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  • The new gaming thread

    Murska 4 years ago
    Agh! Horrible opinions here! The original X-Com is awesome. I recently finished a superhuman ironman Hawaii challenge one-base playthrough. That was interesting.

    The new one is fun to play, a nice game to be sure but just not the same. The original in all of its dickishness and punching you in the face repeatedly in the beginning and then finally allowing you to pay it all back in the endgame with your superior weaponry and equipment... it is beautiful.

    The After* series were just... bad. Story was fine, I suppose, but the gameplay was clunky and uninspiring. Adding real-time elements made it feel like a Laser Squad Nemesis game with a worse interface and the worst part was that there was none of the difficulty and rookie death rates of the original. They weren't fun to play.

    What I really miss in the new one is the amount of troops on the field and the ability to fire wherever you want to aim, even if you aren't targeting an alien. Also the feel of being hunted by the aliens instead of hunting them. But it's not a bad game in any way, it's fun to play.
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    Amarth 4 years ago
    The original one... I played it for a long time, but I never could get very far without losing all my soldiers, all my money and all my bases, usually but not always in that order. There are still days I have nightmares about Chryssalids.

    I played some Terror from the Deep but it seemed mostly like a reskinning of the original, so meh.

    Apocalypse on the other hand was really cool. It's a bit of a different take, because you don't defend the world, but just one megacity, and there's different corporations with different standings to you which you need for different supplies. Once you have to kill the aliens invading their offices, they start to charge you (or even dislike you) for damage done. The huge aliens trashing through the city, destroying the buildings, while your interceptors, cars and motorbikes are shooting at it trying to take it down... Fun times. You should definitely try it out if you liked any of the others.

    But all in all, I like the Jagged Alliance games more, probably because the overarching goal was clear from the start, and you could pick your own battles and devise your own strategy to get through it.
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    MageKing17 4 years ago
    Pete said:
    The guns and armors and everything just looked so bulky and cartoony that I couldnt bear it. I felt like my guys were shooting at alies with nerf guns.
    I'm going to assume you meant "aliens" and I only got that feeling from the starter Reticulan weaponry, which you're only supposed to use until you start manufacturing real weapons, which should be within a half hour of starting a new game; or if you've played as much as I have, within ten minutes.

    Pete said:
    (also they went with the "we give up" ending but there was no biomass covering the planet what the hell)
    Which, if you'd paid any attention to the historical research briefings that explain the backstory, is because most of the biomass died, in a massive psychic explosion that reduced the Reticulans to mindless beasts (except the ones on Mars, allowing UFO: Afterlight to happen, although I've never gotten a game going in that because it kept crashing on me). Seriously, the game addresses that very issue.


    Murska said:
    Agh! Horrible opinions here! The original X-Com is awesome. I recently finished a superhuman ironman Hawaii challenge one-base playthrough. That was interesting.

    The new one is fun to play, a nice game to be sure but just not the same. The original in all of its dickishness and punching you in the face repeatedly in the beginning and then finally allowing you to pay it all back in the endgame with your superior weaponry and equipment... it is beautiful.

    The After* series were just... bad. Story was fine, I suppose, but the gameplay was clunky and uninspiring. Adding real-time elements made it feel like a Laser Squad Nemesis game with a worse interface and the worst part was that there was none of the difficulty and rookie death rates of the original. They weren't fun to play.
    You're going to have to explain to me how UFO: Aftershock was clunkier than X-Com: UFO Defense, because I'm not seeing it. In fact, the story was the least interesting part of UFO: Aftershock to me. Sure, there was a backstory there if you wanted it, but I was playing it to outwit cultists with highly trained squads of deadly operatives using superior tactics and weaponry. My sniper would headshot a cultist while heavy walker drones moved into position and opened fire with gatling guns loaded with AP rounds and the squad leader picked off stragglers with his plasma rifle. With the cultists so distracted, my Commando would sneak around behind them and start carving them to shreds with a katana so fast they didn't even have a chance to turn around before he started slicing them to pieces. My heavy weapons specialist would turn her modified M60E3 on the crowd and start firing, reducing the survivors to so much swiss cheese. Business as usual... but only on those missions when you know where the enemy is.

