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bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Last post by bobdog on December 02, 2019, 03:44:46 PM »
Color me surprised by this one!! Valley offers fast-paced gameplay interspersed with a unique and original story. And the game shines graphically, with some gorgeous level design.

You are a researcher who thinks they have found a mysterious “Life Seed”, only accessible in a particular location in the Rocky Mountains.  Upon arrival, you are trapped and wander out of a cave into a stunning valley filled with life and unique creatures. Very quickly you find a LEAF (Leap Effortlessly though Air Functionality) suit, which was created toward the end of World War 2. With the LEAF suit, you can run faster, leap higher, and even take or restore life to other living plants and animals. The LEAF suit allows you to access new locations, and it can be enhanced over time with new features, including supersonic running, double jumping, rope swinging, running on water, and more. And if you happen to die, the LEAF suit will suck up life from your surroundings and bring you back.

You’ll quickly start hearing messages left behind by previous occupants of the valley, and can seek out additional scattered writings to glean more information on what happened to everyone. Most notably, the Life Seed you are seeking was at the heart of many experiments in this particular valley – all designed to gain more warfare capacity and help the Allies win WW2. Unfortunately, grandiose egos pushed the valley’s resources to the limits, only stopping once saboteurs were able to act.

The first-person platforming elements are challenging but mostly fair – when you get past them, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And when you can run down hills or along a supersonic electrified track, you feel a whiff of speed like I haven’t seen in many games before. Combine the speed and jumps with the opportunity to swing from cables, and you’ll feel like a superhero by the end.

Collecting orbs to ensure your LEAF suit works properly does grow tiring, but it at least gives you an excuse to seek out hidden notes and power-ups. You’ll also come across a few enemies that can be banished by using the LEAF suit’s “remove life” function. And when enemies and trees drop acorns, those can eventually be traded in to open locked areas that lead to more notes and power-ups.

The game moves along pretty quickly, with gorgeous scenery throughout, and the constant story reminders will keep you on track with your next move. I enjoyed jumping through the air with a resounding thud when I landed, and the breakneck speeds that I achieved in an underground mine. And by the end, I understand how special this Valley was, and what needed to be done to protect it. 8.1 out of 10
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bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / Valley – August 2016 [Score: 8.1]
« Last post by bobdog on December 02, 2019, 03:44:07 PM »
Color me surprised by this one!! Valley offers fast-paced gameplay interspersed with a unique and original story. And the game shines graphically, with some gorgeous level design.

You are a researcher who thinks they have found a mysterious “Life Seed”, only accessible in a particular location in the Rocky Mountains.  Upon arrival, you are trapped and wander out of a cave into a stunning valley filled with life and unique creatures. Very quickly you find a LEAF (Leap Effortlessly though Air Functionality) suit, which was created toward the end of World War 2. With the LEAF suit, you can run faster, leap higher, and even take or restore life to other living plants and animals. The LEAF suit allows you to access new locations, and it can be enhanced over time with new features, including supersonic running, double jumping, rope swinging, running on water, and more. And if you happen to die, the LEAF suit will suck up life from your surroundings and bring you back.

You’ll quickly start hearing messages left behind by previous occupants of the valley, and can seek out additional scattered writings to glean more information on what happened to everyone. Most notably, the Life Seed you are seeking was at the heart of many experiments in this particular valley – all designed to gain more warfare capacity and help the Allies win WW2. Unfortunately, grandiose egos pushed the valley’s resources to the limits, only stopping once saboteurs were able to act.

The first-person platforming elements are challenging but mostly fair – when you get past them, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment. And when you can run down hills or along a supersonic electrified track, you feel a whiff of speed like I haven’t seen in many games before. Combine the speed and jumps with the opportunity to swing from cables, and you’ll feel like a superhero by the end.

Collecting orbs to ensure your LEAF suit works properly does grow tiring, but it at least gives you an excuse to seek out hidden notes and power-ups. You’ll also come across a few enemies that can be banished by using the LEAF suit’s “remove life” function. And when enemies and trees drop acorns, those can eventually be traded in to open locked areas that lead to more notes and power-ups.

