Darren Comments

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  • Shadow Warrior 2 is fine on consoles but lacks key features

  • Darren 23/05/2017

    It's a great game and one that I really enjoyed playing on my PC. I actually thought it was a better game personally than the remastered original and it certainly looked and ran superbly.

    However, I wouldn't say this game was high-profile really compared with, say, Prey, Mass Effect: Andromeda or Fallout 4. It's pricing reflects that too, being 10 cheaper than most other new releases on PC from the bigger publishers. I think that is why there is no PS4 Pro support. It's simply a lower budget game that the developers likely didn't have time to add PS4 Pro support to.

    Speaking of which; while I like my PS4 Pro, I am disappointed in the lack of support the console is getting and I sense that Sony should be doing more to ensure that all games, for example, support 4K whether you have a 4K TV or not (for bonus downsampling). They should also include options to run at 4K or 1080p with improved framerates or graphics settings. At the moment it seems like there's no consistency in this area with some games offering multiple options (Final Fantasy XV, Horizon Zero Dawn, Rise of the Tomb Raider, etc) and some games forgoing the downsampling option on 1080p TVs altogether which makes absolutely no sense at all. This is one area where I think Microsoft will do better with Scorpio so I really hope Sony are paying attention. ;)
    Reply +1
  • Injustice 2 on PS4 Pro is the best way to play

  • Darren 22/05/2017

    Just when you think that Unreal Engine 3 is getting tired and dated a game comes along using it to prove otherwise... The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (original PC release before it was updated to UE4), Outlast 2 and now this game, which is hard to imagine looking any better on the newer engine. Really impressive stuff, especially the facial closeups and cutscenes. Looking forward to this coming to PC where hopefully it will run at 60 FPS throughout. Reply +4
  • Extra Nintendo Switch dock costs 80

  • Darren 22/05/2017

    80 for the dock is an absolute rip-off in my view. It has no internal components as such; it's just a piece of plastic with a passthrough for HDMI and a couple of USB ports. But then I am not surprised at the pricing at all as most of the other Switch peripherals and accessories are overpriced too.

    It's no wonder Nintendo are always profitable... ;)
    Reply +4
  • Face-Off: Minecraft on Switch takes on PlayStation 4

  • Darren 19/05/2017

    Minecraft does have anti-aliasing support on the PC by the way, at least the Windows Store version, I have, does.

    It is really disappointing to read that the Switch version doesn't even run at 1080p docked. It's hardly a taxing game unless you push out the draw distance. If the Switch can run Mario Kart 8 Deluxe at 1080p and 60 fps docked then it should be to handle Minecraft at that resolution too IMO.
    Reply -2
  • Arms is that rare thing - a motion control game that works

  • Darren 18/05/2017

    I'm not hugely excited about this game but still curious as to how it'll turn out.

    It looks nice visually; it just doesn't look like it has a lot of depth or longevity to the gameplay for solo players like myself. And even as a multiplayer game it doesn't look like something that would stand up to hours of playtime.

    Hope I'm wrong though because it is nice to see Nintendo doing something new for a change that isn't a sequel or available previously on Wii U.
    Reply +1
  • PES 2018 release date announced

  • Darren 17/05/2017

    I haven't bought PES for my PC for the last four years since finding out that Konami were basically taking the lazy option on that platform. Not so sure I believe them that this year's game will be different; they are likely just saying that because PC sales have been lower than expected. Guess I'll have to wait and see. Reply +1
  • Persona 5's translation is a black mark on a brilliant game

  • Darren 17/05/2017

    I've played about 20-25 hours of Persona 5 and haven't really noticed any particularly bad translation personally. But then with Japanese games I generally except a certain level of "oddness" to them, whether it's the story, the characters or the setting, so any translation issues are just part of the charm for me. It really doesn't bother me at all. I hadn't even given it an thought at all until I read this article. Reply +3
  • PS4 external storage tested: 4TB hard drive vs SSD performance

  • Darren 15/05/2017

    I have what looks like the same 4 TB Seagate External drive that Digital Foundry used in their testing connected to the rear of my PS4 Pro to supplement the 2 TB internal drive I fitted at launch.

    However, while games install to it just fine and load as quickly as they did on the internal drive I have noticed issues with some games when running off the external drive. Persona 5 for example has stuttering audio and FMV cutscenes but otherwise plays fine. If I move the affected game over to the internal drive then these issues go away and the game plays perfectly (indicating that the data isn't corrupted at least). I have noticed this issue in a few games now, including Mass Effect: Andromeda (glitchy audio).

    Has anyone else on here been experiencing this issue?

