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Everything posted by Flanders

  1. People will moan as usual but the lists for best picture and all the acting nominations are the strongest in ages, while also managing to factor in a few films people have actually seen as well.
  2. This game is structured in a very peculiar way, like a linear narrative action blockbuster spliced together with an open world game. I like both bits - I particularly like the side stuff which really does reward exploration - but I can’t help thinking I’d prefer the 10-hour version or the 60-hour version instead of the halfway house. The two competing structures get in each others’ way in a manner that they didn’t in the 2018 game and I’m not sure why. One other difference is that it’s only playing Ragnarok that I’ve realised how far Last of Us 2 raised the bar for this type of blockbuster. Everything in that vein that’s come out since hasn’t seemed as good to me.
  3. I mean, during all those cancellations the person who was running Microsoft Studios - aka the game development part of the Xbox business - was…Phil Spencer. The guy is clearly very good at business strategy and marketing, but he might just be not very good at getting video games made.
  4. I still don’t really care for the aesthetic and tone that they’ve presented of this, but Arkane does Far Cry sounds a lot better than Arkane does Left 4 Dead. This game could really do with Starfield coming out before it, I think it’s a tough ask for an Arkane title to be the first big Xbox exclusive in ages and will only result in a slagging from loads of arseholes who don’t normally go near their stuff.
  5. Metroid Prime 2 and 3. The first one is a fixture in my top 20 of all time so it’s pretty inexplicable that I never played the other two.
  6. Difference between Driver and Brody is that Brody is a slight slip of a man whereas Driver is a hulking giant. Also ex-military so will probably look authentic doing the pew-pew. I think every contender for best actor of their generation should have at least one completely stupid B-movie schlock film on their resume so am well up for this.
  7. I’ll be intrigued to see if there is any strategic pivot if the ABK deal goes through. If you were looking at it from a cold bean counter point of view, to maximise Call of Duty’s potential as a subscription driver, you need to get all the people who only play COD to sign up. That means for these people Game Pass needs to be cheaper on an annual basis than the cost of COD at £70 plus Xbox Live/PS Plus basic etc. At the moment those two things are roughly the same. Of course, with Game Pass you also get access to hundreds of games. Problem is, that means very little to Jimmy CODplayer because he doesn’t care much about playing anything else. Ditto the Blizzard games like WoW, Diablo, Overwatch. To get round this I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Microsoft start offering stripped down cheaper Game Pass variants based around the giant service titles. For example, for £70-80 a year you get CODpass, which gives you all COD games including the current one, early access stuff, extra on Warzone etc etc. Maybe you also throw in a library of 10-20 games showcasing the best of Game Pass to try and entice COD players to upgrade to the full fat version. What I don’t think is going to work is just chucking COD into the existing Game Pass framework and expecting it to print money - especially if they end up having to keep it on PlayStation and PC for the next decade.
  8. I would genuinely be content with just a bunch more maps to navigate and build delivery routes on.
  9. Very interesting that the FTC directly mentions Microsoft’s immediate shift of upcoming Bethesda titles to exclusive as a contributor to a mistrust they won’t do the same with Activision. Really makes me wonder whether the Bethesda and ABK deals were just two very separate opportunistic moves rather than a coherent strategy. They surely wouldn’t have bought Bethesda outright if they’d known it could have harmed their chances of getting ABK.
  10. The breakdowns are hilarious jank, they’re part of what makes it a good 6-7/10 game. That and the BOOZEMAN of course.
  11. Watched the last hour of Last Jedi when it was on the telly a while back, it really is such a weird film. Like I kind of agree with all the people who say it’s the best one after Empire but I also can’t argue with anyone who says it’s a terrible mess. Very high highs, very low lows.
  12. Twitter is such an inappropriate medium for these comments, would have been a much greater tribute to Days Gone if John Garvin shouted them loudly while skulking in a bush. ‘YEAH AND THREE IT HAD WOKE REVIEWERS HA HA YOU SONS OF BITCHES’ as you creep on a wrongun to garrotte them. Ah Deek, you unhinged loon.
  13. Sorry but that just isn’t true. Game Pass was absolutely the main selling point for Xbox from 2017-2020, which let’s not forget is just under half the Xbox One’s lifespan and the entirety of the Xbox One X’s. Shit, I bought a One S secondhand for Game Pass in 2019. Forza Horizon 4 was released on it day one in September 2018.
