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Everything posted by Robo_1

  1. That ship has pretty much sailed I think? MS have now locked up so many franchises, studios and talent, the task of matching that would require buying damn near every other third party publisher still left on the table. The only way any of those companies could catch up quickly would be to purchase PlayStation or Nintendo. Nintendo would almost certainly brush off such an offer and I doubt Sony would be prepared to sell the jewel in their crown without an eye watering offer being put on the table. At best I could see a "strategic partnership", where Google or Amazon offer Sony some sort of agreement for the use of their cloud streaming systems but then rather ironically, Sony have recently entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft to use their Azure network for their forthcoming Spartacus service, which probably reveals more about Sony's thinking on their rivalry with Microsoft than anything.
  2. This news really has flipped the script. I remember when they bought Bethesda, people were picking their jaws up off the ground and talking about the dollar amount in shocked terms. In light of this, Sega, Capcom and even Ubisoft look as though they could be purchased for pocket change. We're heading into a very different landscape than the previous generations, where content was essentially a stream of third party releases with a few tent pole first party releases. That dynamic could very well flip completely if another publisher or two end up being purchased. Honestly, for all this talk of creating more and more content, I've barely got time to finish anything these days as it is. Ah well, gives us all something to talk about on a Tuesday evening at any rate.
  3. Hmmm, what do people make of this: I mean that seems rather more reassuring to Playstation gamers than their far more ambiguous comments after the Bethesda buy out.
  4. I mean somebody on Twitter just made a comment which made me... sort of chuckle. Responding to the question of "how can Sony compete with MS now", the answer came, "be bought by Amazon"... which I guess neatly sums it up.
  5. For me this level of acquisition does raise broader questions about the existence of these enormous tech companies, who could if they chose, simply buy their way into virtually any market they like and destroy the competition through sheer force of spending power. MS have more than earned their seat at the gaming table and I think they've had a tremendously positive influence on the industry overall but when they're in a position to invest at a level which is just so far above that of their rivals, it does raise concerns. It's not about console wars or any one company, this is the nature of the beast but some of these tech companies wield so much power and influence already, I'm anxious about seeing them become increasingly dominant in more and more industries.
  6. Main discussion thread: https://rllmukforum.com/index.php?/topic/325396-microsoft-has-acquired-activision-blizzard-woah/
  7. Fair point. Although I think the close association of the two things has stuck.
  8. Huge news really, the level of consolidation happening in this industry right now has to be at record levels.
  9. I think Nintendo killed it when they pulled out and showed the industry how successful a solo digital presentation could be. Then Sony hammered in the nails a few years later. It was a special moment of gaming history and I'll miss the buzz it created and the highs and lows which followed.
  10. Saw this last night and enjoyed it. Tonally it's very different to the previous films. Far more grounded with plenty of heart to it. It's not overloaded with action by any means but when it's there it feels threatening. I enjoyed the WW1 context and the narrative around it. There's a few moments which caught me out and took the film down a slightly different path to what I thought was planned but it all sits together well. The whole thing is capped off with an absolutely absurd post credits scene which will certainly make for a controversial sequel, if they choose to pursue it:
  11. I thought the first two thirds of this were absolutely fantastic. Concept, dialogue, character exchanges and action. It felt like a logical, smart and mature follow up to the original trilogy. It answered a lot of questions I had lingering at the end of the third part and I thought they pitched it perfectly. It felt like a film made by a Matrix fan, I enjoyed every minute of it. The final third honestly felt like it was written and directed by a completely different creative team. This perfect, plausible follow up to the Matrix was suddenly turned into a cartoon, interesting characters were either abandoned or thrust into wholly implausible situations. There was some decent action (although I was hoping for a bit more of the old Kung Fu) and there's clearly potential for more but it feels like months... years were spent polishing the first two thirds of the film to be this perfectly realised, original, fan driven follow up to the original trilogy, only for the final third to still be at first draft stage. Overall I still enjoyed it because the beginning and middle were so strong but sadly I feel it squandered so much of its potential with a rushed and clumsy final act which diminished everything that came before it.
