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Cyber_Goddess's Game Reviews

   
Its been awhile since I played 4, so I can see maybe the outcasts joined back when Maxson got in charge and they went back to the codex. Lyons' BoS was definitely some form of good. Actual BoS is somewhere between that on a good day, and militaristic dictators like the Midwest one on their bad days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by natural19 View Post
Its been awhile since I played 4, so I can see maybe the outcasts joined back when Maxson got in charge and they went back to the codex. Lyons' BoS was definitely some form of good. Actual BoS is somewhere between that on a good day, and militaristic dictators like the Midwest one on their bad days.
That's pretty much what happened yeah.

Also for anyone who missed the review post, because it was poorly timed as the last post of the page. The Agents of Mayhem review is up on page 7. Pick it up while it's on sale.

Topical Essay: XCOM2 and the Topics of "Mod Reviews"

This is going to be a little different from my normal reviews, because well....XCOM2 is a game I have very mixed feelings on.

I'm very close to getting every achievement that I can get without owning War of the Chosen, and by my standards that's worthy of an 8, heck it's likely I'll even keep playing it after I do so making it a 9, but as the 'Mod Reviews' in the title implies there is something more at hand here than simply enjoying the game.

Because how do I put this lightly....XCOM2 without mods is quite frankly one of the worst games I have ever seen in terms of plot, and I'd argue even the tactical gameplay without mods simply does not hold up.

~The Plot~

I'm not going to get too into politics with this, although if you're familiar with my views on "Synths as people" you can probably already tell that I negatively view the "Always Chaotic Evil Aliens that want to harvest humans" concept, but even ignoring the major elephant in the room that I won't go into detail on due to Worldly Talk being banned, XCOM2's plot is still full of insane plot holes.

First off, this game takes place 20 years after the alien's conquest, but there's an achievement for beating it by July 1st, keep in mind the game starts in March, so in around 4 months to overthrow them. Not that big of problem....except XCOM's entire end game basically revolves around completing the alien's big plan before they do. Creating a functional "Avatar" unit, which your Commander Player "Avatar" (Clever Pun I admit), even controls for the final battle.

First off, the twenty year time skip. This makes zero sense. Like less than zero sense. I only need 4 scientists at minimum to complete the shadow chamber projects required to complete the game. You're telling me that after 20 years, this advanced alien race that has perfected genetic engineering to the point they can splice together functional human-alien hybrids together and clone them as mooks, can't pull off what it took Tygan and 4 random resistance researchers to complete in at most, 4 months for the achievement.

In another cutscene, the Elders say that their world was 'consumed first' by some vague threat, but in another Tygan says they've been suffering from some muscle destroying disease for 'centuries'. Even ignoring the centuries line, 20 years later after they invaded Earth and this vague threat still hasn't shown up.

Also this is XCOM. How did we beat the vague alien threat in UFO: Defense? Research tier 3 weapons and go shoot up their HQ. Terror from the Deep? Tier 3 weapons and shoot up HQ. Apocalypse? Tier 3 weapons and shoot up homeworld? Enemy Unknown 2012? Tier 3 weapons and psionics and shoot up the temple ship. And finally XCOM2? Tier 3 weapons and shoot up their underwater base.

Forgive me, if I don't buy this vague threat is going to be beaten by anything more than "Research Tier 3 weapons, and send 6-8 guys to blow up their HQ", if it even bothers showing up. We've spent 2 games hyping it up, but the developers can't exactly turn around and go "uh, yeah, it's unbeatable, turns out you should have listened to the Elders that were literally going to genocide humanity into soylent gene mods."

The plot is just awful, and it gets worse with the Alien Hunter DLC.

Alien Hunter introduces these powerful "Alien rulers" that completely break gameplay, by breaking the standard rules you've been following for the entire game otherwise. They're unit specific versions of "My rules are not your rules", with it "justified" via them being "Boss monsters".

