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Everything posted by JFo

  1. PC Gamer just gets it all out in the headline: Ori and the Will of the Wisps' sublime platforming sets a new bar for metroidvanias Wes Fenlon: That word -- sublime -- seems to be a running theme here.
  2. Lots of previews went up for this game this morning. I haven't had a chance to read through them all yet, but I liked this bit from Eurogamer's article: Also from the article: "It feels sublime."
  3. What has made Game Pass worthwhile for me are the games I didn't know I would download and play when I signed up for it. When I joined last summer, I knew I would get to play Gears 5 and Ori and the Will of the Wisps when they launched, which seemed like a good deal. I did not know that I would also get to play Untitled Goose Game and A Plague Tale: Innocence as well. I did not know that my kid would want to download LEGO Worlds, Tracks - The Train Set Game, or Farming Simulator '17 and play those as well. I've always had a backlog of games to play, but now I have two of them -- one of games I own and a second of Game Pass titles I want to play. The challenge is finding the time for it all. I've been doing a pretty good job this winter working through the games I own, but that Game Pass list is getting bigger and bigger every month. Too many games!
  4. Not to be outdone by the sale at PSN a couple weeks ago, but you can get the first three Doom games on sale this week on Xbox if you have Gold or Game Pass Ultimate. Doom and Doom II are $1.49 each while Doom 3 is only $2.99. Six bucks for all three games? Time to go slay some demons! 😁
  5. Richard and John break down today's post from Phil Spencer:
  6. Plus, if you’re already in possession of a decent gaming PC —which I suspect you are — I bet the urge to get a Series X at launch is diminished even more. At this point, I’m leaning toward getting a Series X at the end of the year, with a PS5 sometime in 2021. Being in the Game Pass ecosystem definitely incentivizes me to stay with Microsoft. Sony could sway me though, with a Horizon Zero Dawn sequel at launch.
  7. Keith: “Okay, babe, what’ll it be? Xbox or PlayStation? Or, if we want to get really kinky, I can get an old Nintendo controller out” Keith’s wife: “I have a headache.”
  8. I was just about to post that! You beat me to it by seconds, you bastard! 😉
  9. What You Can Expect From the Next Generation of Gaming Phil Spencer: I'm not sure how much of this was already known. I feel like I already knew most of the details outlined in this post.Still, it's nice to get a confirmation that all games that play on Xbox One -- including Xbox 360 and O.G. Xbox titles -- will work on Series X, and that they will perform better out of the box without any work required from developers. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more at E3. Hopefully, that will be when we get a lot more concrete details such as storage capacity, price, etc. EDIT: Looking at the article again, this seems like a big deal: So basically, I can buy Halo: Infinite on Xbox One, and when I decide to upgrade to Series X, I'll automatically own that version without having to pay to upgrade to the better version. At least that's what it sounds like to me. I wonder if third-parties would ever agree to do this? I mean obviously, EA and Activision Blizzard will do this for all their games because they are so interested in what's in the best interests of gamers, but I can't even finish that sentence with a straight face.
  10. Okay, it's time to do the thing! I picked up The Messenger on Switch back in November and finally got around to playing it this past week. I finished up both the main quest and the “Picnic Panic” DLC (which is free if you own the game) last night. I 100% completed the main quest, but not the DLC. Total playtime was about 17.5 hours (14.5 for the main quest and 3 for the DLC). Before hopping in, I knew about the game’s twist — that it started out as a linear action platformer in the style of NES Ninja Gaiden, then, about halfway through, it turned into a Metroidvania that switched between 8- and 16-bit visuals. So, it didn’t surprise me when it happened, but I did enjoy seeing how the developers pulled off the change. The Messenger doesn’t take itself too seriously. It breaks the fourth wall often, acknowledging that it is a video game. The writing and characters are pretty good for a game like this, especially the shopkeeper, who will have conversations with you and tell you stories throughout the adventure. Overall, I really enjoyed it. it does a lot of things really well. I enjoyed the platforming and boss battles the most. Both offered a fair amount of challenge without feeling impossible. The game’s signature move, the Cloud Step — which grants you an additional jump in mid-air if you slash at an object or enemy with your sword — adds and an interesting twist on the platforming that’s put to good use throughout the adventure. I also like the rope dart (a.k.a. grappling hook), which increases horizontal movement. If I have one gripe, it’s that the Metoridvania aspect of the game is not executed as well as it could have been. While I expect some degree of backtracking in this type of game, the amount you do here is borderline annoying. There are fast travel points around the world, but they aren’t as numerous as they should be. Additionally, not every area has a fast travel point, requiring you to travel to a different area first. If you’re trying to collect everything, it can get monotonous to return to the same area again and again. Still, the the core of the gameplay was good enough to keep me hooked all the way to the very end. Recommended.
  11. I’m looking forward to playing Ninja Gaiden II on Xbox at long last. I picked up the PS3 version years ago, but as I learned from a recent DF video, it was not exactly the same game, not was it necessarily better.
