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pinholestar

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  1. Well I loved it and you're all miserable soulless cunts. I can see why some just shrugged their shoulders and found its very mechanically limited interactive aspects distinctly underwhelming, but when I was shredding my way through a beam of pure light arcing across the alien expanse of Glimmer City dressed in a bright pink garter and turquoise space boots rocking a beehive hairdo and launching balletically into the air in an orgiastic affirmation of the power of music and self-belief I just had a massive fucking smile on my face and thought that I was playing one of the most riotously colourful, engaging and downright wonderful experiences of the year. In all seriousness I can see why it's proving very divisive because if the central conceit and style doesn't grab you then you're left with a very simplistic and garish curio that is probably going to come across as some kind of smug nightmarish hipster fever dream and will leave you cold. If it grabs you though and the visual and audio style appeal then there's nothing else quite like it and you'll be hard pushed to find a more memorable and extravagant 4-hour experience this side of the Cosmic Lung. I'm just glad that there's room in the video game landscape for things like this to get made and find a captive audience, however small it may prove to be, via Game Pass.
  2. Not surprised this has reviewed so well. Arkane have carved out a niche for themselves that no-one else can touch and for me they’re one of the very best devs around who always deliver, so I had every faith that they’d come up with the goods once again. There’s a load of NoClip documentaries that give a fascinating insight into Arkane’s approach to game design and they just released the latest one about Prey today:
  3. I’ve put over 300 hours into MLB The Show on Xbox so I’m well aware that Sony have published some different stuff recently and damn good it is too, but there’s no denying that their AAA tentpole output does tend to be cut from the same cloth these days, as fine and silky as that cloth may undeniably be. Don’t get me wrong, I adore those games and the likes of Naughty Dog, Guerilla, Insomniac, Sony Santa Monica and Sucker Punch are the very best in the industry at making them but (GT7 aside) the big trailers in the showcase we just watched were Wolverine, Spider-Man 2, God of War Ragnarok and third-party exclusive Forspoken. I’ll play and hugely enjoy all of them I’ve no doubt, but they can all be firmly placed in the cinematic third-person action game bracket. I’d love for one of Sony’s amazingly talented first-party AAA studios to surprise us with an RPG or an FPS or just something that we haven’t seen from them in recent times. I know studios specialise and stick to what they’re good at but they’re all playing it very safe with sequels that functionally look pretty much identical to their predecessors. Such is the risk of focusing your approach on mega-budget blockbusters I suppose. Hopefully whatever Cory Barlog at Santa Monica and the second team at Guerilla are working on will scratch that itch. The purchase of Housemarque was a big win in that direction, I will say that.
  4. Wolverine was the only real surprise there, which is a nice one to be fair. Insomniac are one of the most consistently reliable and efficient devs in the business and that’s almost guaranteed to be a banger. How the hell they churn out games at the rate and quality that they do is beyond me. Intrigued by Forspoken and it’s coming a lot sooner than anticipated. SquareEnix miss more than they hit these days but it certainly looks the business. God of War Ragnarok looks very good but every inch the cross-gen sequel. Ditto for Horizon in that I’ve no doubt they’ll both be excellent games but can’t help be disappointed that they’re designed to also run on 8 year old hardware, but that point’s been made to death. GT7 looked as sleek and shiny as you’d expect but I find Forza a much more enjoyable series in both its guises these days. Overall it was decent enough if not a bit samey in terms of the genres on display. If you own a PS5 then you’ve got some good shit coming down the pipe fairly soon, but my decision to wait a year or two to get one while Series X satisfies all my needs seems like the right one. Sony’s continued gouging for next-gen remasters leaves a very sour taste in my mouth though, especially in light of the absurd value currently being provided by their main competitor. Can’t shake the feeling that they’ve stumbled a little going into this gen and have allowed the competition to catch up and present a more interesting proposition for the next few years. I’m a huge fan of Sony’s first-party output and will play and enjoy them all but I’m coming round to the idea that it would be good if they could diversify their output a little more.
