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Everything posted by Boothjan

  1. I think I'm approaching the end of this - but my god, you have to really work hard to enjoy it!! It's helped by the drastically reduced loading times on the Series X compared to XB1 but the bizarre fast travel system and side mission structures are frankly baffling. Looks bloody beautiful on my OLED on the Series X mind you, which has definitely helped my decision to stick with it. Can't see me ever going back to it once I've finished the story though.
  2. 17. The Artful Escape (XSX Game Pass) This was just a wonderful experience, even though it's nigh on impossible to explain. I guess it's just that - an experience. Don't expect to need any quick reflexes, puzzle solving or anything that you would normally find in a standard video game because this really isn't a standard video game! Sometimes, just sitting back, immersing yourself in the sounds and sights in front of you can be extremely rewarding. The Artful Escape does this to a degree I've not really experienced before. It's Yellow Submarine mixed with Bill and Ted, with the only real slight 'gaming elements' being a rhythm based guitar shred-off with weird and wonderful creatures that reminded me of NPCs from the Ori games. I've done an appalling job of describing this, but I think the best way to describe both the gameplay and the experience is just to go by the title - it really is an Artful Escape and I absolutely bloody loved it. Definite GOTY candidate. 9/10
  3. And... done. That was an absolute blast to play - thoroughly enjoyed it.
  4. I am genuinely surprised at the number of negative posts in here recently - each to their own and all that but I had an absolute blast playing this. I can understand the frustrations with some of the bosses, but they pale into comparison with some boss levels that had me shouting at the TV - that bastard sewer boss in Luigi's Mansion 3 being the worst culprit!! I think this is one of the best platformers in recent years, and I'd have finished this even if it wasn't on Game Pass.
  5. My kids play on loads of games - some of which I hate (Fortnite, Roblox) but some of which I love (Forza Horizon 4, Sea of Thieves) and I'm finding that my son in particular is playing more of the latter compared to the former these days. None of that is my influence because it's not my opinion that should form their gaming habits - it's up to them and as long as they get to play multiplayer with their friends, they're happy. Started playing It Takes Two with my 11 year old daughter the other day and have been very surprised just how quickly she's worked out the puzzles, so sometimes, your kids' gaming habits can also teach you a thing or two! As far as I'm concerned, as long as the content is appropriate and they don't exceed their allotted time on their consoles/phones, I'll let my kids be kids. It's what my parents did with me and I was grateful for it.
  6. By far the best in the series IMO (not played Valhalla yet though). It's very, very long but personally, I love Ancient Greece so that wasn't a problem for me. Tempted to go back to it actually now it's had a Framerate boost.
  7. Same as the OP - Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5. With the backlog of games I still have to even install let alone start playing, I'm really not too disappointed in the lack of brand new releases between now and the end of the year. No doubt there'll be a Game Pass belter that arrives out of the blue which will totally surprise me as well!!
  8. Yeah, unless I've just got totally lost in the psychedelic funky grooves I've not noticed a single problem whatsoever.
  9. I've not encountered any issues at all on my Series X - plays and runs and looks idyllic.
  10. Boothjan

