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Gabe

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  1. 29/03/2020 - Operencia - The Stolen Sun (PC) I wasn't intending to finish another grid-based dungeon crawler straight after Ruzar, but as this is due to leave Game Pass soon, that was my motivation to crack on with this quirky RPG. Firstly, this is much, much better than Ruzar, from presentation and polish to structure, plot and a viability of different playstyles. You choose your player character from the arch-typical mage, warrior or ranger and then proceed to do all the things you'd expect in similar RPGs - meet new teammates, explore, fight, repeat. What's odd/interesting is that none of the characters you meet are pure mages, so unless you choose to be one yourself, you will have to do without. That is not as much of a problem as you'd expect, though, because each member's skills cause either physical or elemental damage - so mage spells are (kind-of) covered in a sense. The plot is very throwaway (something about somebody kidnapping the Sun King) and the voice acting is unintentionally amusing, but it's all competent enough. The actual maps you explore are varied and have plenty of secret areas or puzzles to find - though often you need to progress further in the game in order to get a traversal skill to allow you to access them - but are also small enough that you can chunk-up your play sessions into satisfying bits. That variety doesn't extend to the enemies though but, with finite battles on each map that isn't a massive problem. What can be a problem though is that enemies hit hard. With some unlucky RNG rolls you can die to any mob, especially before you meet a dedicated healer - so it is important to use buffs/debuffs in some of the longer battles. And long they are; perhaps because of the decision to not have respawning enemies, it means every encounter becomes a war of attrition due to high resists and generous health pools - there are no 'press the attack button to win' fights here. Bosses, as you would expect, take this further. There's also a weird situation where if you ambushed a group you'd get the first attack (as normal) but then the enemies would get two attacks in response. I couldn't understand if this was a bug or working as intended in some strange way. It actually made it more penal to go for the ambush, unless you felt confident you could wipe them out first (in normal battles the enemy always seemed to have first strike too, no matter how high a character's initiative stat was). It is not a game without quibbles then, and, in truth, there's no one feature or fight you would feel compelled to wax lyrical about - it's all rather unremarkable really, but that's not an insult. What it does do is nicely present some good old-fashioned dungeon crawling with some challenge and fun along the way and I'm very pleased to have played it. Previously completed:
  2. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    Odd - that's exactly the problem I had, which was resolved by going to the store. Hmm. Oh well, hope it sorts itself out for you at some point with this and/or other games.
  3. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    @Mike SHave you checked your downloads in the Microsoft store? I had this problem recently with Train Sim World (as noted in this thread) because in the app it would fail to start the installation - but I checked in the MS Store and it was queued in there and I was able to start it and then it was fine.
  4. I need to give this a go then, although I don't have any of the DLC and I imagine some, if not all, is fairly essential to get the most out of it? Part of the reason I love EU IV though is because I always enjoy building the biggest navy I can - and spanking the French and Spanish
  5. Despite owning this, I've never played it because I always go back to EU IV instead. Is this like EU IV in space, but a more engaging war mechanic? (I *love* the EU series but battles always leave me wishing you could influence them a bit more, outside of hoping to have a good leader and unit composition).
  6. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    It is indeed, yes. The Director's Cut is on there and it's meant to be alright.
  7. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    Honestly, I would recommend doing as I do and following the walkthrough on Trueacheivements.com - it'll save you from frustration on some of the puzzles and give you a better chance of finishing it before it disappears.
  8. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    I'm about 3/4 of the way through it as we speak, looking to finish it before it disappears. It's probably about 20 hours or so if you know what you are doing, but I really like it, there's a chunky feel to it all. It can be pretty tough but not insurmountable. Top tip, if you do start it: the only way to have a 'pure' mage is to be one yourself - none of the characters you can recruit is one - though skills all have a damage type (physical, frost, fire etc) so it isn't a massive problem, but forewarned and all that.
  9. There's a big old thread on ResetEra doing that's been around for a while which does the same thing. It's worth checking out: https://www.resetera.com/threads/psa-thread-of-add-this-game-to-your-account-now-and-keep-it-forever.47424/page-36#post-30042033
  10. ...and they have none of the ingredients now either! I might give this a try at some point, I love a good spicy curry.
  11. That is totally not the way to play Emlyn Hughes. It was all about the long crossfield diagonals, the crosses from the wing and I still remember my euphoria at scoring with a stooping header. Great game with a really good league structure. Spent hours and hours on that (on the C64).
  12. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    Is the Surge 2 as hard as the first one (I'm rubbish at games), which I had to abandon?
  13. Gabe

    Abandoned Games

    I recently started Kiwami (I completed the original Yakuza back on the PS2 but this was free so I figured I'd see what it was like all spruced-up) and it's exactly the same. It wouldn't be so bad if the cutscenes weren't awful and boring. It's been a painful couple of hours (with perhaps about 20 minutes gameplay?) and I'm not sure I can be bothered with it, nor the other releases when they come to Game Pass. Clearly I had more tolerance in my younger days.
  14. Gabe

    Xbox Game Pass

    What is the one you do play then? I managed to play a bit of TSW the other day and there's something rather serene about it all that is quite enjoyable. I see there is Train Simulator 2020 (which has an unbelievable 568 bits of DLC) - which seems to be less well-received. Is there another game?
  15. Adrian has had a funny season, hasn't he? From the joy and triumph at the start, to the misery of his last few games (howlers v Chelsea and tonight, and he looked very dodgy against Bournemouth too). It's fine to say that we should've killed it off in normal time, but that doesn't change the fact we didn't and he wasn't able to do the simple things right. As was mentioned in the commentary and on the BBC report, it was a tale of two goalkeepers tonight, for sure. And ours just wasn't up to the task and it may damage his confidence a la Karius. I hope Allison is back for Monday!
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