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  1. When are Fielding and Lucas going to be given the boot? They are awful and really ruin my enjoyment of this. As for the episode, Freya deservedly went, even though at times it felt like George was trying to fight her for the honour. Good on Giuseppe too, I really like him and he put up some lovely looking stuff and he's probably the best baker overall I'd say.
  2. Origin has (had?) the countdown stuff for non-EA published games too though, which is why it was really helpful. I get that from MS's perspective it isn't a QoL feature that would add any value for them and perhaps it would even cost them: The cynic in me thinks that people are more likely (even if marginally so) to buy something they are part-way through if it is going to be leaving the service, so by keeping them in the dark you might get some extra sales.
  3. Re: Bruce leaving, I suppose they at least didn't sack him (I imagine that was meant to be a nice gesture on their part.) The thing is, the club needs so much work, whomever they get in now is, at best, only going to lay the groundwork for somebody to come along and get the glory a few years down the line, once they've been long since sacked. Same as at Man City, where Hughes started putting things into place only for Mancini to build on and take things forward.
  4. 09/10/2021 - Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (PC) A lot of the stuff I said about the first game could be repeated pretty much for this one, so I won't go over it again. There are some mechanical changes for better or worse, but it's still a fun ARPG and each mission is long enough that you get to explore, but short enough you can dip in for 30 minutes/an hour and feel like you are making progress. As with all of these games though, my main complaint is they rarely make each character feel unique (or reflect the power they are meant to have.) Balancing 25+ characters can't be easy if they decided to go down the more bespoke route, but I think it would be worth it. There is a Switch in this house, I may need to check out MUA3 - is it any good? 15/10/2021 - From Russia With Love (PS2) After watching No Time to Die at the cinema, I really fancied playing a bit of Bond. I enjoyed and completed the Craig games ages ago on the 360, so went for this instead. As to be expected for the time (it's a 2005 game), the camera isn't great, but the game wasn't bad. They licensed Connery's likeness and got him to do some voice over work (and every line sounds like he's constantly surprising himself) and, at times, you do feel a bit Bond of old. The gadgets are largely superfluous so I mainly played it as a straight third-person shooter, but the general presentation was decent and, overall, I enjoyed my 5 hours or so with it. 18/10/2021 - Conglomerate 451 (PC) A cyberpunk-themed dungeon crawler, this no-frills RPG had you doing, well, I'm not actually sure, other than killing 4 bosses. The structure is a bit odd; from the outset, the game tells you that there are 75 weeks you have to get through (a mission is a week and you can't skip any). There are 4 corporations you are tasked with taking down for <reasons>, but this can be done pretty early - I killed them all by week 40 (and that was only because I got two squads wiped through being a bit cocky) and then had the prospect of playing another 35 missions for no particular gain. That was never going to happen, so I just started a mission each week and aborted it (there is an in-game consequence but that doesn't have any impact on the actual gameplay.) The ending - sorry, the short bit of text you get at week 75 was totally not worth it, either. There are three 'endings' depending on some choices you make during the game, but given there's not even any kind of intro or outro cinematic, it definitely took the shine off any enjoyment I had. It wasn't terrible - each mission can be completed in 30 minutes to an hour (like MUA2 above) and I approve of that format. You also character growth, with skills, traits and cybernetic implants (both body and mind) to mess around with, along with some hacking options in missions (which I never used). The actual core combat also works on synergies between the various team members you can choose from - e.g. one member 'marks' an enemy, which gives your infiltrator a big damage bonus. That type of thing. In that respect it isn't too dissimilar to another dungeon crawler I played last year, Star Crawlers; that too saw you working to set-up combos to give big damage. Conglomerate 451 lacked the depth of that game though, so whilst there was more choice in characters and skills, it was all too easy to rely on 3 or 4 across your three-person team. It looked nice enough (good rain in the city portion of missions), played okay and let you dip in to do a mission or two whenever you fancied, which made it a nice space filler in-between more involving/better/bigger games (depending on what I fancied playing.) Unfortunately, it wasn't terribly interesting; with just a handful of mission types (which all involved killing everybody you came across, even if ostensibly you were just looking for an item), enemies and environments, there wasn't any sense of discovery and combat was also performed just via muscle-memory. Something of a missed opportunity. Previously completed:
  5. Yeah, I'm aware of that, but I still think it is too short notice to be useful. Origin is quite good here (unless they changed it when partnering with Game Pass) in that you got more than 100 days notice (it would give you the countdown, it may have been 120 days?) That's much more useful than a couple of weeks.
