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Everything posted by Flanders

  1. But do you not think that’s mental? Game Pass is supposed to be the Netflix of games, it’s all about easy access and expanding the potential customer base. How does that match up with removing your lower-cost hardware from the market? How can you switch to a subscription service focus and then never have a console available at less than £200? The Netflix model works because Netflix runs on everything. Xcloud is the obvious answer here but I still reckon that’s a few years away - and even more so in the new developing markets that Microsoft wants to target.
  2. I actually think Microsoft’s overall business plan still looks confused and caught between two different approaches. Game Pass is a great idea. And it’s necessary because it’s Microsoft have been in the console business for 20 years now and they’re still the number three player in it behind Nintendo and Sony. The only generation they were remotely competitive for market leadership was when Sony went insane and even then they couldn’t get near Nintendo and the 360 ended up selling almost on parity with the PS3 by the end. So for whatever reason, Microsoft can’t win when they’re playing either of the other two at their own game. That means the need to change the game, and Game Pass - becoming a service rather than hardware - is the best way to do that. With that in mind, it’s the Series X or whatever this Lockhart is that I can’t see the point of right now. Instead of going head to head with Sony via another expensive box, just drop the existing One S to £99, One X to £149 and get people hooked on Game Pass that way. Microsoft aren’t going to have any actual ‘next-gen’ games ready until 2022 anyway - why not just step away from the bunfight and go all in on the subscription vision? If they introduced a Series X console at a later date then they could price lower and they would be selling it to millions more Game Pass subscribers - and at that point the whole smart delivery upgrade thing becomes much more impressive. Tl, Dr - Game Pass is the killer app, MS should use consoles to sell Game Pass, at the moment it still seems like they’re using Game Pass to sell consoles.
  3. Bloodborne is the best, Dark Souls 1 is the greatest. Tower of Latria in Demon’s Souls and Cathedral of the Deep in Dark Souls 3 are as good as anything in the series though.
  4. There is a way to cheese that first story horde.
  5. Maybe the confusion is because they’ve had to cut out the entire main story because it had Miles tackling minor misdemeanours with brutal beatings alongside his buddies the NYPD. The game now consists only of Harry Osborne challenges. I’m there day one.
  6. I mean I guess I can see why someone would think Neil Druckman and his black and white photographs and all the think pieces about the game defining the meaning of love and hate are a bit much. But that seems to blind people to the Last of Us being TOTALLY RAD. Even if you don’t buy into the greatness of the story it’s still the foremost child of Resident Evil 4.
  7. I see this thread has gone exactly like the Red Dead 2 one went on here - hyped game gets high scores and a few people with a fanatical dislike of said game’s predecessor and developer proceed to feverishly amplify any reviews that conform to their pre-formed dislike. At the same time the bulk of positive reviews are dismissed as shills either paid by the Man or blinded by their slavish devotion to corporations. This includes reviewers who post on this very forum, who explain why they liked the game and are promptly ignored. The small group of dismissive posters take over the entire thread to make sure that people know one of the most highly rated games of the generation is shit. Isn’t this behaviour just a little bit...weird? I mean, I get not liking a game or a style or a genre or whatever. Like, the appeal of Animal Crossing and that whole type of game doesn’t make any sense to me at all, but I don’t go marching into threads about it shouting how it has no real gameplay and is a triumph of lifestyle marketing. It’s clearly got something more going on that doesn’t connect with me. I could also kind of understand this kind of ideological anger if we were back in 2012 and everything was Uncharted and brown and neck stabs and press X to pay respects and is game an art but only if it’s a AAA game and hooting American dudes - I know there was a very strong feeling that anything outside that paradigm was under genuine threat of continuing to exist at all. But things aren’t like that anymore? You’ve got colourful Indie games by the legion. Nintendo snapped out of their funk and are back on top. The biggest game in the world is a systems-driven virtual lego simulator. Dark Souls is a multi-million seller. There was barely a bro in sight at the showcase for the new PlayStation. The war is won! So what’s the fighting for? What’s the cause?
  8. Flanders


    Really liked the look of this and it’s great news that Arkane are still being given the budget to do their thing after the unfortunate weak sales of their last few games. I’m quite surprised it’s a timed PS5 exclusive. Game Pass has been a good home for all the immersive sims that underperformed this generation so I thought Microsoft might have been the more likely to secure exclusive deals for that type of game.
  9. Massively hyped for this one. I think the fact that it was such an open secret diminished some of the impact. Hopefully it will be there on day one - A Souls game that’s a proper looker as a launch game is a hell of an upgrade on Killzone Shadowfall and Knack. Or whatever the PS3 launched with.
