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Majora

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  1. Enjoyed the demo enough to be disappointed when the timer ran out but wasn't blown away or anything. Thoughts: - The image quality looked so so soft on the One X. Will definitely be playing in 4K/30 mode in the full game. - Graphically it was quite mixed. Some bits looked good, others looked really basic, like the room with the weapons locker. - Black levels seemed fucked. I had HDR turned off after hearing impressions but ended up bumping the gamma to high on my set, otherwise the blacks were mostly grey. - Honestly didn't find it scary at all, and I say that as someone who still found RE:Make quite scary a couple of years ago and found the early parts of RE7 quite terrifying. Probably a combination of the viewpoint, easier combat mechanics but also... - Disclaimer: I haven't played RE2 before. Setting most of the game in a police station just seems a bit...uninspiring? Rooms full of filing cabinets, desks and paper trays all struck me as rather boring compared to huge evocative mansions with creepy paintings and statues and elaborate backdrops. This mostly just looked like a boring old police station.
  2. Just compare The Simpsons to Matt Groening's Enchantment on Netflix. Obviously it doesn't help that Enchantment turned out to be quite rubbish, but each episode was lasting 30-40 minutes with absolutely no justification whatsoever. By contrast, classic era Simpsons is an absolute marvel of economy. 22 minutes in which to tell, pretty much from scratch, a fully developed three act story and cram it full of gag after gag on top of that? Just another reason why it's one of the best written shows ever. This is a wee bit dismissive of TV I think. The best TV (I'm talking stuff like Mad Men and The Sopranos) are able to give you a satisfying story arc within each episode in addition to the season long story arc. I can feel just as 'full' and satisfied after a single episode of those shows as I do after watching a good movie. Plus, of course, you get the benefits of being able to flesh out an entire world and the characters within them, down to relatively minor side characters, to a level of depth you could only dream of in most movies. The art of making each episode of a TV series satisfying in its own right does seem to be getting lost a little though, particularly on Netflix. Because they want to you to carry on binging, they don't particularly want you to feel 'full' after one episode, they want a cliffhanger to keep you watching the next one. Something like Stranger Things (especially season 2) is basically a ten hour long movie told in rather arbritrary hour long chunks rather than a show with ten episodes which each stand on their own merits. Shout out to Haunting of Hill House for being one of the few Netflix shows I've seen to even come close to pulling this off.
  3. Game of the Year A1. Red Dead Redemption 2 - You could write an essay detailing the flaws and mis-steps in Rockstar's latest sprawling epic - the convoluted control system and UI, the absurd mission fail states, the layers upon layers of systems that never quite amount to anything. But you could also write an equally long essay on how it is home to the greatest, most evocative and detailed open world in gaming, compelling characters and stunning spectacle. You have to take the rough with the smooth but when it all comes together it is simply stunning. A2. Hollow Knight - An absurdly generous, challenging and atmospheric Metroidvania with more than a dollop of Dark Souls thrown in there too. A3. Shadow of the Colossus - An incredible remake of a unique timeless classic with many of the rough edges and irritations sanded away. A4. Super Smash Bros Ultimate - The only game in the franchise which managed to click for me. I'm not entirely sure why this one did where the others didn't, but I'm glad I could finally understand the hype with this one. A5. Tetris Effect Biggest Disappointment of the Year (game, hardware, or anything else) Z1. God of War - A potentially very good 15 hour game stretched out to what felt like more than double that, it is by turns impressive and frustrating. Rote puzzles and level design, repetitive enemy encounters and bosses, and a plot which frequently feels like a neverending hunt for an arbitrary new Macguffin ultimately suffocate a solid combat system, decent world building and competent but inconsistent character development. Z2. Below - Years in making and the end result is a frustrating mish-mash of conflicting ideas, mechanics and systems. Z3. PlayStation Classic Z4. Fallout 76 Z5. Ashen Sound Design of the Year S1. Tetris Effect S2. Celeste S3. Red Dead Redemption 2 Visual Design of the Year V1. Red Dead Redemption 2 V2. Hollow Knight V3. Tetris Effect Writing of the Year W1. Red Dead Redemption 2 W2. Celeste W3. Spider-Man - Although honestly, the fact this is at three for writing says more about the fact that the best games I played this year generally weren't great because of their writing. Gaming Format (System) of the Year F1. PlayStation 4 Publisher or Developer of the Year P1. IO Interactive - For managing to overcome the hurdle of being dropped by Square-Enix and putting out another excellent new Hitman game, albeit one that didn't quite make any of my other lists this year due to slight oversimilarity to Hitman 2016. Your game of the year that didn't come out this year (basically what is your favourite game you played this year that came out in 2017 or earlier) X1. Uncharted: Lost Legacy Best game character of the year C1. Arthur Morgan - RDR2 C2. Dr Octopus - Spider-Man C3. Madeline - Celeste
  4. Majora

    Alan Wake: Tramp gamers, take a hike!

