AM2R right after (never had before, turns out I should have), and it's definitely a very different feel in terms of exploration even though it's somewhat linear itself; hopefully the next (?) Metroid game MercurySteam develops can capture that too.

Other Games / Outer Wilds
« on: April 05, 2020, 01:21:50 pm »
Iíve just finished this game, and itís sincerely one of the best games Iíve ever played. Itís a game about exploring a toy-sized solar system, discovering the ruins of a long lost ancient race, and a series of mysteries that reveal the close relationship between them and the many strange phenomena happening all over the place.

Itís hard to talk about this game and how good it is without giving anything away, but because the whole point is the exploration and discovery, any ďspoilerĒ I give will take something from your enjoyment of it. The gameplay is unlike anything Iíve played before. The closest might be the Myst games, if you had a focus on exploration instead of obtuse puzzles, but with a similar feel and atmosphere, although more lighthearted and funny. Itís also not a hard game by any means, with a tremendously useful spaceship log that records your discoveries: you always have access to all the info youíve collected, and it also points you in a few directions that might be worthwhile to explore. But just pointing to a random astral body, landing, and walking for a bit will uncover something, the game is dense with content. And information is the only thing you need: there are no unlocks of any kind, and you could technically finish the game within 20 minutes if you knew how to (and in fact you will). The planets and moons are themselves very imaginative even before you find any ruins, and make for unforgettable vistas.

If youíre looking for a unique ~15h experience during these trying times, I canít recommend this game enough. Itís beautiful and clever, and will leave you thinking about it for a while. Itís also cheap for the quality youíre getting. There are a couple snags in a couple puzzles that involve waiting (the ďtime skipĒ feature is a bit clunky), and one or two locations that involve manoeuvring that is a bit more precise than what the controls allow, but those are literally the only complaints I have for a game that would otherwise be perfect.

Other Games / Hollow Knight
« on: March 11, 2018, 11:45:01 pm »
It's a really good game. A cross between a Metroidvania and Dark Souls. It's tough but fair, and the artstyle is just amazing. Of note, around 3 hours in (once you get the first two traversal abilities), the game just completely opens up and lets you go pretty much wherever you want in that massive world.

Anyone else here played it? I just finished everything the game currently has to offer (aside from Path of Pain, which I do not currently intend to do), took me a bit less than 40h, and now I am waiting for the next (and final) free DLC to drop.

Variants and Fan Cards / Kontor
« on: December 12, 2017, 03:40:05 pm »
Kontor: 3$
Action, Duration
+1 Action
At the beginning of next turn, +1 Card per Kontor you have in play.

Just a random idea I had this morning. Crazy draw potential if uncontested, but if you play them all in the same turn, you will have a bad time afterwards. Thoughts?

Variants and Fan Cards / Historian / Antiquarian
« on: August 24, 2016, 01:54:05 am »
Eh, I'm on a roll.

Historian: Action, 5$
+1 Card
+1 Action

While this card is in play, when you would draw a card, instead look through your discard pile and put one card from it in your hand and another on top of your deck.

Seems hard to price, the "card on top of your deck"  is clunky but tries to limit how ridiculously broken this is when drawn at the end of your shuffle. On the other hand, it might make it even more powerful, hard to say.

Another version, less broken (and hence less fun) would be:

Antiquarian: Action, 5$
+3 cards

While this card is in play, when you would draw a card, you may instead look through your discard pile and put one card from it on top of your deck.

This version needs a whole lot more support than Historian to go bananas, but hey worst case scenario it's still a Smithy!


Variants and Fan Cards / Usurer
« on: August 22, 2016, 09:25:06 pm »
The new version of Refurbish (from Enterprise, by LFN) got me thinking...

Usurer: Action, 4$
+1 buy
Gain two Coppers. Trash this or a non-Treasure card from your hand. Copper produces an extra 2$ this turn.

Power level might be wildly off. The idea is a card that is rapidly destroying your deck, but that actually thrives in the sort of deck it creates, if only you can sustain it long enough.


Original version:

Usurer: Action, 4$
+1 buy
Gain two Coppers. Trash this or a non-Treasure card from your hand.

While this card is in play, Copper produce 2$ more.

General Discussion / Thread to discuss the counting thread
« on: October 29, 2015, 10:27:31 am »
I've open this to keep the other thread clean, and just in case you really wanted to post something there but can't anymore.

Why was this moved to general discussion? It's clearly a forum game.  Sorry to be an uptight, but I don't post my threads about Innovation in GD.

I guess you could argue it's not a game because no one who wins? It's such a boring exercise that everyone loses..

Actually, this started because people wanted to know how many active users f.ds has. Gamificating (?) the question makes it ever so slightly more probable that people will participate.

tl;dr : for SCIENCE!

General Discussion / Let's count each other!!!!
« on: October 28, 2015, 10:45:23 pm »

(in case the concept is not obvious, post here, and increase the number from the previous post. Don't post twice!)

