What Games/Gaming System to Get?


#21

Well, I’ll see what I can remember. I’m a console guy largely because I never really owned a PC that was optimized for gaming. In fact, until I turned 35 a decade or so ago, I’d only ever owned secondhand hardware. (Before that ThinkPad my wife bought me out of pity, the last new computer I’d owned was an Atari 800XL!) And even my console history has a long gap in it. I bought an Xbox in 2004 when friends at work introduced me to the first two Halo games. The last console I’d owned before that was another Atari: the venerable 2600.

When I met my wife she had a PS2, and I played a small handful of games on it, but I was a big Halo fan, so I stuck with the Xboxes. Waited to get a 360 until Halo 3 came out, then bought the Halo 3 edition 360. Eventually its hard drive filled up, so I bought a Halo 4 edition 360, which I still use. I think the last new game I bought for that console was Destiny. Halo 4 disappointed me enough to erode my loyalty to Halo and Microsoft, so I considered getting a Playstation. I became a big fan of Fallout 3 and New Vegas, so I held off on buying a current-gen console until I learned if Fallout 4 was going to be exclusive to one or other of them. When I found out that F4 was going to be on both, I went ahead and bought an Xbone (Master Chief edition) mostly so I could play the remastered Halo 2 campaign.

But now I’m in a lull. Fallout 4 has kinda bored me, I still haven’t bothered to get Halo 5 (and probably never will), Destiny entertained me and frustrated me in equal measure, and I’m dying to play something with a deep, compelling story along the lines of Mass Effect, or some huge sandbox with many fun subquests a la New Vegas. Skyrim could have been great, but skimped on NPC variety (especially the minor character voice acting… seriously, they should have spent a couple grand on a half-dozen more voices and another few pages of generic guard/peasant/henchman/villager dialogue.

But anyway, here are the games I’ve enjoyed the most over the last ten or fifteen years:

  1. Fallout: New Vegas. Probably the most satisfying game and DLC package I’ve ever played. Infuriatingly buggy for the first several months, but now it’s fine. I love the stories, the atmosphere, the size of the world… and I liked the fact that Hardcore mode wasn’t annoyingly or frustratingly difficult. It just required you to be a bit more careful and thoughtful, and so added to the verisimilitude without the masochistic features of F4’s Survival mode, which doesn’t even let you fast travel.

  2. Fallout 3. I liked this nearly as much as New Vegas, even though the writing isn’t as great, and the lighting hurts my eyes.

  3. Mass Effect. I’m typical, in that I absolutely adored all three of them right up to the last half hour. Boy, did they fuck up that ending.

  4. Bungie’s Halo games. I love all five of them, and probably can’t pick a favorite. I’m not into the multiplayer at all (I’ll happily play it with friends and family, on the exceedingly rare occasions when I can get someone to play with, but I’m not at all into MP with matchmade randos), but I dearly love the campaigns, even when they kinda stop making sense. Halo 4 was a big misstep. The characters looked great, and most of the gameplay was fine, and I liked the Spartan Ops stuff, but the environments were nonsensical and so abstract it made it hard to make out where the hell you were and what you were supposed to do. Plus fuck the Prometheans. Fuck every last one of 'em.

  5. Bioshock. I loved 1 and 2, and mostly enjoyed Infinite, though it ended up being a letdown. Turned out to be too relentlessly, mindlessly, thoughtlessly violent, and didn’t live up to the utter awesomeness of the early trailers.

  6. Myst and its sequels. Yeah, these are ancient now, but man did I while away many a happy hour playing those… although I never actually finished the last one. One particular puzzle just stumped me, and I never got past it, and eventually lost interest.