    I have so much fun in that game just having everyone fan out and search a building room by room, covering each other and making sure not to leave any blind spots, while the sniper finds a nice firing point and goes prone, waiting for signs of hostile activity. One of my medics pulls out his Warp Medkit and, from across the room, starts healing some slight damage taken by one of the riflemen in a skirmish with a mutant that showed up next to our landing site, alone, catching us by surprise. After hearing something moving behind the wall, the medic puts away the medkit and pulls out a plasma shotgun and rounds the corner, catching another mutant by surprise and downing it in a single shot, not taking even a scratch thanks to the protective energy field projected by his modified armor.

    tl;dr: I really like UFO: Aftershock, and I don't see why it's worse than the series it was trying to improve (and, in my opinion, succeeded at improving).
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    Pete 4 years ago
    MageKing17 said:
    Pete said:
    The guns and armors and everything just looked so bulky and cartoony that I couldnt bear it. I felt like my guys were shooting at alies with nerf guns.
    I'm going to assume you meant "aliens" and I only got that feeling from the starter Reticulan weaponry, which you're only supposed to use until you start manufacturing real weapons, which should be within a half hour of starting a new game; or if you've played as much as I have, within ten minutes.

    Pete said:
    (also they went with the "we give up" ending but there was no biomass covering the planet what the hell)
    Which, if you'd paid any attention to the historical research briefings that explain the backstory, is because most of the biomass died, in a massive psychic explosion that reduced the Reticulans to mindless beasts (except the ones on Mars, allowing UFO: Afterlight to happen, although I've never gotten a game going in that because it kept crashing on me). Seriously, the game addresses that very issue.

    Ill start off by stating that yes, I havent played past the first tutorial Earth-based mission, but I did read a screenshot LP of the game, and I found the design of basically everything atrocious. I imagine thats a matter of personal taste, but there you go. As for the second part, it was made quite explicit exactly what giving up meant in aftermath:

    Exhibit A

    Now explain to me how did A) someone managed to survive down there and B) how did all the plant and animal life on Earth not die out?

    Not that that was my issue with it anyway, my issue was they chose to continue the "I cant be bothered to win" ending timeline. But yeah, personal taste, all that.
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    MageKing17 4 years ago
    Pete said:
    Now explain to me how did A) someone managed to survive down there and B) how did all the plant and animal life on Earth not die out?
    Most people didn't survive down there, and the only surviving "animal life" seems to be the mutants. The player characters survived because they were in the flying Laputas the Reticulans put the Council of Earth and those who sided with them on; it's entirely possible that some (though not all; the cyborgs and psionics are specifically stated to be mutations brought about by the biomass) of the survivors are from other Laputas, that didn't stay airborne nearly as long as the player's Laputa did. On the other hand, there are plenty of areas with surviving bits of biomass, and the Cultists actually spread biomass, if I'm not mistaken. In fact, if my (vague) memory of the backstory is accurate, I think the Reticulans were duped by their living ship into creating the biomass, the actual purpose of which was to summon a mate for their ship (hence the Wargots' and the Starghosts' arrivals). Again, though, that's only my vague recollections of the backstory that I didn't pay much attention to in the first place.

    Not that I particularly cared how people survived anyway; if the game was about re-populating a barren world, it would be too depressingly bleak to be fun.

    Pete said:
    Not that that was my issue with it anyway, my issue was they chose to continue the "I cant be bothered to win" ending timeline. But yeah, personal taste, all that.
    That's because there couldn't be a continuation of the "you won" timeline; there would be nobody left to fight, because you'd already won, and the Wargots and the Starghosts would never have shown up without the psychic beacon sent out by the biomass.
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    Grim Reaper 4 years ago
    > mfw this


    Edit: switched image to something that seemed more appropriate

    Edited 4 years ago
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    Narvius 4 years ago
    I have democratically decided that the lot of us will try this out.

    Who's GMing? And when?

    Edited 4 years ago
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    MageKing17 4 years ago
    Oh sweet. I am so in, as long as I have a chunk of free time that other people also have.

    ...And I suppose I could GM if nobody else wants to.
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    Narvius 4 years ago
    Anytime on weekends. Even if it's some awkward hour at night for me. I'm in UTC+1.

    And yeah, I'd prefer someone other than me to GM.
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    Murska 4 years ago
    I can join if I happen to both remember and have the time to. Do poke me on Steam, please, I'm bound to forget.