  12. This continues to be the most watchable show on anything anywhere. Finished season four two nights ago and I'm already watching it again. The writing is so good and this one built up to the perfect end. I want to know when Karate's "Bad Boy" is going to make an appearance?
  13. Always great to see, listen and participate. Cheers.
  14. Deathloop..... well I'm well beyond a little surprised at that.
  15. It's certainly going to be a mixed bag plus you'll probably need to do some per game tinkering to get the best results. It's not had a general release yet so I guess there will be a lot reviews and performance tests to come. I'll probably hold out until then before deciding which boat to jump on as the Odin will probably have had a similar amount of play testing by then too.
  16. Honesty, Delta's Shadow for the new Spec has been one of my favourite releases of the year. It's just a really fun 2D, platform action game. Incredibly polished and those chip tunes are bliss.
  17. Happy with Dirt 5 on PS5, that's excellent actually. Never heard of DRG.
  18. 01 - Soen - Imperial 02 - Evergrey - Escape Of The Phoenix 03 - Beast In Black - Dark Connection 04 - Frost - Day & Age 05 - Ray Wilson - The Weight Of Man 06 - Poverty’s No Crime - A Secret To Hide 07 - Leprous - Aphelion 08 - Dream Theatre - A View From The Top Of The World 09 - Zeromancer - Orchestra Of Knives 10 - Steven Wilson - The Future Bites Honourable mentions, Yes: The Quest, Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe and Garbage: No Gods No Masters Added my comments and samples in this post:
  19. To accompany my top ten this year, I've added a few samples and comments. 01 - Soen - Imperial Imperial has proven to be an absolute banger of a follow up to 2019’s Lotus and is appearing atop of many prog metal fans top ten lists of the year. Throughout their early career, Soen struggled to escape from the Tool-lite label, but with Lotus and now Imperial, the band have clearly defined their own sound, pushing the drums and bass to the fore, to give their metal foundation a modern, tribal twist. 02 - Evergrey - Escape Of The Phoenix Sweden’s progressive metal stalwarts Evergrey, continue on their frankly incredible string of recent releases. First single, Where August Mourns, encapsulates everything this band is loved for, head banging metal with dramatic weight and Tom Englund’s unmistakable vocals. Probably my favourite individual song of the year. 03 - Beast In Black - Dark Connection Beast In Black are a band who have seemingly decided to just have as much fun in this business as possible. From their power metal roots, the beast has since evolved into a cyberpunk blend of power metal, electronica and synth pop... I mean at what point do the genres stop meaning anything. lol 04 - Frost - Day & Age Frost* were originally set up by brit pop hit maker, Jem Godfrey back in 2006, as an outlet for his creative ambitions. Frustrated that most music which was considered “progressive” sounded like a pastiche of the 70’s prog legends he grew up with, he asked himself what a prog band would sound like, which was focussed on making the most of new technology and production techniques. The result was Milliontown and when it landed, it was widely considered to be one of the most important releases the genre had seen in years. Once you’ve shown your hand like that, it’s near impossible to replicate the impact again, so instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with every release, Frost* have continued to hone their craft. Ironically, Day & Age is probably their safest album to date from a creative perspective but also one of their most consistent. The final track, Repeat To Fade, is a mesmerising blend of rock, operatic backing vocals and this dirty, thick bass sound punctuated by what can only be described as the pinging of a submarine. It shouldn’t work but it does and that’s the magic of Frost*. 05 - Ray Wilson - The Weight Of Man Ray Wilson, the one time Genesis frontman has gone on to build up an incredibly rich solo career. There’s a real maturity to this release, both in the lyrics and songwriting. It's not flashy and you'll find little to hum on the bus after listening but the album has a real smouldering energy to it, it suits a late evening play with a glass of wine in hand. 06 - Poverty’s No Crime - A Secret To Hide Prog metal’s part time heroes, Poverty’s No Crime have had a great year, releasing one of their best albums to date. They're not reinventing the wheel here but there's a confidence to this album which shines through. Some of the albums best bits are in its quieter moments, where sections are joined using unexpected sounds and styles. A favourite moment is where the main theme of Hollow Phrases is drummed out on what sounds like a hollowed out wooden surface, it's a nice effect and leads into the keyboard crescendo nicely. 