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  1. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    Abandoned AfterParty after about 3-4 hours. I liked the look of it but it's actually really boring to 'play'. I didn't care about the characters or anything that happened, mainly because no-one feels like a real person. Everyone speaks ultra-fast via a non-stop barrage of witty comments, zingers, pop-culture references and retorts and it just gets tiresome and artificial after a while. I can't get interested in the narrative when I feel like I'm in the middle of a writer's room where everyone is straining to outdo each other, especially when there's fuck all other interaction to speak of. Some of the lines are funny but I honestly simply do not give a fuck if the 2 protagonists ever manage to outdrink Satan and get back to earth or not.
  2. Don't worry too much about infecting NPCs, it's a pretty half-baked mechanic and you can easily reverse the damage later. Wouldn't really worry about losing money at this stage either, like the Souls games the amount you lose early on will feel insignificant with time.
  3. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    How far in did you get? If you stick with it past the bizarre first hour or 2 it starts turning into something a trifle more conventional (basically a player-choice driven adventure game on a timer with survival elements) but even then it's incredibly opaque. I reckon if one could be bothered to stick with it, maybe restart it once or twice to get a better grasp of the underlying systems, it could be extremely rewarding but I also suspect that 99% of people will never get that far, especially if they get themselves into a unwinnable position on their first playthrough which I understand is quite common.
  4. Both Nintendo and Microsoft have very heavily pushed indies the past few years. Is it meant to be some kind of weird point in Sony's favour that they barely bother showcasing them anymore? As for the question, I disagree with Alex and think we'll see more new IP in the next couple of years. The first couple of years of a new generation's life is the perfect time to launch new IP. You have millions of new console owners hungry to buy games to play on their new system and they'll often resort to buying any old tat to justify it. If you can release a solid/good new IP during that window when things are new and shiny and there's not a lot of competition it's probably the best chance you have of gaining traction. New IPs just don't really get the same amount of traction later in the gen, historically, although of course there are exceptions if they're, well, exceptional (The Last of Us). I bet something like Control, for example, would have garnered a lot more interest had it released 6 months into the new gen positioning itself as a rock solid next gen showcase than as a shakily performing end of gen title even if the only real difference was a more solid frame rate and ray tracing. A lot of it's just psychological behaviour.
  5. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    I fall on both sides of the 'does GamePass psychologically cheapen games' debate. On one hand I definitely reckon I've given up on potentially good games early on simply because they didn't initially grab me or took a while to get going (Pathologic 2, Bloodstained). But it's also freeing. There are games I've played on GamePass where I realise I'm just bored and it's liberating to be able to drop a game after 5-10 hours and not feel the same guilt I would had I paid full price for it (the latest Tomb Raider springs instantly to minds) I've also tried and enjoyed lot of games I would never have bought myself otherwise. I think the good definitely outweighs the bad, especially for the price, but it's the slow-burners that probably get hurt the most by the lack of a meaningful up-front monetary investment.
  6. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    Thought I'd give Pathologic 2 a try on GamePass after it got a 9 in Edge in the latest issue. It seems really interesting and atmospheric but is also so esoteric, impenetrable and low-budget I'm not sure I'll ever go back to it after a couple of hours. I feel like I probably would stick with it had I bought it though, and I do feel like I'm missing out on something quite unique by not persevering. Hmmm. It's just the literal opposite of instant gratification and when Witcher 3 is right there....
  7. Yes but it's only up for 3 months before it gets removed from PSNow. Sony are treating putting their big first party stuff on the service very gingerly compared to MS and GamePass. Hell, they just recently added Infamous Second Son, a near 7 year old title, for 3 months before removing it again. It's definitely a toe in the water approach thus far.
  8. All Microsoft first party games are coming out on PC now, is it really still a talking point that their exclusives aren't just relegated to their consoles anymore? Plenty of us don't have or want a gaming PC (or a PC at all for that matter).
  9. If a game has to be able to run adequately on that 7 year old Jaguar CPU that was underpowered in 2013 then it can't, by definition, also be taking full advantage of a massively more powerful CPU and increased SSD speeds. Series X versions of the game will probably run at a higher res and framerate and have ray tracing and more visual effects and so on but it is logistically impossible for it to be taking full advantage of the new hardware in the same way an exclusive built from the ground up would. People in this thread seem to think they can just build a game for the series X and then keep turning down the graphics settings until it runs ok on the One S but if you were actually taking full advantage of that CPU and SSD and RAM it wouldn't be possible. Halo Infinite and all those other games coming in the first year of the series X launch will be designed first and foremost to run ok on the One S and One X and then scaled up to look prettier on the Series X, not vice versa, because that's the only way it can possibly work.
  10. Majora


