Xbox and Motion Controls, Will Series X Leave Us Aimless?

If you’ve played any shooter on a Nintendo system in the last decade, it probably had gyro or pointer motion controls. Metroid Prime Trilogy, Splatoon, Zelda, and now Fortnite, Zombie Army Trilogy, Doom, Duke Nukem, Borderlands, and many other third party games are adopting it after the huge success of Splatoon 2, and general ease of use.

Even Sony have adopted this for 2 generations now, though you’d be forgiven for not noticing it. Much like their handheld legacy (just kidding), these features weren’t really used that much nor embraced. But the fact is, the Dual Shock has motion control and it’s used in a lot of big games like Gran Turismo Sport to steer. It’s not used nearly enough and it’s technically very primitive, but the option is there.

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Lonely Mountains: Downhill – Open Air Time Trials

What a great day. There’s nothing like being out in nature, completely free. You don’t have anywhere to be, and you’re riding your bike happily along. You start riding a bit faster, not because you need to be anywhere, but because the mountain is daring you. You scoot around the corner to get a better view, then get faster and faster downhill. WOOOOO!! YEAH! Suddenly it’s getting twisty… better slow down. Nah, you can handle this!

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Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot – Blow Up The Pokies

If you think being in lockdown for a few months is bad, try 7 years. Now imagine you are locked in a casino. Someone has come to bail you out, but it’s too late. You’ve become a bitter, twisted, addicted, Borderlands enemy.

It’s not all bad. Meet “All-in” Alan, he’s having the time of his life. “7 years? I didn’t even notice! My big win is just around the corner!”. As long as he has his optimism, he’s winning on the inside.

Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot is the first paid DLC released for Borderlands 3, and just like a real casino, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. You’re also not going to get your money back. It was hard to understand the angle of this before playing it, but it starts to make sense when you get there. This casino is so big, it exists as its own planetary structure floating in space by itself. The owner is missing in action and security protocols have come into effect, locking people inside for the last 7 years with no way out. Many events have unfolded in those years so you’re not just “going to a casino” in this campaign, but discovering an entire civilization of depraved casino dwellers.

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Borderlands 3 – Revenge of the 80s

The Cartel has arrived to take over Borderlands 3, with the mandatory lock-down requirements of 80s synth music, sports cars and golden toilets.

You’re still gonna need your own toilet paper, though. Everyone here wipes their arse with money.

Revenge of the Cartels is a free event for Borderlands 3 that runs from April 23 to June 4. It’s a rather short romp but offers impressive production values, with a new area, new enemies and new music. It takes place in a villa-style mansion suspended above a giant waterfall and surrounded by an immense natural landscape where dinosaurs wouldn’t look out of place. Continue reading “Borderlands 3 – Revenge of the 80s”

Resident Evil Resistance – Itchy. Tasty. Laggy.

“These f’**k noobs are gonna get us all killed.” – wiseguy69

That was the first thing I heard when I played Resident Evil Resistance. First week of its release, two of us were level 1 in our first game, someone was level 3, and this one person with voice chat was level 7. None of us had a clue what was going on, and this level 7 expert was constantly whining instead of helping. Needless to say, we all died and nobody enjoyed it. Welcome to Resident Evil Online.

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Gato Roboto – Meowtroid Zero Kitten

What if Metroid was a cat? You would finally be able to crawl. It would also be a completely different game with different level design, different movement options and Nintendo probably would have chosen Yoshi to star in the game instead. Hmmm, that wouldn’t be such a bad timeline. We would have a whole genre of Yoshivanias. Moving on from this alternative past, we have a brand new Indie game called Gato Roboto with a similar aesthetic to the original Metroid on NES. You could argue it’s even more ancient as it lacks a full colour palette. However, once you start playing this game it comes to life and impresses with modern movement and design.

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Resident Evil 3 – Nemesis Never Left

Some would argue this game shouldn’t have been remade, citing it as the “worst Resident Evil game”, but I think that is the perfect reason to remake it. It’s finally getting some justice! I’ve played Resident Evil 3 before and the unique thing about it to me, was always the environments and the perspective from an event happening to you while you’re in the middle of the city. Almost every other Resident Evil involves the main characters purposefully heading into a dangerous situation, but this one takes you by surprise. The city is being torn apart by chaos, and someone wants you dead. Yes YOU, specifically.