    As for X-Com, your description is one of the main points why the After* series was not as fun. You are way too powerful. I like it when I'm outmatched, scared witless due to flashes of chryssalids in the shadows, barely able to take down an alien terror weapon with concentrated fire of everyone in the squad, happen to catch a grenade in the middle of my squad in the beginning that kills everyone except three lone survivors and changes the mission from 'stop the aliens' to 'get to the Skyranger and fly away before you all die'. I like it how my rookies panic when they're surprised by an inhuman foe with plasma weaponry that melts straight through the walls, the soldiers and anything else in its path. I don't like it if my soldiers don't die when shot or if the foe I'm fighting is pitifully weak. That's why the final phases of X-Com are nowhere as interesting as the beginning, because when you have all the alien tech the game's more about revenge for all your lost soldiers instead of actual gameplay.

    I like being forced to improvize, to be inferior and outclassed and still pull out a victory with a combination of luck and skill and most importantly I like the feel that it's possible for me to lose if the enemy outplays me or I get unlucky. If any defeat is a result of a large personal failure of my own, which tend to be pretty rare after I've played a game for a while, and doesn't even do me any true irreplaceable damage, there's no tension.

    Playing X-Com using human tech only, or better yet playing it without using any weaponry or armour other than what you can buy from the store is a true challenge and extremely fascinating, capturing a feeling of helplessness and inferiority, forcing you to retreat from many a mission because you simply cannot win. And the eventual victory, or just the moment where your Sergeant Edward Lorren, eight missions, six kills and a miraculous survival from a plasma bolt behind him, picks up a set of plastic explosives from a dead rookie, primes them and runs into a sectopod, blowing up himself, the enemy that's proven invulnerable to all conventional weapons and allowing the remnants of the squad to escape pursuing Ethereals and mind-controlled teammates, it just feels so much more earned and valuable.

    When you surprise a superior enemy hiding in a corner by destroying the wall behind him with a rocket and shooting him down with concentrated fire from a squad taking cover behind a nearby wall. When everyone in your squad is annihilated in a terror mission save one man with a stun prod and a rifle, who runs out of ammo several times scavenging from dead teammates in a desperate bid to reach the skyranger and escape, finally reaching the ship to notice that it's being guarded by a Reaper. Emptying your ammo into the beast and hiding in a hole too small for it to squeeze through, only to make a minor mistake, get caught in the open by it and have it miss in melee due to its injuries. Then to stun it with the cattleprod, drag its unconscious carcass to the Skyranger and fly back home with a set of plasma rifles that barely finance the replacements of the squad for the next month.

    I just find myself returning to X-Com often for another game with another handicap or twist I've thought of, simply because losing is fun and winning barely against all odds is even more fun, but winning with relative ease is not.
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    MageKing17 4 years ago
    Murska said:
    your description is one of the main points why the After* series was not as fun. You are way too powerful.
    So up the difficulty.

    I should note that I play Aftershock on the lowest difficulty setting because on even "Normal" I wind up with dead squadmates on the simplest of missions, which sounds like exactly what you want . Personally, I'm the kind of person who would just save and reload rather than go through the process of training a replacement for a dead soldier, so maybe that's why I could never get into the X-Com series (and why I have a hard time playing Aftershock on higher difficulty levels).
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    Murska 4 years ago
    I did play them on the highest difficulty, and it was playable, but not as fun. The limited number of troops combined with the limited lethality of combat made me feel like I was fighting on roughly equal ground instead of being horribly outnumbered and outgunned.
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    MageKing17 4 years ago
    Murska said:
    I did play them on the highest difficulty, and it was playable, but not as fun. The limited number of troops combined with the limited lethality of combat made me feel like I was fighting on roughly equal ground instead of being horribly outnumbered and outgunned.
    Just curious... did you get to the point where the Wargots and Starghosts show up? Because nothing makes me feel outnumbered and outgunned like a swarm of Starghosts.
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    Narvius 4 years ago
    HAHA DENIED.
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    Narvius 4 years ago
    b
    Edited 4 years ago
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    Murska 4 years ago
    I've finished all the games once, though I don't recall the difficulty level of that playthrough - I tend to start on default, average, Normal or whatever the game appears to be claiming is the basic one for relatively competent people and only change difficulty during the first playthrough if there's some specific reason.
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    Grim Reaper 3 years ago
    GODUS' Kickstarter is nearing completion, but still needs (at the time of writing) a "bit" over £50k within the next 67 hours to reach its goal.

    Also, beta signups for The Showdown Effect (from the creators of Magicka) are now up.
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    Anonymous1157 3 years ago
    There's a new movie called Pacific Rim in production right now. The only reason this is related to gaming news is because they got permission from Valve to use a GlaDOS voice for the mecha computers.
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    Pete 3 years ago
    http://www.indiegogo.com/MaiaGame

    Basically, yes.
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    Kario 3 years ago
    Well, guys, I have a Steam now: SKarioK.