The problem with this plot wise, is apparently these were created by Doctor Valhen from the 2012 XCOM....without a proper lab facility....while on the run from Advent....and these are boss monsters that put the FINAL BOSS AVATARS to shame in terms of how dangerous they are.

...You see where I'm coming from where the entire XCOM plot could have literally been avoided by the Elders, opening communications with Earth, explaining their dying, explaining this vague threat....and boom, in likely 5 years most, Vahlen would have them a cure, and we'd be on our way to beating up whatever this vague threat is.

Literally the Elder's would make MORE sense as villains if they literally dropped the facade at the end, and the head one said, 'fine we're lying, and the instant I beat you, I'm taking your body over so I can go have my way with Shen.'

That literally is a better motive in terms of it making sense, the muscle decay has made them lose their private parts, so they want to take over human bodies so they can have sex again.

Literally the "Mars needs Women" trope is a better villain motive than the vague, and overly complex plots the Elders show in this game. It makes more sense from the "why the heck are they bothering to do this genetic research and not team up, and why hasn't the great evil from beyond shown up yet" side of things.

But here's the problem.

Despite all the gameplay issues, and all the plot issues.....I still enjoy XCOM2, from a 'roleplaying' side of thing.

I'm not even kidding. The various weird costume mods, voice packs, and the customization aspects are amazing on the steam workshop. It's fun to pretend XCOM2 is just some crappy harem anime. Make all the soldiers female, pretend my commander is the harem protagonist. Tygan and Bradford are "those two guys", and Shen is the ignored childhood friend that for some reason the Commander never shows attraction too, while the soldiers are all having pretend crazy times in the barracks. Behind the scenes hi-jinxs we never see sure, but that's what my imagination is for.

I mean if they're going to ask me to pretend this vague threat that apparently conquered the Elders is a real threat and not have me turn around and go 'like you would really do it', I might as well use that same pretending ability to pretend XCOM2 is my personal alien invasion harem show.

But here's the problem.

Do I like XCOM2? Or do I like the mods that make up XCOM2?

Because I can flat out tell you, if you held a gun to my head and asked me 'would I like XCOM2 without any mods', I would more than likely say no. The plot is stupid, the characters are pretty bland, it's a VERY cliche plot and alien concept, and I still say the remake's gameplay is inferior to the classic UFO: Defense's in terms of balance and such, and XCOM2 has insane feedback loops where one bad mission can scream game over.

The graphics aren't even that great, it's just classic 'cyberpunk dystopia' city with alien symbols everywhere. You could literally port these city maps to Shadowrun, maybe replace the alien text with kanji, and claim it was just 'in Shadowrun's Japan' and I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

But as I've said, good mods can save a bad game, and with mods I do like it. So I'm very torn on my actual opinions on this game. The best I can say is this.

With mods: I like this game, and have a fun time.
Without mods: I would consider this game at best a game I would play through once and likely never look back at.

Maybe War of the Chosen will change this. I don't own War of the Chosen so keep that in mind, but I do highly think I will enjoy the 'soldier bonding' mechanics, and 'propaganda' posters, which to me, just scream 'more roleplaying chances'. And to me, a good chance to play pretend and use my imagination can really bump a game up.

What do you people think? Is it fair to judge a game based on what modders do for it? Rather than what the developers do?

I genuinely and honestly do not know what to say to this. I have read it. But it has left me speechless.

That is the only reason I am even making this reply. Because I am rarely ever speechless in my life. And occasions like this are worth noting.

~Dungeons 3 Review~

Evil is weird in videogames.

Evil has a lot of forms in media, from chaos and lawbreaking like the Joker, black magic like in Harry Potter, and sometimes even evil with good motives like Breaking Bad. Evil takes many forms.

But there's one 'theme' in evil that seems to come up in video games I find. Evil is funny.

There's very few video games that allow you to play a villain that let you cross that line into characters like the Joker, and even when they do like in Hatred, they tend to fall flat on their face. One common theme I've found in playing evil characters in video games is that they tend to fall into the category of "over the top hilarious" or "played for comedy on purpose". When they're not suffering from 'Bioware syndrome', and acting like a petty baby strangling maniac.