  12. Keith is just jealous that Guacamelee! is funnier than he is.
  13. I finally got around to playing this one over the past week. I finished it on Friday on Normal difficulty in about 16 hours with 100% map completion and a fully leveled up character. I also managed to reach the good ending thanks to my efforts. Because I did everything there was to do, the final boss battle went something like this: However, don't go thinking that this is an easy game to finish. It's not. Like the first one, it features many grueling platforming challenges that will test your skills — and your patience. If you want that good ending like I did, Drinkbox wants you to earn it. If anything, the final boss battle felt like a victory lap for all the hard work I did in order to reach that point. Maybe the final boss wasn't hard, but it still felt totally satisfying to kick his ass. This is the third game I've played by Drinkbox Studios (the other two being Guacamelee! and Severed), and I've come to greatly admire their work. More than anything, I like how they take a game mechanic and iterate on it to the nth degree. It seems like they never run out of ideas, all the way up to the very end of their games. Sometimes you admire their creativity, and sometimes you curse them out because you have no idea how you're ever going to conquer the challenge they set before you. When you do though, it feels so good. When the end credits rolled, I actually clapped. I can't remember the last time I did that for a game. If I had one complaint — and it's a small one — it's that it may feel too similar to the first. I hadn't played the original Guacamelee! since 2014, but it felt almost like I was playing the same game again, just with different levels. At first, I wasn't sure if Drinkbox added anything new to the sequel. It wasn't until I rewatched the Easy Allies review in the post above that I learned what was added. If they make a third one, I hope that it does more to distinguish it more from the first two — something that makes me go, "Oh, that's different." So, yes, I'm very glad I played this, and it made me very happy. If you liked the original or enjoy a good Metroidvania, definitely check it out. In the meantime, I will be keeping an eye out for what Drinkbox studios has planned for its next game. They've hit three home runs for me so far, and I can't wait to see what they do next.
  14. So is the iOS beta iPhone only? Is there a way to try it on iPad yet?
  15. I registered. Why the hell not? Let's see if I get picked.
  16. She’s not like my boys then. Once they’re out, we can go in their room, open and close drawers and closet doors, and even give them a kiss on the head and they don’t respond at all. You really gotta work hard if you want to wake them up. It makes getting them up in the morning a real pain in the ass sometimes.
  17. I have another game to share with you all: Manifold Garden by William Chyr Studio. I finished it yesterday after just over five hours of play time. Here is a quick description and some of my thoughts on it. Manifold Garden is a first-person puzzle game set in a world inspired by the works of M.C. Escher. It requires the player to manipulate gravity and navigate areas that infinitely repeat. Basically, imagine a game that takes place in a world that looks kind of like this... ...and you get an idea of what your in for. The puzzles are extremely well designed from beginning to end. The game eases you into it by teaching you the basics early on, then ramps up the complexity and difficulty as it progresses. Aside from some button prompts at the beginning to teach you the controls, it offers little in the way of an explanation of how all the mechanics works. This is an instance where the player learns by doing and observing, rather than reading a tutorial. It trusts the player is smart enough to figure it out and lets them do so at their own pace. I won't go into any more detail, because I think the game is best experienced by knowing as little about it as possible. That said, don't expect much of a story here. You're not given an context for who you are, what you are doing, and why. There is no lore to uncover, journals to read, or any backstory for your character. You're left to interpret the game on your own. Or you can be like me and just appreciate the fact that none of those things get in the way of trying to solve the puzzles.
  18. If you're one of those people who signed up for the daily subscription option for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $0.05/day and had it canceled, check your messages in your Xbox profile. You may have received a code for a 14-day subscription to Game Pass. Here's the message I received:
  19. I finally got around to this. I beat it over the weekend on Xbox One. Overall, I liked it. Here are some random thoughts for your reading pleasure. I love the visual style of this game. It looks like a cel-shaded cartoon, which is just what I want from this series. When I was a kid, I would dream about what video games would look like in the future. Mega Man 11 is how I imagined games would look one day. As much as I enjoyed the retro 8-bit aesthetic of Mega Man 9 and 10, I'm glad that Capcom went for a modern look this time. The soundtrack was largely forgettable, unfortunately. I didn't walk away from it with any of the songs stuck in my head. The Mega Man series had some of the best music of the 8-bit era, and it's a shame that Mega Man 11 doesn't carry on that tradition. I played on Normal difficulty and found it to be just the right challenge -- hard, but not impossible. Sure, some levels can seem impossible and unfair at first. The more you play them though, the better you get. It always felt satisfying to get a little further each time, figure out what you did wrong, and improve. Some stages definitely felt and lot more difficult than others (I'm looking at you, Bounce Man). That said, the game definitely got easier toward the end. Part of it was that I was able to stock up on extra lives as well as E, W, and M tanks. Once you can buy the Bolt Catcher in Dr. Light's shop, do it and equip it. You wind up with more Bolts than you know what to do with. I went from hovering around the 1,000-bolt mark to having well over 4,000 after a single level. I was surprised by how abruptly the game came to an end. After you defeat the eight robot masters, you get two full-length levels in Dr. Wily's castle. Then the third stage is the final boss rush, followed by the fourth stage, which is just the showdown against Dr. Wily himself. There's not even a hidden fifth stage where you fight Wily again (for real this time). I was all at once happy that the battle was over, yet sad that was it. I expected just a bit more. I have mixed feelings about the Double Gear system. I found the Power Gear to be mostly useless while the Speed Gear came in handy throughout the game. In some ways, I do think it became a crutch for the developers, who designed the levels and boss fights around it. I'm all for Capcom trying new things to freshen up the Mega Man formula, but I would not miss the Gear System if it were not included in Mega Man 12. Bring on the sequel, Capcom! I need to fight for ever-lasting peace! EDIT: This news was reported a while ago, but Mega Man 11 has sold over 1 million units now, according to Capcom (currently number 89 on the list).
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