Category Archives: Xbox One

Games Review: Sonic Forces (Xbox One X, 2017): Fan service meets bad design

Hello there, fellow Sonic fan. Remember that period of unalloyed joy during the launch of Sonic Mania this year? The feeling of burgeoning hope that, after 20 years of Sega openly ignoring what made their mascot great, the ol’ blue blur might finally be back on track? Well, forget all that because Sonic Forces is here to make you despair for the franchise once again. Continue reading Games Review: Sonic Forces (Xbox One X, 2017): Fan service meets bad design

Games Review: Xbox One X (2017): Raw power, same mistakes

Boy, Don Mattrick really fucked Xbox, didn’t he? It’s been five years since Microsoft’s now-infamous E3 2013 presentation, the unveiling of an All-in-One corporate fantasy wildly out of step with what its audience actually wanted and expected. Microsoft have been trying to course correct ever since. So dominated have they been by the runaway success of the competing PlayStation 4 that Xbox stopped reporting sales numbers entirely over a year ago, only beginning again when pre-orders for the Xbox One X went big.

To that end, the Xbox One X has been positioned as something of a saviour. A powerhouse console built to cater to the hardcore gamer and herald of a new age of ultra high definition content. To read between the lines of Microsoft’s breathless marketing for the machine, it feels a bit like this is the make-or-break moment for the Xbox One as a brand and as a hardware family. They really seem to want to convey that they have a lot riding on this machine. The questions that leap to mind then are: Can the Xbox One be saved this late in the game? And, could the Xbox One X save them if it had to? Continue reading Games Review: Xbox One X (2017): Raw power, same mistakes

Getting an Xbox One X? Don’t have NBN? It’s important to know what you’re signing up for

As of this writing I have had our Xbox One X review unit in my home for eight days. The console, along with a generous care package of games including console exclusives, new releases and a few November headliners, arrived the Thursday afternoon before PAX Aus. I’ve been able to play three of these games so far — Super Lucky’s Tale, Disneyland Adventures and Zoo Tycoon. Why? Because over the course of those eight days, our Xbox One X has been locked in a digital war of attrition against my humble ADSL2 connection. Continue reading Getting an Xbox One X? Don’t have NBN? It’s important to know what you’re signing up for

Games Review: Rugby 18 (PS4, 2017) doesn’t seem to understand how rugby works

If you, or someone you know, could be considered a fan of rugby then there might come a point in your life where playing Rugby 18 seems like a good idea. I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that that won’t be true. That way lies disappointment and regret because in Rugby 18, developer Eko Software have created a digital representation of a popular sport so fundamentally broken that it makes WWE 2K18 look polished. Continue reading Games Review: Rugby 18 (PS4, 2017) doesn’t seem to understand how rugby works

Games Review: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox One, 2017): Complexity and nuance with a hint of dead Nazi

Oh boy, where does one start with an experience like the one Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus offers? The second game in a week to prove that the single-player experience as we know it is still very much alive and well, Wolfenstein II is the kind of shooter we haven’t had in a while — one with a lot on its mind and a willingness, some might say a fevered desire, to push its audience’s buttons. Continue reading Games Review: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Xbox One, 2017): Complexity and nuance with a hint of dead Nazi

Games Review: Life is Strange: Before The Storm Ep 2: A Brave New World (PS4, 2017)

Here we are again, the second chapter in the increasingly amazing  Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Episode 2: A Brave New World opens not long after Rachel Amber decided it would be cool to start a fire in the local forest of Arcadia after losing her shit. As the huge storm slowly approached Arcadia in the original Life is Strange, this fire seems to be using the same approach, lending a looming and mysterious threat to the proceedings. Sure, it was an accident caused by the raw emotion of a teenager losing her grip on everything she held dear, but damn, what a way to end that first episode. Where to from there? Continue reading Games Review: Life is Strange: Before The Storm Ep 2: A Brave New World (PS4, 2017)

Games Review [PROVISIONAL]: Assassin’s Creed Origins (PS4, 2017): Something borrowed, something new

Assassin’s Creed Origins is a greatest hits of modern action-adventure game design. In seeking to update the series’ ageing core mechanics and design, Origins looks to its genre stablemates to see what they’re doing and where it can’t subtly imitate them, it copies them brazenly instead. What surprised me the most about this smash-and-grab design philosophy is how cohesive the end result is. Continue reading Games Review [PROVISIONAL]: Assassin’s Creed Origins (PS4, 2017): Something borrowed, something new

Games Review: WWE 2K18: (PS4, 2017) throws a folding chair in the face of good design

Three things are certain in life: death, taxes and WWE 2K games. As each year rolls around, gamers are presented with yet another WWE game with a fresh lick of paint, a new set of moves and a couple of newer wrestlers here and there. Given the trend, you’d expect 2K would pull out all the stops to present players with a new and inviting experience that’s bound to drag them away from last year’s offering. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for any kind of vast improvement, 2K18 presents little of the sort, and in many cases, is content to repeat the mistakes of its predecessors. Continue reading Games Review: WWE 2K18: (PS4, 2017) throws a folding chair in the face of good design

Games Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One, 2017) is a good idea pulled in too many different directions

Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a game suffering an identity crisis. It knows what it wants to be and makes genuinely big strides in that direction, but it’s hampered by what seems to be publisher interference. Even at the surface level, it feels like a case study for the growing divide in AAA between developer vision and publisher demands.  Continue reading Games Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of War (Xbox One, 2017) is a good idea pulled in too many different directions