    TF2's incredibly fun.
    I also have the Orange Box, Sega Bass Fishing, and Indie Game: The Movie.

    So that's a thing.
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    Anne 3 years ago
    Hey: Have you all noticed this amazing game bundle at Groupees.com:

    http://groupees.com/bagb

    The deal's so good, how can you miss it?

    They just added a rocking new bonus a few hours ago (and are planning on extending the deadline by a few days at least, so it could either END in JUST 14 HOURS, or go on up until something like Jan 3rd).

    Ps. One of the bonuses may look familiar.
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    Anne 3 years ago
    An update on the bundle I mentioned above: They were able to extend the deadline by a few days (almost 4 days left now), so there's still time to go grab it!
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    Endymion 3 years ago
    I probably should try to find time to even try the games on the bundle sometime, or I could just wait until they get to steam or something.

    Anyway Natural Selection 2 is fun, and best of all doesn´t have any silly leveling up like so many online fpses seem to have lately.

    Edited 3 years ago
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    Narvius 3 years ago
    Having made it pretty far into Dark Souls, I now feel confident saying what I feel about it.
    Beware, unmarked spoilers.

    I'm fairly sure all of you have heard of Dark Souls, and it's supposedly high difficulty. Well, that's not exaggarated. It truly is a gruesome trek. But - and that's what makes this game into a masterpiece - the difficulty is not just there for its own sake. It is not just a challenge. Everything in the game (even the clunky in-game menu controls!) ultimately underlines the heavy, bleak atmosphere that permeates the entire adventure. And it is this atmosphere that sets Dark Souls apart from everything available right now.

    After an intro movie, the contents of which you will likely have forgotten by the time it would be relevant story-wise, you wake up in a cell. Unarmed. Naked. Disfigured.

    Fast forward. I arrived in a place called "Firelink Shrine". A bunch of demolished buildings, the earth strewn with corpses. And, next to a burnt-out bonfire, a single human being. He laughs at me for even trying to change something.

    As I explored the world, dying countless, pointless deaths, Firelink Shrine became kind of a home for me. People you found and rescued would inevitably end up there - never enough to make it lively, but somehow it always felt like... the largest concentration of hope in the entire world. I passed through it so many times...

    Sen's Fortress. The first real test for anyone playing this game. Maybe twenty or thirty hours into the experience. It is soul-crushing. Utterly, completely mind-numbing. And then you arrive at the top of the fortress, and are faced with a huge, ferric humanoid, an encounter that will likely end with another untimely demise.

    It is not before one knows the fortress by heart that one can ultimately conquer it. I spend so many hours walking through and dying in it, that I had time to build up a kind of familiarity. And the moment the Iron Golem fell, I felt like I owned the entire world. Now, surely, nothing could stop me anymore. The reason why I was here - to reach the mythic city of Anor Londo, home to a race of Giants - had completely slipped my mind by then.

    Moments later, though, a winged creature grabs me and takes me on a tour, over the mountains behind which Anor Londo lies. And I am there. As I look into the distance, massive buildings fill my sight. Before me lies a large stairway. I realized that I see no immediate way back.

    You know what? I probably have never felt so homesick, not in a game at least. The knowledge that my way back to Firelink Shrine was cut off was unrivalled in how depressing it was. I was in a completely foreign place, small, vulnerable, insignificant... lonely.

    And this is only one example, of one aspect.

    Despite having an essentially open world, Dark Souls manages to build this constant, perfect rollercoaster of highs, lows, very lows and extreme lows. And it never seems to end. Yet in all this depressing hopelessness, it instills a kind of spiteful motivation in me, one that compels me to return every time I give up, and continue fighting.

    tl;dr
    Dark Souls is the essence of win.

    Edited 3 years ago
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    MageKing17 3 years ago
    My "One Game A Month" for January was finished right at the last minute, and is honestly pretty terrible, but is the first game I have ever released as technically "complete" (in that you can begin the game and play it through until an ending, even though the "ending" in this case is just a "you win!" message that stays there until you quit).