In this remake, the destruction and simultaneous beauty of Raccoon City is more evident than ever before, and that’s why I think it was worth remaking. It provides an absolutely stunning spectacle, with the best graphics imaginable with more control over the gameplay than ever.

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A Plague Tale: Innocence – Life Before Toilet Paper

The year is 1343 AD, in a small village in medieval-era France. You’re having a nice day when a messenger runs into town screaming. There’s been an outbreak!

The Black Death! It’s coming! The plague is coming!

What do you do? Do you believe it? Do you assume the worst, or shrug it off? This could be a lie to force people out of town. It could be true. It could have taken weeks for this news to get here. Some people hid in their homes. Some people traveled to find more information. Some took to alchemy. Some descended into madness and violence. A Plague Tale: Innocence tells this story from the very vulnerable perspective of young children. They are separated from their parents, and forced to face a mass outbreak of disease on their own, dealing with all the best and worst aspects of human behavior on the way.

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The Evil Within – Season Pass of Horrors

After taking control of the evil within myself, I sought out more forms of evil to overcome outside. I found the perfect challenge that comes in the form of a “Season Pass”, full of broken dreams and empty promises. The Evil Within has 3 single player DLC campaigns made after the launch of the game, and they are quite unique. I played through all three of them and thought I’d offer my thoughts. Was it worth it? Allow me to summarise my experience with each one. Continue reading “The Evil Within – Season Pass of Horrors”

The Evil Within – Insanely Good

You didn’t even click on this article. Last thing you know, you were on Twitter. But there’s no Twitter tab open, and no back button. You look up at your browser and the menu has frozen. Discord won’t open. You look away from the screen, and the door in your room has disappeared. There’s nowhere to go, nothing else to look at. The only thing you can do is read this.

The Evil Within is a horror game that creates strong feelings of fear and despair. It bends reality and breaks the rules of logic with its environments and gameplay. Walls disappear, enemies morph, traps await. You don’t know how you got here, or how to get out. All you can do is adapt and stay as sane as possible through all the crazy.

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Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – Psychosis Simulator

Is this really worth writing about- you didn’t enjoy it- you liked it- you don’t know if you liked it- you can’t write- you should write- this game might be misunderstood- you can do it- every experience is different- the game isn’t worth it- the game is worth it- at least it’s interesting- don’t hit that submit button there’s no going back.

These are my friends from Hellblade who stayed in my head. This game has a very large emphasis on sound design, as everything you do is narrated by dozens of tiny voices whispering at you constantly throughout the game. It’s made to imitate the feeling of psychosis and mental illness and warns you of its heavy themes before you start the game. Senua’s Sacrifice is a very personal journey where you explore very detailed environments and the dark corners of your mind.

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Forza Community Spotlight

Forza started with a bang on the original Xbox, but by the time Forza 5 rolled around it was gaining a lot of negative press based on the way they were exploiting consumers. I even wrote an article about it here back then and subsequently avoided the Xbox brand for 5 years. Times have indeed changed as I’ve found myself absolutely blown away by the latest Forza games and the state of the series. Not only has Forza Horizon created one of the most fun experiences in gaming with a new open structure, the core Forza sim series has righted all its wrongs and now exists as a wholesome, playable and welcoming game.

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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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Xbox Adrift: Can Microsoft save the Xbox One? Should they?

An Xbox One X floats across a stormy sea.

Xbox One has the smallest presence in the gaming industry that the brand has ever had. It’s plain to see that while SS Microsoft sprouts wings and sails towards the clouds, Xbox is a raft floating hopelessly adrift in a choppy sea of home consoles. Microsoft are an astonishingly successful company who have been more than happy to abandon unsuccessful side ventures. Yet despite Xbox costing the company billions and forcing them to obscure the financial performance of the division every annual report, they remain committed to the brand. With the battle for the living room over and lost, it’s time for Microsoft to let go of consoles and reposition itself in the gaming industry. Continue reading “Xbox Adrift: Can Microsoft save the Xbox One? Should they?”