PS: If you want to discuss this thread, please go here instead.

Variants and Fan Cards / Messing with the Supply: Town Crier
« on: June 05, 2015, 08:31:29 pm »
Town Crier: Action, 4$
The first time you buy a Kingdom card from the Supply this turn, move a copy of it to the top of another Kingdom Supply pile.

I've been thinking about the concept of moving cards from the Supply. Other iterations gave bonuses to all players for buying cards that are not on their pile, others moved cards to the bottom of the pile instead. This one seems to be simple enough and less oppressive than other versions. Thoughts?

Variants and Fan Cards / Furnace, a hungry card
« on: March 07, 2015, 11:03:24 am »
A completely crazy (and wordy) idea that I don't really expect to work but that you might find inspiring/interesting.

Types: Action
Cost: $5

Discard an Action card (or reveal a hand with no Action cards). If you did, +2 cards. If you drew 2 cards this way, play this again.

While this card is in play, you may not shuffle your Discard pile to form a new Deck.

EDIT: I've changed this a couple of times already because I have no idea about its powerlevel.

EDIT N: Even though it sort of looks like a mix between Town/Road and Village-of-Smithies/Logde right now, the original idea was to make "While this card is resolving, you may not shuffle your Discard pile to form a new Deck" work. True Story!

Variants and Fan Cards / pseudo Demonic Tutor: "Hound"
« on: November 22, 2014, 01:52:39 pm »
Types: Action
Cost: $2
+1 Action
Reveal a card from your hand.
Reveal cards from the top of your deck until you reveal a copy of that card; put it in your hand and discard the rest.

Donald has mentioned that a "Demonic Tutor" (a card that digs for a card of your choice) is something that can't be priced.
So, here's my attempt to do one that works at a low price ($2 or $3). What do you people think? Is it fine, or does it have to be nerfed further? Limit the digging to action cards, for example?

Also, is it entirely clear that, no, you don't have to discard the card you revealed from your hand?

Variants and Fan Cards / Magic mirror
« on: October 03, 2014, 01:34:54 pm »
A silly idea, but one that gets the fabled action-treasure typing!

Magic Mirror
Types: Action - Treasure
Cost: 4$
Play this as if it were an Action or Treasure card in your play area that you choose.
This is that card until either leaves play.

The unholy union between Throne Room and Counterfeit, but has some interesting combos that either lack. Thoughts?

EDIT: this has some weird interaction when copying a throne room / KC to play a duration card, but I don't think there should be any other rule problems with it. The FAQ should specify that you obviously can't use it to copy action cards during your buy phase (or black market phase), but that's about it.

General Discussion / Crusader Kings
« on: September 04, 2014, 07:59:05 pm »
Anyone know this? It's been featured in a recent Humble Bundle deal, and it's reaaaally addictive. Like, the unholy union from Civ and the Sims. Very time consuming though, I'm 50 hours in, and still only halfway through a playthrough (though I think you are not really expected to finish them, but since it's the first one, let's see how much of Europe I can cover under the banner of the proud Ua Briain).

Basically, you start the game somewhere in between 1066 and 1453 (historic start) and take the control of a ruler, small or big, in Europe/North Africa/Middle East. The thing is, once the guy/gal dies, you get to play as his/her successor, and so on. So there's a lot of mustering levies and marching against your neighbours, but that's only 1/3 of the game.
The meat and bones of the game is to get a wife and lotsa kids so that you can keep playing after you die. You then marry those kids to either useful spouses (good generals/stewards/plotters/geniuses/etc), or to members of powerful families either for alliance purposes or inheritance. In the latter case, other dynasties are unlikely to marry their heir to yours... so you will have to marry them to the fifth on line and proceed to murder everybody standing on the way, hopefully without getting discovered.
And then as you get larger and rule a kingdom, you'll have to deal with the dukes and counts under you. Maybe they like you because you are a brave crusader, maybe they don't because you've got a stutter and they've got a strong claim on your crown (because it's your uncle... or because you've murdered the former ruler, her wife and her twin babies to send the country into chaos so that you could come with your armies and "set things straight" and the Pope excommunicated you sometime in there). So they stop giving you money or levies, plot to get you killed, or they get together to become independent from you, or they ask help to the neighbouring Holy Roman Emperor to replace you with his unlanded inbred third son.

And of course in the end the Mongol hordes come in and you get wiped out in one month.

Fun times! So, anyone knows it?

Puzzles and Challenges / Upgrade a spoils into...
« on: July 09, 2014, 12:50:10 pm »
Inspired by:

Upgrades spoils.

Into a Poor House?!?!?!
you can upgread spoils into a colony :)

Assuming there is a (pure) Victory card at each price point, what is the maximum printed cost of a card such that it is possible to gain it by trashing a spoils with Upgrade? Please provide a basic rundown of the turn!

After corrections from Sudgy and Mic Qsenoch (thanks!), the answer should be 50$

-> The replies contain spoilers, read at your own risk!

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