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Everything posted by Nicktendo

  1. Xbox Series S | X Console Discussion

    I've had the Series S for a month and a half now and it has more than surpassed my expectations. I just wanted a peek at Game Pass and a quick go on a few of Rare Replay's 64 games and I have already dumped almost 400 hours into the thing and beaten 9 games. Can see I really missed out skipping the PS4 and XBOne.
  2. See, this is the perfectly acceptable way for all Epic's customers to avoid paying any fees to Apple or Google (Or MS, Sony + Nintendo for that matter). Just make it so they can't buy V-Bucks in the game / app. Make them log in to the website on a PC, or even on their phone browser, and buy them there. But they won't do that. Cause kids won't want to do that. And mum's credit card isn't saved to the PC browser. And 90% of their sales would disappear overnight. And they're blatantly exploiting this fact. And Tim Sweeney is a repugnant little man. This has been obvious from the very start, Timothy. You are going to lose this lawsuit badly and make a lot of enemies in the gaming industry. Hope it's worth it, because I have very, very little hope for your company if you're shunned by Nintendo and Sony.
  3. Not seeing any of this spicy stuff posted anywhere else on the internet, great work keeping us up to date, @Dcubed. Thanks!!
  4. So as we all know, Epic Games is currently suing Apple for "Maintaining a monopoly" on its App Store and Apple products. They believe that the 30% cut platform providers is unfair and argue that they as developers should be able to distribute their own games on smartphones without paying the platform holder a cut of the money for this privilege. A privilege which essentially boils down to access to more than a billion customers. However, that's not what I'm getting at here, though I encourage anyone who isn't aware of this situation to read up on it as it could affect all digital marketplaces in the future. I want us to imagine a situation where Epic Games wins this lawsuit - and going forward, platform providers cannot maintain a monopoly over distribution on their products. Given the recent news that Xbox Series S is launching at £249, it's clear to me that MS is taking a MASSIVE loss on this console in the hope that they can recoup the costs via GamePass subscriptions and, more importantly, digital game sales. The industry standard, outside the EGS, is a 30% cut to the platform provider. This includes, but is not limited to, the following five companies: Apple (US) Google (US) Sony (Japan) Nintendo (Japan) Microsoft Xbox division (US) As we know, the final three companies make the majority of their profit from digital sales and subscription passes on their platforms (consoles). The reason these consoles are sold either at a loss, or a very, very thin margin of profit in Nintendo's case, is because they know they will make the rest of that money back in the future. Essentially, they are betting on getting enough people into the ecosystem to make this economic model sustainable. Remember the $599 PS3? That was still sold at a huge loss and people completely baulked. Times have changed, and barring a catastrophe from Sony, it's unlikely they'll go that high again. They can afford to go lower because the future returns are basically guaranteed. [Enter stage left] Epic Games / Tencent. If they win the lawsuit against Apple, Sony, Nintendo and MS wouldn't have a leg to stand on having their various stores as the only point of access to the end-user of a console. Think about this - Who has the most to gain from this 30% cut legally being ruled unfair? Who has basically unlimited backing and can afford to run at a loss because they are propped up by a communist state? Which nation is trying to gain a dominant position in the global tech market despite leaking foreign tech companies left, right and centre thanks to COVID, sanctions and tariffs? Maybe, I'm crazy, but I think Tencent are playing somewhat of a long game here and basically trying to destroy Western tech from the inside out. Their Fortnite propaganda video was a rallying cry to their teenage followers to boycott the "unfair" Apple. Who's to say this will stop there? I think the big 3 console manufacturers are next in their sights, and with it, the dominance of the US and Japan in the global gaming market.
  5. Miitopia (3DS) - 2016

    NOOOOOOOOOO! I don't want to buy this. Stop.
  6. Returnal (30th April 2021)

