Biggest changes so far have been the addition of armored bricks (take two hits to knock out), and the new masters. Also, in addition to the traditional trials, each level has three bonus objectives you can try to meet. This effectively makes 180 goals in addition to the trials, so it should keep completionists busy for awhile.
The animations of the masters are laugh out loud funny. They'll "watch" you play and react according to the skill of your shot. There are a ton of little touches that really add a lot of charm. For instance, navigating through the menus plays a note from "Ode to Joy" so that you can play the whole song just by scrolling around. Each master has their own set of sound effects for peg hits and the end bonus as well. I was skeptical of the reduction to 5 masters, but after playing with all of them you can tell they really put the work into making them fun, polished, and very different.
I've noticed that barrel catches seem to be harder now, since the barrel is less forgiving of balls that aren't direct shots in.
If you're not a fan of Peggle (or just burned out on the concept), this isn't going to do anything for you. If you are a Peggle fan, however, then this is a really polished, chock-full-o'-challenges version of the game.
Spoiler impressions on the new masters for those who haven't watched the videos:
Spoiler for Hiden:
- Bjorn - the only carryover from the old Peggle, though you'll see original Peggle masters referenced throughout the game. Plays about the same.
- Jeff - The Big Lebowski fans will get a kick out of this troll who was obviously modeled after The Dude. Unfortunately his power is basically a rip-off of the fireball from the original Peggle. However, I find it a little less useful since its path can be slightly impeded by pegs. Still pretty easy to get a free ball out of it though, which is nice.
- Berg - Abominable Snowman? Yeti? Don't know but his power is one of the more interesting of the bunch. He freezes the entire board so that hit pegs slide. A sliding peg hitting lights up any pegs it hits, so you can set off some wicked chain reactions. The sliding action is limited, however, to prevent it from being overpowered. Pegs moved out of position stay out of position, which makes for potentially crazy layouts by the end of the level. I really like this power but I'm still learning the best way to use it.
- Gnorman - This little gnome has the most powerful ability of the five, a lightning ball that hits two additional pegs for each peg that it touches. With the right shot, you can almost clear an entire level with one or two shots with this thing. However, his levels tend to be really intricate and tough to keep it from being too easy. Easily my favorite power for raw destruction, but you only get one shot with it.
- Luna - The little ghost girl which has some of my favorite animations. She has probably the most unique power in that she makes blue pegs transparent so that the ball passes right through them. In addition, pegs that you've already cleared will return in ghost form (though like the blue pegs, they can simply be passed through). Cool power but another one I haven't quite mastered using yet.
Not defending DLC necessarily, but Peggle 2 is 60 maps vs 50 maps in Peggle 1. Also, in addition to the trials, it also adds three bonus challenges per map. So it's not like they're cheating you out of content, just some variety.
My hope would be that future DLC characters would also come with their own set of 10 maps, which would make the purchase a little easier to swallow.
I will say a lot depends on how sensitive you are to this sort of thing. I've never noticed it on Dead Rising 3 because I'm too busy killing zombies. Not saying it shouldn't be fixed where possible, but in reality you're not typically running two platforms side by side to compare differences.
Hopefully at some point games are going to be 1080p standard anyway, and this will be a non-issue.
Think this comes out today. I'm pretty excited. I have played the hell out of some Peggle on PC and iPad, and like Plants vs Zombies it's one of the few games I have repurchased for multiple platforms.
Looking at early reviews it sounds like more of the same, which isn't a bad thing. Only 5 masters this time instead of 10, though, with what looks like more promised through DLC. Game is retailing at $12 - I was prepared to pay $20 so that was welcome news.
Just hope it runs in 1080p and doesn't require a sharpening filter.
I don't hold out much hope they'll patch AC4. Just hope they fix that for future titles. If I didn't want to play AC4 SO DAMN BAD I'd probably hold out for the PS4 version. As it stands, however, that's probably not going to happen until around March.
Can you just keep a private journal of how much you hate forge and tilt and leave it out of the forums?
I don't hate TiLT or forge at all. I don't know them personally so I'm certainly not going to hate them. This isn't about people, it's about forum postings, nothing more.