    Here's a screenshot:

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    NeoGangster 3 years ago
    I played Dark Souls and my opinion of it is: It feels more like an adventure/puzzle game. The game is easy as hell once you know what you're doing. The game has no sense of progress in any way, the only exception is that I could wear heavier armor and still be fast later on.
    Most armors feel gimmicky. The weapons found later in the game aren't really stronger.
    Most of my death's were caused by the bad controls.
    Boss fights felt really easy, except for the two gargoyles.
    I had to start the game all over 3 times because I hit an npc by accident.
    The game offers you many choices but it doesn't tell you anything about them.
    If I had to chose a spiritual predecessor then I would say it's Rick Dangerous. The whole game is about trial and error.

    After having said all that I actually had some fun with it I can't deny it but if someone actually wants to play the game then I would recommend them to go on vacation and play the game ~300 hours while being isolated from any information about the game and never try to ask someone for help.

    Edited 3 years ago
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    Kario 3 years ago
    Anyone have an estimation of how many hours it would take to finish the Half-Life 2 episodes?
    I'm trying to get around to playing now that I can hear. (My motherboard was a bit messed up and the line in jack wasn't sensing my speaker, I bought another pair of speakers until I just bought a USB sound card, and it works. Yay! )
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    Grim Reaper 3 years ago
    Kario said:
    My motherboard was a bit messed up and the line in jack wasn't sensing my speaker
    If you were plugging your speakers into the Line-In (blue) port, what were you plugging into the Speaker (green) port?
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    Narvius 3 years ago
    @NeoGangster
    I changed the armor I wear twice in the entire game - one time when I found a set that's lighter than my starter was, and one time when I just really needed infinite poison resist for one short part. Armors really are mostly just fashion statements, but that's rather obvious in a game that's 90% "if you get hit you die".

    I don't feel any character progression, either - I have to agree there. The progression in this game is mostly PLAYER progression - getting better at the game, and the stats are kinda just there to limit your choices early on (in terms of spell slots and available equipment choices).

    But I have to disagree about the weapons. Things like Quelaag's Furysword really are much stronger than mundane weapons. And once you get into the really challenging part of the game (aka after Sen's Fortress), they are tremendously useful (incidentally, that's also the moment when you can first get them).

    If by "bad controls" you mean the fact that attacks you perform are really, really slow, then yeah. That's the entire point of the combat system. And I can see how that creates a love/hate split.

    And unless you have fought Dragonslayer Ornstein & Executioner Smough, you have not seen the boss battles of the game. The things before them are about as difficult as high-end regular mooks. And the Four Kings, oh my god. ._.

    So, yeah, except for the boss difficulty, weapon progression and controls I mostly agree with you, and yes, playing DS spoilerless is really the best way to do so, if incredibly, incredibly hard (not to mention that you will miss a lot of content). For comparison, while on my first playthrough, it took me six hours total to reach and defeat the gargoyles, whereas I managed to do so in about an hour the second time around (starting from a new game).

    Edited 3 years ago
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    NeoGangster 3 years ago
    Narvius said:

    If by "bad controls" you mean the fact that attacks you perform are really, really slow, then yeah. That's the entire point of the combat system. And I can see how that creates a love/hate split.

    No I'm fine with the combat system in general. Mostly it's how the camera and the movement interact. Especially when you're using targeting. That can really be really really frustrating at times.

    If you say that the endgame bosses are worth it then I might actually go back and finish the game.
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    Kario 3 years ago
    Grim Reaper said:
    Kario said:
    My motherboard was a bit messed up and the line in jack wasn't sensing my speaker
    If you were plugging your speakers into the Line-In (blue) port, what were you plugging into the Speaker (green) port?


    I meant green, sorry.

    Edited 3 years ago
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    MageKing17 3 years ago
    My February "One Game A Month" is now available. It's a remake of the old PalmOS game SpaceWar, a turn-based tactics game with a Star Trek theme. Have a screenshot or three.

    EDIT: Updated link to new version.

    Edited 3 years ago
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    Anonymous1157 3 years ago
    Steam is having a sale on all of its Linux games as part of the official release of the Linux Steam client. (The sale might be over by the time anyone reads this, though. Whoops.)

    Also, if you play TF2 on Linux before the end of the month, you'll get a Tux. Getting the game to throw an OpenGL error counts as "playing", so I'm in luck this time around.
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    harwe 3 years ago
    Has anyone played Don't Starve yet? It has similar survival style as Notrium, but still in beta so it does not have as much story/content. Much more towards cartoon and hand-drawn art style.
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    Anonymous1157 3 years ago
    So, SimCity 5. I've read people can't play the single-player game right now because the servers are overloaded, so they're waiting in line.

    ...Wait, what?
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