    Pleased to see this reviewing so well. Kudos to Housemarque and Sony for taking a risk.
  7. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    1) Yes - it's great! I might go through it again on Xbox. 2) Agree, sadly. Didn't capture me, didn't like the combat, enemies are hit sinks, which ultimately became annoying. 3-5) No idea. Dark Souls 2 looks extremely bright and colourful. Why? Honestly looks nothing like the first game. From all the FS games I've played - DS1, a bit of 2 and Sekiro, the latter is by far my favourite.
  8. It's the opposite for me, unfortunately. Having Mr. Faux enthusiasm himself as the host of anything is a surefire way to make me ignore it. VIDEO GAMES !!!
  9. Switch eShop Thread

    Price Ninty are asking is a bit steep, but definitely recommend giving the demo a go! Make sure you transfer a few decent Miis over from your Wii / Wii U. Much better playing with people you know or celebrities.
  10. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Yeah, this is right. It's without the Bee Shield. As for the Not So Impossible Lair, you can always choose to start from the beginning if you don't want to cheese it and start right near the end if you do. It works by saving your best bee score at the beginning of each of the (four?) boss fights. At my first attempt I lost 20 bees in the first section, then 17, then 11, then 8. So I could always start section 2 with 40 bees after that. Basically you still have to complete the Lair in under 49 hits, but you don't have to start from the very beginning each time. Definitely much easier. It allows you to learn section 2 / 3 / 4 without having to do it right from the start. I could probably do the whole thing in one run now, but never bothered When I died in the escape section I was trying to improve my bee totals in each part, didn't expect to almost make it to the end. Hence why I started from the last part when I actually finished it.
  11. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    So I've gone and done those two games yesterday. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair - 16:30 to 100%, which was actually much shorter than suggested! Maybe I've still got it? I just need to buy a couple more potions for 1000G but I'd had my fill yesterday after hunting down the final 20 or so T.W.I.T coins. It honestly gives me a nice feeling to know that 35 years after Super Mario Bros., I can pick up a platformer like this (or Celeste from the other end of the spectrum) and still have a really great time. Although YL does nothing particularly new here in terms of straight gameplay, it gives a very good account of itself in the classic DK platformer mould. Things like the interactive overworld and the final boss stage are something a bit different and a bit innovative, but the levels themselves are still very much classic gameplay fashioned on mechanics established in the 1990s. The impossible lair took me 8 goes, which was less than I anticipated in all honesty. I don't know if this is an update, but it's possible to start from each 25% increment using your best bee score. I got to the final boss on a complete run though and then died in the escape section, so doing the final boss a second time and starting with 11 bees was actually pretty easy in the end. Maybe @Hero-of-Time or @drahkon can shed some light here. Did you have to do the entire thing when you played? A great platfromer overall. Highly recommended for anyone who loves the DK games or the genre in general. I must say, getting 100% is far easier in this game than in any DK game I've played. I've still never found everything in DKC2 or the Returns games, this was a walk in the park in comparison. The Medium - I played the back half of this on Saturday night and through yesterday. I've also sat down an watched a few reviews to help me solidify an opinion on it and fairly surprised that I'm hotter on this game than 80% of the reviewers. I had a great time, again, playing through this. The story is the obvious selling point here, and it's true that the game is pretty much a walking simulator with (very light) puzzle elements and (very annoying) quick time events. Undoubtedly, the setting and the audio are the real starts in this game. It is an absolute treat from a cinematic point of view. Some great performances from most, but not all, of the cast members and an extremely eerie vibe that never lets up. As I mentioned the other day, the game has very strong influence from the PS1 horror game days. I also see a little bit of Eternal Darkness in here too. No bad thing at all. It took me around 8 hours to beat and the best thing I could compare it too is a 10-episode interactive Netflix season, both in terms of length and enjoyment. As a game, it starts to wear a little thin towards the end as you're occasionally thrown into situations where you have to do something which is unclear or react quickly when you're not really expecting it. Instadeath is never fun in anything, and is annoying here too when it kicks you back 10-15 mins and you have to