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Topic: Pure Xbox Game Club - Mirror's Edge (January)

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LtSarge

@ralphdibny I mean, most of the candidates were not really "suitable" for Christmas in general haha.

But yeah, looking forward to playing it soon. I have so many games going on right now, such as Pokémon, Kingdom Hearts and Fable, so I don't know when I'll start it up. Not to mention Shadow of the Colossus on Push Square Game Club soon. So I'm glad it became Dante just because it isn't that long of a game. I'm sure most of us here will also have plenty to play in December due to all the Holiday titles, so it's at least good that the game is fairly short.

LtSarge

ralphdibny

@LtSarge haha yeah. I don't think there's many Christmas games to be honest. Arkham Origins comes to mind.

I'm glad Dante's Inferno got chosen though but I would have been happy if it was either Doom game too as I've already played them recently. I'm also glad that SotC is the next Push Square game if that's the case too.

I'm moving in 16 days so lots to plan and sort out in that time and after, plus work and plus Christmas. I just don't have time for additional gaming in December on top of polishing off Control and whatever else is in my non democratised personal gaming schedule.

I would have had to make time for Mirrors Edge if that was chosen however! I'm glad that will get saved for a future month as I am quite interested in playing that game!!

ralphdibny

Banjo-

@ralphdibny 😂. I haven't played Dante's Inferno and it seems that it's not too long although I always take much longer than people on Howlongtobeat.com. Seriously, how do they play the games? If possible, I'll play Doom Eternal as well because it's a huge game in terms of size so I can free storage up. Yes, I could erase it and download it but after playing all Gears of War games this year and Doom (2016) before them, I'm in the mood. I'll try to play both in December.

Banjo-

Balta666

I have downloaded the game last night and as tomorrow I have a free day I might start it (pending on the progress in Symphony of the night)

P.s: also today's is the birthday of a good friend and we are going out for drinks so let's see if I am in the mood for gaming tomorrow

Edited on by Balta666

Balta666

themightyant

@ralphdibny Just in the nick of time my Quantum Break review.

This is my third playthrough of the game. I played it twice at launch choosing opposing options, finding all the worldbuilding logs and lore etc. This time I just went for a quick A->B type speedrun. As such i'm going to split this review into two, first my thoughts and memories the first time I played it and second my thoughts after the most recent playthrough.

A little scene setting: I've been a fan of Remedy since their second game Max Payne on PC and have played, and enjoyed, every game of theirs since... except Agents of Storm on mobile. I also love Sci-fi, and TV drama, as such this was a project that was perfectly pitched for someone like me.

My thoughts/review from 2016
There is a solid story here, interesting premise and general plot, layered with memorable characters from Jack and William Joyce through Beth Wilder and Paul Serene, but especially Martin Hatch. The performances are fantastic, and the facial capture was industry leading at the time.

The combination of an action based narrative game and television drama really worked for me and while I know it was an expensive game that didn't hit sales targets - it failed to sell over 200,000 at retail in the US first month - i'm surprised, and think it's a pity, we haven't seen this format again.

As ever with Remedy there is a real X-factor, a core concept that is utterly fascinating and compelling that manages to plaster over some of the less good parts of the game... and there definitely are some.

While the general story is really good i'm not sure the story telling always is. The way the story is told and slowly drip-fed to keep you hooked starts to grate a little after a while, every answer opens up more questions and we rarely have ANY satisfying resolutions. It's a bit like the TV show LOST in that you're enjoyment will largely depend on if you like the journey or the destination more? Thankfully I typically like the journey more, so was more content than some here, albeit still a little frustrated.

Additionally, while they were clearly lining up a potential sequel, there are far too many unanswered questions at the end. Some of the additional logs and collectables help fill in a few gaps but we shouldn't have to jump through so many hoops to only get a hint at major plot points like "Who, or what, the hell is Hatch?", "Who is the mysterious semi-invisible Grey-fox like assassin we see pop up from time to time?" and many more Questions, questions and more questions. While we don't need all the answers, a little intrigue is always a good thing after all, there shouldn't be as many open plot threads either, that is poor storytelling.

