Catching Up – Xbox One in 2018

We’re approaching the end of 2018 and I’ve just got myself a brand new Xbox One S, five years into the lifespan of Xbox One. It’s a new world for me as I’ve been playing nothing but Nintendo stuff for the last few years, having a great time it must be said. I never had a PS4 either so this is my first time dipping into the 2013 “next-gen” console family, which is now this-gen, or half-gen to the Pro and X which will be last-gen again next year. Phew. Whatever you want to call it, I have a lot of gaming to catch up on and I thought this was a unique perspective worth a little writeup. I was lucky enough to get my XB1S bundled with Red Dead Redemption 2 and Forza Horizon 4, two very expensive new release games. The whole bundle was $100-200 AU cheaper than a Switch or PS4 by themselves, which is ridiculous. Xbox is priced very well and has huge support in Australia, and I was in a good spot to take advantage of it. It just felt like the right time with Nintendo’s Switch holiday lineup mainly focused on two games I’m not that interested in. I got home with my new Xbox and it felt like Christmas again. The old, fun, child-like Christmas, not the new HD remake “Adult Christmas” which is full of disappointing social engagements. This was going to be fun on my own terms.

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Racing Developers – Let Me PLAY YOUR GAMES

Polyphony, Codemasters, System 3, Turn 10, SimBin, Brain In A Jar, this is directed towards ALL of you. I’ve been enjoying Supercar Challenge lately with my new wheel, playing a good few hours every few days. It’s the most satisfyingly realistic driving simulator I’ve ever felt. However, I’ve still only unlocked 3 cars in the game, out of 44. There are 41 cars I can’t drive. Despite the fact that this is a videogame, my options are artificially limited by in-game money earned by competing in hundreds of races with dull, easy, brain-dead AI opponents. That’s no knock on Supercar Challenge’s AI racers, all racing games have AI I don’t care about.

Should I really have to spend 50 hours in career mode just to enjoy Time Trial properly? Would it be considered a crime to let me drive the cars I want from the start? This is mindblowingly terrible design that has somehow become the standard in console racing games. Time Trial is what I love – I want to drive to my own limits and challenge myself, to properly appreciate the physics of these fantastic simulators. Why can’t I take ADVANTAGE of the fact that this is a videogame, and drive the car I want?

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Forza vs Gran Turismo, which is better?

Ah, the age old question. It’s a debate that’s raged on over the internet gaming community for the past decade or so. Gran Turismo has dazzled people over the years with its fantastic presentation, wealth of options and satisfying career mode. Forza has emerged with improved driving physics and community aspects, and now thanks to Kinect support you can move your head in your living room to look around realistically inside your TV. If only there was some kind of “joystick” device for such a feature, maybe in the future. Nevertheless, both Forza and Gran Turismo have a lot to offer. For someone looking for a true racing experience, which one is the best bet?

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