    It's something that has never happened on my Xbox One despite having had an 2 TB external Seagate drive connected to it since I bought in it in 2013. It only seems to affect auido and FMV, suggesting that there some kind of issue streaming the data. It's almost like the drive is running too slow to stream the data properly but the loading times are no different so that doesn't seem right. As a result of this issue, I'm having to move games I'm playing from the external to internal drive to get around this issue and then move something off the internal drive first to make space for it. It's a bit of a pain to be honest and not quite what I was hoping for when I read that the PS4 would *finally* support external drives for game installs. I have seen a few posts from others with the same issue so I am not the only one affected, it seems...
    Reply +2
  • In Theory: Could Sony release PlayStation 5 in 2018?

  • Darren 13/05/2017

    I hope the PS5 isn't released in 2018 because that would come across as Sony rushing a new console out to boast that they have a more powerful system than Microsoft's Scorpio. And as we all know rushing things out is never a good thing...

    Having bought a PS4 Pro last year I am happy to wait until late 2019/early 2020 for the PS5. Also, Sony's PS4 is selling well and I expect it will continue to do so even after Scorpio's release, mainly because it will have the clear price advantage.
    Reply -1
  • Mass Effect series "on ice" following Andromeda disappointment

  • Darren 11/05/2017

    While inferior to the original Mass Effect trilogy, I have been really enjoying playing Andromeda on my PC. Clocked up over 40 hours so far, mainly exploring the six open worlds that I have unlocked and just completing missions as I go rather than just working my way through the main story.

    It's a shame that the game lacks polish (clunky animation and some lacklustre animated cutscenes) and that it was such a mess at launch but overall I am happy with the game and glad that I bought it. Combat is really good in this game and it is very rewarding exploring and gradually making each of the worlds more viable for colonisation.

    It's certainly not a bad game; just one that was clearly rushed out, likely before the end of EA's fiscal year. It could have done with an extra six months in the oven really, so to speak.
    Reply +9
  • Nintendo Switch Dock Set hits the UK in June

  • Darren 11/05/2017

    I expect it will be 70-80 based on the US pricing but anything over 40 is too much IMO as the actual dock is just a flimsy piece of plastic with a few ports on it. It has no internal components such as a CPU, CPU, memory or motherboard. Reply 0
  • Prey review

  • Darren 10/05/2017

    I've been having a blast exploring this game and really enjoy the amount of freedom it offers to tackle it how you want to. Talos 1 is so well designed that it feels like a real place and it is so much fun just wandering around searching for new areas to get to. It is very rewarding IMO as you find new weapons, neuromods and upgrades this way. This is exactly how I like my first person games - open with interaction - and it reminds me so much of the first (and IMO best) BioShock, another game that I found incredibly immersive, although Prey perhaps doesn't have that game's aesthetics with the visuals being the weakest aspect of the game. It's not that they're bad; it's just that being a space station everything looks a bit functional and bland.

    Still a great game though, although I fail to see its connection to the older game and feel that it should have been called something else to avoid confusion.
    Reply +4
  • Vanquish confirmed for PC

  • Darren 10/05/2017

    Well Vanquish coming to PC is great news but... so far, Platinum Games have an extremely poor track record of patching their games on PC, which is concerning.

    Both NieR: Automata and Bayonetta have outstanding issues on PC - the former has fullscreen issues and broken MSAA support (as reported by Digital Foundry) and the latter also, ironically, has broken MSAA support - yet Platinum has failed to release any patches for either game to fix them!

    NieR: Automata did get an update last week but it was only for the DLC and while there is mod support for the game that addresses (some of) the issues that's not really an ideal solution.

    That really is poor IMO and makes me a bit apprenhensive about picking Vanquish even if is 14.99. Platinum, if you are reading this, PATCH. YOUR. GANES. PLEASE.
    Reply +5
  • EA reckons 40% of console game sales will be downloads by the end of 2017

  • Darren 10/05/2017

    I pretty much buy all of my PC games digitally now, mainly because it's easy to find a good price on keys either on CDKeys.com or GreenManGaming.com. I rarely, if ever, buy full priced PC games direct from Steam, Origin or Uplay, only cheaper indie titles of 15 or less. Since PC boxed games have no resell value anyway then this has never bothered me.

    As for console games, well, again I only buy digital for indie titles and the odd cheap bargain from a sale (Madden NFL 17 for example on PS4). With boxed games being substantially cheaper than digital ones then there's zero incentive for me to change, especially as digital games (a) have no resell value; and (b) it's easier (and quicker) to reinstall games from a disc and patch them then redownload the entire game.

    The biggest problem with buying console games digitally is that they can only bought through the console itself (or their associated websites). This means paying higher than retail prices and no chance of picking up a new full-priced game cheaper like I can on PC. Digital is just the more expensive option on consoles and as long as it remains that way then I will continue to buy my games boxed. Sorry EA! :P
    Reply 0
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe holds off Prey in UK game chart

  • Darren 08/05/2017

    Prey is an excellent game that I have been really enjoying on my PC.