But look at what you just did. You asked me to "leave it out of the forums." You're expressing an opinion about my posts you don't agree with. I'm just doing the same thing. What gives you the right to do so and not me?
I'm not saying the Xbox is better than the PS4. I'm not saying the sharpening filter doesn't look like shit. I'm just saying that if you've shown behavior of only posting negative articles about the Xbox in the past, then you post yet another, and I come along and say "nobody cares anymore" - which they don't, since even N4G, one of the most pro-Sony sites on the internet, isn't even hot-issuing this anymore - then don't be surprised if I call it out.
The comparisons themselves are not taboo. If just about anyone else had posted that, I probably wouldn't have batted an eye. But it was posted by someone who doesn't own an Xbox, doesn't plan to own an Xbox, and has a history of only posting negative news about the Xbox.
At any rate, enough said. I have confidence these issues will be ironed out.
While getting ready for work this morning, Hark and I discovered that double-tapping the X logo will toggle focus between app and snapped app.
I knew that one but only because it was annoying the SHIT out of me so I had to go Google it. I guess they figured Xbox One purchasers were going to be more intelligent and wouldn't have much trouble figuring it out eventually.
I put in another co-op session last night. If you can swing it, that's really the best way to play through this game. Sooooo much fun, and it works really, really well. It gives you new strategies in terms of gameplay. For instance, most side missions have a time limit, and sometimes you can rack up 2 or 3 side missions all ticking down at once. Occasionally we'll split up and each tackle a separate side mission so we don't run out of time. Or one of us will go vehicle scouting while the other heads to an objective on foot, then when we find a car go pick the other up.
About the only thing that sucks in co-op is boss fights, because when you're both wailing away on the same boss you tend to just hit each other and knock each other down. To get around this, we'd either have one of us go ranged and the other melee, or simply let one person beat up the boss and tag team swap-out once health got low.
For co-op just keep in mind you have to have your partner in the same Xbox party with you, and then you have to invite them from within the game - took me a bit of Googling to figure that out the first time.
Yeah, it's still got some quirks (kind of like a Windows PC - go figure) I've run into an occasional issue where clicking on an app with A just does nothing. Never launches, almost as if it's just refusing to use controller input. But I can get in via voice fine. Reboot fixes it.
It's not rampant or anything - I've run into it maybe 3 times since I've had the system, and it seems to occur if I've been doing a lot of quick switching between apps.
Had my first failure of sorts. Brand new wireless controller ordered from Amazon was defective. Wouldn't sync, and if I hard cabled it the A button would not work and the analog stick would go haywire. By testing with my Day One controller I ruled out any issues with the USB port on the console itself. Fortunately Amazon is going to do an exchange and will cross-ship.
Posting "PS4 is outselling Xbone" statistics implies that PS4 is somehow the better console by virtue of sales. I'm just saying sales numbers aren't an accurate reflection of superiority. As TiLT rightly pointed out, preorder units are likely going to sell out anyway. And historically, console launch sales have not been a reliable indicator of long-term success.
The sales thing is meaningless anyway. You can't compare sales of a $500 system to a $400 system and make any claims about the superiority of one console to another without the price difference getting in the way.
I'm pretty impressed the Xbox has posted such big numbers *despite* the price difference and the negative PR. It's pretty remarkable since conventional wisdom states they should have been crushed.
I don't mind most aspects of it. There are little issues that need some work, but I'm not too worried. Look at how drastically the 360's interface was overhauled over the years - I have no doubt they'll clean it up.
I've been using Windows 8 since launch, however, and I've grown accustomed to Metro. So it's less of a learning curve for me in terms of pinning shortcuts, navigating, etc.
Edge is going to bitch about the Xbox no matter what, though. They've thrown all their support behind the PS4 and they're not looking back. I wouldn't call the UI "baffling incompetence." Needs some tweaks yes, but it's not broken.
I spent all my credits and tokens last night buying up as many cars as possible before the sale expired. Have enough cars now to complete every race through the Exotic Cars circuit. That should keep me busy for awhile, since I'm trying to get gold on every race before moving on.
Just got back from seeing this. I enjoyed it a great deal, as did my little one.
