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Consoles & Stuff
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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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October 31, 2020 - 5:37 pm
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Well, I don't think anyone will accuse me of hyperbole when I state that 2020 has been the worst year ever.  Yeah OK, worst year in a long time.  Better?

That said, I don't think I've ever been more hyped for a new console generation.  Perhaps I'm fooling myself, but this one feels like more than just a resolution update.  Let me be specific, and note that this is coming from what I've seen and heard about the PS5.  I could not care less about the XBox...whatever it is they're calling this one.  Their naming convention is just dumb.  But more importantly, they lost my business long ago, well before the X1 debacle in 2013.  XBox is, given what they focus on, simply not interested in my business.  I know, Game Pass or whatever it's called is great.  But I am not now and have never been a "sampler", and correct me if I'm wrong, but that's who it's aimed at.

Feel free to call me wrong about any XBox detail I've mischaracterized, but you will never convince me to spend any money on a Microsoft console.  It's odd how I've become more exclusionary as I get older.  But what can I say, Sony and its first parties make games I want to play.  XBox does not.  And even hoovering up a bunch of mid-tier developers who I am at least somewhat fond of is unlikely to change that. (And Bethesda even, which moves the needle not a bit for me either.  Totally unrelated: am I the only one who thinks Todd Howard is super-duper creepy and phony?  Even more than Randy Pitchford and that's saying something).

So this post is more properly titled "PS5: Get Hype!  XBox Whatevs: Get Bent!".  I watched Mark Cerny's tech dive (and given my professional background, even understood some of it).  So hype 1: SSD load times.  Fast load times make the world better, pun intended.  It is possibly being oversold, but I can't imagine it will be worse than previous tech.  Next is 4K.  I honestly don't care that much about 60FPS vs 30FPS.  I do understand it matters to people, a lot.  I somewhat recently took the 4K dive and my PS4 games look glorious in HDR.  I will be happy to see some beautiful 4K + HDR, whether 30 or 60FPS.  And I suspect that devs will offer more perf vs fidelity modes, so everyone wins.

Then there's the new controller stuff: force-feedback and such.  Small true, but it can only add to the immersion.  Remember when Sony was talking about removing rumble?  Yeah they walked that back, fast.  Don't mess with the rumble people, and don't underestimate the value of enhanced controls.  The controller is arguably the most important element.  Anybody can slap more transistors on silicon.  Not everyone is good at making functional yet elegant human interfaces.

And then there's Demon's Souls.  The one that started it all.  Oh the hype!  I played the Shadow of the Colossus remake by Bluepoint.  If they can do for Demon's Souls what they did for Colossus, I will be a happy gamer.  Still, I'm not so hyped that I won't be able to wait.  I've made it a policy not to buy consoles at launch, and no matter the hype, I'm sticking with that policy.

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geggis
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November 1, 2020 - 2:10 pm
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I can't believe it's nearly Christmas already, and yet, 2020 has lasted about 4 years. It's been a miserable time.

Yeah, I don't usually give two shits about the Xbox (and hooo boy, its naming convention is absolute bollocks) but the new box is the first to move the needle for me, I think mostly because of its no frills design, Game Pass and it being a newer Blu-ray player than my PS3 (haha, that's how far behind I am with Sony!). As mentioned in the other thread however, I too am not a grazer. Did I mention that I bought a couple of Xbox One controllers to replace my PC 360 pads for last year's Side by Side? Both had intermittently unresponsive buttons and they were a nightmare to get working reliably wirelessly so were sent back. That was super disappointing because they felt great. The 360 pads live on...

I can go two ways with frame rates. On the one hand, I've been gaming at 60fps for so long now that anything less usually feels somewhat sluggish. I went from Atomicrops to Nuclear Throne recently and I'd never realised that Nuclear Throne was 30fps. Atomicrops was so much smoother for twin-stick shooting! On the other hand, 25fps has a certain cinematic quality that's very appealing and I wonder how losing that with something like the Shadow of the Colossus remake would affect its presentation. It's like the soap opera effect or The Hobbit (apparently, I haven't seen it).