  14. What? Game Pass isn’t a two year old service, it was launched in 2017! It’s had five years at dirt cheap prices to build a user base.
  15. And also that 2022 was the year it turned out the entire entertainment subscription model might just be an incredibly stupid way for large corporations to light mind-boggling sums of money on fire for lower returns than they got in the past.
  16. Citizen Kane is the definitive version of this for me - so many people seem to think that it’s some impenetrable boring pseudy thing that’s only admired for its technical innovation, when it’s actually a terrifically entertaining film - just a perfect execution of the rise and fall story with a charismatic performance for the ages at its heart.
  17. I don’t think even this is particularly consistent - racing games for example appear to be frequently given to aficionados for review and aren’t critiqued in line with a publication’s wider ethos. Good example of this would be Edge and Forza Horizon 5. Edge as a publication at this point has a pretty strong editorial line on not caring for various modern trappings of the AAA game - maps filled with icons, hand-holding, bloat, etc. And also as noted in this topic that editorial line very much favours the new over the iterative. Forza Horizon 5 is more guilty of these modern AAA sins than any game I’ve played outside of the worst Ubisoft offenders and it offers barely anything new from Forza Horizon 4. And yet it got an Edge 9 - I can only assume this happened because racing games are fundamentally viewed as unimportant in the great scheme of criticism so the review was done from the point of view of ‘is this a good game for people who like Forza’ rather than ‘how does this fit into the wider gaming landscape and our view of what it should be’. Which is weird really, because Forza Horizon is hardly a niche game, its got 20 million players or some such. I don’t get why that’s not a game you’d want to write about with the same rigour as other big titles.
  18. I’m in absolute awe about how good the 360 era games look and run on this. Halo Reach and Max Payne 3 at 60fps on a handheld device is as mind-blowing a technical leap for me as anything in the past decade.
  19. Not sure either of those scores are remotely surprising. Pentiment has looked like Edge-bait since it was first revealed.
  20. Well I just have to add Just Cause 2 don’t I - My Steam library already has Prototype and Red Faction Guerrilla from yonks back. Hopefully one day they’ll drop Crackdown on Steam and I can go on sabbatical to write the definitive treatise on mad AA open worlders of the late 00s.
  21. Yep, saw that setting up Game Pass on the deck involved installing Windows, can’t be bothered with all that.
  22. In the end I grabbed: Far Cry 2 The Orange Box Vanquish Hotline Miami 2 Fallout 3 GOTY edition Fallout 4 Batman Arkham City Max Payne 3 GTA 4 Complete Edition Yakuza 0 Metal Gear Solid 5 For a total sum of £46.67. Also nabbed Dragon’s Dogma for £4 last week. That should do me for Steam Decking for the next couple of years or so.
  23. Having just bought a Steam Deck, the autumn sale is the first big Steam sale that’s been relevant for me in many years. I’m sure it’s old hat to most people but the prices are eye poppingly low. It looks like I can assemble a perfect Xbox 360/PS4 gen mobile library that will last me for years for fifty quid.
  24. It’s been amusing to see big Jim do his PT Barnum on steroids schtick in the marketing for this film - he’s a proper throwback and it really feels like the modern social media crowd don’t know what to make of him. Makes you realise how few genuine creatives these days are out there blowing their own horn about how great they are.
  25. I realised a while back that I basically really love third person 3D games much more than any other type - which is obviously quite narrow-minded in one way but not too bad because it means I am up for basically any type of sub-genre within that perspective, from platformers to brawlers to adventures to RPGs to out and out shooters. Conversely I’ve also realised I don’t actually like 2D games, with a few notable exceptions. I thought that might make me some kind of gaming heretic but when I look back on my childhood I only ever really remember being fond of my Megadrive - actual love of games only came in with the N64 and the PlayStation. I find certain aspects of interaction with 2D games to be kind of intrinsically unfun, which means I quickly lose interest even when I can see the underlying design is great. Two good examples of this would be Super Metroid and Hollow Knight. Both beautiful, both atmospheric, both clever and amazingly constructed. Unfortunately they both contain a lot of combat, and I find 2D combat to be unfailingly horrible. Plus the entire time I was playing them I was thinking that this was all very well and good, but really Metroid Prime and Dark Souls are the ‘proper’ version of these games. Like I say, heresy!
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