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  1. matt0

    Gears 5

    Well, that's my next year of gaming sorted then!
  2. Normally my sympathies lie with the Rom sites in cases like this. But given that RomUniverse were charging fees for premium access and had Switch games available for download, frankly, fuck RomUniverse.
  3. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    I had it recently with the Division on Xbox One. The installed version from Game Pass wouldn't accept the disc for a license key, and at one point I ended up with two entirely separate installs of the game on the dashboard and the save data wouldn't carry over. Luckily my world state and character data was all stored on Ubisoft's side, but it did mean that for a few days I had to click through loads of tutorial messages every time I opened up a different menu screen or encountered something for the "first" time, so whether you'd seen those must have all been stored locally.
  4. matt0

    Xbox Game Pass

    Yes, also bare in mind that the disc versions of the bigger games are usually cheaper than that price by the time they've been on and then are dropping of Game Pass, but sometimes the saves don't transfer between the digital and disc versions. That side of things is a bit of a mess, but I've never been properly stung by it.
  5. Tom At The Farm is a good one from a few years back (2013). A man attends his boyfriends funeral and discovers his boyfriends mother didn't know her son was gay. He then gets coerced in to staying at the family farm by his dead boyfriend's controlling brother who starts a campaign of psychological warfare against him centred around the secret of his brother's sexuality. Really tense, queasy stuff.
  6. matt0

    Gears 5

    I just want to play execution or warzone though. None of the other stuff in the playlist.
  7. matt0

    Gears 5

    I'm hooked on arcade mode. The most casual of casual modes. I like the Counterstrike-lite style weapon purchasing. Gears 1 had a lot of Counterstrike DNA in its multiplayer so it's interesting to see this surface again here. Sometimes you come up against teams completely incapable of dealing with Markza's and you can pop heads with impunity while they pea shoot you at the limit of their lancers range. Sometimes you're stuck on one of those teams though... I was pleasantly suprised by the 60fps, I skipped Gears 4 so that might not be new but it was cool. Either I've missed something or there's no way to just play the classic Gears warzone or execution modes, unless you can do that through custom games. Loads of stuff to experiment with, I've still only touched Campaign and arcade mode.
  8. I've never agreed with this because challenge is such a subjective term. it always reminds me of PS1 era magazine reviews of shmups. "You can just continue through the whole game in half an hour, there's no challenge". And it throws up loads of weird questions: Is a game less of a game if you play it on easy? Do Bayonetta or Mass Effect 3 stop being games if you play on auto or story mode and suddenly start being games again if you don't? If Mass Effect 3 on story mode isn't a game are the later Tell Tale games not games because they're essentially the same thing? At what point does a game become not a game? Is Abzu a game because it has a completely arbitrary level of challenge and Dear Esther not a game because there's no challenge at all? What's the point in between Abzu and Dear Esther when a game stops being a game? What if you define challenge as interpretive or thematic and not purely based around mechanics? It's all games: hard, easy, purely mechanics based, purely narrative based.
  9. Another couple I finished a while back and haven't got round to writing up: Assassin's Creed Origins (Xbox One): When you've spotted an enemy and they go behind scenery there's a little outline of them so you can still keep track of where they are, but if they're riding a horse or camel it doesn't show the outline of their mount, so it looks like they're bouncing along on space hoppers behind a house. Also if you stand in the middle of a peaceful outdoor temple or bath house and then whistle for your camel it will rampage through trying to get to you. Screams, chaos, people falling all over the place, dickhead camel flailing about. You have a psychic, magic eagle. There's a Final Fantasy Chocobo / camel hybrid in this game for no apparent reason. Beautiful scenery and masterful world building but not much beneath the surface. Mechanically it's paper thin. Bayek and Aya are likeable leads, but I wished they done more with some of the NPCs. Instead of having a dozen largely unrelated side quests in a region and the odd big event quest I wished there were more running story lines. Occasionally an NPC will have a little mini arc, and those are the best parts of the game, but still fleeting and unsatisfying. The game spends a lot of time signalling that you should care about things happening to characters you barely know. There's some science fiction framing story guff. This is the first AAA open world game I played since the 360 (I started and finished Crackdown 3 while I was working my way through AC:Origins), so I've no idea if this is just a standard level of detail you see in games now or something genuinely special, but even on the One S these are the best graphics I've ever seen. Monumental ruins, shifting sands and shifting skies, strange rock formations in the middle of salt flats. There's always something to see over the next hill even if the thing that's there to see is an empty expanse of desert. All the care, detail and attention to lighting and atmosphere that went in to Breath Of The Wild is here in photo real form. Giving you that ridiculous eagle was an act of pure showboating, letting you soar and drink in the grand scale and sweep of the landscapes from the air. If I only take one thing away from this game it will be the translucency of waves as you swim on the surface of the ocean. A subtle visual detail, captured perfectly, that I've never seen before in a game. Like I said there's not much under the surface, but the surface kept me captivated for 70+ hours. Ori and The Blind Forest (Xbox One): "Your scientists [art team] were so preoccupied with whether they could [make everything in the game a small glowing orb] that they didn't stop to think if they should [make everything in the game a small glowing orb]" Typical moment in Ori: You're in a fight where you're firing small glowing orbs at enemies that are firing small glowing orbs at you, while defeated enemies explode in a shower of small glowing orbs. I'm trying to get to a breakable wall just ahead to smash it and get to a small glowing orb. I'm not sure what the small glowing orb does because everything in this game is a fucking orb. Finished on default difficulty. I enjoyed this one but I didn't especially rate it. As a Metroidvania it suffered in comparison to Hollow Knight, which I was playing along side it and the twitch platforming bits suffered in comparison Celeste which I finished earlier in the year. Everything about the game felt too loose to me. The controls were too floaty and imprecise for the maso-core platforming sections. The zoomed out map is a beautiful painting that doesn't accurately reflect the spatial relationship between the areas. The zoomed in map is all jagged lines that's hard to internalise and as a result I could never get a proper feel for the overall structure of the game world, which for a Metroidvania is a huge problem. The sheer visual detail of the game, the thing that attracted me in the first place, had a weird effect where I found it hard to remember places I needed to return to compared to something built out of blocks like Super Metroid or simple level geometry like Hollow Knight. This is exacerbated by the fact that I wasn't thinking "how can I get those missiles" or "how do I reach that chozo statue" but "Oh look, there's another orb.". The ratio of orbs per minute in this game is very, very high. I did not remember or care about the orbs. It didn't seem to matter how many max health increases I got, I was always 2 or 3 hits away from death, but also never sure if a second hit would kill me or if I'd get a third chance. Spike placement and collision detection didn't make sense to me, even at the end of the game. Crucially, I never felt comfortable playing it, even as I was enjoying the atmosphere and wanting to see more of the beautiful environments. The orbs. ... 2019 so far:
  10. I'm assuming "one game for each year" isn't literally one game from 2010, one from 2011 etc. We can pick more than one game from a year?
  11. There’s a really gross gay stereotype boss early on. It's still in the 360 Streets Of Rage collection though, but I guess that's something aimed at fans of the series who are used to dodgy shit in games where this is being sold on nostalgia to a broader audience.
  12. matt0

