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f2097

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  1. f2097

    Tea

    Surprised to see a mention of Char of Winchester. They aren't cheap but are easily the best tea company I've ever found. Been using them for years. Discovered them as a teenager, ended up working only a few doors down from their shop a few years ago which turned me into a fanboy of theirs as opposed to an occasional customer. Moved away and still order it online. Top picks from Char being: Himalayan Gold & Honey - this is their ultimate best tea. The owner raves about it and for good reason, won an award for being the world's best tea in 2015. Delicate, complex sweetness. Best drunk black. Assam Halmari Gold - this is my fave. Love a strong Assam and this is their best. Malty, deep, strong without being overly tannin or dark. Is served in some of the best hotels in India. Most of their other teas are very good. Their peppermint tea bags are the best I've had. Only criticism is that some of their bagged black teas aren't cut fine enough, the bags are overstuffed and then you end up with a weak brew. .. Outside of Char agree with the other comments. Clipper is the best general tea (their loose leaf earl grey is great also). Dragonfly tea specialises in mostly Green and White tea, are more on the unusual side but the quality is exceptional and they are v.authentic.
  2. This looks like when ninja theory made bleeding edge. Hope it works out for them but that trailer was baaaad. Looks generic, trend chasing rather than setting.
  3. Bought the physical for this on series X and it arrived today (is 49.99 at Smyth's and also at game). Normally prefer digital but like others have mentioned I'm not paying £70-80 for it (especially where the dark pictures games all launched at £25). Liking it so far. Up to chapter 2 and going to play more later. Love the animated tutorials. Seems business as usual for a supermassive game. The character work and script seem stronger so far, but also feels less physical. In their other games you pick things up, hold the button down, turn them over etc.. where this is literally press a. My ranking of their games is: Until dawn > house of ashes > man of Medan > little hope > the others This is already on a par with until dawn. Might prefer it by the end.
  4. The first Colin McRae Rally is my favourite racing game of all time. Think it still holds up. The handling is great; the structure and the balance of everything is spot on. Lots of the later games on the series are great too but I don't think they ever topped this. Nor did they ever make one like it again, the sequels riffed off CMR 2.0 instead. The first game has a better sense of place, each track and car feels unique. Still have my original copy and play it from time to time. This game also sings on vita emulation. Have played literally thousands of racers over the years has always been one of my fave genres. A lot of my absolute faves are from the PS1 gen: Wipeout 2097, Ridge Racer Type 4, TOCA 2. Think PGR2 was the best of the Microsoft exclusive racers. GT3 the best Gran Turismo. Last gen was Driveclub.
  5. My main take from this is that the premium tier, that costs the most has the retro content which they claim is 340* games but won't say a single one of them and it launches in two months. The fact they can't even name a single game, even from their own back catalogue doesn't inspire hope.
  6. Something is horribly wrong with this game on series X. The frame rate is unplayably awful whenever there is rain or lots of cars on track. This has really bad pop up all of the time. The colours are over bright and washed out. It plays worse than any other codemasters game (including the super choppy project cars 3) and I'm not sure why. Is a big shame. I'm a huge fan of Grid 2019. Would go as far as saying it is my favourite racer of the last gen (this and Wipeout omega). Grid 2019 I enjoyed on PS4, bought on Xbox X when I got that, the performance is a notable upgrade on the PS4 version. 2019 looks better and plays better than grid legends. Grid legends looks like a psvr game and gives the same motion sickness vibes. The menus and general presentation is a downgrade too. Shame as it seems to solve the content/variety issues that the 2019 game had. I'm hoping that they fix this in a patch. I'm not sure the other formats are suffering as bad as the Xbox. We've already had the first patch and it's made no difference. Uninstalled.
  7. Civ vi on switch is awesome. Doesn't lose any features compared to the other versions, loading is longer but is made up for by portability. Is actually my top played switch game.
  8. It's been so long since the last entry that I think a remake is nessesary and this does seem faithful to the original material: they seem passionate about it. However these are the same two games we've been playing and replaying for literally decades that a new game may make more sense. I actually still have my gba micro (and it still has charge!), I also went through these again on emulation on vita (inc. days of ruin which is not included here). Will buy this but hope that it does ok and leads to more.
  9. Ugh why'd they have to ruin it. Doesn't work with my phone anymore, the enter button is below the bottom of the screen and I can't resize it or move it up. Not sure if it's their sloppy coding with the new site itself or compatibility issues with Firefox or android.
  10. Game of the Year 2021 A1. Tales of Arise The best JRPG of the year, probably the high point of the tales series. The story and characters are typical of the genre but are elevated by the production values. This is a well made game, it has depth to the systems and the combat. Feels satisfying to play. The best all out adventure of the year. Feels like a real next gen spin on the formula. A2. The Dark Pictures: House of Ashes In Man of Madan the characters were irredeemably unlikable. The setting worked but that was about it. In Little Hope there was very little depth to the writing and a lot of the things the characters did just didn’t make sense. With this game they’ve finally nailed the writing and most of the technical problems are gone too. I found it engaging throughout and at times looks fantastic. A3. The Last Stop Not my most played game but one of the ones that stuck with me the most. The feel of London, of modern Britian, it felt authentic and gave us something we haven’t really had in games before. Refreshing and although the ending was silly, it fits the genre. A4. Eastward Nothing this year has come close to the density of the art, style and beauty of Eastward. The actual game behind it lives up to expectations too. It does take a while to get going and does have it’s difficulty spikes but the atmosphere keeps you playing. I worked for me in the ways that Metroid Dread and Sable fell short on. Substance. A5. Overboard Everything here is perfectly made, perfectly structured. It’s funny, addictive for the time you spend with it. Another brilliant concept by Inkle and probably the first game they’ve made where the cracks don’t show. With each game they are getting stronger, I think they aren’t far off making something truly amazing. Game of the Year (premiered anywhere pre-2021) B1. Tetris Effect Connected I enjoyed but did not love this game on PSVR, then PS4 .. This year on Xbox and Switch it has finally connected! Very much into it now. May have even made it my game of the year (if it hadn’t come out