  6. Do any subscriber services state up front how long something is on for? Netflix and Amazon Prime don't tell you until programs are due to leave (though they both give more notice.) Why is that? It is an irritation, for sure. I downloaded Dragon Quest XI the other day but then saw it came onto Game Pass last December so haven't bothered putting any time into it, as I guess it will be leaving around its year anniversary, as many games do. It may not, but I don't want to be barely through it before it leaves and have a save file inaccessible if I don't want to pay the Game Pass price to buy the game - I might just as well wait for it to appear cheaply on Steam.
  7. It's been delayed to next year, but looks interesting, yes.
  8. Where did you get version 1.7 from @SqueakyG, as the official site only has 1.6 still?
  9. You can only play as Quill? I don't know if that was widely known (I haven't followed it) but what a boring choice. That's me out then. I wasn't going to buy it until it was about £10 anyway (or it hits Game Pass), but I don't want a third-person shooter with some selectable skill moves from the rest of the gang. I agree with @Harsin, that combat just looks awkward and reminds of some of the jank I've played recently on PS2 where the camera is just not fit for purpose. S-E have really messed up this partnership, haven't they?
  10. Brentford are good fun to watch, aren't they?
  11. Yes, that's fair comment, but at the same time there are lots of threads over there that are untroubled by poor mods/trolls etc.
  12. For people that say they feel they have played it all before, do you feel the same about other media? If not, why not? Nearly all films, tvs and books - even a lot of music - are the same structurally (like games), so if there is a tiredness of one form but not another I'd find that interesting. I get that for games you are using the same mechanics as well as structure but, again, I don't see it as being wildly different.
  13. I used to love JRPGs too, but the last one I played (and my first in a long time) was FFXV and I absolutely hated it. I find they just overlay mechanics over mechanics and they are just a complicated mess but - crucially - don't make them fun to play. I can also no longer abide the twee anime 'this child is actually 403' stuff that permeates the genre all too much and games that try and inject a load of social gumpf (so things like Persona - which I know people rate - I have absolutely no interest in). I do still love my RPGs though and yes, I know Western RPGs have their problems too, but honestly, it's largely the anime framings that put me off. In terms of gaming in general, I still game as much as I can, still love the artform and don't really see that changing. I went through a very long patch from the early 2000s where I fell out of actually playing, but spent hours and hours reading about stuff. I bought a PS3 & 360 at launch but basically didn't touch it the 360 for about 2 years and the PS3, well, pretty much never. I still own them both (the PS3 is an original US model, so still has the PS2 hardware in it), but have always hated the Dualshock, so it was never comfortable to play. The 360 did eventually win me around and I went through a real achievement hunting phase, but was enjoying gaming again. I then built myself a good gaming PC around 2010 and have been largely focused on that ever since. I play a mix of titles at the same time - at the moment I have around 6 or 7 games on the go - and do find howlongtobeat a helpful resource when looking through what I have and planning what to play. Unless something really grabs me it's rare that I commit all my gaming time to one title - it's usually maybe an hour or so across a couple of games a night (more at weekends) - so for bigger games it'll take me a long time to get through, but I find the 'What games did you complete' threads on here a real motivational tool to help me finish games - I hardly ever abandon anything - and so it's meant I've completed upwards of 30/40 games a year for the last few years, which I'm really happy with (this year already stands at 40+ and is going to be my best year yet for completions, which does please me.) Long may it continue!
  14. I've been playing a bit of this over the past couple of weeks but I find it's just exhausting to get through for any length of time, so it's the odd half-hour here and there rather than a proper session (I'm very glad of its generous autosaving). It's...fine, I guess? It doesn't do anything remarkable and the main sell - the world - is both its blessing and curse. Sure, it really does look lovely at times (especially with everything dialled-up to the max), but as a space to roam around in, it's so boring. There's nothing to actually do other than slowly trudge to your next objective (and whoa-boy at that map) and it feels just so empty and, dare I say, pointless. Gunplay does what you expect, though I can't imagine trying it without the aim assist up to the max, but man the missions don't half drag. I've only completed the first 3, and that third mission (Trading Places) I had to do in 3 parts because it was so long and, frankly, dull. When your only interaction with this world is to shoot it, it's hard to make that feel different enough to make me want to push on and see more. I don't know quite what more I expected from a twin-stick shooter, but I feel it's missing something that would elevate it and turn it into something I can't put down. As it stands, I'll probably continue to just chip away at it and I guess the fun will come from whether I can beat it or not before it leaves Game Pass. Now that's not an achievement that'll pop.
  15. I'm sure there are some awful threads on Era, but I find it does have plenty of interesting things to read and is a change of pace from here, where things can be very slow and there's often not all that much to see. The speed and sheer volume of posts threads can attract when they catch fire means that it is a site better for reading, rather than engaging with though, so I'm a lurker over there. I find it odd the way people dismiss the whole site whenever it is mentioned on here, I'm sure there are awful posters/bad faith content/terrible or contentious moderation decisions - but that all exists here too, just not at the same scale.
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