v9.7 28.12.2016
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+Restored Chateau Hotel to ending, thanks EntenSchreck and Psycho-A.
+Swapped clone Brujah at solo ending with Toreador for male Brujah.
+Made Gary gift different bloodpacks and fixed missing Kathayan bug.
+Stopped shaking Malkavian lines in Ocean House and at observatory.
+Made crypt ghosts vanish and added missing door to Chinese Theatre.
+Fixed map details, cleaned files and updated SDK, thanks Psycho-A.
+Removed Lotus Blossom patron with bad shadow and fixed green drips.
Switched badly fixed missing Tommy line with better fitting float.
Fixed Kilpatrick’s line making it possible to restart Carson quest.
Recreated floats and subtitles, thanks miracle.flame and Psycho-A.
Fixed four level holes at the Ocean House and one in Venture Tower.
Mirrored SM area maps and improved details of others, thanks IanW.
Fixed unbalanced XP of Bad Luck Farmer quest and minor text issues.
Corrected Luca, Damsel, Bertram, Gary and Skelter dialogue issues.
Removed confusing left over corpse and gone cars in parking garage.
Fixed Zhao exploit and walkthrough errors, thanks to sunsmountain.
Corrected lip-sync of prostitutes in cemetery and her dialogue bug.
Improved Empire Hotel mafia TV room sound switch and music radius.
Disabled bump mapping option because of issues with improved water.
Fixed Nadia sequence, frozen zombies and Ming endgame camera shot.
Repaired bad icons and flickering for upper Venture tower elevator.

https://forums.planetvampire.com/bloodlines-tech-support/unofficial-patch-9-7-released!/

While the Batman Arkham games are for everyone, even people who don’t care about Batman, YJL is kind of the opposite. There aren’t any solid reasons for anyone to play this, if they aren’t also into the show.
I’m personally more of a fan of Season 1, simply because Season 2 is 5 years later and lots of stuff happened you know nothing (or at least little) about. It makes it hard to follow all this crazy stuff. YJL however, takes place between the 2 Seasons of the show and shines some light on some minor plot points. I enjoyed that and wish they would have done that a lot more.

What’s so cool about my experience with the game regardless, is that I found out, during playing this, that they are NOW actually doing a Season 3… I was shocked, because when does it actually happen that a show gets a new Season, years after being canceled?!? I guess it’s due to these good news, that it was much easier for me to enjoy the game. It’s one of these weird coincidences.

The games graphics are nothing special and THAT wouldn’t have bothered me at all. The problem with that is, that there’s all kinds of crazy stuff going on. Some people say the FPS in this game are locked to 25, but in my game they were always jumping between 22 and 24. Who configures a game like this?!? There are no options in the game itself and nothing in the accessible config files to change that.
The graphics look and feel like this is an old, early and buggy Unity version maybe (I don’t know which engine it actually is). I read some posts claiming the game would crash a lot, I had trouble with that only once during my entire time with the game, but then it created a bluescreen. The first bluescreen I ever had on my current PC, which I built several months ago. The problem is, when the game does crash, it turns off the Windows cleartype font settings and all fonts look accordingly gruesome. Why the game would do this remains a mystery. Cleartype then has to be enabled manually again.

Overall the game feels a little bit unfinished here and there. Some levels contain crates, which can be opened, but they are all seemingly empty and there is no visual or audio cue that anything happened. I suspect they might contain credits but without the game confirming it in any noticeable way, it’s hard to be sure.

The game contains 16 heroes in total, 4 of them are optional DLC. The heroes aren’t really used in interesting ways. Each team consists out of 3 heroes and the team leader is locked, only the other 2 can be selected. So during all of the missions, only the team leader ever speaks. Everyone else remains mute.
This leads to a lot of missed chances and real disappointments. There are levels in Gotham, but even going there with Batgirl, Robin and Nightwing doesn’t mean anything. It’s the same experience than it is with whomever. The worst moment however was, when the team is supposed to save Dr. Sandsmark and I brought Wonder Girl (Dr. Sandsmark’s daughter). The moment she’s freed, she asks the team who they are, with her daughter standing directly in front of her… :D All I wanted is for her to yell “I’m standing right in front of your face mom!”. Lots of missed chances here, all I’m saying. The strongest parts of this game were, after all, that they had the original voice cast of the show and the soundtrack…

To my knowledge, there is only one single instance in the game, in which an individual skill is actually properly considered. During the Gotham missions, snipers shoot every team member, that’s running around without cover. So the official solution is, to push forklifts towards the snipers until you are close enough for Nightwing to take them down with a batarang. I however had Miss Martian in my team and she can turn invisible, so I thought I’d at least give it a try. To my surprise this actually worked. I had fully expected, that I would get shot just the same and the only way to complete the level would be the official path with pushing the forklifts, but no – thanks to Miss Martian I could skip all that, although the Nightwing sequence was still shown each time, when a sniper was taken out.