    It's extremely well optimised (I'm running it maxed out at 4K and it has never dipped below 60 fps) and a lot of fun to explore. It reminds me very much of the first (and, IMO, best) BioShock, although this game feels far more open and actively encourages you to explore. In fact, exploration is very rewarding here as you invariably find neuromods, a new weapon or power ups. Even finding junk is useful since you can recycle it to make ammo, something that is scarce otherwise. The atmosphere is also great; the enemies some 11 hours in feel genuinely threatening and I've taken to creeping around rather than engaging in combat because, while I do feel like I have an advantage with weapons, they don't feel powerful enough that I can kill every enemy (only the basic mimics and phantoms). The larger ones are lethal (as well as scary; nearly jumped out of my skin the first time I saw one!!!) and later on you encounter more dangerous versions of the mimics that can kill in seconds.

    Fantastic game. Possibly the best first-person action game (I'm loathe to call it a shooter since combat isn't its main focus in my view) since Deus Ex: Mankind Divided IMO and perhaps even better than that game. These are the kind of games I really enjoy; the interaction, the large open maps, the freedom to play how you want. I'd be very surprised if this doesn't score highly because it really is a top-notch game (even if visually it looks a bit dated).
    Reply +2
  • Outlast 2: one last hurrah for Unreal Engine 3?

  • Darren 04/05/2017

    It's a great looking game, making stunning use of the dated Unreal Engine 3 in my opinion, much like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter did (before it was ported over to Unreal Engine 4). In fact, it's hard to believe it is even running on UE3 and it is impressive to see it running at 1080p60 on consoles as well.

    Disappointing though to read of yet ANOTHER PS4 Pro game that has disables the downsampling option for owners of 1080p HDTVs. It's time that Sony set the ground rules for all PS4 Pro games going forward including having the same feature set available for owners of both 4K and 1080p TVs (with downsampling for the latter owners). I really don't understand why developers are even doing this; if they're targeting 4K TVs with the Pro then the game is going to run exactly the same for 1080p owners when downsampled so it makes no sense to disable it. :confused:
    Reply -1
  • Yooka-Laylee patch will tone down gibberish voices

  • Darren 03/05/2017

    I have been thoroughly enjoying this game (on PC) and haven't found much to complain about personally. Even the camera has been mostly fine except for a few spots where it did annoy me; a boss fight on the first world and a jarring camera switch during a rising platform ride for example. The voices can be wearing but all that was needed really was an option to reduce the volume by, say, 50% so they don't distract so much you while you're reading the subtitles.

    That said, I am a massive fan of the two Banjo-Kazooie games (as well as Conker's Bad Fur Day) so Yooka-Laylee really does feel like a spiritual successor, more so than the dispointing Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts IMO. Definitely glad I backed the game as I got exactly what I wanted. I only hope that the game sold well enough to warrant a sequel at some point.
    Reply +4
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is Nintendo's first UK chart topper in six years

  • Darren 02/05/2017

    I double-dipped on this game (I still own the Wii U and disc copy of the game) but it is quite amazing to be playing a game like this on a 6" screen in undocked mode. It's really impressive actually that they've managed to basically port over the Wii U version so accurately while fixing that version's only issue, it's weird 59/60 fps framerate.

    The lack of AA is a teensy-bit disappointing although at least the resolution is bumped up to 1080p when docked (believe it or not I have yet to play the game this way!).
    Reply +2
  • What Remains of Edith Finch is great on PC, needs work on PS4

  • Darren 29/04/2017

    It's only a two hour game which I finished last night on my PC (i7-4770K, 16 GB, EVGA GTX 1080 Ti SC2, Windows 10 Pro v1703). It ran absolutely flawlessly at 60 FPS maxed out 2560x1440p settings, which is a nice change for a PC game. I thought it was excellently done and reminded me a lot of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, another great "walking simulator" that also looks gorgeous visually.

    Could Digital Foundry also take a look at the similar Blackwood Crossing (available on PC and PS4) which has some of the worst movement and controller response I've ever experienced in any PC game to date. It's so laggy, sluggish and nauseating that I had to stop playing it. Worst still this game is capped at 30 FPS with dips below that even on my system. Not quite sure what is going on there but it does seem like a great game otherwise.
    Reply +1
  • Atlus eases up on Persona 5 streaming

  • Darren 28/04/2017

    @3en - It's absolutely stupid that Atlus blocked screenshots and videos on PS4. They claim it is to avoid spoilers but that doesn't stop YouTube streamers using an external device to record and broadcast footage as they don't generally use the consoles to record. All it does is annoy the gamers. For example, on my PS4 Pro I see a warning every time I unlock a Trophy because of this silly decision to block recording of any kind from the console. Reply +1
  • de Blob arrives on PC, nine years after its original release

  • Darren 28/04/2017

    Great news! I loved this game on Xbox 360 (or was that de Blob 2?) and with the recent release of the (IMO underrated) gem Voodoo Vince and the superb Bayonetta port (bar the broken MSAA support) on PC this is a brilliant time to get back into classic last-gen gaming.

