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Everything posted by Flanders

  1. It’s been amusing to see big Jim do his PT Barnum on steroids schtick in the marketing for this film - he’s a proper throwback and it really feels like the modern social media crowd don’t know what to make of him. Makes you realise how few genuine creatives these days are out there blowing their own horn about how great they are.
  2. I realised a while back that I basically really love third person 3D games much more than any other type - which is obviously quite narrow-minded in one way but not too bad because it means I am up for basically any type of sub-genre within that perspective, from platformers to brawlers to adventures to RPGs to out and out shooters. Conversely I’ve also realised I don’t actually like 2D games, with a few notable exceptions. I thought that might make me some kind of gaming heretic but when I look back on my childhood I only ever really remember being fond of my Megadrive - actual love of games only came in with the N64 and the PlayStation. I find certain aspects of interaction with 2D games to be kind of intrinsically unfun, which means I quickly lose interest even when I can see the underlying design is great. Two good examples of this would be Super Metroid and Hollow Knight. Both beautiful, both atmospheric, both clever and amazingly constructed. Unfortunately they both contain a lot of combat, and I find 2D combat to be unfailingly horrible. Plus the entire time I was playing them I was thinking that this was all very well and good, but really Metroid Prime and Dark Souls are the ‘proper’ version of these games. Like I say, heresy!
  3. I had that last night, couldn’t put it down. I think the combat in this is miles better than the first one, so much more variety and encouragement to experiment.
  4. I struggle to get value from it with the Gold conversion so the full whack is a definite no-no. The Steam Deck has probably killed my interest in the subscription services for good tbh. Between the emulators and the Steam sales I can spend as little as I would on Game Pass but on an indie/old games library that’s specifically tailored to me, on a machine that’s better suited to play it. Vampire Survivors is great on a portable but I’m never going to play it on my living room TV. As for the blockbusters, PS5 covers that base and even if Microsoft ever do get up to speed with their exclusives I still won’t have the free time to get the most out of the subscription. It took me best part of five months to play through Elden Ring, if Starfield is good then it will be at least the same. If that’s at full price for Game Pass it’s essentially more than £50-60, I’d be better off buying it.
  5. The first episode of the new season was astonishingly boring. All the main characters spent most of their time talking to anonymous flunkies instead of each other, really weird writing decision. I had forgotten that the first recasting season (3) was also pretty bad - season 4 was one of those rare but wonderful occasions where a TV show pulls out of a nosedive and redefines itself. Pulling the same trick twice was always going to be difficult, especially as there’s just not much left to do with the Queen and Prince Phillip anymore.
  6. Saw this earlier and couldn’t stop laughing.
  7. Re: the why has Marvel Gone Downhill discussion - it’s all the reasons everyone else has already stated but I do think one thing that has been underestimated is how important Chris Evans/Captain America and even more so Robert Downey/Iron Man were to making the whole thing work. Marvel likes to act like it’s beyond movie stars, but Downey was absolutely a movie star draw for so many of those films. It’s telling how everyone in the MCU speaks like Tony Stark and it doesn’t work, because they’re not Robert Downey.
  8. Is this another one of those threads designed for people to pretend they’re being massive iconoclasts even though they’re voicing opinions held by 90pc of this forum? Feels like we’re getting one of these at least once a month these days.
  9. What is about these PlayStation exclusives that attracts the attention of people who know they won’t like them? It can’t just be the review scores. Nintendo games get great scores but I’m never going to play Smash Brothers or boringly pontificate about Fire Emblem because I know they’re not for me.
  10. Diego Luna is pulling off an incredible performance in this show. It’s one of the most selfless leading actor roles I’ve ever seen - Cassian gets none of the big moments but he is the absolute lynchpin that everything revolves around. Between the actor and the writing it’s an amazing depiction of a pure survivor, and just how inspiring that characteristic is to others in hard times.
  11. Played through what was essentially the prologue and it’s a banger so far. Thoroughly absorbing. One quirk I like about 2018 and this is that they really commit to it being a deliberately American take on the Norse myths. It feels very distinct in an age where every fantasy property in TV and film uses English accents as a shorthand for some kind of faux authenticity.