07 - Leprous - Aphelion A beauty of an album which further refines Leprous' unique sound. Leprous have always been defined by their unusual melodies, majestic arrangements and Einar Solberg's softly spoken vocals, which roar into life at the most unexpected of moments. Almost operatic in many of their arrangements, Leprous have carved out a unique place for themselves in the prog space and with Aphelion, they have packaged their sound into a few more slightly more accessible songs, which will hopefully open them up to more listeners. 08 - Dream Theatre - A View From The Top Of The World With A View From The Top Of The World, Dream Theater have found their creative guts again and whilst there’s nothing here which will flip expectations on their head, the majestic suite of songs which form the title track, showcase the band at their progressive best. 09 - Zeromancer - Orchestra Of Knives Zermoncer’s long-awaited 7th album, is also their most mature to date. Lyrically, the album centres around the recent personal loss experienced by members of the band during the writing process. The bands trademark industrial rock sound has been mellowed to meet the darker themes of the album and whilst it can’t boast the sort of anthem driven hits which earned them their biggest successes, across the ten tracks the band remain true to their industrial sound but cast it in a more fragile, personable light. 10 - Steven Wilson: The Future BItes Steven Wilson’s latest release has stirred the pot amongst his proggy fanbase. Accused of being a fairly light selection of pop songs by many, I think this sells the album far too short and diminishes the variety of tracks and outstanding production values. Tracks like King Ghost and Man Of The People have real heart to them and Twelve Things I Forgot has been a strong playlist favourite this past year. Honourable mentions, Yes: The Quest, Transatlantic - The Absolute Universe and Garbage: No Gods No Masters
  20. For sure and I don't think anybody should be expecting full speed emulation but "most titles are playable" is what I'm hearing. This is a good look at the system handling Luigi's Mansion & Wind Waker:
  21. The Retroid Pocket 2 + sounds like it's blowing the lid off all expectations. Renewed OS which sounds like an absolute cake walk to use, bumped specs which convincingly supports everything up to Gamecube and it even gives us a taste of PS2 support. The hardware sounds great too, featuring rumble, HDMI out, touch screen, bigger battery with faster charging, headphone jack, 1TB SD card support, stereo speakers, low-power consumption, re-done buttons and d-pad with more travel and less click (based on feedback) and analogue sticks. All that is delivered for $99.99, which absolutely dog walks many of the recent entries from Ambernic and GPD in terms of value. I've been looking to update my original GPD for a while now and in truth, I've been holding out for the Odin by Ayn, which looks to offer a very solid performance profile for the cost, but this little device really has turned my head and for the price, it does seem unbeatable.
  22. Got a VS for Christmas and it's a lovely device. Feels odd going back to wired controllers but it's given my Evercade collection a new lease of life. The OS (both for the VS and the 2.0 for the handheld) really does make the console feel more professional than the rather quaint UI it originally shipped with. I'm enjoying going back through Sly Spy and discovering hits like Burger Time. I would love it if they could wrangle the license to do a Data East collection with Robocop. Or even better, they just license the the brand and do a Robocop cart with all the old games on. I imagine these sorts of things would be a rats maze of licensing agreements but I think they could charge a premium for these special license themed carts.
  23. To add to the love fest, this is excellent fun. The scripting the pacing the action and the mechanics of it all are just excellent, best in class. I can't believe I dismissed this as an Avengers derivative, it's pretty much the exact sort of game I go out and buy day one. Honestly if it hadn't been for this place I would have missed it!
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