  10. I would have thought whatever the separate Last of Us 2 multiplayer thing is will be out on PS5 for launch. I also think they’ll be doing something funky with Dreams. Maybe it’ll be a few pack-in or a new amped up version. If only because the way they rolled it out on PS4 felt more like a beta for something further down the line. Mad that the likes of Cyberpunk and Dying Light 2 are effectively going to be launch titles for these two new systems - these are definitely going to have better starts than their predecessors.
  11. Online shooters for me, which I know is ludicrous given how popular they are. But I find the barriers to be numerous: - Extremely high skill levels relative to my increasingly aged reflexes and capabilities - Good weapons and abilities locked behind hours of grind. - The best abilities like kill streaks etc are only accessible to the best players. - The larger size of many maps (eg Battlefield but also all the battle royale games) makes it hard to become familiar with them. - Weird jank that means you hardly ever get to see some maps on rotation (Battlefield again). - Endless jargon and fluff. Care packages, battle passes, seasons - I don’t understand what any of these things mean. I just want to shoot the mans. Plz halp. Modern online shooters seem to offer great reward if you’re willing or able to devote hundreds of hours to them. I occasionally will have a two week blast of Battlefield or Destiny but it always peters out because the grind gets too wearing and a more rewarding single player game will come along. Basically none of them are as good as four-player split screen Goldeneye and I’m not sure they ever can be. RCP-90s 4life.
  12. Did my first horde yesterday, the small one in the train cart near the starting camp. I had an LMG at this point but haven’t progressed far enough to unlock all the fancy traps yet. Absolutely shat it when I sprayed the onrushing swarm with bullets and didn’t drop enough of them before they got to me. Frantically ran away and then got further alarmed when I realised the shotgun becomes useless if they surround you. Managed to kill them all by the skin of my teeth by Benny Hill-ing all over the place and burning through all my healing items, but it was super intense. The way the game treats the hordes is mad though. They’re its unique killer app and the story still hasn’t forced me near one after hours and hours. But it lets you discover them on your own, which is quite incongruous given how much it intrusively holds your hand at the beginning.
  13. The very beginning of Metal Gear Solid. I was thinking about this topic today and realised how extraordinary MGS was in 1998. If I remember correctly, the entire opening was available as a demo that came with a magazine, which was how I first experienced it. For me it wasn’t just the graphics or the stealth gameplay that blew me away. The presentation was cinematic and very clearly authored in a way Id never seen in a video game before - right from that ‘Doo doo doo doodoo doo” sound at the Konami logo. After that came the opening cutscene of a mysterious figure ascending from the depths, accompanied by plot exposition ripped from Hollywood blockbusters and Tom Clancy novels but twisted sideways with anime weirdness. And then on to the supremely atmospheric docking bay, learning the stealth basics before ascending to the snowy helipad field - which is one of the all time great orientation levels in terms of how it teaches you to play the game. I think Metal Gear Solid might be the ultimate ‘game of the future’ - I could never have imagined a videogame could be like this before it existed. The idea that this came out just three years or four years after the last SNES And Megadrive games is inexplicable.
  14. What I’m really hoping to see in the sequel is some combination of fighting infected and humans at the same time while they fight each other, Covenant-Flood style. I never played Left Behind but I heard there was some experimentation with that there?
  15. What I would absolutely love for this lockdown is to wipe my memories of the Mass Effect trilogy so I could play through all three from the beginning. A massive epic space adventure that’s not too taxing but full of charm. I keep thinking about playing Andromeda instead but then I remember how bad it was when I tried the first time and weep.
  16. I would expect it to be more polished at launch than Days Gone was. Sucker Punch are more experienced than Bend at making this type of game and Infamous Second Son was very smooth when it came out. Even after the improvements Days Gone is still an odd mix of extreme polish (those touchpad menu swipes!) and out of nowhere jank (Deacon’s mad random outbursts). Adds to the charm in my view. If Ghosts doesn’t turn out so well they should just patch in the electric running power from Second Son for traversal. That was the first proper next gen wow moment for me.
  17. Be interesting to see if this follows the same pattern as Days Gone, which was bad generic on the surface but turned out to be good generic with some cool systems on sustained play. This doesn’t look like it has any equivalent to the hordes at this stage. I can also imagine this having a similar life to Days Gone whereby lots of people give it a miss at launch and then come back to it in a year’s time when there’s a lengthy pause in big story-driven open world releases. Especially given that these games are going to be thin on the ground for a while from 2021 on because of the pandemic.