    It doesn't matter how old a game is or how long it takes to arrive on a platform as long as it is good and sensibly priced. More please, publishers!

    I do, however, recall playing an early version of de Blob on PC but I cannot remember where I found it. I think it was some kind of tech demo but I do seem to remember it came out BEFORE any of the console games. That is why I was so disappointed when the game came out that there wasn't a PC version.
    Reply +2
  • Super Bomberman R's 60fps patch comes at a cost

  • Darren 25/04/2017

    All I can say is that I am astonished that the game cannot manage 720p/60 undocked and 1080p/60 docked given its simplistic looks. On Friday we get a much better looking game called Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that manages to push more on screen than this game yet manages a flawless 60 fps at 1080p docked and 720p docked. I blame poor coding myself.

    Not that I would buy the game anyway at the silly price Konami are asking for it...
    Reply +8
  • Is Persona 5 on PS4 actually a 1080p remaster?

  • Darren 22/04/2017

    I am enjoying Persona 5 having previously played Persona 4 Golden on my PS Vita and I love the stylish presentation and artwork but on a technical level the game is fairly underwhelming IMO, especially on the PS4 Pro.

    There's a sense that very little has been done in coding it for the PS4 beyond a resolution boost. Sure, it's a locked 30 fps and correctly framepaced (a blessing for a Japanese coded game!) but I'm sure even the base PS4 could have ran this game at a locked 60 fps with change to spare and loading screens could have been reduced (though perhaps those are intended as part of its stylish presentation?). Why doesn't it support 4K on the PS4 Pro?

    Still a great game but I'm not really sure it warranted a Digital Foundry analysis as technically the game really isn't that impressive IMO. It's the slick presentation and terrific artwork that make this game a visual treat.
    Reply -1
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: a great console title is a handheld revelation

  • Darren 20/04/2017

    It's disappointing that this game still has no anti-aliasing on Switch. Even low-quality FXAA would have been an improvement and not demanded too much from the hardware. I'd rather have had the game at 720p docked with FXAA personally (with an option for 1080p, of course).

    Just how much more powerful than the Wii U is the Switch? I mean Zelda: Breath of the Wild was visually identical to Wii U as well only offering a small resolution bump to 900p docked and a slightly more stable 30 FPS, That suggests to me that Switch is not really that much more powerful; undocked it's basically a portable Wii U with a little more oomph. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy using my Switch but it's underwhelming to see older Wii U games arriving on Switch with no visual enhancements or improvements beyond a resolution bump. Splatoon 2 is even rumoured to also be 720p with no AA, exactly the same as on Wii U.
    Reply +9
  • Lego City Undercover on Switch holds up well against PS4

  • Darren 14/04/2017

    @el_pollo_diablo - It's the scaling option which was set to 95.1% or something on my Switch. Change it to 100% and it will look much better. Reply 0
  • Darren 14/04/2017

    I've been really enjoying LEGO City Undercover on my Switch during lunchbreaks for the past week or so. It looks as good as I would expect for a portable, perhaps a little jaggy, and runs OK but there are plenty of 'treacly" moments where the framerate seemingly dips to 20 fps for extended periods, usually while driving or when there's lot of destruction going on. It's never unplayable but it is very noticeable IMO. Oddly, it seems like this framerate dips are becoming more frequent the further I get into the game...

    I'm surprised to read that the Switch version runs at a higher resolution than the Xbox One (obviously the Switch is 1920x1080 but what resolution is the Xbox One then as you didn't specifically mentioned the pixel count?).
    Reply +8
  • Bayonetta PC runs beautifully - even on old hardware

  • Darren 12/04/2017

    I can't see any reason why this game couldn't also be ported over to PS4 and Xbox One. I'm not sure if the original 360 version is backward compatible but the PS3 version was an absolute travesty from what I've read and seen of it so I'm sure it would do sell very well on the PS4 as a budget title, especially if they sell it at 14.99. Reply +2
  • Darren 12/04/2017

    @Diji1 - Well we will have to agree to disagree then because while technically the game might be a little dated if you look closely, overall the outstanding art design, imaginative characters, the superb direction and sheer pace of the game makes for one that I think looks utterly fantastic.