And bleurgh, rumble! I often turn it off but then some games do make good use of it. Rumble always reminds me of the controller in my hands which is the opposite of immersive to me! Sometimes it's bloody obnoxious. 'Okay, okay, I get it! I blew up the boss!'

Ooof. Demon's Souls. I think all my Souls energy went into the original and what I played of Dark Souls (a good 60 hours or so) so I've not really had much desire to return to the Souls-like genre. The remake does look great though but the thought of playing it all again... there are other games to play! 🙂 I'm kind of amazed how gamers keep going with them to be honest.

My main console these days is the Switch and I've enjoyed a handful of games on it, but for the most part I keep returning to my PC. The Switch is mostly an Animal Crossing device for my girlfriend at present. The Animal Crossing saga is a story for another day though... man, what a disappointment that was.

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Synonamess Botch
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November 1, 2020 - 3:36 pm
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I've probably said this before but I consider the Switch one of the greatest accomplishments in console design ever.  It is simply a masterfully-engineered piece of tech.  The WiiU was obviously a clumsy first attempt, but it only took one more go by the minds at Nintendo to perfect it.  We have two of them in our household (one was a gift) and they get considerable play-time from my kids.  I personally rarely play on them since the PS4 scratches all my itches, but I do appreciate what Nintendo has done.  Will there ever be a true successor to the 3DS?  Who knows, but the Switch fills that void so well I suspect the answer is no.

Gregg, you will not disrespect the rumble!  Grovel in deference to the rumble!  Rumble!

And I will forgive your heretical statements about Demon's Souls, but just this once!

It's possible I just don't know what I'm missing with regards to framerate.  I do believe it is heavily subjective though, similar to, say, being prone to motion-sickness (something I've fortunately never suffered from).  I just want to see some gorgeous 4K (for PC I still don't own anything but plain-old HD monitors & graphics cards).

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geggis
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November 10, 2020 - 4:45 am
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Sorry, I meant to respond to you last week but work, politics and various other things pushed it out of my head. I booked a week off and here I am! 🙂

Yeah, the Switch is a great piece of kit and I love the system UI and sound effects (particularly for Controllers). My only real beef with the Switch is the Joy-con thumbsticks are prone to drift, I had to send one of mine back to Nintendo and I mostly use the Pro controller so it's not had that much of a beating. My 360 pad I've had for a looong time and it's only got a big of drift that I can eliminate with expanding the dead zones slightly in Steam. It's not ideal but it's something.

I'm the same, I use my Switch but not nearly as much as my PC. I think I got the most use out of playing Mario + Rabbids, SteamWorld Heist (it was great on Vita) and Into the Breach. I just think portable systems are great for tactics games. That said, I picked up Invisible Inc. and it was a bit laggy on that hardware, fiddly with a controller and I noticed that the dynamic music is gone which was one of my favourite things. A shame because I love Invisible Inc.

Two of my favourite uses of rumble are one of the Side by Side games I played with Joel right at the beginning of the series, Tomb of Rooms, a kind of co-op horror game (and still in development!). The controller did nothing for the most part but when we got to a particular floor we both felt a dull, distant tremour in our hands which started to get heavier as something approached... Very cool. The other use is for Invisigun Heroes... or At Sundown? Or both perhaps? Either way, invisible arena combat games. When you bump into something, the controller rumbles so you get a 'feel' for where you are.

Oh no, I really enjoyed Demon's Souls! Such a tense, memorable experience. And what I played of Dark Souls was enjoyable but I think I just ran out of steam with my class (which was a monk/cleric) and I didn't really want to start again. I do flirt with the idea of returning to it and I think I'd be all aboard Bloodborne if I had a new Sony system. Maybe even Sekiro.

