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Caligula_K3

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  1. Yep. This was a reminder (which I really shouldn't need at my age) that rumours on the internet are just about worthless. From the sounds of it, Microsoft is just going to be porting a few games out, probably their AA games like Pentiment, as they've already done with games like Ori. I see it making sense as a strategy: Pentiment is not going to convince someone to buy an XBox, so now that it's been out a couple of years, you might as well sell it on other platforms, make money, and get your branding out there. Anyway, I'm relieved that they're still committed to their hardware, if only because I just bought an XBox this year. As for their longterm strategy with Gamepass... I see what they're going for, but it's hard to know how successful it will be, especially if console sales plateau. But then again, it looks like the video game industry in general is in trouble right now, aside from Nintendo. Although PS5s are outselling XBoxes at a huge margin, even Sony seems pretty subdued. AAA Video game development simply takes too much time and money and it's getting riskier and riskier. I know Bioware is its own special case, but I still find it incredible that we got three Dragon Age games in five years and now it's been ten since the last one. Or you can look at Rocksteady: three Arkham games in six years, and then nine years to release Kill the Justice Squad, which seems to not be doing so hot. We may be headed for a general crash soon.
  2. For me the worry is that if all Xbox games go to Playstation as well, then it means Microsoft is probably abandoning their hardware sooner rather than later. Which would mean fewer people buying XBoxes (as it's viewed as a dying ecosystem) and less incentive for other studios to release games there. I also do worry about the effects of an essentially Playstation monopoly in the console space. Obviously Nintendo will still be there, but they do their own thing. Anyway, we'll see what Microsoft actually announces next week.
  3. I'm rereading these books for the first time since I was a teenager. I'm only on the Great Hunt, but oh man am I glad at some of the changes the showrunners made this season. Selene in the books is simply ridiculous, as is the stupidity of our main characters... I'd also forgotten how little Mat does in the early books, aside from whine, pout, and act out his best Gollum impression.
  4. There are a lot of rumours going around about X Box getting out of the hardware business and making all their exclusives multi-platform. The X-Box team has announced a press conference about their business direction next week. Who knows what's true or not, but this may have been a very bad year for me to buy an X-Box for the first time in my life... On the Switch side of things, I finished and 100%ed Mario Wonder. It's a completely delightful game, and I'm so appreciative of the creativity bursting out the seams. The wonder effects are generally amazing, but they're usually the cherry on top of fantastic level design, so that the game doesn't feel just like a series of gimmicks. And there are also some difficult platforming challenges in here: the Special World levels and the final marathon levels were very tough, as usual, but even many of the main game levels had their challenges. And I deeply love the multiplayer implementation. Definitely my favourite 2D Mario since Super Mario World. I highly recommend.
  5. Thanks for the tips. I'd started the Ranni questline on my own, but yes, there's no way I would have finished it without a guide. You need to talk to a doll three times? Huh? Meanwhile I still never figured out how to get Nepheli to stop moping. I actually beat Elden Ring yesterday (with Ranni's ending). It was a pretty hilariously anti-climactic ending, but then again, I don't think any ending would have worked for me since I'm so over Miyazaki's approach to storytelling. By the end of the game, the only two things/people that From Software had gotten me to care about were the turtle in a pope hat and the pretty tree. It was a great game overall. Definitely weaker after Leyndell, but the last parts of Dark Souls games have always been weaker than their beginnings and middles. The gameplay is generally top notch all the way through and they created a beautiful world that was fun to explore. Alongside Dark Souls 3, they've also finally removed many of the most frustrating parts of Dark Souls gameplay. I'm sure I'll play again sometime, either in New Game + or with a completely different build (sorcery, maybe?).
  6. I'm playing this game for the first time and the hilarious thing is that I somehow managed to figure all of this stuff with Blaidd out by pure luck. Yet I then spent about twenty minutes trying to do the gesture and it never actually worked. Such an exercise in frustration. I completely agree with you, by the way. Elden Ring is a fantastic game. I'm working through the Mountaintop of the Giants, which is not my favourite area, but I'm still having fun. The game is let down by a few things, which I think make it fall short of classic status for me. My main criticisms are some very random difficulty spikes, but especially the main and side quest design that you point to. Even for the main quest: I was trying to get the second half of the medallion to get up to the Altus Plateau. Gideon told me to go "find the Albinauric woman" near Liurnia. I looked for her for about two hours, before looking it up and realizing that the woman he was referring to was a woman who became a spirit Ash that I had picked up ten hours earlier. Maybe she had given a clue about the location of the second half of the medallion when I met her. But there was no way in hell I remembered any of that. I ended up looking up where the medallion was (on the other side of the map, as it happens), and since then, decided that I am very ok using guides for all quests. I know Souls fans love the esoteric style of storytelling, but it also just doesn't work for me at all in terms of producing any emotion. Characters die or go through things and I just don't care. And I've said before in this thread that I think going with this style of storytelling for such a huge game was a mistake.