    So much so I wanted to grab a screenshot for my desktop but pressing F12 causes the game to crash... at least on my PC... :(
    Reply +2
  • Darren 12/04/2017

    Quote: "If you run your games from an SSD, loading times are so fast, there's literally no time to practice your moves with the on-screen tutorials."

    Yeah, that is very true. I installed the game onto my 1 TB Samsung 850 Evo and the loading times are so fast, half a second max, that I barely get time to see the loading screen nevermind actually practice on it! :lol:

    Might have to move it to my slower 5,400rpm external USB 2.0 drive just so I can practice between the levels... ;)
    Reply +12
  • Darren 12/04/2017

    Thanks to having DSR enabled for my GTX 1080, this game booted up at 5K (5120x2880 vs. 2560x1440, which is my monitor's resolution), yet even cranked up to max. with 8xMSAA the game holds almost, almost, a constant 60 fps (except for when it dips to 30 fps for the cutscenes). However, there were a couple of dips down to the high 40s during really hectic combat so I've dialled the resolution "back" down to 3840x2160 where it seems to hold 60 fps at all times during gameplay.

    I have to say that this game came as a complete surprise as I had absolutely no idea it was being released on PC at all but its 14.99 price made it an instant buy. So far I've been really impressed with the quality of the port and the odd low-res texture aside the game still looks absolutely stunning. Initially I did not like this game when I tried the demo on Xbox 360 but since playing it on Wii U I've grown to really like it. It's just so stylish and over the top that it's hard not to enjoy or like.
    Reply +6
  • Prey demo lets you play the first hour of the game

  • Darren 12/04/2017

    I "prey" that this is good and that it isn't another Homefront: Revolution. It's been a long time coming. Reply +1
  • Microsoft on why Xbox One doesn't need a No Man's Sky equivalent

  • Darren 03/04/2017

    I hardly use my Xbox One now since the introduction of the PlayAnywhere thing which means I get both an Xbox One and PC version of a game. Forza Horizon 2, Halo Wars 2 (and Halo Wars Definitive Edition), Quantum Break, Gears of War 4, Dead Rising 4... all games I've only played on PC and not on my Xbox One (even with having to endure the clunky, slow, user-unfriendly and dated app that is the Windows Store on PC). I have seriously been considering selling my Xbox One to be honest as it is used only as a passthrough for my Sky+HD box these days. Then I remember that I do have some backward compatible 360 games such as Red Dead Redemption and the Rare Classics collection that I would miss if I didn't have access to them and so decided against it.

    While it is certainly great to see Microsoft committed to releasing games on the PC after years of basically ignoring the platform except for releasing Windows on it, it does mean that there's less reason to actually own an Xbox One if, like me, you also own a high-end PC for gaming and a PS4/PS4 Pro (which is better for multi-platform games anyway by virtue of being more powerful).

    I'm sure that is not what Microsoft intended when they introduced the PlayAnywhere scheme but that is what has happened. I'm not sure Scorpio will change things either as it will obviously be more powerful than Xbox One/Xbox One S but it still won't match whatever the high-end specs of a PC are at that time because that is an ever evolving platform.
    Reply +6
  • PS4 premium joypad face-off: Razer Raiju vs Nacon Revolution Pro

  • Darren 02/04/2017

    Razer's products are overpriced and overrated in my opinion based on their PC mice and keyboards. You are paying more for the name than the quality in my experience.

    Besides, the only thing really wrong with the DualShock 4, besides the analogue sticks' cap coating (whichcan be resolved by using thumb stick grips), is the rather poor battery life. I can easily play a game for 5-7 hours in a day at which point the controller usually runs out of juice meaning I have to switch to a second controller. It is a far cry from the 30+ hours I typically get from my Xbox One controllers.
    Reply +20
  • Snake Pass review

  • Darren 30/03/2017

    I bought this game for both my Switch and PC last night.

    I've only briefly played it on Switch as it seemed to take a long time to download for some reason but I did play the first six levels on PC. I love the art style and unique gameplay but the slow pace, the frustrating camera and poorly placed checkpoints did start to annoy me as the levels became more complex and the likelihood of Noodle falling to his death increased.

    There is oddly an Easy control method but all it does is replace the need to hold down the trigger with movement on the analogue stick. It felt more comfortable but I would have preferred it if the trigger was used to move Noodle left and right while using the analogue stick to move forward. I just found having to move the analogue stick left and right felt a bit clumsy personally, which it kind of is, but if you are going to add an Easy mode then why not actually make it easy? The skill in playing this game is not moving along the ground anyway but rather coiling up the platforms to reach higher parts of the level without succumbing to gravity and dying.