  7. Skyrim was almost wonderful. I put 150 hours into that campaign, but once the save file got corrupted, I couldn’t quite bring myself to start over. I mean, I tried, a couple of times, but the minor frustrations I’d had from the beginning just started to outweigh the fun, especially compounded by the fact that the factions seemed utterly noncommittal and pointless (unlike the factions in New Vegas, which were clearly delineated and materially affected the overall tone of the playthrough). And Bethesda screwed this up again with Fallout 4, where faction alignments limit what you can do, but there’s no compelling emotional or moral reason to pick one faction over another, except just to collect the complete set of achievements. In Skyrim I kept looking for someone to give me a compelling reason to support either the Empire or the Stormcloaks, but the most sympathetic characters are ones who remain totally on the fence. In the end, your choice amounts to little more than picking the color of your armor.

  8. Destiny is undeniably fun as a shooter, highly polished by Bungie’s long experience making Halo games. But the MMO grindiness and repetitiveness utterly turn me off. Once I’ve finished the story missions, I lose interest, because even though patrols are fun, seeing the same bad guys I just mowed down 40 seconds ago respawn through the same doorway their identical predecessors did… that really brings me down. Ever since 1978 I’ve hated games like Space Invaders, where there’s a never-ending wave after wave of bad guys, no matter what you do. Plus, I detest the fact that your hard-won gear and weapons become obsolete the moment you level up, and that the leveled-up mobs look no different than the low-level ones, but simply absorb more bullets. What is the fucking point of it all?

  9. I really enjoyed the first Baldur’s Gate, but I didn’t finish it. I found the game discs in my garage when I was moving last month, and I’m tempted to see if it’ll run on my current computer.

  10. Portal (and especially Portal 2). Just about the best pure gaming fun I’ve ever had. They’re taking way too long to make more of these.

  11. Mario Kart 8. I’ve never been a Nintendo fan, but my kids have a WiiU, and MK8 is a shit-ton of fun.

  12. Alan Wake. Haven’t finished it yet, but I really do like it. I love atmosphere and story.

  13. Brutal Legend. This game is hellacious great fun for me and my generation, up until it turns into a RTS. Don’t care for resource management, but I’ll drive around in the Deuce all day listening to the cassette soundtrack of my youth! \m/ \m/

  14. Goat Simulator was a scream. Much hilarity for me and my kids, though it has no depth and we’re tired of it now.

  15. Mad Max. Got this on the Xbone about a year ago, and despite the tepid reviews I like it. Still haven’t finished it, though.


#22

I’ll be honest here - if you can put the money aside, this is where I’d post the “why not both” gif.

95% of the time, any cross-platform game will end up being better on PC - you can get more performance from it, hopefully mod bits & pieces of it, fans can often fix broken parts long before patch certification gets through MS and Sony’s hoops, and the massive back catalog of almost every game ever is available for a few bucks.

But by the same token, there are console exclusives that will never see the light of PC gaming that are well worth playing. Uncharted is the obvious example due to its recent release, but as Paula said in The IT Crowd, "I’d hate it if a game came out on one and I couldn’t play it ".

My suggestion for the PC would be to make sure you’ve got a decent PSU and cooling so you can upgrade the GPU down the line. I personally wouldn’t go top of the line - the sweet spot between price & performance is typically a few spots below that, although the new NVIDIA cards are supposed to be both high performing and relatively cheap, so that might change. A controller is also worth picking up, because despite what the master race says, mouse and keyboard isn’t always the best choice for every type of game…

Also, get The Witcher 3 (and 1 & 2). If you like old RPGs and Skyrim, this takes all of the good things from them and turns it up to 11. Also the upgraded Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle, can’t go wrong with them.


#23

Is it necessary (or helpful) to play the first 2 Witchers before the third?


#24

Strictly speaking, no. It is a sequel to them, but a lot of players have come new to the series and enjoyed it. Recaps are around on youtube and the like.

TW2 is certainly a top-notch action RPG though, so worth the 40 hours or so of gaming. Fighting etc isn’t quite as smooth as TW3, so it might be harder to go backward, although the story is arguably a bit tighter, due to the comparative straightfowardedness of the game.