Evil Genius, Dungeons, Overlord, Space Tyrant; almost every game I've played that revolves around playing a villain and not just giving you the choice to play a villain is played for comedy, and Dungeons 3 is no exception.

You see with Dungeons 3...you simply cannot take this game seriously. It is Saturday Morning Cartoon evil. It has the narrator from Stanley Parable brought back from Dungeons 2, and at once point he literally conjures magical bears out of thin air to attack you, because the point of view character Thayla the dark elf, insulted him and tried to do the narration herself.

The plot is classic and cliche "good versus evil" with the exception that you're on the evil side. There's a few plot twists here and there, but ultimately the plot boils down to "you're the absolute evil, your goal is conquest and destruction, oh hey a new continent, let's conquer it by building dungeons and raising armies to fight the forces of good."

The comedy is good, but keep in mind comedy is a VERY subjective thing, so you might want to youtube the opening cutscene before taking my word on it.

~Gameplay~

Look, it's a Dungeon Keeper clone with a few twists given to it. If you've played a Dungeon builder before, you know how this works, dig out rooms, train creatures, cater to their needs, and build traps and doors to defend the dungeon. The twist with this game, is that you can send your creatures out into the overworld to enter a Warcraft 3 style RTS map that you can walk around and conquest, and some of the maps are rather well designed with their own gimmicks during the campaign.

The Horde craft traps and doors, the Undead can raise killed creatures, and summon hordes of zombies and skeletons, and the Demons generate mana for spells and can convert heroes to your side with the help of succubi. All the factions work together to form a greater whole, and it actually feels like you're commanding an entire army this time around, not just a single type of group per mission compared to Dungeon 2.

The research tree is slowly unlocked during the campaign and is well designed, each mission using the new units without feeling like a glorified tutorial, and each mission in the main campaign has 3 achievements for you to complete. The best part about the achievement list? No achievements are tied to the two DLC campaigns so if you don't like the base game or the DLC prices you don't have to buy them for a perfect game. The DLC campaigns are clearly for people who already love the game.

The game is a little short if you're experienced at this type of game like me, and on the 'normal' difficulty it can seem rather easy. However there is a "Hellish" difficulty option you can pick to make it harder if you want, that I'm yet to try out. The DLC campaign I own is far harder than the base game though, so that can make a good pick up if you enjoy the base game but want something more difficult.

Overall, this game is an improvement over Dungeons 2, and is a huge step up from Dungeons 1 and Dungeons the Dark Lord. This series gets better with every installment and I can't say I'm not eagerly waiting for an actual expansion or Dungeons 4 to come out.

Oh and despite being published by Kalypso, it seems they've finally dropped that stupid Kalypso launcher. So that's a plus too. Less DRM is always good.

Overall, it's an 8 out of 10 for me, and I likely will enjoy playing it more when there's more DLC to buy and place. I'd check it out when it's on sale, if you're a fan of playing for the side of evil.

You have me interested. Whats the performance like in terms of system requirements, lag, load times etc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PPQ_Purple View Post
You have me interested. Whats the performance like in terms of system requirements, lag, load times etc?
It's not very computer intensive, but I'm not the best person to ask about that kind of stuff. I'd check the steam page, and do your own judging there. I found it loaded very fast, and there's rarely too much on screen at once for it to lag, but I've got a pretty decent gaming plus PC.

Oh boy we have been leaving this dead for a while. Apologies, Apologies. Anyway, new review!

~Democracy 3 Review~

It sucks. It really does.

I don't think it's a secret on these forums that games about running nations can be extremely fun. I mean if you're a Pathfinder Dungeon Mistress, all you need to do to get 40 applications before you even have the character creation rules up is to post a "Kingmaker" game.

Democracy 3 however, well....it's a glorified spreadsheet game, and the spreadsheets don't even work. Like at all.