  12. I’m actually quite intrigued to see how Sony’s GaaS push shakes out - worst case scenario is of course that they push out a bunch of Anthems but I wonder if the extra polish they apply to their games could make the service ones accessible to someone like me who has never got on board with that model. And although I really like their cinematic action mainstays I kind of think there might be more potential innovation in these online titles. For example, I’d be pretty sure what a Last of Us 3 or Uncharted 5 would look like, but I have no idea what The Last of Us online thing that’s coming is going to be.
  13. Feel like a lot is riding on Starfield, both from an Xbox point of view but also on whether it will be a memorable AAA year. A Bethesda RPG is a rare creature and for all that others mimic some of what they do, there isn’t really anything else like it. The worry though is that it’s been over a decade since they put out a good game now, and what we’ve seen of Starfield so far doesn’t yet look like a slam-dunk. But just imagine if they’ve recaptured the old magic. Something on the level of Fallout 3 or Skyrim. Would be mega.
  14. A rags to riches story of how the Cole Train rose to the heights of space NFL. A 20-part documentary charting the life cycle of a giant werm that eats cities. RAAM. A 70s political thriller in the mould of the Parallax View.
  15. One of the many irritating things about the backlash that Shadow of War got was the propagation of this bizarre notion that the Nemesis system wasn’t all that. Which was absolute bollocks - it was and is great and it remains utterly baffling why other open world games haven’t ripped it off wholesale. Halo Infinite was crying out for it.
  16. I have essentially turned my Deck into a portable PS2 now. It’s made me totally baffled as to what Sony were trying to do with the Vita - instead of pursuing PS3-parity games and failing they could have just ported the entire PS2 library and tarted it up into HD, which combined with the great indies the Vita had would have made it a much more compelling offering. So many of these PS2 classics are just perfect for handheld. And even the more spectacle-y ones look great on a decent screen.
  17. Fully agree - I think the podcast has love for such a wide range of genres that there’s always going to be something for someone three episodes out of four. I mean, I have never played a visual novel and only legitimately give a shit about two Nintendo games in the past 20 years but I still love the podcast and think Matthew’s a quality critic. Friday’s God of War episode is excellent by the way. Could never get into the pre-2018 games but on the strength of that episode I fired up God of War 2 on the Steam Deck today and was utterly absorbed for hours.
  18. Got my Steam Deck delivered yesterday morning, was playing a fully functioning HD version of Metroid Prime by the evening. Absolutely outrageous, I haven’t played on a PC in years and have never emulated a game in my life but the Deck just instantly makes that whole ecosystem accessible even to total luddites. Also, Nintendo are utter ballbags for holding off on the Prime trilogy remasters all these years. Absolutely beautiful games that just sing in the higher resolution.
  19. Bioshock Infinite is one of those interesting cases where the backlash was so loud that it’s gone all the way round and it is weirdly underrated at this point. Has its flaws for sure but also has a lot going for it and no one should be happy that there’s zero chance a game like that would never be made and marketed to the mainstream these days. GTA 4 is another good example of a hyped game where the backlash was massively overdone.
  20. There is a very weird belief among what seems a sizeable subset of this forum that the Dreamcast failed because of this campaign of lies and marketing hype for the PS2, as opposed to the PS2 being an objectively much, much, much better console with an infinitely greater games library, including a good launch lineup and the best first 18 months of any platform ever, and the ability to play DVDs.
  21. Game Pass subscriptions grew 28pc in the most recent fiscal year, which should put them on around 30-32 million now. It’s a decent number but again that is less than 50pc of all the Xbox consoles sold that can use it, and that figure includes PC as well - for a service that MS have been pushing as the basis for their entire videogames business for years, at very attractive pricing, I’d argue that they would probably have hoped for greater penetration of their own user base by now.
  22. Between the fact that PS Plus numbers have pretty clearly clearly hit a ceiling at 50 million - well below half the number of PlayStation consoles out there - and Game Pass growth already starting to underperform targets, I feel like the predictions for an industry dominated by subscription services are looking decidedly shaky.
  23. Count me in as someone else who thinks Shadow of War was quite hard done by. Story is definitely goofy but it’s more fun than any Assassins Creed game from the past decade. Leading an army of orcs to invade a castle that you’ve already infiltrated with minions never gets old.
  24. I absolutely love how Darth Vader might as well not exist in this world but Palpatine most certainly does. Disney really should do some kind of massive retcon of Palpatine because the scheming demagogue who runs the Imperial machine day to day is more or less a completely separate character to the evil space wizard. And not in a clever way, it’s literally two different characters and the politician one would be much more interesting to see on screen.
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