The game plays a lot like Knights of the Old Republic or, because of the fighting style, Jade Empire might be an even better comparison. Even the maps look eerily similar

What was entirely unnecessary, was that some of the heroes are only unlocked after finishing the game, but at this point, the motivation to play the same levels again, is… limited. There is lots of unrealized potential here, this game could have been something really solid, the foundation is here, but also the flaws which are hard to overlook. Not everyone will have played this thing while learning that the miracle of a Season 3 just happened. So that’s what I’ll always be remembering about this game. Okay – and the 22-24 FPS. :D Those are unforgettable as well. :D

The “who was killed by the gunshot” moment

You kinda think that a show is decent enough, but then they suddenly pull this crap. Again, we’ve all seen it a gazillion times. 2 characters fight for a weapon (typically it’s a protagonist and a villain, not some random folks), usually it’s a gun. Then suddenly a gunshot is heard and the camera shows only the 2 faces and both characters look exactly the same (because to the writers of this crap it doesn’t seem idiotic that the person NOT shot would feel the same pain as the one who WAS shot…), to make the viewer guess which one was shot (usually shot dead) and after an annoying while, the camera pans down to reveal which actor has to leave the show. :D
So it’s pretty dumb and annoying as it is, but of course it’s possible to trump even that – by having this appear in the last scene of an episode, maybe even before a break. Of course I stop caring altogether when this happens out of spite and the futility of this measure is often even made more apparent, by having one of the actors show up in another show during the break, which might count as this slight hint, when guessing which character is the dead one…
I believe there should be QA to automatically remove scenes like this…

the-nice-guys-2016

I feel like I’m ruining peoples chances to enjoy this movie the way I did by saying that, because I myself saw it without expecting anything, but The Nice Guys was the best movie I saw in all of 2016. Not kidding. However, it’s not like anyone is reading any of this, so I guess I’m still good.
Now, all I hoped for was some scenes with a bunch of funny characters who were hopefully not too embarrassing/annoying or anything. I didn’t expect much of a plot, let alone one that mattered, but that’s exactly what happened. In fact, I’ve seen “political thrillers” which had less intricate plots. Almost every scene means something and (stuff) a lot of (and) stuff which could be random, isn’t. At the end it all comes together (if one pays attention) and I found it rather impressive. It’s kind of the last type of movie one would expect so much smart writing and yet there it is. The film has a lot of nice little bits which can be easily missed.
Oh, I know Russell Crowe’s character would probably punch me in the face just for saying this, but I really liked the 13 yo daughter, she was supercool – not gonna lie. And I’m not typically a fan of kids in movies. Gosling is outright hilarious in this.
10/10, would enjoy/watch again. :D

I had made so many awesome screenshots (stop laughing!) for this game, or so I thought, then I found out that my screenshot tool doesn’t make screenshots for DX12 games but, of course, also doesn’t say so. At least I learned that Steam can screenshot DX12 (so I still managed to make some during the last half of the game). It’s kinda disappointing though, that an extra tool would fail at it.

Anyway, overall I very much welcome the TR reboot, the gameplay is a lot of fun, the level design is usually rather sweet and this package makes the game really motivating to me. I was especially in favor of the many “realistic” animations they put in for LC – loved those. I didn’t have to make myself finish it, I wanted to.

I thought now might be the ideal time to start playing it, because I’d noticed that the tenth patch was released only a few weeks prior. This sounded like the game should be in a rather pristine condition by now. So my surprise couldn’t have been bigger, that this game is still riddled with bugs which are impossible to overlook.
I have the “20th b-day celebration/complete edition” and the game throws out a ton of screens for every installed DLC at the beginning. These messages are clearly supposed to pop up only once during the first start, but they always appear, forcing me to click them away each time (the same goes for the Square Enix account the game wants me to log into – has to be skipped at each start, despite an extra screen suggesting it too will only appear once).

No settings in the audio/languages section of the options are saved, all of them reset each time the game is closed. So each start of the game is a small nightmare, before playing the game can begin.