    Even with the issues this is a good game and, for once, it feels original. For all the charm of the visuals though, Noodle himself comes across as a bit lacking in personality. He's certainly no Banjo or Kazooie.
    Reply +4
  • Mass Effect Andromeda and the quest for great facial animation

  • Darren 29/03/2017

    To be honest, stiff animations and poor lip syncing do not break games for me although I certainly notice when, say, one game does them much better than another. Then again I grew up in the era of early 80s videogames when you had to imagine what the four colour pixellated blob you were controlled was supposed to be. In that respect, things are definitely much better than they were back then and I can forgive some games for having awkward dialogue scenes (hello Oblivion/Skyrim!) if the rest of the game is up to scratch.

    That said, going from Horizon Zero Dawn to Mass Effect: Andromeda is quite jarring and not only highlights the difference in the level of polish (the latter suffers from lots of minor glitches and hiccups such as disappearing/teleporting NPCs for one thing that makes it appear a bit rushed) but also the quality of the animation and modelling. While Mass Effect Andromeda's character models are passable to okay as opposed to stunning, it is their cartoonish wide-open staring eyes that completely distract from everything else for me. They really do look quite terrible IMO with the whites of the irises being way too white. In some ways I wish the game had ditched humans altogether and just featured aliens because they actually look really good (except for the ones that look more humanoid than alien such as Pee Bee who often looks janky in cutscenes).

    Another issue with the game is the way the characters animate during dialogue, sometimes doing really bizarre things. Personally, I'd rather have them just stood still instead of flapping their arms around, squirming like they desperately need to go to the toilet or moving their eyes from side to side constantly has happens in this game. While I am enjoying the game itself (even if it is just more of the same in a different galaxy) it does need some big patches to clear out some of the more jarring issues. It'll never be perfect, no game is, but I expect much better than this from a big publisher like EA. Did they push it out unfinished before the end of the current fiscal year. It sure seems like it.
    Reply +4
  • Fans have noticed something odd about Lego City Undercover on Switch

  • Darren 28/03/2017

    Will not be buying LEGO City Undercover on the Switch if this is the case then as I want all my main games to be on cart for convenience and to save space on the internal memory and microSD for digital-only games and DLC.

    Very disappointing to be honest and I hope that this doesn't become the norm with greedy third-party publishers still wanting to sell Switch games at the current 60 RRP but keep their own costs down (and, thus, their profit margins up)! :(

    I think I will just pick up the game for my PS4 or PC instead...
    Reply 0
  • Mass Effect Andromeda physical launch sales down on ME3

  • Darren 27/03/2017

    I am really enjoying the game myself having spent almost all weekend playing it but technically the game is a bit rough even on PC. I haven't come across any major game-breaking bugs or crashes admittedly but I have seen plenty of minor glitches such as teleporting/sliding NPCs on the Nexus, some missing geometry/textures and, of course, some truly bizarre body and facial animations that really give the impression the game was pushed out of the door by EA before it was ready, perhaps so they could include it in their current fiscal year.

    For me, ropey animations do not ruin the game (thankfully) having grown up with games since the early 1980s but Mass Effect Andromeda does lack the polish and quality of other games such as The Witcher 3, Horizon Zero Dawn and Rise of the Tomb Raider, to name a few off the top of my head but that's not to say it isn't an entertaining and fun game to play.
    Reply +7
  • A Switch is for life, not just for Zelda

  • Darren 24/03/2017

    It's a good job that Zelda: Breath of the Wild is so damn magnificent and such fun to play on the go or at work because apart from that and FAST RMX the rest of the Switch's launch titles are massively underwhelming IMO, either in terms of longevity (1-2 Switch which quickly gets stale) and value (50 for Super Bomberman Z... get outta here!!!).

    I'm sure the good games will come in time but its telling how short of games the Switch is that Nintendo have been advertising Mario Kart 8 Deluxe since the console's launch three weeks ago, a game that won't be out for over another month (28th April)! Of course, us core Nintendo gamers know that this is par for the course with any of their consoles; third-party games will be few and their own triple A games will be released months apart. You definitely need bags of patience with Nintendo consoles! ;)

    What really highlights how rushed the Switch's launch was though, other than the lack of games at release, is that the console has no support for basics like YouTube, internet browsing or Facebook (although you can post screen captures to the latter). Also, Nintendo's own classic NES/SNES/N64 library is nowhere to be found, something that would be absolutely perfect for this handheld system. It is just so apparent that the system was not really quite ready for launch but Nintendo likely wanted it out before the end of the fiscal year at the end of March.