The first game is built in a Neverwinter Nights fashion so has aged accordingly in terms of gameplay style, but has fantastic atmosphere and music. It’s harder to get into but worth it in my (fan) view.


#25

To everyone who recommended Grim Fandango Remastered: I don’t have enough likes for you. I didn’t know it existed. I really hated when they went from 2D to 3D in Monkey Island. You went from some pretty great artwork to, well… crap. The games looked like shit. 2D is okay! You can use 2D and no one will complain! I promise! Just don’t make it look like shit.

Interestingly, I didn’t like them as much for some reason. Not bad, but I didn’t enjoy them as much as Fallout 3. I should look into New Vegas.

Dishonored sounds promising. I think you kind of picked up on what I liked best about Thief. Atmosphere is important.

That was because those games were quarter junkies. You were supposed to get maybe ten minutes of play before you put in another quarter and they were never designed to be “finished”. “How do you finish an arcade game? Why would one end?” Were questions people making video games would have asked in the late seventies/early eighties. I’m also really not crazy about this model, but I find there are occasional exceptions like Tetris, and I find I can tolerate some roguelikes. (I’m intrigued by No Man’s Sky, but it seems more Sandbox-like than roguelike-like.) I also can’t just watch a TV show for the most part, I have to be doing something else. Which is how I ended up binging on the roguelike Spelunky in one window while Mock the Week ran on YouTube for about a week. Why can’t we have a shows like that in America?!

But like I said, most of the time I really am not crazy about endless lack of variety (with asterisks) and some games really go out of their way to offer you that lack of variety. I don’t understand it.


#26

See, it kinda makes sense for a simple arcade game as you say, sure. And it’s not like Space Invaders has a plot. It’s just “shoot them before they land, and don’t get shot” and nothing else. But still, the endlessness of it all really got to me. And in a game like Destiny, it takes me out of the moment. Endless respawns don’t really happen with Covenant mobs in most PvE Halo scenarios. Once you shoot that pair of Hunters, they stay dead and usually more of 'em won’t show up if you linger in the area. Which makes sense. But in Destiny patrols, there’s an endlessly respawning supply, in small manageable groups. Really makes me feel like I’m not doing the galaxy a lick of good.

But remember, some quarter-fed arcade games had actual endings, and could be beaten. I never got good enough at any of them to get there, but the obviously endless ones like Space Invaders, Asteroids, Centipede, etc. were too Sisyphean for me to enjoy for long.

Oh, and if you enjoyed Fallout 3, definitely play New Vegas.


#27

Your list betrays you as a PC gamer. Don’t try to deny it.

I’m not saying that Zelda isn’t great. I bought a WiiU just to play the remastered version of Wind Waker. Zelda games are fucking great. But the rest of your list is a PC list. Which is why…

Listen to this.

Listen to this.

The difference between Dishonored and Thief is that in Dishonored you are fantastically OP and need to restrain yourself from mass murdering everyone. Whereas in Thief the best you can do is sap some poor sap and hide their body. Still, Dishonored is the closest heir to the Thief legacy.

Been. Talking. About. this. New Vegas with all expansion packs and fan mods is the definitive 3D fallout game, IMHO.

Like Mass Effect, the second Witcher game is the best of the series. W3 may be more fun to play, but W2 is the better game. You are forced to side with either the dwarves or the elves, and you MISS AN ENTIRE CITY if you only do 1 playthrough.

W3 is tons of fun, but you miss tons of character development if you start there. The Wrex clan is not the same if you only play ME3. Mordin Solus is not the same if you only play ME3.

If you want to understand why this is so funny, you need start before ME3.

I dropped like 80 hours into Witcher 1 not because it was a good game (it wasn’t, terribly unfun combat mechanics), but because the world and backstory is so good. Still, that’s only worth it if you already love W2.

This is your thread, so up to you whether you want to consolidate this with the Offworld version that daneel mentioned. It’s up to you, really, except I will hate you forever for splitting up the bb gaming community.


#28


Just as a reminder.