    American Nightmare is kind of hard to describe but it's basically just more of the Alan Wake story but which exists in its own little world. I think Remedy were aware that Alan Wake probably wouldn't be getting a proper sequel at this point so the ending is a hedge your bets kind of affair where it simultaneously leaves things open and acts as something of an ending. Basically after finishing the main game you need to go The Signal - The Writer - American Nightmare if you want to get the most out of the series.
  5. Majora

    Alan Wake: Tramp gamers, take a hike!

    The Signal was just ok but The Writer DLC was very good and is pretty essential if you want to experience more of the narrative (albeit with the knowledge that it will never be resolved now).
  6. Majora

    Now TV

    You can see all films available in particular genres on Netflix though, you just have to dig a bit deeper into the menu rather than keep scrolling down the home page. As for the NOW service itself, I re-subscribed again recently and was surprised at how bad the sound was. It sounds insanely compressed. The movie selection is ok but I felt like it was very heavily biased towards your average big Hollywood movies and to be honest that's not really for me. I think I'd rather either rent a particular movie I wanted to watch on a platform that doesn't have terribly compressed sound, or just watch whatever is on Netflix or Prime in decent audio and visual quality.
  7. Majora

    Celeste

    Completed it recently via Games with Gold. I think I died nearly 2,000 times by the end so you definitely shouldn't feel bad if you're dying a lot. The difficulty is the point, it is baked into the narrative themes so strongly that to reduce the difficulty would work against the impact of the story I think. They intertwine beautifully. To the game's credit, it didn't feel like I died nearly 2,000 times though. I realised I had obviously died a ton but I was always surprised at the end of each level to see just how frequently it had occurred.
  8. It's no real secret that Activision were unhappy with the performance of the Forsaken expansion. With Call of Duty still performing excellently (though not quite the behemoth it was 5-10 years ago) and Overwatch now in their roster, maybe Activision just don't feel like they need Destiny like they did at the start of the gen?
  9. Holy crap https://www.bungie.net/en/Explore/Detail/News/47569
  10. Majora

    Why are Nintendo fans so annoying?

    Lol. Why would you be put off buying a piece of tech you're interested in, with games you want to play, just because a few of the fans are a bit evangelical? How does that impact on your experience with the machine or its games at all?
  11. Majora

    Hitman 2 (2018)

    Yeah. Sumo also did Colombia in the second game which is a marked improvement (though I'd argue still one of the weaker ones, relatively, again with a higher than normal focus on traditional stealth in some areas).
  12. Majora

    Hitman 2 (2018)

    I hated Colorado. It's the only map I finished and vowed never to replay. It's drab looking, literally completely flat, boring and nearly every area is hostile in some form or another. It wasn't actually developed by IO and I think it shows. No idea if they made any tweaks to make it more tolerable as part of the Hitman 2 package.
  13. This was my Christmas game as I had somehow never played a Pokémon game before despite owning most of Nintendo's consoles over the years. I've just done the tower and got the reward. It's quite a nice game but a bit simple? I know they've streamlined a lot of this when compared to the modern games which on one hand is probably good since I've never felt overwhelmed but I do find catching Pokémon quite boring and the difficulty level feels very low. Pikachu is a beast, especially his critical hit electricity move. I've enjoyed it mostly and will probably be in for the proper Switch Pokémon game but I did maybe expect a little more than tons of copy/paste houses and towns given how much the series sells.
  14. Are Warner Bros still publishing it like they did Hitman 2? If so, I doubt IO have much say in it. But yeah....utter joke of a price considering Shadow of the Colossus was only 30 quid and was a genuine remake in every sense of the word. This is just going to be slightly tarted up. I'll wait til it's a tenner.
  15. Majora

    The Favourite

    Put me in the 'loved it' camp. I tend to avoid British period pieces like the plague but was sold on this by the trailer and rave reviews. It walked such a fine line between gripping drama and absurdist humour that I can still hardly believe they pulled it off. One minute I was laughing at a crude sex joke, the next I was genuinely emotionally invested in what was going on. You'd think at some point or another that the ludicrous humour would undermine the drama but it never did. All three female leads are brilliant, and I loved the ending too. There was definitely a 'what the fuck' vibe to some of the audience reactions at the end but it was totally in keeping with the tone of the rest of the movie - emotionally powerful but still funny. I really need to check out The Lobster now.
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