repeat stuff. The conclusion to the story may leave a sour taste in some people's mouth, but the build up to the climax is solid, with plenty of twists and turns and some awesome moments of revelation. For that alone, I think it's worth giving a shot. I'm glad I got to play through this on Game Pass and agree with most reviewers who said "wait for a sale" or "rent it". I couldn't recommend it at full price. I missed a couple of achievements but won't be playing through again any time soon to get them. Maybe after a couple of years. I read that the game's development was heavily impacted by COVID-19, which is a shame. The Polish VOs were something that was scrapped because of that and the went with the US ones for mass-market appeal. Fair enough, I guess. If they ever did add the Polish voiceovers, I would definitely run through it again.
  12. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    I've been playing two fantastic games this week but haven't finished either of them yet. First of all - Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair. I'm finally up to 48 bees and about to tackle the final stage. I'm sure it's going to take me quite a few goes so I need a bit of mental preparation before I do it. I've had so much FUN playing this game. I alluded to it in the OT, but this is Retro Studios DK but better. The level design is top-drawer and the overworld is such a pleasure to explore and find secrets in. I had to use a guide for a couple of the tonics as the clues were a little cryptic, but I don't feel bad about it. Still well on course for 1000G once I've done the final level and bought the remaining tonics. Stealth edit - I have 178 T.W.I.T coins, so a few levels to go back and 100% I've also been playing The Medium on Game Pass. I've put in 4 hours so far and have to admit I'm really, really enjoying this game. I don't know if anyone here listens to Defining Duke, which is Last Stand Media's newest podcast focusing on Xbox and PC, but Karik and Matty were not too hot on this game. I can honestly see why, but I've been enjoying it so far. I concede that there is very little "game" to it, and while it definitely has the old-school Silent Hill / Resident Evil (PS1 era) vibe in absolute spades, it definitely plays much more like What Remains of Edith Finch. By that I mean there is largely nothing in the way of puzzle solving, exploration, combat or anything else to be honest. It is a very linear experience which doesn't demand an awful lot from the player. Having said that, I find the story and the setting absolutely mesmerising! I've loved exploring this abandoned hotel and switching between the real / spirit world, which is the game's "hook" if you will. Technically, it's very impressive. Even on Series S, the visuals are supremely impressive, bordering on photo-realism at times thanks to cinematic camera angles and good lighting effects. I'm sure it's miles better on an X, but it still looks fantastic here. I do have a couple of complaints though. Firstly, when you have split screen gameplay between the real / spirit world, the visuals take a massive hit and the framerate absolutely tanks. I'm talking 15-20fps, it's awful. Luckily these sections are rare, but it's a massive pain and looks terrible. The game also seems to be quite buggy still, and a lot of the textures don't load properly. You'll zoom in on something to inspect it, for example, and it takes 2-3 seconds for the hi-res texture to load in. Really takes you out of the experience. My biggest complaint though is with the voice acting. The characters are super interesting in this game, but the voice acting is really bad. I don't mean this in a "they can't act" way, but the fact that everything is American. The game is set in Poland in 1999, made by Polish developers and is very strongly based on the recent history of a very specific region of Poland. I just do not understand for the life of me why they went with the most mainstream voice acting they could find and neglected to include Polish VOs in the game. It would fit the atmosphere so well if they'd done a native audio version of the game and at least pronounced all the place names and character names properly. Maybe a minor complaint, but I really despise it. The game is absolutely crying out for it - subs would be fine! I dunno, is that too nit-picky? I feel like we should be passed that era of gaming by now... Perfect GamePass game, again though. I would not pay £50 for this, but have LOVED playing through it so far.
  13. Returnal (30th April 2021)

    Honestly, this game looks fucking great. Exactly how I would imaging a twin-stick shooter would work in 3D. Love the visuals and the contrast of the super-bright colours over the grey setting. Buttery smooth 60FPS action and a marked visual step-up from the previous gen in terms of textures and effects. As a XSS and Switch owner, I hope it does well on PS5 and sells well. Healthy competition is the best kind of competition. Also hope it comes to PC eventually tomcruiselaugh.jpg.
  14. Football Season 2020-21