already). The depth, the quality of the design, the atmosphere and the music. Might even prefer it to Rez. B2. Beyond A Steel Sky Revolution Software. I’m glad that they are still going. The performance on the Switch is not great, you are stuck outside the city for too long, but despite that, this is a well written, warm and very well crafted adventure. Lives up to their legacy titles. B3. Dragon Quest Builders 2 The first game was full of frustrating boss battles which felt at odds with the slow pace elsewhere. I hit a brick wall on it and gave up. Tried the demo of this on PS4 on release, but found it poorly paced. However with the arrival on Xbox (and gamepass) I gave it another go. It is pretty awesome. Basically the first game but more of everything. Those annoying button mashing bosses are back but this time everything else makes up for it. Biggest Disappointment of the Year Z1. Metroid Dread I stupidly got sucked into the hype and paid full price on release for this. Ended up giving it away. I thought it was too hard to start with, it felt mean, it felt cheaply made, very bland, repetitive. I know that a lot of people like the game but I hated just about everything to do with it. In the Metroid series, I liked the GBA games and the Prime titles so thought I would like this. I would say that the Shadow of the Beast remake from a few years ago does a better job with its own respective series. Z2. Sable This had such an air of mystery and potential about it for years that it would always have trouble living up to it. Found it pretentious, boring and overly scripted. Just too many conversations that were just bullshitting and not getting on with the actual game. Z3. Psychonauts 2 I wanted to like this but it suffered from everything bad about the first game. Like Sable it wants to waffle on about all sorts of things for what feels like hours without actually letting you play and then when it does it feels like an old PSX platformer. Although it has some great scenes and inventive designs, the actual platforming hasn’t moved on and for every fantastically creepy section there are two more that are featureless and generic. Writing of the Year W1. Overboard Exactly spot on. Perfect for this type of game. W2. Beyond A Steel Sky The sheer amount of script and the consistent quality of the writing is one of the best things about the game. W3. The Last Stop Human, funny, realistic (as long as you forget about the last portion of the game!) Format of the Year F1. Switch OLED Was hard to decide as this year I’ve gone back to Xbox, while still having my PS4 and have got back ino PC again (and I still use my Vita); but the Switch is definitely my most played. Publisher or Developer of the Year P1. Bandai Namco Didn't think they would end up my top but when I narrow down games released this year that I played/enjoyed, no other publisher comes anywhere near close.. Tales of Arise, Scarlet Nexus, Dark Pictures, Pac Man 99 and the non-switch versions of Mr Driller all came out in 2021.
  11. Ooh I kinda agree with this. Thought about posting earlier on when into the breach was mentioned multiple times. I love strategy games. Tiny metal (advance wars knockoff) I not only platiumed on PS4, but is one of my most played switch games (alongside it's psuedo sequel). Xcom was one of my fave vita games. Still play warzone 2100 and classic C&C on retro. Also love puzzle games. Anyway I wanted to love into the breach. It was one of my first switch purchases. Have tried to get into it at least three times. Always bounced off of it thinking it is shallow, minimally structured and poorly balanced. Maybe one of those days it will click... but I'm not there. Think it's awful and one of the most overrated things going
  12. Just adding my two pence ahead of voting (which I'm glad the deadline is not today, the recent switch sale has changed how I would vote. Esp in the case of overboard which I absolutely love)... Anyway think the clarification and talk about games released/re-released this year adds a new element. Agree with what was decided.
  13. Glad to hear it holds up on ps5. Hopefully one day they'll make a new one.
  14. The second one, little hope, impoves on the mechanics. It has less bits where the story doesn't add up. Is more varied, longer. All round better made. But unfortunately the characters are similarly unlikeable as they don't have enough depth/ motivation. Also if you found the man of Medan ending bad, this one is worse. However the recently released house of ashes gets both bits right. Is probably the best example of its genre along with until dawn. Next year we get another one. Then another 4!
  15. Finished this today. I think it's the best one. With each game they've grown in scale and improved the formula. Looked great in places too. Felt longer than little hope. This is the first one since until dawn where I felt the characters were likeable and felt fully realised. Twist in the final act reminded me of the last stop from earlier in the year, but was much better realised in this game. Saved 3 of the 5.
  16. Until Dawn, as well as the sony backing, was in development for years (at one point was a PS3 move title). Got a lot more time in the oven whereas these get a year between installments. I think everyone likes until dawn best. I thought man of Medan was better than little hope and was worried the series had gone off track. Glad to see this is reviewing well.
  17. I'm riding this wave. Always liked sunshine the best out of the 3D Mario games and did not get on with galaxy at all. Sunshine has higher highs and controls better.
  18. The Last Stop: I loved the whole thing. These people made Virginia, bought that in a sale years ago and thought it was total shit. This however was great. Most engaging game of its type since Everybody has gone to the rapture. Playing back through the chapters to mop up the trophies. Real sense of place, felt pretty unique, very London, nothing like it in games but felt like a UK TV show. Now I've finished it think I liked all three stories equally. I get you aren't supposed to like the cheating lady, it's played from her perspective and she hates herself, quite brave of them to go with a story like that for a third of the game. I think it paid off. The last chapter was a bit out there but fine by the end. Been re-playing though the codemasters games added to game pass/ea. They all seem to run smoother on Xbox sx than PS4 pro. Love Grid think it was v.underrated. dirt rally 1 and 4 are a bit aged now. Dirt 2.0 shines. Kinda telling they added their whole line up but forgot about onrush.
  19. I'm playing through Fable anniversary at the moment. All the opening stuff looks like garbage and somehow worse than the original version of the game but once you get past that it's pretty great. I voted 2 though. It's got a lot more going on, was Lionhead at their absolute peak. 3 is good and holds up. For everything it improves on it falls back in some other way. The whole last bit of the game is a cool idea but was rushed. The whole series feels refreshing to play in 2021. Hope the new one lives up to it.
  20. Love two point hospital (got it on PS4, switch and now Xbox thanks to gamepass). It was great how long they supported the game and the sheer volume of extra content. Felt like a 90s PC strategy title with all it's add ons. Not 100% sure how they will do the concept with this but looks good from the screenshots and is probably better they are doing something totally new.
  21. f2097