  18. The Harry Osborne challenges are up there for my favourite gamey gamishness of the entire generation. ’Hi Pete please check on my hi-tech pigeon monitoring system OH NO THE PIGEONS ARE CLOGGING UP ELECTRICITY CABLES AND THE CITY IS GOING TO EXPLODE, DO SOMETHING’
  19. I bounced off this completely when it first came out. It didn’t have the most engaging beginning compared to Dark Souls, where Undead Burg is the perfect mission statement for the whole game. I’d love to give it another go and I reckon a Switch port would be perfect for that - it’s a pity one doesn’t seem to be on the horizon as Dark Souls remastered was such a joy on that console.
  20. Oh god this is so true. It’s a brilliant game that needs to be more cruel to the player. Don’t give me any points for finishing sixth! Make me replay your wonderfully designed tracks over and over until I know them like the back of my hand! Give it a rest with the wacky challenges, you’re not Burnout, just please make me race. Tbf one of my biggest problems with it is that I don’t understand its online system at all which is almost certainly more my fault than the game.
  21. My problem with the weapon system wasn’t the breaking itself, which I thought was quite a clever way to make sure you used lots of different weapons. The problem is that this is undermined by the lack of depth in the game’s combat - you can fight 99pc of the enemies in the exact same way so there’s no real benefit to experimenting with new weapons. All the weapons might as well be generic ammo. There is huge scope to improve on Breath of the Wild, which means the sequel should be awesome - fine tune a few systems, chuck in a few dungeons and bosses.
  22. Quite a lot of Nintendo games, oddly enough, with Mario as exhibit A. I play them, am kind of gobsmacked by the total mastery Nintendo have over how a game should control, how to do puzzles in 2D and 3D space, and then invariably completely lose interest a couple of hours in. The only Mario game I ever completed was Odyssey, which I really enjoyed but at the same time can remember sweet fuck-all about. I feel most Nintendo games are like exquisite deserts that evaporate in the mind immediately after you finish eating them. But they are a great enough publisher that they still have two games that I’d count among my favourites - Metroid Prime and F-Zero X, and they have BOTW, which I think is simultaneously an absolute masterpiece and wildly overrated. Which makes me wonder if I just have an issue with the more colourful Nintendo aesthetic. I tried playing the Splatoon free demo the other day and was turned off by the overall presentation in about five minutes.
  23. The puzzle aspect of the encounters is a good observation - making the Clickers a blind enemy that insta-kill turns every infected encounter into this brilliantly tense problem to solve - find out where the Clickers are, can I sneak past them, can i take out the other infected around them, should I use my shiv on this one, do I have a Molotov for that one. And then when shit kicks off you’re frantically saving shotgun ammo to take down the Clickers, which means you have to melee the other infected. It’s like Naughty Dog blended the chainsaw guy and the blind wolverine claws dude from Resi 4 into one enemy and designed a whole system around it.
  24. It’s also worth noting that The Last of Us was very up front about not being bothered about the wider ‘lore’ (I hate that word but can’t think of a better one in this case) of its world - we don’t know the specifics of how the infection spread, how it brought down civilisation, or really any specifics about the Fireflies etc. The game then really doubles down on this by the end with its rejection of the ‘Ellie as miracle cure’ trope. So fundamentally, the Last of Us 2 is a pretty blank slate for a sequel - it’s not like some other franchise properties where fans could even feel owed some sort of continuation. We had one story in that world and now we’re having another one with some of the same characters but clearly at another stage in their lives. In that context, surely Naughty Dog can do whatever they like with their story. Combining mushroom zomb and religious culture wacko murder with a coming of age lbtq+ story sounds like a pretty neat twist to what would otherwise be a very hackneyed premise - the same kind of twist that the original game managed so well.
  25. I’m a long time lurker but I found this conversation so strange I had to comment. If I understand how this Last of Us 2 leak worked - it was all just the story and the cutscenes, right? So all these Youtubers getting het up about the game pushing the LGBTQ+ agenda - I presume that’s just through the cutscenes they’ve seen? Because, regardless of the NaUgHtY D0g HaS nO GamEplaY narrative that dimwits like to push, I distinctly remember most of my 20-odd hour play through of the The Last of Us as being exciting third person stealth action and generally full of the kind of glorious wanton homicide that I assumed your average ‘gamer’ would thoroughly enjoy. This action was bolted on to an absorbing meta game concerning the resource management, construction and allocation of shivs. In fact you could cheerfully play the entire game as a series of choices on whether to shiv a mushroom faced person or to open a door for supplies. And behind all that there was a good story. So - for Last of Us 2, are all these Youtubers going to forgo the thrilling ultraviolence gameplay and no doubt massively expanded shiv management, just because they don’t like the cutscenes? Isn’t...isn’t this what these people were complaining that Anita Sarkeesian et all were doing back in the day? Overlooking ‘real gaming quality’ because of a political and cultural position? It’s fascinating. I guess you really do become what you hate.
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