It's a bit of a strange Disney movie in that it doesn't follow their typical formula, which is what I probably liked the most about it. I don't know if it's based on a legend or not, but it feels very original which is nice.
There are several songs in the movie which at times makes it feel like more of a musical, but they're decently catchy enough. The movie's themes were just a tad too advanced at times for my 4-year old, so I think the abundance of songs helped keep her interest.
As far as characters go, Anna is a terrific character and a worthy entry to the Disney princess lineup. She continues the theme of the strong independent female ala Merida in Brave, but she also has very human flaws. The audience unfortunately doesn't get a chance to be as close with Elsa, so she'll probably be playing second fiddle in the merchandising. Olaf the Snowman is one of the biggest highlights of the film, and it's unfortunate he isn't used more. I'm sure we'll see him again in future short features, though.
It would take some time and distance for me to say how Frozen ranks with the best Disney animated features, but the short feature before the movie was a nice preview of what was to come. It was a hybrid of classic Mickey Mouse mixed with modern technology and storytelling. Frozen is the same way - grounded in traditional Disney movie-making magic, but experimenting with moving away from tired stereotypes and storylines.
Last night I was trying to show it off to some friends and pretty much none of the special things like voice activation or snapping/unsnapping was working well.
Voice recognition with a bunch of other people in the room/background noise is an exercise in futility. I had the same experience at Thanksgiving, and with multiple people milling around (even when they were attempting to be quiet), it just got confused. It's even worse if you have people screaming "Xbox watch porn!!!" at it constantly. When I play in the evenings after the kids are in bed, voice recognition is nearly 100%.
This game finally clicked for me last night. I went from 9th and 10th place finishes (at best) to finishing gold in 6 of 15 races. Glad I stuck it out because I went from general disinterest in the game to being hooked. It feels really challenging on a technical skill level which is really fun.
I'm also really starting to appreciate the Drivatar system. In one race last night I was fighting for first when the guy ahead of me made a critical mistake and sideswiped a wall. I took advantage, passed him, and eked out a win. I don't think you'd ever see that with traditional AI.
If you spent any time at all with the XB1, you'd understand why a Kinect-less version would defeat the entire purpose of the console. There's a reason why there aren't many showcases for the Kinect as a controller at launch - that's no longer its focus. It is basically the Xbox's eyes and ears, and its means of communicating and interacting with you. The fact that yes, you can use it to control a jet ski demo is just an extra.
And if you had told me a few weeks ago that fast forwarding my DVR via voice was a feature I'd not only use, but grow to love, I'd have said you were insane.
Back to the allegiance question - I don't feel I've ever had a console allegiance. I've owned nearly every major console since the Atari 2600. I did skip the PS3 in favor of the 360, but me not getting a PS3 was more due to my abandonment of consoles in favor of PC gaming rather than a dislike for the PS3. This time around I wanted to ensure that didn't happen again, which is why I went with the console that I felt most differentiated itself from my PC.
A buddy of mine and I had the day off and hit the game hard today on co-op. That's the most fun I've had in ages. I loved leaving him to fend for himself, then wandering off only to come running back in wearing nothing but a horse mask and my undies, wielding a katana. We were in tears from laughing.
I understand the graphics complaints - doesn't look particularly next-gen, some occasional frame rate and pop-in issues. But honestly I was having so much fun it didn't matter. It's basically "you're here at A, you need to get to B. Oh and there are about 5000 undead between those points. Figure it out." I love the lack of hand holding, they just turn you loose.
MS responded and said they do not monitor private Skype calls. More Xbox misinformation from the interwebz, shocker. I can understand the Upload thing since a kid could go in and access any clip.
Dead Rising 3 co-op is FUN AS HELL. I got up this morning to kill zombies with a buddy of mine and we put in like 5 hours straight. That's the longest continuous game session I've had since before my kids were born. So much fun. We've vowed not to even play single player because the co-op is where it's at.
Really sorry to hear of your issues Soul. The perils of early adoption and all that.
I'll have to say it's been a long time since I've been so genuinely excited about a product. I actually feel kind of silly now about getting so worked up over the console wars - had I known how much I would enjoy this thing I wouldn't have cared a whit about what anyone else thought.
