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  1. R-Type Final 2 I "re-completed" this after all the DLC stages (remakes of stages from earlier games in the series) put in an appearance, none of which add that much to the game. The R-Type Final 1 stage 2 remake has pretty ropey performance issues, actually, despite looking rather poor. Still, nice to hear a new version of that classic Stage 1 music, and take down that big Stage 3 ship again. A Plague Tale: Innocence Pretty decent stealth-em-up, I thought. I played it with French dialogue, and having since heard it in English, I think I made the right choice. The story was interesting enough to prevent me hitting the "skip cutscene" button, a very rare thing, though it went a bit strange at the end, but not in a bad way. It played pretty well until one unforgiveable section in the last level required me to dispatch eight baddies in quick succession with my rubbishy sling weapon (I had focused on upgrading everything else), and it took me upwards of forty attempts, with a lot of swearing in between. The graphics were nice, especially after the XSX upgrade ... but such a shame it lost quick-resume. 7/10
  2. Isn't this the last day of the Rewards "month"? They usually don't have any daily rewards on the last day.
  3. Amiga Format demo of Zeewolf sold me the game. And the sequel. I must've played that demo level a hundred times.
  4. Yeah, it's a really stupid game design. Most players come to Catherine looking for an anime visual novel or a block puzzle game. Hardly anyone comes looking for both, and almost everybody leaves disappointed. I skipped all the story bollocks and just played it as a puzzle game. I thought it was pretty good in that regard, especially Babel mode.
  5. Planet Alpha I had never heard of this before it was a GwG giveaway, but I'm a sucker for 2.5D platformers, so I bunded right in. You're a little astronaut dude on some bizarre planet full of weird and wonderful things. The best bits of this game are the graphics and sound. The alien landscapes and architecture look great, and have a real "sense of wonder" to them, and the retro sci-fi ambient soundtrack suits it really well. Sadly it's only 30fps (it's an XB1 game, no S/X upgrade yet), and the controls are a little bit spongey, so marks off for that. On the gameplay side, it's kinda slight, with many "hold right and enjoy the graphics" sections punctuated by very simple platforming, with very generous checkpointing. There are a few puzzles, some with neat solutions, but none of them will tax you for more than a minute. Stealth plays quite a big part, with several ForbiddenPlanet-esque robots hunting you down throughout, including one recurring giant daddy robot, whose design is rather excellent. I did sometimes find the stealth mechanics to be a bit trial-and-error though. A decent wee game, worth playing for half and hour now and then, if only to enjoy the atmosphere (I reckon you'd get pretty bored if you tried to play the whole thing in one go). 6/10
  6. Guns, Gore & Cannoli 2 I picked this up in a sale for a couple of quid because I remembered quite liking the first one. I won't lie: I rattled through this on a fairly low difficulty, so I don't feel qualified to give it any rating. It was quite good fun though. Lara Croft & The Temple Of Osiris Following on from my Shadow Of The Tomb Raider completion, we have this. Not, strictly speaking, a "proper" Tomb Raider game: it's an isometric twin-stick shooter arcadey-platformy-puzzle thing ... and it's pretty good. Much better than the dreary plodathons that recent TR games have become. There's plenty to do, with a variety of challenges across all the tombs, and it doesn't drag things out too long. There's a tiny bit of annoying lag on the controls, and Lara's "witty" quips throughout are like nails on a chalkboard, but otherwise, good game. 7/10
  7. The 42GB upgrade for "A Plague Tale" is currently downloading on my Series X. I had been putting off playing more of this since the announcement.
  8. I remember reading about an emulator (for NES maybe?) that generated the game state for a few frames in advance based on every possible input combination, and instantly served up the state when the actual input arrived, thus providing a gameplay experience with even less input lag than the original console. However, that was for a very simple console with controllers that had about 64 possible combinations of input at any given time. Not really sure how something like that can be done on a modern game with analogue controls where the possible input combinations must be in the millions or billions. But I'd sure be interested to know!
  9. Both of the Unravel games are fantastic.
  10. Microsoft thought they were being clever with this "achievement progression" thing ... the idea was that devs could just make certain events in their games add 1% (or whatever) to the progress of an achievement, and the Xbox ecosystem can take care of tracking the total percentage, and unlocking the achievement when you reach 100%. But then gamers realised that, if a part of a game adds progress, they could just restart from checkpoint and repeatedly do that bit over and over. So if a developer wants to prevent that, but also implement the achievement progression, they now have more work to do than ever before. Also, I don't think PS trophies have anything similar, so the smaller cross-platform games are less likely to bother with it.
  11. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Looks great in 4K60 on the Series X, but still suffers from most of the problems of the prequel, i.e. pointless crafting, dreary combat, largely against (yawn) big men with assault rifles, and worst of all, unskippable cut scenes, which is unforgivable. The platforming is fun, and there are some good stealth mechanics, but it does all feel a wee bit scripted and holdy-handy. Just like the one before it, the best bits were to found in the DLC, which in this instance was just seven pretty-decent tombs with time/score attacks. Sorry Lara, I think I've had enough of Tomb Raider games. 5/10
  12. I'm impressed at how well this runs on my laptop via a 2.4ghz wifi connection, considering that the GamePass streaming app on my phone on the same connection is an unusable slideshow.
  13. It seems pretty good via the browser on ethernet, but, understandably, a tiny bit laggier via my phone on 5G wifi. I tried A Plague Tale, which already has fairly spongey controls when played directly on a console, and that was fine. Then I tried River City Girls, and that wasn't fine at all. Only a tiny fraction of a second of lag, but it's enough to kill a game like that. For open world, fannying-around, leisurely-paced games, it's ideal, but I'm still not convinced it'll ever be feasible for fast reflex, arcade-style gameplay, unless maybe you play on Easy difficulty. I have a feeling that, if streaming becomes the norm, we'll see games become even easier than they are now, to compensate.
  14. I've only paid cursory attention to this whole xcloud thing over the past few years, so pardon me if I'm asking a stupid question... Is xcloud pretty much married to GamePass now? i.e. the chance of streaming a game that ain't on GP is zero? And no suggestion of any plans to change that?
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