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Showing posts from October, 2016

No Man's Sky - A Lukewarm Take

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I really wanted to like No Man's Sky.

It has a wonderful sense of style. I love the warm colour palette and it absolutely nails the seventies sci-fi vibe. No Man's Sky looks a treat, but I'm struggling to think of anything else nice to say about it.

Expectations were through the roof. I'm not interested in whose fault this was, who should be thrown in prison or banned from NeoGAF. What might have been a PSN gem was instead miscast as a AAA experience. Hello Games is a talented studio, but this was never going to be Mass Effect Infinite or Skyim: The Next Generation.

I was expecting something more limited in scale. I thought it would be a beautiful and relaxing game of exploration and gathering, something I could chill out to after a stressful day at work. I wanted to be able to wind down by picking some Martian flowers and discovering some oddly-shaped rocks. That sounded pleasant, and realistic, but NMS let me down.

It should have worked as an explore-and-gather expe…

I'm Buying a Dreamcast

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I never really bothered with the Dreamcast. Back in 1999, I was content with my PlayStation and had lost patience with Sega, following the premature demise of my beloved Saturn.

Sega, the platform-holder of my childhood, was entirely absent from my late teens. It was all about PS1 during my final years at school, and university was dominated by PS2 and GameCube. I have hazy but otherwise excellent memories of three gloriously boozy years playing Quake Arena, ISS and Timesplitters with friends. Shen-who?

A decade later, after moving back to England after my first stint in Japan, I decided to buy a Dreamcast and catch up. It was part of a short-lived and expensive eBay infatuation. I picked up half a dozen games and played them for a couple of hours in total. I thought they were nice, but soon returned to my PS3, Wii and 360.

Fast forward another half a decade, and I'm wanting to give the DC a proper go. I'd been considering it for a while, but it was the recent Summer of Dream…

Until Dawn: In Memoriam

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WARNING: This post is full of spoilers for Until Dawn
I wanted them all dead. I spent the first two chapters of Until Dawn hoping that the killer would hurry up and slaughter the cast of annoying, generic, horror-movie teens. I decided that I would do my best to speed things up, purposefully missing QTEs and choosing options that looked likely to result in death. I wanted a speedy resolution so I could move onto something else.

But I couldn't keep it up. Within an hour, I had made an about-turn and was doing my best to keep these horny idiots alive. I started to care, and enjoyed trying to keep them out of harms way.

The twists were fairly obvious but that didn't impede my enjoyment. I had the flame-thrower guy pegged as an ally from the moment he offered his hand to Emma and Hannah, and it was pretty obvious that Josh was the “killer” in the house, though the saw stunt threw me for a minute. I thought the totem pole clues were an excellent addition, providing just enough info…

A Reprise: Rez Infinite & Area X

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Last month, I tried Rez Infinite VR at Tokyo Game Show. It was a very short demo of a very familiar game. It confirmed something that I already knew, that Rez is excellent, but overall I was underwhelmed by my first experience with VR.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to try Rez Infinite again, this time at a launch event. Enhance Games have set-up shop in an event space in Harajuku and are running demos into next week. It's open to the public and appointments are made on the day, so do check it out if you're in town. I arrived at 7pm and was able to claim one of the last slots of the day. With thirty minutes to burn, I grabbed a bite to eat, drank some beer and LINE'd a few friends to let them know of my evening plans, before returning for my demo. It was a rather pleasant start to my Saturday night.

I love being back in Tokyo!

From the outset, it was a much better experience than the TGS demo. Better surroundings, better explanation and set-up, a tighter fit on the head…

Close to Paradise

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Something strange happened the other day. For the briefest of moments, a split second of madness, I thought about buying an Xbox One. Forza Horizon 3 was to blame.

I don't need an Xbox One. I'm quite content with my PS4, and the 3DS and Vita have me well covered when the telly is unavailable. My back-up home console this generation, the Wii U, has been boxed-up since March and I see no reason to unpack it any time soon. I struggle to put aside an hour each evening for games and, when I do play, I'm usually drifting off during load screens. So very hardcore.

Honestly, I don't want an Xbox One. There's not enough space under our TV, Yen in my bank account or games on my Xbox, must-play list. I couldn't give a toss about Halo; Gears of War bores me and I can't think of any other Microsoft exclusives of note. Is Crackdown a thing that people play? Most importantly, I don’t want to be the only person in Japan to buy an Xbox One this week, because that would be…