    Until Dawn

    Oh no didn't know that could happen. I must have not been as bad at it as you are. Still I think it is more accessible than a full action game. The timed stuff it does have does suit/enhance the story whereas some games are held back by action systems that feel totally different to the story part of the game.
  22. f2097

    Until Dawn

    Was excited to view the forum and see until dawn up the top. I would agree that the later dark pictures collection games had more accessibility options and can thus negate any QTE frustrations. But I would counter argue that the QTE in until dawn is pretty well balanced. I find it preferable and more suitable than the jarring combat or (even worse) stealth that you often get in games of this genre. As a game mechanic it does suit and it is better made, with less brick walls in difficulty than you get in other games. If you go wrong you might lose a character, but in another game you'd either be totally stuck or have to redo the same section repeatively until you get it right. Until dawn is unquestionably the best game supermassive made. I would argue it is one of the best playstation exclusives of the PS4 and also one of the best horror games we've had.
  23. Until Dawn had the benefit of longer in the oven. It was meant to be a PS3 game. Everything else in this genre they have done was either made in under a year or alongside three other projects they were making at the same time spreading themselves too thin. Anyway I'm nearly done with Little Hope, I've found it tougher going than their other games. I think it definitely is a better game than Man of Medan but I have enjoyed it less. My biggest annoyance is how unlikeable the characters are. It is mainly from the script being so bad. There isn't much humour or charm to it which is a shame. Until Dawn was pretty perfectly balanced. The game engine and the idea is great I just wish these were more interesting stories.
  24. Great list (although my No1 is only at 25). The entry for FFVIIR has sold me on it after the demo put me off. I had forgotten murder by numbers was a thing too
  25. I'm ok with them doing this once a year but it does feel lazy of them. Almost like they couldn't be bothered to write a proper magazine. The article subjects in this could have made a good issue but every article is barely more than a few paragraphs. I think they've done it because of the success the last time they did it. It would have worked better if they picked half as many things and wrote twice as much (and had more than one image for each thing). It feels like an months worth of a newspaper games section from the 90s.
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