The game moves along pretty quickly, with gorgeous scenery throughout, and the constant story reminders will keep you on track with your next move. I enjoyed jumping through the air with a resounding thud when I landed, and the breakneck speeds that I achieved in an underground mine. And by the end, I understand how special this Valley was, and what needed to be done to protect it. 8.1 out of 10
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The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Half-Life: Alyx
« Last post by Starfox on November 29, 2019, 04:54:18 PM »
An amusing find, after computing Valve own Hardware and Software survey, one comes up with an interesting conclusion, 65% of the people using Steam don't even have the power to run Alyx, and I'm talking about the minimum requirements. And that isn't even taking into account the people who actually own a VR headset (number of whom according to the same data is, amazingly low. All brands and models put together the number comes at 1.03% of Steam users who answered the survey last month).

So in short, to play Alyx, 65% of Steam users will have to buy a whole new computer or at least a new graphic card. and 98.97% will have to buy a headset.

Either Valve think that their own data is false or they have a plan... A muhahahaha plan maybe? Who knows. Either way, they're certainly not looking at making a lot of money at first. But it's fine because we all now that they ceased to make a living as game developers a loooong time ago.

I'd like to think that they planned a non-VR version but the team Valve was very specific about that in a "absolutely not" kind of way. Apparently it wouldn't be the same experience.

At this point it's just guessing. How can anyone knows what really happens in valve brain. They do not fight Epic Games exclusivity in any kind of way... they just sit there and watch despite the fact that it's a direct an deliberate attack against them, they issue a VR only Half-Life title than less than 2% of their users will be able to play (maybe top 3 or 4 percents with Christmas). Those are kind of puzzling decisions. If their point if to puzzle people, job well done.
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I reserve my judgement. Apparently the gameplay is more akin to a visual novel than to what we're accustomed to. Plus "Coteries of New York"? Well it will be interesting to see how they handle the situation (considering that Bloodlines was set in New-York so possibly most people familiar with the series will have some expectations).

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They left out exsanguination. "I knew they're vampires, but no one told me there'd be stuff about blood-drinkin' in there!"

I think it's implied between "Violence", "Drug addiction references" and "alcohol depiction"... wine/blood potato/patato, same difference :lol:
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bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Last post by bobdog on November 25, 2019, 07:53:23 AM »
Virginia provides an interesting gaming conceit by going completely without any dialogue – written or spoken. All context comes from the characters you meet, and clues in your vicinity. And as such, it can often be challenging to understand what is truly happening within the story.

You are Anne Tarver and have just joined the FBI as a field agent. For your first case, you need to look into a murder committed several hours away in a small Virginia town. But your superior also tasks you with conducting an internal investigation on the side into fellow agent Maria Halperin. Although Maria initially greets you with a cold shoulder, over the course of the investigation, she opens up a little at a time. By the end, you have come to know what secrets she is harboring, and must make your own decision on whether to report her indiscretions. The murder case itself is also a bit of a surprise ending.

The graphical style is simple but engaging with warm color tones. Although not photo-realistic, the characters are expressive, so that even without words, you mostly understand what they are implying with their actions. And the music is hauntingly gorgeous.

I regret that the game is little more than a walking simulator and click-fest, but the short story (about 2 hours) may deserve a second playthrough to gain a fuller understanding of everything you experienced. 6.8 out of 10
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bobdog's Mini-Reviews Corner / Virginia – September 2016 [Score: 6.8]
« Last post by bobdog on November 25, 2019, 07:52:39 AM »
Virginia provides an interesting gaming conceit by going completely without any dialogue – written or spoken. All context comes from the characters you meet, and clues in your vicinity. And as such, it can often be challenging to understand what is truly happening within the story.

You are Anne Tarver and have just joined the FBI as a field agent. For your first case, you need to look into a murder committed several hours away in a small Virginia town. But your superior also tasks you with conducting an internal investigation on the side into fellow agent Maria Halperin. Although Maria initially greets you with a cold shoulder, over the course of the investigation, she opens up a little at a time. By the end, you have come to know what secrets she is harboring, and must make your own decision on whether to report her indiscretions. The murder case itself is also a bit of a surprise ending.

The graphical style is simple but engaging with warm color tones. Although not photo-realistic, the characters are expressive, so that even without words, you mostly understand what they are implying with their actions. And the music is hauntingly gorgeous.