    I think they deserve a bit of crust for actually listening to what the fans want, as obscene as the whole thing is, they've at least made a bit of a stand. I was listening to TalkSport this morning and Jim and Simon were saying something about the Prem teams taking 91 or 92% of the domestic and global TV revenue from the PL money. I haven't fact checked it, but I'll go with what I heard. I've also heard that about the Championship but find it hard to believe considering most clubs can barely fill half a stadium on a good day. I know Leeds were getting 20-25 thousand when they were in the Championship until they were in sight of promotion. But at 40 quid a pop, that's not surprising. Not sure how the revenue form the EPL or Championship works. Would imagine viewer numbers are higher in the U.K. than anywhere else but still abysmally low. They're also allowed to sell their own streaming rights in the EPL so I can imagine that also eats into it. I had LUTV for a few seasons and was able to watch games live (from abroad). Definitely seen EPL on TV in Poland, Russia and Latvia but it's never on one of the main sports channels.
  15. Football Season 2020-21

    It's time for a long hard look at how football is run. This is what I would do, I'm sure many won't agree, but whatever. - Deduct 15 points from Liverpool, Man Utd, Arsenal and Tottenham for the next 3 seasons plus this one. - Deduct 10 points from Man City and Chelsea for the next 3 seasons (for at least pulling out before the rest) plus this one. - Spend the next 5 years funding and transitioning the Premier League to a German ownership model where the fans own 51% of each club. - Blanket ban on all non-UK citizens owning or investing in British football clubs. - Premier League clubs get 60%, not 90% of TV revenue. Other 40% doled out between the Football League clubs. - Wage cap across the entirety of Europe, if players want the money, go to Asia or South America. - Low maximum ticket price installed on Premier League football for 2 sectors of each stadium for home and away fans. Safe Standing installed in every ground at the goal-end stands of each stadium. - From 2024, the Champions League will be exclusive to the winners of each European League. One qualifying round for the smaller countries and then a 32 team play-off home and away. over 5 rounds to decide the Champions of Europe. - UEFA cup / Europe League takes on the current 32-team Champion's League model (as biased as it is towards Western Europe). England, Spain, Italy, Germany etc. get more berths. Qualifying rounds. Cup winners of each country also included by coefficient, via qually for smaller countries. Winner gets an automatic place in the following season's CL. Probably won't make as much money and would be nigh on impossible, but it would make English and European football a much purer competition on all fronts.
  16. Football Season 2020-21

    Honestly, I say let them go for it. As Julius alluded to, this is a money move to have games staged in Asia, the US and the rest of the world. Let the "big 6" have their cake and eat it. Let them try and make all the money they think they will. I know the home fans and 99% of the U.K. football fans would completely reject this and simply switch off. I'm already past that point with the Champions League and it's ever-bloated pure idiocy of not even really being a "Champion's" league. Most players would probably walk away if they weren't allowed to play for their country. They'll be left with U.K., Spanish and Italian teams in name only with teams filled with the the type of player who goes to China "for a new challenge" - i.e. ageing journeymen who only care about cash. The quality will dip massively, the fans who actually are interested will be thousands of miles away in India, China and America. The European leagues can carry on without these annoying billionaires thinking they're bigger than the game itself. Would probably give the Premier League and English football the chance to reorganise itself away from the same big teams dominating every year and, after a drop off in quality for a few years, it would thrust better-run clubs into the limelight who can compete on a sensible budget, something the English game has been crying out for for years. As one bloke almost said one time, "I will love it if they piss off, love it".
  17. Football Season 2020-21

    Hahah what a legend. He'll come out of this a hero if this is true. Single-handedly making everyone talk about this rather than his poor performance at Spurs. The Special One.
  18. Yooka Laylee And The Impossible Lair