    It Takes Two

    My daughter got this for her 11th birthday last week so we started it last night. Incredibly impressed - not just with the game but by the logic my daughter showed, solving some of the puzzles way before I did! We've only just got past the 2nd boss - really looking forward to playing more because this is a very special co-op title.
  11. 16. Psychonauts 2 (XSX Game Pass) What an absolute delight this is - the visuals, the music, the story, the characters all very strong, but where Psychonauts 2 triumphs are the fantastic ideas that have gone into every single level. There's plenty of variety with the gameplay for it to hold up, but in terms of level design and imagination, this is off the scale. A simple premise - Psychonauts are able to enter other people's mind and fix things therein. The story surrounding this is lovely, very sweet in places with emotional punches balanced well with daft, irreverent humour Gameplay-wise, I think it's fair to say that Psychonauts 2 isn't wholly original. It uses a raft of tried and trusted platform tropes across roughly 15 hours of gameplay before you reach the end credits. I've read some criticism of the game in this regard - it's not original. My take on this is that it works - so I have no problem with platforming sections seen umpteen times before. If it works well, no problem. The vast majority of this does just that, with a slight criticism being the clunky combat and the rather frustrating manual button mapping when it comes to equipping special powers. The good thing is that these special powers are again varied and fun to use, but having to switch between them can at times frustrate, especially during intense combat sections. That clunky combat is by no means a game breaker, but it's very basic and dumbed down which is something I didn't find in any other aspect of the whole game. Back to those level designs - a hell of a lot of love and thought has gone into crafting the world of Psychonauts 2. From the central 'lobe' hub, to the exquisite themes found in every level (or 'mind'). The psychedelic music level is very reminiscent of Yellow Submarine, with other themes such as books, gardening, gambling, cooking giving an ingenious mixture of ideas - think of the mind of Norton Juster and Roald Dahl turned into 3D platforming levels and you're pretty much there. I loved every moment of my time playing Psychonauts 2. As with the majority of story based games, there are plenty of things to go back and collect after the credits have rolled - I want to mop up a couple of achievements I'm close to getting, as well as trying some of the side quests. This is a definite GOTY candidate. I'd be very surprised to see it pushed out of my top 3, and that's before I've played It Takes Two, Halo Infinite or FH5. All these big releases will have a lot of work to do to impress and delight me as much as this has. This isn't just a 'perfect Game Pass title' - it's a superb game regardless of the fact it's part of my GP subscription. The fact it's on there makes this an absolute no brainer - stick with it as the first hour or so were the least enjoyable because once it's opened up a bit and that imagination and level design are allowed to flourish, it's a wonderful gaming experience. 9/10
  12. I hope so - well, Xbox gamers DEFINITELY are.
  13. Console Wars and the utterly bizarre 'rivalry' people have for a console they don't own. Just a weird stance to have when this is a hobby we all love. 'Support' for a particular manufacturer - in the same way people have allegiances towards football teams - is something I will never understand. I love video games - the platform the games appear on isn't something that sways my opinion on that game. Whenever discussions in a thread such as the Game Pass thread begin to err towards fanboy wars, it makes me cringe.
  14. This is just wonderful. I'm loving every moment of it.
  15. I'm in the ideal situation of loving the Horizon series but knowing as much about cars as I know about the mating rituals of a gnu. So basically, I really don't care what cars are available - it won't change my enjoyment of the game one iota. My petrol head best mate on the other hand....
  16. We've got Venom charging stations for each console in the house (an original Xbox, an Xbox One X, an Xbox Series X) and they're great. 2 controllers on each station so should one ever run out due to a prolonged gaming session, it's a quick switch for the other. No annoying wires coming out of the console, all look very neat under the TV units. And they're only about 20 quid each.
  17. I abandoned the first game not so long ago because of how dated it was - whilst I agree there's a fair amount of retro platforming going on here, it's night and day compared to the first. Nowhere near as clunky. I have no problem with the old fashioned platforming element if it's done well - I think it's done very well here. The drawbacks I have with it is the manual mapping of powers to the trigger buttons which is very faffy, and the combat isn't brilliant, but the latter may well be down to the hours I've sunk into Hades recently!
  18. Started this on Monday on my Series X and I think it's glorious. It manages to be silly yet charming and although the game mechanics are hardly 'next gen', I don't think it matters. Visually, it's just awesome, with some really neat touches. Also, some of the little play on words never fail to raise a smile (I love 'thinkerprint' ) It's not without it's flaws, but I'm hooked, and I've only just unlocked the outside part of the main hub.
  19. 12. The Accidental Footballer by Pat Nevin This is one of the best footballing autobiographies I have ever read - it's so very different from the usual ones, but that sums up Pat Nevin pretty well - he's not a normal footballer, and the title relates to the fact that whilst he adored the game, he played purely for the love of the game and not for fame and fortune. In fact, I think Nevin would have been just as happy writing for the NME (such is his interest and love of music) and he very nearly didn't take up football as a career as he was part way through a university degree in Scotland at the time. Throughout this, Nevin comes across as a thoroughly honest and decent man. You could argue that this also is not 'normal' in the industry! He never used an agent, never dishonoured a contract and rarely if ever speaks ill of others, despite many personality clashes with coaches/team mates (mainly due to his personality being so different to the stereotype!) I found his professionalism and the way Nevin speaks about so many things that are close to him very refreshing. It's very well written (no ghost writer either, something he goes out of his way to point out) and full of interesting behind the scenes facts. I think my only real criticism is that it doesn't really cover his life after he signed for Tranmere in 1992. He played for a few more sides in Scotland after that, and I was hoping to hear about his life after football as he comes across as a really interesting individual. Great read - it was only published earlier this year too. Highly recommended. It's the polar opposite of the duff Paul Merson book I read earlier this year!! 4.5/5
  20. Did the landing tutorial on the first go - and got an A. Go me! (We'll forget the first attempt at the first full flight when I ended upside down in a field....)
  21. Just what I was after, thank you sir.
  22. Installed this yesterday so thought I'd do the tutorials - haven't a fucking clue what I'm doing wrong with take off - all seems smooth to me, but the (rather impatient) lady keeps telling me I'm dangerous and it fades to black!! So I am finding it very hard to complete the tutorials. Not even attempted to land yet. Any recommended video guides out there?
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