    A good system potentially, if overpriced, based on Zelda (which quite likely will be my Game of 2017) but, right now, I don't think I would blame anyone for holding off buying one. As a portable gaming system Switch is great, although the battery life is somewhat underwhelming (read: pathetic actually), but as a home console played on the TV it is disappointing in comparison with the four year old PS4 and Xbox One. To be honest, the system doesn't really seem to be that much more powerful than the Wii U on the basis of the games seen so far other than being able to render a slightly higher resolutions (albeit with framerate issues and non-existant texture filtering and anti-aliasing). In that respect it's not a console I would recommend as your only gaming machine but this has been true of Nintendo consoles since the Wii in my view.
    Reply +2
  • Everything is the most ambitious catalogue of things ever committed to a video game

  • Darren 22/03/2017

    Certainly sounds original and interesting even if the promise of offering 'everything' does sound a bit like No Man's Sky, a game I quickly grew tired of when I realised how lifeless and aimless the game was, not helped by the fact that most of the planets just felt like colour palette swaps of the previous ones I'd visited. Never has the universe appeared so dull as in No Man's Sky. Hopefully, Everything will be better executed. Reply +1
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1800X review: what's the real story with gaming?

  • Darren 21/03/2017

    I owned an AMD CPU, an Athlon64 X2 I believe, many years ago but have used Intel since then. I see no reason to change either as I use my PC mainly for gaming which is where Intel excels. My own quad-core Core i7-4770K clocked at 4.0 GHz is coming to four years old now and still offers plenty of juice for gaming when coupled with a high-end NVIDIA GPU such as the GTX 1080. I see no reason to upgrade, possibly for another 12 to 18 months at which point I will look at getting my first CPU with more than 4 cores, whether that is 6 or 8.

    To be honest, CPUs are in my experience the least exciting part of upgrading a PC anyway and usually I only upgrade when there are other features that I want such as SATAIII, USB 3.0 and PCI-e 3.0 as standard which is why I moved up from my previous i7-920.
    Reply +7
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda review

  • Darren 20/03/2017

    The original Mass Effect games are one of the few trilogies I have played from start to finish. I was utterly engrossed in every game, being a big fan of science fiction, and thought it was fantastic bar that last hour of the Mass Effect 3, which, to be honest, made me less interested in Andromeda than I would have been otherwise.

    Having had the chance to play 10 hours of the Andromeda trial on PC, I admit that I am absolutely itching to get back to playing it. I really enjoyed what I saw and even forgave the stiff animations and lifeless faces with those goofy cartoonish eyes. Combat and exploration seemed fun, the game looks gorgeous visually (dialogue cutscenes aside) and it all felt a bit more seamless and open than the previous games with no immersion-breaking or obvious loading screens once into the game.

    Really looking forward to continuing this later on in the week and making my own mind up about whether this is a worthy successor to the original or a disappointment.
    Reply +18
  • Mass Effect Andromeda's early access trial is getting a mixed response

  • Darren 17/03/2017

    Admittedly I've only played about 5.5 hours of the game so far on PC at maxed out 2560x1440 settings but, for me, the game has been running great (at a 99.9% locked 60 fps) and I have not come across any noticeable bugs or glitches that have made me drop my controller and think WTF! Not that I'm saying I won't encounter any; there are always bugs and glitches in these kinds of games but due to the openness of the game world and the sheer number of different ways to play it the chance of any two people encountering the same issues is very slim (unless it is a major issue that affects everyone, of course).

    Great game so far IMO. Sure, the character models do look a little dated and stiff compared with, say, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Horizon Zero Dawn or Uncharted 4 for example and the eyes can look way too 'cartoony' for want of a better word but overall the art style is gorgeous and visually the game is much richer and more detailed than any of the previous three games, thanks to it using the Frostbite engine. I've yet to see any texture pop in for example, something that frequently occurred in the original trilogy even on PC. I do have the game installed on my Samsung EVO 850 SSD though.
    Reply +5
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild uses dynamic resolution scaling

  • Darren 14/03/2017

    I wish Nintendo would also add triple buffering (or equivalent) support to this game to prevent those jarring drops from 30 fps to 20 fps and back. While they never outright ruin the game there are very noticeable and make it feel like Link is running through treacle!

    I have played around 40-45 hours of the game so far (at least, possibly much more), mostly in docked mode and thankfully I've only encountered one brief moment where the game literally froze for half a second then resuming. Otherwise this has been a very polished (20 fps framerate aside) and bug-free experience. Quite impressive really given how quickly the Switch version was developed and on completely different architecture to the Wii U. I should also mention that the camera has been superb in this game and even in confined areas or tight spots I have yet to see any instances of it clipping through scenery, NPCs or other objects. That is quite an achievement for a 3D rendered game IMO.
    Reply +5
  • Why Nintendo Switch games are ending up more expensive

  • Darren 13/03/2017

    Everyone seems to be forgetting that PS Vita games came on microSD cards and those games were typically 29.99 to 34.99 RRP not the 49.99 to 59.99 that Nintendo are asking for Switch games. If Nintendo aren't careful the pricing of the games could not only deter third-party support, something that always seems to happen with their consoles, but it could also put people buying the system completely. Reply 0
  • Fast RMX showcases Switch's technological leap over Wii U