The only reason I was considering a new GPU/new CPU and motherboard (pretty much a new PC) was because I still play Hunt: Showdown but on the lower end to keep a solid 60fps (crucial for aiming, and it's a great looking game too). But after a fair bit of tweaking I found a happy medium that I'm comfortable with, and, really, I ain't getting a new PC for one MP game. 😀

Demon's Souls remake tangent: wtf is this?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EmaZL-PU4AAsON8?format=jpg&name=large

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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November 10, 2020 - 11:05 am
Member Since: November 9, 2010
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Ugh what is that picture?!

I'm considering a PC upgrade but not sure what route to take.  My rig is old but I'm not really in the mood to put another PC together (yes I'm picky and will not buy off the shelf PCs).  So I'm debating between just replacing the graphics card or getting a (modest) gaming laptop. 

Bloodborne is easily one of my favorite Souls games.  The combat is just so crunchy good and the atmosphere is Miyazaki at his best.  I think it benefitted from a tighter focus with regard to the number of viable playstyles.  That is probably not a popular opinion.  Sekiro is freakin' hard but so good I was motivated to finish.

So back to consoles.  Is anyone buying the new XBox and/or PS?  Is anyone looking forward to Nintendo's next gen?

EDIT: I found this video about the PS5 controller.  Yeah, never been so enthusiastic about a controller before.  So it's not just rumble anymore, although, c'mon, we all agree that rumble is king 🙂 🙂 :).


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geggis
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November 19, 2020 - 1:45 pm
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Sorry Botch, spent a good chunk of last week playing Tenderfoot Tactics and--shock horror--writing a review for the front page. First in YEARS.

My friend managed to secure three PS5s. I think he wanted to make sure he got one. He's sold one to Mat C at retail price, kept one for himself, obv, and flipped the other one making £300(!!). I keep calling him a scalper.

Anyway, they were both just talking about the controller. So the Steam Controller has haptics and it's really cool tech for making the touchpads feel like you're pressing a button or turning a clicky wheel (for scrolling). Great for real tactile sensations. But I wasn't sure how that would apply for general rumble and feedback. A bit of research and it sounds way cooler than your standard rumble. This comment from somewhere made me realise how much cooler:

"Driving on the border between the track and the dirt, I could feel both surfaces."

And:

"Sand felt slow and sloggy; mud felt slow and soggy. On ice, a high-frequency response made the thumbsticks really feel like my character was gliding. Jumping into a pool, I got a sense of the resistance of the water; on a wooden bridge, a bouncy sensation."

I wonder just how fine these motions are but they sound brilliant and really interesting.

And in that video the guys says '[rumble] never felt super special to me'. Suck it down Botch! Sony realised how ass rumble was with the Sixaxis! hahah 😉

But yeah, that tech feels like it's going to add something a lot more sophisticated to the experience rather than rumble which felt 'blunt' I suppose. I hope they don't overdo it as he mentions at one point. It seems like something that should be subtly immersive rather than HEY, YEAH YOU, CAN YOU FEEL THE IMMERSION. The triggers seem very neat as well. It's exciting and Astro Bot seems like the perfect game to showcase it. I heard so much good stuff about the Astro Bot Rescue Mission PSVR game. I did get to toy around with the Astro Bot Playroom demo and it was very cool--I enjoyed it more than Rez Infinite in fact.

If I was to buy a new console, it would probably be the PS5 to avoid library overlap and enjoy those tasty haptics where possible. I'd need some space though, and probably a new TV. I prefer the look of the new Xbox, and I like the idea of Game Pass but I think I'd get more from a Sony box. As for next-gen Nintendo, hahaha, it doesn't feel that long ago since the Switch launched, but I said that about the PS4 and look where we are! Time flies! 😀

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Synonamess Botch
Texas, y'all
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November 19, 2020 - 3:15 pm
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And in that video the guys says '[rumble] never felt super special to me'. Suck it down Botch! Sony realised how ass rumble was with the Sixaxis! hahah

Ok this literally made me laugh out loud. 🙂 C'mon though, rumble forever!  Viva Rumble el Rey!
I think it was in that video I posted where the point was made that since this seems unique to the Playstation, you'll likely see it implemented mostly on exclusives, unless it's relatively simple.