The game consists of you picking a country, and then using "political capital" to pass laws and alter existing ones. The problem however comes in the fact that the game is horribly programmed in terms of balance. There's no bureaucracy, no one attempting to stop you from passing laws, outside of occasionally getting 'assassinated' when you push a social group too far, and even that stops happening once you've completely removed said social group by lowering their membership via edicts.

Your "political capital" pretty much just boils down to "money to pass laws", since if you have the capital to pass a law, you can pretty much do it, zero questions asked. Any law. Regardless of what it is. If "Ban all foreign church services" and "Pollution Standards" cost the same political capital, you can do either one. With literally zero downside outside of some bars moving up and down.

Meanwhile, the economy system is broken beyond all belief, along with the demographics sliders. Pump education up to maximum and boom, high GDP, technological edge, and high productively, makes for high tax income. However that's not even the stupidest thing I encountered. I literally have a save file where 100% of my population are retired people....and yet somehow I'm still bringing in more tax money than I'm spending.

So apparently I managed to create a post-work society. This would be interesting, if it weren't for the fact that my unemployment was at zero, my crime was at a zero, everything bad at zero, everything good at maximum, and I literally did this within my first two election sessions.

This game is boring and dull, and yet it's supposed to be based on modern day, which leaves it with literally zero personality. It's possible to make every person in your country happy and voting for you with some minor alterations to a few key game-breaking policies. If you're going to make a game 'realistic' and not go the Tropico route of insane political comedy, I expect it to be realistic. Not where I can take any country and make it a Mary Suetopia in less than 8 years.

The achievements suck too. Literally only one of the achievements is any kind of challenge. "Apathetic Electorate" which requires you to basically keep everyone just happy enough that you win two elections where 50% of the population don't vote. It's actually harder to keep people not voting than it is to basically create a one party state where 100% of the population vote for you. That's how poorly designed this game is, there is literally zero challenges outside of an achievement where you basically have to try to fail.

Every other achievement is just "take x and put it to the max and min", a society that's entirely environmentalist, a society that's oil dependent, a society that's a technological paradise, a society that literally has zero education, an equal society, a divided society. The fact that none of these achievements are a challenge to get, should tell you how insanely easy it is to manipulate these bars to the extreme. There is zero game balance.

And on top of that, after getting literally every achievement in the game, and despite me buying it on sale. I STILL haven't played it long enough to hit 50 cents an hour. This game is not worth the money I paid for it, despite the fact that I literally have 100% completed the game.

The best thing I can say about it is that it doesn't have high system requirements because there are basically no graphics, and unless you install mods like crazy, of which there are very few worth your time, it should run fine on any machine. If you want a political simulator, buy Tropico 5. If you want some spreadsheet simulator, buy some business management game. This game is just dull.

Oh and speaking of mods? The DLC packs are glorified mods. Just more spreadsheet options for you to use. The only reason to pick them up is that some steam workshop stuff requires them.

5/10, do not buy. Not worth the money I paid for it, and more boring than my Wealth by Level experiment in non-sequitur. (Shameless self-advertising ahoy!)

I know it's a long-term casual game but I'm actually curious about your review on Stardew Valley. It's always nice to hear other peoples' opinions on the game. I've been through the main storyline once (I married Maru because my first girl is always the geek) and am greatly looking forward to the Multiplayer + New Content update on August 1st.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsySpy View Post
I know it's a long-term casual game but I'm actually curious about your review on Stardew Valley. It's always nice to hear other peoples' opinions on the game. I've been through the main storyline once (I married Maru because my first girl is always the geek) and am greatly looking forward to the Multiplayer + New Content update on August 1st.
I basically stopped playing Stardew Valley. It actually didn't really keep my interest after a while. It just felt like stuff I had played before. I got into My Time At Portia instead.

Note: Stardew Valley is good, but in all honesty it's nothing special if you've played a large amount of simulation games. Can recommend for people who want fun, but if you've played a ton of harvest moon, it's probably going to seem very "samey".







 

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