  7. Yeah, I remember that I just looked up the paths through a couple of the game's cave systems, because I found it very frustrating fumbling around in the dark on a time limit. The cave systems weren't visually striking either, so it's not like I would remember the correct path on each loop. I also found the "final loop" had its frustrating elements. But yes, small complaints about an incredible game. Elden Ring: I've beaten Lleyndell, the capital, and am now beginning to explore the snowy areas beyond. Lleyndell was an amazing area/dungeon (Anor Lando is my favourite part of Dark Souls, and this lived up to that sort of area), and a really nice cap to what's been a fantastic part of the game. I'm a bit worried about what's next...
  8. Count me as another who enjoyed Inquisition. I'm hoping to replay it this year. Will DA4 be the greatest game of all time? Probably not, but I see no reason why it can't be a very good game. I'm in a really fun stretch of Elden Ring.
  9. This strategy sounds very appealing to me and I will look into finding the Ashes you describe. Outer Wilds is amazing. The sense of discovery in that game is unparalleled. I've been meaning to play again now that it's been a few years and that DLC has been released.
  10. Still chugging along at Elden Ring, about 35 hours in now. I'm done with Raya Lucaria Academy and starting to explore Caelid. I'm still having a great time, but some of my usual Dark Souls gripes are starting to creep in after being blessedly absent for the beginning of the game. I've also been playing Super Mario Wonder, which is a great palate cleanser after too much Elden Ring. It's such a fun, creative, and hilarious game. I'm still pretty early on, so it's been generally easy, but I do appreciate the exploration aspects of the levels, and there have been a few with some platforming challenges.
  11. Further into Elden Ring now. After defeating Margit, I got through the Stormveil Castle dungeon pretty quickly and managed to take down Godrick on my first try (albeit with some help from my pet jellyfish). I may have overleveled myself... What a great game (so far, at least). The ends of Dark Souls games tend to be much worse than their beginnings - I hope that doesn't happen here.
  12. I would be very happy if they cut the Moiraine rescue arc. It was ultimately such a waste of time, not to mention undercut the one death in the entire series. When they get to Fires of Heaven, let them just kill off Moiraine.
  13. Not sure I really needed the prequel movies, as much as I've loved the Foresaken actors so far. I ran late on watching Season 2, but I really liked it and thought it was a huge improvement over the first. Not everything worked (Lan moping, some of the Perrin stuff, Lan moping), but in general they did a much better job defining the Two Rivers characters. The Seanchean were appropriately horrifying, and most importantly, they made the Foresaken into great villains. Every scene with Ishamael and Lanfear was excellent. My only hope is that they bring the Ishamael actor back for the main show when he gets reincarnated - he was so good. I'm very excited for Season 3, especially with all these great actors being hired.
  14. I've started playing Elden Ring, about 7 hours in. I haven't done much aside from go around Limgrove slowly leveling up, completing dungeons, looting things, killing bosses, and getting killed by Margit. I'm having a great time. I appreciate that it's removed a lot of the most annoying (though not all) features of the Dark Souls games. It's also nice to play a FromSoftware game where I'm not anxious every single moment- it's great that you can ride away from fights you don't want to complete, or give up on a hard boss and return later on, or just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the world. Thanks, by the way, to everyone who posted in the Elden Ring thread a couple years ago. Your tips have been very, very helpful.
  15. Mini-games, sidequests, emergent gameplay, etc... Can make a world feel lived in. This is ultimately why I love the two new Zelda games so much. The main quests are fun and very well designed, but the fun in a really good open world/sandbox game is creating your own fun. The last GTA game I seriously played was GTA San Andreas, but I can say that I definitely spent 90% of my time in that game just messing around. Hell, even if the main story sucks mini-games and side quests can make a game worth playing. I'm never going to finish Yakuza 0 because I can't get into the plot and the style of storytelling, but I had a great time for 15 hours disco-dancing, karaokeing, and teaching fake-punks how to be badass by telling them to talk about adopting puppies. GTA games just aren't for me; as I've gotten older, the world has gotten darker, and as the graphics have become more realistic, I'm more and more uncomfortable playing games that are essentially mass murder simulators. Rockstar are incredible at designing games, though, and I'm sure this will be a great one. (And count me in among those impressed by the graphics. But then again, I've been mainly playing Switch games for the past five years. On the other hand, as graphics get more photo-realistic, the uncanny valley effect does increase for me. I do also, again, have trouble with photo-realistic graphics in a game like GTA). As for Dreadwolf... I'm disappointed that we're only going to be hearing about it in the summer! I can't believe it's going to be more than a ten year gap between Inquisition and this. Fingers crossed EA is aiming for a short marketing cycle and that it'll be out by next Fall.
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