    Gears 5

    I've never played the Uncharted games but there's a bit at the start of Act 2 of Gears which I imagine is something like the seamless transitions those games are famous for. After a conversation cut scene you go through to a new area and as you walk through in cut-scene the camera pans to show you an incredibly detailed view of this new location. This is the point in a game where the camera always cuts to a close view of your character or a first person view before the game play starts, helping to disguise the fact that the in game visuals are a step down from the cut scene visuals. But in Gears 5 the camera just draws in again and it transitions seamlessly back in to game play. Probably not that impressive if you've seen it done before (and back on the PS3 too...), but I was impressed!
  13. matt0

    Gears 5

    Played through Act 1 of this last night on the One S. It looks stunning and there were no noticeable performance issues, although this was coming off the back of Control which is a mess on the One S. And... I don't know what else you could want from a Gears game this far in. Act 1 packs so much in to an evenings worth of gaming, gives you some new weapons, sets you up on how Jack's new abilities work and gives you almost non stop combat with a few bosses and mini bosses to deal with. It's very fast paced but I never felt rushed like I did in Gears 3. Most memorable set piece so far: If I had any criticism it might be that there's too many mid to long range firefights and not enough close quarters shotgun combat, but then that's something that only occurred to me after I stopped and wasn't bothering me at all when I was playing. And for all the polish they somehow botched the famous Halo:CE style "look up, look down" calibration thing for the Y Axis. I looked "up" but ended up staring at my feet because no matter what you do it defaults to inverted and I had to change it in the menu. Weird. Had one technical hitch where the game stalled on one checkpoint (no button prompt to open the next door) and then wouldn't reload after I quit to the menu. I had to restart my machine and it worked fine after that. I'll have to see how I take to the free roaming sections, but so far I'm loving it.
  14. matt0

    Gears 5

    Have you tried installing it through the Xbox Beta App? That usually works for me, but yeah, Gamepass on PC is still a huge mess.
  15. Control is pretty rough on the One S but it's got that original Xbox Half Life 2 feel to it, where you can see why it's struggling. I've always had a soft spot for end of a generation over ambitious titles going back to the Amiga version of UFO: Enemy Unknown...
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