    I liked that Pegg at least acknowledged there wasn't a female character worth a damn in any of the Cornetto trilogy movies. Daisy was such a great character in Spaced and that seemingly had very little to do with either Pegg or Wright judging by their subsequent work.
  11. Playing this at the moment and quite enjoying it while also still wishing that it was written by someone more talented. It's great that Cage brought in outside help with the writing and direction because lord knows he needed it but the dialogue is still often quite stilted/on the nose and narrative and character development can be spotty I think what is a little disappointing is that he's trying to tackle big questions but is still unable to escape the formula of having practically every third chapter be a life or death sequence, or unable to avoid recycling gameplay sequences that have practically become Cage tropes by now (the chase sequence, the 'escape from a dangerous person in a house' sequence(s)'. He wants to broaden his narrative and thematic scope but doesn't possess the vocabulary to translate that into gameplay sequence types we haven't already seen in his previous games. It means that, tonally, the game can lurch from horror to buddy-cop light comedy to drama to action and back again. And yet despite all this, I'm interested to see what happens next. Marcus is an underdeveloped bore and Kara's story is quite milquetoast but Connor is by a distance the best character ever to feature in a Cage game. New set-ups and locations abound which is not always for the best since, as mentioned previously, it can become quite disjointed tonally, but it's clearly a labour of love that features plenty of variety and the flowcharts after each chapter are genuinely fascinating. Completing a chapter to see that there were five other potential endings and numerous entire branches you didn't see is always a weird thrill even if I don't intend to replay it (I get really precious about only playing these types of games once since that's the only really honest playthrough and therefore the memory I want to keep of the game). It feels like what we're seeing here is someone learning from his past games what works and what doesn't and the end result is something remarkably competent. Cage's dialogue is never ever going to be better than simply ok at best, and there are still moments heavy-headed enough they would make EastEnders blush (the child abuse segment which was all in-your-face telling), but it rarely makes me cringe and even if I'm not sure it will amount to more than the sum of its parts, I find myself looking forward to coming back to it. Pleasantly surprised.
  12. There comes a point where you have to cut off outdated old hardware though. The Xbox One was underpowered at launch and is now positively decrepit. Yet that crappy Jaguar CPU will still be the basis of Microsoft's first party games for another year or two. Sure, Series X will run those games at higher resolutions and framerates and on ultra settings but at a fundamental level they're still games that had to be designed with that CPU and that pool of RAM in mind. It's not that I expect the PS5 to have incredible exclusive software at launch necessarily but the fact remains that if you are currently a Xbox owner, buying a series X console at launch gives you access to precisely zero new first party games for 1-2 years whereas buying a PS5 at launch will mean you have access to both Sony and Microsoft's catalogue. It's just a bit of an odd move to not have at least one Series X exclusive imo, it's practically asking Xbox owners, especially One X owners, to get a PS5 to complement their One X for a couple of years.
  13. True for third parties but not first parties, historically (Nintendo being slight outliers with the likes of BOTW). If, at launch, Sony are offering exclusive, built from the ground up first party exclusives you can't play anywhere other than PS5 while MS first party games can still be enjoyed on the One X, I see little reason not to choose the PS5 at launch and leave Series X until it actually does get exclusive first party support.
  14. On one hand it's good news that they're committing to supporting older platforms for a while but I'm actually now reconsidering whether I get the Series X or PS5 at launch. I was all set on Series X, mainly due to GamePass, but if Series X isn't getting any first party exclusives for a year or two, it almost seems better to stick with my One X for a couple of years, still enjoy those same first party games (albeit not quite as shiny) and buy PS5 since I feel very confident that Sony will be going the traditional route of having most first party games exclusive. If I'm spending 400-500 pounds on something at launch I'm not sure I want just a prettier, shinier version of games I can already play on a console I already own. I want something built from the ground-up to show it off that I can't get somewhere else. Third parties have always gone hard on cross-gen at the beginning of each gen but it's usually been the first parties who go all in on producing the exclusives to really sell the new gen so this does represent a departure from the norm. Of course Sony may yet come out and say all PS5 first party titles in the first two years may support PS4 Pro but as things stand I feel like my One X and a GamePass sub will see me through the next couple of years on the MS side which I'm not was their intention.
  15. Majora

    Xbox Game Pass

    I know full well it's only a game and that looting entire villages has been a staple of games, and especially RPGs, since forever, there's just something about the way it's presented in Shadow of the Tomb Raider that made me uncomfortable in a way that even previous games in the series didn't. You find a hidden remote village in South America and then proceed to run around stealing any treasures, documents and resources that aren't nailed down in the town hub area. It's especially egregious in the context of the game because at the beginning they hint at the fact that Lara bumbling around interfering with ancient artifacts and cultures like she owns the place might not be the best thing and yet do nothing with the idea and indeed encourage the same player behaviour later on. Maybe it's the fact that it doesn't have the fantastical trappings of a Zelda or a Skyrim, where I wouldn't bat an eyelid, that makes it stand out more to me, but there is also that historical white imperialist element to it in a way you don't get in many other games too. Saying it's not reality veers dangerously close to the Gamergate 'games aren't political' argument to shut down discussion.
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