Furthermore the Junction system while primarily designed to add replayability is very surface level. You can watch the different versions of the TV episodes (There are 8 in total. 1 for each choice at the end of 4 chapters) and they are mostly scene for scene with a few changes here and there. It's true some of the secondary characters' (Charlie, Liam etc.) fates change significantly based on your choices - The final episodes are more starkly different - but it doesn't really affect the main plot or follow up episodes, it's all a bit smoke and mirrors. The more you see through this the less satisfying it is. I remember feeling the same when I started replaying Telltale's The Walking Dead I actually preferred just one playthrough rather than messing up personal head canon. I think they would have done better to pick one main story and then concentrate on it.

The gameplay is also a weaker element. Remedy are quite reactive in their design approach, criticism from each game is clearly taken on board and effects their design philosophy on the next one. Alan Wake's biggest complaint was it's pretty poor mostly flashlight gameplay and here they have at least tried to spice it up a little with powers and guns that are more of a natural continuation of Max Payne than anything from Wake. It helps but it is still not as polished or fluid as it could be and quite limiting in what you can do. Considering the lavish budget on everything else the slightly clunky gunplay stands out even more.

Conclusion
While that may seem like a long list of problems, ultimately most of those complaints don't really matter in the grander scheme. This is a game/tv show about plot and characters that does enough to keep us enthralled for the ride. That's good entertainment in my book and I really enjoyed it. But it is once again a typical Remedy game, in other words a game with so much potential and initial intrigue that doesn't quite nail the landing.

8/10

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

themightyant

My thoughts in 2021
5 years later my views are slightly less favourable. I still think the plot and characters are as interesting as ever, but as a GAME it is often frustrating. I really noticed the inflexible and antiquated design of much of the gameplay.

All the time puzzles (like the ship section) have just one solution. When you fail a step of these puzzles you get an instant failure state, a load screen and often the checkpoint is several steps further back than you would expect.

Control is often taken away from the player, or progress is slowed, either following a character or waiting for a specific line of dialogue to finish before allowing the next door to open.

It's true I was trying to rush through the game as I'd already played it twice, but it was frustrating to not be able to play at my own pace for large parts of it. This just reinforces that it feels like a TV drama first, game second.

The combat gameplay is even more clunky than I remember. We have these powers but they aren't always all that interesting and don't lead to much variation or emergent gameplay as you might expect. Once you have beaten one type of enemy once it's the same thing every time. The AI is pretty awful too, you can run into the middle of the room and stand there and survive for quite a while.

Aside: Interestingly having now played their next game Control it fixes a LOT of these issues and you are able to approach situations with far more freedom and choice. And you can play at your own pace far more as you aren't gated as often.

It often fails the "show don't tell" mantra with long bits of exposition and dialogue that are shoehorned in to push the plot forward.

Plus points.. Generally the graphics still hold up really well a generation later. Facial capture is still great as are the performances. It's a pretty game. Though to my eyes the film grain is far too excessive, as is the constant time ripple and fracture effects which become more of a distraction that anything. Performance is much better than on launch Xbox One but still inconsistent on Series X, could do with a 60fps patch! Much of this gameplay side of things feels style over substance at times.

Conclusion: 5 years on
Again plenty of smaller complaints. Regardless it is still good where it matters. It is strong entertainment, and is still absolutely worth playing. It's just a shame that, much like a lot of Remedy's work, there is a lot of great promise and build up, that still doesn't quite stick the landing.

Re-review score: 7/10

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

ralphdibny

@BlueOcean I'm sort of quite tempted to play Dante's inferno because I like seeing how hell is depicted in different games but yeah, duno if I can deal with playing another god of war style game also I have a lack of time this month!

@Balta666 which did you download? Quantum break or Dante's inferno? Hope you enjoyed the drinks!