I regret that the game is little more than a walking simulator and click-fest, but the short story (about 2 hours) may deserve a second playthrough to gain a fuller understanding of everything you experienced. 6.8 out of 10
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...whaaaaaaat??

Indeed. Just got the email this morning -- for once, being on a mailing list was actually useful -- and it's the same guys working on the Bloodlines 2 game. Well...they're both handled (published?) by Paradox Interactive, to be somewhat more precise. (This studio is Draw Distance, the other is Hardsuit Labs.) And they're both set in the World Of Darkness, so...there you go.

The Steam page.

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Coteries of New York presents the conflict between two vampiric factions: the traditionalist Camarilla and the fiercely independent Anarchs among the iconic landmarks and night lights of The Big Apple. It's a unique, atmospheric, single-player narrative experience, set in a rich, fully licensed, globally recognized universe of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition.

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Coteries of New York will be available on PC (Windows, MAC OS, Linux) and Nintendo Switch. The game will launch on both platforms simultaneously. Other platforms, like PS4 and Xbox One, are not out of the question, but we're taking a "wait and see" approach.

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Coteries of New York will be released in Q4 2019! We’ll unveil the final date when we’re closer to launch.

Specifically, December 4th 2019.  :ss-weird1  Yeah, I know. Wasn't expecting that. Or the whole thing, really.

My favorite part:

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The game includes offensive language, violence, drug addiction references, alcohol depiction, black humor, blasphemy, characters with extreme opinions, critique of ideology and religion.

They left out exsanguination. "I knew they're vampires, but no one told me there'd be stuff about blood-drinkin' in there!"
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The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Half-Life: Alyx
« Last post by Starfox on November 22, 2019, 09:55:31 PM »
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The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Half-Life: Alyx
« Last post by Starfox on November 22, 2019, 05:56:24 PM »
You know the one question that comes to my mind regarding this is...

Why VR ONLY?

And I mean, the true reason, not the obvious pack of BS that Valve issued to convince people that suddenly VR was the absolute only way to experience the true Half-Life. Let me guess... Sales figures of the HTC Vive and Valve Index are not particularly that good so you need a product to push them up and obviously, you cannot have normal non-VR coming into play.

Oh but look, Alyx is even FREE... IF you buy a Valve Index which comes at the ridiculously sweet price tag of $800 (and that's only for part of the system which also requires a PC and a dedicated station -- estimated price of the whole rig supposing that you don'tt have any or a very old PC unable to run VR; just around $2500, $1000 for the complete Valve Index and $1500 for a decent gaming PC; without the screen, keyboard and mouse, of course).

Must I truly recite the long list of games that have VR and non-VR in the same package? Games that are sold on Steam even? VR + non-VR is not a technical impossibility, it's a marketing choice.

So until you choose to include non-VR in your sweet Alyx, or to very drastically reduce the price of your VR tech products, count me out too. The less expensive VR set for PC is currently the Oculus Rift S and for $450 I already think it's too much.

One final thought: if you really want to sell more HTC Vive and Valve Index... less BS and more adequate pricing. The Vive in particular should be less than $300 by now and not the $500 you sell it for (you do realize it is older than the Rift S, right?)

Well, at least the only good thing coming out of that: I'm pretty certain that this game will never be an Epic Games Store exclusivity  :funup:
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The Foxhole Gaming News Discussions / Re: Half-Life: Alyx
« Last post by Doc_Brown on November 21, 2019, 09:39:46 PM »
I'm going to make a petty complaint.

I've been thinking to myself, "How would I approach a Half-Life movie?"  One of the major ideas I had was to essentially combine the HEV suit and the Gravity Gun into a single item.  So in the theoretical first film, Gordon would wear a high-tech orange Gravity Glove on his off hand*, and then in the sequel he'd get a cobbled together metal one.  Since it'd leave his hands free, he'd be able to do things like fire a machine gun, eject the spent clip, gravity pull a fresh one to him without having to leave cover, then reload and carry on fighting.

And now from the Half-Life: Alyx trailer, I see they've basically given Alyx a watered down version of that idea.  So thanks, Valve, you stole my thunder.
 

*Expanding on the idea, I also figured a Portal film could give Chell a pair of white Portal Gloves, one that shoots blue portals and another that shoots orange.
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