I think what I really meant to ask about Nintendo was that, given their propensity for incremental updates, at least in the handheld realm (think 3DS or 3DS-XL) would anyone be interested in a Switch Pro or whatever?

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Steerpike
Subtropical Southeastern Michigan
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December 3, 2020 - 8:17 pm
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Sorry I'm late to this party! Not only has 2020 been the dumpster-fieriest dumpster fire of a year, I can't even be quarantined in peace since suddenly work got super busy because I guess we're not allowed to be happy or have nice things.  But I'm here now!

Like you, Botch, I don't see myself racing out to buy a Microsoft console ever again. Not after going through seven 360s in the span of five years. The One never had any games I couldn't live without, and every time we tried to play at friends' houses it was a huge pain in the ass just to get everyone logged in.

Sony, now... Sony's my jam. I bought a PS3 on a whim when the slim ones came out, and it wound up being one of the happiest investments I ever made. My PS4 hasn't gotten quite as much mileage, but I've never regretted its trapezoidal presence underneath the TV. A PS5 is definitely in my future. If I can hold out long enough, maybe I'll wait for the Slim-equivalent hardware rev and price drop, but history shows I have very poor impulse control when it comes to buying things. I might own one by the time you read this.

On that note, I bought myself a Switch just a couple weeks ago. Amazon had a bunch of refurbs at a nice discount, and... well... I refer to you to the last two sentences of the previous paragraph.

What an amazing little device. Big enough you don't really feel like you're playing a handheld (something that kept me from ever really loving the DS Lite); powerful enough you definitely do feel like you're playing on a big-boy (or big-girl, or big-unspecified) console. Plus it transforms like a Go-Bot. Sometimes I just click the Joy-Cons on and off for the satisfaction of doing so.

I only have Breath of the Wild right now--my doughy middle-aged self should probably buy Ring Fit Adventure, but come on, we all know how that would end--but I'm excited to dive into Fire Emblem and plenty of other titles I've watched enviously. The worst I can say about the Switch, and this is really reaching, is that the A and B buttons are in the wrong spots, and when the Joy-Cons are detached, the right one's thumbstick is more of a heel-of-palmstick. But that's it. And those crimes, my friends, are forgivable.

Yes they are.

Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.

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geggis
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January 3, 2021 - 6:49 am
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Not after going through seven 360s in the span of five years.

Fuuuck! And there's me getting angry because I had to send two Xbox One controllers back because they were missing inputs!

maybe I'll wait for the Slim-equivalent hardware rev and price drop

I think a small moon would be slimmer than the PS5! If I buy one, I'll probably need a better TV to make use of that 4K and HDR goodness.

On that note, I bought myself a Switch just a couple weeks ago. Amazon had a bunch of refurbs

Well I hope you don't get the dreaded thumbstick drift because I've had to send one of our Joy-Cons back to Nintendo to get it fixed once already and my girlfriend tells me that it's starting to happen again. Seriously, Nintendo, you've been doing this the longest. You used to build hardware like tanks.

My favourite thing about the Switch, aside from its versatility, is the sound effects on the main menu:

That controller sound at 22 seconds!

is that the A and B buttons are in the wrong spots

And the X and Y! Switching from Xbox and Nintendo is a pain in the butt for this. At least the PlayStation kind of avoided all that noise.

Turn-based tactics games have been my jam on the Switch, namely SteamWorld Heist (second playthrough, but it's so good), Mario + Rabbids (so good, and funny), and Into The Breach. I really should check out Fire Emblem. I have Awakening on my 2DS that I still need to play though. I tried Invisible Inc. but it felt a little clunky with a controller compared to mouse and keyboard. I love that game though.

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