11 Aug 2015

Xbox One, almost 1 year - Video Games

- Sorry folks seems my post went up a wee bit late. Also my images are coming later.

Gona sell my soul here in a sec. I was writing a post about my Xbox One and what I’m enjoying and what I’m looking forward to and then I saw the following deal.

Between 9-15 Aug Best Buy is running a deal for the Xbox One. 40” 1080p TV with a 5000GB Xbox One that comes with the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. You can find the deal here but don’t forget it is a limited time only.

Now that I’m done whoring myself out to big box central – let go into the rest of my original post.
So I’ve had an Xbox one for almost a year – how’s it been? Since it’s been losing the console wars less and less by catching up in sales against the PlayStation 4 I have the time to put in some solid game time and form up some opinions on what’ve played and what I’m looking forward to seeing.

Microsoft has made a great change. Xbox 360 backwards compatibility. They made it simple – no patches for developers to generate, just give permission for the emulator to run the game. In the past this was not so easy; developers had to write large patch files so your Xbox game would be able to run on the Xbox 360. Online save files will be supported, as will online purchases – that digital copy of Mark of the Ninja (as there was no physical release) will be playable on my Xbox One. This is some solid win on the Microsoft side of the console war. Add in all the Xbox Gold free games that show up twice a month will also be available means my access to great games will only continue to grow. What is also nice is that publishers like EA (who make Mass Effect), Bethesda (Fallout), 2K (XCOM and Borderlands), and Ubisoft (Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell, and Far Cry) are all looking to support the backwards compatibility – fucking awesome news.

My first major successful (as in I played and are still playing) purchase for my Xbox One was the Telltale Games bundle. It came with all the episodes for Walking Dead Season 1 and Season 2, Wolf Among Us, and both the Game of Thrones and Tales of the Borderlands with their respective season passes – meaning when the episodes are released they are already paid for. These games have been buckets of fun, and I’ve loved every minute of it.

Coming up I have a busy September as on the first of the month the last Kojima release of the Metal Gear franchise will be released; Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This looks like an open world time sink that will be eating away at me. I’ve been watching all the gameplay videos and this game looks awesome.

On the twenty-third of October Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate will be released and it will be the first major release of the franchise that will not be snatched and played upon release. I do want the Rooks Edition of the game to get the art book and the official soundtrack but nothing else is really drawing me to the game since Assassin’s Creed: Unity blew up in my face. I can see me putting this game aside if Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is still capturing my attention.

I also have on the twenty-fifth Halo 5: Guardians. Well I do have some bad news – Halo 5: Guardians, the next game in the Halo franchise will not support local co-op split screen play. It will also not support offline LAN.

What the fuck does this mean for folks who aren’t as computer savvy? I cannot play the game with my buddy on the same TV. I also cannot have them set up on my second TV, plug their Xbox One on my local area neatwork (LAN), and play co-op. They have to log into Xbox Live, they must have an Xbox Live account, that account must be a GOLD account – the account that allows for online play.

This is a huge kick in the pants from the Microsoft owned 343 Studios. It’s as if one part of Microsoft’s video game team decided to make the Xbox experience more accessible, garnering a positive response from players while someone in another team… the 343 Studios team did not think about that garnered goodwill and said ‘fuck the game, frame rate is more important.’

Halo split screen co-op is what made me buy an Xbox. Halo 3 was a major reason why I picked up my Xbox 360 and it was the main reason why I bought Halo 3: ODST. Halo in my mind was always that couch co-op frantic, bombastic, play. It reminded me on Contra, Double Dragon, and Smash TV. I’ve gone through each Halo with a mate. I’m disappointed that the folks at 343 could not reduce the frame rate for the split screen play. I’m livid at the lack of offline LAN play – what the fuck? Saying folks need the Xbox Live servers to play together is fucking lame.

I know a buddy who has a TV with an Xbox at their family cottage. On those rainy days it comes out of the cupboard and they play some 4 player co-op madness. In their case even if they had two Xbox One systems and two TVs with a network connecting them, they would not be able to play together because they need an outside connection… utter fail. So there is a chance that will also suffer and be put aside for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

In November on the eleventh, I will be busy doing army stuff – it’s Remembrance Day and we don’t fuck with 11/11. Afterwards the next day I will be picking up my copy of Fallout 4. I expect to be breathing, eating, and playing the crap out of that game once it is released. I’ll have to get Lady Bear’s help to avoid ignoring things like … life. I’ll also need to make regular time for my other major hobby at the table. I have plenty of minis and terrain to paint and Fallout 4 is such a big deal it could affect my other nerd activities. I’ll need to be careful.

So that’s my year with an Xbox One. So far so good and the future is looking damn bright.

- Cheers