My wife has been such a rock star through this launch - she doesn't care about gaming but she loves to see my excitement and geeking out over this stuff. I found out that she spent days researching it and learning about it so she could make educated decisions on what accessories/games to get me for Christmas. Last night she surprised me with Dead Rising 3 as an early birthday present, just so I could spend all day tomorrow playing it while she was at work. How cool is that.
Have messed around with the TV stuff a bit more. Here are my thoughts:
- Voice control in terms of changing channels, etc can be a little wonky. When it works, it works. When it fails, you'll find yourself wanting to watch ESPN and instead trying to open up a party chat. Note that voice recognition with the rest of the system is pretty stellar, which makes the TV issues more glaring.
- Controlling DVR stuff with voice is pretty awesome. I watch recorded shows a lot while doing chores and the ability to fast forward and change volume without picking up a remote is really handy. The voice recognition for this particular use case is really good. Of course, the inability to pull up recorded shows or schedule recordings is a big minus.
- I have run into some general bugginess while watching TV. For instance, having the "toolbar" for TV commands get stuck on the bottom of the screen, or lack of responsiveness in other apps (though to be fair, I've seen this lack of responsiveness occur outside of TV - it usually manifests as pressing A to initiate an action such as reading a message and it just does nothing).
I'd say right now it's an interesting complement to TV watching, but not yet a replacement for your real cable box menus.
Yeah, I've never bought the "people just want to play games on tiny screens!" argument either. I love the hell out of some iPad games and play them all the time, but there's a BIG difference between a $60 AAA console title and a $4.99 iOS game. I don't know that the two will ever reach parity, because the dedicated console will always be more powerful.
If there's any truth to the death of consoles idea, it will be because the compute moves out of your living room and into the cloud. So yes, I can see the PS5 being a dumb box that streams games from Sony's servers, but I think we still have a long way to go to reach that point. In the meantime the VR stuff coming down the road is going to throw another wrench in the industry, and we don't really know how that's going to play out.
PowerStar Golf is really fun if you like arcade-style golf games. Take every basic video game golf mechanic (swing meter, putting grid, etc), put them into one game, then add characters and leveling, and that's what this is.
One of the really fun this about it is that each hole it shows you your friends' records (longest drive, closest approach, longest putt, etc) as well as the world record for the hole. If you break a record you get bonus XP and you become the new record holder. Adds a bit of competition to the single player game.
Seems to be a lot of content as well. There are many different golfers (9 maybe?) each with a caddy. Golfers and caddies each have unique powers that can be used sparingly on the course. For instance, a super powered up shot, or the ability to predict exactly where your ball will land. Each course corresponds to a themed golfer, and by beating that golfer on their signature course you unlock them for play.
YMMV but for my money I'm having a blast with it and wound up playing it almost as much as Forza last night.
I've spent about an hour messing around with it and so far it's really, really cool. The voice recognition has been a tad spotty, but mostly because I was trying to do it with screaming kids running around and my wife talking on the phone constantly. During one quiet instance I said Xbox Pause in a normal tone of voice all the way on the other side of the room and it heard me, which creeped me out a bit. Tonight when the rugrats go to bed I'll go through the calibration again.
The highlight so far has been the Skype stuff. A buddy of mine called me and it was awesome to video chat full screen with no lag. My kids minds were totally blown that they were interacting with someone they knew via TV but they loved it. This is going to be a FANTASTIC feature for keeping in touch with some of our friends across the country.
I have not had much to play with the TV stuff, other than to see it working. The deal breaker for me is not being able to record through the OneGuide, as I live and die by my DVR. So not sure how much I'll use this until more functionality is patched in. Though like I said I haven't had much time to play with it so my mind might change.
Have not had a chance to play any games yet, but the ability to launch Netflix, etc with voice is almost worth the price of admission alone. My wife is loving this feature since she still can't figure out my remotes. Sony might run some games at 100p more or whatever, but as a gadget freak I'm loving the way they're trying to do something new with the Xbone. Once the kinks are ironed out, this thing is going to be really, really slick.