@themightyant very interesting to read your thoughts on the game in two different time periods. Quite fitting really considering the theme of the game 😅

I think you certainly understood more of what was going on than I did. I didn't even know "who or what is Hatch" was even a question lol. I just thought he was Hatch!

ralphdibny

ralphdibny

Happy holidays to all. This month's game is Dante's Inferno which I believe is Santa's favourite game. He plays it with the elves and Mrs Claus. It's a very happy game with bright colours and chirpy music. After completing it, Santa flies directly to your chimney and drops a present down it. When you open the present, you realise he has delivered you....

Pure Hellfire!!!!

Dante's Inferno is a 360 game available on game pass playable on Xbox One/Series.

Here are some HLTB stats....

Main Story - 8 Hours
Main + Extras - 9 Hours
Completionist -16 Hours

Enjoy all!!

Some taglist... let me know if you want to be removed or if you want to be added...

@Tothington91 @MAC26 @XBontendo @Justifier @LtSarge @Tjuz @nessisonett @crippyd @Krzzystuff @sib @Ryu_Niiyama @LeanerFasterStronger @cracked_seal @Mr-Fuggles777 @Mundaney @KilloWertz @Beagle @antifyre @Magabro @themightyant @ZeD @K1LLEGAL @Balta666 @Bmartin001 @Fran27 @BlueOcean @R1spam


List of games for next month... Feel free to suggest more. Votes start from Zero again.

Dead Space
Doom 3
Mirrors Edge
Perfect Dark
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Kameo: Elements of Power
Crysis
Marvel Avengers
Doom Eternal

ralphdibny

themightyant

@BlueOcean "I always take much longer than people on Howlongtobeat.com. Seriously, how do they play the games?" You're not alone, I usually take at least 25% longer.

I used to watch my flatmate playing and he would often just see if he could run past every fight and would only fight when specifically gated. I asked him about it and he saw it as a waste of time if it wasn't essential. Meanwhile I kill EVERYONE... perhaps i'm genocidal deep inside

Furthermore he would literally mainline it straight to the end of each scene and not pick up anything that wasn't directly in his path. Meanwhile I feel I have to check every corner for collectibles and secrets. There's probably a better middle ground, but each of us are happy with our playstyles. But it does make the HLTB only a rough guide.

themightyant

themightyant

@ralphdibny Thanks as ever the admin, much appreciated.

Looking forward to Dante's Inferno though it may be hard this month with Halo the holidays and others. Not to mention i'm thinking of speedrunning (at my slow pace) Man of Medan before it leaves Game Pass in a couple of weeks.

To kick off the new year in January I feel like we need some fresh blood for next months game so I am going to vote for The Gunk. The developer Image & Form have made some absolutely brilliant titles in the Steamworld series (Dig 1&2, Heist, Quest, etc.) but this is their first foray into 3D. Looking forward to this one.

Re: my Quantum Break review above. Not sure I did understand it much more than others. But I did have a LOT of questions at the end. Some unanswered questions are important to spark intrigue and debate - it's part of what Basic Instinct is actually a good thriller, did she/didn't she? and Inception sparks such wonderful conversation - but I felt QB left FAR too much up to interpretation. Hatch was killed in (I think) all the different timelines, sometimes several times over, but he was always still there at the end. The hidden logs suggested he was a "shifter" a life form distorted by Chronon particles who can control himself in many timelines, hence he can't really, or easily, be killed. This is a pretty big plot point for me and it was frustrating to have it only loosely referenced in a few obscure places. There were many other questions like that I had at the end. Still a good bit of entertainment and recommended.

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

Banjo-

@themightyant I usually multiply two times their average and it works for me. A bit less, actually. Many people didn't like Final Fantasy XV but I played the Royal Edition (that fixes a lot of things) and I loved it. I spent a lot of time playing that game on Xbox One X (it's on my Xbox Museum) but of course you can rush it and beat it much sooner. When I rush a game, I don't really enjoy it so it's the opposite of "waste of time" for me. 2D platformers are a different thing. If I know them well it's a lot of fun to beat the levels quickly. I mean the good ones, not the indie ones (LOL). For example, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (3&Knuckles is better but not as streamlined) and Super Mario World, the best platformer ever developed by Nintendo (IMO) are a joy to play running because of the great level design and acrobatic physics. It's kind of a speed run but at a human-being level.