    I started this on Switch and got about 30% of the way through. Playing it now on Series S and just got my 24th member of the Beetalion. I'm both shocked and not shocked at how good this games is as you get deeper into it. Shocked because the first was pretty average, and they've really knocked it out of the park this time. And I'm not shocked because we always knew these fellas were talented, of course they haven't lost it! Every level throws something new and interesting at you, especially in the second version. Such a great mechanic. The underwater levels are excellent, something I can rarely say about platformers. It tops the Retro DK games for me. The world design is far more interesting, the overworld is a joy, the visuals have so much style and variation, especially when the extra FX are applied. I've done the first 10 levels both times sans a few T.W.I.T. coins here and there, I'm coming up on 100 now. 200 will probably be quite tricky, but I'm determined to 1000G this game.
  19. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    I beat The Touryst over the past couple of days on the Series S. Took me about 5-6 hours to 100% it and it's another decent game from Shin'en which obviously looks gorgeous! It's nothing to really write home about - a solid 7/10, but I enjoyed it for what it was. After a bit of general confusion at the beginning and not really being sure what to do or where to go, I eventually found my way into the first "dungeon". As a whole, The Touryst is essentially a fetch-quest-em-up where you have to travel over the game's 8 islands doing tasks and looking for secrets. That part of the game is fun and there are some cool little set pieces along the way, such as setting up a disco for the tourists on Ybiza, which involves switching on a bunch of lights on, plugging in the sound system and activating the smoke machine. Once all the lighting and smoke effects are in play against the orange sunset, the game really does looks special. Shin'en are truly wizards, this is by far the best art style they've had in any of their games. A mix between low-quality textures (think Minecraft), blocky characters and landscapes (3D Dot Heroes) and exquisite lighting effects (Octopath Traveller). It all comes together beautifully. Unfortunately, the "dungeons" are pretty atrocious. The puzzles are very obtuse and not helped by the awful controls and jumping mechanics. The camera makes gaps impossible to judge and you end up fighting with it way more than you should. Luckily, you won't spend more than half-an-hour in these parts of the game, so it's not too bad. As much as I enjoyed the experience, this is where I'm beginning to really appreciate Game Pass now. I backed out of buying this day one on Switch due to price to content concerns, and I'm glad I did. The game offers little replay value and is fairly straightforward to 100%. 5 hours of gameplay is just right, in my opinion. Any longer and it would begin to outstay its welcome. Glad that I got the chance to play through it here, and I am a little curious about how it looks and runs on Switch (flawless 4K60 on Series S!!). I've enjoyed Shin'en's work in the past, and this is no exception. A fun romp, but not much more. Would recommend giving it a go on Game Pass or picking it up in a fairly deep sale.
  20. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    I loved the first game too. Will get this eventually! Glad to read they haven't just cashed in on the success of the first and made a solid game.
  21. TMNT: Shredder's Revenge

    Genuinely cannot wait for this. DotEmu have garnered enough good will from me to go in blind on day 1 with this game.
  22. Your 2021 Gaming Diary