  5. Well against all expectations that actually looks really good. I’m shocked. Nice to see a trailer these days that doesn’t spell out the entire plot of the film for once too. Think that’ll be the last one I watch though because they can’t help themselves and the whole thing will be spoiled before long, especially with the voracious current-day internet appetite for dissecting everything to a molecular level before it’s even come out. Being an 18 year old grunge kid at the time, the first Matrix was one of the greatest cinema experiences of my life, so as tired as I am of endless fucking reboots and pandering to the nostalgia of men my age that seems to have become ubiquitous in recent years, I’ll allow it this once.
  6. Playing Civ 6 on my Switch with my feet up as an update downloads for a simulation of the entire fucking Earth. We truly live in blessed times.
  7. I’ve been waiting so patiently for this update, if only because it should have fixed the “Please expedite your climb to 15,000 feet. Please expedite your climb to 15,000 feet. Please expedite your climb…” etc etc ATC altitude bug, which drove me fucking nuts. Apparently these updates tend to add a whole host of new bugs each time but as long as that one’s fixed I’ll be a very happy pilot.
  8. Horizon Forbidden West PS4 -> PS5 upgrade will now be free. All Sony first-party cross-gen titles in the future will be upgradeable for $10. https://blog.playstation.com/2021/09/04/pre-order-horizon-forbidden-west-now-collectors-and-digital-deluxe-editions-detailed/
  9. Horizon Forbidden West PS4 -> PS5 upgrade will now be free. All Sony first-party cross-gen titles in the future will be upgradeable for $10. https://blog.playstation.com/2021/09/04/pre-order-horizon-forbidden-west-now-collectors-and-digital-deluxe-editions-detailed/
  10. If anyone else on Xbox runs into the issue I had with being unable to load your save file: Create a new game and once the initialisation right at the very start has completed just quit out to the main menu (no need to save). You should then be able to load the save you actually want.
  11. Select Showcase camera from the camera drop-down menu at the top of the screen. You can then freely move the camera and toggle things like depth-of-field etc. In order to remove the little white marker at the top of the screen just tap up on the d-pad and it will fade away after a few moments. I use a keyboard and mouse as well as a pad now but when I was solely using a pad I mapped Active Pause to Y and changed Toggle Auto-pilot to RB + D-Pad Up. This meant that I could pause instantly with a press of a single button and then take my time to set up screenshots. Alternatively you can turn off the Instrument HUD in chase view in the Camera section under General Options.
  12. Absolutely rinsed this over the weekend and just finished it. Wonderful game just bursting with character and imagination and evidently made with genuine passion and love. I'd always been a little lukewarm on Double Fine's output and was fairly ambivalent when Microsoft purchased them, but this is by far the best game they've produced and serves as a great illustration of how some first-party budget and polish can really elevate a studio's output to the next level. It's relentlessly inventive in its wildly conceptualised haywire environments and eccentric visual twists right up to the very end and there's some really fantastic ideas brought to incomparably quirky life. The zip and pop in the dialogue and cutscenes is very well done too and the music is superb throughout. Presentation-wise it's right up there with the best things I've played in recent years and has an identity all of its own. I've always been a fan of those 3D platformers of the type that you don't really see very often these days but this was a nice callback to that era. And although it never really challenges or does anything mechanically that you haven't seen before, its levels are tightly designed, flow well and are each a joy to traverse and explore. Really enjoyable boss fights too and I just found the whole thing tremendous fun from beginning to end. Although I always intended to play it, I really wasn't expecting it to turn out as one of my games of the year, so it's been a delightful surprise.
  13. Seems a good level to play around with the photo mode too:
  14. Ha, I’ve just entered that level too and was compelled to come here and sing its praises. Perhaps the best rendition of psychedelia I’ve ever seen. Giving me genuine flashbacks!
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