It happened a few times to me, that I couldn’t activate the survival mode (think Batman Arkham Detective Vision), nothing would happen. But it would always work again if I restarted the game. There was another issue with one of the tutorial screens popping up again and again, although I wasn’t performing the action it was for. As if the countless DLC messages at each start weren’t bad enough, the game additionally forced me to endure this as often as possible.

As mentioned I played the game in its DX12 mode, which worked really well, except for the last campaign cutscene. Every single time this soldier was stabbed, the game would crash. Easy to reproduce. To watch the final scene of the game, I had to switch to DX11, for the first time.

As we all know, LC has never been a deep character or anything like that and none of the previous TR games were ever known for a good or even memorable story, but this is 2016 and stuff I would have overlooked in 1996, do disappoint me now. The story, if one can call it that, is entirely forgettable and doesn’t even reach the level I would call “serviceable”. Movies like “Die Hard” don’t have a deep story either, but it’s well presented, give us SOMETHING.

While the cool gameplay makes me usually forget how terribly disappointing every story bit is, I still couldn’t overlook some truly cringe-worthy scenes (and believe me I tried). Out of the ~4 named characters this game has (besides LC), one of them is supposedly friends with LC, this character gets hurt bad and is about to die (he’s maybe minutes from kicking the bucket) – but luckily LC is after a gadget that can heal/give immortality to people (a much lamer and less interesting version of the holy grail from last crusade basically). So I obviously expected LC to find it and heal her friend with this thing, saving him last second. But no, the first thing LC does, once she finds the MacGuffin, is to destroy it and the next time she sees her friend, he’s completely healthy and healed up again anyway, as if he was never hurt… How?!? Could it be worse? Probably, but still… I just can’t understand how it is possible that we still have to put up with crap like this in 2016. And this game is a major blockbuster, there should be some sort of QA for the story bits. Low budget indie games often do it so much better! Games such as RotTR should be able to do at least as much. I only had to laugh a few times when someone told me, that this friend actually was a recurring character from TR 2013 – zero memory of this guy.

Who knows how awesome these games could be, if they would put in more than just fun gameplay and awesome animations for LC!

The same continues with these logs that are spread throughout the world. They even got actors to read all of those texts, but none of them contain any information I am interested in. None of them reveal anything of value. You’d hope they’d shine some new light on things, add to the experience, but no. They are literally nothing but sheer collectibles. As another element that was taken straight from the Batman Arkham games, this too could have been so much better. So to get at least something out of it and to keep my mind occupied and not just my hands, I role-played the whole game as the Cerys an Craite spin-off, CDP would never make. Lara wears almost the same armor after all.

The additional “story” DLC in Croft Manor only further points out that LC isn’t a real character. Like James Bond she’s rebooted every few years in story and looks (which also makes no sense whatsoever). Since the series started in 1996, this is at least the third incarnation now. I’m still hoping they’ll never do this to Indiana Jones, but since Star Trek and Star Wars I should probably accept that it’s going to happen sooner or later. Member Berries and all that.

All in all the game is better even than the first of the reboot and current survivor-series. It’s obviously been a while since I played Tomb Raider, but I remember extremely annoying bits with QTE’s they thankfully scaled back to a healthy amount in RotTR. Those were pure evil. :P

I still would like them to fix all these bugs, but after one year and 10 already released patches, it’s most likely crazy to still expect anything.

Bye Bye Voices of Nerat!