@ralphdibny Quantum Break is cleverly written and the gameplay is fun after a long while when you learn it well (it's not very intuitive) and unlock upgrades. I remember the impressive graphics, the high quality of the TV chapters and the final battles. It's fun, a bit rough, but fun and the somewhat complicated story is interesting.

Banjo-

themightyant

@BlueOcean "When I rush a game, I don't really enjoy it so it's the opposite of 'waste of time' "

Completely agree. I want to take my time and soak up all the developer has put into the game. Rushing usually lessens my enjoyment. I save rushing or speedruns for repeat plays where you know the level layout and game mechanics and want to set yourself a different challenge. But that's more akin to mastery that only comes AFTER learning. E.g. I'm getting quite proficient at getting through Dunwall and Karnaca in the Dishonored series in record time (for me) as I keep going back. But that's still nothing like Stealth Gamer BR https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKyT19o-Nl8

And you're not wrong on Super Mario World! (Though Galaxy runs it close for me.)

Edited on by themightyant

themightyant

Krzzystuff

@themightyant ohhhh the Gunk!!!!

I've skipped the last few games due to time limitations and working on finishing up Halo pre infinite launch but I would definitely play me some Gunk in January

Krzzystuff

Xbox Gamertag: Krzzystuff

KilloWertz

I guess the only issue with The Gunk would be we don't know how long it will be, but I doubt it will end up being super long either. I'd be up for it at some point next month though.

PSN ID/Xbox Live Gamertag: KilloWertz

crippyd

I have Dante's Inferno on the 360 and have played through some of it. From what I remember the story was quite forgettable and the combat was quite good although I've never been able to do combos on any game that requires them, I'm always a button masher or find an easy one and spam that. I think I found it quite difficult, probably due to the previoulsy mentioned lack of combo skillz, but I will give it another go after FH5 and Infinite.

Edited on by crippyd

crippyd

Xbox Gamertag: Crippy D

LtSarge

I agree with @KilloWertz, I'm going to wait for The Gunk to come out in order to see how long it is and if it's not that long then I'll vote for it as well because I want to play it too eventually. Otherwise I think I want to play Mirror's Edge or DOOM 3 in January unless I come up with other suggestions in the meantime.

I'm almost done with the post-game content of Pokémon and I'm waist-deep into Kingdom Hearts 3, so it's progressing rather well with the RPGs. Don't know if I'll keep playing Fable as I'm realising that playing more than two RPGs is too much for me. So I think after I'm done with Pokémon, I'll start up Dante's Inferno, which might be either today or tomorrow.

Edited on by LtSarge

LtSarge

Banjo-

On top of the club's choice, I'll play Doom Eternal in December. For January, my suggestion would be Halo Infinite but I want to play the others first and I've played 1, 2 and 3 this far, so my suggestion is Hades @ralphdibny.

Edited on by Banjo-

Banjo-

dmcc0

I'd prefer if we stayed away from new releases and stick with older games that folk might've missed out on if I'm honest. A big part of this group for me is playing stuff I might otherwise not have - seems a bit pointless to just play the latest new game that we were mostly all going to check out anyway.

Just my opinion though, and if The Gunk gets the vote I'll be more than happy to play - it is one I'm going to play at some point anyway.

As for the votes for January, all good with me except maybe Ori - I played it just after we had the original on here and got a bit burnt out by playing them one after the other and abandoned it about 2/3rds in I think.

Can I vote against something? Put me down for a "-1" for Ori 😂

@BlueOcean Hades might be a bit long no? HLTB has it at 20+ hours for the main story

Edited on by dmcc0

dmcc0

themightyant

@KilloWertz Good shout on the length, I didn't think of that. Their existing games have all been in the 5-15 hour mark according to HLTB, so it's likely this will follow that trend, as they don't seem keen on padding games for no reason, but perhaps not. We'll wait and see.

themightyant

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