#29

I don’t mind consolidating… I just dunno how.


#30

Just ask an admin, real slow and polite, like this:

Hey, I’m Commander Abe and @Falcor is my favourite Don’t Push Your Luck Dragon on the Citadel. Would you be so kind to merge this thread with that offworld one over there?

Here’s a snaussage. Who’s a good DPY Luck Dragon? Is it you? It’s you!


#31

Nah this has a different flavor. This topic needs a new title, though.

Not a big fan of one size fits all forevermore chat topics, myself. And this one, if you re read the first post, is pretty goal driven in what it set out to do, IMO.


#32

:pensive: You got me. I think I’m balking at the cost of the hardware more than anything. I need to start with a whole new everything. I can’t bring my four year old current consumer grade Gateway with an A6 quad core up to speed through a GPU upgrade alone.


#33

Look, Taylor, I’mma let you finish, but “Which gaming platform is the best?” is the greatest evergreen forevermore chat flamefests of all time.


#34

With steam sales, I would expect the total cost of ownership of a PC to be less than a consoul, assuming you play a sufficient number of games over a couple of years.

I rarely buy games at full price anymore. There’s at least 6 years of AAA back catalog you have to plunder. New Vegas is $9.99 now, and sometime before the end of the year it will be less than 5 bucks. I think I paid like $2.50 for one of the most perfect games of all time, Dark Souls.


#35

Not here with this audience, it’s not!

We’re in a golden age of x86 gaming, my friend. And it …

FEELS GOOD MAN


#36

I don’t even know when I put together this current rig. I usually get 3-4 years out of a total build. I’m still rocking Win7.

At either end of the spectrum, cutting edge or beating a 4-year old rig, building your own PC is just superiour.


#37

Yeah the stagnation of CPU perf has had unexpected benefits on the PC side – you almost never need to upgrade CPU, RAM, mobo any more. Just slot in a new midrange GPU and bam, you’re good.

That will continue for a long time as current consoles have super slow (or as I like to say, “Intel Atom class”) x86 cores, so the CPU demands for modern games will continue to be teeny-tiny relative to what a PC, even a 5 year old PC, can do.

Golden age, man. Golden age.


#39

You’re more knowledgeable about this than I. Can/Should I just invest in a GPU and PSU with this processor?

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/K10/AMD-A6-Series%20A6-3620.html

Is overclocking ever a good idea long-term?


#40

If you haven’t played Goat MMO Simulator, you haven’t lived.

Is overclocking ever a good idea long-term?

Not these days. There were times in history it made sense, but not this one.


#41

I [quote=“ActionAbe, post:32, topic:78384”]
I can’t bring my four year old current consumer grade Gateway with an A6 quad core up to speed through a GPU upgrade alone.
[/quote]

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you are correct about that; but the one handy thing about modularity is that it doesn’t really cost much to test the theory.

As long as your existing system has at least one PCIex16 slot(whether gen 1,2, or 3) even the newest GPUs will work(power supply permitting, OEM systems tend to have ones of decent quality; but not much headroom for fancier parts than the system could be configured to ship with) with it; so there is no real downside to bumping the GPU and PSU if necessary first; and then seeing how the performance is. If it is good enough, excellent. If not, you’ve lost only a little time and can look into an appropriate CPU and motherboard upgrade.

The one major nuisance(exact magnitude depending on how much RAM you currently own, if it’s a just a couple of 2 or 4 GB DIMMs, or 4x2GB, that’s not too painful; but if you already have a decent chunk of RAM it’s a pity to toss it) is that a 4 year old system more or less implies DDR3; and your options are substantially more limited if you want to continue using your RAM rather than getting some DDR4. Perfectly doable, I actually had to pick up a 2011-release LGA 1155 motherboard replacement earlier this year and Newegg had plenty of new-in-box stock, never mind the secondary market; but local retail availability was next to nonexistent unless you wanted LGA1151 boards with DDR4 only.