  • Darren 11/03/2017

    This is easily the second best game on Switch after Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It's a terrific little game that works as well undocked as it does docked. The presentation is also very slick with great music, speech and lovely (if somewhat jaggy) looking visuals. That it is under 1 GB in size is amazing. It was good on the Wii U but it's even better on Switch IMO. Reply +3
  • Big No Man's Sky update out this week

  • Darren 09/03/2017

    Great that the developers continue to support their games with updates and enhancements but, for me, the core gameplay is what is deeply flawed. I just find the game immensely after playing for a few hours and finding that most of the planets I visited look pretty much like the last one with a colour palette swap! The procedural nature of this game makes for incredibly dull exploration IMO and even when there are NPCs around the world feels lifeless and bland. Reply +2
  • Switch has redesigned portable gaming forever

  • Darren 08/03/2017

    Despite only having two worthy games to its name as far as I am concerned at the moment (the magnificent Zelda: Breath of the wild and FAST RMX), I am really enjoying the Switch experience so far. I like that I can play Zelda for an hour at work in portable mode then come home, continue the game in a higher resolution with the Pro controller on my TV then play another couple of hours on it in bed in portable mode. It might seem gimmicky and perhaps in time I might make less use of the portable functions but, right now, it seems like the console's best selling point IMO. The whole system is also refreshingly small even when docked.

    While I find the controls fine in portable mode, the games do feel much more comfortable and easier to play with the Pro controller. Then, again, if I wanted to I could take my Pro controller to work with me and play the game that way instead of with the Joycons. Such is the flexibility of the system.

    I just hope that the machine sells well enough to get decent support from not only Nintendo but also third-parties. However, at its current price without a pack in game the system lacks the allure of the Wii with its Wii Sports. I don't think 1-2 Switch, even if it was included with the system, has enough substance to sell the system. The games are fun at first but the appeal quickly wears off. It's little more than a tech demo for what the Switch can do really and should definitely have been included with the console even if I don't think it is a system seller.
    Reply +4
  • Is Zelda on Switch worth the upgrade from Wii U?

  • Darren 08/03/2017

    I've had the opportunity to play both games, thanks to deciding to keep my original (2 year old!) Wii U pre-order for my nephew. Although, I've played much more of the Switch version, I noticed very bad framerate drops on the Wii U version almost right at the start when you head out of the Resurrection Chamber and head down to the old man. There is definitely a lot more slowdown in the Wii U version; Kakariko Village is especially bad and seems to run at 20 fps throughout whereas the Switch version runs better, holding 30 fps for longer than it doesn't (it still has dips to 20 fps too).

    It's a shame that Nintendo didn't use triple buffering or something similar to minimise these huge framerate drops (basically a 33% hit from 30 to 20 fps!) because they are rather jarring and noticeable. I applaud their decision to not use adaptive v-sync here though as it would just spoil the game more than the framerate drops IMO.

    Do you think that Nintendo will release optimisation patches for this game like CD Projekt Red did for The Witcher 3? It would be nice if they did. It would be nice to have some post-process anti-aliasing too, although the gorgeous art style used for the game generally does a good job of hiding them for the most part.
    Reply 0
  • PlayStation 4 update that adds Pro boost mode out tomorrow

  • Darren 08/03/2017

    I had actually forgotten about this with the release of the Nintendo Switch and the new Zelda game and had just got a notification that I'd been charged for the new Atelier game on PS4 so this firmware is perfectly timed as I am fed up of deleting games to make space for updates and new games. It annoyed me that my PS4 Pro's 2 TB drive has 90 GB free but some updates won't install due to a lack of space! I had this issue when I installed Horizon Zero Game, a game that uses 42 GB of space so why the PS4 needs twice the space free for updates, beats me. :confused:

    Thankfully, I have a 4 TB external USB 3.0 drive all ready for the PS4, which should hopefully last me the duration of the console's life. It's not that I mind uninstalling older games, since they install very quickly and usually in the background while playing, but some games have large 5+ GB updates that mean if I want to play it at some point in the future then I have to wait for the slow PSN network to download the updates again. This is whu I prefer to keep games I'm still playing installed, just for the convenience and the 2 TB internal drive is not sufficient for the games and content I want to use.

    I'm also looking forward to trying out Boost Mode, especially to see if it gets rid of the ugly screen tearing in Yakuza 0, an otherwise excellent game that I intentionally held off playing until this firmware was released. :D
    Reply +3
  • Voodoo Vince: Remastered out in April

  • Darren 07/03/2017

    What a really pleasant surprise... I really enjoyed this game on Xbox. Will pick this up on PC. :D Reply 0