I’m one of these people who really liked Pillars too. I also had no problems with the companions. They might not have felt as legendary as the group from Baldur’s Gate II, but… Let’s just say this doesn’t make them bad in my book. Not even close.
So I was looking forward to Tyranny as well, the only reservation I held, was that it might be too similar to Pillars. Same engine and all that.
All of these doubts went away rather quickly, once I started playing. Sure, it’s the same engine, but these games are primarily about story, characters […] anyway. Despite the same engine, this game really isn’t anywhere near to being a clone of Pillars. In fact so many details appear to be different, that it might be something the devs were worried about as well. Even the GUI is another one and the changes are almost deep enough to maybe even alter gameplay a bit.
Parties now consist of 4 people, instead of 6. While I do have the drive to drag along as many of the companions as possible, to not miss their unique dialogs (at the very least), in a game like this there is still enough micromanaging to do with just 4 characters. It made me curious if they are going to keep this refined design for future titles, or if this was just something to make Tyranny more unique.
In a way this game reminded me of Witcher 2, because some decisions in W2 have such deep consequences, that the player ultimately needs another playthrough to experience the other half of the game. Tyranny offers a shorter campaign (“shorter” in comparison to Pillars), but has a lot more variables. Again, I can’t say if it was their goal to make people happy who want shorter games AND those players who like spending lots of time with the same title. If it was, they came as close to this as possible.
At first I had real problems understanding who all the various factions were (I thought there was so much lore right away, it was much harder to get into than Pillars) and what their goals were, but ultimately Tyranny did a good job at explaining it. Not every game makes me learn/remember all the names and little stories behind them. At the end of the game I knew almost everything the game had to say about groups like the Scarlet Chorus. I was really down with the motivations of all of these groups. A huge part, of why I was able to remember it so well, was probably that I actually got to meet most of these groups and had to actually “deal” with them eventually. Pillars on the other hand only mentioned lots of factions as part of the lore and worldbuilding, but they had no further relevance to the story, they remained something abstract.
So once again, Obsidian has learned from their previous game and did not merely introduce changes, but improvements.
The ending had me wondering if they are going to add to it (maybe even in the form of an expansion) or if this is supposed to be a one-off. I have to say it would work either way. The ending doesn’t necessarily “demand” a sequel, it just allows one.

Firaxis released a new patch for XCOM 2. The major change in it was that controller support was added, “only” 9 months after release of the game. I’m personally a keyboard/mouse player, but I still welcome any addition, many other players seemed to want it. Sadly, this update also added some bugs, which weren’t in the game before.

The weapon screen now has several weird buttons at the bottom, obviously belonging to the controller support – even if the player is only using kb+m. Another button which would allow switching to the next soldier’s weapon, has vanished. It really doesn’t look like this is how it’s intended to work.

The next “impossible to miss”-bug is on the squad loadout screen. Two of the buttons on the bottom have visually “merged”, although a bit is still visible – so it’s at least still usable.

I even deleted my config folder and ran yet another verify on the game, but the glitches persist.

While they are seemingly moving stuff around constantly, it doesn’t look like this will be fixed soon, or maybe even ever.

Another bug that annoys me, but was already present before this patch, is that the Alien Hunter DLC doesn’t trigger anymore for me. I still get the scanning option for the new weapons, but that’s it. Nothing else follows. Apparently there is another bug which can prevent Alien Hunter from triggering, namely if Shen’s Last Gift DLC is played before it, but I’m quite sure this isn’t the reason in my case. I’ve waited many ingame weeks (before starting Shen’s Last Gift), without results.

Dex was awesome. Loved it. I was as hooked and entertained for the whole duration, maybe even a little bit more than I was with the last few AAA games I finished, because if you play enough e.g. cover shooters in whichever 3D engine, they can start to feel generic/same. Dex, as a 2D side-scroller (for one), obviously didn’t have that problem.

The only thing I didn’t like about this game was that the/”my” ending felt rushed (the game has several). It didn’t feel fleshed out enough. But then again, this is a common problem with games, I’ve read a theory a while back, which was based on (yeah yeah, keep laughing) a metric, saying that most gamers never finish whichever game they are playing, therefore devs wouldn’t put as much work in endings “no one” would ever see anyway. Of course I have no idea if this is true and even if it is, I don’t know if this played a role in the development of this game.

It remains a fact however, that several of the side quests (of which this game has many – yay) had better written and more interesting story bits than large stretches of the supposed main plot. What I played was already called the Enhanced Edition, so I have to say a few slides at the ending could have been a really good addition. During the last stages of the game the player has to make several decisions which are probably supposed to be difficult, but without enough context, I had a hard time making these decisions with much confidence. Even the ending I got didn’t clear up the uncertainty.

I’ve played this game for almost 20 hours (tried to do absolutely everything), the game world is relatively big for a game of this type. At some point I started to use the fast travel option, because running from one end of the city to the other took to long, after I already had explored everything. So again, in these regards there is a lot of good content here. I’ll try to see it as just another positive aspect, that I was left wanting more instead of being glad it was finally over. :)

The game is out for over a year at this point and that too seems to be a good thing because I’ve read about all kinds of bugs, while I didn’t encounter a single one in my playthrough. So obviously those were patched out in the meantime – might be time for people to give this another chance who might have been put off before. It’s kinda funny that these smaller budget indie titles like Dex and Technobabylon engaged me even more than Deus Ex could. But sadly, in the end, it’s still mostly the marketing budget which makes the crowd (also having named the game merely Dex probably didn’t help visibility much – just try to find wallpapers on Google and you’ll see what I’m talking about). ;)

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