    Time to get moving! I've just spent the past few days burning through Blast Corps on Rare Replay. What an absolute gem this game is. Even to this day it is still a super unique experience. Like B-K, it's been a number of year since I've played this, must be at least 15. The game holds up incredibly well considering its age and the fact it's a very early 3D game. The amount of variety on offer in terms of challenges and different vehicles is solid, and I think it took me about 8-9 hours to gold every stage on Earth (just got a couple of the extra planets to gold now, but they are much harder). I think the challenge the game offers is what really struck me this time round. It is expertly balanced, ramping up steadily as the game progresses but never into the realms of impossibility. Some of the carrier missions are very tough but there's always the belief in the back of your mind you can do a little better, go a little faster or get rid of that building a few seconds quicker. Golding some of the racing stages or building destroying stages, where there is no carrier, encourages you to really master the controls and find the perfect run in each level. There were instances in the races where I was shaving 0.1 seconds off my lap, every lap. I love that kind of stuff! And the handling (for the most part) is very good. The game is absolutely chock full of secrets to find in order to unlock the post game content, and while I remembered where most of the satellites or scientists were, there were a couple of occasions where I really had to search high and low to get them. I'd also completely forgotten about the Pac-Man inspired levels, which were a great surprise towards the end of the game. The variety in the missions is definitely a big plus for this game. Don't feel like stressing out over the harder carrier missions? Do a couple of races or wander around a finished level looking for secrets and demolishing the remaining buildings. The amount of freedom the game offers is something that is rarely seen in modern games. It took me a good few goes on some of the final carrier missions and some of them are long, like 10-15 mins long and if you mess up right at the end, there are no checkpoints or save states, so it's right back to the start you go. That really adds to the rewarding feeling when you finally do it. Oyster Harbour is a fine example of that. You have shoot a hole into a bunch of buildings to give yourself access to a crane from the start. Once you get there on foot, you have to lower TNT from a crane onto a bridge, then hop into a bulldozer and put some blocks into the ground, but two of them are hidden so if you don't get them, you're done. Following that you have to line up three boats, two of which are quite far away. Do them in the wrong order, you're screwed. You also have to take your bulldozer with you or you don't have time to run back. Then finally, once the carrier is safely across the water, it's a mad-dash back in the final boat for some TNT stranded on an island so you can demolish the final building, which your bulldozer is too small to tackle. It's here where the game really shines, learning the levels and then finally being able to do everything as quickly as possible. There are countless other examples where you're hopping in and out of different vehicles to clear the path quickly and effectively. A couple of levels see you starting in a train with a great view down a valley with the whole level mapped out before your eyes, a great way to build up the tension as your mission begins. The J-Bomb is undoubtedly the best vehicle of destruction - a huge mech suit which slams down on buildings from above. A couple of other smaller mech suits allow you to summersault and jump into buildings from the ground with satisfying 1-up like noises as they crumble. All your traditional construction vehicles are there as well. The Backlash, while a novel idea, is the only one that is genuinely frustrating to use. It's weak at the front and powerful at the rear meaning you have to powerslide your way into buildings to down them quickly, and I can just never get this right. This was the only real moment of frustration as I just couldn't see the link between what I input on the controller and what happened on the screen. I often ended up missing, do too short a slide or too long a slide. Horrible when the clock is against you. The little voice overs have been engrained in my memory from childhood and the OST is still just as good as it ever was, especially Simian Acres. A Banjo before Banjo. Fits perfectly with the "Mid-Western" vibe the game has. Also reminds me of Cotton Eye Joe, which I'm almost certain was the inspiration. Overall, Blast Corps is a classic. A game that stands up extremely well to the test of time and is just a hell of a lot of fun to play while providing a solid level of challenge. It speaks volumes about the sheer talent that was situated in Twycross in the 1990s that this, essentially a B-tier project, managed to accomplish so much. It's an easy 10/10 from me and I'd recommend everyone who hasn't played it to at least give it a go if you can, there is truly nothing else like it. You're just trying to impress me.
  23. Xbox Series S | X Console Discussion

    I forgot to mention this. The controller is really a stunning little piece of kit. Like you say, it's a perfect size and super comfortable. I have a blue One controller for my PC and there are very subtle improvements to the Series controller which are great. The texture on the sticks, triggers and grips is super rough and much improved over the previous edition. Doesn't feel like cheap smooth plastic. The triggers have subtle rumble and force feedback in them. Maybe not to a PS5 level, but definitely an improvement over the One pad. The D-pad is WAY better. It's not a Nintendo style one this time, but it still feels very responsive. My blue one has broken and double taps right when I press it once, a common problem, apparently. Horrible in menus. The way this one is built means that shouldn't be a problem this time round. The share butting is great for instant screenshots and videos. Works just as well as Nintendo's. Better to hold for long periods than Nintendo's pro controller, slightly more comfortable overall, and the added benefit of superb triggers.